Book Report

We’re excited to give you an overview of an important book, you should know about, as well as share some of our favorite passages as part of our next BOOK REPORT!

Episode 133 – Forget Their Shoes – Step Into Your Customers’ Headphones

Join us as we discuss creating a workplace that employees and customers love, making your big ideas irresistible, and the power of a protagonist playlist.

Consistency, Connections, and Crescendos – Oh My!

Referenced in the Show

I Love It Here: How Great Leaders Create Organizations Their People Never Want to Leave – by Clint Pulver
Find Your Red Thread: How to Make Your Big Ideas Irresistible – by Tamsen Webster
Perfectly Parvin – by Olivia Abtahi
Perfectly Parvin Protagonist Playlist

Host Contact Information

Email Dan: Dan@dangingiss.com

Tweet Dan Gingiss: @DGingiss

Email Joey: JoeyC@JoeyColeman.com

DanGingiss.com

JoeyColeman.com

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Learn more about our Season 7 Partner – Solvvy – The NextGen Chatbot

Episode Transcript

Download a machine-transcribed, barely edited transcript of Episode 133 here or read it below:
(if anything doesn’t make sense or you have any questions about the transcript – just Contact us!)

Joey Coleman (00:05):
Welcome to Experience This!

Dan Gingiss (00:07):
The podcast that celebrates remarkable customer experiences and inspires you to stand out from the competition by wowing your customers.

Joey Coleman (00:17):
Each episode, we bring you a healthy dose of inspiring stories, funny interactions, and practical takeaways. Marketing and customer experience thought leader, Dan Gingiss…

Dan Gingiss (00:30):
shares the mic with customer retention and employee experience expert, Joey Coleman – helping you to get people talking about your business.

Joey Coleman (00:40):
So get ready because it’s time to Experience This!

Joey Coleman (00:48):
Get ready for another episode of the experience, this show!

Dan Gingiss (00:55):
Join us as we discuss creating a workplace and employees and cut love, making your big ideas, irresistible and the power of a protagonist playlist.

Joey Coleman (01:06):
Consistency, Connections, and Crescendos! Oh my!

Joey Coleman (01:16):
We’re excited to give you an overview of an important book you should know about as well as share some of our favorite passages as part of our next Book Report

Joey Coleman (01:29):
I have a riddle for you Dan… What do you get when you combine a drummer, a seasoned expert with the youthful features of someone, at least a decade younger and a commitment to bringing out the best in people.

Dan Gingiss (01:40):
A trophy winning talent show entry?

Joey Coleman (01:46):
Well that’s that may in fact be true. But what I was going for is Clint Pulver. Clint is a professional keynote speaker, musician, pilot, and workforce expert, who in the interest of full disclosure, is also a friend of mine from the speaking circuit. Clint is an amazing human with feature film credits, and appearance on America’s Got Talent, and he even won an Emmy for his short film, “Be a Mr. Jensen.” So he’s really kind of an underachiever in every area of life. But recently he became the author of our featured book report today, a brand new book titled “I Love It Here: How Great Leaders Create oOrganizations Their People Never Want to Leave.” Now I’ve been eagerly anticipating this book for some time. Now we talk regularly on the show about how customer experience and employee experience are two sides of the same coin. And if you enhance the employee experience, you’ll enhance the customer experience. If your customer experience is lacking, I can almost guarantee your employee experience is lacking too, which is why I wanted to feature a book on employee retention, because I know that it will help our listeners with their customer retention as well. Now, before we dive into some of the specific gems in, I love it here. Let’s hear from the author, Clint Pulver, as he gives us an overview of the book.

Clint Pulver (03:08):
For the last five years, I have conducted research as the undercover millennial. Think of it kind of like undercover boss. Have you ever seen the TV show? It’s like that without the makeup I, myself, as the author, MN millennial, I’m a fairly young person, but that gave me the opportunity because of my age to go into organizations undercover as someone who was looking for a job. We have worked with hundreds of organizations and I have interviewed thousands of employees as the “undercover millennial” understanding what works and what doesn’t work in an organization. The magic of this book is that it’s not another leadership book written by a self-proclaimed leadership expert. This is a book that’s written by 10,000 employees who knew when their leaders were getting it right. When I would walk into an organization and say, you know, what’s it like to work here? I’m thinking about applying. They would give me honest feedback – because I wasn’t a survey. The research was not something that was done on a one-on-one management meeting level. This was real. It was authentic. And I believe we’ve captured the most real inauthentic data behind how great leaders were creating organizations that their people never wanted to leave. That’s why we decided to title the book, “I Love It Here.” When I would go undercover in an or into an organization, that was the magic is when an employee would say, “I love it here. I love my job. You should apply.” And the reasons behind that response, the book is about what great leadership looks and feels like to the people that experience it every day. It’s the power of mentorship over management. How do we create experiences and opportunities at work where people don’t just survive, but they can actually thrive. They don’t just love their job, but they love who they are while they’re at their job. That’s what “I Love It Here” talks about and trains leaders on how to become that for their people.

Dan Gingiss (05:16):
So Joey, one thing that I absolutely love about what Clint just said there, you may remember that we featured a book by my friend, Chris Strub, actually, I think he’s been featured a couple of times on this show and I met Chris at a conference and we were sitting in a breakout room and there was a panel that was called “Marketing to Millennials”

Joey Coleman (05:39):
always a good one to get people, to show up with a title like that!

Dan Gingiss (05:42):
Well, being the smart gen X-er that I am, I decided to sit between two millennials. There was a young woman to my left in a and Chris dropped to my right. And I leaned over to Chris during the presentation. And I said, does it strike you as odd that this is a panel entitled marketing to millennials? And yet there are no millennials up on the stage. And he said, yes, that does strike me as odd. And so I already love the fact that Clint is not just, she mentioned another self-proclaimed leadership expert teaching us about millennials, right? He’s a lot more believable.

Joey Coleman (06:21):
He really is. Not only is he a lot more believable given his standing as a millennial, but this is a guy who has he mentioned in the overview, did the homework. I mean, thousands of undercover interviews where he figured out what actually makes organizations tick. Now at the end of the day, this connection between what’s going on with your employees and what’s going on with your customers often gets overlooked. I know it’s something that you and I talk about a lot Dan. We talk about it a lot here on the podcast. But in many organizations, there’s a big disconnect between the employee experience and the customer experience, which is why I wanted to devote some time in our conversation today to the book. Now I know Dan that you had a particular passage from the book that you really enjoyed. If I may be so bold, I think it was your favorite passage. Would you mind sharing that with our listeners?

Dan Gingiss (07:14):
I will but I’m going to warn you Joey, it’s a little bit longer than most of the passages that I share, but I think that the juice will be worth the squeeze.

Joey Coleman (07:21):
Ooo – I like it!

Dan Gingiss (07:22):
I like it. All right. All right, here we go. And I quote, “Organizations can create a culture of ownership by giving employees the autonomy to help clients in whatever ways seem appropriate. One of the better examples of this was done by Rob Farrell, a successful dental surgeon and a fantastic leader. Rob has always strived to be in tune with the concerns and needs of his organization and the people involved. He’s created a culture in his office in which all of his employees have the freedom to provide imaginative and caring customer service in the hopes of creating a greater experience for his customers. One of the ways he facilitated this was by setting up a cash box in what she keeps money, gift cards, candy, and other miscellaneous items. This box and its contents are available to everyone on his staff to use for whatever purpose they feel is necessary to serve their customers and make them feel taken care of. On one occasion, a woman came into the dental clinic who had been suffering for years with periodontal infections and was slowly losing her teeth. She had expressed several times the ongoing blow. This was having to herself esteem and how it made it hard to smile or even wish to smile. It had also caused some complications that had restricted her from eating any type of solid food for over 20 years. “I would give anything to be able to eat corn on the cob again,” she said at one of her initial appointments, after several visits, which included getting implants, the woman started showing up to her appointments with a smile on her face – one that grew bigger and bigger each time as she proudly showed off her teeth and her healing gums. On the way out of her last dental appointment, one of Rob’s employees stopped her at the door and graciously handed her a bag. Inside the bag were 12 fresh ears of corn. The woman began to weep at the gesture. Not only was her mouth almost fully healed. She also couldn’t believe that her dental surgeons assistants had listened and then remembered something that seemed like such a small passing comment. Yes, it had been small, but it had so much value to her. And this assistant had noticed that she hugged the young employee in each of the staff members and went back to hug Rob, before she left the office for the final time, “I’ll tell everyone about you,” she cried as she left. And she has. It’s important to note that this young employee did not perform this gesture for a better review, from a satisfied customer, or to get the word out about their dental office. She did it because her employer had enabled her to take ownership and make decisions about what it took to care deeply for their patients. When the woman came back to hug Rob, he was unaware that his employee had taken money from the cash box and slipped out for 15 minutes to buy some corn for his patient. He was also unaware that his staff had heard the patient speak of her love for corn, but he didn’t need to. His employees knew they were empowered to serve and care for their clients. In whatever ways they felt would make a difference.

Joey Coleman (10:07):
Oh my goodness, you selected the passage that includes dental surgery and corn on the cob?! I absolutely love it. That juice was definitely worth the squeeze. Thankfully it was not corn juice that we’re drinking there, but I love every bit about that story. You know, so many organizations are trying to create remarkable customer experiences by detailing scripts or creating these kinds of, “well if X happens, then do Y” scenarios. And what we really need to do is recognize, and I think Clint outlines this so beautifully in that example is figure out more ways to give our employees autonomy, to trust them, to create the kind of remarkable experiences that we know they can create and to empower them with time with resources, you know, with a box of cash, whatever it may be to go above and beyond. You know, if anything, I think what we’ve learned over the course of the last year and a half is that our past thoughts about employee work policies and procedures need to be revisited and need to be reconsidered. And because of that, it will probably come as no surprise that my favorite passage from the book is all about the importance of re-imagining the definition of workplace flexibility. As Clint writes, and I quote, “The days of working a strict nine to five schedule five days a week are quickly fading away with the disruption of COVID-19. Many teams were forced into remote environments and normal work schedules disappeared completely – an event that highlighted both how much workplaces need to be prepared for the unexpected and how much it turns out we can flex when we need to. Employees are now looking for and needing more flexibility to meet the various demands, both inside and outside the workplace. Our research has shown that significant leaders who value and understand that employees have a life outside of their work, are consistently cherished and appreciated by their workforce. Instead of enforcing a strict schedule, according to past ideals and expectations, let your people dictate their own schedules. Give them ownership of their time. Certainly there are deadlines to be met and parameters that need to be maintained, meetings to be attended, appointments to be kept, communications that need to happen… but if employees can meet, and perhaps exceed, your expectations for performance and collaboration, while varying their schedules, that flexibility can go a long way in retaining their loyalty.

Dan Gingiss (12:44):
You know, it’s interesting because Clint points out that some of this flexibility emerged out of the COVID-19 pandemic, but he’s absolutely right that even when we returned back to work this flexibility, we’ve sort of all gotten used to it. And everything that I’ve read has said that people are more, not less productive while they’ve been working from home with a little bit more flexibility when somebody isn’t clocking them in and out every day. And yeah, they may have to stop to walk the dog or feed the crying baby or whatever it is, but that people are actually working longer hours. They’re also working the hours that they would have spent commuting back and forth. So I think we’ve gotten used to having flexibility and that is going to need to continue in the post-COVID era. And obviously the thing that will remain the same is that by staying flexible and keeping our employees happy, they’re better equipped to keep our customers happy. You know Joey, it’s the little things done consistently over time that I think really contribute to a remarkable customer or employee experience. Now, when we asked Clint to share his favorite passage from the book, he connected the importance of consistency to the day-to-day behavior of leaders. Here’s Clint sharing his favorite passage from the book:

Clint Pulver (14:02):
The greatest part about your role in leadership is that it matters. The hardest part is that it matters every day. The best things in life are often brought about by small means consistently applied over time. Mentorship and leadership are no different. A mentor manager simply creates little individual moments, day-by-day, that changed the lives of those they lead in associate with in big ways and small. Creating an environment where the thought I love it here extends past the workplace and into the larger world is the opportunity you get every day. You get to see the opportunities, not just the problems. To give your people a chance to grow and to flourish, not only in your business, but in their larger lives as well. What privilege and an honor to use your position to create relationships and foster personal development that will last a lifetime. I’ve said it before, and I will say it here one last time. It’s not about being the best in the world, it’s about being the best for the world.

Joey Coleman (15:11):
“It’s not about being the best in the world. It’s about being the best for the world.” Oh man, I love that phrase. I love this book and I think you’re going to love it too. So make sure to pick up a copy of, “I Love It Here: How Great Leaders Create Organizations Their People Never Want to Leave” by Clint Pulver – or if you’re one of the first five people to message us via the Contact Page at ExperienceThisShow.com, we’ll send you a copy as our way of saying thank you for listening to Experience This. And we hope you love it here too! And if you follow Clint’s advice, we can promise that your employees and your customers will be saying, “I love it here” even more in the future.

Joey Coleman (15:53):
We spend hours and hours, nose deep in books. We believe that everything you read influences the experiences you create. So we’re happy to answer our favorite question: What Are You Reading?

Joey Coleman (16:09):
Do you remember learning about the story of Theseus and the Minotaur when you were in school Dan?

Dan Gingiss (16:18):
Um, let me… No. No I don’t.

Joey Coleman (16:21):
I love it. Everybody who’s listening just started to say, oh wait, there’s something wrong with the recording. What’s happening. It’s dragging off… Well, here’s the deal. It’s completely understandable if you don’t remember this story. I absolutely loved mythology as a kid. And so this story really resonated with me. Briefly, for those of you that may remember, Theseus finds himself needing to go into a labyrinth – basically an underground maze. And in the maze is this monster – a Minotaur. And he’s got to go in and slay the monster. And Theseus takes two tools into the cave with him or into the labyrinth maze to complete this quest: (1) a sword to slay the Minotaur and (2) a ball of thread so that as he goes through the labyrinth maze, he can unwind the thread behind him so that after he meets the Minotaur and hopefully defeats the Minotaur, he’ll be able to get his way back out of the maze. Well, this idea of using a throughline thread to connect every piece of a story is part of what drew me to the book. I just finished reading by the incredible Tamsen Webster. The book is called, “Find Your Red Thread: Make Your Big Ideas Irresistible.” And before I share a little bit more about why I decided to read this book and how useful it’s been to my work already, I thought it’d be a good idea to let the author Tamsen Webster, who incidentally is a dear friend of mine, given an overview of the book in her own words:

Tamsen Webster (17:56):
“Find Your Red Thread: Make Your Big Ideas Irresistible” is about what the subtitle says – how to make your big ideas irresistible. So let me start with what a big idea is in my mind, a big idea is any answer to a question that people haven’t been able to answer for themselves yet, which means a big idea can be actually huge on a global scale, or it can be actually huge on an individual scale because to the person who hasn’t been able to answer that question yet, yet your idea and its new different answer could in fact be world changing to them. So in the book, you’ll learn how to identify who your idea is really for who that person is. That can be best served by it. How to position your idea where it’ll be most effective as that answer to an important question and how to find that question. It’s also going teach you how to break your idea into its component parts, to improve your and your audience’s understanding of it. So that happens and the reason why I include that is that’s where the irresistible part comes in. When we hear new information, we process it as a story. Between every question and answer between every problem and solution lies a story. So this book shows you how to break your idea into those parts and strengthen those parts. So they not only create a story that your audience will tell themselves, but it’s going to be strong enough for you to build on. It’s also going to show you how to articulate those individual parts as key concepts that create and differentiate your message. And then two really important things: how to craft a 62nd minimum viable case for your idea, how to summarize it really quickly for people. And then finally, how to reduce that into a single irresistible sentence. What I like to call the through lineof your message or your minimum viable message. Whatever you take away from the book. I hope it’s your path to finding a way to get your big idea out in the world.

Dan Gingiss (19:55):
I love that phrase that Tamsen uses “between every question and answer, between every problem and solution, lies a story.” All too often, I think businesses tell a story in their marketing materials, but then quit telling stories the longer a customer is in a relationship with them. And we know that people respond to storytelling. In fact, when we read the reviews of this podcast, Joey people love the stories that we tell. And that’s why this podcast has been so popular with our listeners. Storytelling is a device that is not just reserved for marketers, but absolutely can be used throughout the experience as well.

Joey Coleman (20:36):
It’s so true, Dan and storytelling while fun for our listeners is also fun for you and me, and I think that’s the great thing about remarkable stories. It becomes an for the person who is hearing the story, but it can also be an experience for the person telling the story. Now, you know, Dan, I’ve known Tamsen for many years now and I’ve always marveled at her comprehensive knowledge and her expertise. But one thing that people really struggle with when they have a big idea. And let me tell you Tamsen has a bunch of big ideas is how to convince an audience to take action on those big ideas and change their behaviors. My favorite passage in the book occurs when Tamsen breaks down a clear process for getting your audience or your customers to do the things that you want them to do. And I quote, “[]there are three things in particular that your audience needs to understand and agree with before they’ll act on your change. What are they? First – that it’s possible to achieve the goal with the change you recommend. So you need to give your audience examples. They need to read, see, or hear stories and testimonials of your product, your service, or your ideas, helping others achieve the goal your audience also wants. Second – your audience needs to believe that it’s possible for them. You need to map the experiences of others on to your audience and their specific situation. This is where hands-on demonstrations of your idea come in handy. Even something as simple as asking them to imagine where in their life, the idea could work. Third – your audience needs to believe that the actions are worth it. Whenever you’re asking someone to change their thinking or behavior, you’re literally asking them to rewire their brains, to tell themselves a new and different story. If you’re talking to a prospective customer, you’re also asking them to part with some of their money. So they need to feel that the benefit of the change outweighs the risks or costs of it. Those risks and costs can be in effort, money, time, or even reputation. Your audience needs enough detail to determine that risk/word equation for themselves.

Dan Gingiss (22:48):
You know Joey, we talk about customer journey mapping on experience this all the time and Tamsen’s pson’s three-step process that she outlined in that passage you read is something every business should consider even if you believe you’ve already covered it. Do your customers believe that it’s possible to achieve their goals using the change you’re recommending? Do customers believe that it’s specifically possible for them? And finally, do they believe that the actions you’re asking them to take are worth it? Three powerful questions to consider for sure. Now, Joey, since you shared your favorite passage, I think we should also hear from Thompson, the author and her favorite passage…

Tamsen Webster (23:27):
The great British statesman, Winston Churchill, once said that we must learn to be equally good at what is short and sharp and what is long and tough. Most of us can eventually convey the power and possibility of our ideas given enough time. But you rarely have that kind of time. Even if you do, most people would be very happy for you to take less of it. We’ve already talked about why using story and story structure is the best way to speed things up. It uploads the code of your idea street into the story processors of your audience’s brain, because their brains don’t have to do the work of finding the story they’d be looking for. Anyway, you save a ton of time. That’s one benefit of using the form of a story, but another important function of a story is that it’s how we humans make conclusions about cause and effect. When X happens and creates Y result, story is the explanation our brains create to establish the relationship between the two professional storytellers know this concept. Well, in fact, a common refrain among novelists, playwrights and screenwriters is that a story is an argument. It’s a case for an idea. It’s the writer’s explanation of why things happened the way they do. The story is an argument concept is so deeply embedded that by simply finding the story of an idea or building one from scratch, you’re simultaneously building a case for it.

Joey Coleman (24:57):
Use story and structure to upload the code of your ideas straight into the story processors of your audience’s brain. Wow! I love that! Such a beautiful way to articulate the overall impact and power of story and how you can use story to take your business, to take your experiences to the next level. Such great advice. Friends – if you want to read a book that shows you the blueprint for navigating the mazes of your customer’s minds, in a way that will help you achieve your goals without getting lost, you must pick up a copy of Tamsen Webster’s powerful book, “Find Your Red Thread: Make Your Big Ideas Irresistible” – available at your favorite bookseller right now!

Joey Coleman (25:43):
Almost everyone has interacted with chatbots, but all too often, it’s been a bad experience. In MythBusters, presented by Solvvy, we explore a common myth about CX chatbots and see how the right technology can create a positive experience every time.

Joey Coleman (26:07):
Today’s myth about chatbots? Chatbots are only for large enterprises. You might think that all chatbots require massive investments of time, and money, and resources, and that this makes them far more appropriate for a big established enterprise company. If your support team isn’t huge, does it make sense to even consider implementing a chat bot?

Dan Gingiss (26:31):
Oh, it absolutely does Joey! Chatbots can be effective for companies of all sizes in all industries. Next gen chatbots can help any company from fast-growing startups to mid sized scale, their support by immediately handling a significant percentage of customer questions that don’t require a phone call, email or support agent. If you’re experiencing rapid growth, if you expect it soon, or if you navigate seasonal peaks, a chat bot can help your team provide consistently great customer experiences throughout all the ups and downs of demand.

Joey Coleman (27:04):
In terms of the investment. Next gen chat bots don’t require you to have a team of engineers and bot experts in-house. Intelligent chat bots, train themselves on your help content, and pass customer tickets, and continuously learn on their own. The top chatbots will deploy fast (think weeks not months), return your upfront investment quickly, and save you lots more money over time.

Dan Gingiss (27:32):
I’m sensing a common thread here Joey – chatbots can keep you out of the red – regardless of the size of your business – and that will get everyone on your team saying, “I love it here” even more!

Joey Coleman (27:44):
And that’s another Myth Busted thanks to our friends and podcasts supporters at Solvvy, the next gen chat bot. You can find them@solvvy.com. That’s S-O-L-V-V-Y.com.

Joey Coleman (28:00):
We love telling stories and sharing key insights you can implement, or avoid, based on our experiences. Can you believe that This Just Happened?

Joey Coleman (28:13):
How much YA literature do you read Dan?

Dan Gingiss (28:17):
Ah, I think you’re trying to get me with that YA acronym. No, no, I get it. It’s “young adult” and even though I haven’t been a young adult in a long time, but not as long as you, I, I definitely do read some of those books: the Harry Potter series, Hunger Games, Divergent… for sure. I’m all in.

Joey Coleman (28:39):
Well, I had a feeling and interestingly enough, my wife Berit reads, writes, and edits YA novels so I may have a little more exposure to this genre than most. Well, the reason I bring this up is because I’m on the email newsletter for an up and coming YA writer, Olivia Abtahi. Now in full disclosure, I had the pleasure of working with Olivia on a few occasions when she was a freelance copywriter back in the day and when I found out she was writing a novel, I was intrigued. Now I recently received an issue of her e-newsletter and realized there was an entire aspect of why a fiction that I had never heard of the protagonist playlist.

Dan Gingiss (29:20):
Wait, the protagonist playlist?! I definitely have never heard of that. I am intrigued as well.

Joey Coleman (29:27):
I am definitely not only intrigued, but curious how many times you and I can say protagonist playlist without stumbling over the words. Well, anyway, I asked Olivia to tell me more about this idea of a protagonist playlist and why she decided to create one for her upcoming novel. She described the situation as follows.

Olivia Abtahi (29:49):
So in a movie you have a soundtrack, right? And I feel like for a book you need something similar to help set the mood and tone. So for “Perfectly Parvin” – my novel coming out in May – you know, it’s with a 14 year old protagonist, I kind of want to put myself in her shoes. So I had some really kind of fun bubblegum pop tracks in there that not only helped me see the world through her eyes, but in my mind, I think those might be the songs that she’s listening to. So when she’s upset, what’s the song in that kind of wheelhouse that she would be listening to. What about when she’s happy or when you know, her crush texts her back? Like what is the song that she’s going to dance around to in her bedroom? So it really helps me just kind of center myself in the character. And another benefit is that when I’m working on different projects, if I am switching between, you know, an 18 year old protagonists to a 14 year old protagonist, you know, I have a playlist already queued up, that’s going to help put me in that world even if, you know, I only have 20 minutes of break between those different works.

Dan Gingiss (30:56):
Well, this is pretty fascinating. I mean, I love the idea of getting into her shoes. That’s obviously a CX concept and obviously in a music is sort of the great equalizer. It’s, it’s something that brings us all together. So I think it’s an interesting challenge that brands might have where they’re trying to approach different customer segments and music is a way that potentially can bring those different segments together or at least help us understand them better.

Joey Coleman (31:29):
Yeah, that’s what I was thinking is that if you almost thought of a different soundtrack for the different customer segments, that you served that in a similar way, that Olivia talks about centering in on the character, by listening to the kind of music the character would listen to, if that would give us that same type of ability to connect with the audiences and the customer segments that we serve. I do think that a playlist would create a much clearer understanding, especially for a customer base that you might not be a part of. And in fact, Olivia expanded on that particular point as well.

Olivia Abtahi (32:05):
I feel like kind of piggybacking off my first answer, a playlist can, for example, if you’re a parent and you are thinking of buying perfectly parodying for your daughter, let’s say there’s a track in the playlist that, you know, your daughter loves. I think that helps the parent know, oh, okay. Like this is in my kid’s world. If you’re just, you know, a fan of young adult in general and you’re like me and you’re addicted to Spotify, it’s just really fun to say, oh my gosh, like this girl is into Billie Eilish as well, like, I love that singer! Or there might be a moment in the book where, you know, you can think to yourself, oh yeah, that song makes sense. For example, there is a deportation scene in my book, spoiler alert, and I do have a song by the sweatshop boys called [inaudible], which is a song about being brown and Muslim in this country and being deported. And it’s like, that is like the perfect song for that scene in the book. So if you’re a reader or, you know, a subscriber to my newsletter, I got to send the playlist out and share it with people. And while there’s tons of fun, bubblegum pop dance music in there, there’s also like some raw scenes. So it was great to be able to have kind of this crescendo of emotion throughout the playlist. That can be like a good taster for the book.

Joey Coleman (33:22):
I absolutely love this idea of pairing music to specific emotions. In fact, I found myself wondering what it would be like to pair specific songs or styles of music, to the different phases of your customer journey. What parts of the journey might be the fun, bubblegum, pop dance moments. What parts of your customer journey are more intense? Maybe more melancholy? More raw? Where did the emotions crescendo so many things to consider when we pair music to the specific touch points of our customer journeys?

Dan Gingiss (33:55):
Yeah, I mean, it’s interesting because when I learned about customer journey mapping, I learned that one of the things you’re supposed to do is sort of observe and write in the customer emotion that’s going on during that part of the journey. So frustration or happiness or joy or anger or whatever it is, because then that helps you address that part of the experience. I’m also reminded, uh, back in Episode 107 – when we talked about the founders of Barefoot Wines and how they created those really cool audio books for, for business books that have music behind it, right? And it’s like, you don’t really think of a business book having music behind it, but then when you heard this dramatic music, it was like, oh wow. I’m like really into this story now. And I was also thinking about Episode 86 when we heard from the romance novelist, Allie Plighter and how she literally gets into the shoes of her protagonists, if you will, in her novels and her romance novels and goes out and remember she experienced bull riding and all this other things. And I think that understanding what the character’s music preferences are really gives a lot more depth to them. And similarly, as we’re developing our avatars or our, our segmentations, uh, personas, if you will, of our customers knowing the kind of music they listened to really tells you a lot about them.

Joey Coleman (35:34):
It really does Dan! And I think this concept could be particularly effective when we’re trying to connect with our younger customers. I know we talked about millennials earlier and how so many of the folks who are kind of running marketing departments are leading a lot of these customer experience initiatives might find themselves in a different demographic than the audience they serve. And Olivia explains her thoughts on why this idea of a protagonist playlist shows up more commonly in young adult literature, but maybe it’s not as common in other genres, and I think it potentially gives us a springboard to think about applying this concept into a business context. Let’s listen to Olivia, explain how this whole idea of the protagonist playlists comes together in young adult literature.

Olivia Abtahi (36:23):
That said a lot of why authors didn’t have a music streaming growing up. You know, we had maybe Napster if we were tech savvy, but we had to go to tower records like everyone else. And I think now today’s generation. I mean, I can just go on TikTok. You know, it’s like a music based social media platform. If I go on Instagram, there’s reels with the artist and the song tag in the top, I think it’s a fairly popular wire technique because this next generation just has so much more music surrounding them. It’s just prevalent. Like, I mean, from their phone to their social media, to just, you know, their everyday life in a way that I don’t think it existed for older generations. So I think it’s prevalent for this John rhe more so than anything because you’re writing for a generation of kids where music is just so integral to their everyday life.

Dan Gingiss (37:15):
I’m going to play Rain Man one more time and refer you back to the very first. He just can’t help himself friends. I love it. I love it. The very first episode of this season, season seven episode one 19, you talked about octopus energy and the personalized hold music that was set to the, I think it was your, your age 14 year?

Joey Coleman (37:36):
Yes, yes. Your “coming of age year.”

Dan Gingiss (37:37):
Yeah. We talked about how, you know, we all have this soundtrack of our lives that that kind of defines us. And so, and that’s different. It’s different music. You know, the soundtrack of our parents’ generation is very different than the soundtrack of our generation and for sure that is different than our kids’ generation, which I don’t even know what the heck they’re listening to. Kids these days!

Joey Coleman (38:00):
Oh, I love it. I love it. It’s so true. It’s so true. So what does the playlist of a protagonist in the book “Perfectly Parvin” have to do with your business? Well, it’s a creative way for you to think about getting into your customer’s shoes or maybe their headphones in order to better relate to their life, their journey and their connection to the experiences your striving to create. Now, if you enjoyed this segment and found it inspiring, you can visit our show notes at ExperienceThisShow.com, where we have a link to the protagonist Spotify playlist. And if you really want to show the love, go grab a copy of “Perfectly Parvin” by Olivia Abtahi – that’s, Olivia Abtahi – A-B-T-A-H-I – so you can experiment with connecting to people outside of your usual demographic in a deep and meaningful way.

Joey Coleman (38:59):
Thanks for joining us for another episode of Experience This! You are the best listener ever!

Dan Gingiss (39:05):
And since you listened to the whole show…

Joey Coleman (39:07):
Yay, you!

Dan Gingiss (39:09):
We’re curious: was there a specific part of this episode that you enjoyed the most? If so, it would mean the world to us if you could share it with a coworker, a friend, or someone that just loves listening to podcasts.

Joey Coleman (39:19):
And while you’re in the sharing mood, if you felt inclined to jump over to iTunes or wherever you find your podcasts, and write us a review, we would so appreciate it! And when you do, don’t forget to let us know as we might have a little surprise for you.

Dan Gingiss (39:35):
Thanks again for your time and we’ll see you next week for more…

Joey Coleman (39:38):
Experience!

Dan Gingiss (39:38):
This!

Episode 132 – Promise to Make Your Experiences Better

Join us as we discuss a new app that helps you see even if you can’t, why making and keeping your promises is key to a successful experience, and why dumping generic language may bring you closer to your customers.

Seeing, Guaranteeing, and Personalizing – Oh My!

Referenced in the Show

Starbucks offers Aira, creating accessible experience for blind and low vision customers
• The Guaranteed Customer Experience: How to Win Customers by Keeping Your Promises – by Jeff Toister

Host Contact Information

Email Dan: Dan@dangingiss.com

Tweet Dan Gingiss: @DGingiss

Email Joey: JoeyC@JoeyColeman.com

DanGingiss.com

JoeyColeman.com

Subscribe to Experience This on Apple Podcasts

Learn more about our Season 7 Partner – Solvvy – The NextGen Chatbot

Episode Transcript

Download a machine-transcribed, barely edited transcript of Episode 132 here or read it below:
(if anything doesn’t make sense or you have any questions about the transcript – just Contact us!)

Joey Coleman (00:05):
Welcome to Experience This!

Dan Gingiss (00:08):
The podcast that celebrates remarkable customer experiences and inspires you to stand out from the competition by wowing your customers.

Joey Coleman (00:17):
Each episode, we bring you a healthy dose of inspiring stories, funny interactions, and practical takeaways. Marketing and customer experience thought leader, Dan Gingiss…

Dan Gingiss (00:30):
shares the mic with customer retention and employee experience expert, Joey Coleman, helping you to get people talking about your business.

Joey Coleman (00:40):
So get ready because it’s time to Experience This!

Dan Gingiss (00:48):
Get ready for another episode of the Experience This! Show!

Joey Coleman (00:55):
Join us as we discuss: a new app that helps you see even if you can’t, why making and keeping your promises is key to a successful experience, and why dumping generic language may bring you closer to your customers.

Dan Gingiss (01:11):
Seeing, guaranteeing, and personalizing – Oh My!

Joey Coleman (01:21):
There are so many great customer experience articles to read, but who has the time?! We summarize them and offer clear takeaways you can implement starting tomorrow. Enjoy this segment of CX Press, where we read the articles so you don’t need to.

Dan Gingiss (01:39):
This week’s CX Press is titled, “Starbucks Offers Aira, Creating Accessible Experience for Blind and Low Vision Customers,” and it’s from Starbucks.com. You know – that that really high end media outlet?

Joey Coleman (01:54):
That regular, that regular website you go to for all your breaking CX news, starbucks.com.

Dan Gingiss (02:00):
Exactly. Well, we actually just talked about accessibility recently in episode one 30 with the Accessibe software. And we also featured the Starbucks DC signing store in Episode 42 of Season Two. That’s the one…

Joey Coleman (02:15):
The one by Gallaudet.

Dan Gingiss (02:16):
Yeah, exactly. Now the coffee giant is partnering with San Diego based Aira technology corporation to connect blind and low vision people to trained visual interpreters who provide instant access to visual information through a third party smartphone app. Now the article tells the story of Susan Mazrui, now 58, who lost her vision at age 17, due to multiple sclerosis. If she could talk to her teenage self, the article details, she would say, quote, “you’d be amazed at what technology can do,” unquote. Mazrui says the app allows her to quote, “be every other customer” unquote. Now we’re going to play the audio portion of a video that is embedded with this article. And I must admit I got a little emotional watching it. You’ll note that the voice over also includes additional details from the video so that blind and low vision people can better understand what’s going on.

Voiceover Narrator (03:21):
Text appears over black at Starbucks. We want everyone to feel included and welcome including people who are blind and low vision. As a woman walks with a service dog, the distance to Starbucks decreases. You’ve entered an Aira Access Network. TEXT Upon entering an IRA access network. IRA explorers can tap a button on their phone and connect to a trained IRA agent on their phones. Hands tap a blue circular logo with a white a in the center. Now calling an Aira agent, thank you for calling Aira. How can I help you? Somewhere around here there should be a Starbucks. I’m just going to get you to help me find it. Let’s go to Starbucks. Um, and I need help getting to the front door and ordering and the doors should be on your left. And about 20 feet is this Starbucks. Social distancing is easy tonight. You’re the only customer in the store. There is a separation stickers on the floor and there is a brief summary sheet. Do you know if there’s anything new or seasonal on the menu? The pink drink it’s described as our crisp strawberry refreshers beverage and then Emily, where if the pickup counter? Is turn left and the drink is in the center. If you meet your hand at home, enjoying your pink drink and they will talk to you soon, thank you. This is my first car with IRA. This is a really cool! TEXT Aira agents available 24 hours a day who can see what they see this unlocks a world that is not always accessible for all people. IRA offers a more accessible Starbucks experience for blind and low vision customers. Sealed Starbucks bags, rest on a counter and a customer scans their phone at the checkout. The smiling Aira agent takes off her headset. As the woman, she guided passes, the glowing Starbucks sign logos appear on a white background, Aira and Starbucks.

Joey Coleman (05:39):
Dan, I gotta tell you, I was getting a little choked up watching that as well. And you know, part of the reason why is I think this Aira technology does such a great job of addressing a problem that, you know, frankly, I haven’t experienced personally, but when I watched the video and I listened to that audio clip, I realize how many people don’t have an experience that frankly I take for granted. And I’m not, I’m not proud of that. I’m sorry to admit that. So bluntly, but I love this idea that we’re starting to figure out ways to use technology, to level the playing field when it comes to our customers’ experiences.

Dan Gingiss (06:21):
I totally agree. And I thought the same thing, Joey, that we take vision for granted. There’s no question. And I’m sure, uh, even though I don’t know, Susan Mazuri probably did too until she was 17 and she lost her vision. And that’s when you realize how much you take it for granted, because it’s just there every day. And I, to me, again, just being honest, this kind of introduced a new idea for me of what it’s like to be blind or low vision and how you might be walking down the street without anybody to help you or without a service animal or just by yourself and how difficult that could be to even, you know, you, you, you heard in the video just to find the front door of the restaurant to get into it. It is a challenge. And so what I loved about this is it’s using existing technology. We’ve all used FaceTime, we’ve all used zoom. So we know what it’s like to dial up on the phone and have somebody answer on the other end to be able to see them. And now this person is literally the eyes for the person that needs it and can point them in the right direction and read menus for them and all this stuff. It’s brilliant in its simplicity. But it also, really, to me, it brought me closer to sort of the issue at hand, which is wow, that must’ve been really, really tough without this app. So Starbucks first tested the Aira service in seven us cities early this year, including by the way that DC signing store. Now it’s proven to be helpful for customers navigating the protocols and physical changes implemented in stores during COVID-19 as well, such as social distancing and you heard a little reference to that in the audio. Next up, Starbucks will offer new large print and braille menus in all us and Canada stores by this summer.

Joey Coleman (08:17):
Emily McKinnon, a Starbucks program manager focused on implementing inclusive store designs said this quote, “[w]e’re trying to keep accessibility in mind with every project it’s exciting work. And we have found that integrating inclusive design early into our processes can lead us to new innovation that benefits a wider range of customers. When you design with diversity in mind, it creates a better experience for everyone.” You know, Dan, I loved this quote because we’ve reached the point where every business should be doing this. Every business should be thinking about accessibility with every product, with ever with every service offering. Because when you do that, you inherently make the experience better. Not only for those customers, but for every customer, because you’re bringing more thoughtfulness, more consideration, more specificity to your rollouts and to the things you’re trying to design.

Dan Gingiss (09:19):
I completely agree. And I mentioned something similar in that piece we did on excessively. That was also my experience at discover. When I was involved with designing website enhancements, the more we focused on being accessible, the more we improve the digital experience for all of our customers. So no matter what business you’re in, besides being the right thing to do, most of us can’t afford to turn away any customers. And by designing with inclusivity in mind, we make the customer journey better for everyone.

Joey Coleman (09:53):
We’re excited to give you an overview of an important book you should know about as well as share some of our favorite passages as part of our next Book Report.

Dan Gingiss (10:05):
Today’s book report segment is about “The Guaranteed Customer Experience: How to Win Customers by Keeping Your Promises” by our friend, Jeff Toister. You may remember way back in Season One, Episode 14, that we covered his previous book, the service culture handbook let’s have the author, Jeff Toister introduce his book to our audience.

Jeff Toister (10:28):
I shouldn’t have to convince you about the value of customer experience. If you’re listening to this, you already understand the value, the challenge that you face and customer experience leaders everywhere grapple with every day. How do we consistently deliver a great customer experience in my new book, the guaranteed customer experience. I walk you through a step-by-step guide where you can do just that you can promise your customers an amazing experience and then deliver on that promise. Every time the model works by using a very familiar guarantee, but we’ve modernized it for customer experience. And if you break down a guarantee, there’s only three key parts. Step one, make a promise. Now this is a promise that has value to a customer. It addresses a problem that they’re trying to solve a guarantee by definition is a promise that provides assurance. So this promise should assure customers that she will take care of their needs. And that promise is what brings customers in step two, take action. It’s not enough to say that you’ll provide that great experience. You have to deliver it. That means having the systems, products and processes to keep your promise each and every time. But step three that’s recovery, because try as you might, there will be times when you, for whatever reason are unable to keep your promises and in those situations, trust can be broken. And that’s why you need a recovery plan to restore confidence and restore your customer’s trust that the next time around you will take care of them. And using that framework of a guarantee, you can win and retain more customers than your competition.

