Joey Decaminada is the owner of Leading Edge Athletic Performance where he trains everyone from kids to housewives to professional athletes. Along with running the gym, he is a competitive bodybuilder, actor, and fitness model. Joey brings home his active lifestyle to his two children, 10 and 14 and his fiancée who all enjoy fitness as well.
We know that the answer is often somewhere in between, but the fun of this section is that you have to pick just one!
Paper < Plastic
Personalization < Privacy
In-Store Shopping < Online Shopping
Transactional > Relational
Mac < PC
Customer Service > Customer Experience
Captain Kirk < Dr. Spock
Talk < Text
Dog < Cat
Movie Theater > In-Home Rental
What was your first job and what did you learn about customer service in it?
My first real job came right out of college. I was hired by Ohio Northern University as Head Football Coach. Recruiting was where I first learned about customer service. Every night was spent on the phone with high school families selling our football program and answering questions they may have about the school. Once the families made it to campus I would tour them around the school introducing them to faculty members, athletes, coaches and students.
I can imagine my customer service wasn’t exactly what it needed to be on those first few visits, but I was able to learn as I went. What they wanted was honesty, and details. Not the details you find in a brochure, but the details you get through experiences. So I always tried to bring students with me to relate to the recruit and provide someone close to their age to answer their questions in a very non-intimidating way. This experience helped me learn that customer service is about making people feel comfortable and building a trusting relationship with them.
Tell us how one outside influence impacted your customer service or customer experience thinking. (For ex. book, movie, sporting event, relationship, travel)
I learn a lot through observation and hands-on experience and try to take something with me from every situation. I would say that my mentor Mike Davies has been a very strong outside influence in how I treat my clients. Mike is a very successful trainer. He is also my trainer. I take every opportunity to observe Mike’s interactions with his clients. He has genuine care, concern, and interest in them.
In my industry people come back, not just because of my training skill set, but my customer service as well. They want to be pushed when needed, but they also want positive reinforcement. I need to take time to talk to them, answer their questions and make them feel welcomed and wanted. Mike ‘s clients are very loyal and it’s because he cares about them. His influence helps me provide the same to my athletes.
In your own personal experience, has customer service gotten better or worse in the past five years?
I think it can be better. It is very easy to forget that what we all say and do can have such a large influence on others. In this day and age we are all so rushed and in such a hurry that we can be really self absorbed. I am personally guilty of this at times too. We may brush people off or feel bothered because of this busyness and that of course makes our customer service worse.
I try to remember that if someone trusts me enough to ask me for my help or my opinion, then the very least I can do is give them the time that is needed to help them. I would like to see us all slow down a little bit and engage others more to provide the service that we ourselves would appreciate.
> I consider it a bad customer experience when I am placed on hold for more than 1 minute.
> In five years, the most important social media channel for customer service will be YouTube.
> The best book I read in the last twelve months was Lone Survivor.
Photo credit courtesy of Joey Decaminada.
By Adam Toporek. Adam Toporek is an internationally recognized customer service expert, keynote speaker, and workshop leader. He is the author of Be Your Customer's Hero: Real-World Tips & Techniques for the Service Front Lines (2015), as well as the founder of the popular Customers That Stick® blog and co-host of the Crack the Customer Code podcast.