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Episode 102 – Become Unforgettable Before Your Client Signs on the Dotted Line

Join us as we discuss infusing remarkable into your common interactions, switching the default mode to something legendary, and gaining attention with an international perspective.

Cabos, Cameos, and Canadian – Oh My!

[Required Remarkable] The Experience Before the Experience Matters Too

Several months ago Joey and his wife had the opportunity to stay at a resort that exemplified customer service from the first moment they walked into the hotel. Months later they are still raving about their experience at The Montage at Los Cabos. Why you might ask? Because they resort is committed to wowing their customers/guests from the moment they arrive.

The personalization started as Joey and his wife pulled up to the front door of the property and the bellman greeted them by name. When they checked in and were offered a signature cocktail, they declined, and immediately the staff offered them a non-alcoholic beverage – which, given their personal preferences was a much better option.

During check-in, Joey observed a family who was also checking in to the resort. While the parents were getting signed into the hotel, a small, remote control dune buggy pulling a wagon entered the lobby. The attached wagon was filled with custom stuffed animals (representative of the local wildlife including turtles, whales, marlin, foxes, etc.). The waiting children immediately reached in to grab a stuff animal, and when the mother hesitated, the hotel staff explained that the children could have as many animals as they wanted. Even before they were checked in, the parents and children thought this was the best hotel ever!

Once officially checked in, the service continued to exceed expectations. On the way to their room in a beautifully outfitted golf cart (already loaded with their bags when check-in was complete) every employee they passed stopped working and greeted Joey and his wife. Once in the room, the bell captain not only gave them a tour of the amenities, but he offered to chance the thermostat from a Celsius to Fahrenheit readout and then programmed it to Joey’s optimal temperature.

As if this amazing introduction to the resort wasn’t captivating enough, at dinner they enjoyed a unique appetizer (see image above) of whipped guacamole served in half of an avocado shell with a nut butter sphere instead of the avocado nut! When the staff once again inquired about an alcoholic drink, a polite decline led the staff to ask if they would want any alcohol during their stay and when Joey and his wife explained that they wouldn’t, they were never asked again during their stay! (now that a connected CRM folks!) A smoking cage dessert (see video below) capped off a meal to remember.

The Montage Los Cabos isn’t only a remarkable place for adults. Children receive special care and attention as well. A remarkable merit pins program allows children to receive prizes for participating in activities around the resort – which in the process allow their parents to relax and enjoy their vacation!

The resort also partners with a local conservation group to present “turtle releases” – a unique experience that guests are sure to post about on social media and talk about when they get home.

The Montage Los Cabos offers an amazing example of what happens when every step of the customer journey is crafted and curated to be remarkable.

[CX Press] Talk Like a Legend Today

Voice assistants are becoming more popular and more common in our everyday lives. Microsoft has Cortana, Apple has Siri, Amazon has Alexa, and Google has… well, Google Assistant. This episode’s CX Press story comes from Architectural Digest and is written by Jordi Lippe-Mcgraw. The article is titled, “You Can Now Have John Legend as Your Google Assistant Voice” and details Google’s new initiative to let you change your voice assistant to sound like a celebrity.

The article notes that the use of voice assistants is projected to triple in the next few years – with an estimated 8 billion voice assistants operating just three years from now. At current rates, that means there will be more electronic voices than actual human voices on the planet in just three short years!

With the rise of voice assistants comes a unique opportunity to incorporate creative solutions into your business including:

  1. Find ways to be more playful. You can and should have fun with these new technologies. And don’t forget to include your clients. They can have fun too!
  2. Find ways to be more familiar. Bringing a sense of familiarity to the interactions your brand has with customers will make your customers feel more comfortable and connected to you.
  3. Find ways to incorporate voice assistants and voice commands into your work. Did you know you can say to your Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa “Play Experience This! Podcast” and you can hear our show?! If we can set this up, you should think about ways you can creatively incorporate voice into your customer interactions.

[Book Report] Think. Do. Say.

As consumers bear the onslaught of more and more information, coming faster and faster, from every direction imaginable, it is getting harder and harder to actually grab someone’s attention. Joey’s friend Ron Tite succeed in grabbing our attention however with his smart, fun, actionable new book: Think. Do. Say. Not only is the book playfully written, but it packs a powerful message in its pages. To be a great leader or a great company, Tite encourages a three step process of: Think. Do. Say.

We’ve got to be better than this, because at the end of the day, the real problem is that consumers, and colleagues, and leaders don’t know where to look and they don’t know who to trust. What we know is that great leaders and great organizations are all based on what they think, what they do and what they say, and all three together.

Ron Tite, author of Think. Do. Say.

Too many businesses focus exclusively on one, or sometimes two of these goals. But the best companies, those what will not only succeed today, but will stand the test of time, make sure to incorporate all three goals into their operations, philosophy, and messaging.

  • If you only do, you become a sweatshop/workaholic who isn’t loved by your colleagues.
  • If you only think, you never get things done.
  • If you only say, well, you will be found out when you don’t follow through.

If you want an easy to understand, important to apply, entertaining to read guide for navigating life in 2020, please go read Think. Do. Say.

Links We Referenced

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 a transcript of the entire Episode 102 here or read it below:

Dan Gingiss: Welcome to Experience This.

Joey Coleman: 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: Always upbeat and definitely entertaining, customer attention, expert Joey Coleman.

Joey Coleman: And social media expert Dan Gingiss serve as your hosts for a weekly dose of positive customer experience.

Dan Gingiss: So hold onto your headphones. It’s time to experience this.

Joey Coleman: Get ready for another episode of the Experience This show.

Dan Gingiss: Join us as we discuss infusing remarkable into your common interactions, switching the default mode to something legendary, and gaining attention with an international perspective.

Joey Coleman: Cabos, cameos, and Canadian, oh my.

[Required Remarkable] The Montage – it’s all in the presentation

Joey Coleman: Just because you have required elements of your business doesn’t mean they need to be boring. 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.

Joey Coleman: Dan, have you ever stayed at a hotel where every time you turned around, you witnessed something that would make for a great segment on our show?

Joey Coleman: I think you’re describing most of the Las Vegas strip, but outside of that …

Joey Coleman: Fair enough. Fair enough.

Dan Gingiss: Not that often.

Joey Coleman: Well, I had an experience a few months ago, and instead of devoting segment after segment after segment to each of the remarkable experiences that I had, and in fact, we could have devoted an entire season to this place, it was that amazing, I decided to combine some of my best interactions into a single discussion, where we look at the things that are required elements of any typical hotel stay, but where the Montage Los Cabos, a stunning resort in Cabos San Lucas, Mexico, went above and beyond.

Dan Gingiss: I have a question.

Joey Coleman: Yes.

Dan Gingiss: Why couldn’t we have done this live together at this resort? Why do I have to sit and listen to this?

Joey Coleman: You know, that is a great and fair question. Let me just say, folks, I will, as they say, don’t bury the lede. The moral of the story here is if you have the opportunity to go to the Montage Los Cabos in Mexico, do whatever you can to get there. It is by far the most incredible hotel I have ever stayed at with a staff where, across the board, everyone just gets it. They get customer experience at a deep and meaningful level. Now in the interest of full disclosure, it is not an inexpensive resort. I was there for an event that I was speaking and presenting at, but it is absolutely stunning.

Joey Coleman: Let me give you an example of some of the things that they did that really stood out, and let’s begin with arrival. Now, I don’t know, listeners, if you’ve ever had the chance to stay at a hotel. I noticed especially in foreign countries where there’s kind of a gate as you enter the resort property where they get your name and they confirm, and then you drive through the property to the front lobby, if you will, where you check in.

Joey Coleman: So when we got to the gate, the person manning the gate asked us our names, we explained what our names were so they could confirm that we did indeed have reservations at the hotel, but what’s interesting is when we got to the front lobby in the check-in area at the main entrance to the hotel, the valets opened the door, I was there with my wife as well, and said, “Welcome home, Mr and Mrs. Coleman,” which was just a really nice touch. They called us by name, even though we’d never met them before. Now how did they know our name? Well, of course we had checked in at the gate a mile down the road, and that information had been properly transmitted to them. So that was really cool.

Joey Coleman: Well, then we go inside for the check in process, and as many folks who have checked into a hotel will know, it’s usually not the most exciting part of the hotel process. There’s paperwork, you’re giving your credit card, you’re getting your room keys. Invariably, they want to show you maps of the resort and tell you about their amenities and that kind of thing. It usually ends up taking a little bit longer than you would like it to take, plus you’ve just gotten off a flight or a long way of traveling, and there’s really an opportunity, I think, here to take a required pit stop and turn it into something special, which is exactly what the Montage did. They came up and offered us a signature mixed drink that they had presented. It was refreshing and it was beautiful, but to be honest, I don’t drink alcohol, and so I declined the drink, and almost as quickly as I had declined the drink, the person said, “Well, would a non-alcoholic beverage be more interesting, or a water?”

Joey Coleman: I said, “Well, actually, if you have a non alcoholic beverage, that’d be great.” They disappeared, and in under 30 seconds, we’re back with a custom non-alcoholic drink that was totally refreshing and I loved.

Joey Coleman: Last but not least, while we were checking in, there was a family next to us checking in. Now my wife and I were traveling just the two of us, but there was a family next door, and as I was watching the family check-in, I was reminded of all the times I’ve been at check in with my family after a long day of traveling, hoping, begging, pleading to just get the keys so we can get to the room, and this family was kind of having a similar experience, when all of the sudden, the door to the lobby opened, and in came a remote control dune buggy pulling a wagon.

Joey Coleman: Now the second this entered the lobby, the kids’ heads snapped around. It was two little kids, maybe ages three and five, somewhere in that age, snapped around. This dune buggy pulls right up to them, and the wagon that it’s pulling is filled with stuffed animals. Now these aren’t just any stuffed animals. These are custom stuffed animals representing the animals that live on or near the property. There’s a turtle, a dolphin, a whale, a fox, all these amazing stuffed animals that are specifically designed for the Montage, and the kids, without needing to be told, reach in and pull a stuffed animal out.

Joey Coleman: Now, one of the kids actually pulls out three stuffed animals, to which the mom is like, “No, no, no, just one,” to which the person behind the counter says, “She can take as many as she wants.”

Dan Gingiss: Dang.

Joey Coleman: They’re not even checked in, and this family is all in, and these kids think this is the greatest resort they’ve ever been to.

Dan Gingiss: Yeah, I was just going to say that we’ve talked about this in a past episode that oftentimes, the experience begins before the experience begins, and what’s so interesting is everything you’ve just mentioned is before your stay has actually begun.

Joey Coleman: Absolutely. I don’t even have my room key.

Dan Gingiss: Right, and so you already love the place. You’ve already had a good experience before your experience has even started, and that isn’t possible in every business, but it is possible that your business could be thinking about how to create an experience before somebody actually does business with you, or before their prescribed experience begins, and it definitely sounds like this place is doing that.

Joey Coleman: Agreed, Dan, and we talk way back on episode 20 about the Fairmont Hotel, Banff Springs and how they gave stuffed animals to my boys as we were checking in. We talked about Darren Brown’s magic show, The Secret, on Broadway that had the show begin before the show actually began, but what I loved about the Montage is how they stacked these things. Multiple things happened right at the beginning that left me feeling really good.

Joey Coleman: So now that we’re checked in, it’s time to go to our room, but of course, as you’re probably already guessing, the transit from the lobby to our room is not going to be normal or the usual experience. We’re ushered outside where we meet a golf cart, which has been loaded already with our luggage that was taken out of the car and put in the golf cart while we were checking in, and this is actually a golf cart that is designed to transport people to their rooms with their luggage. So it’s not like we’re having to straddle the bags or some random guys holding onto the bags as you drive so long. No, it’s beautifully outfitted, there’s plenty of room.

Joey Coleman: As we drive towards our room, which is a little bit further away on the property, every time we pass a staff member raking the lawn or a housekeeper walking to a room or whatever they may do, they stop what they are doing, turn and look at us and say, “Buenos dias,” or greet us in some way. I’ve never experienced this at any hotel where the staff acknowledges you not only by saying something, but stops what they’re doing, stands and faces you, and it was actually, to be completely candid, almost a little disconcerting in the beginning because they track your body. So as you’re coming towards them, they’re looking at you, but as you walk away, they continue to look at you on the off chance that you might turn around and go back the other direction, that they don’t start working again until you’re basically out of sight. So this was really interesting.