Dan Gingiss (12:23):
Now, I think this idea of making and keeping promises is really interesting because of how I view customer experience. And as you know, I was a 20 year marketer in corporate America, I tend to look at CX through a marketing lens. And I think that what’s interesting is that in recent years, marketing departments have really taken on the role of promising the customer experience to prospects and then having to make sure that the rest of the company can actually deliver on those promises.

Joey Coleman (12:54):
Yeah. And that’s not an easy task, you know, I’m reminded Dan of that famous tagline for Geico insurance, 15 minutes can save you 15%. I mean, that’s essentially two promises in one, you’ve got the fact that the application will only take 15 minutes and that the company can save you 15% off, whatever you’re currently paying to another insurance provider.

Dan Gingiss (13:15):
Exactly. And though most companies’ taglines may not be that direct in their promises, their marketing is often subtly suggesting what the customer experience will be like if you decide to do business with them.

Joey Coleman (13:27):
Hey Dan, do you mind if I share my favorite passage from Jeff’s book?

Dan Gingiss (13:31):
Of course my buddy, go ahead.

Joey Coleman (13:33):
Alrighty. Well, in a chapter called, The Power of a Promise, in a section called How Promises Help Employees, we have the following – and I quote, “[a] promise, can break down corporate silos and create tremendous clarity for employees. It can help them see beyond the individual tasks, they have to complete and understand the bigger picture. Employees and customer focused companies know the promises, their companies make the customers, and they know the role they play in upholding those promises.” endquote. Now, Dan, I’m guessing you think that I love this quote because of the reference to silos and it’s like a farm joke reference thing. You know, my [inaudible], I have, you know, folks (laughing).

Dan Gingiss (14:24):
All right, moving on! If you don’t know what we’re talking about, listen to like ten other episodes.

Joey Coleman (14:28):
Exactly. You know, the thing I love about this is, more and more folks in the customer experience space. And Jeff has understood this for many years. We’re recognizing that employee experience and customer experience are two sides of the same coin. And if you want to deliver a remarkable customer experience, you have to have your employees experiencing remarkable experiences themselves. And one to give a remarkable experience to your employees is to be crystal clear that they know what the promise is that’s being made externally and the role they play in delivering or upholding that promise. Now what’s interesting to me is that we also had the opportunity to talk to Jeff Toister and get his favorite passage from the book. And it’s an example of what happens when promises are broken. Here’s Jeff telling his favorite passage from the book.

Jeff Toister (15:22):
Chelsea Howell was experiencing a string of bad luck. First, she was laid off from her job a short while later, she was involved in a minor traffic accident that damaged your car and insurance claim covered the repairs. But a few days after getting her car back, she noticed a tire pressure warning light. Sure enough, one of the tires was leaking air, which made her worry about the cost of getting it fixed. “I didn’t have a lot of disposable income to replace a tire,” said Howell. She brought her car back to the shop that had done the accident repair, hoping the tire could be fixed as part of the insurance claim, but the mechanic refused to help her insisting that the tire had nothing to do with the accident. It was frustrating, said Howell, you’re an auto repair shop. Couldn’t you just take a look. It felt like all they cared about was dollars and cents. That’s when she remembered a previous positive experience with a tire shop called discount tire, a repair technician examined the tire when she got to the store and was able to patch it and reset the warning light in just a few minutes. The best part was there was no charge for the service. It was a relief said, Howell, why didn’t I just go there first after losing my job and getting into an accident, this was one less thing I had to worry about.

Dan Gingiss (16:45):
You know, I love this passage and it’s funny because I too picked a passage about a broken promise. So let me get to mine. And here’s the quote, “[i]n late 2009, Domino’s pizza offered at Mia culpa in a new advertising campaign. One video produced by the company, shared blunt feedback from customer focus, groups and surveys. Where’s the love asked one customer featured in the video. There doesn’t feel like there’s much love in Domino’s pizza. Another customer said Domino’s pizza crust to me is like cardboard CEO, Patrick Doyle directly addressed the feedback in that same video. You can either use negative comments to get you down, or you can use them to excite you and energize your process of making a better pizza. We did the latter. Now I loved this because as a Stewart listeners may know, and you may remember Joey, I am a former employee of Domino’s pizza.

Joey Coleman (17:44):
You are! I do remember at one point didn’t you deliver a pizza to the man, the myth, the legend – Michael Jordan?

Dan Gingiss (17:50):
I sure did!

Joey Coleman (17:51):
On more than one occasion actually, as I recall…

Dan Gingiss (17:53):
I went to his house twice, but only, but he answered only once. Okay. And, uh, but yes, I worked at Domino’s for, I don’t know, four, maybe three, four years. And then I come back over college breaks and work for a few weeks. So I, I really loved that role, loved the job. And I will tell you, first of all, the pizza, now, if you haven’t had Domino’s pizza in a long time, it is way better than you remember it.

Joey Coleman (18:18):
It’s way better! I had Domino’s for the first time in probably years, a few weeks ago. And it was, I actually have true confession here, I double-checked. I was like, is this really Domino’s? Cause like it was on my wife was kind enough to already put it on the plate. Uh, my brother had brought pizza over to the house from Domino’s and I was like, is this really Domino’s or you guys kind of pull on my leg. It was actually quite tasty.

Dan Gingiss (18:42):
Yeah. It’s definitely, it’s definitely much better than it was. And I, and what I love about this is that the brand figured out that there was a core problem with its product and it wasn’t afraid to face it. It wasn’t afraid to look it in the eye and say, how are we going to fix this? And you know, Domino’s has been an incredibly successful company since 2009 in no, in no small part due to the fact that the CEO was willing to get out there. And as Jeff said, offer a mea culpa. So I absolutely loved that example. There are plenty more where that came from in “The Guaranteed Customer Experience: How to Win Customers by Keeping Your Promises.” Check it out. It’s by our friend, Jeff Toister. We promise that you’ll love it.

Joey Coleman (19:34):
Almost everyone has interacted with chatbots, but all too often, it’s been a bad experience. In MythBusters, presented by Solvvy, we explore a common myth about CX chatbots and see how the right technology can create a positive experience every time.

Dan Gingiss (19:58):
Today’s myth about chatbots? Chatbots are expensive, not worth the investment. There are lots of chat bots and automation solutions on the market today that are offered at a wide variety of price points. You might initially think that some of the leading chat bot companies on the market are a bit too expensive and not worth the upfront investment. You might even be considering building a bot yourself versus buying from an established vendor as a way to save a bit in the short run.

Joey Coleman (20:24):
Now, the reality is that the right next gen chat bot is a great investment with fast ROI. A next gen chat bot can be deployed in days and start delivering strong results from day one. Now, while the cost might be a bit higher up front, the speed at which it can be rolled out and the effectiveness of the support provided, mean you start immediately and can see positive ROI in just a couple of months. By contrast, less expensive bots and those “do it yourself” efforts require engineering resources and possibly even outside consultants to implement, which adds up quickly. Once you’ve launched a next gen chat bot, you won’t require much maintenance at all. Unlike legacy chat-bots that need constant monitoring and updates and often a dedicated resource to manage all of this.

Dan Gingiss (21:16):
Ah – it’s the classic case of spending a little more upfront, Joey, to get lots more value down the road and not have to break any promises to customers.

Joey Coleman (21:28):
I see what you did there, Dan! Well, that’s another MythBusted, thanks to our friends and podcast supporters at Solvvy – the NextGen chatbot. Learn more about them at Solvvy.com – that’s S-O-L-V-V-Y.com.

Joey Coleman (21:46):
Have you ever found yourself saying, I wonder what Dan and Joey would think about this situation? Well, guess what? Now you can know! Just tag us on social or message us through our website with a customer experience scenario, a question, or anything else you’re curious about, and you’ll get to hear our answers when you Ask Us Anything!

Dan Gingiss (22:12):
We introduced a new segment this season called Ask Us Anything and it’s so great that people have been asking,

Joey Coleman (22:20):
Right? They ask, we answer. That’s how it goes, Dan, right?

Dan Gingiss (22:23):
Ah ha yep! Our friend Marcus Sheridan would be very proud of you for saying that Joey. So we recently received some feedback on a recent segment, as well as a question from listener Lisa Sedlak. She commented on the segment that we did on the clothing models at Stellar Equipment.

Joey Coleman (22:40):
Ah yes, that’s the one where they showed the sizing and the heights of the models and name them as well.

Dan Gingiss (22:46):
Indeed. That’s the one. Let’s hear what Lisa had to say about that as well as the question she had for Ask Us Anything.

Lisa Sedlak (22:55):
Hi, Dan and Joey, I was laughing during episode one 23, where Joey talked about the stellar equipment ad or the model’s name and size were shown to women’s retailers Modcloth and Torrid have been doing this for years. On Modcloth’s website, they show the model, her size and height, but they also show the clothing on thinner and larger women. For us larger folks, this is very helpful. They also encourage customers to share photo reviews with their sizes. Even though ModCloth can be pricey, I shopped there because I can see from the images how the item will look on me before buying and because of this, I have yet to return any items to Modcloth or Torrid. Now for a question, have y’all ever covered the use of personalizing responses to customers in a regulated industry? Like in finance, I have been debating with others about the importance of using “you” in a response to a customer instead of using the generic “user” for customer. Thanks a lot guys, Lisa from Blacksburg.

Dan Gingiss (24:05):
So Joey, we have indeed touched on personalization before, but Lisa’s question is quite specific. Do you have any thoughts?

Joey Coleman (24:14):
Oh, my friend. Do I have any thoughts?

Dan Gingiss (24:17):
It was a loaded question I know…

Joey Coleman (24:18):
And I, and I think this is going to be an interesting one because you come at this from your experiences and I’ll let you share kind of the background and kind of how you come to this perspective. I come at this from the perspective of a lawyer or at least a recovering lawyer. And…

Dan Gingiss (24:36):
and, and you were, you worked in government too.

Joey Coleman (24:38):
I did work in government – so I understand the regulation part, and here’s the thing. And I say this respectfully to my friends, my colleagues, all those people working in regulated industries – ,all too often in my experience, that is an excuse for poor customer experience. I’m sorry if we, uh, Oh, we’ve got these rules and these regulations, I get it, but that doesn’t mean you can’t personalize the communication. Now here’s the thing. Different people define the word personalization in different ways. It doesn’t necessarily mean using their name. It doesn’t necessarily mean talking specifically about their scenario, but what we can do is bring a certain piece of levity, or a certain feeling of familiarity, or connection to our communications in a way that makes them feel hyper-personalized and still in compliance with any regulations that may be involved in our communications.

Dan Gingiss (25:35):
So I think you’re spot on. And as you know, I worked in financial services for 14 years. And so I’m all too familiar with all of the regulations and the privacy rules and all this stuff. And you’re absolutely right that companies hide behind the regulations as a excuse for delivering subpar experiences. But I want to actually dissect Lisa’s question a little bit further because she did specifically mention using the word you. So I want to look at this from a grammar perspective because I’m a little bit of a grammar nerd.

Joey Coleman (26:08):
Uh, yes. Dan and I hear the Apple hasn’t fallen that far from the tree on this one. Has it?

Dan Gingiss (26:13):
Uh, no, actually it doesn’t. And uh, for those of you that don’t know, Joey is of course talking about my father who, bless his heart, has listened to every single episode of experience this, but always, and I mean, always lets me know if either one of us makes a grammatical error.

Joey Coleman (26:29):
And let’s be honest, Mr. Gingiss it’s usually me. Dan is usually the one going, yeah, you’re going to want to do a retake on that cause you just flubbed up the grammar and the good news is as if I didn’t have enough grammatical love from my Dan, I get it from my amazing wife Berit, who is also, I refer to her sometimes as Madame Grammarian, like the Madame Librarian. Yeah, no, I could do much better with the language, but I’ll let you get back to the grammar Dan.

Dan Gingiss (26:55):
Yeah. Well, but first of all, your wife and my father are going to tell you that what you should have said is it is usually I [inaudible],

Joey Coleman (27:06):
That was nicely done. That was nicely done. Good catch!

Dan Gingiss (27:09):
That was not scripted people!

Joey Coleman (27:11):
That was my plan to see if I could catch Dan and he caught me good job Dan!

Dan Gingiss (27:15):
Anyway, let’s get back to some grammar here. So she mentions the word you and you is of course a pronoun, which by definition is going to be more personal than a generic noun like customer or user or client. So that’s the grammar part, grammar lesson over. But I think in addition to that, we have to realize that customers themselves don’t think of themselves as users or clients. But if I say, Hey you!

Joey Coleman (27:41):
Yeah, Dan?

Dan Gingiss (27:42):
Thank you my friend for proving my point. You see folks when you work together, as long as Joey and I have you start to finish.

Joey Coleman (27:50):
each other’s sandwiches?!

Dan Gingiss (27:52):
Uh, something like that Joey, something like that. Personalizing down to the customer’s name is obviously a step ahead of you, in my opinion, and even better is allowing the customer to tell you what they want to be called. For example, I may apply for a credit card with the name Daniel, because it’s my legal name, but I’d much preferred if the online account center referred to me is Dan. I think you can relate C Joseph Coleman?

Joey Coleman (28:19):
Uh, yes I can. And for those of you that don’t know, that is my full legal name Dan was giving, or at least a good portion of my full legal name since it’s C Joseph Coleman the third. You know, one point that I’d like to share here, one story I’d like to share, is this type of personalization, this type of paying attention to what your customers want to be called can have direct impact on your bottom line. I’m going to roll the clock back to when I am applying to law schools. So I’m in my senior year of college. I applied to 13 law schools around the country and thankfully I got a number of acceptance letters, not all of them, but several and so I had some decisions to make. And the thing that sealed the deal that made me attend George Washington University Law School in Washington, DC is the acceptance letter said, “Dear Joey.” Now what you, our listeners know is that I go by Joey. But at that point in my life, I was going by Joey but on these types of forms, you had to fill out your full legal name, which is Charles Joseph Coleman, the third and many of the other acceptance letters said, “Dear Charles.” But the applications also had an area where you could put preferred nickname. And I always wrote in Joey GW was one of the only schools that referred to me by my preferred name. That’s why I went there. And while we don’t want to get too specific necessarily because it might make me sick, uh, talking about the cost of attending a top law school for three years, that had a direct bottom line implication on their acceptance rate and my willingness to go there because they called me by my name.

Dan Gingiss (29:59):
Folks, if you’re going to have a section on your application, that’s his preferred name? You might as well use it. We’ll fill it in, right? I mean just a little hint. Well, Lisa, thank you so much for your feedback and for your question, we’re going to send you out some signed copies of our books as a thank you and if you have a question you’d like answered in the next, ask us anything segment, just go to www.ExperienceThisShow.com, click on Contact, and leave us a voice message like Lisa did. And we will tell your story and answer your question on a future episode.

Joey Coleman (30:40):
Thanks for joining us for another episode of Experience This! You are the best listener ever.

Dan Gingiss (30:46):
And since you listened to the whole show…

Joey Coleman (30:48):
Yay, you!

Dan Gingiss (30:50):
We’re curious, was there a specific part of this episode that you enjoyed the most? If so, it would mean the world to us. If you could share it with a coworker, a friend, or someone that just loves listening to podcasts.

Joey Coleman (31:00):
And while you’re in the sharing mood, if you felt inclined to jump over to iTunes or wherever you find your podcasts and write us a review, we would so appreciate it. And when you do, don’t forget to let us know as we might have a little surprise for you.

Dan Gingiss (31:16):
Thanks again for your time and we’ll see you next week for more,

Joey Coleman (31:19):
Experience!

Dan Gingiss (31:19):
This!

Episode 130 – Innovation Leads to Better Access, Better Opportunities, and Better Laughs

Join us as we discuss making your website available to ALL customers, focusing on the little things to bring out creativity, and a restaurant known for its – Instagram page?!

Accessing, Innovating, and Signing – Oh My!

Referenced in the Show

• Accessibe
• Big Little Breakthroughs: How Small, Everyday Innovations Drive Oversized Results – by Josh Linkner
• Instagram for El Arroyo Restaurant in Austin, Texas

Host Contact Information

Email Dan: Dan@dangingiss.com

Tweet Dan Gingiss: @DGingiss

Email Joey: JoeyC@JoeyColeman.com

DanGingiss.com

JoeyColeman.com

Subscribe to Experience This on Apple Podcasts

Learn more about our Season 7 Partner – Solvvy – The NextGen Chatbot

Episode Transcript

Download a machine-transcribed, barely edited transcript of Episode 130 here or read it below:
(if anything doesn’t make sense or you have any questions about the transcript – just Contact us!)

Joey Coleman (00:05):
Welcome to Experience This!

Dan Gingiss (00:07):
The podcast that celebrates remarkable customer experiences and inspires you to stand out from the competition by wowing your customers.

Joey Coleman (00:17):
Each episode, we bring you a healthy dose of inspiring stories, funny interactions, and practical takeaways. Marketing and customer experience thought leader, Dan Gingiss.

Dan Gingiss (00:30):
shares the mic with customer retention and employee experience expert, Joey Coleman, helping you to get people talking about your business.

Joey Coleman (00:40):
So get ready because it’s time to Experience This!

Dan Gingiss (00:48):
Get ready for another episode of the Experience This! Show!

Joey Coleman (00:54):
Join us as we discuss: making your website available to all customers, focusing on the little things to bring out creativity, and a restaurant known for its Instagram page?!

Dan Gingiss (01:08):
Accessing, Innovating, and Signing – oh my!

Joey Coleman (01:12):
Sometimes a remarkable experience deserves deeper investigation. We dive into the nitty gritty of customer interactions and dissect how, and why, they happen. Join us while we’re Dissecting the Experience.

Dan Gingiss (01:33):
When I was a head of digital customer experience at discover card, I learned a lot about website accessibility. Now this is the process of making a website accessible by people with various disabilities, including blindness deafness, physical disabilities, or even sensory issues. It was a significant challenge because it required a lot of resources, including people who were intimately knowledgeable with the requirements that are both from the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and something called WCAG, the web content accessibility guidelines. We also had to have people who could test the coding to ensure that it worked on accessories like screen readers. Have you ever worked with a screen reader, Joey?

Joey Coleman (02:18):
You know, Dan and I have, I at least are. I would say I’ve seen one in action and a screen reader is pretty much what it sounds like for those of you that haven’t seen a screen reader. It reads the text, that’s on a screen to the user, but not every website follows a linear path from top to bottom. So it can take some careful work to make sure that the reading is actually accurate.

Dan Gingiss (02:39):
Exactly. If it bounces around the page, it can be really confusing to somebody who is not able to read it. So anyway, I was introduced by a client of mine, to a company called Accessibe – which essentially takes all of the manual work out of coding for accessibility, and instead uses artificial intelligence and literally just a couple of lines of code to make an entire website completely accessible. Now, I’m really excited that we have recording here from Michael Hingson – the chief vision officer for Accessibe. Michael, who is blind, was a user of Accessibe’s technology before he went on to work for the company. Let’s hear from him now,

Michael Hingson (03:22):
Hi, I’m Michael Hingson chief vision officer for accessibility. I first really became aware of and had some interactions with the concept of artificial intelligence. When I was working in the mid 1970s with the national Federation of the blind and Dr. Ray Kurzweil to develop and market the Kurzweil reading machine for the blind, that was a machine that literally could read any printed page and convert what it read to voice. What was interesting about the machine was that the more you read of a document or the more you use the machine, the better it became at reading documents, it actually learned. And that was the AI part. Over the years, I’ve kept up with artificial intelligence and recognize its value and the visionaries who are bringing it into our world. In October of last year, I had occasion to go to a website that had this new program I had never heard of before called Accessibe on it. And what the systems told me when I went to the website, my screen reader, the software I use to understand what is on a website. The screen reader said, put your website browser in screen reader mode by pressing all at one that was intriguing to me. I visited this website many times before, found it to be a little bit too hard to use efficiently, like a lot of websites that were not accessible. But when I pressed all one, suddenly this website became very accessible to me. I was intrigued and began to look into where’d this come from. And I discovered that there was this company called Accessibe that actually created a system that would make websites a lot more usable and functional than they otherwise might have been. And that they weren’t doing it through manual coding, but rather using the whole concept of artificial intelligence to analyze the content of a website and create something that’s called an overlay that would actually interact with my web browser and the web browsers of other persons with disabilities and do things that were necessary to make those websites usable for all of us, for blind people with screen readers, it enhanced the, the whole issue of being able to read menus even to the point of analyzing images within menus and within websites, menus definitely became easier. Shopping carts became easier to use on websites with accessible tables were much more usable. In general, the websites became more accessible because of artificial intelligence. I started investigating the company and found this is a pretty fascinating thing. And as I did more investigating and reached out to the company, suddenly I found myself earlier this year being offered the position of chief vision officer person to help really bring Accessibe into the marketplace of consumers in not only the United States, but the world. And here we are today. The fact of the matter is Accessibe works. It truly makes websites a lot more functional than they otherwise might have been. And the neat thing about Accessibe is it’s very scalable, very easily with just a few lines of coding, one or two, you can take most websites and greatly enhance their usability by me as a blind person and other persons with disabilities. That is really wonderful. Artificial intelligence is with us. It’s going to be with us. And it definitely enhances our lives in so many ways. And for me and other persons with disabilities, Accessibe is a great example of that.

Joey Coleman (07:05):
Wow, that is so cool. Dan, you know, I’ve actually had the opportunity to hear Dr. Kurzweil speak on several occasions and he talks about the Kurzweil reading machine that he created. So it’s interesting to hear kind of the rest of the story and how that actually gets used out in the world. You know, we’ve talked several times on this show about businesses that are purposefully accessible, like it’s part of their drive and their mission. And I’m reminded of our story about Pizzability.

Dan Gingiss (07:32):
Oh, you mean season four, episode 82. Y.

Joey Coleman (07:35):
Yes. I was not sure what season or episode that was, but yes, you are correct. Pizza ability is the pizza restaurant in Denver, Colorado that specifically caters to people with a variety of challenges, uh, sensory deprivation challenges, you know, blindness, uh, a variety of different things. And they also hire folks that also are dealing with a variety of challenges to be part on their staff. And then there’s the Starbucks that’s right near Gallaudet university in Washington, DC.

Dan Gingiss (08:02):
And we talked about them in season two, episode 42.

Joey Coleman (08:06):
Okay. This is getting a little scary rain, man. I mean, Dan, I was going to say, I got skills when it comes to naming episodes, you do have a great episode reference abilities. But anyway, those are some examples of the entire experience being predicated on there. Being customers who are facing a variety of challenges or might have a variety of disabilities. And I want to note that we’re using the word disabilities here in the same spirit that Michael used in his earlier segment that we shared. But what makes this so interesting is that it takes businesses or at least their websites that are not predicated on accessibility and instantly makes them accessible. I’ll bet. You wish you had something like this when you were at Discover don’t you Dan?

Dan Gingiss (08:54):
You bet I do. I’m not joking. When I say it would have literally saved hundreds of hours of coding time, maybe thousands of hours. So how does this product work? Well, you know, a website has accessibly installed when there is a blue circle with a white human outline in the center of it at the bottom right-hand corner of the screen. And if you click on that circle, the first screen that comes up says, choose the right accessibility profile for you. So examples of accessibility profiles include a seizure safe profile, which eliminates flashes and reduces color a vision impaired profile, which enhances the website’s visuals, a cognitive disability profile, an ADHD friendly profile, a screen reader profile for blind users and even a keyboard navigation profile for those that have motor challenges. There’s also content adjustments. So there’s a text magnifier. You can change the letter, spacing there’s color adjustments. One of the things, one of the challenges that we had at discover was that the brand color of orange was very difficult for color blind people to see. So we had to use a darker color orange than our typical brand color in order to meet the specifications and to be viewable by everyone. And it also has orientation adjustments. Like if you want to stop animations, or if you want to mute sounds et cetera. And so I thought this was so cool because it not only saves as I said, these hundreds of hours of coding time, but it also literally makes the site instantly accessible for anyone. And it also doesn’t disturb people who don’t want these features. And I think that’s, what’s so neat about it is that it is totally customizable. One more thing, I’m going to say, Joey, and then I really want to hear your, your reaction is my feeling on, on making a website accessible. Even when I did have to spend hundreds or thousands of, of coding hours, was that generally speaking, an accessible website is a better experience for even the people that don’t need it to be accessible. So I’ll give you an example when you increase the font size, because maybe you have older customers that can’t squint and read a smaller font, it actually makes it more easily readable for everybody, not just older, shorter, right? And so a lot of the changes that you end up having to make, make the experience just cleaner and smoother for everyone involved. Yeah.

Joey Coleman (11:30):
I am absolutely fascinated by this. You know, there was a period of my life where I actually built websites. It’s a long story, but let’s just say, uh, when I was in college, I convinced the computer science program to create an independent study class for eight credit hours where I would teach myself how to code in HTML. And if I built a website, I would get an a, let’s just say eight credits of AA were very useful to my GPA, but having built dozens, if not hundreds, we’re probably North of hundreds at this point of websites for clients and customers. When I had my ad agency, what’s interesting here is you’re right. These are incredibly complex things to factor in. And with all due respect to folks who have a variety of different challenges, when living in kind of the website world, or trying to interact with a website to your point, there are literally dozens of things, if not hundreds of things that you should be taking into consideration for these and some of them counteract with each other, right? So if you’re changing the color for one thing, you’re maybe causing problems in another side. And if you’re, you know, magnifying the text here, maybe you’re creating too much distraction for the people with ADHD. And so there’s a lot of pieces of this puzzle. What I love about this service. And I got to tell you, while you were talking about it while we’re recording, this is true confession time friends. I actually went on the website for Accessibe because I was thinking, which is just Accessibe.com, A C C E S S I B E.com. And I immediately clicked over to their pricing because I thought to myself, I know for a fact, I’ve spent tens of thousands of dollars on coders solving these problems, their standard package for websites under a thousand unique pages, which let’s be candid is probably most organizations. Websites is $490 a year. This, at the time we’re recording this, this is a no-brainer. I can’t believe how complex and comprehensive this offering is yet how inexpensive it is. And it sounds like easy to just install the code on your site. And you’re good to go.

Dan Gingiss (13:32):
I know. And that’s why I love this as well, because it is literally plug and play and it transforms the site into being usable for anyone and everyone. So what’s the takeaway here. First of all, it is not only the law in the United States, but also the right thing to do to make your website accessible to all customers. I mean, after all, we don’t want to turn down anybody who wants to pay us money, right? And so if, if somebody wants to come to our website, we should make sure that it is available for them. But I think this was also, this takes it a step further by a really taking a look at all of the different challenges that people may have while surfing a website and be making it so much easier for companies to install this. And, you know, we didn’t talk a lot about the artificial intelligence part, but that’s really helping in terms of how it adjusts on the fly. If you say, okay, I want the no seizure mode. It, it looks at your website and adjusts it on the fly using AI. It’s really intelligent and really, really impressive. So definitely check out excessively and let’s just keep in mind folks it’s important in every aspect of our business to make sure that we too are accessible for all of our kids.

Joey Coleman (14:58):
We’re excited to give you an overview of an important book you should know about as well as share some of our favorite passages as part of our next Book Report.

Dan Gingiss (15:11):
This week’s book report is by Josh Linkner, he’s an innovation keynote speaker at two time, New York Times bestselling author, and actually was a jazz guitarist before he got into the speaking business. And I know we both know him or have interacted with him. Joey shared the stage as they say in the speaking world.

Joey Coleman (15:30):
Yeah. I had the chance to speak at an event where I got to see Josh talk. Fantastic job, super excited for this book.

Dan Gingiss (15:38):
Yeah. So his newest book is called Big Little Breakthroughs: How small everyday innovations drive oversized results. And it actually just released last week. So literally hot off the presses. Would you even say innovative?

Joey Coleman (15:54):
It is in that regard. Indeed.

Dan Gingiss (15:56):
I couldn’t resist. I’m sorry. Let’s go straight to Mr. Linkner for an overview of the book, Josh.

Josh Linkner (16:04):
Hey Dan, my new book is called big little breakthroughs, how small everyday innovations drive oversized results. And the whole thing is helping everyday people become everyday innovators. You know, the pressure to generate big ideas can feel overwhelming. We know that bold innovations are critical in these disruptive and competitive times, but when it comes to breakthrough thinking, we often present instead of shooting for a $10 billion IPO or a Nobel prize, the best innovators focus instead on big little breakthroughs, small creative acts that unlock massive rewards over time by building a daily habit of creativity, organizations and individuals not only enjoy a high volume of small wins, but the daily practice of micro innovations is the fastest route to discover the massive breakthroughs that all of us seek big little breakthroughs. Isn’t just for propeller head investors, fancy pants, CEOs, or hoodie wearing tech billionaires. Rather. It’s a simple, yet effective method for all of us to cultivate the power of human creativity, focusing on a deliberate approach to daily practice. The system enables people from all backgrounds, training and walks of life to expand their creative skillset and mindset. It essentially helps everyday people and leaders unlock inventive thinking, and they’re able to harness innovation to tackle their toughest challenges and seize their biggest opportunities. Really. It flips the whole premise of innovation upside down, making it accessible and within the grasp of every one of us. And so again, it’s a specific and practical framework on dormant creative capacity and it’s way less risky. It’s less expensive. And it’s within the grasp of each of us to unlock giant results. Over time thing is when we get creative, we can really attack any of the things that we care about the most in life, from our business performance, to our health, to our family and community, even our environment and our educational outcomes. So I really hope that dig a little breakthroughs once again, helps everyday people become everyday innovators.

Dan Gingiss (18:06):
I was really drawn to this book because I talk a lot with clients about focusing on the little things in customer experience and how those little things add up. And I know, you know, this story, Joey, but when I was at discover and I was leading digital customer experience, one of my big success stories. In fact, probably one of the proudest moments of my career was when discover won the JD Power award for customer satisfaction. Your friends at Amex had won it all seven years of this existence. Discover had come in second, all seven years of the existence. And when we finally won it and the 40% of that score came from the website. So I had a pretty big role in this. And, and obviously we did some innovating to do some really cool new things on the website. We also focused a ton on all of the little death by a thousand paper cuts barriers that we were putting in front of customers and we fixed them all. I mean, literally I remember a project that I submitted to it that had a hundred fixes in it. None of them were more than a line or two of code, but when you added them all up, it really made a difference to the experience. So I loved this concept that that can be applied to creativity and innovation as well. That look, we don’t have to cure cancer. That would be awesome if we could, but we can start a little bit smaller than that.

Joey Coleman (19:28):
You know, Dan, I couldn’t agree more. And that was the piece of this that intrigued me. I think so many organizations throw away around words like innovation and creativity. And there are these kind of big amorphous ideas that most employees, most team members struggle to see the practical application. And what I love about Joshua’s book is he talks about the little things, the little innovative moments, the little aspects of creativity that lead to bigger things. You know, it’s really all about kind of spinning up into a culture of creativity, a culture of innovation. And it happens with these little types of moves. You know, interestingly enough, something I’ve been trying to do in the pandemic is because I’m finding myself with a little more time. I’m trying to read more science fiction. And the reason I’m reading more science fiction is to try to get my brain thinking in more creative, innovative ways, making connections that wouldn’t normally make reading business books. One example of like a small little thing I’ve been trying to do to spur that creativity. So let’s go ahead and on that spirit of little creative things you can do, that sets us up nicely for Josh’s favorite passage. So here’s the author – Josh Linkner – sharing his favorite passage from new book

Josh Linkner (20:48):
As the hurried shopkeeper navigated the crowded London sidewalk. His right hand had begun the habitual sequence of flicking his nearly finished cigarette butt onto the cobblestone street. But just before launching the smoldering projectile, a bright yellow object caught his eye clenching his fascinating cigarette. He was drawn to the edge of the sidewalk on builder’s street to discover a glowing yellow container mounted at eye level on an aluminum post in large black letters on the lemon yellow box, a question was posed. Who’s your favorite superhero, Batman or Superman to vote his allegiance to the man of steel, the storekeeper inserted his cigarette butt into the small opening under his hero’s name. He watched his nicotine stain filter fall onto the receptacle behind the glass front and land on top amount of others piling I on one side of the bin, realizing that his hero was in fact in the lead over the caped Crusader, a nearly undetectable smile Rose in the corner of his tightly closed jaw. The merchant rushed off to open his store, barely realizing that he’d broken his morning routine of littering in the crowded streets while each bud is less than an inch long cigarette remnants are the single biggest litter problem in the UK in central London alone, the annual cost to clean up and properly dispose of cigarette butts is over $1.4 million worldwide, worldwide, and estimated 4.5 billion cigarette butts are thrown on the ground each year, releasing harmful toxins and creating a serious hazard for children or wildlife that may ingest them. They are the largest source of Marine litter, outranking, both plastic straws and plastic bags enter Trevon restaurant and environmental activist who used his creativity to help the planet with a dry British wit. He reminds me of a slightly disheveled James Bond who traded in his overprice tuxedo for a pair of faded jeans. He’s the kind of guy you would love to spend a couple hours with in a neighborhood pub savoring his stories as much as the cold pints and warm chips, or as Londoners prefer warm bites and cold chips. He’s neither world famous inventor nor and artistic luminary TRO. And in fact is one of us just like you and me staring down the cigarette litter problem with the intensity of a pistol duel. He knew the problem could be solved, lacking in aristocratic trust fund or benevolent benefactor, trow, and tap into the universal resource that we all share. The great equalizer of human creativity is invention the ballot, bend challenged people to vote with their butts.

Dan Gingiss (23:23):
Oh, such a cool story. I mean, it’s got Batman, Superman, and James Bond in it. So you can’t yeah, you can’t lose. And one of the things I love about this book is that Linkner storytelling is amazing and he really takes you on a journey with him through these stories. Now, speaking of journeys, as we just were Joey, I want to share my favorite passage, which happens to be about a little green frog that took quite a journey back in the 1980s. And I’m talking of course about Frogger from chapter three, the Frogger principle here comes my favorite passage, the frog and Frogger couldn’t rest on his successes for more than a millisecond. He had to keep hopping ahead in order to survive his hostile environment. The quest for forward progress in the midst of in imminent danger is what made the Atari games so compelling, navigating chaos in order to reach a new destination. Frogger contributed to my embarrassing low report card marks in sixth grade, but I learned far more from Frogger than doing long division and Mrs. Morrison’s math class. If you really think about it, we are all playing a giant three-dimensional game of Frogger. Our successes aren’t permanent, but rather a temporary state in the context of unprecedented change and increasingly difficult circumstances. That fleeting moment of success is the equivalent of our Kermit-esque buddy landing on the back of a turtle. It simply can’t be savored indefinitely. Instead we must leap from one success to the next to the next, unless we’re prepared to be swept into the Rapids standing still doesn’t only kill frogs, the comfort and satisfaction of a successful leap, lures, too many smart people into thinking they don’t need to keep on hopping.

Joey Coleman (25:13):
Ooh, that’s sweet. It’s just like poetry don’t need to keep on hopping. I like it. You know, I too was a fan of Froggart. There were probably some other video games that I played more than Frogger, but I like this idea of not only keeping moving and keeping the innovation going in the small hops, leading to big things over time. But I just liked the way that Josh writes, you know, it’s compelling prose that you don’t normally find in a business book, which actually is why I selected the following passage as my favorite passage. Now, this comes from part two of the book, which is called the eight obsessions of everyday innovators and obsession. Number one is fall in love with the problem. And I quote, as his frustrations boiled over Chad price reached the breaking point. His legs were numb from sitting in the warm plastic seat for nearly two hours. Yet there were still 16 people ahead of him on the list. The pale fluorescent lighting was making his eyes water amidst, the angry ups of other customers, impatiently waiting their turns to Rose over the four year old was having yet a, another temper tantrum while the large man who is left sloppily gobbled down a ham and cheese sandwich from the blistering stale air to the lingering smell of overheating, photocopy machines, the soul sucking experience was all he could take. We’ve all had the painful experience of waiting at the dreaded department of motor vehicles consistently ranked as the number one worst customer experience in endless hall of shame reports, even ahead of budget airlines and cable companies, most of us would rather get a root canal than to have to suffer through a visit to the DMV. And Dan, guess what? The story goes on to tell how Chad, are you ready for this decided to open his own DMV, making customer experience a competitive differentiator.

Dan Gingiss (27:05):
Wowzers his own DMV. Like just what I’ve always wanted. I loved that. I loved that story too. And, and, you know, he goes on to detail that literally he was getting people to come from three, four counties over to his DMV because they heard about what a great experience it was. And it just goes to show you, if you can make an, a great experience out of a DMV, you can make a great experience out of your business. No excuse if you’re like, Oh, but you don’t understand Joey and Dan, our industry, it’s not creative. It’s not interesting. We have so much difficulty selling these widgets in a B2B environment, blah, blah, blah. No, if the MV can do it, you can do it too. Absolutely. And I think a lot of B2B companies can be more exciting than they are. There is no law that says that you have to be boring.

Joey Coleman (27:59):
Please stop accepting that B2B equals permission to be boring. It doesn’t exactly. Exactly. So, Hey, everyone pick up a copy of big little breakthroughs, how small everyday innovations drive oversized results by Josh Linkner and start thinking creatively about how the little things can really add up to big change.

Joey Coleman (28:23):
Almost everyone has interacted with chatbots, but all too often, it’s been a bad experience. In MythBusters – presented by Solvvy – we explore a common myth about CX chatbots and see how the right technology can create a positive experience every time.

Dan Gingiss (28:46):
Today’s myth about chatbots? They don’t keep customer information safe. I think you’ll agree, Joey, that your company and customer data is not only sensitive information. It’s absolutely sacred and they’re trusting you with it. So you might be concerned that putting a chat bot on your website or in your app could potentially expose your users to some level of privacy risk. Is a chat bot and a track and store customer data and not to be paranoid here, but his big brother watching.

Joey Coleman (29:17):
Well, the reality is that the top chat bot platforms are highly secure, but make sure you do your homework because there are some real pretenders out there. Now, in most cases, chat-bots should not require access to personally identifiable information (PII) to provide immediate answers or support for customer questions in cases where information is being accessed or stored in a client dashboard instance, your chat bot platform needs the right security policies, procedures, and safeguards to protect and secure that data. The best chat bot platforms already have the proper security certifications and can redact sensitive information where needed to add another layer of privacy. In other words, the right chat bot platform should have everything you need already in place. So that privacy and security concerns won’t keep you up at night.

Joey Coleman (30:09):
That sounds like a big little breakthrough in chat bot technology. See what I did there? It’s good to know. It’s good to know that at least some of the chat bots out there have made this a high priority.

Joey Coleman (30:21):
And that’s another myth busted thanks to our friends and podcast supporters at Solvvy – the Next Gen chatbot. Learn more about the fantastic folks at Solvvy on their website. Solvvy – S O L V V y.com

Joey Coleman (30:39):
Just because you have required elements of your business doesn’t mean they need to be, Oh, it’s time to get creative, have some fun and make people sit up and take notice. Get your customers talking when you Make the Required Remarkable.

Dan Gingiss (30:56):
Ah, Instagram… The perfect photos with just the right filters, a picture that’s worth a thousand words and at least a dozen hashtags, where are we? Where are we tell our stories? And we feel the pressure to look good all the time. I want to introduce you to a restaurant called El Arroyo. It’s a Tex Mex restaurant in Austin, Texas. Now they serve tacos, burritos, fajitas, and other Mexican fare. But what they’re actually known for is their letter board sign outside of the restaurant. Wait a second. They’re known most for the letter board sign that you see before you even sampled the food. Yeah. And actually, if you go onto Yelp, their average is about 2.5 stars.

