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April 2014

We've Got Friends in High Places.


I have just spent several days in Ethiopia with our service culture client and Worldwide Customer Service Leader for 2013… Tewolde Gebremariam, CEO of Ethiopian Airlines. Ethiopian Airlines has decided to expand its business and also represent SQI in Ethiopia. They want to be the friendliest airline in Africa. Find out what they have done to improve customer service and create a service culture.

Read full blog post here.

Odessa, Ukraine Focusing on a Service Strategy in the Midst of Political Turmoil

Lyudmyla ButtI just spent 9 days in Odessa Ukraine. A beautiful city and very quiet place with a population of about 1 million. Lyudmyla Butt, the owner of Veda www.veda.od.ua  in Odessa invited me last year to do a seminar on April 9 for Ukraine firms who wanted to improve their customer service. Over 270 leaders from Odessa and Kiev attended. Veda is pure class. They bring top speakers from across the world to the Ukraine to help firms grow their business. Vera Likhacheva will be speaking on Sales on May 23 and Brian Tracy on October 17-18, 2014. Vera, who is based in Odessa, became Service Quality Institute’s  first channel partner in the Ukraine. She can be reached at verakirov@mail.ru 

Vera Likhacheva

Observation: My recommendation for people watching the news about the Ukraine and Russia is just turn off your TV and stop reading the newspapers. I have never seen so much hype, false data, and incorrect information. The Ukraine is safe and they are conducting business as usual. They have no concerns about Russia or Crimea.  I was all over Odessa and it’s a beautiful city everyone should visit.

No one from government attended my seminar. Almost half the audience was from Kiev. I stayed at the Maristella Club Hotel with a beautiful view of the Black Sea. Great staff. Elena gave me the best hair color and haircut I have ever had anywhere in the world. Much better than the US and less expensive. I had an opportunity to spend time at the Ark Spa Palace. www.ark-spa.com  Much nicer facility than anything in the US. I also visited several stores of Padam Pam Pam, a coffee and high end pastry chain. www.padampampam.com …and yes, I cheated on my diet.

I felt customer service in Odessa was far superior to Russia. Security guards were much better. Overall customer service was just as good as the US. I am not impressed with customer service in the US.

At immigration in Odessa they require no stupid forms asking for your birth date and sex like they still do in the US. Probably took a minute or less to clear immigration. Ten times faster than it took me to clear immigration in Seattle, WA on my return to the US. Very few countries understand the power of speed. They still require immigration forms that have no value, take valuable time for customers to fill out and immigration employees carefully review to make sure all the information is filled out with more expensive supervisors being hired to make sure they are completed and then use the passport for all critical information. I would bet $1000 that at the end of the day ALL governments dump these forms without looking at them. Many organizations have stupid rules and policies that add costs, have NO value (except for the person who created the policy)  What policies can you eliminate like the Ukraine government did that add no value, cost money and time to enforce?

In this issue

John Tschohl, President Service Quality Institute

»We've Got Friends in High Places
»Odessa, Ukraine Focusing on Strategy
»Worldwide Conference
»Handling Irate Customers
»Certification Seminars

  • In The Media:

» Meeting John Tschohl - The Guru of Customer Service

» Vail Resorts: The Ultimate Customer Service Experience - (download) Call Center Times

» 7-Eleven CEO Stresses Customer Service - KDHnews

» 12 Reasons Why Employee Training Fails - happi

» Vera Likhacheva and John Tschohl - Odessa Ukraine (Russian)


  • Certification Seminars:

September 15 Minneapolis, MN
Feelings (Certification)
Sign up here

September 15-17 MInneapolis, MN
Certified Customer Service Leader (CCSL)
Sign up here

September 15-18 Minneapolis, MN
Certified Customer Service Trainer (CCST)
Sign up here

September 16-17 Minneapolis, MN
Leading Empowered Teams (Certification
Sign up here



Worldwide Customer Service Conference Minneapolis Minnesota October 2nd – 4th 2014 at Radisson Blu, Mall of America


Worldwide Customer Service Conference Minneapolis October 2-4, 2014

If you and your organization want to learn from service leaders on how to create a service culture our 3 day Worldwide Customer Service Conference will be worth your time. We have an impressive list of speakers.

Click here for the brochure and conference agenda.

Registration is $500 with a special rate of $400 if signed up by July 1.  The 4 star Radisson Blu is our hotel with special rates of only $135 night. In Moscow this same room would be $500 a night. It is connected to the Mall of America, the largest mall in the US and is only 5 minutes from the airport.

Handling Irate Customers

Irate Customers

In May we hope to be able to release our new 2 session program on Handling Irate Customers and Difficult Situations.  The scripting for the video and participant material is really good. Very aggressive vignettes.  Reinforced with a participant book and a user friendly leaders guide so it can be facilitated on site by your own employees.

Irate customers can ruin your day. Often employees are not prepared for an aggressive encounter. In Mexico City in March when I pointed out how crazy it was to have 32 immigration counters and only 7 people working and only 2 in the foreigner’s line, my passport was confiscated and I had to wait for an hour as punishment in an isolated room. In Turkey the Prime Minister held the plane for two hours because a political opponent was on the plane.  Because I complained and took photographs, they asked me to leave the plane and I was holding a $4,000 ticket.  (Frankly, Turkey is more dangerous than the Ukraine).  What I said in both instances was very mild compared to the acting and aggressive vignettes we have in our new program. I wanted tough hard hitting vignettes and scripts that are explosive.  It is better to learn the skills on how to handle irate customers in a classroom instead of in real life. And by the way, we definitely do not condone punishing our customers.

The Spanish version will be released in July. We have SPECIAL PRICING THROUGH JUNE 30. The introductory package with the leader guide, two videos and 25 participant kits is on sale for $1200. The participant kits are $21 each in small volume. We are reducing the price $652 by giving the 25 participant kits for free.

Visit the SQI online store and get all the details

If I can personally be of help, feel free to contact me.

John Tschohl
Service Quality Institute
Minneapolis, Minnesota  55420
Office 952-884-3311
Cell 612-382-5636