Joey Coleman: Then we get to the room. Now checking into the room, it’s a gorgeous room at a beautiful resort, and I’ve stayed at hotels before where the bell captain bringing your bags says, “Oh, can I show you around the room?”, and usually what that means is, “Can I walk around the room and point out some things that you could have easily found on your own?”, and it’s not that interesting, but this review of the room was fantastic. Not only did he open the blinds to give us the full experience of the light flooding the room, and of course the blinds had been closed because it’s Mexico and it’s hot as can be, but he proceeds to then show us where the key light switches are. There are a dozen light switches, but he shows us where the one is that shuts off all the lights, and he shows us the one from where you can turn everything on and off while you’re in bed.

Joey Coleman: He then goes to the thermostat and says, “Let me switch this over from Celsius to Fahrenheit, because I imagine as Americans, you’d rather see the temperature displayed that way, and by the way, can you tell me what temperature you normally like to sleep at night? I’ll go ahead and program this accordingly so you don’t have to think about it.” Okay. I am completely enamored at this point, and then he takes us into the bathroom.

Joey Coleman: The bathroom has a shower inside the bathroom, which is not surprising, but it also has a shower outside, so you can shower inside or outside, kind of under the stars. Now granted, it’s got a wall around it, that’s so you have your privacy, but we’ve been in the room for five minutes, and I want to live in this room for the rest of my life.

Dan Gingiss: That’s awesome, and obviously in the hotel world, the room is where you’re going to spend a lot of time most often, and it’s, in some ways, a commodity because a hotel room generally has the same features in it. So when you can stand out by offering something that is unique, that’s how you become memorable.

Joey Coleman: Absolutely. So then we get unpacked, we get settled in, and it’s been a long day of traveling, and it’s time to eat. So we’re going to go to a restaurant on the property. Now we’ve got a reservation for an early dinner. The plan is we’ll have dinner, we’ll retire early, call it a day, and be able to really explore and experience the resort the next day.

Joey Coleman: So when we get to the restaurant, they come up to take the drink order, as many wait servers will do when you first sit down at your table, but once again, I’m offered alcohol, and when I say that I don’t actually drink, the server says, “Well Mr. Coleman, I know you’re here for six days. Do you imagine at any point in this process you would be interested in an alcoholic drink?”, and I said, “Actually, no, I don’t drink, but thank you for the offer.” No server asked me if I wanted an alcoholic drink again the entire time over there.

Joey Coleman: So somehow they’ve got a CRM that they’re rolling that up, which is amazing. They bring out the appetizer. We ordered chips and guacamole. They had whipped avocado in a half shell. So the skin of the avocado, they had carved it out, they had whipped the guacamole, they had put it back in the hollowed out shell, and instead of the nut in the center of the avocado, they had a circular nut made of honey butter that just was divine.

Joey Coleman: Last but not least, after an incredible meal, we ordered dessert, and they brought some dessert drinks out that were in a smoking cage. I can’t describe this in any other way other than to say they opened a cage, a glass cage, on our table, smoke poured out of the cage, and inside were our two drinks. Now I say drinks. These were dessert drinks that we had ordered that were non alcoholic. Absolutely delicious. It was like drinking ice cream. It was kind of a Lecce caramel … I don’t even remember what it was, because the presentation was so incredible that it was a battle between what I had just seen with my eyes and what I was now tasting.

Joey Coleman: Folks, we’ve got a video of this that you can check out on the show notes page at experiencethisshow.com. It was an incredible meal.

Dan Gingiss: Joey, normally I would come in here and say something, but honestly, you are so energized about this, and I know you want to share more of this experience, so I’m just going to hand it back to you and sit back and listen.

Joey Coleman: You’re too kind. All right. I’ve got one more thing I want to talk about, which is what you do when you’re at a hotel. Now lots of times you go to a resort, maybe they have a swimming pool. If it’s on the beach, there’s the opportunity to go to the beach. What I love about the Montage Los Cabos is that not only were the things that you could kind of choose your own adventure on, but there were a number of things that were unique to that hotel that really stood out and made an impression on me.

Joey Coleman: The first one is what do you do with the kids? Now we weren’t traveling with our kids, but like many resorts that cater to families, they have play areas and playgrounds and a kids’ club, but the coolest thing that they had was the ability to collect Montage merit pins. Now the merit pins were on display in the lobby. They’re these beautiful metallic, super cool pins that if you did certain activities as a kid, you could earn this pin and then put it on a lanyard, and the goal was to collect all the pins.

Joey Coleman: Well, needless to say, some of our friends who had kids there were wanting to go spend time at the kids’ club and doing these activities, which by the way, hint, hint, gives the parents a break to actually enjoy the resort, and the coolest one they had is the opportunity to earn Lucas status. Now Lucas is the name they’ve given to a marlin, a fish that lives in the bay just outside the resort, and every once in a while, the marlin jumps and you can see it. So what they tell the kids is, when you’re on the beach with your parents, keep looking out on the bay, because if you’ve see it jump and you come tell us, you can earn the Lucas pin.

Joey Coleman: Now I don’t know about you Dan, my six year old, my four year old, when we go to the beach, most of my time is spent hoping that they don’t die from running into the waves or getting rolled or whatever it may be. I watched other kids sitting in the stand staring out across the bay, peacefully watching for the marlin to jump, while their parents read a book or also stared out and looked on the bay or just enjoyed the resort. It was incredible.

Joey Coleman: Last but not least, they had a turtle release. So the Montage has partnered with the local conservation group to raise sea turtles. They raise them on property, and then every once in a while, they release them. So they announce over this loudspeaker system throughout the entire property, it’s the only time I heard it announced, or used, rather, that in 20 minutes on the beach, they are going to release the turtles. Well, hundreds of people come down to the beach to watch these turtles waddle down the sand into the surf and swim out into the bay. Again, we’ve got a video of this at experiencethisshow.com in the show notes. Every time I turned around, there was something happening that was absolutely incredible.

Dan Gingiss: I tell ya, I think I’ve got a great idea, Joey. I think that we need to have an Experience This retreat where we just bring all of our listeners with us.

Joey Coleman: Nice, nice. I like it.

Dan Gingiss: We’re going to take over this whole place, and we’re just going to all finally understand how to do customer experience.

Joey Coleman: Oh my goodness, it was a masterclass in customer experience. Folks, the Montage Los Cabos is by far the most amazing hotel experience I’ve ever had. Why? Because at every turn, not only did they make the required remarkable, but they made it so incredibly remarkable that I’m still buzzing about it and about dozens of details about it months and months later. Rest assured that I can’t wait to get back to the Montage Los Cabos, and I hope you’ll take a few minutes to visit experiencethisshow.com and check out the photos and the videos that I made about the various experiences we detailed in this segment. If nothing else, my hope is that it will give you the chance to see just how many touch points can come together to create a stellar, remarkable experience.

[CX Press] Talk Like a Legend

Joey Coleman: 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 CXPress where we read the articles so you don’t need to.

Joey Coleman: Unless you’re Chrissy Tiegen, it’s almost impossible to hear John Legend’s soothing voice everywhere you go, until now. Google recently made it possible for you to swap out your Google Assist’s voice with that of Academy award-winning, Tony award-winning, 10 time Grammy award winning singer John legend.

Dan Gingiss: To think I thought it was cool when I changed my Waze voice to Cookie Monster, which was fun, by the way.

Joey Coleman: I’m sure it was fun. The idea that we’re looking to ways to customize these voice assistants and make the interactions more personalized and more entertaining for us. I absolutely love. Well folks, this episode’s CXPress story comes from Architectural Digest, of all places, and is written by Jordy Lippe-McGraw. The article is entitled, “You Can Now Have John legend as your Google Assistant Voice,” and it details Google’s initiative to let you change your voice assistant to speak like a celebrity. Now to be clear, while Legend’s voice doesn’t work in every scenario, you can get answers from him to questions like, “What’s the weather?”, “What’s your favorite song?”, and, “How are you?” There are also some more lighthearted ones like, “What’s your best pickup line?”, and the command, “Serenade me.” To get a feel for what this would be like, let’s listen to the promo video Google shared when they announced this new feature

Speaker 3: Levels are set. You ready to rock and roll?

John Legend: I’m your Google Assistant. I can help you find the answers and have fun. The forecast is 72 and sunny.

John Legend: Okay, here’s one of my favorite songs.

John Legend: Happy birthday to the person whose birthday it is.

John Legend: Whoa. I’m feeling this new voice. You can find me on all kinds of devices, phones, Google Homes, and if I’m lucky, in your heart,

Dan Gingiss: Legend spent 10 days in a recording studio saying different phrases and sentences. So artificial intelligence technology could learn to mimic his voice. As he explained, Google has some kind of amazing algorithm, but it takes a lot of recording to do that. I have to say, having spent two days in the studio with you, Joey, to record our season of Experience This, 10 days is a lot of time.

Joey Coleman: It’s a lot of time, and folks, these are long days. If you’ve not had the opportunity to be in a recording studio, it’s a lot of fun, but you don’t realize how exhausting talking nonstop for a full day really is. So yeah, more credit to John. Obviously, he had spent plenty of time in the recording studio before he started working with Google, he had done a couple of gigs before that, but it’s still pretty impressive.

Joey Coleman: What I think is interesting is that we have this rise of voice assistants. Amazon has Alexa, Apple has Siri, Microsoft has Cortana, Google has … Google Assistant? Come on Google, we could have come up with a little bit of a better name for that. Where’s the creativity? But this is only going to increase. In fact, the use of voice assistants is set to triple over the next few years, according to a forecast from UK-based analysts at Juniper Research. The firm estimates there will be eight billion digital voice assistance in use by 2023. That’s just three years from now.

Dan Gingiss: Hold on one second. There are only seven and a half billion people on the planet. You’re telling me that we’re going to have more voice assistants than actual voices?

Joey Coleman: In the next three years. That is the prediction.

Dan Gingiss: That is crazy. Now, to be fair, I get it. I think I have five Amazon devices in my house, maybe six.

Joey Coleman: Okay.

Dan Gingiss: So I get it.

Joey Coleman: Your phone can have a voice, your laptop can have a voice, your smart TV can have a voice, your voice assistant that’s in your Google Home or your Alexa or whatever may have a voice. So yeah, multiple people own multiple devices, and you can set all of those voices to be different.

Dan Gingiss: When I had the Cookie Monster voice, I have to tell you, it really did make driving more fun, and I usually have the voice turned off on Waze, but I wanted it turned on because I wanted to hear what he was going to say, and I remember one of my favorite ones was, “Police officer reported to head. Maybe we ask if he want cookie,” and you’re sitting there laughing in the car.

Joey Coleman: Because you’re laughing and you’re having fun, and what can be a stressful experience, driving and traffic, suddenly becomes a fun experience because of the interactivity. I love it, and I love this idea of choosing your voice. We spoke way back in season three, episode 68, about a gender neutral voice called Q. What’s next? We’ve got celebrity voices. I think there are a lot of different ways people could take this in the future.

Dan Gingiss: Well, and maybe AI advances to the point where you can have your voice assistant match the voice of a loved one. How about having the voice assistant be your spouse or one of your kids, or even, really getting out there, a deceased loved one?

Joey Coleman: Oh, sure.

Dan Gingiss: Can you imagine recording our parents’ voices now so that down the road, we could actually have them talk to us when they’re no longer with us? Freaky a little bit, but also pretty cool.

Joey Coleman: Pretty cool, and it kind of brings us back to that nostalgia trend that we talked about earlier. Often, when we see posts on social media, we talk to people who’ve experienced the death of a loved one. Sometimes years later, they talk about, “I can’t hear their voice anymore.” What if you could? What’s possible?

Joey Coleman: So beyond a better understanding of the rise of voice assistants and the novelty of putting a celebrity voice onto yours, what should our listeners do with this information? Well, we recommend you consider the following. Number one, find ways to be more playful. One of the best things about the partnership between John Legend and Google Assistant is that allows a technology solution, which is a robotic voice assistant, to take on a more playful tone. John Legend is known for being a larger than life personality, and his playfulness really comes through in the messages. Even the way he sings happy birthday in the recording that we shared earlier.