Joey Coleman (31:47):
It’s not the greatest reputation in terms of the reviews.

Dan Gingiss (31:51):
And what’s fascinating is almost all the reviews. People either love it or hate it. It is a, it’s like five stars or one star.

Joey Coleman (31:57):
That’s great. That’s what you want. You don’t want people to love you or hate you.

Dan Gingiss (32:01):
I guess. I mean, it definitely appeals to certain people. Now we’re going to go over some of these signs in a second. And again, just so you know what I mean, a letter board sign is one of those lit up signs outside where someone’s literally taking the letters and placing them on one at a time. And you know, they have some funny ones, some snarky ones, what have you, they even have a gift shop full of memorabilia from their signs. So they have an ornament that you can get. They have a poop jokes, toilet paper, they have hand sanitizer with one of their signs on it, candle that you can get. So this is really become their thing. And I want explain before we get into the science, why this is a required remarkable segment. And it’s because a lot of companies feel that social media is a required part of the business. And in many ways it is we, we should be present for our customers, but it doesn’t mean that we have to talk about our products all the time or that we have to try to sell people on stuff. And one of the neatest things about the El Arroyo Instagram page, which by the way, if you want to find it, it is L Aroyo that’s for those that don’t spell Spanish. It’s E L A R R O Y O underscore a T X, which is Austin, Texas. Uh, what’s so interesting is there’s nothing on the Instagram page about their phone. It’s all about signs, right? And by the way, they have 423,000 followers on Instagram. That’s a few more than I have more than me. Yeah. For a restaurant, a Tex Mex restaurant in Austin, Hey, let’s get to the site. Let’s get into some of these.

Joey Coleman (33:43):
These are great. So I got to say there’s one here that I absolutely loved. And it made me, you know, it’s rare when you’re on Instagram to laugh out loud. This is one that I saw it and I just started laughing out loud. Okay. Here’s what it says. “If you say gullible really slow, it sounds like orange.”

Dan Gingiss (34:01):
Wait… Seriously?

Joey Coleman (34:02):
Not at all, but everyone who hears that is going to go “guillable.”

Dan Gingiss (34:11):
I love it. I was one, remember it’s a text next place. It says, what if you pronounced female like tamale, would that be spelled the same? Right? Same. They’ve got the same last four letters. Funky English language.

Joey Coleman (34:29):
Yeah. I love it. You know, there’s also this, you know, talk about news jacking or taking a story that’s in the news and putting it into your branding. I thought this one was good. We really missed the boat on our Suez canal joke.

Dan Gingiss (34:44):
Yes. Yes. One that I particularly thought was memorable. Cause you know, I love bathroom. Humor is a, if you see a toilet in your dream do not use it. It’s pretty good advice. So good.

Joey Coleman (34:57):
And then occasionally they do put things that are semi relevant to the restaurant, right? So one that says nachos are just tacos that don’t have their life together.

Dan Gingiss (35:10):
Exactly. Or I’m just doing my part to conserve water by drinking Margarita’s. Nice. I mean, these go on and on this Instagram page goes on forever and almost all of these. I just, I mean, I just love them. There’s like, there’s no bad ones in there. And so what can we learn from this? Well, first of all, you’ve heard me say on this show and elsewhere many times that I love signage because I think signs, especially outside of a place of business are really the first piece of communication that you’re going to see. It it’s like the experience before the experience. Right? And there is no reason. As we said in the last segment, there is no reason or no law that says your sign has to be boring. And in fact, when your sign is interesting and entertaining, it gets people to stop and come in. Now, what if you don’t have a physical location, that’s okay. You might have a website or a mobile app or some other form of communication in which you can have some fun. And I believe, and we’ve talked about this on the show too, that this extends to every piece of communication, contracts, invoices, welcome letters. Thank you, notes, whatever it is, we can have some fun and show some personality and become the El Arroyo of our business.

Joey Coleman (36:33):
Thanks for joining us for another episode of Experience This! You are the best listener ever!

Dan Gingiss (36:39):
And since you listened to the whole show…

Joey Coleman (36:41):
Yay, you!

Dan Gingiss (36:43):
We’re curious, was there a specific part of this episode that you enjoyed the most? If so, it would mean the world to us if you could share it with a coworker, a friend, or someone that just loves listening to podcasts.

Joey Coleman (36:53):
And while you’re in the sharing mood, if you felt inclined to jump over to iTunes or wherever you find your podcasts and write us a review, we would so appreciate it. And when you do, don’t forget to let us know as we might have a little surprise for you.

Dan Gingiss (37:09):
Thanks again for your time. And we’ll see you next week for more.

Joey Coleman (37:11):
Experience!

Dan Gingiss (37:11):
This!

Episode 122 – Crystal Clean Experiences with Innovative Videos

Join us as we discuss using video to help explain things to your customers, avoiding irrelevance through digital innovation, and a maid service that is doing far more than just sweeping and dusting.

Fixing, Digitizing, and Cleaning– Oh My!

Referenced in the Show

Check out the video Dan received from his auto technician:

Host Contact Information

Email Dan: Dan@dangingiss.com

Tweet Dan Gingiss: @DGingiss

Email Joey: JoeyC@JoeyColeman.com

DanGingiss.com

JoeyColeman.com

Subscribe to Experience This on Apple Podcasts

Learn more about our Season 7 Partner – Solvvy – The NextGen Chatbot

Episode Transcript

Download an unedited transcript of Episode 122 here or read it below:

Joey Coleman (00:05):
Welcome to Experience This!

Dan Gingiss (00:07):
The podcast that celebrates remarkable customer experiences and inspires you to stand out from the competition by wowing your customers.

Joey Coleman (00:17):
Each episode, we bring you a healthy dose of inspiring stories, funny interactions, and practical takeaways. Marketing and customer experience thought leader, Dan Gingiss…

Dan Gingiss (00:30):
shares the mic with customer retention and employee experience expert, Joey Coleman, helping you to get people talking about your business.

Joey Coleman (00:40):
So get ready because it’s time to Experience This!

Dan Gingiss (00:49):
Get ready for another episode of the Experience This Show!

Joey Coleman (00:56):
Join us as we discuss: using video to help explain things to your customers, avoiding irrelevance through digital innovation, and a maid service that is doing far more than just sweeping and dusting.

Dan Gingiss (01:11):
Fixing, Digitizing, and Cleaning – Oh my!

Joey Coleman (01:17):
We love telling stories and sharing key insights you can implement, or avoid, based on our experiences. Can you believe that This Just Happened!?!

Dan Gingiss (01:31):
So Joey – you may remember from way back in Season 1, Episode 10, that I’m a big fan of BMW. And I believe that the ultimate driving experience not only describes what it’s like to be in the car, but it actually describes what it’s like to have the car serviced after you purchased the car.

Joey Coleman (01:53):
Yes, I do recall. What’s interesting Dan is I’m remembering that you really loved the place where you took your car to be serviced. And we’ve talked about that before, and we’ve talked in past episodes about how much I love the place where I took my car to be serviced. I think we are probably the should buy a lottery ticket because it is rare that two people would find such love for their auto mechanic.

Dan Gingiss (02:16):
For sure. For sure. Now I wanted to come back to this same dealership, which is Field’s BMW in Northfield, Illinois and talk about something that I like to call blind transactions.

Joey Coleman (02:29):
Ooo blind transactions – do tell us more!

Dan Gingiss (02:32):
Well, this is where a customer doesn’t really know what’s going on and just has to trust the provider. So think about going to the dentist. And the dentist says, Oh, this tooth needs a crown. And you’re like, okay, I guess I got a crown?

Joey Coleman (02:50):
Sure it does!

Dan Gingiss (02:51):
I mean, I don’t know any different. I got to trust the dentist, right. Or I had a refrigerator guy out one day and my refrigerator wasn’t cooling. He said, well, you need more Freon.

Joey Coleman (03:01):
Was it Freon? It’s like, literally the only thing I know about refrigeration is that Freon is somehow involved. How much, how you know if you need more, I have no idea?!

Dan Gingiss (03:11):
Well, and they’re also phasing it out because it’s environmentally disastrous. And so it’s like 400 dollars.

Joey Coleman (03:16):
Freon is not free kids!

Dan Gingiss (03:19):
Anyway. So going to the auto mechanic is kind of like that for me, I’m not much of a car guy. And so when they say, Hey, you need new brake pads. I’m like, Oh, okay. Brake pads sound important. We better get those. Right. I mean, so it’s a blind transaction for me.

Joey Coleman (03:32):
I had a teacher in high school that always used to joke about with kids to prove this point. He would say something like, well, if I told you you needed a new muffler belt, what would you say? And what you’re supposed to say is you’re crazy because a muffler doesn’t have a belt, but the majority of young 16, 17 year olds didn’t know that answer. Right. They had no clue. So yeah, this, this shows up in a lot of industries now that you bring it up.

Dan Gingiss (03:57):
Yeah, definitely does. So anyway, I went in for just an oil change, real, pretty easy. And as part of the oil change, they do a whole once over of the car and house, as I was checking out the associate that was helping me said here, I want to show you this video. And he brings up on his screen and they also emailed this to me about a two minute video of the auto mechanic underneath my car and showing me all of the parts underneath my car and how he was inspecting them. And what was so cool was like when he went to check the width of the tires, right. To make sure that, uh, that there wasn’t too much wear…

Joey Coleman (04:40):
The car is on tires! Ladies and gentlemen, we’re seeing just how much of a blind transaction this actually is for Dan!

Dan Gingiss (04:47):
Oh, geez. I mean, but anyway, he was looking at, uh, you know, to, to look at the treads, right. He’s looking at the width, but what’s cool is in the video, you actually see the measurement tool that he’s using and you can see the measurement. So it’s not like he’s, you know, you don’t have to worry about him, lying to you and saying, Oh yeah, it looks just fine. Or, Oh, you need new tires. He’s actually showing you measuring, showing himself, measuring it and giving you the results. So let’s cut to the audio. I understand folks that the audio is going to be a little bit different on a podcast, but Hey, it’s a podcast. So we’re going to listen in and just imagine Jerry, the mechanic is literally underneath my car with his phone, taking this video.

Jerry the Technician (05:30):
Hello. My name is Jerry. I’m the technician forming services on your vehicle today. Uh, just a quick look at your undercarriage, starting with the rear tires. I’m going to clear out of the way. Uh, if you see the measurement sets seven millimeters and the CADing it’s in like-new condition, uh, same thing goes for your brakes. Uh, pads are measured at 10 millimeters rotor faces are in good condition. There’s no corrosion or pitting. So those are looking good. Uh, following the suspension over here, there’s nothing bent or out of place. Everything looks like as it’s supposed to. I was rear differential, no leaks left rear tire also measured at seven millimeters in the green. Continue on air exhaust is free of damage, positioned correctly, free of leaks transfer case transmission pan will pan are all clean and free of leaks. I’m trying to get a good view up here and it kind of crowded your valve cover everything up there at the top of the engine is clean and free of leaks. Uh, your front tire is also measured seven millimeters. So they’re also in good condition. Your suspension everything’s tight as it should be. Nothing loose, nothing damaged a tire person for adjusted. We’re going to continue the inspection at the top of the vehicle. All right, here, we have a shot at your engine bay. We’re about to pull the engine oil and complete your service washer solve. It was full or filled. I’m sorry. Cool levels. Check the field. It prompts me to service a top of the engine. Does that reveal analytics doesn’t look like there’s anything or worry about. Um, so your inspections good. Uh, nothing further to report. If you have any questions regarding this video, please contact for service advisor. Otherwise thank you for trusting Field BMW.

Dan Gingiss (07:34):
So Joey, when I saw this video, I’m not saying that I felt like a car guy, but I certainly felt a whole lot more educated and informed. And I felt like I had the peace of mind that they checked everything over and I could get in my car and drive on the snowy icy roads home, and that I was going to be safe. And I thought that was fantastic.

Joey Coleman (07:55):
Well, I also thought my goodness, I’ve learned a thing or two about the underside of Dan’s car and Dan takes really good care of his vehicle. Yeah. I loved this for so many ways. And I actually like, and we’ll we’ll post the video on the show notes page at ExperienceThisShow.com, but I actually liked listening to just the audio because with the narration alone, you get an education, you get some insight as to what’s going on and what came up for me to be completely candid. When, when you shared this video, Dan, is that why doesn’t every mechanic do this? I’ve actually spoken to an association of auto mechanic repair shop owners, which yes, it exists. And what was fascinating is we were talking about using video and no one was using video in any capacity. And here’s your mechanic. Who’s not only using video to create connection, which we’ve talked about many times. This is such a great thing, but it’s using video to do education. It’s highly personalized and customized. And I don’t know if I was anywhere in the Chicago land region and I had a BMW. I would want to go to this place if nothing else, because they’re creating remarkable experiences and proving their work, showing, you know, bringing sight to the blind transaction as one might say,

Dan Gingiss (09:21):
Well, exactly. And that’s, I think the importance and what we are, we all need to think about in terms of using video in customer experiences. Because as you said, there’s blind transactions all over the place. There’s scary for the consumer. Nobody wants to be taken advantage of or to lose money. And so, but we often just don’t know. And yeah, I think this should be true of pretty much every industry in which you have to trust. Right? And, uh, and we’re seeing stuff in the dental industry too, with this 3d imaging where dentists can now show you a 3d image of your tooth and, and at least better than kind of the old x-ray where they’re like, you know, “You see there, you’ve got all of this kind of like…

Joey Coleman (10:02):
Where’s the funny bone? Can you read that one?

Dan Gingiss (10:08):
Um, but you know, this actually got me thinking Joey, about our very first ever book report on Experience This, it was Episode 4, Season 1. Do you remember who that was?

Joey Coleman (10:20):
Oh, geez. You’re going to call me out here?

Dan Gingiss (10:22):
Videos the hint – video.

Joey Coleman (10:25):
Video killed the radio star. Uh, I do I’m…

Dan Gingiss (10:29):
If you said Marcus Sheridan’s book, “They Ask, You Answer”

Joey Coleman (10:40):
His new book is The Video Sale. Yes. The Visual Sale. Yes.

Dan Gingiss (10:45):
Actually we’ve done both of his books. That’s right. We started with, They Ask, You Answer and his new book is The Visual Sale. But point is Marcus talks about using video in sales and marketing, and he’s an inbound marketing expert, but there’s no reason why we can’t use video. Once people become customers. And you know, it helps people through these blind transactions and allows them to feel confident in where they’re going. And like you said, I am always going to bring my car back to this dealership. I know, I know there’s probably a mechanic down the street. That’s a little bit less expensive, but I like how I’m treated there. I like the omelets. I like the waiting room. And I like being able to see underneath my car and understand something about it.

Joey Coleman (11:30):
I love that some people might want it might think, geez Joey is so bougie with his bull kelp salt. But you, with your omelets, while you get an oil change, you are definitely the more high maintenance of the two [inaudible]. I’m just jealous. I wish omelets were on the menu when I was getting an oil change. You know, I will say the only gentle suggestion I would give for this video, I wish it would have started with the camera, which I presume that person is filming, with their cell phone, I mean, the way the video looks, I would have loved it. If the camera would have started with a selfie shot of the technician, “Hey, I’m Jerry. And today I have the pleasure of working on your car. Mr. Gingiss let me show you a few things…” And then turn the camera around. It adds an extra layer of humanization. And when we think about this blend between remarkable customer experience and remarkable employee experience at the end of the day, what I think we’re striving for is remarkable human experiences. The experiences that allow us to connect personally, that allow our humanity to be part of the conversation. And one of the great ways to do that is to let your customers see your employees and let your employees be seen. Now, some employees may not be super excited about that in the beginning, but I promise that as you do it more and more, they will feel more connected and engaged with the customers as well.

Dan Gingiss (13:00):
Oh, absolutely. I could see people coming into this place and requesting Jerry is their mechanic. Now they know him. So love it. And Hey, if you have any questions regarding the video, please contact your service advisor and not Dan because he doesn’t understand all of it, but he sure felt better about getting this car fixed at Fields BMD.

Joey Coleman (13:23):
We’re excited to give you an overview of an important book you should know about as well as share some of our favorite passages as part of our next Book Report.

Dan Gingiss (13:35):
Today’s Book Report is about “Winning Digital Customers: The Antidote to Irrelevance” by Howard Tiersky with a foreword, by the way, by Michelle McKenna, who is interestingly the CIO of the NFL.

Joey Coleman (13:51):
That’s gotta be a cool gig. The CIO of the NFL? I love it. I love it. I’m not a huge NFL fan, but I have to imagine that’s a fascinating, uh, gig.

Dan Gingiss (14:02):
Well, I am a big football fan and I, I definitely think it is. So I got a chance to talk with Howard Tiersky and fascinating guy, uh, with a fascinating background. And I really, really liked this book. And as you know, as well, Joey, when he sent us copies of it, he sent it in a customized box that arrived and like the box had the cover of the book on it in printed.

Joey Coleman (14:30):
I was going to say, I loved this book before I opened the book.

Dan Gingiss (14:35):
Totally.

Joey Coleman (14:35):
Right. Because the packaging and you know, that age old phrase, don’t judge a book by its cover. Other reason why it’s an age old phrase is because people do judge books by their cover all the time. And the idea of the package that he sent the book to us in coming and looking beautiful and having messaging on it and the book cover on it. Oh, I too was intrigued before I even cracked the spine of the book and started reading.

Dan Gingiss (14:58):
And when you did crack the spine of the book, it’s a great book. And I think it’s so important that we’re talking about digital experience, especially now in 2021, when 2020 caused a lot of customers to have to go digital. And maybe even the unwilling ones, everybody went digital because you kind of had to in so many different industries. And so digital was big before it’s now an absolutely required part of the business. So as always, we asked Howard to give us an overview of his book and Here he is:

Howard Tiersky (15:32):
Hi, this is Howard Tiersky author of the wall street journal bestselling book, Winning Digital Customers: The Antidote to Irrelevance. Now who should read this book? Well, I’ll tell you, I wrote this book with the executive at a large enterprise in mind, who’s responsible in some way for driving the digital success of a legacy brand, which is to say someone could be in marketing. Someone in technology, someone in operations could even be a CEO, a CFO, chief marketing officer, somebody who has responsibility for driving digital though. In reality, what I found is I’ve talked to so many people who’ve read the book and been applying. It is that it’s applicable. First of all, to really anybody who has a responsibility associated with driving customer behavior at a company. And second of all, I’ve discovered that small businesses and medium-sized businesses are applying the principles of this book really just as effectively as large enterprises. My experience is mostly working with our enterprises, but what I’ve heard from companies at a variety of sizes is that while my examples in the book are largely focused on large enterprises, frankly, the techniques and practices described in the book are applicable at businesses of any size. So I would encourage anybody who’s interested in the topic of how a company could more effectively serve its customers and especially more effectively adapt today to today’s increasingly digital customers. I would encourage anyone like that to pick up a copy of winning digital customers or read the free chapter, which is available online at: wdc.ht/freechapter.

Joey Coleman (17:06):
Oh, there are a couple of things I love about this, Dan you’re right. Not only is digital more relevant today than ever before, but I love the way Howard kind of calls out this distinction that I think so many readers and people that are working on their businesses think about they’re like, well, but that’s a big business. I run a small business or that’s easy for a small business to do. You don’t understand. We have a large enterprise folks. These are fictions in your mind in the same way that the difference between B2B and B2C a lot of companies make that out as a huge difference. No, it’s, HDH, it’s humans to humans. I think at the end of the day, what I love about this and about Howard’s message is yes, a lot of the case studies in the examples in the book are from larger enterprise companies, but the applicability to anyone who’s interested in the topic of increasing the digital experience for their customers permeates the entire book. So this book is just chock full of fun passages. Let’s let Howard, the wonderful author, go first with his favorite passage:

Howard Tiersky (18:19):
You have a problem. If you are trying to make a legacy brand successful in today’s digital world, you got a problem, but this book is going to tell you exactly what to do about it. My seven-year-old son, Joseph likes to text our family group chat with news stories that he thinks we need to know about such as the recent sightings of giant squids off the coast of Japan. One evening last year, my phone dinged with a group text from Joseph sharing the announcement that very soon every single Toys”R”Us in America would be closing. I was well aware of the problems that the company faced. In fact, Toys”R”Us executives had recently visited our offices to talk about bringing my firm in to help improve their customer experience. But time just ran out. I was disappointed that I wasn’t going to be consulting on a Toys”R”Us turnaround, but little Joe’s text prompted me to imagine how truly devastated I would have been had Toys”R”Us disappeared. When I was his age. I figured I should probably check in. I headed downstairs and approached Joe, who was still at the kitchen computer. I gently asked how he was feeling about the news of the chain’s closure. He thought for a second and then answered with a cheerful shrug. I don’t care seeing my surprise reaction. He gestured back at the screen and reassured me, dad, don’t worry. We can just order whatever we need from Amazon. Some say Toys”R”Us went under because they had too much leverage debt. And it’s true. That was a genuine problem. Others say that downloadable video games reduce the demand for physical toys and they have a bit, but Toys”R”Us died from something more profound, a lack of love. They just no longer mattered as they once did. If seven year old boys don’t care whether your toy store stays or goes, you’re done for. At Joe’s age I did love Toys”R”Us. I also loved my Kodak camera with its flashbulbs speed racer by Timex digital, watch my Atari and I hop a few decades later in life. I loved Borders Bookstores, Melrose Place, and my Blackberry. Today I love my Mac, Google slides, Alexa, and Game of Thrones. And I’m back to loving. iHOP again. How about you? What do you love Disney World? Chipotle, Fortnite, LuluLemon, Snapchat. More importantly, do your customers love your business? This book is a blueprint for earning love from today’s customers who I like to call digital customers. And it’s a treatise on the idea that customer love is the single most important factor in the success of your business.

Dan Gingiss (21:18):
Aww – I love that he talked about Toys”R”Us, cause I use this as an example too. I mean, man, when Toys”R”Us went out of business, it looked exactly like the store from when I was a kid.

Joey Coleman (21:30):
So true! And I was a big fan of Toys”R”Us, like I remember, you know, going to the mall with my parents and begging to be able to go in the Toys”R”Us like begging sure. When you couldn’t just go to Amazon or, or have a digital experience back when we were kids, when the competition for Toys”R”Us was the Sears catalog coming to your house like Toys”R”Us was the real deal. A whole store just filled with toys. Oh my gosh. Yes. It was definitely a sad moment. You know, absolutely. We wax nostalgic for Toys”R”Us, but my favorite passage was about some other brands that I’ve actually got a fair amount of experience with. Here’s the passage from the book:

Joey Coleman (22:16):
Uber eliminates the inconvenience of taking 30 seconds to pay the driver. When you arrive at your destination, Netflix auto starts the next episode of stranger things. So you can binge watch for hours without lifting a finger. Alexa will check your Amazon package delivery status. If you just ask it three words, where’s my stuff. No doubt. They are working on getting that down to one. Digital leaders, obsess over removing every little bit of unnecessary effort that they possibly can.

Dan Gingiss (22:48):
I loved this too. And, and in that same section, he referred to this idea as hyper convenience. And he did credit his friend who was, uh, Avis and Budget Rentacars. But I love the concept of finding a way to reduce the number of steps everywhere you can go. And as we’ve said on this show before, and as I’ve said, many times on stages, this is what I did at Discover Card. When we won the JD Power award for the first time. And we finally took it away from American Express, which of course is an amazing customer experience company. We took a look at our web and mobile digital experiences, and we removed every barrier. We could find hundreds of them, little tiny things that annoyed people, and they complained about it. And we got rid of all of them. And there’s definitely some debate in the CX world about whether you should be getting rid of pain points or creating new experiences. I think you need to do both. And this is a terrific example also of, uh, of how you do that. Now I picked a, a little bit of a longer quote and I want to set this up because I learned something here and was absolutely fascinated. So it turns out that another company that we put in the same category as Toys”R”Us is Blockbuster. R.I.P. Blockbuster spent a lot of time there as a kid. And it turns out that Howard and his consulting team were actually consultants to the leaders of Blockbuster when a little company called Netflix came onto the scene.

Joey Coleman (24:20):
He’s been on the front lines of like a lot of these really pivotal times in big brand life. I mean, he’s the guy, right? He’s been there, done that, got the t-shirt!

Dan Gingiss (24:27):
And he actually said one of his biggest regrets was not successfully convincing Blockbuster management to listen to them because they were providing them with good advice. So let me read:

Dan Gingiss (24:40):
They certainly weren’t clueless. I can tell you that there were many super smart people there. We collaborated with them on a vision that in many ways looks a lot like Netflix today. Streaming services, episodic television with great navigation multi-screen devices. In those days, Netflix was exclusively in the DVD by mail business. Blockbuster was much larger with more money, more customers, more Hollywood relationships, and just about every advantage, but one – they loved, who they already were. As an example of this let’s drill into one of the more profound barriers that kept them from committing to the bold digital vision that they paid us to develop. What was it? Candy. At its peak when blockbuster had 9,000 plus stores, those stores rented a lot of videos, but they also sold a lot of M&Ms, Skittles, and giant Kit-Kats. It was becoming harder to make a significant profit renting DVDs, especially after they stopped charging late fees, because the studios negotiated a fair chunk of the rental price for themselves. But the margin on candy, as well as microwaveable popcorn buckets was huge. Our proposed digital vision faced significant resistance from executives who were perfectly willing to believe that customers would stream video to their homes, but repeatedly pointed out you can’t stream candy. How could the company be successful without candy? It seems to be core to their business model and that mindset made it insurmountable side note. I reviewed Netflix his most recent annual report and still to this date, $0 from the sale of candy. So I guess it was surmountable after all!

Joey Coleman (26:22):
So true. Oh my gosh. Fantastic, fantastic story! You know, there was one, I mean the whole story is beautiful, but there was one sentence that I felt when I was reading it, uh, reached out and grabbed me by the shoulders and shook me.

Dan Gingiss (26:36):
I know which one it is!

Joey Coleman (26:36):
Let’s see, it’s where they say “they loved who they already were.”

Dan Gingiss (26:43):
Yep.

Joey Coleman (26:43):
How many businesses are so caught up in the identity of who they are today, that they are going to be a footnote in history tomorrow? Like I think there is an incredibly valuable exercise for everyone listening, get your team together, get your smartest people in your organization together and sit down and say, if tomorrow we were prohibited from making money, the way we currently do from our number one way that we make money, we weren’t allowed to do it for whatever reason. You know, a law was passed, you know, the supply chain blew up, whatever it is, we have to take that off the table. What do we need to do? I feel like if you’re not regularly and by regularly, I’m thinking at least once a year asking yourself what are the things that we are so entrenched in believing to be true, that you’re not, you know, questioning that and thinking through strategically how you would roll with that. You’re done for, and you know, frankly, the last year has shown a lot of businesses that reality. You know, Dan, you and I both pre COVID a significant part of our life was spent on airplanes. A significant part of our life was spent traveling around. And if we were so in love with who we were in the past, we wouldn’t have been able to be who we are today. So long story short, go check out Winning Digital Customers. It’s a fantastic book. You’re going to want to pick up a copy of this Howard Tiersky, it’s just full of stories and ideas and things that are going to make it so that you can connect more digitally with the customers that you have.

Joey Coleman (28:31):
Almost everyone has interacted with chatbots, but all too often, it’s been a bad experience. In MythBusters – presented by Solvvy – we explore a common myth about CX chatbots and see how the right technology can create a positive experience, every time.

Dan Gingiss (28:57):
Today’s myth about chatbots? All chatbots pretend to be a real person. And usually don’t do that. Great. A job of pretending, for example, you start talking to a support agent named Mary on a website or app. You’re having a great experience close to finding an answer. And then you’re struck with the dreaded, sorry, I don’t understand you. Which is a phrase that no human has ever said in the history of mankind. Did you know that in one study over 50% of individuals said that they were disturbed when they realized they were chatting with a robot and not a real person?

Joey Coleman (29:34):
Understandably so, I mean, the reality is that modern chat bots don’t need to hide behind a persona. While still Being conversational. Leading chatbots today are now able to provide next level customer experiences without having to pretend to be a real person. In fact, most people find these experiences more authentic than getting stuck, chatting with a robot named Mary who doesn’t understand you. Plus it won’t feel awkward in the event that you do start a live chat with an actual real person.

Dan Gingiss (30:06):
Well, I am glad for one that the next generation of chat bots are comfortable in their own skin joint because it’s kind of afraid we were going to have another Lil Miquela situation here.

Joey Coleman (30:20):
Callback! That was nice!

Dan Gingiss (30:21):
But hey, these guys are robots and they’re proud of it.

Joey Coleman (30:25):
That’s another Myth Busted thanks to our friends at Solvvy – the Next Gen Chatbot.

Joey Coleman (30:33):
Sometimes a remarkable experience deserves deeper investigation. We dive into the nitty gritty of customer interactions and dissect how and why they happen. Join us while we’re Dissecting the Experience.

Dan Gingiss (30:51):
Joey and I recently received a terrific voicemail on our website.

Joey Coleman (30:59):
Oh, we so loved this one. It’s so nice. We love hearing from our listeners!

Dan Gingiss (31:02):
We do. And this one in particular was amazing. Her name is Robin Murphy and she’s the owner of Maid Brigade a franchise in that covers a number of counties, Westchester, Fairfield, Rockland, and Putnam counties in New York and Connecticut. Now, before we get to Maid bBrigade, when Robin sent us this voicemail, of course, cause it’s what Joey and I do. We responded to her over email. We started communicating and it turns out she loves the podcast and she left us the voicemail because she was sad that we are on our hiatus Joey and was waiting for us to come back.

Joey Coleman (31:37):
And we were like, Oh my gosh, they are listening. It’s so kind. We love it. Thanks for letting us be on hiatus and letting us know that we were missed while we were on hiatus.

Dan Gingiss (31:47):
Yes – and then Robin was also super kind enough to leave us a positive review on iTunes. And I’m going to read that in a second. But back to Maid Brigade. Maid Brigade is known for its commitment to best practices. And it is the only local company in this area that is green, clean certified. Also Robin and her husband are former franchise of the year winners in the maid brigade franchise system.

Joey Coleman (32:13):
No surprise there once you get to know Robin!

Dan Gingiss (32:15):
Yeah, exactly. They know what they’re doing, but let’s get to this iTunes review. She wrote, “I’ve been listening to the experience this podcast for six months now. And I look forward to when it shows up as a new episode, Tuesday mornings as a small business owner, I understand the value of great clients and my learning from Joey and Dan has been benefiting every aspect of my business, not just a relationship with our clients, but also our employees, and even our vendors, all important to us.

Joey Coleman (32:44):
Woo hoo! Oh, I love it. Thank you Robin. For the review, we love getting reviews on iTunes as it really helps draws new listeners to our show, but you know what? I love even more about the review. Dan. I love that Robin is getting benefit. Not only in terms of her customer experiences, but with her employee experience and her vendor experience. You know, increasingly so many of our conversations are about the human experience. I absolutely love this. So Robin, you let us know that we were, uh, we were providing some value and you provided some lovely value to us. We so appreciate it.

Dan Gingiss (33:17):
Well, as it turns out, Joey, Robin, isn’t just a fan of the show. She is also a big fan of your book. Never lose a customer again.

Joey Coleman (33:27):
Oh, so sweet.

Dan Gingiss (33:28):
Best of all, she has actually implemented some amazing experiences for her customers. See Joey’s book is practical. Guys. You can do it too. Let’s hear Robin. Tell us a little bit about what she’s been doing at may brigade.

Robin Murphy – Maid Brigade (33:45):
Hi Dan and Joey. This is Robin Murphy of Maid Brigade. We are a home cleaning company dedicated to helping people be home. Happy housecleaning is considered a commodity. We get it. It’s easy to find someone who can clean your home for a lot less money than we will, which is why we make sure to give our clients and experience they aren’t going to get from anyone else. Of course, it includes our excellent cleaning by fantastic staff. But it’s more than just that we send reminder emails, texts when we’re on the way check-ins after the service handwritten, thank you cards. We do what we say we’re going to do. And if we fall short, Hey, it’s not often, but it happens. We make sure to make things right, no matter what. And while we love all of our customers, those clients who use us on a recurring basis are very special. So we take even better care of them. We have a customer retention program where among other things, we send them specially curated gifts, which promote home happiness and show our appreciation based on the thank yous we receive and especially our very low customer cancellation rate. We know that they appreciate us back. Another special thing we give our clients is free cleaning solutions to use in between our visits. They’re the best cleaning products, people, pet, and earth safe and unrivaled by brands you buy in stores. On our first visit, we give our clients a kit and we refill the bottles every time we’re back. It’s free cleaning products for life so long as they use may brigade. I also want to mention what we do for clients who spread the word, refers to their friends and who posts reviews about us on social media reviews are invaluable gifts to us. They are seen by thousands of people every month, looking for someone to do what we do and a great review attract great new clients. So to those who post reviews, we send a special bottle of beautifully packaged olive oil that they’ll enjoy for a while. And we hope that they’ll think of us when they do. At Maid Brigade we are very customer centric and love putting together initiatives that give our clients what they’ve never expect from their main service and that they won’t get from anybody else, but Maid Brigade.

Joey Coleman (35:47):
Dan, I will say, well, forgive me. Let me say as an author. And I know you’ve had this experience many, many times before. Nothing makes you happier as an author than to find out that someone got your book, read your book, implemented the ideas and had great success from it. I mean, it is why the majority of authors, especially in the business space write books, and this was such a lovely audio for Robin share. Robin and I in the interest of full disclosure had never had any interactions before this. I didn’t even know about this recording. She was talking to Dan about it. So I just got to hear it in preparation for our episode today. And it just thrills me to see so many things that they have done and implemented in their business.

Dan Gingiss (36:35):
Yeah. I mean, definitely they read your book. They’ve been listening to the show and they’ve been implementing, which is awesome and let’s face it. I think she actually pointed this out. People don’t have particularly high expectations of the cleaning crew that comes to their house. And so as with many industries, experience is a way that you can stand out and exceed expectations with your customers. And that’s exactly what Robin is doing at Maid bBrigade. Now she gave some examples in her audio, but she also emailed us some other examples that I wanted to chat about because man, any one of these things would make Maid Brigade stand out to me as a company, but yet they’re doing all of them. So besides from that, you know, free cleaning products for life, they also offer a home happy hour where after 10 visits, they’ll take care of an extra task, like cleaning the refrigerator or sweeping the garage at no charge, which I love because that builds loyalty. Obviously, if I’ve stayed for 10 visits, now I’m staying for another 10 because I know my refrigerator can wait, but I mean, it’s a great little reward, their customers for staying with them. And it really doesn’t cost them a whole lot. Maybe it costs a few extra minutes for a crew to be there, but the impact is huge.

Joey Coleman (38:05):
Absolutely. And you know, the, one of my favorites that Robin shared, which ties to this one is that through their analytics, they have found that if they can keep a client for at least eight visits, that client will usually stay for, wait for it over 40 visits. So if they can get past eight, they’ll get to 40. Now friends, I get that you may not be in the maid business, but when you can figure out what your “keep them until” line is in your business, you know, Robyn figured it out that it’s eight visits. And then you see the dramatic impact that the retention in the loyalty has. It makes focusing on those initial visits that much more important. And what I think is interesting is eight visits. You figure the average cleaning crew is coming twice a month. Huh? Let’s see, four months. Oh that, Oh, what would that be? Just right around the hundred day mark, you know, just a little bit past the a hundred day Mark, the first hundred days really matter. So I love that they do this. And they’re specifically doing handwritten cards and gift certificates that are coming in in the first eight visits. They’re showering with the customers with love in those first few visits, because they know that that’s a foundation to build long-term loyalty from.

Dan Gingiss (39:26):
For sure. And the other thing that they do is they will also send a gift when they mess something up. And by the way, those were hers words, mess something up and I’m like, Oh, that’s funny. I like that. But Hey, when they, she did say, Hey, stuff happens sometimes and they immediately take ownership of it and they send some sort of gift. And her belief is that that gesture lessons, whatever problem was caused. And I think it certainly does. Now look, they break a fine vase where thousands of dollars, it’s probably not going to fix the vase, but I think we all know that mistakes happen. We all know that no business is perfect, but taking that ownership, not hiding behind it, not trying to sweep it under the rug…

Joey Coleman (40:10):
Bah dumb da!

Dan Gingiss (40:12):
He did that. Didn’t he, but actually coming out in front of it and apologizing and, and sending the client a gift is such a great idea because we’ve all seen those stats. That one break in the customer experience can cause someone to leave, but not if you do that.

Joey Coleman (40:29):
Yeah. It’s, it’s just a beautiful deposit in the karmic bank account that allows you to keep that customer, you know, the last one that Robin shared in her email to us, uh, which I think interestingly enough, ties back to the conversation we were having about Howard’s book and kind of this balance between big companies and little companies. You know, as we mentioned, Maid Brigade is part of a franchise. And while they certainly have their franchise website, they’re in the process, that is Robin and her husband, of putting together their own website that is based on, wait for it. Another callback here, our good buddy Marcus Sheridan’s book, They Ask You Answer, where they take commonly asked questions by their customers about their cleaning services, about when to clean, how to clean, et cetera, et cetera, and put them on the website so that they’re continuing to provide content and value for people in that digital experience. So look, this, this one’s fun. We’re getting to connect a lot of different pieces of the conversation here. And as we often talk about on the Experience This! Show, it’s not just one thing that creates a remarkable experience. It’s the blending of all the touch points, all the interactions to create the overall feeling that your customers and your employees and your vendors have when they think about you and your brand.

Dan Gingiss (41:48):
Well, Robin Murphy of Maid Brigade, I’m sorry. I used to live in Fairfield County for real. I don’t anymore, but yes, I would move just to have your company service my home. And thank you so much for listening to the show for engaging with us and hey, other listeners, you see what happens when you just send us an email or leave us a review. Next thing you know, we might be featuring your company on a future episode.

Joey Coleman (42:19):
Thanks for joining us for another episode of Experience This! You are the best listener ever!

Dan Gingiss (42:25):
And since you listened to the whole show…

Joey Coleman (42:28):
Yay you!

Dan Gingiss (42:29):
We’re curious, was there a specific part of this episode that you enjoyed the most? If so, it would mean the world to us if you could share it with a coworker, a friend or someone that just loves listening to podcasts.

Joey Coleman (42:39):
And while you’re in the sharing mood, if you felt inclined to jump over to iTunes or wherever you find your podcasts and write us a review, we would so appreciate it. And when you do, don’t forget to let us know as we might have a little surprise for you.

Dan Gingiss (42:55):
Thanks again for your time and we’ll see you next week for more.

Joey Coleman (42:59):
Experience.

Dan Gingiss (42:59):
This!

Episode 120 – Zero In on Small, Personalized Touches

Join us as we discuss a portrait of your pet, zeroing in on customer centricity, and how “mini” — and even “no” — have become big..

Painting, Disrupting, and Adapting – Oh My!

Host Contact Information

Email Dan: Dan@dangingiss.com

Tweet Dan Gingiss: @DGingiss

Email Joey: JoeyC@JoeyColeman.com

DanGingiss.com

JoeyColeman.com

Subscribe to Experience This on Apple Podcasts

Learn more about our Season 7 Partner – Solvvy – The NextGen Chatbot

Episode Transcript

Download an unedited transcript of Episode 120 here or read it below:

Joey Coleman (00:05):
Welcome to Experience This!

Dan Gingiss (00:08):
The podcast that celebrates remarkable customer experiences and inspires you to stand out from the competition by wowing your customers.

