Becoming the ‘Customer Service Capital’ is no surprise role for Cleveland

johndijuliusWho needs LeBron? We have customer service! Yes, it would be really nice if one of our major sports team won a championship. However, in spite of that, Cleveland is on the rise. Personally, I love Cleveland, and I am proud to say I am from Cleveland and live here.

There is a lot to love; we are known for our leading health care facilities, our theater district, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, downtown is making a strong comeback, and most of all, we are known for our people. We are in the heart of the Midwest, where we have the best people, grounded and loyal with amazing family values.

However, that isn’t all for which Cleveland is known; Cleveland is now becoming a fantastic customer service location. Five years ago, The DiJulius Group launched the annual Secret Service Summit. The Secret Service Summit is a two-day conference featuring the top customer service speakers, authors and brand executives for two days.

I will be honest, the plan was to launch the first year, 2009, in Cleveland, then move the annual conference to the more desirable destinations, i.e. Las Vegas, Orlando, etc.

However, it sold out the first year and was so successful that we decided we were going to keep the Secret Service Summit in Cleveland. Why? For one thing, more than 75 of the attendees are from outside of Ohio, many outside the U.S., so we felt good about helping Cleveland generate some traffic.

Secondly, with the help of so many Cleveland people, we are able to provide a conference experience never seen before, one we could never duplicate anywhere else. As a result the Secret Service Summit is one of the top customer service conferences in America.

Seeing the affect that both the Secret Service Summit and SBN’s World-Class customer service awards has had on recognizing and educating Northeast Ohio businesses for their commitment to providing superior customer service, we have seen an improvement in the level of customer service being delivered everywhere in NEO and the momentum is rapidly building.

What does it mean when an entire region is known for something like world-class customer service? It means businesses experience higher sales growth, become less price sensitive, enjoy more referrals, are less affected by things such as the economic swings, they are more profitable, and spend less on advertising.

In addition, they have higher employee morale and lower employee turnover. Ultimately it means we have nicer people, who enjoy serving others and it shows, which attracts more people to the business and the area. More businesses prosper and more companies and customers are attracted to the area.

The DiJulius Group’s mission has always been to change the world by creating a customer service revolution; however, we have a second one: to make Cleveland the “Customer Service Capital of the World.” Together, we can make this a reality.


John DeJulius III is the author of “Secret Service Hidden Systems that Deliver Unforgettable Customer Service” and What’s the Secret.” He is also president of the DeJulius Group. Reach him at [email protected]