Joey Coleman: Number two, find ways to be more familiar. Can you align your brand with celebrities or stars or historical figures in a way that makes your brand feel more connected to the people your customers already know? Number three, find ways to incorporate voice assistants and voice commands into your work. For example, did you know that you can say to Alexa or Google Assistant, “Play Experience This,” and listen to our podcast? To set that up wasn’t that difficult, and you probably could find a way to experiment with voice in your business too.

[Book Report] Think, Do, Say

Joey Coleman: 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: I think one of the things most challenging to do in an increasingly busy and disjointed world is grab and hold someone’s attention.

Joey Coleman: Dan, I totally agree, and that’s why I’m such a fan of the book we’re going to discuss in this segment. Think, Do, Say is written by my good friend, Canadian speaker, award-winning advertising writer and creative director extraordinaire, Ron Tite. Not only is he a great writer and a big thinker, but he’s funny as can be, and his book is filled with witty and poignant statements about marketing, branding and customer experience. Things like, “Data is more than a character from Star Trek,” and, “I shouldn’t read your values. I should experience your values.” To give you an overview of the book, let’s hear from the author himself, Mr. Ron Tite.

Ron Tite: People today are inundated with nonstop content, broken promises, endless product extensions and pressure from lame articles like, “The Seven Things that Successful People Do Every Single Day.” Yeah, what do we do? We throw vanity metrics at them, we give superficial techniques on how to solve the problems and drive them towards a talk or a white paper and … Really? Come on. We’ve got to be better than this, because at the end of the day, the real problem is that consumers and colleagues and leaders don’t know where to look and they don’t know who to trust.

Ron Tite: What we know is that great leaders and great organizations are all based on what they think, what they do and what they say, and all three together, because if all you do as a leader is think, think, think, well, then you’re a think tank, and there’s a lot of competition out there because anybody with a Maya Angelou quote and an Instagram account is a philosopher these days. Now if all you do is do, do, do, well, then as an organization, you’re a sweatshop, and as a person, well, you’re probably not as popular with your colleagues as you think you are, because you’re probably defining your success by the number of hours you work, not the quality of those hours, and if as an organization or as a person, all you do is talk about the things you’re going to do, but you never actually do them, you’ll be found out.

Ron Tite: It is about thinking and doing and saying, and that is what this book explores.

Dan Gingiss: So going back to the title of this book, thinking, doing and saying, or think, do and say, I think that most brands are focusing on one or two of those, at best, and unfortunately, I think saying is the one they’re probably most focused on.

Joey Coleman: Yeah, there’s a lot of truth to that.

Dan Gingiss: It’s like talk, talk, talk, talk, talk, talk, talk, talk, talk and hope that we say something that our customers will listen to. Spending a little bit more time thinking and doing is not only good for us as individuals, but also for companies to take the time to listen to the world around you, listen to your customers, to your prospects, think about what you’re going to say before you’re going to say it, and don’t look at the world as your own branded megaphone.

Joey Coleman: So agree. I so agree. I am such a fan of the message in Think. Do. Say., Because not only is that powerful, but it’s written in a fun and playful way that’s just a delight to read. When it comes to my favorite passage, I had to go with the following, because I think it’s a new way of looking at what is a key factor in customer experience, and I quote, “If your answer to what your customers want you to do is ‘whatever they tell us on the feedback forms,’ you’re not doing it correctly. Reacting to consumer complaints isn’t an approach, it’s a reaction. It’s tough to build sustainable momentum if your customer’s always ahead of you. They don’t want you to be reactive. They want you to be proactive.”

Joey Coleman: Now, personally, Dan, I’m a big believer that customer service is reactive, whereas customer experience is proactive. We need to get out ahead of the customers and forge a path for them.

Dan Gingiss: Well, I agree with you mostly. I think that great customer service can be proactive as well, and that creates a great customer experience, right? When you identify a problem before it happens, for example, a company that goes out on social media and says, “We know our website’s down. We’re working to fix it.” Now you, Joey, may not have been to the website yet today, but they just prevented you from having a problem that you were going to call about, and I think that is service, but when it comes to my favorite passage, actually went kind of a different way. I like the fact that in the book, Tite talks about customer experience and encourages employees to consider, who do you do it for? In other words, who do you serve? Who is your customer? By asking who you do it for, you get to broaden the definition of the customer without getting into the messy conversations about what specifically qualifies.

Dan Gingiss: As I read this quote, it’s a little bit lengthy, I want the companies that are dealing with generic customer personas to really take note. Personas are a long held vehicle in customer experience, but one in which I think are often overused, because we think that as long as we have this persona down, which includes all of these people, that we’re going to cover everyone, and I think when you hear this, you’re going to understand that it’s really about the individual.

Dan Gingiss: Here comes to the quote. “No one understands who they do it for better than Netflix. It has millions of customers around the world. Each of them has unique viewing habits with different tastes in different genres. I’m no different. I love binging on Netflix. When I do, I enjoy watching crime dramas. When I go to Netflix, it asks me to select from the two users registered. When I sign in under my user profile the options before me are shows like The Killing, The Gunman, another gruesome tale of an unsolved murder starring people with British accents. When my wife signs in under her user profile, she doesn’t see The Killing. Her choices include Downton Abbey, Gilmore Girls, and whatever the programming equivalent of a hug is. If someone has been killed, Netflix knows that I want to see it. If someone has fallen in love, Netflix knows that my wife wants to see it. Honestly, if the only Netflix available was her Netflix, I would’ve canceled our account long ago. Netflix isn’t just collecting data to broadly get to know who they do it for. They’re using the data to customize the delivery of their product to the individual. My Netflix is my Netflix. The moment I select my user profile, Netflix isn’t doing it for anyone but me.”

Joey Coleman: I absolutely love this example, and I’m so glad you picked this as your passage, because it gives you a little bit of a flavor of the language Ron uses in the book and the way he writes and the way you present things. At the end of the day, you’re not being compared to the other players in your industry anymore, you’re being compared to the best experiences your customers have ever had, which means the convenience of Amazon, the beauty of Apple and the personalization of Netflix. If you don’t start benchmarking against the best experiences your customers have ever had, you won’t be delivering experiences much longer, because your customers are going to move on when you can’t keep up.

Joey Coleman: But what about Ron Tite, the author? What’s his favorite passage from the book? I’ll let him share it now.

Ron Tite: Chapter two. This is the chaos part. Get into a New York state of mind.

Ron Tite: Two ad campaigns I created have been featured in Times Square. As a Canadian ad guy mostly doing stuff north of the border, I was proud when my work made it to New York’s biggest stage. I mean, hell, if you can make it there, you can make it anywhere, right? Time Square is the most expensive promotional real estate in North America, with more lights, signs, bells, flashes and distractions than your average stretch of pavement. The Times Square Alliance reports that signage in the area generates 1.5 million impressions from over 380,000 pedestrians and 115,000 drivers and passengers every day. It may surprise you to find out that over 60,000 people live in the greater Times Square area too. That’s a ton of eyeballs, and they all need something to look at. Brands buy billboards because they want those eyes to look at their ads, but here’s the real problem. Buying the space is easy. Standing out is not.

Ron Tite: When a consumer stands in the middle of Times Square, they don’t even know where to look. Every inch of peripheral vision is filled with something that pulls the eyes away, blinking, moving, waving, animating, shining, flashing, ringing. Look here, no, here, no, here. Down on street level, it’s even worse. Evangelical preachers are trying to get you to convert. Buskers are performing for change. Food carts are hocking street meat. Scammers are asking you for bus money. Young comedians are papering a local comedy club. Curbside entrepreneurs are selling everything from tee shirts and theater tickets to recreational drugs and prostitution. So not only do they not know where to look, they don’t know who to trust either. They don’t know where to look, they don’t know who to trust.

Ron Tite: Well, I hate to break it to you, Billy Joel, but you’re not the only one in a New York state of mind, because today, Times Square isn’t just isolated between West 42nd and West 47th. It’s everywhere. Times Square is in Kentucky. It’s in Winnipeg. It’s at your desk. It’s in the middle of your living room. Times Square is in your pocket. It doesn’t matter where they’re located. Consumers, prospects, clients and colleagues don’t know where to look, and they don’t know who to trust.

Dan Gingiss: People don’t know where to look and don’t know who to trust. Well, let us tell you, folks, you need to look no further than Ron Tite’s book, Think, Do, Say, to get a digestible, actionable guide that will help you seize attention, and you can trust us on that.

Joey Coleman: Wow. Thanks for joining us for another episode of Experience This.

Dan Gingiss: 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: 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: Thanks again for your time, and we’ll see you next week for more.

Joey Coleman: Experience!

Dan Gingiss: This!


Episode 101: How Trends Shape and Influence Customer Expectations

Join us as we discuss what the past decade can teach us about the next decade, how a bespoke publisher creates raving fans, and how the future of personal information is going to get even more messy.

Curation, Creation, and Contention – Oh My!

[Book Report] Understanding How Shifting Trends Can Impact Your Business

As individuals and businesses transition from decade to decade, they often spend time in reflection and evaluation of where they have been, where they are, and where they are going. Rarely do they make the time however to consider their positioning in a shifting global landscape.

Joey and Dan are both fans of their friend Rohit Bhargava and his newest book, Non Obvious Megatrends: How to See What Others Miss and Predict the Future. In his book, Bhargava explores a variety of trends that he sees changing and sculpting the world today. He then outlines a process to help you think in terms of these trends and apply them to your own business.

For example, one of the emerging trends is Revivalism – which Bhargava describes as follows:

Overwhelmed by technology and a sense that life is now too complex and shallow, people seek out simpler experiences that offer a sense of nostalgia and remind them of a more trustworthy time.

Rohit Bhargava, author of Non Obvious Megatrends: How to See What Others Miss and Predict the Future

CX professionals should consider how this trend of customers seeking “simpler experiences with a sense of nostalgia” can influence their organization’s product and service offerings.

Another trend Bhargava explores that is particularly relevant to customer experience is “The Human Mode.” He explains that this trend stems from the rise of artificial intelligence and creates a world where human interaction is increasingly valued as a luxury. Bhargava shares how humanity and vulnerability can be emphasized by blending a sense of empathy into products and processes. Interesting enough, this is exactly the type of messaging that caught Joey’s eye while walking through the airport and seeing an advertisement emphasizing humans over robots (see Episode 96).

From amplified identity, to instant knowledge, to data abundance, to flux commerce, Non Obvious Megatrends explores shifting customer behaviors and expectations that every business should be pay attention to and incorporate into their offerings. If you’re ready to deep dive into these topics and apply them to your business, go buy Non Obvious Megatrends today!

[Dissecting the Experience] Making Things Beautiful Rockets Your Business Forward

As it turns out, sometimes you can judge a book by it’s cover. The fascinating Boulder, Colorado-based company Juniper Books is committed to making your bookshelves more beautiful. They design book covers for books that have already been written in order to better showcase their story from your shelf.

Based on several experiences as a Juniper Books customer, Joey learned several maxims that can be applied to any business in order to enhance the customers’ experiences.

Beautiful design should be incorporated into every product and service you offer. Juniper Books takes existing books and gives them more beautiful covers so that the books jump of the shelf visually.

Find creative ways to do more business with your current customers. Juniper Books keeps loyal fans immersed in growing their book collections by offering a subscription for “Books Everyone Should Own” – a series of classic books with refreshed, unique covers.

Make each customer feel like they are the most important customer. When Joey placed a bulk order of the book, For the Love of Books by Juniper Books founder Thatcher Wine, Wine personalized every copy to add a special touch for the recipients to which Joey gifted the book.

P.S. To see Juniper Books in action, check out the GORGEOUS “coffee table must-have” For the Love of Books by Juniper Books founder Thatcher Wine (disclosure: Thatcher and Joey are friends – but Joey loved his work long before he met Thatcher in person!)

[Agree to Disagree] The Benefits and Costs of More Convenience

In every home and office around the world, shifting expectations reveal an ongoing battle: do we share our private information to achieve greater convenience, or do we protect our information and retain our privacy? While there are certainly advantages and disadvantages to both approaches, it’s not a simple “do it” or “don’t do it” decision for most individuals and organizations.