Joey Coleman (00:17):
Each episode, we bring you a healthy dose of inspiring stories, funny interactions, and practical takeaways. Marketing and customer experience thought leader, Dan Gingiss…

Dan Gingiss (00:30):
shares the mic with customer retention and employee experience expert Joey Coleman, helping you to get people talking about your business.

Joey Coleman (00:40):
So get, ready because it’s time to Experience This!

Dan Gingiss (00:48):
Get ready, for another episode of the Experience This Show!

Joey Coleman (00:54):
Join us as we discuss: a portrait of your pet, zeroing in on customer centricity, and how “mini” and even “no” have become big.

Dan Gingiss (01:07):
Painting, Disrupting and Adapting – Oh my!

Joey Coleman (01:15):
There are so many great customer experience articles to read, but who has the time?! We summarize them and offer clear takeaways you can implement starting tomorrow. Enjoy this segment of CX Press – where we read the articles, so you don’t need to!

Dan Gingiss (01:33):
This week’s CX Press comes to us from one of my local newspapers, the Chicago Sun Times, and it’s entitled, “Cezanne or Chewy?” Now we’ve talked about Chewy, the online pet supplies retailer in two previous episodes – Episode 17 where we shared some customer stories, and Episode 50 where we talked about what I called “the greatest customer service email in the history of customer service or email.” Now they’ve achieved the trifecta!

Joey Coleman (02:06):
Has anybody else even come close to the trifecta Dan? I don’t think so. Like I know we’ve talked about Amazon and Apple. We’ve talked about lots of great brand experiences, but I don’t think anybody – but Chewy – has done three separate segments totally on their business.

Dan Gingiss (02:21):
I think it is possible this is a first… I’d have to go back and look in the archives.

Joey Coleman (02:25):
Woo! I’m feeling excited. This is, this is groundbreaking stuff here.

Dan Gingiss (02:28):
Well, Chewy was in the news again just after New Year’s with this story. And I know you’re a pretty big art fan, Joey, but can you even imagine how a famed artist like Paul Cezanne gets compared to a pet supplies company?

Joey Coleman (02:43):
I can not. I can not. I, as you know, am definitely familiar with Cezanne’s work and am a fan of Cezanne’s work, but Cezanne plus Chewy? I’m confused.

Dan Gingiss (02:52):
Well, it turns out that Chewy sends out more than a thousand hand-painted portraits of its’ customers pets every week… just as a surprise to say, thank you. Now, not surprisingly, the pictures have become social media gold. As many of the lucky recipients post them online for their friends and followers to fawn over. And one customer even told the Sun Times, quote, “I just want to buy everything from them. They’re a big company. I was shocked that they did something so personal.”

Joey Coleman (03:25):
Oh, I love it. I love this story. I love this behavior by Chewy. I love the personalization. But most importantly, I want to go back to that quote from the article. “I just want to buy everything from them. They’re a big company. I was shocked they did something so personal.” There’s two pieces of this puzzle friends: if you create remarkable customer experiences, your customers will want to do business with you again, and again, and again, and again. And the bigger you are, the less they expect something personal. Or if you’re in an industry that is not notoriously known for personal interactions and you do something personal, it is going to shock and all them, this is definitely, you know, while I get that, not everybody who’s listening is going to start sending, you know, hand painted portraits of their customers’ pets to them, there is a variation on this theme in every listener’s business.

Dan Gingiss (04:25):
Well, and I would go so far as to say that being big is not an excuse for not trying this.

Joey Coleman (04:31):
Totally! Totally!

Dan Gingiss (04:33):
And so look, they don’t send it to every customer and that’s okay. They’re sending it to a lot of customers, but just because they’re big doesn’t mean that they can’t make something like this happen, and operationalize it, and scale it. Now, they’re a little bit secretive about how they select which pets they feature. You can’t purchase the portraits – even if you ask really nicely to customer service, they’ll say no. The article says that Chewy works with hundreds of artists around the country who create them based on customer photographs. So obviously there’s some process in which customers have to send or upload a photograph of their pet,

Joey Coleman (05:09):
But this is also a great way by the way, to, you know, give back for them too, for lack of a better way of putting it for chewy to support some local artists as well. I mean, hundreds of local artists, it sounds like.

Dan Gingiss (05:21):
Absolutely for sure. And one of the most interesting parts for me of this article was there was a big discussion about how well chewy is doing as a company. And let me just give you some stats. The company has become the number two in the pet supplies industry with a 34% market share. Now, Amazon is first at 50% – and it’s benefited from two different pandemic trends. The first is that people are staying home and not venturing out to big box retailers and people are adopting new pets at a record pace. In fact, Chewy added 5 million new customers in 2020 and its stock price tripled. So anybody that asks you does customer experience pay off? Is there an ROI to customer experience? Here’s perhaps the only company that we featured on three different segments on a customer experience show and look at how well their business is doing. So this stuff works now, is it cheap? No – they’re paying artists, they’re shipping out these portraits. It’s some money. There’s no question they’re investing in this, but look, what happens. These customers get the portraits. They feel so great about chewy. They want to go share it with their friends and followers on social media, which of course is basically doing Chewy’s marketing for the company, right? So this is marketing dollars that is much better spent in my opinion than buying a Facebook ad or sending out yet another email campaign.

Joey Coleman (06:58):
Absolutely. And Dan, I guarantee that the folks at Chewy that are responsible for coordinating these paintings are having fun to. Talk about a fantastically unexpected moment of surprise and delight for the customer… But I would imagine, you know, getting the art back from the artist and seeing the paintings and seeing the photographs of those and knowing when the customer receives them, how happy they’re going to be. And then seeing the posts on social media, this kind of gets back into that whole thing we talked about in our last episode, this idea of your culture being part of the customer experience. They create better experiences for the customers, which by default create better experiences for the employees, and these things have a tendency to feed in a fulfilling.

Dan Gingiss (07:43):
And another thing I would add here is I know some listeners are saying, okay, that’s great, but Julia is a pet supplies company. So of course they’re going to do portraits of their pets. But I think almost every company has an opportunity to do something personalized for their customers. So let’s say that you’re a B2B software company, right? Couldn’t be any farther away from a retail pet supplies company. But you know, what’s been happening over the last year. You’ve been on more zoom calls with people and you know, what’s been happening during those zoom calls. People’s pets come into the picture, their dogs, their cats, they’re all over the place. So you actually know that your clients have pets. Now, you don’t have to send them a portrait, but can you imagine what would happen if one of your clients received a bag of treats in the mail from you for their pet, the way that people think about their pets as family members that is going to go a really long way with people. We also know a lot more about people’s kids and spouses and everybody else has been running over and running through the picture in the last year. And I think that’s a good thing because it adds a level of familiarity between people that wasn’t there before, even between colleagues at the same company that wasn’t there before. And I think that we can leverage this as businesses because the more that we know about people, the better we can connect with them. I just had a call the other day with somebody where I was doing sort of them the favor, right. They called on me for some advice and help, and I met with him for half an hour. And the next thing I knew, I got a package in the mail from Amazon and it was a t-shirt that had a pinball machine on it that said “Pinball Wizard!

Joey Coleman (09:22):
Oh, nice. Right to Dan’s heart ladies and gentlemen.

Dan Gingiss (09:25):
He knew that that’s something that I loved. We didn’t even talk about pinball!

Joey Coleman (09:28):
Chicago Cubs, pinball wizard, pinball games, board games, and I don’t know… imperfect produce! Those are like four high listing, uh, loves of Dan Gingiss, ladies and gentlemen.

Dan Gingiss (09:42):
And what I thought was great was that we didn’t even talk about it. You know, he saw that somewhere online. He learned that about me, it’s in one of my bios or whatever. And man, I mean, how much better is that than just sending something random or not sending anything at all.

Joey Coleman (09:57):
Or sending something with your logo on it. I mean, at the end of the day, friends, this far into the pandemic, if you aren’t creating personal connections with the people that you are literally seeing into their homes, again, whether that’s your clients, your customers, your colleagues, your coworkers, you’re missing a huge opportunity. And if you don’t want to go so far as to order them a gift or a present, what about just asking them a question, being on the Zoom call with them and saying, Hey, that looks like a really interesting piece of art behind you. What is that? Or where did you get that? Or, Hey, is that a photograph I see on your desk? Who’s in the photograph or was that a streaker that just ran by? Oh, that was your three-year-old. Oh, well, do we need to end the call? You know, there’s any number of ways that we can engage in a personal way to bring a little more humanity back to our discussions. You know, one of the things I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about over the course of the last year and is going to be a subject of a future book is this idea that we talk about customer experience and we talk about employee experience, but at the end of the day, isn’t it really all just human experience. And the more we lean into the human experience, I think the better interactions, the better reactions, the better situations, the better scenarios we’ll be able to create, not only for the people we interact with, but for ourselves as well.

Joey Coleman (11:25):
We’re excited to give you an overview of an important book you should know about – as well as share some of our favorite passages – as part of our next Book Report.

Dan Gingiss (11:41):
Today’s book report is “The Zero In Formula: The Definitive Guide to Building a Disruptive and Sustainable Business Through Customer Centric Innovation” by author Dennis Geelen. The book is brand new, just released in 2021, and starts with an important question: can a business be disruption proof? A pandemic reveals the answers. There are also lots of case studies, including from Coca Cola, Goodwill, and Kodak. And it also contains a self-assessment tool that helps companies rate their effectiveness when it comes to customer centric and innovative strategies, tools, and practices. Now, as always, we ask the authors to summarize the book for us. So here’s Dennis Geelen describing the Zero In Formula, in his own words:

Dennis Geelen (12:31):
The Zero In Formula was written specifically for business owners and leaders. Whether you’re looking to start a new company or you’ve been in business for several years, I believe that all organizations larger, small in all industries face two major challenges that eventually decide their longterm fate. And that’s the problem of indifference. So why is that two challenges? Because the indifference can either be external. Your customers are internal, your team members. You end up with indifferent customers when there’s no compelling reason to purchase your product or service, rather than your competitors. Internally, many businesses end up with indifferent employees who are complacent because they’re just not passionate about coming to work each day, the company has no compelling purpose or direction, or the culture is either too rigid or too stale. The Zero In Formula is a guidebook to help leaders win the battle against indifference by laying out a framework for a customer centric and innovative company. When your business is truly customer centric, you are intentional about having proper strategies and tools in place to know your customers and building your company around, serving them and giving them the ultimate customer experience. An innovative organization is one where new ideas for products and services and experiences and processes that better serve your customers, don’t happen by accident. Innovative companies understand the principles and practices required to cultivate a culture of collaborative teamwork, focused on finding new and better ways of doing things. The book is full of tools, templates, and strategies that any leader can apply to their own business or team. And it’s chocked full of examples and stories from businesses and leaders around the globe. That’s going to help the reader relate and resonate. My consulting practice is called Zero In, and this book and feels the formula that I use when working with my business clients, allowing you to harness these proven tactics in your company, to become a customer centric and innovative as possible and set your business up for longterm success.

Joey Coleman (14:37):
I think the call-out about indifference emerging from both external and internal forces is spot on. We know that happy employees equal happy customers, but the word indifference is so powerful because that’s when people decide to leave a company when they don’t care. You know, it’s interesting. I remember in school being asked the question like in junior high, what is the opposite of love? And a lot of kids in the class thought, and myself included at first, the opposite of love was hate. When the reality is the opposite of love is indifference. It’s that you actually don’t care at all. And I think that is so true and so often people are, you know, worried about who the haters are, is our friend Jay Baer would say, when the reality is we need to pay more attention to things we’re doing that are creating moments of indifference. You know, on every book report, we love having the author pick their favorite passage as well. And so enjoy while Dennis reads his favorite section from the book:

Dennis Geelen (15:43):
The story of Greg Meade, Chris Mead, Mike Del Papa, and their company CrossNet is one of just over 627,000 new businesses starting up in the U S each year. New technologies, new ways of communicating, connecting, and selling means more products, more services, and more business models to meet newfound needs. It’s easier now to start up a business than in any era in the past, the internet provides access to the tools and resources. You need to understand how to start a business at your fingertips. If capital is required, there’s venture capitalists and angel investors looking to help finance the next big business idea. Stats for the U.S. show that there are over 30 million small businesses in the country alone making up 99.9% of all U.S. businesses. Starting a company is easy, but just starting is not the goal studies show. 20% of new businesses fail during the first two years, 45% fail in the first five years and 65% in the first 10 years, only 25% of businesses survive 15 years or more. Why? What mistakes are businesses making? If there’s more demands, if it’s easier to market and sell to people around the world. And if the, if you have the information and resources required to start a business, what’s the problem? To put it simply, with more businesses, there’s more competition. Will CrossNet be a long-term successful game, product and company, for sure, off to a terrific start, but many opportunities and challenges lie ahead for the young entrepreneurs. How will they face those challenges? Time will be the ultimate judge, but as you will see in this chapter, CrossNet has a big leg up on other businesses by deciding to build theirs on a proper foundation, you know,

Dan Gingiss (17:35):
Like to share my favorite passage from the book as well, and then give Joey a chance to do so. For me, it was a setup in the introduction that called out two reasons why so many companies fail and here they are: “(1) they lose sight of the purpose behind why they started after some success. The focus turns to maximizing quarterly revenues, finding efficiencies for standardizing their processes. There are no longer the customer centric and innovative company that they were in the beginning. (2) They’re not flexible and adaptable to handle major challenges that come their way and economic downturn, a new player in the industry, a change in customer habits will disrupt their business model. They’re too rigid or stubborn to adapt and customers end up leaving.

Joey Coleman (18:31):
Oh, if there’s anything that the last year has taught, hopefully every business on the planet, is the importance of adaptability friends. I can’t imagine that your business today has the exact same service offerings and exact same product offerings, delivered in the same way that it did a year ago. And it’s so funny because pre-pandemic, I think this concept of adapting was something that was, you know, regularly thrown around. Well, either adapter become extinct. And, you know, it was kind of a trope that was used in a lot of different business books and business discussions. But I think every business has had to do that and has realized that we probably weren’t as flexible as we had believed that we were. My favorite quote is as follows: “If after collecting data surveying and talking to your customers, you are still not able to understand the emotions they feel and subsequently empathize with them, I highly suggest you put yourself in their shoes. There’s credence to the old saying, “do not judge a man until you walk a mile in his shoes” and “do unto others, as you would have them do onto you.” Ultimately, if you are able to know exactly what your customers are feeling that caused them to want, or need your products or services, how it makes them feel when your product or services provide the value they need, how it feels when your products or services do not provide the value they require, then you are now set up to do something about it and serve them the way you would want to be served the best way to understand how your customers feel is to experience and feel the same things yourself.

Dan Gingiss (20:16):
You know, I’m so glad you selected that passage, Joey, because I’m often asked what’s one tip that you can give to companies if they need to start thinking about customer experience or to really change how they’re doing things. And my tip is always become a customer of your own company. It is unbelievable to me how many companies there are, where the executives, the employees, are not customers of their own companies. So they have no idea what customers actually go through.

Joey Coleman (20:49):
Or if they are customers, Dan, they get the special VIP helpline. They don’t have to call into the main call center. They get to, you know, have a private, “immediately picked up” solution to all of their tech problems.

Dan Gingiss (21:03):
They’ve got the Bat Phone on their desk. Right?

Joey Coleman (21:05):
Exactly. Exactly.

Dan Gingiss (21:06):
And yeah. And so that’s not understanding how customers experience you either. And I’ll tell you another thing is if you sit through call listening in a, in a contact center, you’ll be amazed when you hear the customer’s own voice talk about doing business with you. It is eye-opening, it’s humbling and you’ll learn what you’re doing well and what you’re not. And so I think this is so key to get into your customer’s shoes and either become a customer or, you know, in some businesses, it may be impossible for you to do that. You’ve got to saddle up next to an existing customer and have them walk you through what it’s like. Or you’ve got to listen in your call center and hear what people have to say. So I thought this was a really great book to kick off 2021. This idea of avoiding indifference with your employees and your customers is so important. And the idea of understanding the experience from your customer’s eyes, all terrific tips. We encourage you to pick up the Zero In Formula: The Definitive Guide to Building a Disruptive and Sustainable Business Through Customer Centric Innovation” by Dennis Geelen, wherever fine books are sold.

Joey Coleman (22:22):
Almost everyone has interacted with chatbots, but all too often, it’s been a bad experience. In MythBusters – presented by Solvvy – we explore a common myth about CX chatbots and see how the right technology can create a positive experience, every time.

Dan Gingiss (22:47):
Today’s myth about chatbots? they’re designed to replace your support team. Many people think that adding a chat bot means you’ll no longer need live agent support. That support seems there’ll be downsize and that personalization and the high quality of support will inevitably suffer.

Joey Coleman (23:05):
Now while people worry all about the replacement of the support team, the reality is that modern chat bots effectively supplement your team. They don’t replace it. You will always need agents for your VIP customers and for your extremely complex issues. That being said, we can all agree that it’s no fun answering basic, repetitive questions all day long things like password resets, or collecting basic information so that you can find a customer’s account.

Dan Gingiss (23:36):
Chatbots can be invaluable in helping your team to scale during surges and activity, holidays, system outages, and other situations. Modern chatbots are also able to collect some info about a customer’s issue and pass that along to an agent to help speed up resolution time.

Joey Coleman (23:54):
I liked it because while I’m okay with the chat bot, answering a simple question. When I want to talk to a human, I want to talk to a human. We’ll learn more about advances in chat bot and support automation throughout the season.

Dan Gingiss (24:08):
That’s another myth busted – thanks to our friends at Solvvy – the Next Gen Chatbot.

Joey Coleman (24:13):
With a pandemic, sweeping the globe and shifting the way organizations interact with their customers. Many of the old ways of operating just don’t work anymore. As we all navigate a COVID-19 world, it’s time to Redesign the Experience.

Dan Gingiss (24:34):
You may remember way back in episode 46, that we talked about Sipsmith gin and its ingenious pop-up experience to get people, to taste their product in a new way.

Joey Coleman (24:45):
Which I always thought was funny because we’re going to be drinking gin and trying to say Sipsmith gin, Sipsmith gin.

Dan Gingiss (24:53):
Exactly. Keep sipping away! There was the impeccably dressed bartender, the choice of several tonic flavors, the garnish bar with more than a dozen options. And then the personalized name tag that each taster created and of course shared their creation on social media. I love that example so much that I’ve included it in my keynote presentations, and it’ll be in my new book coming out this year (but more on that in a future episode) – anyway, live tastings aren’t exactly popular right now due to the pandemic. So alcohol companies have had to adapt. And one fascinating trend is the return of the 50 milliliter mini bottle.

Joey Coleman (25:32):
Wait, you mean like the ones they have on airplanes or in the hotel minibar?

Dan Gingiss (25:37):
Yes, my world traveling friend, you are correct. And don’t worry. I know that you don’t drink alcohol, but there is something for you in this segment too, if you will just bear with me.

Joey Coleman (25:48):
All right. I’ll hang in there!

Dan Gingiss (25:50):
Many craft distillers have started producing more mini bottles due to tasting room closures and canceled events. As Scott Harris, co-founder of Catoctin Creek Distilling Company, told Whiskey Advocate magazine quote “Store tastings have stopped completely nationwide and without tastings, there is no easy way to get customers to try our products before committing to a larger 750 milliliter purchase.” Not surprisingly whiskey advocate focused on whiskey, examples of the trend, and they range from a $2 Bushmills Red Bush Irish whiskey to a $20 Johnny Walker Blue Label, even coveted single malts have gotten into the game. And one distiller compass box saw success packaging for different mini bottles into a set, essentially a tasting a box. This is a trend that is likely to continue because it gives people the ability to try before they buy any much lower cost. And importantly, just to Sipsmith figured out in a way that they would more typically consume the drink versus a plastic cup shot in the grocery.

Joey Coleman (27:01):
You know, I really liked this idea, Dan, because not only does it give you a little bit of a sampler, but it’s a much better experience for the brand, right? And those little bottles, they’re kind of fun. And, you know, I know from our mutual friend, Rohit Bhargava, there’s actually a mini liquor bottle museum in Scandinavia. Like these are fun, little design pieces. Uh, and I liked the idea that they’re, they’re pivoting and they’re adapting to this new world they’re in and creating something that, you know, consumers will get a chance to try it, you know, before they buy it or make a smaller investment to try it. But I got to admit, I’m a little curious, I mean, while this is interesting, you had mentioned there was a specific part of the story that you said I’d be excited about.

Dan Gingiss (27:43):
Well, actually it’s about a different pandemic trend related to alcohol, and that is that people are drinking more at home. And so there is a newfound demand for, are you ready for it? Non-alcoholic beer.

Joey Coleman (28:00):
Haha! Like, O’Douls and stuff like that?

Dan Gingiss (28:03):
Actually, specifically not like, O’Douls. It’s the craft breweries that are now getting into the game, creating Brown ales, wheat beers, IPA’s coffee, stouts, and even Oktoberfest varieties all without alcohol. Now this follows the success of a very big brand Heineken debuting it’s Heineken 0.0 product in 2019, which quickly became the number one selling non-alcoholic beer in the United States, knocking out your friends at O’Douls by the way. Now, according to the Chicago Tribune, non-alcoholic beer sales were up 38% in 2020. And although it still only represents one half of 1% of the entire beer industry, NAs are sprouting up everywhere and industry observers think that this trend has legs.

Joey Coleman (28:53):
Well, Dan, I am definitely interested in this one. I have not been a consumer of alcohol for wow. Probably close to we’re fast approaching 20 years now, more than 20 years now that I think about it. But what I love about this pivot or this kind of additional offering to the marketplace is, there are so many scenarios where I find myself at a bar or at a happy hour, obviously pre-pandemic and I’m sure this will come back post pandemic where there’s really nothing that I’m excited to order. You know, uh, as our listeners know, I’m a root beer fan. If there’s a root beer, I’m feeling good. If there isn’t a root beer, my default is usually a 7-Up or Sprite and grenadine, which is effectually known in most circles as a Shirley Temple, but it sounds more manly when I order it.

Dan Gingiss (29:48):
Or a kiddie cocktail!

Joey Coleman (29:48):
I like the idea of being able to have different options that, you know, maybe give more of a beer vibe or more importantly, kind of a beer look, because I know that’s important for some people when they’re out networking, they want to have a look as if they’re drinking a beer along with it. So I think this is an interesting, uh, an interesting trend to say the least.

Dan Gingiss (30:09):
Well, and also, I mean, you’re not the only person I know who doesn’t drink or who has stopped drinking alcohol. And there is often this residual desire for the, for the taste of it without the effect of the alcohol. And I think that what’s long been the case, is that NA beers have been a somewhat poor substitute that it just doesn’t, you know, it doesn’t have the bite or it doesn’t have the flavor or whatever. And when I started reading this list of like brown ales and coffee stouts and stuff like that, I think that sounds terrific and, and even as a person who is fine having a beer with alcohol in it, I would be more inclined in certain situations to order the non-alcoholic variety, because now I’ve got something to choose from that actually is interesting.

Joey Coleman (30:59):
Well, and you buy into the marketing, right? And the branding. And I’m not saying that as a, as a bad thing, right? Why do most people choose the products or the services they choose? There’s a heavy influence of branding. And I agree with you, it sounds a lot better to get, you know, a wheat beer or a coffee stout than what I often heard talked about in the bars. I didn’t say this, but, you know, an “O’Don’ts” as opposed to “O’Douls.” Right? And so I think there’s certainly space in the market for these type of offerings.

Dan Gingiss (31:28):
Yeah. And I think, again, the summary here is I thought, I mean, within the span of a week or so, I saw two articles about these two different trends in two different publications. And, you know, the miniature bottle thing is really interesting because companies are having trouble getting people to taste. And when you buy a 750 milliliter bottle, you’re usually forking out, you know, 30, 40, 50, 70, $90. And so people want to taste it before they buy it, which makes sense and they don’t have an avenue to do that. With the non-alcoholic beer piece, you have other parts of the pandemic that have affected this trend. People are drinking more at home and they’re realizing, Hey, I probably should cut back. And also, you know, people are looking for different things and this gives a new choice if you will, uh, to somebody who maybe wants a non-alcoholic option and doesn’t have to succumb to the Shirley temple or the orange juice or whatever it’s going to be. So I thought both of these were really interesting trends that have appeared because of the pandemic, but trends that demonstrate that pandemic era pivots may just create the next big thing. And even if not, are probably here to stay.

Joey Coleman (32:51):
Thanks for joining us for another episode of Experience This! You are the best listener ever!

Dan Gingiss (32:57):
And since you listened to the whole show…

Joey Coleman (32:59):
Yay, you!

Dan Gingiss (33:00):
We’re curious… Was there a specific part of this episode that you enjoyed the most? If so, it would mean the world to us if you could share it with a coworker, a friend, or someone that just loves listening to podcasts!

Joey Coleman (33:11):
And while you’re in the sharing mood, if you felt inclined to jump over to iTunes or wherever you find your podcasts and write us a review, we would so appreciate it. And when you do, don’t forget to let us know as we might have a little surprise for you!

Dan Gingiss (33:26):
Thanks again for your time and we’ll see you next week for more…

Joey Coleman (33:29):
Experience!

Dan Gingiss (33:29):
This!

Episode 118 – I’ll Believe It When I See It

Join us as we discuss encouraging your customers to do business with your competitors, using visuals to connect at every step in the customer journey, and watching how brands behave when they don’t know they are being watched.

Valuing, Videoing, and Voyeuring – Oh My!

[Redesign the Experience] Burger King Wants You to Order a Big Mac

Things We Mentioned in This Segment:

• “Burger King urges customers to order food from McDonald’s, Subway and KFC instead” – Gloucestershire Live Website
• Burger King UK
McDonalds UK
Discover
Humana

[Book Report] The Visual Sale by Marcus Sheridan and Tyler Lessard

Things We Mentioned in This Segment:

• Marcus Sheridan
• The Visual Sale: How to Use Video to Explode Sales, Drive Marketing, and Grow Your Business in a Virtual World – by Marcus Sheridan and Tyler Lassard
• Tyler Lessard
• They Ask, You Answer – by Marcus Sheridan

[Partnership with Avtex] Neen James, Shep Hyken, and Rohit Bhargava – Three of a Kind!

Things We Mentioned in This Segment:

• Experience Points – presented by Avtex
• Neen James
• Shep Hyken
• Rohit Bhargava
• Jay Baer
• Scott McKain
• Marquessa Pettway
• Amanda Kwok
• Jesse Cole

[This Just Happened] What to Do When Your Customers Are Watching You?!

• Kind Delivery Driver Shovels Snow (captured on Ring)
• FedEx
• UPS
• US Postal Service (USPS)
• Ring – doorbell camera
• Delivery Driver Dance on TikTok
• Amazon

Host Contact Information

Email Dan: Dan@dangingiss.com

Tweet Dan Gingiss: @DGingiss

Email Joey: JoeyC@JoeyColeman.com

DanGingiss.com

JoeyColeman.com

Subscribe to Experience This on Apple Podcasts

Episode Transcript

Download an unedited transcript of Episode 118 here or read it below:

[SHOW INTRO]
Dan Gingiss (00:05):
Welcome to Experience This!

Joey Coleman (00:08):
Where you’ll find inspiring examples of customer experience, great stories of customer service, and tips on how to make your customers love you even more!

Dan Gingiss (00:17):
Always upbeat and definitely entertaining customer attention expert, Joey Coleman.

Joey Coleman (00:23):
and social media expert, Dan Gingiss, serve as your host for a weekly dose of positive customer experience.

Dan Gingiss (00:31):
So hold on to your headphones, it’s time to Experience This!

[EPISODE 118 INTRO]
Joey Coleman (00:38):
Get ready for another episode of the Experience This! Show!

Dan Gingiss (00:44):
Join us as we discuss: encouraging your customers to do business with your competitors, using visuals to connect at every step in the customer journey, and watching how brands behave when they don’t know they’re being watched.

Joey Coleman (01:00):
Valuing, videoing, and voyeuring – oh my!

[SEGMENT INTRO – REDESIGN THE EXPERIENCE]
Joey Coleman (01:08):
With a pandemic, sweeping the globe and shifting the way organizations interact with their customers. Many of the old ways of operating just don’t work anymore. As we all navigate a COVID 19 world, it’s time to Redesign the Experience

[REDESIGN THE EXPERIENCE][Burger King Wants You to Eat a Big Mac]
Joey Coleman (01:27):
Through years of eating at restaurants, taking advantage of the drive-thru when I was on a road trip, or even just indulging myself with takeout on a night that I didn’t feel I had the time – or the desire – to cook dinner, I saw something the other day that not only stopped me in my tracks, but I thought that you would find it particularly interesting Dan, due to your past career with McDonald’s.

Dan Gingiss (01:50):
Well, you definitely have my attention, sir. What did you see this time?

Joey Coleman (01:56):
Well, I came across an article on the Gloucestershire Live website.

Dan Gingiss (02:04):
Woah!

Joey Coleman (02:04):
I wondered if I could catch you with that one!

Dan Gingiss (02:06):
The Gloucestershire Live website? Pray tell what is that?

Joey Coleman (02:11):
Yeah. So basically it came up in my newsfeed and I clicked through to read the story, and I must confess I’m not a regular reader of the Gloucestershire website. And I think I’m saying that properly, so correct me if I’m wrong our friends in the UK, but the story I saw was about a statement released by Burger King in the United Kingdom, on the Eve of their most recent lockdown due to COVID-19. And the statement read as follows that I’m directly quoting their release:

Joey Coleman (02:39):
“Order from McDonald’s. We never thought we’d be asking you to do this. Just like we never thought we’d be encouraging you to order from KFC, Subway, Domino’s Pizza, Pizza Hut, Five Guys, Greg’s, Taco Bell, Papa John’s, Leon, or any of the other independent food outlets, too numerous to mention here. In short, from any of our sister food chains – fast, or not so fast. We never thought we’d be asking you to do this, but restaurants, employing thousands of staff really need your support at this moment. So if you want to help, keep treating yourself to tasty meals through home delivery, takeaway, or drive through. Getting a Whopper is always best, but ordering a Big Mac is also not such a bad thing. Take care. Team Burger King, UK.

Dan Gingiss (03:32):
Wow man. I got, like, a tear in my eye.

Joey Coleman (03:36):
I mean, talk about in the world of press releases. Like how many press releases are written every day that no one reads because they are boring and drivel, and just, you know, feel like they were written by a robot that had zero empathy. But this one, I was like, wow, this is it. That’s pulling the heart. You know, “all the feels” as the kids say, right? Yeah.

Dan Gingiss (03:58):
Well, and this was also posted in social media all over the place, uh, went viral and uh, I actually not only saw the original post, but they ended up adding more of their local competitors in a comment underneath it because I think some people responded and they said, Hey, don’t forget about this one or this one. And they started naming all these hamburger places I’ve never heard of before. But so I’m just assuming that they’re UK places. But I think obviously the sentiment is really cool. I, one of the things that I learned at McDonald’s it’s the first and only time that I worked for a leader brand L E a D E R brand, as opposed to a follower brand, you know, Discover, Humana there. Those are follower brands that are not the largest in their market. And the thing is, is that basically when you’re the leader brand, it actually tends to limit your flexibility in terms of doing creative things like this, because everyone’s chasing you and waiting for you to make a mistake. And so what ended up happening certainly at McDonald’s was it, there was just this very conservative protectionism of the brand that they would have never done something like this. Whereas

Joey Coleman (05:11):
Yeah, I think it’s, it’s hard to be creative if you, when you’re the 900 pound gorilla in the room.

Dan Gingiss (05:17):
Yeah. And I think burger King, what’s cool about this is what do they have to lose to do this? I mean, it’s certainly ambitious. It’s different unique. It got people talking. And my hope for them is that it lifted their brand. I mean, that’s the, as the marketer in me, that’s the only thing I would worry about is like, man, you just listed every one of your competitors. Let’s make sure people remember that this is a Burger King ad, but from all the press this got, I think they did.

Joey Coleman (05:44):
Absolutely. And here’s the thing your customers know who your competitors are. Okay. Burger King, like Burger King, doesn’t really need to worry about, geez, we listed Papa John’s in that press release. I everybody’s got, they already knew Papa John’s existed. Right. And so I think this idea of acknowledging the reality is really important. I know we’ve talked about it in past episodes, but it’s like if you go into a store and you’re traveling and you’re like, Hey, I need to get a, a car adapter for my phone or a car charger for my phone. And they’re like, Oh, we don’t have that in this store. When I say, “well, do you know anywhere nearby that might have one?” it doesn’t hurt your brand to be honest and say, actually, there’s another, you know, cell phone store, two blocks away that might, it helps your brand because you’ve helped me solve a problem. And I think the reality here is the folks at Team Burger King in the UK have realized that they have a huge problem. And the huge problem may have is people are not eating out anymore. They are not going to restaurants. And a lot of people are scared to even do take out or drive through at the restaurants. And so by saying, Hey, whether it’s us or at one of our competitors, we kind of don’t care. Just keep going to restaurants because they want to condition the behavior. What we’re already seeing across a lot of different industries is that the COVID 19 pandemic experience is changing behaviors, at a human level, much faster than we’ve ever experienced before. I mean, you have plenty of people in the medical world that would have told you that telemedicine was 20 years away. Well, not until 2020, because now it’s right now, everybody wants telemedicine. You had plenty of people in the education world saying, well, there’s no way we could do virtual schooling for elementary school students. And yet almost every school in the United States, and in many countries around the world, has at least experimented with some level of virtual schooling over the course of the last few months. And so I think the reality is when your category is suffering, when your entire part in the marketplace is suffering, you know, drastic times call for drastic measures.

Dan Gingiss (08:04):
Well, yeah and also I would say that more generally and not pandemic specific is burger King understands that just because someone is a burger King customer, does it mean that burger King is the only restaurant that they ever go-to ever? I mean, in fact, most of the time, that’s not true. I remember, uh, I think we may have talked about this once before, but I, uh, I had an ill-fated experience of buying a restaurant franchise that never ended up opening. [inaudible]

Joey Coleman (08:37):
I don’t think I’ve ever heard this story, ladies and gentlemen, we’ll put a pin in this for next season. This is brand new to me. Right?

Dan Gingiss (08:45):
In any event, one of the goals that I had, this was in downtown Chicago ,was just getting onto people’s rotations because you have all these people that work in the city and they go out to lunch day and I knew they weren’t going to come to my place every day. I couldn’t expect them to come five days a week, but man, if I could get them once a week, that was huge because, and then the next day they’re going to go to my competitor. And the day after that, they’re going to go to a different competitor. But if I could get them once a week, that would make my business. So burger King understands that. And like you said, they understand that it’s not like we’re sharing some secret that McDonald’s is our competitor. Like people already know that.

Joey Coleman (09:22):
Absolutely. And I think at the end of the day, what we need more of in business is the acknowledgement of the reality. Let’s stop pretending that the customer is just foolish, that they’re just blind to the realities of life. You know, your customer is shopping at your competitors as well. I don’t care what industry you’re in. I don’t care what brand you’re is. They have sampled the goods elsewhere. Okay. Now they’ve decided to come with you, but to your point in the restaurant industry, they’re not coming every day and that’s okay. You probably don’t want them coming to your restaurant every day, right? That’s a different subset of customer that you have to,

Dan Gingiss (10:02):
They made a movie about that, where the guy went to McDonald’s every day didn’t turn out very well for him, not so well. So,

Joey Coleman (10:07):
Well, I think at the end of the day, we need to realize that getting our customers to make purchases in our category is almost as important as getting them to make purchases from us. Or at least it’s a close second. And I think the other thing that we want to recognize is that the times are changing. And if you don’t start to acknowledge that reality, you’re missing the point. So what can we learn from this story and Burger King UK encouraging their customers to, Oh, give money to the competition? Well, we can learn this COVID-19 has caused incredible stress in the lives of people around the world, from our health to our habits, the massive changes we’ve experienced over the last nine to 10 months have impacted all of us in obvious and not so obvious ways. And the reality is that dozens of industries are struggling, not just individual businesses, I’m talking about entire industries. And when an industry is struggling as is the case with the restaurant industry, for example, it’s not about saving a specific location, or a specific store, specific branch, we all need to think broader about what we can do to save an entire industry. By doing something small, like picking up takeout or spreading the love across several different restaurants, instead of just your signature, favorite place to eat, we can all play a role in keeping things moving forward. So consider what you’re going to do to help your industry navigate this pandemic era, consider what you’re going to do to help grow your industry, not just your specific business. And as you think about your meal planning over the holidays, consider picking up some takeout from your favorite restaurant and bring it home to your family. Not only will you feed your loved ones in a safe and healthy way, but you’ll contribute to feeding those restaurant employees. And in fact, the entire restaurant industry with your patronage.

[SEGMENT INTRO – BOOK REPORT]
Joey Coleman (12:10):
We’re excited to give you an overview of an important book you should know about as well as share some of our favorite passages as part of our next Book Report.

[BOOK REPORT][The Visual Sale by Marcus Sheridan and Tyler Lessard]
Joey Coleman (12:22):
Dan, as we wrap up 2020 and think about the future of customer communications, do you think businesses and organizations will need to use more or less video?

Dan Gingiss (12:34):
Well, you know, it pains me to say this, but I do believe that the answer is obviously more and it pains me because, uh, I radically for a guy that loves podcasting, and loves being on stage, I’m still not very comfortable on video. And you know, my mom will tell you, even as a kid, I never liked my picture getting taken. And it’s still not very comfortable for me, but I do think for companies and for brands, it’s a must-have.

Joey Coleman (13:01):
Yeah. And I didn’t think for a minute that Mrs. Gingiss was going to say you had a face for radio. Okay. So don’t worry. I was not thinking that!

Dan Gingiss (13:09):
I’m sure you weren’t thinking that ever!

Joey Coleman (13:11):
I appreciate that. And I think it’s one of those things where it’s kind of like flossing, everybody knows they should be doing it, but that step of getting from not doing it to starting to doing it, to doing it regularly, feels like a big leap for…

Dan Gingiss (13:25):
Doing it well…

Joey Coleman (13:26):
and doing it well, right.

Dan Gingiss (13:28):
Because even regularly doesn’t necessarily get you there.

Joey Coleman (13:30):
Totally, totally. Which is why I’m super excited to share the newest book by our mutual friend, Marcus Sheridan, as part of this episode’s Book Report.

Dan Gingiss (13:42):
Okay. So you and I both love Marcus. Can’t say enough about him. I joke with him that I’ve sold more copies of his book. They ask you answer than of my own books because I’ve recommended it and bought it for so many people. And he is also, and I say this with great respect, even to you, my friend, Joey, cause you know, I’ve heard this before. I’ve said this before he is my single favorite speaker, the closing keynote that he did at Social Media Marketing World. And I think 2017 was still to this day, the best keynote I’ve ever seen. And that’s saying a lot, I’ve been, I’ve been to a lot of keynotes.

Joey Coleman (14:23):
I totally, I totally agree with you. World-class I have, I was not in the room for that keynote. And I’ve heard about that keynote from dozens of people. Yeah. Marcus is a gem. When Marcus talks you should listen, which is ironic because our loyal listeners will remember. We shared Marcus’ work before, when we talked about his first book, They Ask, You Answer.

Dan Gingiss (14:45):
And that of course would be back all the way in season one, episode four, for those keeping score at home.

