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Who's Your Real Customer? Does Your Home Office Really Know?

January 6, 2018 // John DiJulius

Most franchise company leaders preach to their home office team that they also have customers: operations, development, marketing, field reps, and all the other corporate employees who franchisees count on every day to deliver what they need to serve their own customers. However, every organization we have worked with says the same thing: "Our home office is not world-class."

To say that every employee and department must understand the critical role they play in creating a world-class customer experience is a serious understatement. I am not talking about employee engagement, world-class internal culture, or how likely employees are to refer a family or friend. All of those have more to do with how good the organization is to work for. While important, it is a totally different topic. I am talking about the experience the home office delivers on a daily basis to all the employees who call in for support, including IT, marketing, human resources, accounting, maintenance, etc.

After I graduated from college, I got promoted to a UPS driver and quickly realized that my daily success was predicated on how well my truck was loaded and organized. Some days it was horrible. I would find packages at 3 p.m. in the back of my truck that I should have delivered at 10 a.m., when I was on the other side of town. Now I had to backtrack, making me late to get all my stops in on time and I would get home late. UPS missed a golden opportunity to teach loaders who their real customer was, and how our actions affected their day. (Here is a 3-minute video of me speaking on this:

As I've said before, in most businesses front-line employees have never been their own customer, don't know what it is like to be in their customers' shoes, and have little empathy and compassion for how and what they do affects their customer.

John R. DiJulius III is the author of The Customer Service Revolution and president of The DiJulius Group, a customer service consulting firm whose clients include Starbucks, Chick-fil-A, The Ritz-Carlton, Nestle, PwC, Lexus, and many more. Email him at

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