The Case in Favor of Privacy

  1. Limits the Power of Governments and Corporations – Whoever has the data, has the power. The more information we relinquish, the more likely it is to be used to manipulate our decisions, attitudes, and behaviors.
  2. Respects the Individual – When identity or private information is stolen, abused, or even mis-used, it disrespects the individual.
  3. Allows for Second Chances – Thanks to the “always on, often recorded” digital footprint of today, young people growing up online have every misstep and mistake cataloged for future review and analysis. This seems to accelerate expectations while offering little room for evolving thoughts or even honest mistakes.

The Case in Favor of Convenience

  1. Saves You Time – the one thing that we can’t produce more of is time. By sharing your likes, dislikes, past preferences, and past actions, organizations tracking your data can serve up realtime solutions and product offerings that save you countless hours of searching and remembering.
  2. Allows You to Think Less. When things like account numbers, passwords, and even past food orders are saved and cataloged, you don’t need to devote much active thought to navigating the details and minutia of your day. Things are taken care of and remembered for you.
  3. Makes Life Easier. When items can be ordered, used, re-ordered, and delivered without your direct involvement, life is just easier. Simplification of interactions makes continuing to do business with a company much easier.

As you consider your own habits and behaviors, don’t forget to apply these concepts to your business. What are you doing to make your customer experience more convenient? And, what are you doing to protect your customers’ privacy?

Links We Referenced

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 a transcript of the entire Episode 101 here or read it below:

Dan Gingiss: Welcome to Experience This.

Joey Coleman: 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: Always upbeat and definitely entertaining, customer-retention expert, Joey Coleman…

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

Dan Gingiss: Hold on to your headphones. It’s time to experience this.

Joey Coleman: Get ready for another episode of the Experience This Show.

Dan Gingiss: Join us as we discuss what the past decade can teach us about the next decade, how a bespoke publisher creates raving fans and how the future of personal information is going to get even more messy.

Joey Coleman: Curation, creation, and contention, oh, my!

[Book Report] MegaTrends

Joey Coleman:   We are 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. As you reflect on the past decade and look forward to the next decade, we found a great resource to help you think bigger about the trends that are shaping the world. Let’s listen to my great friend and prolific author, Rohit Bhargava, as he describes his newest book.

Rohit Bhargava: Hey. This is Rohit Bhargava, and I wrote a book called Non‑Obvious Megatrends, which is all about how to see the world a little bit differently and how to put the pieces together across multiple industries and really do what I think we need to do a little bit more of in the world, which is be more open-minded and read the things that we don’t agree with and try and think for ourselves, and so the book outlines a process to do that, something that I call non-obvious thinking, and then it spotlights 10 different megatrends that I believe are changing the world and our culture and how we believe what we believe in and how we choose to buy or sell certain things, and one of the megatrends that I think is really relevant particularly when it comes to customer experience is a trend that I called human mode.

Rohit Bhargava: Human mode was a response to the idea that, in a world where we have more and more automation and we see more technology coming, we believe in and trust each other and the human power, and so human mode is partially about this idea that, in a situation where we have human contact, we treat that as a luxury and we choose to engage with people more, and we’re sometimes willing to even pay more for that, but the other side of it is that we expect that the things that we buy and the things that we consume are made with more empathy and are made in more human ways, and so one of the ideas that I really challenge people to think of is, instead of just looking at something that’s put out and saying that’s made in the USA or that’s made in Italy, what if we put it out that something was made with empathy? What would that look like?

Rohit Bhargava: A great example is what Starbucks has been doing across a couple of different locations where they employ entirely deaf or hearing-impaired workers in a particular location, and they have one of these in D.C. near where I live, near Gallaudet University, and it’s fascinating because not only are they doing something that is amazing for the community there, but, people who go in, whether they’re hearing impaired or not, are now trying to order their drinks using sign language, and I think that that’s what starts to happen. When we create these human experiences, we become more human ourselves, and that’s what I really love about that trend, so that’s one megatrend. There’s nine others, but I think there’s a lot of relationship between experiences, and, ultimately, what the book is about is trying to get you to think a little bit differently about the world, so I hope you enjoy it.

Dan Gingiss: When we first asked Rohit to share an overview of his book and talk about a trend that he thought specifically applied to customer experience, we actually had no idea that he was going to talk about the Starbucks near Gallaudet University where the staff is entirely deaf or hearing impaired.

Dan Gingiss: You may remember that we discussed this exact same Starbucks in episode 42 way back in season two of the show, so it was fun to hear him talk about that, and I want to just tell you, Joey, that, this morning, when I got my Starbucks, I noticed that the manager of the store had business cards out where you went to collect your coffee and the business cards had braille on them, and I thought that was really cool.

Joey Coleman: Oh, wow, that’s so cool. I love it. It seems like, Dan, maybe we’re trend spotters. We’re early on it. I like it.

Dan Gingiss: What do you mean it seems like? Of course, we are.

Joey Coleman: Yeah. Yes, to be honest, I’ve been a huge fan of Rohit and his work for over a decade now, and this book is filled with ideas, trends and concepts that every business should be considering if they want to be around 10 years from now. My favorite passage from the book comes from the trend revivalism, and it reads as follows. “Overwhelmed by technology and a sense that life is now too complex and shallow, people seek out simpler experiences that offer a sense of nostalgia and remind them of a more trustworthy time.”

Joey Coleman: Now, to be honest, not only have I seen this behavior in the marketplace, I’ve actually felt myself feeling and acting this way more and more. I’m comforted by movies that I watched as a kid. I find myself pausing to listen to songs that were popular when I was coming of age. I’m increasingly more interested in spending time with old friends just chatting instead of seeking out new acquaintances while participating in activities.

Joey Coleman: I think I like this trend because I’m actually living this trend, but what about you, Dan? What was your favorite part of the book?

Dan Gingiss: I’d be remiss if I didn’t say I’m very happy that I’m in the old-friend category…

Joey Coleman: Yes, you are.

Dan Gingiss: … given that last time statement.

Joey Coleman: I’ve known Dan for a very long time, over 20 years at this point, and, yeah, you will be part of my revivalism trend.

Dan Gingiss: Thank goodness. I also definitely got into this book, thanks to Joey’s recommendation, and especially the way that Rohit illustrates the trends by telling interesting stories from around the world, and it’s really more of a global review, and we have been, I have been accused in times of having a US-centric view, which makes sense, I live in the United States, but I think it’s really important to know what’s going on globally on both a micro and a macro level.

Joey Coleman: To that point, Dan, if I may interrupt, folks, if you’re listening to the show and you don’t live in the United States, we would love to hear from you. Go to experiencethisshow.com. Click on the contact page, and there’s an orange button that, if you press it, it says, “Start recording.” If you press that, you can leave us a message. Tell us about a brand you’ve had an experience with. Tell us about how customer experience in your country or in your community is different. We would love to feature more international information and international stories on the show. It’s just that, sometimes, it’s more difficult for Dan and I to gather those and bring them back.

Dan Gingiss: Agreed, so I picked a passage as well, and my… My favorite passage came from the trend attention wealth, and here’s the quote. “Share your backstory. To break through the noise, share your backstory, letting customers know why and how you do what you do. Luxury brand Hermès, for example, launched a film that takes consumers inside one of its silk mills in Lyon, France, to illustrate how its products are made. If you can share your story in an interesting way, showing your craft or trade with humility and vulnerability, you might be able to interest current customers or, potentially, new ones to spend more time and money with you.”

Joey Coleman: I love it. In a book about future trends, we’re talking about telling your backstory in a more compelling fashion. Since the first humans walked the planet, we’ve gathered around the fire to tell stories about our experiences, and I find it ironic and, to be honest, encouraging that everything that is old is becoming new again.

Dan Gingiss: There’s your nostalgic revivalism again, isn’t it?

Joey Coleman: Look how it’s coming out. I love it. I definitely feel like I’ve identified the trend that most applies to me. Folks, there are incredible trends to explore in this book, including amplified identity, instant knowledge, data abundance, flux commerce and so many more that we’ve alluded to on this show over the past five seasons.

Joey Coleman: If you want to really dive deep into these fascinating topics and see how they can be applied to your business or industry, look no further than Rohit Bhargava’s final installment of his Trend Series, the book titled Non-Obvious Megatrends, How to See What Others Miss and Predict the Future. It will really change how you see the world. Please press pause on this podcast right now and go order a copy of the book. It’s entertaining. It’s actionable, and it’ll help you stay relevant and successful in the crazy decade to come.

[Dissecting the Experience] Juniper Books

Dan Gingiss: Sometimes, a remarkable experience deserves deeper investigation.

Joey Coleman: We dive into the nitty-gritty of customer interactions and dissect how and why they happen. Join us while we’re dissecting the experience.

Joey Coleman: We absolutely love books here on the Experience This Show, books about customer experience, books about customer service, nonfiction books, fiction books, old books, new books and, yes, even books about books, which is how I got introduced to a fantastic company right here in my hometown of Boulder, Colorado, called Juniper Books. I met the impressive CEO, Thatcher Wine, who, yes, lives up to his impressive name as well, at an event where he publicly shared his personal story from the stage. Then I got to spend some time with him at a few different fundraisers because our children attend the same school. Then I read his fantastic magnum opus, For the Love of Books, Designing and Curating a Home Library, and then I started doing business with his company.

Dan Gingiss: All right, I’m intrigued. What does his company do?

Joey Coleman: I’m happy to tell you, Dan, but, to get the full experience, I think it’d be useful to share a little backstory about Juniper Books. It was founded by Thatcher Wine in 2001, and Thatcher had always loved reading and collecting books, and he began his career sourcing one-of-a-kind and rare book collections for clients around the world. A few years later, he invented the concept of a custom book jacket, designing beautiful, engaging, aesthetically pleasing covers for incredible books, so they take a great book that’s already been written and design a new cover that you put on it that is more artful and more engaging. Today, Juniper Books works with thousands of customers in over 50 countries, helping them fall in love with books all over again.

Dan Gingiss: I have a confession to make. I have read maybe two E-books in my entire life…

Joey Coleman: Really?

Dan Gingiss: … because I still like having a physical book. It’s one of those things I just can’t trade in, and I used to, my first job out of college, I worked for this high-end collectibles company that had three different divisions, and one of them was called the Easton Press. The Easton Press is known for its beautiful leather-bound books.

Joey Coleman: Beautiful books, yeah, I’m very familiar with it.

Dan Gingiss: As an employee, I got a pretty sweet discount on these books…

Joey Coleman: Oh, nice.

Dan Gingiss: … and I subscribed to a couple of the collections, the most popular one being the 100 Greatest Books Ever Written, and they come in these just gorgeous bindings, and they look so great, and more than one person told me that my bookshelf made me look smarter, and I was like, “Even if I haven’t read all these books?” and they’re like, “Yeah, just having them on your shelf makes you look smarter.”

Joey Coleman: Yeah, and we talked earlier in the season about my buddy, Ryan Holiday, who is a prolific writer and reader, and one of the things he advocates very publicly is don’t feel bad about buying books that you haven’t read yet, that there’s something to be said for being surrounded by books and what that does to your brain and what that does to your commitment to growth and learning, and so I absolutely love that you have that collection.

Joey Coleman: It’s interesting, I love going to people’s homes and looking at the books they have and also looking at how people arrange books, which, if you’re interested in how you present your book collection, you’ve got to check out Thatcher’s book because it’s all about designing the bookshelves and the bookcases at your home. It’s this colorful coffee table book, so to speak, that is so rich in imagery and detail and suggestions. It’s absolutely fantastic.

Joey Coleman: Allow me if I may to share their mission from their website, because I think this helps to give everyone the full picture of what Juniper Books is all about. Juniper Books is dedicated to elevating the printed book by enhancing its design quality and aesthetic, deepening the meaning of books in our lives and facilitating the connection between the stories books tell us and the stories they tell about us. We chose the name Juniper Books for a reason. Juniper trees live for up to a thousand years. Printed books have been around for 500 years, and we’re doing our part to make sure they are around for at least 500 more.

Dan Gingiss: I love it, so you mentioned that you did business with them, and, based on what you’ve shared already, it wouldn’t surprise me if the experience was as impressive as what they do with their books.