Joey Coleman (14:52):
Well, you really had to go back into the archives for that one rain man. I love it. Well, yes, it has been a while since we’ve shared, Marcus’ writing with our listeners, but frankly, any time Marcus put something down on paper, I want to read it. And so when he published this new book, I was all over it. In fact, I pre-ordered my copy of the book before it was even published. So I could dive in the day it was released. And I devoured this book. The book is titled, “The Visual Sale: How to Use Video to Explode Sales, Drive Marketing, and Grow Your Business in a Virtual World. Now I realize it’s a bit of a brain twister to think about reading a book about videos, but the reality is most business owners. I talk to know that they need to be doing more with video, but they aren’t exactly sure how to create a culture of video within their organization, which is why I absolutely love Marcus’s message. Now, before I steal too much of his thunder, here’s Marcus giving us an overview of his new book.

Marcus Sheridan (15:54):
I am Marcus Sheridan, one of the authors of the book, along with Tyler Lasara and here’s the thing my friends we know at this point, at least certainly most of us that as organizations and businesses, if we want to be successful in 2021 and beyond, we must show it. Can’t just tell it. We’ve got to show it. So we’ve got all these companies around the world that are looking to create a culture of video and do video and be more effective with video. And the thing about it is there’s a lot of books out there that talk about how you can be a blogger and how you can build your brand with video, but they don’t speak to businesses and organizations. And certainly they don’t come from a perspective of sales first marketing second. And that’s one of the big points to the book. We’re going to start with videos that actually get results. The types of videos, starting with sales, like videos that your sales team will truly get excited about integrating enter their sales process. And then of course the marketing videos, types of videos that are going to get you the most revolt results in terms of traffic leads and ultimately sales. We want to also show you in this work, other companies that have done this incredibly well. So we’re going to share with you multiple B to B and B to C case studies. So you can see yourself and these businesses realize that no, you’re not the exception that yes, video absolutely does apply to you regardless of what you sell B to B, B to C service, big, small, we’ve all got to get on this train that is video. And then finally, we’re going to look at in this work, how you can create a culture of video in house. And that’s such a big key because it’s one thing to outsource your video to another organization. It’s an entire different thing to in-source it, to produce your own content because the future of digital is going to be in house ownership of content. We also have a couple of bonus sections there about how to do more effective virtual events and virtual selling for your sales team, especially in a post COVID world. So if you’re looking to do amazing things with video and visual, make sure you check it out, The Visual Sale.

Dan Gingiss (18:48):
We can’t just tell it, we’ve got to show it. I love it when Marcus said that, because let’s be honest, seeing is believing. It’s always been that way. And video allows you to see the business or individual that you’re dealing with in a way that frankly, email or taxed or direct mail just can’t accomplish. And that’s why we said at the beginning here, that video is and is going to continue to be an important part of communications going forward for every business. And I think one of the things that maybe is not said here is what are we talking about video? We’re not talking about yet another television commercial. I remember very early days in Facebook, a company, you know, saying to me, Hey, we should put our TV commercials on Facebook. No, actually they didn’t want to see it on TV. Yeah. So what Marcus is talking about is genuine communication and he is, you know, the number one sales guy and, and teaching salespeople all over the world. And he’s talking about making a one-to-one connection with somebody through video, not a one-to-mass video type situation.

Joey Coleman (20:07):
Absolutely. And I think video, it just allows for such a richer narrative and a deeper narrative. And as you point out Dan, a more personalized narrative, it’s definitely the way businesses need to be moving and they need to be moving strategically that way. You know, this is one of those books that had me highlighting passage after passage to the point where I was almost like, Oh my gosh, am I going to highlight the entire book? But before we get into some of our favorite parts of the book, I think it’s only fair to let Marcus share the epiphany he had when it came to using videos to connect with customers. And he did it in an industry that let’s be honest, before Marcus, was not that well known for its use of video. Here’s what Marcus had to say:

Marcus Sheridan (20:55):
I used to be a pool guy. Wait a minute. What does a pool guy know about video? You see, for years, my job was cut and dry in ground swimming pool shoppers would call our company river pools and spas. Then in most cases I would make the long drive to their home with the intention to yes, sell them a swimming pool more often than not. When I would knock on the front door of a home for one of these calls, I’d hear a child’s voice in the background, yell at something to the effect of mom, dad, pool guys here. So that was me, just the pool guy, no name, no face just to knock on the door. But then one night after we had embraced the philosophy of what I now call the visual sale, everything changed. You see on that particular occasion, as I knocked on the door, I heard a child in the background say, mom, dad, the guy on the video is here. And eyebrow immediately raised the child, knew my face. It wasn’t just another pool guy. I was more than that, much more, but the story doesn’t stop there a year or so later at the end of my career as a swimming pool sales guy, I had another occasion when I walked up to her front door for a sales appointment and something absolutely magical happened. Mom, dad, Marcus from the video is here. I had a name, I had a face. They knew me. It was because of this experience. My eyes were opened to a definitive reality – the visual sale is real.

Dan Gingiss (22:33):
I love this concept of video creating a connection before you ever get to meet in person with your customer. And man, have we seen a lot of that in 2020, right? Where we’ve had to be virtual. And uh, and you know, I said before that I don’t love video. And it’s kind of funny to say that in 2020, because heck I’ve spent my whole darn year on video. And so have we all. And I think what we can take away from that is that we’re all probably better at this video stuff than we think we are. And we now know what it’s like to try to get to know someone and establish a connection and establish a relationship when you’re not in the same room with them. And we should be able to carry those learnings even into a future where hopefully not everything has to be virtual. So Joey, there were a lot of things that I liked about this book and it’s obviously chock full of tips and strategies and case studies for using video in marketing and sales activities. But that being said, I wanted to share a passage that is more specifically dealing with using video to create remarkable customer experiences after the sale. So from book, and I quote:

Dan Gingiss (23:47):
One of the easiest ways to delight customers is to use authentic video content, to break down the digital divide between the people within your respective organizations, the more familiar they are with the real people across your teams, the more connected they’ll feel to your brand. And the more likely they are to go to bat for you. If a customer has a dedicated account manager, chances are they’ve met them in person or via video conferencing, but what about the scores of others across different teams who also contribute to their success? The passionate exacts, the dedicated developers to heroic service reps and even the amazing accountant who is trying to make their procurement process as seamless as possible. There are numerous ways to get your people on camera, to introduce themselves to new accounts, much like creating micro demos for your products. You can also create micro intros for people across your company that can be used in different ways as needed.

Joey Coleman (24:40):
Oh, I love that passage, Dan, you know that whole idea, micro demos. I’ve, I’ve seen those, Oh, so many different companies in so many different ways. And I think that’s how the majority of companies today that are using video and are using a lot of video, think about it. They think about using video as part of the marketing process or the sales process. What Marcus is encouraging us to do is to go beyond the sale, go beyond when we’re in the actual relationship in those first hundred days, we talk about how can you incorporate video? So I absolutely love it. You know, one of the things I particularly loved about this book, Dan is it has so many case studies that beautifully show… see, see what I did there?!

Dan Gingiss (25:24):
Yeah. Okay. I get it. A book on video that shows.

Joey Coleman (25:28):
Yeah. Yeah, exactly. Okay. Well, one of the companies that is profiled in the book, uh, with a case study is called lucid chart. And as Marcus explains, quote:

Joey Coleman (25:40):
Their exceptionally funny and surprisingly educational YouTube series called lucid chart explains the internet offers dozens of one minute videos explaining different topics, concepts, or pop culture movements in a way that is fast paced, very fun. And oddly addictive while the topic of each video has nothing to do with lucid charts products. The big reveal after 55 seconds is that the tool they used to illustrate and visualize the content in the video was none other than lucid chart. So not only did you just learn how Luke Skywalker is related to Princess Leia, you discovered a great new tool that could help your team at work, create equally awesome diagrams, and charts, and data visualizations for great collaboration. What’s more thanks to all of the sharing and fanfare lucid charts, product overview and tutorial videos have been viewed more than 1 million times.

Dan Gingiss (26:40):
Wowzers! And of course I knew you would find the Star Wars example in the book Joey. Right.

Joey Coleman (26:45):
Very true.

Dan Gingiss (26:45):
It is indeed a great case study for how to showcase a product without making it feel like a sales pitch.

Joey Coleman (26:52):
So true. I so agree with you, Dan, and yes, if you get the chance friends go to YouTube search lucid chart, explain Star Wars, and you can see the great example that Marcus referenced in that quote. And by the way, we’ll also link to it in the show notes at ExperienceThisShow.com. So here’s the scoop. You may be using video now, or you may not, but for sure you will need to be using it more in the future. Get ahead of the competition, avoid making beginner mistakes and learn how to create a culture of video within your organization. By picking up a copy of The Visual Sale: How to Use Video to Explode Sales, Drive Marketing, and Grow Your Business in a Virtual World. Friends, it’s a fast read. It’s an entertaining read. It’s a knowledge giving read, and it’s a book that can and should serve as a roadmap when it comes to your strategic plans for 2021. And since it’s Christmas week and I’m feeling festive, let’s just say this, we’re going to call a little audible here. Uh, the first three people to share this episode of Experience This on social media and tag me, or Dan, or both of us.

Dan Gingiss (28:00):
Uh, but if it’s Twitter, you better tag me.

Joey Coleman (28:02):
It’s so true. So true. If it’s Twitter tag, Dan hashtag Dan’s the Twitter guy. Uh, but the first three people that share this episode on social media and encourage people to check out Marcus’s book, the visual sale will get their very own signed copy of the book, courtesy of The Experience This! Show!

Dan Gingiss (28:21):
Wait a minute, what do they want? Marcus’s book signed by us for?

Joey Coleman (28:25):
No, no, no… signed by Marcus, but who knows? Maybe we’ll sell it too, but yeah, it’ll be a surprise folks. So share away and let’s help everyone. We know get better at video in 2021.

[Partnership with Avtex] Neen James, Shep Hyken, and Rohit Bhargava – Three of a Kind!
Dan Gingiss (28:44):
What do Neen James, Shep Hyken, and Rohit Bhargava have in common?

Joey Coleman (28:49):
Well, they are the only people, you know, with those first names?!

Dan Gingiss (28:56):
I see what you did there… Neen, Shep, Rohit. Yeah, actually that is definitely true.

Joey Coleman (29:01):
unique names,

Dan Gingiss (29:02):
but not what I was thinking.

Joey Coleman (29:03):
Oh, okay.

Dan Gingiss (29:04):
So they are actually the first three celebrity contestants on our new game show – Experience Points brought to you by our partners at Avtex, who transform customer experience through CX design and orchestration of

Joey Coleman (29:20):
And what fantastic contestants they were. You can see how Neen, and Shep, and Rohit did as they brought their customer experience strategies and wisdom to bear playing three games that we designed to test their knowledge in both an entertaining and fun way. And in the process, you can also see them win prize money for their favorite charity.

Dan Gingiss (29:42):
It’s the most fun you can have talking about customer experience folks. So take some time to check out the games played by our first three contestants, Neen, Shep, and Rohit, and stay tuned for more customer experience professionals like Jay Baer, Scott McCain, Marquessa Pettway, Amanda Kwok, Jesse Cole, and more in the weeks to come.

Joey Coleman (30:05):
Now you can watch episodes of experience points on YouTube. Just check out the Avtex Solutions channel or online at www.ExperiencePointsGame.com that’s ExperiencePointsGame.com.

Dan Gingiss (30:21):
You can also listen to the games on your favorite podcast app by searching for Avtex Experience Points, not to be confused with that gamer podcast called “Experience Points,” make sure to include Avtex that’s A-V-T-E-X in your search, but don’t worry. We’ll also link to it in our show notes.

Joey Coleman (30:38):
We so hope you enjoyed the show and Experience Points!

[SEGMENT INTRO – THIS JUST HAPPENED]
Joey Coleman (30:44):
We love telling stories and sharing key insights you can implement, or avoid, based on our experiences. Can you believe that This Just Happened?!

[THIS JUST HAPPENED][What To Do When Your Customers Are Watching You?!]
Dan Gingiss (30:57):
As you know Dan, I’ve just moved back to my childhood home of Fort Dodge, Iowa. And while my family is adjusting to our new setup here, my extended family that already lived here in town is adjusting to some of my habits and behaviors as well. And to be honest, the one they’ve commented on the most is how much the ups and FedEx drivers must love my family.

Dan Gingiss (31:21):
Oh my gosh. I can relate to that man every day, something else arriving at the doorstep. And I tell you, especially on the cold days, like today in Chicago, I always, if I see them, I always try to open up the door and yell out. Thank you as they’re running back to their truck because, uh, man, they do yeoman’s work. And uh, and they’re certainly filling up my doorstep as well.

Joey Coleman (31:42):
They really do. And I think as I don’t know about you, our effort to have delivery of things has dramatically increased in the COVID era. I look at it as it allows us to continue to kind of function and get the things we need in our house, but we’re not exposing other people to us or being exposed by other people when we go out. So lots of deliveries coming these days, which is actually why I wanted to talk to you about something that we’ve talked about a little bit in past episodes. And that is the experience created by your partners – in this case, fine delivery drivers at FedEx, at UPS, and the US Post Office. But specifically I wanted to talk about what the drivers are doing when no one is watching or at least they think no one is watching. This is starting to sound a little creepy, Joey. All right. Sorry about that, Dan, let me explain. Uh, I saw a video the other day of a delivery driver dropping off a package for an elderly person. And then the driver proceeded to shovel the snow off of the porch and the steps to the house. Now, to be clear, the person who lived in the house didn’t see this happening live, but they did see it later when they reviewed the video feed from their Ring cam.

Dan Gingiss (33:00):
Ahh, yes, I saw this video as well. And for those that may not know, Ring is a company that makes a video doorbell system and it allows people to record what is happening when people approach their door to ring the bell and drop off packages, et cetera. And you know, sometimes it does catch people doing things that they don’t know that it’s catching them to. And sometimes those things are things that they don’t want to be caught doing. And in this particular case, it was something that, uh, it turned out. It was very nice that someone caught this person doing.

Joey Coleman (33:34):
Yeah. I mean, there’s certainly been the, the negative videos. We’ve probably all seen the drivers throwing the package over the fence or kicking the box up onto the front steps or whatever it may be. But I know I also saw some during COVID where they had videos of drivers, you know, they had left snacks for the drivers or hand sanitizer. And I even saw one where there was like a little box that encouraged them to do a Tik TOK dance. And like when they stepped on the box, it started playing the music and you saw a bunch of drivers kind of walking around the box and then eventually a driver comes along and does it, and they’ve obviously got it all on video, which is just fascinating. When we think about this idea that drivers are being filmed in front of people’s homes when the people might not even be in the house.

Dan Gingiss (34:20):
Yeah. And it does, uh, I mean, as I mentioned, there’s a little bit of a creepiness factor to it, but it does sort of beg the question of how many opportunities do we have to maybe find out what other people are doing when they don’t think that they’re being watched. So I’m kind of thinking about employees, for example. Right, right now we trust that all of our employees are diligently working from home at their home offices and sitting at their desks all day and stuff. But yeah, we really don’t know.

Joey Coleman (34:48):
And we don’t want to obviously get too Big Brother-ish about it and that’s not why I wanted to bring up the story. But what I think is fascinating is when we recognize that we are “on all the time,” that is the delivery driver is being watched. Even if no, one’s there, it creates some opportunities for creating remarkable experiences, because if you know that person isn’t there, but you know, they have a ring cam and you do a little dance or you say a little message or you even trust wave. It creates some personal connection. Now, what I think is really interesting is if we take it one step further and this does get a little Big Brother-ish, but to be frank, it wouldn’t surprise me if this started to happen, Ring at the company that makes, uh, kind of the leader in the video solutions is owned by Amazon and Amazon has been making a big push as I’m sure you and our listeners are well aware of Dan to create their own delivery service, where they have their own airplanes, their own trucks doing the delivery. So they’re kind of weaning themselves off of FedEx and ups in the U S post office to have their own kind of independent carriers they partner with. I could see a scenario where Amazon, because they have access to the video feed from ring, started to match up the ability to see their drivers, making the deliveries and really do some quality control on the full customer experience that they can’t currently do with UPS and FedEx.

Dan Gingiss (36:24):
Well, yeah, and I, I mean, as we know today, the drivers generally take pictures of the packages and, and you can see them, uh, on your Amazon account or you get a, a text or a, uh, an alert on the app. And I think that’s a good step that, that certainly makes customers feel good. But Amazon does have a last mile problem that, that you know, is well documented that, that, you know, they control pretty much the entire experience right up until the end, because the person delivering to you is often not an Amazon employee. Now we have started to see those ubiquitous Amazon vans around our neighborhood. I don’t know if you see them around yours and I, I’m pretty sure those are Amazon employees, but I think you’re right, that this may be something where, uh, Amazon wants to, like you said, do some quality control for the part that maybe they don’t oversee now or, or can’t control in any way.

Joey Coleman (37:24):
Well, absolutely. And I think psychologists would tell us that primacy and latency theory is at play. We remember the first experience we have with a brand and the last experience we have with a brand. And one of the big challenges that Amazon has, which you allude to, is the lack of control over the last mile. The last experience that we have is with the UPS driver, or the FedEx driver, or the Post Office driver, increasingly more of the folks that are coming out of the Amazon delivery van, which is great. And, you know, we could have a whole separate conversation about the way they’ve structured that business and that business model. But the reality is Amazon has been built from day one as a company that placed high emphasis on customer experience. And I just think it’s fascinating to think about how technology merges all these things together. I know in our last episode, episode 117 – even I can remember that one friends! – we talked about AI and how AI could be used. I could see an AI sitting on top of this that was looking at deliveries and the behaviors, and maybe even starting to incentivize drivers for doing creative things, for doing more personalized things when quote unquote they’re on video to create an even more interesting or maybe even viral story.

Dan Gingiss (38:41):
Oh, for sure. And I mean, the, the, the companies that are creative about it and realize that every part of the experience is important. And what’s fascinating here is that this last mile piece is maybe among the most important parts of the experience for the actual customer, but yet the farthest away from the actual company delivering it. And so I definitely think that there are some interesting options.

Joey Coleman (39:10):
Absolutely. And let’s be candid. This isn’t just an issue for Amazon. This is an issue for every company that delivers in the e-commerce space. And as we find ourselves in the holiday season where I’m sure when it’s all said and done more deliveries will have been made in the month of December of 2020 than at any other time in FedEx or UPS or US Post Office history, the reality is more and more people are moving into delivery models and more and more people are getting cameras, whether that’s a Ring camera, security camera, even just the cam on their phone. And so there’s a lot more opportunity for these worlds to collide. So how does this apply to your business? Here’s the question? Do you have situations where your employees are participating in customer related activities that may not be seen live by the customer – but might be being filmed? Do your employees do things while wearing their uniforms or going about their daily activities that could be captured on video to either help, or hurt, your brand image? If you do, and frankly, even if you don’t, you should be talking to your employees about the way video is being used to capture and share evidence of both negative and positive experiences, and then decide what you can do to make sure your team is well-trained and prepared to deliver these remarkable experiences… even if they think no one else is watching!

[SEASON SIX CONCLUSION]
Joey Coleman (40:41):
We did it. Another season of the Experience This! Show is coming to a wrap with this, our final episode of 2020, and our concluding episode of season six.

Dan Gingiss (40:53):
What a crazy year 2020 has been – from pandemics to protests, from lockdowns to launches, from live streams to contactless delivery, to zoom calls, this year has had it all and then some!

Joey Coleman (41:07):
And season six would not have happened without the support and participation of many remarkable people, including our featured guests who submitted audio recordings to add to the conversation, our wonderful book report authors and the loyal listeners who shared their experiences for us to incorporate into our listener stories throughout the season, which we loved. And we want to have more of next season. So keep thinking about submitting those listener.

Dan Gingiss (41:34):
We also couldn’t have made the season happen without our incredible long-term partners at Avtex and in particular, their fantastic director of revenue, marketing, Marshall Salisbury, Marshall, and his team, including Andy, Beth, Joseph, Greta, and John has supported the Experience This! Show for three seasons via their partnership and 2020 marked a new endeavor for all of us as we produced a fun new game show, Experience Points.

Joey Coleman (42:00):
We also want to thank our longterm friends, that Yoko Co. – that’s Stacy, Max, and Chris – who year after year maintain and update the Experience This! Show.com website, where you can find our show notes and share your stories with us. We also need to give a special shout out to our new for 2020 sound engineer, Daniel Romero’s affectionately known as Dr. Podcast who helped us mix and master our weekly shows remotely. Since we couldn’t do the in studio recording, we’ve done because of COVID 19 folks, when there’s a pandemic going on, it helps to have a doctor on your podcast team.

Dan Gingiss (42:35):
It does indeed. And we certainly want to give a shout out to Joey’s law school roommate, Davin Seaman, who continues to serve as the composer of all of our show music, artfully creating new segment trailers whenever we come up with new segments that we want to share with all of you!

Joey Coleman (42:50):
And it wouldn’t be a proper roundup of thank yous and gratitude if we didn’t conclude by thanking all of our wonderful loyal listeners. The way you continue to show up every week on iTunes, or Spotify, or Stitcher, or wherever you’re listening to us, is the driving force behind our desire to continue producing this show. We are so thankful that you enable us to continue to do something that Dan and I love, and we greatly appreciate your consistent and ongoing support.

Dan Gingiss (43:20):
So thanks for a fantastic season six. And we’ll see you back in early February of 2021 for our seventh season of Experience This!

Joey Coleman (43:30):
I think that’ll make it our lucky season won’t it Dan? Season seven? Our lucky season? Well, rest assured that we’re already thinking about fun things to share with you for your weekly dose of positive customer experience. See you in 2021.

[SHOW OUTRO]
Joey Coleman (43:50):
Wow. Thanks for joining us for another episode of Experience This!

Dan Gingiss (43:54):
We know there are tons of podcasts to listen to, magazines and books to read, reality TV to watch. We don’t take for granted that you’ve decided to spend some quality time listening to the two of us.

Joey Coleman (44:03):
We hope you enjoyed our discussions, and if you do, we’d love to hear about it. Come on over to ExperienceThis Show.com and let us know what segments you enjoyed, what new segments you’d like to hear. This show is all about experience, and we want you to be part of the Experience This! Show!

Dan Gingiss (44:21):
Thanks again for your time and we’ll see you next week for more.

Joey Coleman (44:25):
Experience

Dan Gingiss (44:25):
This!

Episode 117 – Making Your Mark on Brand Ambassadors

Join us as we discuss making your mark on your best customers, why the robots may be coming faster than we think, and how holiday shopping habits are changing amidst a global pandemic.

Ambassadors, Game-Changers, and Shoppers – Oh My!

[Dissecting the Experience] Making Your Mark on Brand Ambassadors

Things We Mentioned in This Segment:

Makers Mark
Maker’s Mark Ambassador Program
• “If this is a Consular Ship, where is the Ambassador?
Makers Mark Invitation
Giftology – by John Ruhlin
Never Lose a Customer Again – by Joey Coleman

[Book Report] The Age of Intent

Things We Mentioned in This Segment:

P.V. Kannan
[24]7.ai
Age of Intent – by P.V. Kannan
F8 Conference

[Partnership with Avtex] The Dream Job – Game Show Host!

Things We Mentioned in This Segment:

• Experience Points – presented by Avtex

[CX Press] Ecommerce Marketing 2020

• Ignite Visibility
• Ecommerce Marketing Study 2020

Host Contact Information

Email Dan: Dan@dangingiss.com

Tweet Dan Gingiss: @DGingiss

Email Joey: JoeyC@JoeyColeman.com

DanGingiss.com

JoeyColeman.com

Subscribe to Experience This on Apple Podcasts

Episode Transcript

Download an unedited transcript of Episode 117 here or read it below:

[SHOW INTRO]
Dan Gingiss (00:05):
Welcome to Experience This!

Joey Coleman (00:08):
Where you’ll find inspiring examples of customer experience, great stories of customer service, and tips on how to make your customers love you even more.

Dan Gingiss (00:17):
Always upbeat and definitely entertaining customer retention expert, Joey Coleman.

Joey Coleman (00:23):
and social media expert, Dan Gingiss, serve as your hosts for a weekly dose of positive customer experience.

Dan Gingiss (00:30):
So hold on to your headphones… It’s time to Experience This!

[EPISODE 117 INTRO]
Dan Gingiss (00:39):
Get ready, for another episode of the Experience This! Show!

Joey Coleman (00:45):
Join us as we discuss: making your mark on your best customers, why the robots may be coming faster than we think, and how holiday shopping habits are changing amidst a global pandemic.

Dan Gingiss (01:00):
Ambassadors, game changers, and shoppers. Oh My!

[SEGMENT INTRO – DISSECTING THE EXPERIENCE]
Joey Coleman (01:08):
Sometimes a remarkable experience deserves deeper investigation. We dive into the nitty gritty of customer interactions and dissect how and why they happen. Join us while we’re Dissecting the Experience.

[DISSECTING THE EXPERIENCE][Making Your Mark on Brand Ambassadors ]
Dan Gingiss (01:25):
Well, Joey it’s time for the holidays and you know what that means.

Joey Coleman (01:30):
Snow covered rooftops, the crackling fire, a glass of eggnog, presents under the tree…

Dan Gingiss (01:36):
Nope.

Dan Gingiss (01:36):
Wait, what do you mean? Nope. All of those things are coming?!

Dan Gingiss (01:39):
Well, those are all fine things except for eggnog, which I happen to think is the single grossest substance ever invented.

Joey Coleman (01:48):
You know, egg nog is not that bad. It can be pretty tasty if you get the right brand, if you get the right brand. It’s a branding question here.

Dan Gingiss (01:54):
But anyway, I wasn’t talking about that. I was actually thinking about something else. I was thinking about the annual gift that I receive in the mail from Maker’s Mark bourbon.

Joey Coleman (02:03):
They send you bourbon in the mail?

Dan Gingiss (02:06):
Uh, Joey, from your lips to the master distiller’s ears. But nope, I don’t think they’re allowed to do that, but still they always send me a gift and they have for years. Once a year, I get a surprise in the mail from Maker’s Mark. One year I got ice ball molds with their logo in it. I got a little miniature Christmas sweater for my bottle. I got a little Santa hat for my bottle. I got coasters. And one year I got this gigantic tube in the mail and I had no idea what it was. It turned out to be maker’s Mark wrapping paper, complete with the Makers Mark bows to go on top.

Joey Coleman (02:44):
Wow!

Dan Gingiss (02:44):
And I get all of these gifts because I am what is called a Maker’s Mark ambassador.

Joey Coleman (02:53):
Aww haw haw! So you should be properly addressed that way. I think going forward…

Dan Gingiss (02:56):
Mr. Ambassador, yes…

Dan Gingiss (02:58):
Actually, if you must…

Joey Coleman (02:59):
Is there an ambassador on this ship?!

Dan Gingiss (03:01):
I don’t know. I don’t know if I, this is maybe fast forwarding to the end here, but I’m actually an ambassador for life.

Joey Coleman (03:06):
How does that happen?!

Dan Gingiss (03:06):
So you should refer to me as “Mr. Ambassador” for life.

Joey Coleman (03:10):
Usually the ambassador changes with the next election and the next administration. So I’m, I’m calling fake news on this ambassador for life thing!

Dan Gingiss (03:19):
I caan show you my “Ambassador for Life” wooden business card, if you like.

Joey Coleman (03:25):
Wow. We should get a photo of that for the show notes!

Dan Gingiss (03:28):
Let me tell you how this began a long time ago, I went down to Louisville to visit and I did a distillery tour or wanted to do a story to, or rather at Maker’s Mark, which is actually located outside of Louisville in Loretto, Kentucky. And unfortunately the day that I got there, they told me that the distillery was closed. Why was it closed? Well, because they were celebrating Ambassador Day and only ambassadors could take the distillery tour. So true story. I said to the nice lady, well, how do I become an ambassador?

Joey Coleman (04:01):
What kind of donation do I need to make? Or who did I need to be college roommates with to become an ambassador?

Dan Gingiss (04:06):
Exactly. And she said, just fill out this form.

Joey Coleman (04:12):
Wow! Nice!

Dan Gingiss (04:12):
Does it cost anything? No. Okay.

Joey Coleman (04:15):
Really?! Oh nice!

Dan Gingiss (04:16):
So I filled out the form and became Maker’s Mark’s newest ambassador, and then was allowed in on the distillery tour, which was great. Now what happens when you become an ambassador at maker’s Mark is they actually put your name onto like a metal badge onto the barrel. So it gets affixed onto the barrel. And your name is with, uh, I dunno, about 10 other names on each barrel. And for those that don’t know, I mean, a barrel makes at least a couple hundred bottles of, uh, of, uh, bourbon. So it’s big, but your name gets put on it and they send you in the mail, a photo of the, of your barrel that has your name on it. They send you a birth certificate, quote, unquote of, uh, the day that your barrel was born and was first filled.

Joey Coleman (05:03):
Nice. It’s kind of like the birth certificate you used to get if you got a Cabbage Patch Doll, but this is for grown ups.

Dan Gingiss (05:09):
Exactly!

Joey Coleman (05:10):
I like it! I like it!

Dan Gingiss (05:10):
They send you periodic videos of the progress of, uh, your barrel because you may or may not know Joey, but…

Joey Coleman (05:17):
It ages over time!

Dan Gingiss (05:18):
It does, at least at Maker’s Mark, for eight years.

Joey Coleman (05:22):
That’s a long aging process.

Dan Gingiss (05:25):
It is, it is. And so eight years Maker’s Mark is obviously playing a long game and I was trying to figure out all along the marketer in me, what is the long game? And during those eight years, every one of them, they sent me a gift at the holidays.

Joey Coleman (05:41):
Now, just to make sure I’m understanding, because I think our listeners might be wondering the same thing. You’re getting all these gifts and you haven’t spent a penny with them, right?

Dan Gingiss (05:51):
They don’t know and I think that’s one of the most fascinating parts…

Joey Coleman (05:55):
They might presume that because you’re an ambassador, like who would come and sign up to be an ambassador if they weren’t already a fan of the brand, but there’s no requirement to give them money to get these perks…

Dan Gingiss (06:04):
There is no requirement and they don’t have the ability to track because it’s a product that’s bought at a retail store. They don’t guarantee data right now, as it turns out, I am a fan of Maker’s Mark bourbon, but they, again, they don’t know that. And I think that’s one of the key parts of this story is that they, there is some faith that they’re putting into their ambassador program, that these are people that care enough about the brand. I mean, just some of the people take the gifts and go put them on eBay every year. Yes they do. But for the most part, these are people that really are big brand fans. And the climax of the experience comes when you get the invitation.

Joey Coleman (06:44):
The invitation, what is the invitation to?

Dan Gingiss (06:49):
Well, it actually looks like a wedding invitation and it’s got this fancy script writing. And it says that you’re cordially invited to Loretto, Kentucky, to Maker’s Mark distillery to claim two bottles of Maker’s Mark from your very own barrel. So your little, your baby, that you got the birth certificate for is now all…

Joey Coleman (07:11):
Eight years later, you get to go to the graduation ceremony and get two bottles. So let me guess… You got in your car, you drove the five and a half hours from Chicago to Loretto, and then you…

Dan Gingiss (07:22):
Wait, wait, whose story is this?

Joey Coleman (07:24):
Okay. Sorry. Sorry.

Dan Gingiss (07:26):
Okay. So I got in my car and I drove the five and a half hours from Chicago to Loretto. We had the most amazing experience at the distillery. I’m not kidding you walk in. And when you say that you’re here to collect your bottles, it is almost like how you greeted me at the beginning of this segment. Every one of the employees is in on the experience and they hand you a, they first give you a lapel pin to put on your shirt so that everybody knows that you are a visiting ambassador and they all treat you like you’re royalty. And you go through these various steps. So they actually handed me the bottles and they were completely blank. They were filled, but they were completely blank. And the first thing that I, the first station I went to, they printed a label and it was a personalized label. I could have it say anything, you know, my name or whatever, anything that I wanted on the label

Joey Coleman (08:16):
Gift for Joey Coleman, for example!

Dan Gingiss (08:17):
Exactly, except I an know that’s not appropriate gift or you so I wouldn’t do that.

Dan Gingiss (08:23):
My personalized label. And they print it out. I get to affix the labels to the bottles myself. And then they bring you over to anybody that knows the brand Maker’s Mark knows that the Maker’s Mark bottle is known for being dipped in wax. [inaudible]

Joey Coleman (08:39):
Right. Yeah. And it’s usually red, but if it’s one of the more signature brands I think they do a blue,

Dan Gingiss (08:44):
Well, they sometimes celebrate sports teams and that sort of thing, but I got to dip my own bottles into the hot wax and it was so cool. And of course at that station, you know, that it’s a different person, but that, that person is like, well welcome, Mr. Ambassador. We’re so happy to have you. And you know, everybody’s so nice. So you get to, you get to dip your, put your label on and you dip the thing. And anyway, this all happened. Probably now I’m going to say at least eight years ago that I went and picked up my eight year old bottle.

Joey Coleman (09:18):
So you’ve been an ambassador for 16 years…

Dan Gingiss (09:21):
Something like that. Yeah. Something like that. And you know, what’s really interesting. I have not opened either one of those bottles and I can’t.

Joey Coleman (09:28):
I feel like you never would, right? Because it’s like, Oh, it’s, it’s a memento. It’s not that, you know, you were going to drink it. It’s a, it’s an artifact of your experience.

Dan Gingiss (09:39):
Yeah – I could drink it and I could refill it. And no one would be any of the wiser other than me, but I would say, yes, that is true. But in any event, I am reminded of this every single year. And I haven’t yet gotten my maker’s Mark gift this year, but I will be sure to let you know when it comes, because it’s always creative, it’s branded, but not in the way that, uh, that your friend, John Ruhlin at Giftology says don’t do you know that it’s not like a commercial for Makers Mark after all, this is a brand that I have an affinity towards. So I kinda like that it’s branded.

Joey Coleman (10:13):
Sure, sure.

Dan Gingiss (10:14):
And I just, I think that the lesson here is that not enough companies play the long game with their customers and you know, you, we talk about, you know, your book talks about how to get people in the first hundred days to stick with you for a long time. And when we are able to improve our retention. And as I like to say, stop the leaky bucket and keep our customers, we still got to make sure that that experience continues to be something that’s worthy of them giving us their loyalty all these years.

Joey Coleman (10:47):
Absolutely. Well, I mean, this really appreciates the lifetime value of the customer. I mean, when you sign up to be an ambassador, they already have the next eight years of communications planned. Now they might not necessarily know what gifts they’re going to give in year five. Right? But they know they’re going to give you a gift in year five. And it wouldn’t surprise me if the folks at maker’s Mark, given the thoughtfulness that clearly they put into the ambassador experience that they’re actually planning out the gifts so that each year they’re kind of building in a sequence. So yeah. Talk about practicing what you preach. You say you care about your customers. How many of our listeners are really thinking about the relationship they’re going to have with their customer today, eight years from now?

Dan Gingiss (11:34):
Exactly, exactly. And that long game is so important. We talk about lifetime value, but we talk about it as a number, literally as a dollar amount. And that’s almost as bad as, you know, treating a customer like an account number, right? Your value is not just a dollar number. And I think if we look at our customers that way and look at the true long-term relationship and what that means, and, you know, for example, long-term value, doesn’t include how many times I tell people about Maker’s Mark, right? It might, it might include how many bottles I buy. I obviously we said they can’t track that, but for, you know, for your company out there, listeners, it might involve sales, but does it even take into consideration that a loyal customer is going to tell other people the other takeaway? I think that is important is it is the holiday season. And it is a, an obvious, but also still great time to remember your customers. You don’t have to send them a gift, but do something other than sending an email saying happy holidays, right? Do something that at least shows you – shows them – that you remember them and appreciate them and get them into the holiday spirit. As they’re thinking about,

[SEGMENT INTRO – BOOK REPORT]
Joey Coleman (12:44):
We’re excited to give you an overview of an important book you should know about as well as share some of our favorite passages as part of our next Book Report.

[BOOK REPORT][Age of Intent by P.V. Kannan]
Dan Gingiss (12:56):
This week’s Book Report features a book called the age of intent using artificial intelligence to deliver a superior customer experience. It’s written by PV Kannan, who is the founder and CEO of a company called 24 seven.ai, which is an artificial intelligence powered digital and voice automation platform. Now, I thought this was a provocative title because let’s face it. We’re still figuring out the role of artificial intelligence in our business, let alone in the customer experience.

Joey Coleman (13:29):
I agree, Dan, you know, I got to say, when you mentioned to me before we started recording that we were, when we talked about featuring this book in a book report, I was intrigued and I got even more intrigued when we got into the book, which we’ll come to because AI is talked about so much, but I know very few companies that have actually figured out how they’re going to do this. And I wonder if at some point we’ll look back on this time in history and be like, gosh, do you remember when people weren’t using AI? Kind of like we might say, geez, do you remember when people were using fax machines or do you remember when people didn’t have cell phones? You know, it seems so, so long ago and those are tools. Whereas I think of AI, as you know, frankly, at layering, a level of intelligence on your business that we can’t even begin to fathom all the things we’re going to learn.

Dan Gingiss (14:23):
Well, I can tell you, Mr. Kannan has started fathoming it and I think that’s what made this book really cool. And yeah, I agree. I mean, I look at AI and on one hand it scares me. And on the other hand, it excites me and I’m always reminded of a few years ago, I was asked to do a very, uh, private presentation in a Las Vegas conference room for a company’s top six or clients and one of the things they asked me to do in the presentation was to bring, and I’m quote, an example of a great chat bot. I was like, Oh my wow. That’s like the toughest assignment I’ve ever been given…

Joey Coleman (15:06):
That’s an oxymoron isn’t it? Like, especially then! Maybe now it’s better, but ugh…

Dan Gingiss (15:11):
Exactly. Then it really was tough. And I do think that it’s gotten far better and thanks to companies like [24]7 and so that’s what I thought it was really interesting. So let’s jump to PV Kannan, in his own words, giving us an overview of his book.

P.V. Kannan (15:27):
I wish that every company you interacted with could just know what you wanted and go get it for you. That when you pick up the phone or open the chat window that the company would use, what did knew about you to anticipate your needs there on the words of a future, just like that. As a leader of [24]7.ai, a company that uses AI to improve customer experience. I share my expertise here on how and why, which will agent rollout succeed or fail. Uh, explain how to architect key information systems overcome corporate resistance and bad practices and successfully analyzed customer journeys to make virtual agents effective. The book that I wrote, Age of Intent, is about a world where the smartest type of chat bots known as virtual agents are powered by artificial intelligence and connected to a customer’s complete profile and past history in order to be generous of the customer. These virtual agents can anticipate just what a customer is looking for, answering questions through chat on the phone, through Apple iMessage and Facebook Messenger and through smart speakers like Amazon’s Alexa and Google Home, they will transform the business world with efficient, scalable service. That’s available 24 seven and get smarter every day. The book contains real world examples from leading companies, both those who got it right and those who got it wrong – with lessons learned that you can apply to your business. I’m very proud to say that the age of intent was named one of the best business books by Strategy & Business and award-winning management magazine for decision-makers around the world. I hope you enjoy reading my book as much as I enjoyed writing it.

Dan Gingiss (17:27):
So, Joey, what do you think of the world of which P.V. speaks, where, and I quote, “every company you interacted with could just know what you wanted and go get it for you?”

Joey Coleman (17:38):
You know, Dan, like you said, before we heard from P.V., AI excites me, and intrigues me, and it terrifies me as well. Right? I think the, the most recent research I saw about Facebook and just the algorithms that are running and to make a distinction here, algorithms versus AI, two very different things. The algorithm, if you like a post after 150 likes the algorithm at Facebook is better at knowing whether you will like the next post you see than your spouse is and after 300 likes, it’s better at knowing whether you will like the next post than you are. Right. And that’s an algorithm. So the AI piece of this that is scary is like, Oh, at what point do the robots take over? And are they smart, quote, unquote smarter than us. But the flip side of it is every area of my life. I find myself running towards the convenient solution. I find myself running towards the thing that can take the parts of life that I don’t really get excited about and just put them on autopilot. Like I don’t get excited about finding out that we’re out of paper towels. Right? I would love it if they just showed up, I would love it. If just some of these things happen, I would love it. If you know, the 10 sites that I actually care about AI knew to put their Cyber Monday deals in front of me, you know, and that type of thing. So I do think there are some places where AI can really make our lives easier. And I’m excited to see what that’s gonna look like!