Joey Coleman: You are correct as usual, my friend, so there were three interactions that I had that particularly stood out, and I thought it’d be interesting for us to discuss these as underlying principles that can and should be applied to every company. First, the products and services you offer should be beautifully designed. Juniper Books takes books that have already been written, books that already have jackets, and it redesigns them to be artwork for your shelf.

Joey Coleman: How many times have you read a book and realize that, when it’s sitting on your shelf, the appearance doesn’t do justice to what you know is inside the book on the pages? Juniper Books breathes new life into products that people already love, and it encourages them to display their collections in a way that encourages others to then ask about the books they have.

Dan Gingiss: I can definitely see how that can apply to other businesses. I mean, design and aesthetics matter a lot more than people think. Often, I’ll use a product and think this is a really good product, but it doesn’t stand out in any way for its design. If you look at brands like Apple, Mercedes, Lululemon, they have really brought design sensibility to functional product offerings, but many companies still skip that design part when they’re thinking about how to package or present their offerings.

Joey Coleman: It’s so true, Dan, and, to be honest, in 2020, it shocks me how many businesses aren’t evaluating the look and feel of their offerings and figuring out how to make them more beautiful, but there’s opportunities for growth. The second thing that businesses should consider is how can I do more business with my most loyal fans? Now, the typical business I think approaches this by asking, “How can I sell them more?” Juniper Books seems to have answered this question by asking, “How can I make them collect more?”

Joey Coleman: You see, people that buy books are often collectors of books without realizing that they’re collectors, and so Juniper created a subscription offering called Books Everyone Should Own, and I just love the name of it because it implies that, if you love books, you better subscribe to this because there may be books in it that you should own that you don’t, and they don’t tell you what the books are. It’s a subscription that comes every month over the mail. Now, Thatcher curates the books that are in this set, and they are timeless novels that are then mailed to the subscribers with a custom cover that has been designed by Juniper Books.

Dan Gingiss: It is a great name because it also creates this sense of FOMO, or fear of missing out.

Joey Coleman: Of course.

Dan Gingiss: You want to know what the next one is, so I think it is a naturally recurring subscription that, I think, my guess is its retention rate is pretty high on it as well. Any one of those themes that you just described could be applied to most businesses to come up with creative ways to serve their most loyal customers even more.

Dan Gingiss: I would suggest a couple of questions that people should ask themselves about their business. How can you send your products to your customer on a recurring basis? How can you do the hard work of selecting the perfect solution for their needs again and again? How can you combine some of your offerings with other offerings that might not be as obvious to your customers as it is to you, and how can you make your most loyal customers feel special and appreciated?

Joey Coleman: Absolutely, Dan. Instead of focusing on new customers in 2020, what if every business spent at least 50% of their efforts and their budgets and their thinking time devoted to deepening the connection with current customers? I mean, you already know who they are. You know what they like. You know how to reach them. Maybe it’s time to use this information and access, and the relationship that you already have, to build greater rapport and likely do even more business with your raving fans, which actually brings me to the third observation I wanted to make from my experiences with Juniper Books. Always make it personal.

Dan Gingiss: That makes sense. Personalization and customization are pretty regular themes here on our show. How does Juniper Books put their special twist on it?

Joey Coleman: They go above and beyond again and again. When I wanted to purchase a bunch of copies of Thatcher’s gorgeous book, For the Love of Books, to give to some friends that are crazy book fans, he kindly personalized each book and then carefully packaged them so I could mail them around the world in an easy and convenient way. When I wanted to give a gift subscription that was off schedule of the monthly subscription, so I was buying it at a time where it was going to be awhile before the first book hit, his design team created a custom card that was absolutely beautiful that I could send to the recipient while they were waiting to get their first book, so, with every turn, Juniper Books goes above and beyond with their commitment to aesthetics and design to create these personalized experiences that make me feel like I’m the most valuable customer they have.

Dan Gingiss: That’s really all you can ask from a company that you do business with and, as long as they continue making you feel that special, you’re going to keep coming back and buying more.

Joey Coleman: It’s so true, so what can you do to take the spirit of Juniper Books and use it to foster connection with your customers? First, make sure your offerings are beautifully designed, then get creative on ways to do even more business with your biggest fans and, finally, never stop making your individual customers feel like they are the most important person to your business.

[Agree to Disagree] Privacy vs. Convenience

Joey Coleman: We usually see eye to eye except when we don’t. See if you find yourself siding with Dan or Joey as we debate a hot topic on this segment of agree to disagree.

Dan Gingiss: There is a battle raging inside businesses, homes and even the minds of individuals almost every day. It’s something that many people are skirting around, but few are really addressing or considering. In a world where the more data we share, the less friction we experience, in a world where the more we give up, the more we seem to get, in a world where the more we provide, the less we struggle, Joey, which do you think is more important, privacy or convenience?

Joey Coleman: Wow, that’s a tough one, Dan, and, to be honest, I want to answer your question, but I’m not sure that it’s an either-or decision. I mean, there are certainly times when I guard my privacy stringently and there are other times when I will happily volunteer my personal details. There are times when I revel in a frictionless interaction and, of course, there are definitely times where I’ll happily experience less because I’m not willing to share more, and so, if I had to pick, and I guess I had to since this is an agree-to-disagree episode, I’m going to have to go with privacy being more important than convenience.

Joey Coleman: I mean, I believe this for a few reasons. Number one, it limits the power of governments and corporations. Let’s be honest, whoever has the data is in charge, and, while they incentivize you to give up your privacy and share your data to make your life easier, they don’t tell you all the things they’re going to do with your data, who they’re going to sell it to, how they’re going to protect it and how they’re going to use it to subconsciously manipulate you to do things that are in their best interest, but not necessarily in yours.

Dan Gingiss: My friend, this is an agree-to-disagree segment, so, probably not surprising to our listeners, I’m going to choose convenience and not just to say that it’s more important, but to really say, in my life, it’s something that I just genuinely stress more because I, like many individuals, probably don’t pay as much attention to privacy as I should.

Dan Gingiss: The number one thing that I think is important with convenience is that it saves you time. It’s the one resource that we can’t make more of, and I know because you and I have talked about this. We’re very busy people. We work late into the night. If we could work 28-hour days, we surely would do it every once in a while, but we can’t, and so anything that saves me time has so much value to me that I’m likely willing to give up a lot for it in terms of different resources, money and privacy being two of them.

Joey Coleman: Fair enough, and I absolutely appreciate that and I enjoy the convenience, and I love the idea of having more time, but you know what I love even more? I love myself, and I don’t mean that from a place of ego. At the end of the day, privacy allows people to keep things for themselves. I mean, some people’s desire for privacy is brushed away because we have this view in society that it’s not that big of a deal if your information gets leaked or if we get some of your information. I mean, privacy is trivial, but the reality is, even if there isn’t a huge impact when details about your private life are shared more broadly, not honoring someone’s privacy demonstrates a lack of respect for the person. It demonstrates a lack of respect for their individuality. It really says, “I care more about my interest than your interest, so I want to know as much about you as possible, and then I’m going to use that to my advantage.”

Dan Gingiss: I certainly do believe that companies have an obligation to protect our privacy. I think one of the reasons I fall on the convenience side is because my expectation as a consumer is that companies are doing that. Now, no doubt, no doubt-

Joey Coleman: Sorry. Sorry. I got to interrupt. Your expectation, when all we hear on the news is breach after breach, when you’ve worked corporate America, you know what a nightmare their protections are. You’re confident that they’re going to do that?

Dan Gingiss: I didn’t say I was confident. I said it was my expectation. A lot of companies-

Joey Coleman: On a scale of one to 10, with one being they’re abysmal and 10 being they’re amazing, where do you fall on what you think the average company is doing with respect to that?

Dan Gingiss: In terms of meeting my expectations…

Joey Coleman: Yes.

Dan Gingiss: … or meeting your expectation? Some of them do it much better than others.

Joey Coleman: Oh, ladies and gentlemen, for those of you paying attention at home, that is the sound of Dan giving a score that is less than three, but not wanting to say a number that is less than three.

Dan Gingiss: Maybe, but I will say another thing on the side of convenience is sometimes I just don’t want to think about it. One of the problems with privacy is having to think a lot about passwords and other types of things. The number of, the amount of time I spend resetting passwords because I can’t remember all of the details that I’ve been asked individually because this company will allow an exclamation point and this one will only allow an asterisk and this one needs two numbers and whatever, it’s a huge waste of time, whereas the convenience factor allows me to actually think less. I mean, who wants to sit and have to remember to order paper towels or tissues or, hey, let’s go with something that might be private, hemorrhoid ointment, right? I’d rather just have somebody else take care of it for me and have the convenience and prioritize that first.

Joey Coleman: I find it fascinating that you used the word think so much in that justification of why you think convenience is more valuable because I feel the same way about privacy in the sense that I love privacy because it protects me on the times when maybe I didn’t think, so I believe that humans should be given the benefit of the doubt. I believe that humans should be forgiven. I believe that humans should be given second chances, and, when everything that we do is available publicly to the world and where things that we’ve done in the past where maybe we didn’t think it through and make the good choice gets dragged into the present to potentially be used against us, that to me is a huge argument in favor of privacy.

Joey Coleman: I mean, I’ll be candid, I’ve got a six-year-old and a four-year-old. I worry about the world they’re growing up in where there’s an expectation that they will live their lives online, where there’s an expectation that the stupid thing they say could be caught on video. The stupid thing they do could be caught on video and, 30 years down the road in a job interview, based on a Google search, that could be dragged up and used against them to not get a job, not get a promotion, not be able to get a date, fill in the blanks of the consequence.

Joey Coleman: I don’t know about you. I’ll just speak for myself. I am very, very happy that there is not video footage or a record of some of the stupid things I did as I was moving from, oh, let’s say age zero the present.

Dan Gingiss: I do think that you can in some ways control this. There are people that aren’t on Facebook and that aren’t… that don’t have a digital presence really to speak of. There are people that you can Google and get pretty much no results, believe it or not.

Joey Coleman: Sure.

Dan Gingiss: I made a choice awhile back to become active in social media understanding that that puts some privacy to risk, but I also try to control that by, for example, only posting pictures of my kids on Facebook where I’m only connected to friends and people that I know versus, on Twitter, where I’m connected to tens of thousands of people who I don’t know and haven’t met and don’t know if they’re even real people, so there is that piece of it, but also I think, unfortunately, we live in a world today where, despite your best efforts, somebody could still pull that old yearbook photo of you being a class clown or you writing something as we saw in a recent Supreme Court nominee’s situation that… and bring it online today, and that’s just a fact of our lives, and so, in today’s world, we have given up some privacy whether we want to or not, and, yes, is that sad? I think it is, but I think it is absolutely the life that we live today.

Dan Gingiss: The one other thing that I’ll push for in convenience is that Shep Hyken wrote a book about it, and I think that should be enough reason.

Joey Coleman: It’s a great book…

Dan Gingiss: That’s a book that we talked about.

Joey Coleman: … and that’s a great reason to be a fan of convenience.

Dan Gingiss: Yes, we talked about this book, I believe it was last season, called The Convenience Revolution, and, obviously, what he says in here is that convenience is one of the biggest parts of customer experience and one of the biggest ways to get people to like doing business with you.

Dan Gingiss: Now, to be fair, later this season, spoiler alert, we’re also going to highlight an article where he talks about fraud having an impact on the customer experience, and fraud is often the result of people, nefarious people, hackers, et cetera, violating somebody’s privacy, so they’re both pretty critical.

Joey Coleman: Fair enough. I think, at the end of the day, I want to come back to something that you said as an aside early on, and the recovering attorney in me doesn’t want to use your words against you, but I will to win this debate. You said, “I probably think about privacy less than I should,” and I think, at the end of the day, that’s my big issue. My big issue is that, the corporations, your government, they aren’t thinking about your privacy at all.

Joey Coleman: Most humans aren’t thinking about their privacy nearly enough because they’re over-indexing on their desire for convenience, and I think we have only begun to experience the tip of the iceberg of the consequence of these choices of not thinking more specifically and more comprehensively about the information in the data that we’re sharing and how that giving up of our privacy may come back to bite us in the future.

Dan Gingiss: Joey, since my lunch has just arrived, conveniently delivered by a driver, I guess we will just have to agree to disagree.

Joey Coleman: Agree to disagree. Wow. Thanks for joining us for another episode of Experience This.

Dan Gingiss: 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: We hope you enjoyed our discussions, and, if you do, we’d love to hear about it. Come on over to we 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: Thanks again for your time, and we’ll see you next week for more…

Joey Coleman: … Experience…

Dan Gingiss: … This.


Episode 91 – Make Spaces Fun and Familiar to Keep Customers Coming Back for More

Join us as we discuss reinventing the shopping mall, the experience of becoming a new manager, and how the comforts of home can make strange places feel more familiar.

Dreaming, Managing, and Alexa-ing – Oh My!

[CX Press] The “Shopping” Mall is Now the “Experience” Mall at American Dream

A new shopping mall in 2020 doesn’t usual garner headlines. But that’s not the case with the new American Dream. In Amanda Hess’ New York Times article, “Welcome to the Era of the Post-Shopping Mall,” she describes the opening of a new, 3-million-square-foot “mall” that is so ambitious that it transcends the word “mall.”

American Dream offers more than shopping. In fact, with 55% of the space allocated to entertainment and just 45% to retail, American Dream puts shopping activities on the back burner. Top attractions include:

  • Big Snow – an indoor ski hill filled with 5,500 tons of “real snow” that fall from the ceiling of a warehouse where the temperature is always 28 degrees
  • a live performance theater
  • Nickelodeon Universe Theme Park – boasting a roller coaster with the steepest drop in the world at 121.5-degrees
  • a National Hockey League-sized ice rink, and
  • DreamWorks Water Park (home to the world’s biggest wave pool)

Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning for the sweet life, and I will give you IT’SUGAR.

Sign at the entrance to IT’SUGAR store at American Dream Mall

Whether a focus on entertainment and experience can save the shopping mall remains to be seen, but American Dream promises to bring a vision into reality every day in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

[Book Report] Welcome to Management: How to Grow From Top Performer to Excellent Leader

Every year, millions of top performers are promoted to management-level jobs — only to discover that the tactics, techniques, and skills they used to get promoted are not the same tactics, techniques, and skills that will make them effective in their new role. It turns out that what it takes to be great as an individual contributor is NOT THE SAME as what it takes to be an excellent leader.

Acclaimed podcaster Ryan Hawk’s new book, Welcome to Management: How to Grow From Top Performer to Excellent Leader helps recently promoted leaders successfully transition to their new roles. Filled with great stories and actionable recommendations, Hawk’s book offers dozens of suggestions on enhancing your leadership abilities.

A person who is a “learning machine” is intentionally and constantly seeking new information with the goal of becoming better. Machines are not organic; they don’t spontaneously generate. They have to be built. And, increasingly in our modern digital age, they also must be programmed. The same is true for a person to become a learning machine. Like the interest that accrues over time in the long-term style of investing that Warren Buffet advocates, the benefits of building yourself into an engine of learning compound. It doesn’t matter what set of skills and deficiencies you bring to a job, an assignment, or a moment of adversity. What you have at the start won’t define how it ends because by being in constant learning mode you evolve throughout the process.

Ryan Hawk, author of Welcome to Management: How to Grow From Top Performer to Excellent Leader

If you’re a new manager transitioning from an individual contributor role to being in charge of a team, if you’re an experienced executive seeking guidance as you continue to navigate rocky terrain, or if you’re just an entrepreneur who hopes to improve team engagement and retention, Ryan Hawk’s book Welcome to Management needs to be on your bookshelf!

[Avtex Engage 2020] Always Be Learning More

Any customer experience professional knows that the learning never stops – even if it happens on “summer vacation.” Don’t miss Engage 2020 this summer – hosted by our partners at Avtex!

June 21-24, 2020
The Walt Disney World Swan Hotel & Resort
Orlando, Florida

Engage 2020 offers unparalleled learning and networking opportunities, including multiple learning tracks and specialized breakout sessions focused on a wide range of customer experience topics. At Engage 2020, you’ll gain an entirely new perspective on what you can do to move your organization’s experience strategy and delivery forward.

To learn more and reserve your tickets before they are sold out, visit: AvtexEngage.com

Don’t forget to use the promo code: EXPERIENCETHIS10
to save 10% off the ticket price!

[This Just Happened] Bringing the Comforts of Home to the Road

With voice assistants like Alexa, Google Home, and Siri becoming so prevalent in peoples’ homes, it’s not that surprising that hotels are starting to provide voice assistants in their rooms. In the past, travelers usually wanted a hotel to have a very different feel than a home. Now it seems that most hotels are trying to bring the comforts of home into the hotel setting.

card on the desk next to Amazon Echo – encouraging guests to ask Alexa about the restaurant

What can you do to make customers feel at home in your establishment? Consider the following:

  • Explore ways to make the places your customers interact with you feel more like home. If a customer visits your office, store, or some other location that you oversee, figure out ways to make things feel more familiar to them.
  • Anticipate what your customers need – but still give them choice. While the hotel realized that ear plugs aren’t for everyone, I imagine almost all of their guests appreciate the hotel thinking ahead to provide them if there is a chance that sleep might be compromised by construction.
  • Experiment with creating small moments of delight. Even if you don’t implement major changes across your entire organization, try small enhancements.

Links We Referenced

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 a transcript of the entire Episode 91 here or read it below:

Dan: Welcome to Experience This.

Joey: 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: Always upbeat and definitely entertaining, customer attention expert, Joey Coleman.

Joey: And social media expert, Dan Gingiss serve as your hosts for a weekly dose of positive customer experience. So hold onto your headphones, it’s time to Experience This. Get ready for another episode of the Experience This show.

Dan: Join us as we discuss reinventing the shopping mall experience, the experience of becoming a new manager and how the comforts of home can make strange places feel more familiar.

Joey: Dreaming, managing and Alexa-ing. Oh my.

Dan: Is that a word?

[CX PRESS] 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.

Joey: Out of curiosity, Dan, when was the last time you were in a shopping mall?

Dan: So actually it was on Black Friday, and I was really interested-

Joey: Well, so a few months ago.

Dan: Yeah, it was recently and I was really interested to see how the malls were doing, the busiest day of the year. And I have to tell you, I was actually really surprised. It was very, very crowded. There were stores that I never hear about that were mobbed. Like footlocker, was wall-to-wall people, bath and body works was stuffed with people and I was really surprised to be honest.

Joey: Fair enough. Fair enough. Now granted, that was Black Friday, so it was the biggest shopping day of the year. I don’t really go to malls that much anymore, and in fact I never go on Black Friday for that very reason because it’s so crowded. I probably stepped foot in a shopping mall two times a year, maybe three times a year, which is why I was intrigued by an article I came across recently. This article comes from the New York times and is titled, Welcome to the Era of the Post-Shopping Mall. The article is by Amanda Hess and it describes the opening of American Dream, a 3 million square foot mall that is so ambitious that it transcends the word mall.

Dan: The leadership team at American Dream prefers to call their new development a quote, “Revolutionary, first of its kind community, an unrivaled destination for style and play and an incredible collection of unique experiences”. Located in East Rutherford, New Jersey. More than half of American Dream space is not retail stores but rather entertainment venues. I think the article sums it best when noting the psychic center of American social life has shifted from buying things to feeling them.

Joey: And the American dream is all about the feels as the kids say these days. Within the building are several enormous entertainment options including big snow, which is an indoor ski hill filled with 5,000 tons of real snow that falls from the ceiling of a warehouse where the temperature is always 28 degrees. It’s the largest indoor ski hill in the Western hemisphere, a live performance theater, a Nickelodeon universe theme park, boasting a roller coaster with the steepest drop in the world at 121.5 degrees, a national hockey league sized ice rink and DreamWorks Waterpark home to the world’s biggest wave pool.

Joey: It’s overwhelming just listing out the major attractions at American Dream. And for what it’s worth, you can see some interesting photographs by Ross Mantle in the article. Seriously, folks, this doesn’t look like a mall. It looks like an amusement park that had some stores built in it. Everything that used to be outside is now inside the mall.

Dan: What I found interesting about American Dream is that everyone talks about the death of retail thanks to e-commerce and here we have a group of investors, developers, retail establishments and entertainment properties that are betting big on the idea that people still want to go to the mall. And I think what’s smart here is that they’re not calling it the mall because I do think that there is-

Joey: There’s a stigma.

Dan: … there’s a stigma connotation and this clearly isn’t going to the mall. Now I’m assuming there’s stores here and you can purchase stuff and probably eat and all that sort of stuff, but I think this is the future because it is entirely experiential. I would guess without knowing the stores that are in there that stores like for example, the Lego store would have a great place in the American dream, because it’s a store that you go and experience and have fun at versus a store where you’re really just kind of walking through shelves of merchandise.

Joey: Absolutely, absolutely. And in fact, what I think is interesting and why the mall will continue to be a gathering place, at least in American society, is because people are social creatures. They want to have those interactions. They may not want to shop, but they want to be around other people and be entertained. And in fact, the article notes in what I thought was one of the nicest phrases in the article, “The Americans eye for sociological observation, was forged in the glow of the Orange Julius” and it just took me back. Remember the Orange Julius?

Dan: Yeah. It’s owned by Dairy Queen now.

Joey: There you go. Orange Julius was a blast. And I think the folks behind American Dream are indeed betting big. The prior developers spent $3 billion on the project and then the current team came in and spent another $2 billion. That’s $5 billion spent on the mall before a dollar has been spent in the mall.

Dan: Yeah, I’d say that’s a pretty big bet.

Joey: Absolutely. And I was fascinated by this story. So I did a little research beyond the CX Press article and learned that the developers who own American Dream also own the infamous Mall of America in Minneapolis.

Dan: Is it infamous or famous?

Joey: I think infamous. It’s both. Maybe?

Dan: Okay. Again – stigma and connotation.

Joey: They also own the West Edmonton mall, which now means these developers own three of the four largest malls on the continent of North America. But what stood out to me was the difference between these malls in terms of their ratio of retail to entertainment. Those two older malls, the Mall of America and West Edmonton mall have 20% entertainment and 80% retail. American Dream, on the other hand, has 55% entertainment and only 45% retail. So it’s truly more entertainment than shopping.

Dan: In fact, the developers turned down retailers that wanted to be in the mall but failed to offer more than a mere retail experience. Now, it’s not clear what retail establishments got turned down or how the developers defined beyond a mere retail experience, but it will be interesting to see if shoppers feel the same way. The fact that American Dream is home to IT’SUGAR, the world’s largest non-manufacturer candy store will probably help with people feeling hyped about the experience. In fact, the article describes a 60 foot replica of the statue of Liberty constructed from green jellybeans that stands at the entrance to the store.

Dan: She holds a lollipop for a torch and wears a sash that says, “You know you want it,” and her feet is written, “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning for the sweet life and I will give you IT’SUGAR.”

Joey: Okay, that certainly feels American in some regards, not all of which are necessarily positive, but what I think is interesting here is that once again we have an example of a brand that is zigging when everybody else is zagging. The folks at American Dream are saying, look, we think that the human condition is such that people will want to gather, they will want to be entertained and if they opt the opportunity to shop a little on the side, they’re happy to do that as well. Everything that is old is being reborn again. Everything that worked well in the past is being repackaged, reformulated, and re-conceived into something that is more experiential. In fact, I think if we get the chance, we should do a road trip and do an experience live episode…

Dan: Experience This live. Yeah, baby.

Joey: … from the American Dream.

Dan: Sign me up.

Joey: 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. We often talk about customer experience and customer service books on this show, but today I want to share a book with our listeners that while not specifically about those topics, I think is a must read for anyone that wants to be a better leader in those areas of business. It’s by my great friend Ryan Hawk and it’s called Welcome to Management: How to Grow From Top Performer to Excellent Leader. Hawke’s book is a fantastic resource to deal with a major problem that we have in business today.

Joey: You see, every year millions of top performers are promoted to management level jobs only to discover that the tactics and techniques and skills that they use to get promoted are not the same tactics, techniques, and skills that will make them effective as managers in their new role. It turns out that what it takes to be great as an individual contributor is not the same as what it takes to be an excellent leader.

Dan: This is so true. And having been in corporate America for more than 20 years, I’ve seen this time and time again. And it introduces also this paradox because companies have figured out that when they want to hire people managers, they need to look for people with experience managing people. But that begs the question, how do you get experience managing people if you can’t be a manager? And so there’s this paradox and that’s one of the biggest parts of developing in your career is when you’re now in charge of other people’s careers and there are skills that have absolutely nothing to do with what made you good in your original job. The problem is that most companies don’t spend any time training on that or even letting people know what being a manager is going to be like. It’s just throw them in, see if they can swim.