Dan Gingiss (19:14):
For sure. I mean, automation can be great. It’s a, it is a convenience factor. It’s a speed factor as, as you said, and those are things that we know customers want. I think the key is, and I’ve been saying this for a while, is that there is a human element that customers, I believe personally are always going to want to desire, but they certainly desire today. And the machine has to know when it’s hit its limit. And so what I ended up doing in that speech, by the way, because I literally at the time could not find one that I thought was worthy of sharing is I ended up sharing one that was held up by Mark Zuckerberg at, uh, at the at Facebook’s F8 conferences being, you know, one of the newest and greatest at the time. And I went through the experience and what I found was when I got stuck and I needed help, the whole experience collapsed because in my case, what happened was the chat bot asked me if I wanted to talk to customer service. I said, yes, it responded to customer service was closed, begging the question, why it asked me in the first place, but then, but then the live customer service agent actually joined the chat. And I was talking to both the bot and the agent at the same time.

Joey Coleman (20:31):
Nice.

Dan Gingiss (20:32):
And so like, my head was going to explode!

Joey Coleman (20:35):
Yeah, exactly. Well, and, and it begilles the phrase “artificial intelligence” when it’s not acting intelligent. Right. And chatbots probably aren’t necessarily seen as artificial intelligence and even the conversation or the example I was giving about automation really isn’t necessarily artificial intelligence. It’s maybe the lowest levels of artificial intelligence where my gut instinct is P.V. Is hinting at things that go beyond what we’ve seen now.

Dan Gingiss (21:04):
Absolutely. Absolutely. And that brings me to my favorite passage, which I think is one of his key selling points for why we should be thinking about this. And you and I have both heard hundreds of times of companies looking at the entire contact center as a cost center. And I think we know better that, that it really should be looked at more as a revenue center, but one of the things I was worried about when AI came onto the scene and virtual agents came onto the scene was that there would be some companies that would immediately look at it as a cost savings initiative. Hey, let’s get rid of all the human agents and just have the computers do it, or the robots do it. So this is the quote that I really loved from his book. He said, “[o]nce you recognize that virtual agents, aren’t primarily about squeezing out costs, you can see the big picture, how they position your service operation to generate a better experience, build loyalty and focus humans on what humans do best, which is to solve complicated problems and make emotional connections.”

Joey Coleman (22:07):
Uh, so well said, Dan! Especially that part about emotional connections. Cause I do agree that’s the piece of the puzzle that we’re going to struggle with with AI. Can we teach AI empathy? You know, it’s funny. My favorite passage actually comes directly after yours in the book in chapter three. Now this may be a first ladies and gentlemen that, you know, Dan and my favorite passage bump up against each other, but P.V. notes that there are seven ways virtual agents improve customer service. Here they are: (1) Consistency. It gives the same right answer every time. (2) Uptime. Making service available 24/7. (3) Capacity. You can scale up to serve customers quickly, even during peak service periods. (4) Speed – reduce time spent waiting for a human agent. (5) Productivity – help human agents deliver smarter and better service. (6) Intelligence – generate new insights by analyzing aggregated service interactions, and (7) Channel Independence. Consumers can use voice or text chat and get the same answer from the same bot.

Dan Gingiss (23:21):
Now I admit, a couple of those were new to me and I thought that was a very interesting passage as well because of that list. The one that really stuck out to me was number five, which is productivity, because I think it is so cool to imagine an agent sitting next to, you know, I always think of like IBM’s Watson, right? It went on Jeopardy and beat all the human contestants, right? Because it knows everything. And so I always imagined this agent, this human agent sitting next to a supercomputer that knows the answer to every question that the customer could possibly ask. And it knows everything about that customer because it has entire order history and addresses and phone numbers and children’s names and all this sort of stuff everything’s there. It makes that agent so much smarter. And as, as P.V.vVery well said in the, in the quote that I shared, it allows the human agent to do what they’re good at that I don’t think computers are ever going to be good at, which is to be human, right? Because that is still part of the customer service experience that we want. And so I, I love that concept. And to me, the companies that figure out how to use this technology to make better agents, instead of trying to replace their agents. I think those are the ones that are going to win. Did any of them stick out to you?

Joey Coleman (24:45):
You know, they did. I liked that one, Dan, but I also liked ironically enough, the next one in the list. Number six intelligence…

Dan Gingiss (24:51):
He’s always a step behind ladies and gentlemen.

Joey Coleman (24:54):
It’s story of my life. Just trying to keep up with Dan Gingiss ladies and gentlemen. Well, if we’re not seeking ways to gather the data from our customers, which a lot of businesses are doing, but then turn it into intelligent insights – not just data collection for data collection sake, but rather to drive intelligent insights – we’re missing a huge opportunity to mine, that data, to find the golden customer experience. I really think there’s a tremendous opportunity to incorporate more intelligence into businesses. And I think AI is going to make that a lot easier to do, to do it at scale, to do it more in more cost effective ways and to do it much, much faster.

Dan Gingiss (25:38):
I couldn’t agree more with you, Joey. I think that is also, uh, a great example and I mean, all seven of them are cool. And like I said, got me thinking, but I think we nailed the two if I say so myself. So let’s hear from the age of intent author, P.V. Kannan and let’s have him read his favorite passage.

P.V. Kannan (26:00):
Here’s the question: are you ready for virtual agents? Every company that is considering virtual agents does so far, for two reasons, it provides a better customer experience and it saves money. They’ll make the case effectively. He must generally prove improvements on both fronts, which you emphasize will depend on what’s going on strategically at your company. But regardless of which facet of the decision you focus on you won’t succeed unless you’ve laid the groundwork as a major telecommunications company discovered there are four types of questions you should ask to get that groundwork ready. The first one is economic. Where will you save or money from automating your customer facing processes? The second one is technical. What work will be required to get your technology infrastructure ready to connect to intelligent chatbots? The third one is political. What must you do to win our key executives in the company? And the last one is cultural. What will it take for your company to become comfortable with allowing customers to interact with virtual agents as well as humans to get your company ready for virtual agents, you’ll need to face and work through all four of these challenges.

Dan Gingiss (27:20):
So folks, P.V. Is asking all the right questions and he helps to answer them in the Age of Intent using artificial intelligence to deliver a superior customer experience. I suggest you go out, get the book and read it and learn how you can use this evolving technology to improve the customer experience at your business.

[PARTNERSHIP WITH AVTEX][The Dream Job – Game Show Hosts for Experience Points]
Joey Coleman (27:52):
Dan, this season has been all about games in many ways. Let’s play a little game. You and I, I’m going to name a famous game show you tell me who you think the host was, or maybe you know who the host was. We’ll start off easy though. Wheel of Fortune?

Dan Gingiss (28:07):
Pat Sayjack.

Joey Coleman (28:09):
That’s an easy one. Jeopardy?

Dan Gingiss (28:10):
Aww, rest in peace, Alex Trebek. I actually got to interview him in college. It was amazing.

Joey Coleman (28:16):
So nice. So nice. Yes. Very well known host. Let’s make it a little more difficult. What about Joker’s Wild?

Dan Gingiss (28:21):
One of my favorite game shows as a kid, Jack Barry.

Joey Coleman (28:26):
Wow, nice. I liked Tic-Tac-Toe…

Dan Gingiss (28:29):
And Wink Martindale of course.

Joey Coleman (28:31):
Very nice Price Is Right?

Dan Gingiss (28:33):
Who could forget Bob Barker and yeah, I know there’s a comedian that does it now, but nobody will ever be Bob Barker..H

Joey Coleman (28:40):
Even though after Happy Gilmore, my, my view of Bob Barker kind of changed a little, but that’s okay. What about Card Sharks? We’re going to start bringing out some difficult ones.

Dan Gingiss (28:49):
Uh, I think that was Bob Eubanks.

Dan Gingiss (28:51):
Impressive, uh, $100,000 Dollar Pyramid?

Dan Gingiss (28:54):
Uh, Dick Clark and I think and, uh, pre New Year’s Eve Dick Clark, if I’m…

Joey Coleman (28:59):
Yes, yes. Definitely a classic. What about the Dating Game?

Dan Gingiss (29:03):
Oh, that was Chuck Woolery.

Joey Coleman (29:06):
Who, in many ways, had the best name in game show hosts. How about Family Feud?

Dan Gingiss (29:11):
Also a favorite. I mean, you had to love the, uh, completely un-pc Richard Dawson, but then even, uh, you know, today Steve Harvey hosts it and, and he does, he’s hilarious too.

Joey Coleman (29:25):
Yeah, exactly. Here’s a favorite of mine? How about Who Wants to be a Millionaire?

Dan Gingiss (29:29):
Uh, another, another RIP – Regis Philbin. Uh, one of the best!

Dan Gingiss (29:33):
Yeah, very big Notre Dame fan. I had the chance to meet Regis a number of times. Great. Great. I mean the reality here is, we’ve just revealed something that I’ve known about you for years, Dan, that maybe our listeners didn’t and that’s, if you could have grown up to be anything in the world, other than shortstop for the Chicago Cubs, I think it might’ve been a game show host.

Dan Gingiss (29:57):
Second base, but yeah, you’re right. You’re absolutely right. And my kids will tell you, even if we, if we sorta follow game shows into, you know, what has become, I think a reality TV, I’ve had a man crush on Jeff Probst for a long time and survivor. I’ve never missed an episode. So yeah, I’ve always wanted to be a game show host, which is why I was so excited when Avtex asked us to host their new game show called Experience Points. Now, Experience Points is the most fun that you can have talking about customer experience. Now we have a lot of fun here, absolutely, but you know, we got to put our serious hats on every once in a while so that we…

Joey Coleman (30:40):
We try to act professional!

Dan Gingiss (30:42):
But this is so much fun. We have new episodes each week. We have celebrity contestants that play three different games over a three-week period. And so CX thought leaders actually get to earn cash for their favorite charity as the answer CX questions and share their expertise on how to fuel exceptional experiences for customers. So join your newly-minted game show hosts, Joey Coleman.

Joey Coleman (31:07):
and Dan Gingiss.

Dan Gingiss (31:09):
for experience points brought to you by Avtex your end-to-end CX technology and consulting partner.

Joey Coleman (31:17):
You can find Experience Ppoints at www.experiencepointsgame.com that’s www.ExperiencePointsGame.com or on YouTube at the Avtex channel or on your favorite podcast app, just search Avtex Experience Points. That’s A- V-T-E-X, Avtex Experience Points, and you too can be part of the Experience Points Game Show experience.

[SEGMENT INTRO – CX PRESS]
Joey Coleman (31:46):
There are so many great customer experience articles to read, but who has the time?! We summarize them and offer clear takeaways you can implement starting tomorrow. Enjoy this segment of CX Press, where we read the articles, so you don’t need to!

[CX PRESS][Ecommerce Marketing Study of 1,000 Consumers Shows Drastic Shift]
Dan Gingiss (32:05):
In this week’s CX Press, we’re going to look at a new study by Ignite Visibility, a digital marketing agency based in San Diego, California. Now they surveyed a thousand customers about their holiday shopping habits to find out how they expect to shop this season. So from the e-commerce marketing study, by Ignite Visibility, here are some of their key findings. (1) Most consumers will be shopping and buying on a desktop compared to mobile. That’s 50% to only 15% – a third of customers said both.

Joey Coleman (32:45):
I resonated with this one totally. I know it makes me sound old and anybody who’s a regular listener knows I am the least tech savvy of the two hosts here to experience this. But I’m all about the desktop. When it comes time to shopping and buying, I just find it easier to search, easier to have multiple windows open, easier to do a lot of things. So that one did not surprise me. I was super excited about that.

Dan Gingiss (33:08):
And listeners may also know that I prefer the desktop too, except I am the PC guy. And Joey is the Mac guy. So feel free to write in or call and tell us what you are.

Joey Coleman (33:18):
Yeah, exactly. I love it. I love it. And full disclosure, I’m probably in the category of both. I have purchased some things on mobile. Random question, Dan, what’s the most expensive thing you’ve ever purchased on mobile?

Dan Gingiss (33:30):
Wow.

Joey Coleman (33:31):
Throwing him a little bit of a curve ball here, ladies and gentlemen. I’m not sure… I probably I’ve, I definitely have bought a couple of my pinball machines on eBay. And I mean, that could have been a mobile purchase.

Dan Gingiss (33:43):
Nice. I once had to buy a rather expensive plane ticket – that’s a story for another episode – that was about a, just under $2,000 plane ticket on my phone. That was, I think the most I ever spent on it, but it was like a same day or same day ticket. And it was crazy. But long story short mobile is the future. Just not quite yet. Okay. Number two, consumers were equally open to clicking on an ad in Google or an organic listing in Google for purchasing a product. This is significant as studies in the past have shown strong favoritism for organic listings. So people are getting more comfortable with clicking on those ads, even though it says “ad” right next to it.

Dan Gingiss (34:22):
Yeah. And a lot of people know that. I mean, you, you should be able to tell the difference between the ads and the organic listings. And a lot of people will just breeze right over the ads to get to what they know is kind of Google’s recommendation. But it does look like, and this could be the language in the ads that the people are starting to at least equal that out.

Joey Coleman (34:42):
Well, and I’ll be honest, I like to actually, if I like the brand, I click on their organic listing. And if I don’t like the brand, that I’m like disgruntled that I have to buy there, I click on the ads. Exactly. I’m a little weird that way. I love it. All right. Number three 86%. That’s 86% of consumers need to see an ad two times or more before buying and 31% need to see it six times or more before buying. Now, this resonated with me because as a marketer you’re told over and over again, that people have to see your message more than once in order to respond. But man, six times it just feels like you’re bothering them, but it works.

Joey Coleman (35:26):
It is bothering them. But I will say as somebody who, as you know, really the only social media app I spend time with is Facebook. Maybe this is why I keep getting fed the same ads over and over and over again in Facebook. And I’ll tell ya, I purchased three things. This holiday season that I would not have known about had I not been fed ads in Facebook. So thanks Facebook for listening to me talk and then serving up ads that are about,

Dan Gingiss (35:53):
They know you better than you do.

Joey Coleman (35:54):
They know me better than I know myself. Keep on liking it. All right. Number four, I thought this was an interesting one. And it segues to something we’ve talked about before in the past 55% of people will be shopping more on Amazon this year versus last year. But interestingly enough, that’s kind of not a surprise. We know Amazon’s eating the world is getting bigger and bigger, but what that means is that 45% of respondents actually plan to use Amazon less. Now this is in line with recent trends, such as a rise in consumers, wanting to support small businesses and looking for direct to consumer experiences, three quarters of shoppers say, they’re not afraid to go into stores despite the COVID 19 pandemic. It’s just the other quarter of shoppers who are saying, you know what, everything’s online this year. So yeah, lots of shifting behaviors in 2020 when it comes to online purchases.

Dan Gingiss (36:46):
Yeah, I thought this was really interesting. I mean, there are days where I feel like I could buy absolutely everything I ever needed on Amazon and yet I don’t. And I do think that, uh, that people want to support their local businesses. Even the large chains that are local, they want to support them because heck a large chain is a whole lot better than an empty strip mall. Right? So it’s, uh, it, you know, we do want these stores to stay in our, in our neighborhoods and communities. And so we definitely want to support them as well. And I believe you can be both. I mean, I love Amazon and I shop elsewhere as well.

Joey Coleman (37:19):
A hundred percent. I don’t think you necessarily need to be. I’m a hundred percent old Amazon all day long, or I’m anti Amazon. There’s a giant gray area in the middle. I also think when it comes to shopping in your local community, yes, you may be shopping in a chain store, but the employees that work there live in your town, they live in your neighborhood. So you, you are putting money back into your community based on the wages that those employees are making from working there. So definitely not a clear line here, but some interesting developing trends.

Dan Gingiss (37:52):
Oh, for sure not to mention the taxes that are collected by the company. Number five, customers are shopping and purchasing products much earlier this year. And despite the current economic climate, more than half of consumers plan to spend the same or more this year compared to last year. So folks, basically that means by the time you’re listening to this podcast, you’re already behind the ball and shopping cause most of your friends and family have already got their holiday shopping done.

Joey Coleman (38:21):
So true. I will say this, which I, a mom, hopefully you don’t mind me sharing this story. I was talking to my mom actually earlier today and she said she has never been further ahead in her Christmas shopping then she is this year. And I think part of the reason for that is so many people are home and they’re looking forward to the holidays, even if it’s going to be a socially distance, not hanging out with family holiday, that they’re actually putting more thought and energy into it and coming to the table with their shopping earlier. So it’s playing out that way in the Coleman household for sure. And I imagine it might’ve played out that way in your households to.

Dan Gingiss (39:01):
Indeed. And number six, takeaway from the study was the most important deciding factors in an Amazon purchase are the number of stars and positive reviews followed by delivery time. And I think that is certainly makes sense to me. I mean, I check the reviews of every product and, uh, and not just the stars. I actually like to go and read the reviews of both positive and negative reviews, but it is amazing how much impact that now has in the purchasing decision.

Joey Coleman (39:33):
It really is, especially when you think back to pre-Amazon, or even just five, ten years ago on Amazon, the reviews didn’t play as big a role as they do today. It’s like with each passing year, they play a bigger and bigger role. And so the review strategy for your business is important, but it’s also important for us as consumers. So I totally get it. I mean, I think some key takeaways from this study, Amazon is still the e-commerce powerhouse, but there is plenty of room for other competitors. I mean, Shopify is coming along and making e-commerce solutions for small and medium-sized businesses much easier to use. You don’t have to try to be Amazon. They are who they are and they’re the best at what they do for a reason. You can just be you and create a more personal experience, which is something that Amazon will always struggle to do.

Dan Gingiss (40:27):
Agreed. And especially if you have a bricks and mortar store, because that’s the one thing that, uh, other than the, some of the small stores that we’ve referred to in past episodes, they don’t really have that physical presence that a, that a local store does. Pay attention to how the pandemic affects shopping behaviors this holiday season. because I definitely think that some of those trends are likely to follow in 2021 and as always make things simple and convenient for your customers and they will keep coming back. Happy holidays to all of you, our listeners. We so appreciate you enjoy the season, stay healthy and safe!

[SHOW OUTRO]
Joey Coleman (41:15):
Wow. Thanks for joining us for another episode of Experience This!

Dan Gingiss (41:19):
We know there are tons of podcasts to listen to, magazines and books to read, reality TV to watch. We don’t take for granted that you’ve decided to spend some quality time listening to the two of us.

Joey Coleman (41:28):
We hope you enjoyed our discussions, and if you do, we’d love to hear about it. Come on over to ExperienceThis Show.com and let us know what segments you enjoyed, what new segments you’d like to hear. This show is all about experience and we want you to be part of the Experience This! Show.

Dan Gingiss (41:46):
Thanks again for your time and we’ll see you next week for more…

Joey Coleman (41:50):
Experience.

Dan Gingiss (41:50):
This!

Episode 114 – What Are They They Thinking? Getting Inside Your Customer’s Mind

Join us as we discuss new ways to get inside your customer’s imagination, little details that help deliver big outcomes, and the excitement that comes from figuring out if something is real or not..

Imagining, Reading, and Faking – Oh My!

[Book Report] Inside Your Customer’s Imagination by Chip Bell

Things We Mentioned in This Segment:

Disruption – by Chip Bell (featured in the Inside Your Customer’s Imagination Songbook)

• Chip Bell – world-renowned authority on customer loyalty and service innovation
• Inside Your Customer’s Imagination – 5 Secrets for Creating Breakthrough Products, Services, and Solutions – by Chip Bell
Disruption as performed by Chip Bell (from the Inside Your Customer’s Imagination Song Book by Chip Bell)
• Inside Your Customer’s Imagination Songbook by Chip Bell
• Episode 33, Season 1 Would You Do That to Your Mother? by Jeanne Bliss
• Book Bonuses for Inside Your Customer’s Imagination by Chip Bell

[This Just Happened] Help Customers Read the Fine Print

Things We Mentioned in This Segment:

• Auditor’s Office – Webster County (Iowa)
• Episode 60, Season 3 – The Warby Parker Experience

[Crossover Segment] Experience Points – Playing Fake or Fact with Neen James

Things We Mentioned in This Segment:

• Episode 47, Season 2Attention Pays by Neen James
• Experience Points – presented by Avtex
• Neen James – leadership expert, best-selling author, and world class speaker on attention, productivity, and focus
• Fake or Fact?! – Celebrity Guest Neen James – Experience Points
• What Happened? – Celebrity Guest Neen James – Experience Points
• Think Fast – Celebrity Guest Neen James – Experience Points

Host Contact Information

Email Dan: Dan@dangingiss.com

Tweet Dan Gingiss: @DGingiss

Email Joey: JoeyC@JoeyColeman.com

DanGingiss.com

JoeyColeman.com

Subscribe to Experience This on Apple Podcasts

Episode Transcript

Download an unedited transcript of Episode 114 here or read it below:

[SHOW INTRO]
Dan Gingiss (00:05):
Welcome to Experience This!

Joey Coleman (00:08):
Where you’ll find inspiring examples of customer experience, great stories of customer service, and tips on how to make your customers love you even more!

Dan Gingiss (00:18):
Always upbeat, and definitely entertaining customer retention expert, Joey Coleman

Joey Coleman (00:23):
and social media expert, Dan Gingiss serve as your hosts for a weekly dose of positive customer experience.

Dan Gingiss (00:30):
So hold onto your headphones. It’s time to Experience This!

[EPISODE 114 INTRO]
Joey Coleman (00:39):
Get ready for another episode of the Experience This! Show

Dan Gingiss (00:44):
Join us as we discuss new ways to get inside your customer’s imagination, little details that help deliver big outcomes. And the excitement that comes from figuring out if something is real or not!

Joey Coleman (00:59):
Imagining, Reading, and Faking. Oh My!

[SEGMENT INTRO – BOOK REPORT]
Joey Coleman (01:06):
We’re excited to give you an overview of an important book you should know about as well as share some of our favorite passages as part of our next Book Report.

[BOOK REPORT][Inside Your Customer’s Imagination by Chip Bell]
Joey Coleman (01:18):
Earlier this fall, longtime friend of the Experience This Show and fellow customer experience speaker and author Chip Bell published his newest book – Inside Your Customer’s Imagination.

Dan Gingiss (01:31):
You know, Chip has actually written a staggering 24 books so far in his career, which if I’m not mistaken, Joey, even with your next book. And my next book is still six times or complaint.

Joey Coleman (01:46):
Yeah. 24 books is a really impressive body of work to say the least. And while we could certainly talk about any number of those books, what I’d love to focus on is his newest book for our discussion here today. And given that Chip has delivered so many different insights about customer experience over the years, I thought we should let him describe this newest book in his own words.

Chip Bell (02:11):
Every organization on the planet knows the only way to compete is through new products, services, and solutions. Most organizations turn to their R&D facility or best practices from other organizations or innovation centers. But wise organizations recognize there is genius and insight and ingenuity and the side, the imagination of their customers. They look for ways to get the customer to open that door from the inside, allowing them access collaboration and co-creation where their customer. But the question becomes, how do you, how do you get a customer to want to open that door, to invite you in? I’ve studied the cultures of the most innovative companies in the world and found that characteristic of their cultures are five secrets, secrets that all not only apply to an organizational culture, but also apply to relationships, especially relationships with customers. They include curiosity, grounding, discovery, trust, and passion. My new book Inside Your Customer’s Imagination provides the tools, techniques, perspectives, to go inside your customer’s imagination. How do you use these five secrets to get the customer, to invite you in? you know, a lot of organizations that you thought invented their own pop products and services came from customers. How back cake pops at Starbucks or Splash Sticks or the Frisbee or the, the Egg McMuffin. They didn’t come from corporate. They come from customers, look for ways to go inside your customer’s imagination.

Joey Coleman (04:19):
Now I love how chip encourages us to go beyond the ideas in our organization and to collaborate on new ideas from our customers. You know, lots of groups talk about having a, a skunkworks or customer insights or voice of the customer programs. But I feel like what chip is talking about is kind of taking it to the next level. Don’t you think Dan?

Dan Gingiss (04:40):
Absolutely. And especially your loyal fans are going to have amazing ideas if you just ask them and you know, the restaurant examples are great, but also a little bit more obvious, right? I mean, Starbucks has basically built a brand on people creating basically any drink they want the way nanny combination, there’s billions of different drinks. You can order at a Starbucks, but even thinking about a company that doesn’t sell food. How about something like an Intuit, which has been known for years of having some of the most engaged customers that have all these communities around the internet that talk about how to make TurboTax and all their other products better because they love the programs and actually want to help innovate and what company would turn that down.

Joey Coleman (05:36):
Absolutely. And I think there are so many companies that because of budgets or because of head count or because of just activities that they have going on often feel well, we can’t really invest in the research and development or the R&D as much as we would like to when they’re missing the opportunity to have R&D from their actual customers and get them involved. And so I think what is really unique about Chip’s book or one of the things that is really unique about the book is he gives you a playbook for how to do this, how to tap into the imagination of your customers. Now on top of that, speaking of playbook, he actually gives you a song book. Now that would be a song book, Dan. So.

Dan Gingiss (06:20):
I like this guy already!

Joey Coleman (06:21):
I figured you might. So chip is a musician. And what he actually did is he composed a number of songs that go along with the theme of the book. And so he’s got a bunch of different songs that we can play, you know, that are kind of illustrating some of the principles that he outlines.

Dan Gingiss (06:40):
Fantastic. Well, without further ado, we got to give our listeners a little taste of one of these songs from the song book that Chip Bell created for his book.

Chip Bell (07:43):
[inaudible] (signing “Disruption” from the Songbook)

Joey Coleman (07:45):
Dan, I gotta say, I love the creativity behind this. Now we’ve had some fun here on the Experience This! Show with music. And we had a singing episode that we did for the holidays, and I’m always a fan of an author pushing the envelope to try new ways to provide a content experience for readers. I mean, books have been around for millennia. And so how do you make a book stand out while you look about having you consider having different bonuses and having an audio bonus that is not the audio book, but rather the song book I thought was a really creative way to create a fun content experience. Now, speaking of the content experience, I’d love to share my favorite passage from Chip’s book inside your customers’ imagination. This comes from the chapter titled practice, eccentric listening, and I quote, “Start with empathy. Empathy starts with simply attentively listening while asking yourself, what must my customer be feeling right now? How might I feel if our roles were reversed, empathy begins by caring enough to give undivided attention. Think about what undivided really means. Not broken into parts. Empathy is enhanced through a reflective response. Receptivity to the customer’s feelings enables you to provide a tailor made reflective response that says I’ve been there as well. This gesture, another way of saying I am similar to you promotes the kinship and closeness that is vital to customer trust. Now we have spoken about empathy so many times we continue to speak about empathy on the Experience This! Show. And I imagine most of our listeners would agree that empathy is important. What I love about this passage is that chip highlights the importance of undivided attention and the importance of a reflective response.

Dan Gingiss (09:42):
You know, I happened to be reminded when you were reading the beginning of that passage about how might I feel if our roles are reversed and what most of my customers be feeling way back in season one in episode 33, we talked about our friend Jean Bliss’s book, which was called, would you do that to your mother?

Speaker 2 (10:00):
And, you know, she was sort of asking a similar question of like, can you stop and think about what you’re doing here to your customer and how they might feel? And, you know, we’ve said many times on this show, we’re all customers in our real life. So it’s not like these quote unquote customers are quote unquote aliens from quote unquote outer space quotes, quote, unquote, that’s true, but they’re just like us because they are consumers in their daily lives. So it’s not that hard to get into the head of your customers. So let’s now go to chip bell himself, the author, and have him read his favorite passage from the book.

Chip Bell (10:44):
There’s a beautiful golf course at the beginning of my long driveway, my Lake front home backs up to the shoreline, but fronts, the 13th tee box, uh, Jack Nicholas designed PGA course, it’s the setting for many golf tournaments. While the 13th hole is breathtaking, you play full hundred and 34 yards straight into the Lake. It’s the 14th hole that gets the golfers laments in the bar at the end of an arduous 18 holes, almost the entire 14th hole is played over the water where the Lake shoreline cuts deep into the golf course. Despite the fact that it’s a mirror, 186 yard par three hole, many a golfer has been psychologically distracted by the giant water trap and had their golf balls land in the water. But the best golfers know a secret – focus only on the hole. And don’t get distracted by the fact that your golf ball will be flying over water. It is a strong lesson for co-creating with your customer. It starts by having a clear focus. You can work on collaboratively.

Joey Coleman (12:05):
It makes me feel like I’m on the golf course. And combining my passage with chips, I must say that I empathize with the feeling of losing your focus because of the fear of hitting a golf ball into the water hazard. I’ve been there. I get anxious in those settings. You know, what I think is fascinating is focus is certainly something we all know is incredibly important, but I wonder how often we work to enhance our focusing abilities, what we do to get better at something as important as focusing.

Dan Gingiss (12:35):
Wait, what were you saying there, Joey?

Joey Coleman (12:38):
Yeah, exactly. Exactly. Focus on focusing, thinking of you, focusing Dan, what was your favorite passage from the book?

Dan Gingiss (12:45):
Well, I particularly liked this one and here’s the quote, “The ritual happens thousands of times every day in restaurants around the country. You’re in the middle of your meal and the maitre D or manager approaches your table with the query. How is everything? And you politely respond fine unless something is really, really bad or really, really good. The Inquirer thinks an evaluation has been rendered by the customer. The customer believes a fair-weather friendly greeting has been delivered. The question is only a question in its form, not in its tent. Sure. It has a question Mark at the end, but that is just for show. Make sure if you’re asking a question, you’re genuinely curious and earnest to hear what the customer has to say.” And I loved this because we do ask questions all the time. It might be in a survey, it might be a passing. How are you doing today? And if you don’t care about the answer, then rephrase the question such that you do, because otherwise you’re just sort of wasting the other person’s time. And I love this example because how many times have we been asked, how is everything? And truly, I probably say fine every time, even if it is really, really good or really, really bad, because you know, I’m in the middle of the conversation or whatever. And so it is kind of a wasted question. I thought it was a really good call out.

Joey Coleman (14:08):
I agree. And I love that line. The question is only a question in its form, not its intent. And we felt that when somebody asks, Oh, how are you doing today? And you’re like, you actually don’t care. I know you are asking because you think it’s the plight or the appropriate thing to do imagine instead in a restaurant scenario saying of all the things you’ve tasted on your plate thus far, which one surprised you the most or which one was unexpected or which one would you like me to bring you a little bit more of these type of engaging questions, change the conversation and to be frank, that’s why I liked Chip’s book so much. You know, there are so many books to read when it comes to customer experience. And what I loved is that Chip is offering new angles on familiar messages. Now, certainly we’ve all heard about collaborating with our customers. We’ve heard about showing empathy about practicing focused, listening, really caring about the things our customers tell us. But for some reason, when I was reading Chip’s book, it helped me to see these topics with new eyes. And it gave me new found enthusiasm for doubling down on imaginative ways to enhance customer experiences. Make sure you pick up a copy of Inside Your Customer’s Imagination by Chip Bell and find ways to take your customer interactions to new and exciting places.

[SEGMENT INTRO – THIS JUST HAPPENED]
Joey Coleman (15:32):
We love telling stories and sharing key insights you can implement or avoid based on our experiences. Can you believe that This Just Happened?

[THIS JUST HAPPENED][Help Customers Read the Fine Print]
Joey Coleman (15:47):
Listeners know, I recently moved to my hometown where I grew up a Fort Dodge Iowa. And because I moved during election season, I had to register to vote because I wanted to do my civic duty and vote. So I wanted to register to vote, but long story short in order to do that and to make sure I was well taken care of in time to get my vote counted. I had to go to the auditor’s office. Have you ever been to the County auditor’s office Dan?

Dan Gingiss (16:17):
Good Lord No!

Joey Coleman (16:19):
Yeah, this is the first for me as well. I was like, where is the auditor’s office and what do I need to do? And so I went online and I found out the information that I needed and how I would basically be able to register to vote and to vote at the same place at the same time while I was registering. So I was like, Oh, this is great. I can do my civic duty and we get everything taken care of. And when I walked into the auditor’s office, I observed something that I have never seen before on the reception desk, there was a little jar of pens. Now I’ve been in plenty of places where there’s a little jar of pens, but there was also a jar filled with reading glasses of different prescriptions that were available for public use. So that I presume basically somebody who’s going to read a government form or the fine print, and they’ve forgotten their glasses at home, or they need some to be able to read the forms they’re filling out. They can select a pair of reading glasses from the jar in case they don’t have theirs with them.

Dan Gingiss (17:21):
Now, setting aside the fact that during COVID I ain’t touching no,

Joey Coleman (17:25):
probably not a good idea during COVID we’ll avoid any commentary on the state of Iowa and their COVID response friends. Okay. We’re we’re just, we’re going to let that pass for now.

Dan Gingiss (17:35):
Yes, but overall, I think that’s a really interesting and thoughtful idea. I mean, I’ve seen the, like the reverse where they collect eyeglasses, you know, used eyeglasses so they can donate them or give them to people in need, but I’ve never seen here’s a choice of eyeglasses or reading glasses. If you can’t read the forums, I think that’s fascinating. And I’d love to ask them how often people use it. I mean, it must be reasonably enough because they have it, but I’ve never seen that before either. Great, great job. Noticing a di a unique experience. Yeah.

Joey Coleman (18:11):
Well, thanks, Dan. You know, as we say on the show, uh, Dana, and I say this to each other all the time, if you just pay attention, the show writes itself, folks, we can come up with these stories all day long because there’s so many interesting experiences out in the world. And I agree with you. I found myself wondering how did this happen? Did so many people forget their reading glasses like in their car. And to be clear, this, the auditor’s office is several floors up at the County courthouse. And it’s pretty far away from where the parking is. So I could see a scenario where, you know, somebody came to the auditor’s office and Oh, I forgot my reading glasses in the car and they’re not going to traipse all the way down. And then as the auditor having to read the form to the person, I don’t know, like I’m fascinated by what happened to create a jar of reading glasses sitting on the reception desk.

Dan Gingiss (18:58):
I am fascinated by that too. And I would certainly love to hear the answer. In fact, I think at some point we’re going to have to send you out to do an Experience This Live.

Joey Coleman (19:08):
I think we can do that over the auditor interview. I like it. Yeah. I think what’s interesting about this though, is the spirit of this example. I’m not saying that everybody listening should have a jar of reading glasses at your reception desk. What I am saying is we need to explore ways to help our customers do business with us. Now in past episodes, we talked about, for example, the coloring book that, uh, was available for kids at Warby Parker. So while their parents were shopping, the kids could color in the coloring book and be entertained.

Dan Gingiss (19:45):
Oh yeah, of course. That was Episode 60 in season three.

Joey Coleman (19:49):
Thank you, Rain Man, for that library reference to our past recorded episodes, listeners may or not remember that one, given that it was way back in season three, but I’ve also observed things like toys at the chiropractor’s office to keep the kids entertained while you’re getting an adjustment or books at the dentist office for if you’re waiting for a long time, you can kind of dive into a novel, these things that help people have a better experience. Why they’re doing business with you is one thing. But the reading glasses actually help them do business with you, right. To be able to see the forms you’re being asked to fill out. And so I thought this was an, was an interesting example.

Dan Gingiss (20:28):
Yeah. And I think that one of the things to remember here is know your customer. I’m guessing that people that come into the auditor’s office might be older and may have maybe more apt to need reading glasses. And that might be why I’m just guessing here, but that might be why they felt that it was necessary. You might find that your customers are technologically inclined, or if they’re sitting in a waiting room for a long time are on their phones. And so you might consider putting phone chargers in there because it’s just a nice touch and people appreciate it. And so it’s the little things that matter. We said it so many times on this show. And, uh, I think, uh, certainly if I were in need of reading glasses, I’d be really happy that they were there. And even if I weren’t, I think I’d at least notice them and sort of appreciate the gesture. Even if the gesture didn’t specifically benefit me.

Joey Coleman (21:26):
Absolutely. And that’s the thing, I’m not at a point where I need reading glasses, but I saw that and I immediately thought better of the auditor’s office. This is my first time in the auditor’s office. I’m in a new community. There’s so much negative criticism about government and government services and here I am trying to vote and I witness that the auditor’s office in Webster County in Iowa cared enough to put reading glasses in a jar for their customers or the citizens who were coming to the auditor’s office to use. So what’s the takeaway here, friends. The takeaway is not go get a bunch of reading glasses to put in your waiting room. The takeaway is to look at the places where your customers first come into interaction with you and maximize those first few minutes, make those first few minutes all about helping your customer to do business with you, helping them feel comfortable, helping them feel welcomed, helping them feel appreciated, helping them feel taken care of wherever you can anticipate what needs your customer has and deliver on those early in the relationship. That’s a great way to set a foundation for the remarkable customer experiences to come.

[SEGMENT INTRO – CROSSOVER SEGMENT – EXPERIENCE POINTS]
Joey Coleman (22:49):
As you’ve heard on the show throughout this season, we’ve got a brand new game show that we are doing called experience points and Dan and I thought it would be fun to share a crossover segment. So what you’re going to hear now is our good friend, Neen James, who is absolutely an incredible human being. You may recall. We talked about her book attention pays back in season two, episode 47, and you’re going to get a chance to hear Neen James, as she plays Experience Points and in the process wins some great money for her favorite charity. Well, teaching you a thing or two about creating remarkable customer experiences. So check out this episode of Experience Points with the incomparable Neen James

[CROSSOVER SEGMENT – EXPERIENCE POINTS][Fake or Fact with Neen James]
Rules Hostess (23:39):
In fake all fact examine three similar experiences. Some are real. Some are your task is to determine the fake from the fact each experience currently detected as worth 100 points. Three, correct answers will earn you 200 bonus points for a possible school of 500 points.

Joey Coleman (24:00):
Are you ready to get started?

Neen James (24:02):
Hey, I’m ready. Let’s do this.

Joey Coleman (24:04):
All right. Let’s jump into the game. So subscription boxes are all the rage so much so that the global research and advisory company Gartner projects that by 2023, 75% of all companies that sell direct to consumers will offer some type of subscription-based service. We’re going to show you three potential monthly subscriptions that someone could sign up for and you get to determine whether they are fake or fact here they are. The first one, a monthly subscription to bacon.

Neen James (24:44):
Fact! Absolutely hands down! Bacon goes with everything!

Joey Coleman (24:50):
Neen is so excited about bacon! Let me show you all three first and then you can tell us what you think they’re fake. I love that the fake, it just catapult you forward in the game. All Right. So Subscription number two, pickup trucks, where you get a new pickup truck every month subscription, number three guitars where you can get a new guitar every month. Now these are the three potential monthly subscriptions mean it’s your turn now to decide which ones are fake or fact and tell us why. So the first one is bacon. You rushed. I think we know your answer. You think it is fact. And why do you think it’s fact Neen?

Neen James (25:35):
Because everyone, almost everyone loves bacon. They may not want to admit that they love bacon, but they love it so much that they would happily subscribe to a monthly bacon box.

Joey Coleman (25:46):
I love the enthusiasm for bacon. I agree with you. I think there’s a lot of closet bacon lovers out there that may not want to admit it me. And you said that the monthly subscription to bacon was fact and you were indeed correct. There is a bacon subscription. Oh my goodness.