Joey: Congratulations. You’ve been promoted.

Dan: Yeah, and it affects not only that employee, but all the employees, but all the employees that report up to him.

Joey: All the employees. And so then it becomes part of the employee experience, which as we talk about on the show, spills into the customer experience. I have not spent nearly as much time in corporate America as you have Dan, but I had a very similar experience in the sense that I joined a organization as part of the sales team and my boss had been the top salesperson the year before and then had been promoted to manage a team of 10 people. And let’s just say he was a much better salesperson than he was a manager. In fact, as the year went on, he started going out on the road into his sales teams territory to close deals and basically take commissions away from us so that he could hit the team numbers. Needless to say, it was mostly a disaster and over the of the year we went from having 10 people on the team to having two people on the team.

Dan: Whoopsie.

Joey: Whoops. Oh my goodness, what I would have given to be able to put a copy of Welcome to Management in front of that sales manager!

Dan: It really is a great book filled with practical, actionable advice and tools that are designed to make the transition to a new leader, a successful one. What I particularly enjoyed about the book is where the knowledge Hawk shares comes from, but I think it’s best to let him explain.

Ryan Hawk: I believe that every person has the ability to lead. It’s just a matter of learning how. I wanted to learn directly from the people who fascinated me the most. As fate would have it, the serendipity of a seat assignment for a flight to Lake Tahoe in 2014 set me on the unexpected path of doing just that. As I sat down and stretched by legs in my exit row seat, I found myself next to a friend of Todd Wagner. Todd Wagner founded broadcast.com and eventually sold it to Yahoo for billions. He did this with his partner, future investment shark and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban. Over the course of this flight out West, I told my new friend about my desire to learn more and to create my own cast of teachers in the form of people who have lived lives of excellent leadership.

Ryan Hawk: By the time we landed, he had agreed to connect me with someone on Todd’s team. Soon after I met Todd for dinner, Todd arrived about an hour early at the hotel where we were going to have dinner and I was fortunate to spend this time with the self made billionaire at the bar. He was as kind as he was wise. I was blown away by his intelligence and his humble nature. I peppered him with questions. I wanted to learn about the what, who, why, and how at broadcast.com. I was eager to hear how they looked, the leaders of Yahoo in the eye and said, “Look, you’re either going to buy us or you’ll have to compete with us. You decide.” Todd and Mark concluded their meeting and walked away with $5.7 billion. It was an incredible story, but I had one regret. I wished I had recorded the conversation I wanted to pass along what I had learned to others.

Ryan Hawk: That dinner gave me a taste of what I could learn if I went directly to the source of the knowledge I so badly wanted to gain. In fact, I started thinking about how to have more conversations like that one and how to share them with others. Through that confluence of events, I decided to create an interview format podcast as my own virtual PhD program and call it The Learning Leader Show.

Dan: On Ryan’s podcast, he has interviewed over 300 of the most forward thinking leaders around the world. From celebrated author Jim Collins to baseball, Darryl Strawberry to fortune 50 CEO Carly Fiorina, to coaching legend Jim Tressel, to retired four star general Stanley McChrystal, to podcast cohost Joey Coleman.

Joey: All right. All right. You’re too kind to include me on that list, Dan.

Dan: Oh no, no. My pleasure. Seriously, my pleasure. And in fact the way that Hawk builds his knowledge by talking to podcast guests from all walks of life is a nice segue to my favorite passage in the book. It comes very early on where Hawk outlines an important commonality of those who sustain excellence over an extended period of time. They become learning machines. Here’s the quote. “Learning hard things is an active exercise of thought. It is not simply a process of downloading information into our brains. When we have new ideas, perspectives or experiences, our thoughtful contemplation of what they are, why they exist and what to do with them is how learning happens. While it’s certainly possible to learn passively, this isn’t optimal. Passive learners have a low ceiling on their learning potential, whereas those who approach learning with purpose, focus and effort do far better.

Dan: If thoughtfulness is the instrument of learning. Intentionality is the power. A person as a learning machine, is intentionally and constantly seeking new information with the goal of becoming better. Machines are not organic. They don’t spontaneously generate they have to be built. And increasingly in our modern digital age, they also must be programmed. The same is true for a person to become a learning machine, like the interest that accrues over time in the longterm style of investing that Warren Buffet advocates, the benefits of building yourself into an engine of learning compound. It doesn’t matter what set of skills and deficiencies you bring to a job, an assignment, or a moment of adversity. What you have at the start won’t define how it ends because by being in a constant learning mode, you evolve throughout the process.”

Joey: I absolutely love it. I know you’ve committed to being a learning machine Dan, so I’m not surprised that that was your favorite passage. I’ve made that same commitment and in fact, I believe that anyone listening to this segment right now is a learning machine. You have a thirst for knowledge. You’re listening to a customer experience podcast talk about a leadership book for Pete’s sake because you can connect the dots. You’re optimistic and we hope we reward that faith that you’ll be able to apply the things that you learn in this conversation to your own life, both at work and at home. I love this drive to keep learning. And what I find fascinating about Hawk’s book is that time and time again, he shows how the most successful people in business, in sports, in industry, in the military and every other walk of life are committed to constantly learning and improving.

Dan: Yeah, and I think you’re right, it’s an interesting analogy to this show in that we often tell stories that don’t immediately evoke customer experience and yet we try to bring them back to you can apply them to your business. And I think that the best learners learn from other industries, learn from other things that they don’t know about. I was always encouraged in high school and college to take liberal arts courses just to expand my knowledge. So I took a history of music course. I took an art history course. No, I’ve never used those in my career, but they sort of got stored in the back of my head and have helped out at different times in my life. So I do think that if we’re open minded to learning about something that is not exactly what we’re doing at work every day, we generally can find in our brains a way to apply it to use it in our day to day life. So what Joey was your favorite part of the book?

Joey: Well, to be honest Dan, it’s difficult to narrow it down to one. Hawk writes in such an accessible and conversational style that I found myself zipping from chapter to chapter, picking up suggestions and bits of wisdom left and right. But that being said, one of the little nuggets that stood out to me the most was about little nuggets of information or as Hawk calls them the small details of human relations. As he notes in the book, “I found it incredibly useful to tend to the small details of human relations with the teams I’ve led. I utilize a get to know you document with team members and colleagues to better understand them as people. This has given me valuable intel so that I can show love to the people who love my team member.

Joey: I built some lasting relationships with those I’ve worked with by sending their kids a video game from their Amazon wishlist or some cookies along with a note that reads to Sarah and Jeremy. Your mom is absolutely crushing it at work. You should be very proud of her. I know she works hard to support you and your family. As a way of saying thank you, please enjoy these cookies and video game. Too many leaders neglect the tiny but important parts of serving the people on their team. As a manager and leader, it is mission critical to constantly analyze and pay attention to the small details they add up and can be the difference between success and failure. Some small details in your leadership role that matter include the manner in which you greet your team. Smile, ask about each of them personally, be direct, how you start a meeting. Are you boring? Do you have a plan? Is it impactful? The cleanliness of your desk, your process for organization. The list goes on and on. Small details matter.”

Joey: Now, I thought this was important and it’s not a big leap as little details matter is a fairly common maxim in the world of customer experience. But what I loved about this perspective is how Hawk applied this, not only externally to customers, but internally to your teammates, your employees, your direct reports. Do you spend as much time paying attention to the little details that matter to them as you do to your customers? My gut instinct is that you don’t, and so if you’re a new manager, transitioning from an individual contributor role to being in charge of a team, if you’re an experienced executive who seeks guidance as you continue to navigate rocky terrain or frankly, if you’re just an entrepreneur who hopes to improve your team engagement and retention, Ryan Hawk’s book, Welcome to Management: How to Grow From Top Performer to Excellent Leader needs to be on your bookshelf. Pick up a copy today and I promise that within a few pages you’ll already be leading from a better place.

Joey: We love telling stories and sharing key insights you can implement or avoid based on our experiences. Can you believe that this just happened? I had something happened to me at a hotel recently, Dan, that had never happened before.

Dan: Oh boy. Hopefully, I didn’t involve-

Joey: No, no, no. Stay calm, stay calm. There’s so many places we could go with this. But what happened is that upon checking into my room and starting to get situated, I saw a familiar device sitting on the table next to the sofa. It was an Alexa and next to it was a sign that said, “Hungry, thirsty? Just ask Alexa what’s happening at Stoke restaurant and get a quick rundown of today’s feature, special events and happenings.”

Dan: So of course you tried it out?

Joey: Of course, I did and I even took some video which you can find on our show notes page at experiencethisshow.com and I’ll play the audio for you now. “Alexa, what’s happening at Stoke Restaurant?”

Alexa: Marriott Charlotte can help with that.

Speaker 6: Maybe head outside, the fall is in the air down in Stoke Bar. Come try the apple crisp, fresh apples and cinnamon mixed with Muddy Rivers Spice Carolina Rum, made right here in Charlotte. We look forward to seeing you for happy hour or maybe after dinner. Come see us soon.

Dan: Okay, that’s pretty cool. I mean, I’m a big fan of Alexa. I have one in almost every room of my house. I now have one in my car. I like Alexa. She would beat Siri in a wrestling match to the death any day, but I’ve never experienced it in a hotel.

Joey: I agree. This was the first time that had happened to me and voice assistants like Alexa and Google home and Siri are becoming so prevalent in people’s homes that it’s not surprising that some hotels are starting to provide voice assistance in their rooms. I guess what’s surprising is that given how many nights I spent in hotels during the year, this is the first time I’ve ever come across something like this and I find it fascinating to think about how do you make a hotel feel like home? In the past, travelers usually wanted a hotel to have a very different field than their house. Now it seems like most hotels are trying to bring the comforts of home into a hotel setting.

Dan: Yeah, you’re right. I mean I’ve been to hotels that let you choose your pillow from a pillow menu, for example. So you can sleep with something that more closely resembles to the one you use at home. There are hotels that’ll loan you work out clothes and shoes so you don’t have to bring them with you. I need to find those hotels because I hate bringing all that stuff. And if you visit a hotel frequently enough, you can even leave items behind that they will bring out when you return.

Joey: Well, and it runs both ways as well, right? There are many hotels that let you purchase the amenities you experience at the hotel. As part of their heavenly sleep experience, the Weston allows you to purchase complete bedding sets and even mattresses online for you to use in your own home. Now, not only does this allow them another way to recoup some of their investment in designing and purchasing beds and sheets in bulk, but it creates a scenario where every time someone crawls into their bed at home, they’re reminded of their stay at the Weston that led them to purchase this bed or sheets or pillows.

Dan: I don’t know if I’ve ever told you this story Joey, but I fell in love with a hotel in the Hong Kong airport. And airport hotels are not normally known as being stellar.

Joey: Places where you would fall in love with the experience.

Dan: But this is a hotel, it’s called Regal and it is actually in the airport, not offsite, it is literally in the airport and it is a beautiful hotel and I slept on the most comfortable pillows I’ve ever slept on. I happen to know that I was going to be back in Hong Kong in two weeks. So I asked them, “Do you sell your pillows?” And they were like, “Well, of course we do.” And I said, “How much are they?” And I was waiting something big. They said they were $35 a piece, which I thought was pretty nice. So I said, “I’ll take four, can you box them up for me?” I show up two weeks later they have shrink wrapped, like in vacuum pack, they vacuum packed the four pillows into a single box, which was light because it’s just pillow pillows.

Joey: Its pillows.

Dan: I just checked it with my bags and I still asleep on those pillows at home and I still think of the Regal hotel for exactly that reason.

Joey: Exactly. And so this whole connection between the home experience and those pillows are now in your house and you sleep on those pillows and you think of the hotel, it’s back and forth. The Alexa in the room wasn’t the only thing that stood out though. And as I arrived I realized that there was a major construction project happening on the street in front of the hotel.

Dan: That can be bad. You spend all day traveling and then you arrive and you find construction or you’re trying to work during the day and you hear all the jack hammering going on. So any regular traveler knows that you can expect a lot of noise when construction resumed early in the morning.