Dan Gingiss (26:05):
Bacon Freak!

Joey Coleman (26:06):
This one’s crazy. Yeah. It’s from a company called bacon free branding, by the way. Very cool branding. And I need to share this for those of you listening, as opposed to seeing the show via video, they offer a King size bacon is meat candy, bacon of the month club. Bacon is meat. Candy is what they call it. So big fans of bacon. Yes. Nene. You are correct. You are one for one. All right. The second faker fact option pickup trucks is a subscription to pick up trucks, fake, or fact, and why

Neen James (26:44):
Fake

Joey Coleman (26:45):
And what makes you say fake Neen?

Neen James (26:47):
Because I’m unsure about how you would handle the logistics of that. So I’m thinking from a logistics experience, point of view, you would just get kind of used to setting up all the things that you love about your pickup truck. And then you change to another one. So I’m going to say Fake.

Joey Coleman (27:04):
Interesting. And to be clear, you’re saying the experience for the customer of getting everything set up logistically, as opposed to the logistics of the pickup truck company, getting you a new pickup every month, correct? Gotcha. I like it. Well, Neen, you believe it’s fake. And in fact, it is fake! Two for two Neen! What’s fascinating about this one is there actually are car subscription companies. BMW offers one, Porsche, Mercedes. These various companies allow you to subscribe to a different car where you can go and swap out the car for a new one, but no one has done it for pickup trucks yet. So you are correct Neen feeling good. Let’s go to the third one guitars, a subscription to get a new guitar need fake or fact?

Neen James (27:53):
This is a hard one. I think he could go either way with this one. Cause I know people in my life who would happily subscribe to that box that I’m going to go with fake. And the reason I’m gonna go with fake is to be able to provide for the guitar lover who enjoys those premium products. I’m thinking that potentially the reason is because the price point is a very small market that would subscribe to that box.

Joey Coleman (28:22):
Gotcha. So Neen says fake, but sadly it’s fact, Oh, there is a group Guitar Affair. Is there a name that allows you to subscribe and get a new guitar every month you send the old one back and you get a new one, a last so close, but two for three needs. Why do you think subscription boxes are all the rage? Like everybody seems to be getting one or creating one. Why do you think that is?

Neen James (28:49):
I love being a butt and I’m one of those consumers. I get multiple subscription boxes. And one of the things that I love about it is it’s a curated experience with someone has done the work. And then, because there are certain products, for example, with beauty stores, I get samples that I go and buy the full product. So I like that it’s curated, it’s convenient. And I also liked that it’s like a little present to myself every single month. So that’s one of the reasons I like it. And I think that’s the same for most people also too, at the time of recording. But people are spending more time in their homes. That could be another reason why I think they’re increasing

Dan Gingiss (29:27):
With both the guitars and the pickup trucks. It’s more like a Netflix model. At least as Netflix started off with the DVDs where you get one a month, you return it and you get a new one. Obviously you’re not returning that bacon and they couldn’t probably rip it out of your hands. Neat. And once they gave you the bacon, but, uh, I think that’s really interesting because you have this sort of two types of subscription services, the one where you get something that you keep and it is like a present the other where you get something to borrow and you get to try new things that maybe you don’t even want to keep. I mean, I love the idea of driving a new BMW every month without necessarily having to pick my favorite. Right. Uh, so I think this is a definitely a clickable and I’ve talked with a lot of companies, including some clients that immediately jumped to this idea that there’s no way they could have a subscription box. I don’t necessarily think that’s true. Even if you’re in the service business, not the, not a product business. I think the concept of why subscription boxes work can work in almost any business. What do you think?

Neen James (30:33):
One of the things that I advocate for my clients is that if you really want to get the attention of a client, whether it is as a thank you for an opportunity you’ve had together, or if you romancing a new prospect, I often prescribe these subscription boxes because it lands on their desk or in their home every single month. And I personally had success with that in my own practice. And so I was with one of my luxury travel clients recently, and they manage all sorts of kinds of travelers, but I had found them subscription boxes for leisure, adventure, uh, cuisine, family. And so it was really interesting that when you start to drill into this, I would challenge clients to really think creatively about this, because think about dollar shave club, they instantly just kept sending it in, who knew that was going to be a thing. Right? And so I think we have to think about getting the attention of people in a different way. Subscription boxes is a beautiful way to elevate your branding. It’s a fantastic way to get to know your customers even more. So I think they need to stay.

Joey Coleman (31:38):
Absolutely. And you know, Neen, I think it’s interesting, you mentioned that idea of taking someone from the prospecting stage through to the customer stage. What I love about subscription boxes is the continued connection. It’s to your point, getting in front of that customer on a regular basis, a monthly basis. And it’s a way that’s more fun than say sending them an email that’s Oh, just checking in to see how things were going, right? None of us like receiving that email or even worse, that phone call, but having a small little gift or subscription arrive is a great way to make it about them as well. I think the more you can learn about your clients and identify what their personal interests are, if you send them a subscription box every month, they’re thinking of you, uh, anybody who’s, uh, had the chance to hear me speak knows that I’m a big fan of root beer and I’ve had a number of clients get me a subscription to the root beer of the month club and so every month when that six pack of root beer comes in, it doesn’t have their name on it. It doesn’t say, Hey, still thinking of you, but I remember who gave it to me. And so I think there’s a huge opportunity here from gifting out of curiosity, let’s dive a little bit deeper into the benefit of a business, the benefit rather to a business of considering these type of forever transactions, like the power to lock the customer in on a monthly basis. Even if it’s to your point earlier, like a small sample set, can you speak me into kind of what you’ve seen as far as the long-term value of being able to build that relationship over time?

Neen James (33:15):
If we think about attention is about connection, right? And so when you have, as the business invested your attention, and I’m getting to know that Joey likes root beer and when Joey receives that, that builds an instant, not just the connection, but a loyalty, because given an opportunity for Joey to make a purchasing decision in the future, you might have competitors, their products by be cheaper, they might be more convenient, but because of that sense of connection and loyalty, which you’ve built up through the simplicity of this gift, this subscription box, that’s part of the differentiator. And what it also do does I think is that there’s, I believe in like there’s an unconsciousness to this as well. So we have often with treating things as transactions, but if you can be more transformative and you can think about how do I consciously connect to this? How do I intentionally pay attention to this person? Not just for the short game, but for the long game, because it’s not just about influencing their experience. It’s the 200 people they’ll tell about receiving that root beer subscription box. So when you think about it as like dropping a pebble in a pond, it’s the ripple effect across not just the people they know, but the stories they’re going to tell. If they identify the essay yacht club at their chamber event, that’s the kind of press that you can’t pay for. And that’s why the simple thought of attention is about connection. It has this ripple effect as well.

Joey Coleman (34:44):
So true Neen and boy, I think plenty of our Watchers and listeners would love a subscription to the wisdom of Neen James. Dan let’s recap how Neen playing Fake or Fact?!

Dan Gingiss (34:56):
This game, correct answers are worth a hundred points. And you answered two questions correctly, which means you earned 200 points. Now that 200 points will be converted into $200. Thanks to our friends at Avtex for a donation to Operation Smile. Nice work!

Neen James (35:13):
Thank you Avtex!

Joey Coleman (35:14):
Congratulations Neen. This concludes this episode of Experience Points. Check out more games with Neen and our other celebrity contestants at ExperiencePointsGame.com. That’s ExperiencePointsGame.com. We’ll see you soon for more examples of remarkable experiences here at Experience Points presented by Avtex.

Dan Gingiss (35:45):
Hopefully you thought that was as fun as we did. Check out more games at ExperiencePointsGame.com. Again, it’s the Experience Points game show brought to you by our friends at Avtex. And hey, we just want to add this little note. We know that this week is Thanksgiving in the United States. It is a time to be thankful and Joey and I are so thankful for you, our listeners, thanks for sticking with us for so many episodes, six seasons, over a hundred episodes. We really appreciate you and are very thankful for you on this Thanksgiving 2020.

[SHOW OUTRO]
Joey Coleman (36:31):
Wow. Thanks for joining us for another episode of Experience This!

Dan Gingiss (36:35):
We know there are tons of podcasts to listen, to magazines and books to read, reality TV to watch. We don’t take for granted that you’ve decided to spend some quality time listening to the two of us.

Joey Coleman (36:45):
We hope you enjoyed our discussions and if you do, we’d love to hear about it. Come on over to ExperienceThisShow.com and let us know what segments you enjoyed, what new segments you’d like to hear. This show is all about experience, and we want you to be part of the Experience This! Show!

Dan Gingiss (37:03):
Thanks again for your time and we’ll see you next week for more…

Joey Coleman (37:06):
Experience

Dan Gingiss (37:08):
This!

Episode 111 – Take the Mystery Out of CX By Connecting with Your Customers


Join us as we discuss the mysteries of mystery shopping, texting for help, and why channel switching is a good way to anger your customers.

Mysteries, Queries, and Quandaries – Oh My!

[Book Report] The Secret Diary of a Mystery Shopper

Things We Mentioned in This Segment:

• The Secret Diary of a Mystery Shopper by Claire Boscq-Scott
• The Bailiwick of Jersey
• Kevin Peters, former President of Office Depot

[Dissecting the Experience] The Evolving Role of Text Messaging

Things We Mentioned in This Segment:

• Message Me by Joshua March
• Conversocial
Podium
• The Confidante Miami Beach
• Hyatt Hotels
• Slalom Build
• “5 Ways To Stay Ahead of the Competition” – by Podium

[Partnership with Avtex] Playing Experience Points – Fake or Fact?

Things We Mentioned in This Segment:

• Avtex
• Experience Points

[This Just Happened] Don’t Switch Them to a Different Channel

Things We Mentioned in This Segment:

Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)

Host Contact Information

Email Dan: Dan@dangingiss.com

Tweet Dan Gingiss: @DGingiss

Email Joey: JoeyC@JoeyColeman.com

DanGingiss.com

JoeyColeman.com

Subscribe to Experience This on Apple Podcasts

Episode Transcript

Download an unedited transcript of Episode 111 here or read it below:

[SHOW INTRO]
Dan Gingiss (00:05):
Welcome to Experience This!

Joey Coleman (00:08):
Where you’ll find inspiring examples of customer experience, great stories of customer service, and tips on how to make your customers love you even more!

Dan Gingiss (00:18):
Always upbeat, and definitely entertaining customer retention expert, Joey Coleman…

Joey Coleman (00:23):
and social media expert, Dan Gingiss serve as your hosts for a weekly dose of positive customer experience.

Dan Gingiss (00:30):
So hold on to your headphones. It’s time to Experience This!

[EPISODE 111 INTRO]
Dan Gingiss (00:39):
Get ready for another episode of The Experience This Show!

Joey Coleman (00:44):
Join us as we discuss the mysteries of mystery shopping, texting for help, and why channel switching is a good way to anger your customers.

Dan Gingiss (00:55):
Mysteries, Queries, and Quandaries! Oh my!

[SEGMENT INTRO – BOOK REPORT]
Joey Coleman (01:03):
We’re excited to give you an overview of an important book you should know about, as well as share some of our favorite passages as part of our next Book Report.

[THIS JUST HAPPENED][The Secret Diary of a Mystery Shopper]
Dan Gingiss (01:15):
Have you ever been a mystery shopper, Joey?

Joey Coleman (01:18):
Well, Dan, if I tell you that kind of give away the mystery?

Dan Gingiss (01:22):
Ladies and gentlemen, he’s here all episode!

Joey Coleman (01:25):
All right, no – I’m just teasing. Ahh yes, I actually have had the chance to be a mystery shopper in the sense that lots of times when I do consulting projects with clients, I will tell them that the first thing I want to do is come in and be a mystery shopper and experience their brand and experience their space, which always makes showing up for the workshops that I lead then with teams, really interesting. Because I walk in and invariably, some of them are like, “Oh my gosh, he was in the store yesterday. What’s he going to say?” and that kind of thing. So yes, I have been a mystery shopper, but really only is a precursor to consulting engagements.

Dan Gingiss (02:02):
Okay. I got it. Well, the former Mrs. Gingiss and I actually participated in a very extensive mystery shopping program.

Joey Coleman (02:11):
Why am I not surprised that you have a history with an extensive mystery shopping program – I love it!

Dan Gingiss (02:18):
It was awesome.

Joey Coleman (02:19):
Yeah – I mean, it sounds like a Dan Gingiss type activity.

Dan Gingiss (02:22):
It was so much fun. And I think I’m going to convince you, you’re going to want to do it with Berit.

Joey Coleman (02:26):
Alright. Alright!

Dan Gingiss (02:27):
So Let Us Entertain You is a large restaurant group based in Chicago, it’s got more than a hundred restaurants. They’ve also got some restaurants in a bunch of other States, but most of them are in the Chicago area. They’re known for great food, huge dish sizes, you know, servings and really good service. And so we participated in their program, which is highly selective. And you have to go through this big training and all this stuff. And what they do is they send you out to a restaurant and you pay with your own credit card, but you’re reimbursed for the entire meal. They give you some stipulations, but they’re pretty minor. Like they’ll say “don’t order the lobster” or something like that. Pretty much you get, you can order anything you want. They, they pop for a bottle of wine. It’s an, it’s a lovely evening. And the only problem with it is, is that you have to go home afterwards,

Joey Coleman (03:22):
and write a book report!

Dan Gingiss (03:23):
And write a book report! The first time we did this, I’m not making this up, it took us two and a half hours.

Joey Coleman (03:30):
Oh, I totally believe that. Where you’re like, “Oh, this would be a great way to have an experience.” And then you’re like, “Oh my gosh, this was not worth the free meal.

Dan Gingiss (03:39):
Well, the first time I thought that now, eventually we got it down to about 45 minutes. But what they were asking was fascinating. They wanted to know the exact words that the waiter or waitress said when they first arrived at the table, they wanted to know if at any point the food was auctioned, which was explicitly prohibited that’s that’s “Okay, Who has the hamburger? Who has the steak?”

Joey Coleman (04:05):
I understand. I thought you were meaning like who wants to take her $5? Can I get, can I get a 7? I understand what you mean. Oh yeah. So if, if the wait staff didn’t remember who got what and then decided to broadcast it to your table.

Dan Gingiss (04:19):
Correct. They would ask how many times was your water filled? And you know, I was the water person smiling at you there. I mean, the details were so specific. I remember the first couple times they must’ve, you know, cause you also can’t share that you’re a mystery shopper. Right.

Joey Coleman (04:38):
And I’m wondering like, as you’re describing this, I imagine some of our listeners might be wondering too, like, are you taking notes during the meal? But an engine in a pre-social media era that was really difficult now it’s like, Oh, Dan’s tweeting again. Right. But you’re really taking notes on it, oh, we’re at five times they’ve refilled the water.

Dan Gingiss (04:56):
Well, let’s put it this way. It was long enough ago that anyone watching my ex-wife would have thought that she had a bladder problem because she had to visit the bathroom like six times to go take notes, take notes. Because I mean, I think we had phones, but we didn’t, but it wasn’t.

Joey Coleman (05:14):
It wasn’t the way we use phones today. Sure.

Dan Gingiss (05:17):
But in any event, I love this program. We actually got, we got to graduate after we did about 10 restaurants, we got to graduate to like their senior program, which was their fancier restaurants. Only let their, you know, their best reviewers go to their top restaurants. And it was a blast. I learned so much about paying attention and really focusing on what’s going on around you. And this came to fruition late last year I met a former colleague of mine and we were working on a project together for a client and we met at a restaurant. We sat down at the booth and he was asking me to kind of describe what customer experience was and what I was doing. And I said, well, let me give you an example. Did you notice when we sat down at this booth that the wall next to us was dirty, you know, his, his head switched to the left and was like, no, I’m like, that’s the first thing I noticed before we even sat down because I’m trained to just look for that kind of short and this mystery shopper stuff taught me that. And uh, so I was very thankful for the opportunity. Not only because I got a lot of great food and wine, but because I really learned how to pay attention to those details. So I love mystery shopping, which is why I was particularly interested in a brand new book that came out in August called The Secret Diary of a Mystery Shopper by Claire Boscq-Scott. Now Claire is from the Bailiwick of Jersey and I’m going to admit to everybody to look this up, okay? I’m not so good at geography. The Bailiwick of Jersey is a British dependency off the coast of Normandy, France. It’s part of the Channel Islands. It sounds lovely. But anyway, that’s where Claire is from. And she, in her book, she defines kind of why mystery shopping is really important for businesses and how it relates to customer experience. And a couple of things that she noted is she says, you can’t be in your business 24/7. Obviously you can’t be in two or three or 20 places at once. If you have multiple locations, you can’t improve. If you don’t get feedback, you can’t celebrate your successes. If you don’t get feedback, you can’t manage what you don’t measure. And you don’t know if you’re following your business vision. If all you do is sit in your ivory tower and never get out and see how things are actually being done.

Joey Coleman (07:39):
All very good reasons to kind of get out of my speed. I mean, this is kind of the management by walking around theory, right? You’ve got to be on the frontline, you’ve got to have exposure. And the problem, I would imagine that most business owners and managers face is if they go into their store, all their employees know who they are. So you get, of course you get better treatment because quote unquote, the bosses there, right? Whereas if it’s a mystery shopper, you get something closer to retail.

Dan Gingiss (08:08):
True. Although I would say as an asterisk to that Joey that a lot of executives set it up that way on purpose. So yeah, one of the companies I worked for, I won’t say who it was, but it was set up so that whenever the CEO called customer service, it was like, you know, he was calling the bat phone and, and so a little, you know, siren went off and he got a supervisor who took right, who took care of them immediately. So he never got the experience of an actual customer. I had the opportunity to use the bat phone and I said, no, thank you. I’d like to call the 800 number and see what everybody else sees makes sense. So anyway, uh, as usual with a book report, uh, I connected with Claire. She’s a lovely lady. And I asked her to introduce her new book to our audience. So here’s Claire with an overview of her book, The Secret Diary of a Mystery Shopper.

Claire Boscq-Scott (08:59):
Hello, this is Claire Boscq-Scott mystery, shopping and customer service. Global gallery. Yes. I’m here and super excited to be here with you on this podcast and to introduce you to my you Burke. Yes. Hi, exciting. Is this, let me introduce you to The Secret Diary of a Mystery Shopper. This is my new book launched a couple of weeks ago, which has already ranked number one on Amazon bestseller on customer service and The Secret Diary of a Mystery Shopper. If he doesn’t give it to you in the title, it is all about mystery shopping. Yes. How you can uncover hidden secret within your organization. How you can look at your employee performances and really improve your service, develop some new strategies and increase your customer loyalty. So the secret diary of a mystery shopper, it is, um, 11 years now, I’ve been running my own mystery shopping companies and I’ve been writing all those stories, the good, the bad and the exceptional, yes, because if we talk about exceptional, we will bring more exceptional stories in our book. So this is really a business book. It is, you know, for businesses to take it, read it with your team, read the stories, think about how this could affect your business. If you have that kind of experience and look at all the little tips and, you know, th the, uh, the consultancies, I guess also behind every of the stories. So, and I’m sure you’re going to really unsure reading some of those stories. Um, I’ve had people, you know, giving me stories, you know, when you talk about customer service, everybody’s got a story. So I’m looking forward to sharing them with you in the secret diary of a mystery shopper bye for now,

Joey Coleman (10:58):
I gotta admit Dan, I am intrigued. And I particularly liked the way Claire described the good, the bad and the exceptional. You know, I was waiting for her to say the good, the bad and the ugly, which lots of times I think is what people think of when they think of customer experience. I know you and I, when we started the Experience This Show made the conscious decision to tell the positive customer experience stories. And I think all too often, people are quicker to share the ugly customer experience story. So I like that. She’s all about the exceptional to bring more of those exceptional stories to the book so you can model what to do in your business as opposed to learn what not to do.

Dan Gingiss (11:38):
Absolutely. And folks, when you learn what you’re doing right by collecting positive feedback from customers, do more of it. I mean, when they tell you that they like it, that’s a great indication that you should be doing more of it. Just like when customers complain. That’s a pretty good hint that should stop doing something. And I have always said, whenever I get asked on podcasts, or when I’m interviewing, you know, what’s one tip that you can give to people in customer experience. I always give the same tip and it is become your own customer, become a customer of your company. If you don’t do that, there is no way that you can truly understand what it’s like to be a customer. What does that mean? It means get onto your website and create a login and a password, and then forget your password and try to go through the, forget your password.

Joey Coleman (12:24):
And you’ll realize just how insane your process is getting a new password. I really liked that Dan, I worked years ago with a company that was in the home heating oil and propane business, kind of a home services, energy company. And one of the things that really surprised me when we started is how many of their employees were not actually customers. And it actually, by the time we left there, a significant percentage were because we adopted a program where we said, we’re going to help subsidize getting employees to become customers because we wanted them to have that perspective and have that experience, even if they might not have the direct financial impact of the experience, we at least wanted them to go through the setup and the various customer service interactions so that we could hopefully make the business better.

Dan Gingiss (13:13):
Outstanding. It’s so such a great idea. I mean, think about a customer service agent. Who’s trying to help a customer navigate the website, but the agent’s never actually been on the website because…

Joey Coleman (13:23):
Exactly. So what are they doing? They’re reading through a manual or a click through on a web screen saying, Oh, and you should see in the top right corner, a purple box. Well, if they’ve never logged in, they don’t know what they’re seeing. And it does make all the difference.

Dan Gingiss (13:37):
And it can be very frustrating to the person on the other line. Okay. Joey, I think of all of our book reports, this is the best author, favorite passage that we’ve ever had.

Joey Coleman (13:49):
Ooh, pressure ladies and gentlemen tune in for this one. This is going to be interesting. I like it Dan!

Dan Gingiss (13:55):
Here’s Claire reading her favorite passage

Claire Boscq-Scott (13:59):
Can you steal jewelry. Okay. So that was a first, I just received an email from my client, a large jewelers who had finished a big safety and theft training with their stuff and wanted us to go and try to steal something from one of their shops. Wow. Okay. This was taking mystery, shopping into a whole new dimension. As this could have secondary implication. We had to think about this one before. What would happen if I get caught? What if the alarm goes off? What if the police has been called?! What if we get filmed on CCTV camera, you see where I’m coming from. Hmm, but after a good conversation, with my clients and arranging all the possibility, we agreed to perform the visit.

Dan Gingiss (14:59):
Okay. Tell me you don’t want to know the end of that story.

Joey Coleman (15:02):
Oh my gosh. Not only do I want to know the end of this story, but I’m kind of reminded, and this is going to be a little bit of a nostalgia throwback. We’ll see, which of our listeners are old enough to remember this movie years ago? I think this probably would have been maybe late eighties, mid eighties. There was a movie with Robert Redford called Sneakers that was all about like this business that specialized in hacking into other businesses. And I remember watching this thinking, Oh my gosh, this is what I want to do. I now think that I want to go work for Claire on these jewelry cases! Forget the restaurant ones, Claire, if you need help breaking into a bank, or a secure facility or stealing jewelry, call me, I will be your mystery guy.

Dan Gingiss (15:48):
I love it. And, uh, I was actually thinking Ocean’s 11 when I read that one, but yeah. All right. So I have a favorite passage as well. And, uh, you know, I combined two of my favorite things. Joey, I combined restaurants and bathrooms.

Joey Coleman (16:03):
Shocker – our loyal listeners are falling over right now. No friends. It’s more of the same from Dan Gingiss.

Dan Gingiss (16:10):
So here we go with, uh, another story that she tells in her book. Once we had a restaurant group who wanted to get their branches measured, and I was asked to bring my family with me, we arrived at the restaurant and as she loved being a little mystery shopper, I sent my daughter to the toilets to check them out. She was gone a good 10 minutes and as I was about to come and see where she was, she reappeared running back from the toilet and said, mom, mom, mom, you won’t believe what happened. I was on the toilet and the light went off. So I couldn’t see anything. I was a bit scared and eventually managed to open the door. And the light came back on. You can imagine the situation, the toilet lights were activated by a sensor. The door was tall enough to trigger it, but she wasn’t. The lights went off until she managed to open the door. Again. The point is what this group of restaurants did. After this visit, they readjusted all of their toilet sensors. So small people could also be picked up by the sensors. They also took it a step further. Having had this feedback from a six-year-old girl, they revisited their entire young customer experience and suddenly increased their family revenue by 40%.

Joey Coleman (17:22):
Ooh, I like it, Dan. I like it. You know, talk about taking a situation and not only fixing the problem, but using it to springboard into some additional enhancements for our customers as well. You know, we’ve talked about this on the show before, how often businesses miss the associated customers of their customers, right? The significant others, the spouses, the children of their primary customers who happen to be in their location or in their business, or tangentially touched by the business and how there’s an opportunity to enhance things there. I love it. Well, my favorite passage was about, uh, Kevin Peters, the President of Office Depot. And here’s the story from The Secret Diary of a Mystery Shopper.

Joey Coleman (18:09):
I parked and saw an associate leaning up against the brick facade, smoking a cigarette. Meanwhile, customers were walking out without any bags. This employee did nothing. He just watched them leave empty handed. At that point, I had a tough decision to make, should I blow my cover and alert the store manager? Or should I stay silent? I sat in the car a few minutes thinking it over. Finally, I decided I just can’t let this go. I went into the store and looked at the stantion that stands at the front of every location, displaying the name of the manager and his, or her picture. Guess who the store manager was? Yes, the guy smoking outside the store. So I went up to him and introduced myself and we had a good, long talk. He was ashamed of his behavior and he was sweating during the conversation. You promise to do a better job of taking care of customers. And I promised to keep in touch. Even today, we exchange emails every month to discuss his performance.

Dan Gingiss (19:08):
Joey, I’m telling you I want to work for a company someday that has a president like Kevin Peters and that was actually part of a, a larger story where he talked about visiting dozens and dozens and dozens of stores. And I have to tell you, my father, who was a business owner, uh, of, of a formal wear business, did the same thing. He traveled all around the country and visited his stores. And that’s when he learned the most about what was actually going on. You can’t tell this stuff from a report or a spreadsheet, or even frankly, from talking with your employees, you have to go out there and do it yourself. And so great job, Kevin Peters for being your own mystery shopper. I love it. So guys check out The Secret Diary of a Mystery Shopper by Claire Boscq-Scott. It is available on Amazon. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did. And, uh, don’t forget to be a mystery shopper in your own company.

[SEGMENT INTRO – THIS JUST HAPPENED]
Joey Coleman (20:06):
We love telling stories and sharing key insights you can implement, or avoid, based on our experiences. Can you believe that This Just Happened?

[THIS JUST HAPPENED][The Evolving Role of Text Messaging]
Dan Gingiss (20:19):
Joey when you communicate with friends or family members, what’s the most common way that you connect with them?

Joey Coleman (20:28):
I would say at this point in the game, text messaging is the most common. And the way I know that this has really increased, especially in the last few months, is I am currently looking at the little indicator on my screen and I have 19 unread text messages. So my text messaging is almost starting to feel like my inbox for email, but that is definitely the tool I use the most.

Dan Gingiss (20:54):
Well, that would make me break out into hives. I couldn’t possibly let that happen, but I’m glad you said that because that’s how you and I connect to almost always when we’re in between shows where we’re texting all the time, ideas back and forth and questions, et cetera. And so I think that’s true of most people that that texting has become the mode of communication between two people. So there’s a line that I remember from a really great business book called message me. And it was written by a friend of mine, Joshua March, who was also the founder of a social media and messaging service platform called Conversocial. He wrote quote, I tell my family and friends to message me why can’t a brand. Just message me unquote. It seems so simple. Right? So during COVID-19, when customers have been stuck at home, texting has become a much more important communication method for companies, podium, a customer messaging platform for businesses reported that more than 60% of consumers received or exchanged text messages with a local business during the early days of the pandemic. Now I’m sure that number has gone way up since then. Joey, have you experienced texting with businesses during COVID?

Joey Coleman (22:11):
I have. And what’s interesting. I talked about one of these early on, I think, uh, not to pull a Dan, but I think it was back at episode one Oh three, when I talked about the eye doctor experience that we had. But even just in the last episode, we talked about the experience I had with movers and what I didn’t share. I don’t think during that segment is that because of COVID we were texting back and forth and I was actually texting videos of the house. You know, normally when you do a move, somebody from the moving company comes and they walk through the house and you show them all the stuff. Well, because of COVID, I was like, I really don’t want to have random people walking around inside the house if we can do this using technology. And so I would text, all right, I’m here. And we would, you know, I would shoot a little video and text it from that room and then I’d go to the next room and shoot another video. And so I basically just sent them a string of videos so they could do a virtual walkthrough of the house. So yeah, I’ve definitely been using texting more with businesses during this time, and I’ve really appreciated the businesses who’ve been willing to do that. Some are like, Oh, well, we don’t really have the tools set up for that. And I’m like, what do you mean you don’t have a cell phone? I come on. I don’t know what tools you need.

Dan Gingiss (23:26):
Exactly. And I mean, I do it all the time as well. I’ve gotten a lot of notifications for doctors or dentist appointments for me and the kids when my grub hub is about to be dropped off. I get a taxed when it’s time to pick up my groceries or my prescriptions, I get attacks. We talked in a previous episode about imperfect produce. I get every week they tell me when the drivers down the street and when he’s arriving at my house, I think it’s great. And it is, it’s such a great way to keep in contact and to understand what’s going on. So this got me thinking about why more companies aren’t using this simple and effective communication method for servicing their customers. And I remembered a story from right before COVID that I had wanted to tell on the show, and then I kind of passed on it because people stopped traveling, et cetera.

Joey Coleman (24:15):
It might’ve felt a little tone deaf to talk about, but no, I hear ya. I hear ya.

Dan Gingiss (24:20):
You know what? I think it’s relevant again. And so here it is. So I was on vacation in Miami. This was about December-ish. And I stayed at a hotel called the Confidant, which is owned by Hyatt. And when we checked in the receptionist pointed out that if we needed anything at all during our stay, we should text him. Now he said that sometimes there was a whole time on the guest services phone number. And of course the front desk was often helping other guests. But the text line he said was open 24 hours, seven days a week. And it had a response time of only a couple minutes because every hotel employee had access to it. Now, interestingly, during our stay, we forgot about the text line.

Joey Coleman (25:06):
Oh, of course you did, because most hotels don’t have a text line.

Dan Gingiss (25:09):
Exactly. And so we ended up standing in line at the front desk to ask about getting some additional water bottles for our room. And we waited patiently because sure enough, there was a line, there were a couple of people in front of us. And then when we finally got to the front of the line and told the receptionist what we want, and he said, you didn’t have to wait in line. You could have just texted and we would have dropped it off at our, in your room.

Joey Coleman (25:34):
Ah, Got it. So there they are trying to condition you and you know, it’s not like they didn’t tell you when you first checked in, but I do like how you got this reminder that you could save some time by texting. So it’s like, it’s a benefit to you, even though let’s be candid, there’s some business benefits to them to moving these to the texting channel.

Dan Gingiss (25:57):
Of course, of course. And they don’t want to, you know, they don’t want people seeing long lines at the front desk and all that sort of stuff. So I did some research on this because I was really interested in this texting program. Uh, you and I obviously, uh, when we are traveling and speaking, stay at a lot of hotels and this is the first time that I had experienced, uh, being asked to use a text line. So I found out that a company called SlalomBuild was actually the leader of the design and user experience for Hyatt’s mobile app. And what they said on their website was they have a case study about Hyatt. And they said that Hyatt recognizes that travelers. Don’t like to ask for things and they’ll often go without things, if it’s not easy to ask for it. Oh,

Joey Coleman (26:41):
Dan, this is so true. Are plenty of times where I’ve been in a situation in the hotel where I’ve thought, Oh, I wish I had blah, blah, blah, or whatever it may be. And I’ve thought, Oh, do I really want to go downstairs to the front desk? Or do I really want to call the front desk? Or, you know what, nevermind I’ll deal with that. So that’s an interesting that they kind of recognize that traveler behavior.

Dan Gingiss (27:03):
Yes. And folks, when you recognize a pain point in your customer experience, one of the best things you can do is fix it with their app. You know, obviously you could check in and check out, but at any point in the app, you can text the concierge to order room service, to ask for items, to be delivered to your room. If you need more coffee or another pillow or a toothbrush, you forgot your race or whatever. And not only can you request these items, but the app then gives you the delivery status and the timing of the items. Right. And so you don’t have to sit there while the kids are running around or whatever’s going on, or you’re trying to get them to bed and not know when they’re coming. And sometimes it seems like an eternity, right? Oh yeah.

Joey Coleman (27:47):
First of all, number one, I love the idea of digital hospitality. Number two. Yes. The status delivery and timing is huge because I will tell you, there have been many, many a time that we’ve been on the road and my wife and I have realized, Oh, we need, you know, an extra pillow or an extra sheet for the Haida to bed, or we’re going to put the kids on the couch or whatever it may be, and you’ve called down and he asked for it and they’re like, Oh, we’ll send somebody right up. And right up turns into five minutes and then 10 minutes. And then you’re like, Oh, are they coming? Or I don’t want to call them bug them 15 minutes. Oh, finally, I’ll call, Oh, just getting, we forgot about it. Sorry. And meanwhile, the kids are, or at least my kids are jumping off the walls. And it’s like having the ability to check on that delivery status and timing would be very useful,

Dan Gingiss (28:34):
Useful. Absolutely. And so Slalom and Hyatt collaborated on this and they set three different goals for the app. Now, number one was to increase engagement and improve the guest experience from booking through post departure. And we’ve talked a lot about it.

Joey Coleman (28:52):
I like it! you had me at post departure.

Dan Gingiss (28:55):
Exactly. Now number two is to gain a better insight into guests needs and preferences. And then to use that information to continue to enhance future experiences. Then the third goal was to build a flexible, scalable digital platform that enables industry leading features. And so one of the benefits that Hyatt saw from this is not only they did, they have more satisfied guests, but they also had increased bookings. They saw huge increases in mobile booking volume almost immediately after launching this app.

Joey Coleman (29:26):
Ahh, now see, Dan, I’ve got to admit in many ways, this doesn’t surprise me, but I am thrilled to hear that that’s what they saw because it gets back to a point that I made earlier in that often when we’re a hotel, we don’t think of using our personal mobile phone to interact with the hotel. And when you teach me that my phone is a way to communicate with the hotel I E via these text messages. Now I’m going to be comfortable thinking about using my phone for other ways to communicate with the hotel like mobile booking.

Dan Gingiss (29:57):
Exactly. So the takeaway here is that when you focus on improving the experience, especially in the channels of your customer’s choice, those customers will spend more, be more loyal. And they’ll tell their friends and family about you. In this case, Hyatt removed a customer pain point, which is having to ask for things. And they made it incredibly easy via text, which is a channel that they knew their guests were already comfortable with.

Joey Coleman (30:24):
You know, this makes perfect sense, Dan. And it really supports something that I saw from a report from the folks at Podium. The report was called Five Ways to Stay Ahead of the Competition and one of the main benefits of messaging for businesses is that they can be channel agnostic by employing a single messaging platform. So in other words, customer service agents don’t have to learn different messaging platforms like Facebook messenger and WhatsApp and Twitter direct message, which let’s be candid. They should talk to you, not to me, or really care what the customer is using because all of the messages can consolidate into a single agent inbox, which allows you to deliver a much more consistent experience across all your interactions. And let’s be candid. It’s like there’s a new app every week. There’s something new coming out all the time. So if you really want to be thinking and planning for the future, you’ve gotta be ready to handle this.

Dan Gingiss (31:17):
Absolutely. And it’s a great answer to the question I always get, which is which channel should I be in? My answer is always wherever your customers are. Right? Right. So, uh, one more thing that Podium said, which I think is a great thing to leave our listeners with. They said now is the time to start messaging your customers or risk losing them to businesses that do.

[PARTNERSHIP WITH AVTEX][Playing Experience Points – Fake or Fact]
Dan Gingiss (31:47):
So as we’ve been telling you, Joey and I are hosting a brand new game show called Experience Points. We are having so much fun with our celebrity contestants. It’s three different games in every episode. And one of them is called Fake or Fact. Let’s learn how Fake or Fact works

Rules Hostess (32:06):
In Fake or Fact examine three similar experiences. Some are real, some are not. Your task is to determine the fake from the fact. Each experience correctly detected is worth 100 points. Three correct answers will earn you 200 bonus points for a possible school of 500 points.

Joey Coleman (32:28):
Well, I got to tell you, Dan, one of the reasons I loved the concept behind this game is we’ve got some amazing contestants who’ve been there, done that got the t-shirt they know customer experience inside out. And this was kind of a fun way for you and I to play around with them a little bit, right? Tease them a little with some things that might be real or might not be real because let’s be candid when you’ve been in the customer experience game for a while, you come to realize that the horrors of customer experience, or the surprise and delight moments of customer experience, there’s a ton of them and you never really know what’s going to come next.

Dan Gingiss (33:01):
And I’ll tell you in this era of quote unquote fake news, it was a lot of fun to try to create the fake experiences and see if we could get people to think they were real and actually Joey, you and I did a pretty good job of that because we think so. Yeah, it was great. Yeah.

Joey Coleman (33:18):
And I mean, I don’t know if that speaks more to our character or our creativity, but we’ll let the audience decide, but it was super fun to be able to do this. It ends up being a fast paced game. It ends up being a game where you get to see what’s possible. And what I really loved about the games, not only Fake or Fact, but all the games we play unexperienced points is that they’re designed to help us create some teachable moments, to have some conversations with our customer experience, expert contestants, to suss out how companies should be thinking about their own customer experience. So it’s not just an entertaining way to spend a little bit of time, but there are some great takeaways you can apply in your business.

Dan Gingiss (33:59):
Absolutely. And I will say, I mean, Joey and I love recording this podcast Experience This, but I think this is the most fun we’ve ever had recording this game show because it is just so much it’s so entertaining the entire time. If you like this show, you will love Experience Points. So do us a favor, check it out at ExperiencePointsGame.com. That’s ExperiencedPointsGame.com. It’s brought to you by our friends, and sponsors of the Experience This Show as well, Avtex. Check them out at avtex.com. Thank you Avtex for keeping us employed and really allowing us to have a ton of fun!

[SEGMENT INTRO – THIS JUST HAPPENED]
Joey Coleman (34:41):
We love telling stories and sharing key insights you can implement or avoid based on our experiences. Can you believe that This Just Happened?

[THIS JUST HAPPENED][Don’t Switch Them to a Different Channel]
Dan Gingiss (34:54):
So like many small business owners applied for a forgivable business loan through the government paycheck protection program.

Joey Coleman (35:03):
Uh, the dreaded PPP – I’m not sure I’m going to like what’s coming Dan… Remember this is a positive experience program, I just, I know I have a number of friends who worked in kind of the administration of this program on the banking side and talk about some horror stories of just like wanting to do the best to help people out and just not getting good information and directions, especially at the beginning of how to process the applications, how to it, et cetera, et cetera.

Dan Gingiss (35:38):
Well, yes, you’re. And now you’re going to tell most of my story for me, but yes, this is about a bank. It’s not about the government. Joey, I don’t know what your hourly consulting rate is, but I can tell you that given the paltry sum that I actually ended up perceiving after all my castle, I think I pretty much broke even on the whole thing. So as I mentioned it, the Paycheck Protection Program or PPP, as you said, is a forgivable loan and it’s designed to help small businesses stay afloat and keep more people employed during the pandemic. Now it was kind of hastily announced at the beginning of the pandemic, if I could. And it actually took banks by surprise, and many of them were not prepared for what was an onslaught of loan applications. So I chose an online bank that had a great reputation and it was actually one of the first banks to set up an online application for the PPP loans. The process was actually really fast and easy. And so after being conditionally approved, I had to submit some evidential paperwork.

Joey Coleman (36:39):
Ooo that sounds fancy!

Dan Gingiss (36:42):
I use that because I know that we have a recovering attorney on the program.

Joey Coleman (36:45):
Yep – the first step is admitting you have a problem…

Dan Gingiss (36:47):
Evidential. Yeah. So I had to submit like my LLC formation documents and uh, I had to give him some bank information, whatever. And I also had to tell him, by the way, this is the important part, where did I want them to send the money? Right. And so I go through that familiar process, I know all our listeners have done it. You’ve done it before where you set up a new bank account and they, they put like 31, send me a penny. And then yeah. And you have to confirm both. You have to confirm it. Right. So everything went through flawlessly and it all seemed set.

Joey Coleman (37:17):
I’m sensing a punchline, but…

Dan Gingiss (37:20):
Nope, that’s the end of the story. See you next time on Experience This! Now the next time I logged in to check my status, the bank account that I had just set up was missing. Oh, of course. And there was a message asking me to add one. So this was curious since I had obviously already done it. And so I tried to add it again, but I got an error message. So I emailed the bank and I was assured that my account was registered.

Dan Gingiss (37:48):
Everything was fine. And even though the website didn’t show my bank account information, don’t worry. It was there.

Joey Coleman (37:55):
The age old theory of don’t trust what you’re seeing, trust what I’m saying. Oh great! Surprise, surprise!

Dan Gingiss (38:01):
I was a little skeptical, but okay. So a couple of weeks later I was told that I was approved for a PPP loan, but I never saw any deposit come through. So I checked the website again and I get this message. The small business association requires that paycheck protection program loans be dispersed within 20 days of approval. Since we did not receive signed loan documentation from you during this time, we had to spend your loan for the dime being, Oh my goodness. You gotta be kidding me. So yeah. So sitting here waiting for the deposit and then they basically tell me you didn’t get the deposit because you didn’t give us a bank account is essentially what happened. So I emailed them again. And this time I got no answer for over a week. So I decided to call and people, we don’t want to call it’s a last resort. Yeah, exactly younger. Okay. But I called and I got this recorded message. Of course.

Joey Coleman (38:55):
Surprise! Your call is very important to us. We are very overwhelmed right now..

Dan Gingiss (39:03):
Volume, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. But what, the thing that annoyed me was is it the message kept telling me that everything I needed to know what’s on the website.

Joey Coleman (39:12):
Of course! Go to the website, go to the website! You’d already been to the website. Of course, of course.

Dan Gingiss (39:19):
So this just made me madder and madder as I’m listening to this thing. And it kept telling me to go to the very website that was not providing any information on why my loan loan had suddenly gone from approved to pending.

Joey Coleman (39:33):
You know, Dan, I think sometimes businesses just, they don’t remember that they’re dealing with customers that aren’t from 50 years ago. Right? I think the average customer today knows well, before you call, check the website, now that doesn’t always happen, but I know you always go to the website. First, most customers are trying to self serve and the best businesses should let them self serve. Let them go to the website and see, and guess what if they call you, it probably means that they couldn’t find the answer easily on your website or it’s not on your website.

Dan Gingiss (40:08):
I mean, if you’re going to tell people to go to the website, make sure the dang website works is all we’re asking for here. So finally, this is the best part. So I’m sitting there on hold like an idiot for five or 10 minutes, whatever it was. And all of a sudden the recorded message says your time in queue has expired. Please call back another time and hung up on me.

Joey Coleman (40:28):
So let me get this right… The hold service decided that it was tired of having you wait, so it kicked you out and have you call back another time.

Dan Gingiss (40:38):
It wasn’t after an hour, it was after five or 10 minutes and I was waiting on hold. So now I can’t get my question answered on the website. I can’t get my question answered on the phone and I’m literally handcuffed. I don’t have any idea what to do.

Joey Coleman (40:51):
You know – and I’m thinking somewhere, someone is being incentivized for hold times. Like someone on the bank is being incentivized for whole time. So they’re like, I’ve got an idea. Let’s kick people out after five minutes because then our longest whole time will be five minutes. Right? Write a brilliant sign, align the incentives here and make sure people do it not to mention. It’s like how absolutely infuriating. It’s like, you know, the person picking up and saying, Oh, let me transfer you. And you’re like, no, no, no. Don’t transfer me, click. And then you’re like, great. Now I’m completely lost and we’ll never speak to a human again.

Dan Gingiss (41:31):
Exactly. So listen, folks, when customers call you, don’t tell them to go to the website. What customers tweet you, don’t tell them to call you rest assured that your customers know the service channels that are available and they’re going to choose the channel they want, which isn’t always going to be the channel that you want. It’s the responsibility of the business to meet its customers where they are. My experience was so frustrating precisely because I tried to self-serve on the website. And then when I needed help, I was told to go to the website. Ugh!

[SHOW OUTRO]
Joey Coleman (42:10):
Wow! Thanks for joining us for another episode of Experience This!

Dan Gingiss (42:15):
We know there are tons of podcasts to listen, to magazines and books to read, reality TV to watch. We don’t take for granted that you’ve decided to spend some quality time listening to the two of us.

Joey Coleman (42:24):
We hope you enjoyed our discussions. And if you do, we’d love to hear about it. Come on over to ExperienceThisShow.com and let us know what segments you enjoyed, what new segments you’d like to hear. This show is all about experience. And we want you to be part of the Experience This Show!

Dan Gingiss (42:43):
Thanks again for your time and we’ll see you next week for more…

Joey Coleman (42:46):
Experience.

Dan Gingiss (42:46):
This!

Episode 106 – Make the Most of the Situation to Create A Remarkable Experience

Join us as we discuss admitting mistakes before your customers notice them, building fans by sharing secret recipes, and revisiting the power of customer evangelism.

Reprints, Recipes, and Re-Releases – Oh My!

[This Just Happened] Juniper Books Plans a Reprint Before Anyone Realized It Was Necessary

Things We Mentioned in This Segment:

Episode 101 – Making Things Beautiful Rockets Your Business Forward
Juniper Books
Books Everyone Should Own
• Don Quixote
Episode 30 – Grammar Police

[Dissecting the Experience] The Chik-fil-a Secret Menu

Things We Mentioned in This Segment:

Chik-fil-a
Tik Tok – Chik-fil-a Menu Hacks

[Partnership with Avtex] Experience Points: Fake or Fact?

Things We Mentioned in This Segment:

Avtex
• Experience Points

[Book Report] The Cult of the Customer by Shep Hyken

Things We Mentioned in This Segment:

Shep Hyken
• The Cult of the Customer – by Shep Hyken

Host Contact Information

Email Dan: Dan@dangingiss.com

Tweet Dan Gingiss: @DGingiss

Email Joey: JoeyC@JoeyColeman.com

DanGingiss.com

JoeyColeman.com

Subscribe to Experience This on Apple Podcasts

Episode Transcript

Download an automated (non-corrected) transcript of Episode 106 here or read it below:

[SHOW INTRO]

Dan Gingiss (00:05):
Welcome to Experience This!

Joey Coleman (00:08):
Where you’ll find inspiring examples of customer experience, great stories of customer service, and tips on how to make your customers love you, even more!

Dan Gingiss (00:18):
Always upbeat, and definitely entertaining customer retention, expert Joey Coleman.

Joey Coleman (00:23):
and social media expert. Dan Gingiss… serve as your hosts for a weekly dose of positive customer experience.

Dan Gingiss (00:31):
So hold onto your headphones… It’s time to Experience This!

Joey Coleman (00:39):
Get ready, for another episode of the Experience This! Show!

Dan Gingiss (00:45):
Join us as we discuss: admitting mistakes before your customers notice them, building fans by sharing secret recipes, and revisiting the power of customer evangelism…

Joey Coleman (00:57):
Reprints, recipes, and rereleases… Oh my!

Joey Coleman (01:03):
We love telling stories and sharing key insights you can implement,, or avoid based on our experiences. Can you believe that This Just Happened?

Joey Coleman (01:18):
Hey Dan, let’s play “name that episode.”

Dan Gingiss (01:21):
Oh, you know I love that game!

Joey Coleman (01:24):
Yes I do. All right. Last season, I spoke about an experience I had with my friend Thatcher Wine’s company, Juniper Books.

Dan Gingiss (01:33):
I could never forget a name like Thatcher Wine.

Joey Coleman (01:37):
It’s a great name.

Dan Gingiss (01:37):
I remember it… it was Episode 101.

Joey Coleman (01:42):
You know, ladies and gentlemen, it’s amazing… My cohost is like the “Rain Man” of experience this episode numbers. Anyway, I know we spoke about the folks at Juniper Books, just a few episodes ago, but something happened between recording that episode and the one we’re recording now that I wanted to share. Now, as our listeners may remember, Juniper Books has a subscription program called, “Books Everyone Should Own” which they refer to as BESO (books everyone should own) – as in an acronym. It’s a series of classic books with refreshed, unique covers that are delivered monthly. Now, I got a subscription for my wife Berit and so each month she gets a new book in the mail.

Dan Gingiss (02:29):
I don’t know if you know this joy, but “beso” or “beso” means “kiss” in Spanish.

Joey Coleman (02:35):
Oh, there you go… I did not know that. Maybe they mean to pronounce it “beso.” I don’t know.

Dan Gingiss (02:43):
Anyway, I know that your wife Berit really enjoys books, so I’m imagining she is enjoying the ongoing surprise of getting a new book every month…

Joey Coleman (02:52):
You know, she does enjoy books and she loves surprises. And what’s interesting to me is that every time she gets a book, I get to see what it is. But to be honest, I don’t spend a ton of time looking at it because it’s her gift, which is why I was a bit caught off guard. When I received the following email from Juniper books one day. And to be clear, the reason I received this email is because I’m the one who gave the gift. So it’s my name on the account intentionally, because when I originally gifted her the gift, I didn’t want her to get an email about it. I wanted to surprise her. So the subject line of this email said, “Mistakes were Made” and the email reads as follows:

Joey Coleman (03:34):
Hello! Thank you for being a BESO subscriber. We hope you are enjoying your thoughtfully curated and designed collection of classics during these difficult times. We misprinted the recently shipped Don Quixote jacket and wanted to let you know that we will be sending you a replacement jacket in early August. The jacket you currently have has a placeholder text on the front inside flap that we neglected to remove before printing. We apologize for this air for 19 years, we have always stood behind our creations. We always want to make sure our books and jackets are of the finest quality that they look great on your shelves, feel good in your hands and that they stand the test of time. When the new jacket arrives, it will be pre folded. So you will be able to swap out the new jacket for the old one easily. Don’t forget that. One of the perks of being a member of one of our subscription programs is that you receive free shipping on any domestic orders@juniperbooks.com. Just be sure to sign into your account while shopping and your shipping discount will automatically apply. Our book sets are always great for gifting this summer and for the holidays, please feel free to reach out to me directly if you have any questions. Thanks again,

Dan Gingiss (04:52):
You know, joy, fun fact, but Don Quixote is Spanish!

Joey Coleman (05:00):
Ladies and gentlemen, Dan Gingiss – social media expert, and Spanish translator in this segment.

Dan Gingiss (05:09):
Si señor! Anyway, uh, I know, I know you’re probably looking for my comment here and I could deliver it in Spanish, but I’m going to keep this show in English. What I love about this is that it’s proactive and they didn’t have to wait for somebody to figure out that something was wrong or that there was an error. A lot of companies, their first instinct is if we don’t say anything, no one will notice.

Speaker 2 (05:33):
Totally, totally. And what was cool about this is to be completely candid. Neither I, nor my wife had noticed, like this mistake could have gone unaddressed for frankly quite a long time, if not forever, had we not been alerted to this scenario? So it’s a great example of when something goes wrong, be proactive, but here’s where I felt they really closed the loop on this. So not long after receiving the first email, I received another email with the subject line mistakes were fixed and the email reads as follows. Hello, thank you again for being a BSO subscriber with Juniper books, I thought I’d follow up on my email of July 8th, alerting you. There was an issue with the donkey Otay jacket originally sent in June. The corrected jacket for your edition of Don Quixote should be arriving any day. Now, once it does simply remove the jacket currently on the book and easily replace it with your brand new one, we do apologize for the air. As noted in my email, we will always stand by our product and we want your collection to be perfect. Please let us know if you have any questions. Thank you.

Dan Gingiss (06:49):
You know, I’m reminded here as I’m sure you were Joey of Episode 30 in Season 1.

Joey Coleman (06:56):
If you offered me a million dollars to tell you what we talked about in Episode 30, you would get to keep your million dollars… friends.

Dan Gingiss (07:05):
What we talked about was a tweet from the British clothing company, ASIS, which

Joey Coleman (07:12):
Do you remember this idea? Remember this? I didn’t remember that tweet Bart.

Dan Gingiss (07:16):
Yeah, of course. You’re blocking that out.

Joey Coleman (07:18):
I remembered the British clothing company.

Dan Gingiss (07:19):
But yeah, so they had a spelling error on one of their bags, the packages, their clothing, and you know, I always say most companies would have never noticed this spelling error. The one out of a hundred that did, would have thrown out the bags, but not a sauce. They ended up tweeting a picture of the error and they called it a limited edition and their tweet got more than 50,000 likes and however many thousand retweets just because they proactively admitted a mistake. They poked a little fun at themselves and had a little, you know, there was a little self-deprecating and I think it endeared people to the brand. And look, I wouldn’t say this example was quite as playful, but I think it stands to the same reason that they noticed the mistake. They’re very proud of their product. It wasn’t okay with them that it was wrong, regardless of whether it was okay with the customers. And so, like you said, at the Coleman family, it probably would have been okay. Nobody even noticed, but it wasn’t okay with them. And I think that says a lot about this company and it says to me that it’s the kind of company I want to do business with.

Speaker 2 (08:29):
Exactly Dan. And that’s the reason why I wanted to tell this story. Not because I’m a big fan of Juniper books, although I am not because, you know, they made this agregious error. They didn’t, it was a tiny little thing. But what does it say for someone you’re doing business with when they tell you that they’ve not lived up to their own standards? So often in the world of customer experience, the reason customer experiences go bad is because the companies fail to live up to the experience that their customers are expecting. It’s a completely different ball game and a completely different, uh, commitment to excellence. When as a brand, you say, you know what? We already sent out the product, you have it, no one’s going to be injured by this. This isn’t a product defect that we need to do a recall on this is a cosmetic thing at best.

Speaker 2 (09:22):
And probably something that less than 5% of customers would ever even notice. And yet for the folks at Juniper books that was not acceptable, they wanted to deliver the same standard that they had for the last 19 years. And you know, what’s great about this. They use the apology email to restate their brand commitment, to excellence in the apology email. As you may recall, they kind of referenced that free shipping perk of membership. So it’s not really an upsell. It’s more of a reminder that like, Hey, you have this perk of being a member that you might’ve forgotten about it. So Hey, if you want to take advantage of the perk, go ahead and do it. The tone was personal. It was honest. It was sincere. And they delivered the fix. You know, the newly printed jacket as planned on schedule as promised. Yeah.

Speaker 1 (10:15):
If you’re listening to the show, which obviously, if you can hear my voice right now, you clearly are. I would ask you to think about how would your company react to a mistake?

Speaker 2 (10:27):
Oh, be careful here, Dan, a lot of people are feeling self conscious right now. No kidding. They probably should people. Yeah, because they’re like, ah, my company would do nothing like this.

Speaker 1 (10:37):
Right? And then you should ask yourself why, but also, I mean, let’s run through the options here really fast, Joey. So we could do nothing and then what’s going to happen. Well, as you said, 5% of our customers are gonna call up. So we’re going to spend some call center, time, handling their calls. We’re going to have to do something for them, either refund their money, or maybe we print up a few extra jackets and we send it to them and then they’ll be happy and satisfied.

Speaker 2 (11:01):
And then maybe three months later, someone finally gets to reading Don Quixote. Cause it’s not a small book friends. And they then realize what the other people realized earlier. So then they call in and we hope to have printed enough, extra covers that we have some to send to them because God forbid, one of the other customers shares what had happened to them. They want to treat it, be treated the same. This is a problem that never ends.

Speaker 1 (11:25):
Right. And we have to stock these covers forever and all that stuff. Yeah.

Speaker 2 (11:28):
Instead we spent a little bit more

Speaker 1 (11:31):
Money now, maybe a lot more money now. And we sent the cover to everyone. But in the meantime, what we did is we made fans out of our customers and we got them telling their friends about us, talking about us, appreciating us more. I guarantee you, if you look at business metrics like, uh, how many of their customers

Speaker 2 (11:54):
Stay on this subscription program? Those will be extended. The, the tenure will be extended. More people will recommend them to their friends. A couple of people who host podcasts, they’ll talk about, Oh wait, that’s it. And that’s the crazy thing. Like, as I said in the previous segment, when we talked about the folks at junior pro books, you know, Thatcher wine is a friend of mine, like I’m a big fan of their brand. I’m a big fan of their coming. He has no idea. We’re talking about this on the show right now because I intentionally have not reached out to him. And instead, I’m just going to share the episode with him when it comes out, because here’s the secret friends and anybody who works in customer experience knows this. But I bet you’re frustrated because your boss and your boss’s boss don’t necessarily get this.

Speaker 2 (12:37):
It is incredibly difficult to directly draw ROI to this kind of activity. Because the return on this investment of doing the right thing probably doesn’t happen next month. It probably doesn’t happen next quarter. It may happen weeks from now or months from now or years from now. And you know, even talking about this story makes me think, gosh, it’s been a while since I’ve sent someone a gift from Juniper books, I should go do that. Right? So there are huge opportunities here. So what can we learn from this great example as set by Thatcher wine and his team at Jenner pro books? Well, friends, mistakes are going to happen. Even if you’ve been in business for almost two decades doing the same thing, the occasional error will slip through the cracks. How you respond, not only shows how much you prioritize and care about your customers, but it’s an indicator of whether you’ll still be in business 20 years from now, which I think is going to be the case for Juniper books. If you’re listening to our show and love books, like we do make sure to go over and show the fine folks at Juniper books, some love you can find the books. Everyone should own subscription series and lots of other beautifully designed books@juniperbooks.com.

Speaker 3 (13:57):
Sometimes a remarkable experience deserves deeper investigation. We dive into the nitty gritty of customer interactions and dissect how and why they happen. Join us while we’re dissecting the experience.

Speaker 2 (14:14):
Loyal listeners know Dan, you were previously the senior director of global social media for McDonald’s. And I came across something recently and thought to myself, self. I bet Dan will be able to share a unique perspective on this situation. You know, friends, it’s okay to talk to yourself. It’s not okay to answer yourself. So true. So true. Alright. I’m getting nervous here because you know, our listeners probably also know that working at McDonald’s is not my favorite experience in my whole life. So what do you got for me? But the fries are great. Okay. I think you’re actually going to like this one, Dan. So here’s the scoop recently, a young woman who worked for Chick-fil-A made a tic talk video about a secret menu hack now. Oh, Whoa, Whoa, Whoa, Whoa, Whoa. Did the words tick tock video, just come out of your mouth, Joey.

Speaker 2 (15:10):
Yes, they did. My friend. Yes they did. Oh, wait, does this mean that you’re on tick tock? Oh, absolutely not. Absolutely. I got a long streak of not being on social media that I have to uphold. I am not on talk, but I heard about this story because of how it connects to customer and employee experience. And I went to track down more details and in doing so I learned this Anna was a 19 year old Chick-fil-A employee had just finished her shift one day and afterwards she got into the car and got on tick TechTalk and shared a secret hack that would allow customers to order the seasonal mango passion tea, lemonade year round. And she also shared with the way that you could get a large for 4 cents cheaper than the regular size drink. So here’s a little clip of what she said.

Speaker 4 (16:05):
Okay. So I work at Chick-Filet. So I’m here to give you all the tips and tricks on secret menu items, um, how to get things cheaper and just all that. Okay. And this is only a part one. Let me start off with the seasonal drinks. Um, okay. Someone’s washing your Cortez. Wow. Okay. Anyways, um, so I wanna start with the seasonal drinks. So right now we have a mango passion tea, uh, basically the large, it’s not really a large. So what you’re going to order is going to order an Arnold Palmer, which is a tea and lemonade mixture. You’re going to ask her for pumps and Mingo by doing that, you literally get double the mango passion tea for literally the same price you can kind of see here. But Arnold Palmer is two 69 and a large mega passion T is two 65. It’s the same price in part two. I’ll tell you guys about secret frost.

Speaker 2 (16:55):
All right. So this is interesting. Uh, you know, she points out the, the kind of price difference and kind of remixing some of the drinks. And it’s always nice to see a employee get excited about where they work and want to share that with others. And, you know, there’s this hack culture that people seem to be glomming on to where if we can just, you know, if we can find a way to hack something, it’s fine. So I’m guessing though that I dunno things maybe got out of hand a little bit, otherwise I’m not quite sure why you’re sharing this just yet. Well, as usual, Dan you’re absolutely right. So this little tick tock video went viral and while I’m not sure how many people saw it right away, estimates are that it has been seen by millions of people it’s received over 300,000 hearts, which I guess is like the tech talk of likes and has almost a thousand comments at the time we’re recording this.

Speaker 1 (17:54):
Well, you cannot buy that type of engagement on social media. So Chick-fil-A, must’ve been thrilled.

Speaker 2 (18:01):
No, you would think that’s the case, but sadly that wasn’t the case and his boss wasn’t as thrilled as you or I might’ve been. In fact, she posted a second video to tech talk less than a week after the first video with some music playing and the captions, while you’re hearing this music in the background, relate her experience of making the video, becoming tic talk famous and being super excited about it. When the video goes viral and then receiving a call from her boss to turn in her uniform because she was fired.

Speaker 1 (18:34):
Oh no. Oh no, they did it.

Speaker 2 (18:37):
Yes, they did.

Speaker 1 (18:39):
That. Second video went viral too. Oh my,

Speaker 2 (18:42):
Your friend did it indeed to this date. It’s estimated to have been seen by millions and millions of people with over 250,000 hearts and over 1500 comments. So it actually has more comments than the first video. The second video has attracted more attention than the first one did. Okay.

Speaker 1 (19:02):
Okay. So you’re right. I have a couple of things just to say about this.

Speaker 2 (19:05):
I have an opinion about this and let’s be candid as a general rule. Chick-fil-A usually gets the customer experience, right? Like people rave about how friendly the Chick-fil-A employees are and how they come out in line at the drive through to take care of you. And everybody seems to always have a smile on their face and be thank you left. And right. Like most people usually don’t have a bad experience with the staff at Chick-fil-A. Yeah.

Speaker 1 (19:31):
I think the story here is actually not about Chick-fil-A. I agree. Let’s take a step back and let’s talk about secret menu items because this is actually a thing across the fast food and fast casual industry. And I did get to hear a lot about this at McDonald’s because I was working in social media. So I got to see all sorts of stuff, by the way, Joey, the things people do in a McDonald’s

Speaker 2 (19:57):
Well, the thing is anyone, any of it, any faster

Speaker 1 (19:59):
Food or fast casual restaurant, like I agree with you, that’s a story for another day. But one of the things that I figured out really quickly

Speaker 2 (20:08):
Was that the people that were sharing

Speaker 1 (20:11):
You hacks is really what we called them were some of our biggest fans. And some of these menu hacks were super creative. Some of them were really out there. I will never forget. There was one there’s two that I remember there was one guy that ordered a sandwich where he had one bun with every single piece of protein that McDonald’s offered. So there was like a fried chicken breast and a hamburger and a Mick rib and a sausage Patty from the big mafia lovers pizza. It was a heart attack. I would say that doesn’t sound good at all. Yeah. And then there was another guy, uh, this is a guy

Speaker 2 (20:55):
It’s always a guy. And I don’t say that to be a sexist. I say that because as a general rule,

Speaker 1 (20:59):
You guys are the weird ones. Yeah. Well, so when the, when McDonald’s installed the kiosks, there was an initially a, I don’t want to say an error, but basically something wrong, a little glitch. And it allowed you to essentially add up to, I think, 30 of any item on a sandwich. So a guy walked in and he said, okay, I want a hamburger. And I’d like 30 patties of beef. And I’d like 30 slices of cheese. And I’d like 30 pieces of lettuce and 30 tomatoes and 30 squirts of mustard and all this sort of, and all of this stuff. And the thing ended up pretty dang expensive sandwich. But it also, they ended up bringing it out to him on like three trays because the sandwich would be huge. Right. But that video went viral and you know, there were drink recipes and Starbucks has a huge secret menu. My favorite, by the way, is the peppermint Patty frappuccino. I don’t know why they don’t put that on the menu. Cause it is awesome.

Speaker 2 (22:02):
Well, and I know I’m not a Starbucks guy, but like in and out, burger is famous for its secret menu. You know, you can order a burger animal style. If you order it protein style, you don’t get the bond. It’s the gluten free version. It comes wrapped in lettuce. You know, a lot of these restaurants have these things and it’s not a huge deal. Like I understand in this particular scenario, Anna was suggesting something that would quote unquote, caused them to lose money. Now, granted it’s 4 cents and I don’t know about you, but I’d be willing as a business owner to shave 4 cents off the profit. If it meant someone came in and, or placed an order that they wouldn’t otherwise.

Speaker 1 (22:43):
I mean, look, if they, first of all, I it’s a little more than the 4 cents because I think what she was saying was you get more ingredients for your course out, but even so, uh, so what’s the worst that happens. A billion people come in and order it. I don’t think that’s a big, big problem. So the whole idea behind the secret menus or these hacks is that people figure stuff out right. When I was at discover and I worked in the rewards area, one of the things I found out is that if there’s a way to game the system, people will find it. And so we do the best we can to not allow people to really take advantage. But in this case with this employee and with the case of these special menu items or secret menu items, these are usually people that love your brand. They’re not trying to screw you over. They are trying to love you more. And so the surprising part about this story was that the company wasn’t thrilled that this video went viral and brought a lot of attention to a product offering that they have. Heck I didn’t even know they serve Arnold

Speaker 2 (23:46):
Palmers at Chick-fil-A and now I know you’re excited to go on. No, I totally agree with you, Dan. And I think the interesting thing about this is I can understand as a business owner, having an employee that does something that you’re less than thrilled about. Like I can try to put myself into the shoes of the franchise owner or the manager. Who’s like, Oh my gosh, this is bringing more heat than we would have liked. This is causing issues with corporate, et cetera, et cetera, whatever was going on. But to me, that’s not a let’s fire, the employee conversation. That’s a, how can we take this enthusiastic, energetic employee who is on a platform that most adults are trying to figure out, let alone actually create viral videos on and harness her ability and her personality to promote the brand in a way that we aren’t okay with.

Speaker 2 (24:41):
You know, I mean most brands have to just accept the fact that they can’t control the brand message on social media, the same way they can in their say, print advertising or what their marketing agency, you can’t control, what customers are going to do. And you really can’t even control what employees are going to do. But if the employee is going to do something, don’t fire them, redirect that focus and that energy into something, because what, the number of followers that she had, you could almost see where she did a weekly show on some type of a behind the scenes story at Chick-fil-A that would have built a huge following. And that’s

Speaker 1 (25:17):
Actually what I recommended to McDonald’s when we started seeing these secret menu items was let’s lean into this. Let’s be in on the joke because people are going to love the brand personality for that. Right. And again, I can’t see a downside, even I sorta get why, you know, you’re saying that it’s possible that the Boston may not have liked this, but I’m not seeing the business downside. To be honest with you.

Speaker 2 (25:45):
I think it’s a, it’s an old school way of thinking. I mean, and let’s be candid. We’re where these things, that big of secrets. I mean, for years McDonald’s talked about their special sauce, right? The secret special sauce. And wasn’t it. I mean, you know this better than I do, but wasn’t it McDonald’s Canada like did something with Twitter where they shared the recipe to the secret sauce.

Speaker 1 (26:06):
Yeah. I mean, they shared a lot of secrets because they had a program where they basically said to their customers, ask us any question, nothing’s off limits. We’ll answer it. And my favorite, one of those videos they showed, somebody said, why do your sandwiches always look better on TV than they do in real life? Which we probably all asked that question. And they went behind the scenes of a TV, commercial shoot. And they introduced you to the food. What was his name? What was his title? It was like the food artist. It was a food artist. Thank you, Joey. I remember got it

Speaker 2 (26:40):
From our buddy mutual friend, Marcus Sheridan. Who’s famous for the, they ask you answer book and methodology, which McDonald’s was following.

Speaker 1 (26:48):
Yes. And this guy had, I remember a tweezers and was placing Sesame seeds on the bun, just so that’s a job. Uh, so, but, but yeah, I mean, and you know what, that was a successful campaign. Big and people looked at McDonald’s Canada, cause McDonald’s us stubbornly wouldn’t do it. But McDonald’s Canada. They looked at them with more trust. They looked at them as a company that they wanted to do business with more or eat at more because, because they were open and honest and, and, and so again, if people are going to come in and order off the menu, or if you’re a retailer and they’re going to buy certain products and use them for ways that they weren’t to 10 intended that’s okay. You know, it, they’re still shopping with you. They’re spending money with you. And really, as I said, at the beginning, these tend to be some of your better customers. So I think the result of firing poor Ana here is that they may have also lost not just an employee, but they may have lost customers. Oh,

Speaker 2 (27:56):
Absolutely. Absolutely. And now they’ve got kind of a detractor of a former employee who interestingly enough, has filmed a third video where she basically goes through the entire menu, telling you all the ways to beat the men.

Speaker 1 (28:12):
I thought you were going to tell me that the third video was she’s now working at Popeye’s.

Speaker 2 (28:16):
Yeah, that would be great. I mean, let me tell you, if you’re out there employ this young woman, she like go hire her. So here’s the moral of the story friends. When you have a super engaged employee, especially one that is early in their career, recognize that mistakes may be made. And it’s up to you as the employer, not to compound these mistakes and instead to guide your employee to harness their talent into ways that allowed this employee to express themselves and their excitement for your brand, but ideally in ways that are a little bit more in alignment with your business operations, not to mention, if you have the opportunity to connect with your most rabid followers and fans, don’t miss it.

Speaker 1 (29:04):
Is it fake or is it fact the proverbial question, which we’re going to answer or rather our celebrity contestants are going to answer in the first of three games on our new game show, experience points

Speaker 2 (29:21):
In fake or fact contestants examine three similar experiences and try to figure out if each experience is real

Speaker 1 (29:29):
Fake. Every answer they get right is worth a hundred points.

Speaker 2 (29:33):
If they get all three answers, correct? They earn another 200 bonus points for a total possible score of five points, which converts into a $500 donation to the charity of their choosing. Thanks to our great friends at F techs.

Speaker 1 (29:51):
All right, Joey, let’s show him how this works. All right. Good idea, Dan,

Speaker 2 (29:56):
With one of our contestants, we talked about subscription programs. You know, those monthly boxes that you can subscribe to get a package to your house every month with a little moment of surprise and delight inside. And we asked, is there a subscription program for bacon?

Speaker 1 (30:15):
Yay. Exactly sure. Hope that one was fact,

Speaker 2 (30:20):
Let me ask, is it fake

Speaker 1 (30:22):
Or is it fact? Well, you’re going to have to tune into experience points to find out experience points is the new game show hosted by your friends, Dan Gingiss and Joey Coleman at brought to you by our friends, AV techs tune in to the video series and the podcast coming soon.

Speaker 2 (30:45):
We’re excited to give you an overview of an important book you should know about as well as share some of our favorite passages as part of our next book report

Speaker 1 (30:57):
For this week’s book report. We wanted to talk about a true friend of the show, an F O J friend of Joey and FOD friend of Dan, the one and only godfather of customer service, chef hiking, my brother from another mother, as we like to call each other. And chef just recently, rereleased a book that is called the cult of the customer. Now you may remember that we reviewed his last book, be amazing or go home and also the convenience revolution in previous episodes. And so when the culture of the customer came out, we asked chef to talk to us a little bit about it, especially this whole idea of releasing a book. So here’s chef giving us an overview of the cult of the customer. I love everybody has chef hiking here, customer service and experience expert. Very excited that my friends, Dan and Joey are allowing me to share some information about my latest book.

Speaker 1 (31:56):
The cult of the customer create an amazing customer experience that turns satisfied customers into customer evangelist. So the title, that’s an interesting title, the cult of the customer, by the way, this is an updated and revised edition from a book that I wrote almost 12 years ago, same title, but updated stats and facts, unless they were evergreen. We replaced all of it with stats and information that were less than a year or so old. So everything’s updated, got rid of some stories, changed up a few stories. And why is the title, the cult of the customer? Because that’s what the publisher said. They wanted the title to be. So what is the cult of the customer? This is actually a cult you want to belong to. So I believe that all customers go through five phases as they go from the beginning of their journey to their final phase, which is one where they’re amazed and love the company.

Speaker 1 (32:49):
So, uh, rather than use the word phase, we’re actually using the word cult. And I’ll explain why in just a few minutes when I read an excerpt from the book. So let’s talk about the five calls by the way. This is for everybody in any organization that deals with customers and that’s everyone. Because if you don’t have an outside customer, you have an internal customer and you need to take care of them as well. And also the book is not meant to be read. It’s meant to be used there’s exercises in the back of the book that you can use on and on the five cults, number one, it’s uncertainty customers. Aren’t sure what they’re getting into. Number two, they get into alignment with the company, as they start to do business with them. Number three, they experience what it is you want them to experience. Hopefully it’s good. And when they experience it over and over again, it becomes predictable. Then it’s ownership. So you go from uncertainty to alignment, to experience to the cult of ownership. And finally, if it’s a positive and predictable experience where customers say, I always enjoy doing business with them, that word always in front of anything. Good to describe you. That means they’re in the cult of amazement. That’s where you want to be with your customer.

Speaker 2 (33:57):
I gotta be honest, and I’m not sure that prior to our conversation, I have ever thought of a cult as a good thing. I mean, it’s, it’s pretty interesting. You know, cults have kind of a bad rap, but what I love about Shep’s description here is this idea of your external and internal customers and paying attention to the changes that a customer’s feeling as they navigate through the customer journey with you and what they need at each phase. I particularly like that idea of predictability turning into ownership, because I think all too often, companies tried to jump right to the ownership phase instead of delivering that consistent, predictable experience that actually builds ownership. And I think what’s interesting here is while this book may be a little bit older and he’s obviously refreshed it and added new stories and new stats, I don’t know that this principle of the power of creating a cult of customers has ever been more true than it is today.

Speaker 1 (35:01):
Yeah. And Chuck likes to talk a lot about consistency. And I do think that that is a facet of customer experience that is often overlooked. Customers expect things to work every time. Or if you have a certain part of your experience, they expect it to be the same. I mean, it’s why people go to certain fast food restaurants, cause the French fries are the same all the time and that’s what they expect. And so consistency can be a really good thing, obviously, unless it is consistently a bad experience, but he likes to talk about how creating that consistency starts to gain this fandom or, or cult as he likes to call it. So one of the things that I love that we do on the show, Joey, I think it’s one of the, one of my favorite things that we decided to do when we launched the show is that when we highlight books, we don’t just do an interview with the author like everybody else does, but we have them do the overview that you just heard.

Speaker 1 (36:03):
And then we ask them to read us their favorite passage. And so here is Shep Hyken author of the call to the customer, reading his favorite passage from his book. What is the cult of the customer? Well, if you’re in business, it’s the cult you want to belong to first things first. There’s nothing scary about the word cult. If you stop and think about it, you’ll realize you can find the word cult inside words that you already know and use without any problem like culture and cultivate cult comes from the Latin word Cultus, which originally meant care or tending. What we’re proposing in this book is creating a corporate culture that is so focused on taking care of and tending to employees and customers that the culture itself creates evangelists. Please bear in mind. As you make your way through this book, a cult is nothing more or less than a system of shared belief, interest or experience. In other words, a group of people with shared agreement about what they will be cultivating together. For example, you may be passionate about bike riding and like to hang out with other cyclists on weekends, strictly speaking, that’s a cult. You may enjoy action hero, comic books and attend comic book conventions twice a year. That too is a cult. When it comes to business, I’m in a cult and I hope you are too. It’s the cult of the customer,

Speaker 2 (37:27):
Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls. You come to experience this to learn about amazing, remarkable experiences and to learn about Latin words. I love it as somebody who took four years of Latin in high school, I loved that ship breaks down

Speaker 1 (37:41):
The Latin, where

Speaker 2 (37:44):
It comes from, you know, while my passage doesn’t have any Latin in it, it does come from a chapter. That’s all about what the journey looks like from the inside. And so here’s my favorite passage. A moment of magic and above average experience typically is the result of someone’s consistent and patient focus on the complex task of consistently delivering moments of magic to internal customers. So they can in turn consistently deliver moments of magic to external customers. Believe it, this kind of experience must be modeled internally before it can be delivered on a consistent basis across the organization. Oh my goodness. I love this passage. It’s so echoes something that I share with audiences all the time, which is we cannot expect our employees

Speaker 1 (38:36):
To deliver a remarkable customer experience. If they don’t know what one is, if they have no context for a remarkable experience themselves and the best way to give your employees a remarkable customer experience context is to deliberate, remarkable experiences to your employees. So you start it with the employees, you show them by the way you treat them and the way you communicate with them and the way you interact with them, what remarkable is. And then when you ask them to deliver a remarkable experience to your customers, they understand what’s being asked, they’re familiar with this. They know what it looks like. They know what it feels like. And as a result, they’re able to do it. I totally agree. And you know, the opposite of that is when you walk into a fast food restaurant and the person behind the counter looks at you, like you’re interrupting their otherwise pleasant day by wanting to place an order.

Speaker 1 (39:28):
And so when your employees are miserable, they’re going to provide a miserable experience to your customer. So it makes all the sense in the world. Now I conveniently chose a favorite passage from a chapter called what the journey looks like from the outside. Ooh, an alternative perspective. I like it. So here we go, you make the right promise and you follow through specifically, you brand the experience and bring your customers into alignment. With that experience, then you deliver on the promise over and over again, through this repeated and predictable satisfaction, your customer’s confidence increases. Eventually you develop a network of evangelists who create a community of believers for your organization. I said before that Shep likes the word consistency. And that was consistent across both of our favorite passages. Is that doing things over and over the right way is going to lead to a better experience.

Speaker 1 (40:26):
And I talk about something very specific to this when I speak as well, which I think is why we both picked these passages. Why they spoke to us is that when you create remarkable experiences, that ends up your best sales and marketing strategy. And here’s why, because you get people to talk about your brand instead of you having to talk about your brand, let’s face it, Joey. We all know you’re awesome, but it’s your sounds a lot better when I say you’re awesome. Then when you say you’re awesome, right? I think you’re awesome. Awesome. Shep. Hyken awesome. This book is awesome. Friends, go out and pick up a copy of chef’s book. The cult of the customer on Amazon at your local indie bookstore, wherever fine books are sold and learn how to turn your customers into a cult.

Speaker 5 (41:22):
Wow.

Speaker 1 (41:23):
Thanks for joining us for another episode of experience this we know there are tons of podcasts to listen to magazines and books, to read reality TV, to watch. We don’t take for granted that you’ve decided to spend some quality

Speaker 3 (41:34):
Time listening to the two of us. We hope you enjoyed our discussions. And if you do, we’d love to hear about it. Come on over to experience this show.com and let us know what segments you enjoyed, what new segments you’d like to hear. This show is all about experience, and we want you to be part of the experience this show. Thanks again for your time. And we’ll see you next week for more experience.

Speaker 5 (41:59):
Yes.