Joey: Yes. And it’s almost always earlier than I would like to wake up. Now what was interesting is how the hotel handled this. Now let’s be clear, folks. The construction on the street in front of the hotel isn’t the hotel’s fault. The city is making repairs to the street and I presume those repairs needed to be made. I’m sure the hotel isn’t happy about the inconvenience that it’s causing them or the guests. But that being said, while the construction isn’t their fault, it’s their problem and what are they going to do to deal with it? And the way they did it I thought was pretty effective. So next to the Alexa in my room was a note and a little package. Now let me share the contents of the note and it will explain to you what the package was in the process.

Joey: The note read, “Welcome to the Charlotte Marriott city center. We’re excited to host you at our hotel in the heart of uptown Charlotte. Our city has great energy that we know you’ll love, but that comes with some city noise on occasion.” And then the notes split into three sections, “Like white noise? Tell your trusted digital butler, Alexa, play white noise. Prefer no noise? Take these NASCAR grade noise reduction earplugs for a ride. Rather, make some noise? Please dial zero and we’ll give you some recommendations for how to join the fun around town.”

Dan: I love that it’s very creative and it addresses the different needs of different customers so it’s not a one size fits all and whether you liked white noise or no noise or you want to make some noise, they’ve got an answer for you. I think that’s extremely creative.

Joey: Yeah, I felt the openness to the different types of customers without the presumption that you’re going to be one type or another was great. And what I loved about the note was that it was pre-printed and will be valuable to visitors long after the construction outside is completed. In fact, they don’t even mention anything about the construction. They also provided the earplugs before being asked. In a keynote speech that I do about the changing face of the customer, I talk about how customers now expect brands to anticipate their needs before they even ask, and this is a great example of how to do that. Finally, they described the earplugs as being NASCAR grade.

Joey: Now, what many of our listeners might not know unless you’ve stayed at the Charlotte Marriott city center, is that it’s only a few blocks away from the NASCAR museum, which incidentally is worth a visit. It’s amazing. There’s some pictures in the show notes and by tying the earplugs to NASCAR, which is something that visitors like me are very familiar with since the event I was speaking at was kicking off at the NASCAR museum. It ties everything together to the location of the hotel without being blatantly obvious about it.

Dan: Yeah, I love it because they sound, no pun intended, like pretty cool earplugs. This isn’t your garden variety drugstore, 17,000 to a bag earplugs. These are pretty nice earplugs and I think that obviously NASCAR is a brand that is very, very familiar, especially in the south where you were and so good job on that.

Joey: Yeah, and speaking of branding, I think the earplugs were actually the same regular pharmacy earplugs that you could buy, but the way they positioned it before I’d even seen the package, I read the note and it made me feel like those were NASCAR earplugs even they weren’t. So what can we learn from my stay at the Charlotte Marriott city center? I think there’s a few things. Number one, we should explore ways to make the places your customers interact with you feel more like home. If they’re going to come to your office or your store or some other location that you oversee and are responsible for figure out ways to make them feel more familiar to your customers.

Joey: Number two, anticipate what your customers need, but still give them choice. While the hotel realized that earplugs aren’t for everyone, I imagine almost all of the guests appreciated the hotel thinking ahead to provide those just in case that was going to impact their ability to sleep, which is a major reason why most people stay at a hotel. And finally, number three, don’t be afraid to experiment with creating small moments of delight even if you don’t implement major changes across your entire organization. Try some small enhancements. Now, to be honest, I stayed at Marriott brand hotels over 50 nights last year, and yet the Charlotte city center location was the only hotel with an Alexa, and as a result, it’s one of the things that stood out the most in my 50 nights with this brand.

Joey: Wow. Thanks for joining us for another episode of Experience This.

Dan: 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: 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: Thanks again for your time and we’ll see you next week for more…

Joey: Experience.

Dan: This.

Episode 90 – Using Video to Show What You’re Trying to Say

Join us as we discuss ten things that define your future customer, using video in place of print, and connecting with your customers offline!

Principles, Videos, and Tissues – Oh My!

[Book Report] The Customer of the Future: 10 Guiding Principles For Winning Tomorrow’s Business

Long time friend of the show and CX expert Blake Morgan’s new book, The Customer of the Future: 10 Guiding Principles For Winning Tomorrow’s Business divides customer experience into three defining buckets: Psychological, Technical, and Experiential.

In a rapidly changing world, the ability to adapt to the surrounding environment is paramount. Morgan illustrated this point by sharing the story of the Mexican Tetra:

In the permanent darkness of the caves in the lower Rio Grande, a translucent fish thrives. This albino looking cave dweller is not different than any other fish except for the fact that the fish is blind. However, this fish was not always blind. The entire species of this fish became blind over time, living in a dark cave with little oxygen. Finding food is difficult when living in darkness. Eyesight is not helpful and being efficient is critical to survival. Over time, these fish sacrificed their eyesight so they would be able to retain more energy to find food and survive in the difficult environment of the caves. The blind cave fish have 15% more energy than seeing fish. These small pinkish miracles are called Mexican Tetra. They evolved as their dark and uncertain environment required. They did not go into a cave and die. They learned to thrive in the cave by losing the sight that was useless to them in that environment, the blind cave fish remind us that it’s our ability to evolve, adapt, and embrace change that determines our ability to survive in the world. It’s no different for the businesses we create and run.

Blake Morgan, author of The Customer of the Future: 10 Guiding Principles For Winning Tomorrow’s Business

In order to succeed in the future, companies must pay more attention to how employees feel at work. With the right mindset, all employees can positively affect the customer’s experience. Employees need to have experienced high-quality customer experience so that they know what to deliver for customers.

Blake shares six tips for creating a customer-centric culture:

1) Hire emotionally intelligent leaders and managers.
2) Hire a diverse set of leaders who reflect a diverse customer base.
3) Normalize candid conversations to create a culture of transparency and open communication.
4) Encourage leadership to spend time out in the field talking to customers.
5) Ensure managers keep an open line of communication with employees while building and developing an employee-centric culture.
6) Talk to employees in order to learn what they like (or don’t like) about the organization’s culture.

[Dissecting the Experience] Explainer Videos

Tony Jones, the Innovation Director at Signal TV in the UK, shares creative ways for using video to enhance the customer experience. Using interesting customer data from profiles, subscriptions, and travel bookings, Signal TV creates personalized videos that are more engaging and easier to digest than words or even pictures sent via email. The better the data Signal TV has, the better the video they can create. For example, a personalized video not only welcomes a new car owner to their vehicle, but it also shares detailed information about the vehicle’s operation and clarifies how much the customer will pay each month.

What we’re doing is using customer data to tell a story that’s relevant to them and taking the most interesting and most relevant parts of those data points from their profile, their subscription, or their travel booking, for instance, and playing it back to them so that they understand it.

Tony Jones, Innovation Director at Signal TV

By using more video, companies experience a significant reduction in incoming customer center calls. Videos also leads to a large uptick in clickthroughs as opposed to sending standard emails.

[Avtex Engage 2020] Always Be Learning More

Any customer experience professional knows that the learning never stops – even if it happens on “summer vacation.” Don’t miss Engage 2020 this summer – hosted by our partners at Avtex!

June 21-24, 2020
The Walt Disney World Swan Hotel & Resort
Orlando, Florida

Engage 2020 offers unparalleled learning and networking opportunities, including multiple learning tracks and specialized breakout sessions focused on a wide range of customer experience topics. At Engage 2020, you’ll gain an entirely new perspective on what you can do to move your organization’s experience strategy and delivery forward.

To learn more and reserve your tickets before they are sold out, visit: AvtexEngage.com

Don’t forget to use the promo code: EXPERIENCETHIS10
to save 10% off the ticket price!

[Listener Stories] Puffs to the Rescue

Leandra jokingly shared on Twitter that she was spending a milestone birthday with her BFFs – Puffs and Musinex. Puffs posted a playful and sympathetic response on Twitter and then sent Leandra a handwritten note as well as a bunch of tissues to get her through the cold season.

Don’t underestimate the power of a handwritten note and a real-world interaction!

In an increasingly digital era, tangible touchpoints are exceedingly rare. People are dying for analog connection.

Joey Coleman, co-host of The Experience This! Show podcast

Leandra’s co-worker remarked (online no less), “That’s so sweet of Puffs! Because of your story alone, they’ve won my loyalty now too!” Don’t underestimate the power of a remarkable experience creating a lifelong fan in your direct customer – and their friends!

Links We Referenced

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 a transcript of the entire Episode 90 here or read it below:

Episode 80: Using Unexpected Gifts to Create Lifelong Loyalty

Join us as we discuss how past experiences can trigger current emotions, how creative play can produce qualified employment candidates, and how strategic appreciation can keep your customers coming back for more. 

Gift Giving, Code Breaking, and Artifact Creating – Oh My!

[This Just Happened] A Personalized Gift can Make a Lasting Impact

A few months ago, Joey was on a podcast with Ben Oosterveld, where Joey spoke about his book, Never Lose a Customer Again, and creating remarkable customer experiences. During the podcast, Ben asked Joey to tell him about something that made Joey nostalgic about his childhood.

Joey shared a story about how he loved G.I. Joe action figures when he was a child. Each action figure came with a “dossier card” and children were encouraged to clip and save these cards for their “G.I. Joe Command Files.” Joey collected the cards and in doing so, noticed that while each of the fictional characters hailed from a different place – none came from Iowa – let alone the small town of Fort Dodge, Iowa where Joey lived.

So, Joey (being Joey) decided to write the company (yep – he was about eleven years old at the time) and ask them to consider including a character from his hometown.

Joey never heard back from the toy company, but approximately two years later, a new G.I. Joe action figure was released named Crazy Legs. And wouldn’t you know it, Crazy Legs was from Fort Dodge, Iowa!

In many ways, Joey’s story made for a nice, nostalgic trip down memory lane. But what happened next was the reason for a segment on the Experience This! Show.

Several weeks after being a guest on the podcast, a package arrived in the mail from Ben Oosterveld. In the box was a mint-condition, Crazy Legs G.I. Joe action figure! Ben included a personal note apologizing for the delay in properly thanking Joey for being on the show but that it had taken a while to track down this 30+ year old action figure.

Sending a gift long after the interaction is not a wasted gift. Personalizing your gifts by listening to your clients’ stories and learning about their interests, can turn an average gift into something remarkable – creating a personal and emotional connection in the process.

When considering gifts for your customers/clients, keep the following tips in mind:

  1. Unexpected gifts are the very best gifts.
  2. The more personalized the gift, the better.
  3. Listen for the “golden nuggets falling from the sky” (a phrase Joey’s dad use to use all the time) when a customer shares an unexpected tidbit that you can reference later.
  4. Nostalgia works even better with each passing year!

[CX Press] Recruiting New Employees Using Strategic Partnerships

According to Wikipedia, an escape room (also known as an escape game) is “a game in which a team of players cooperatively discover clues, solve puzzles, and accomplish tasks in one or more rooms in order to progress and accomplish a specific goal in a limited amount of time. The goal is often to escape from the site of the game.”

Craig Lord recently wrote a story in the Ottawa Business Journal titled, “Solving Escape Manor’s new room could land you a job as a Canadian codebreaker.” The article focuses on an Ottawa-based business called Escape Manor and their new cybersecurity-focused experience. The Escape Room partnered with the Communications Security Establishment (CSE) – a federal agency in Canada that houses the Canadian government’s top codebreakers (basically, it’s the Canadian version of the United States’ National Security Agency (NSA)). CSE had discovered that many of their employees loved escape rooms. They realized that this common interest could be useful to their employment staffing efforts and as a result, the partnered with Escape Manor to design an escape room called “The Recruit.”

If participants successfully “escape” the room, they are given the opportunity to complete another puzzle. If they succeed at completing that puzzle, the participants are given the chance to voluntarily leave their information for the CSE – and potential earn themselves a job interview!

How can this example be applied to your own organization and your employee recruitment and retention efforts? Explore what your current employees are interested in and then work to create partnerships that are in alignment with your existing employees’ interests. Chances are good that if your top employees have a specific interest, your top candidates will probably share a similar interest. For example, if many of your star team members love adventure sports like rock climbing, consider partnering with a local rock climbing club to get your brand in front of prospective candidates.

[Start the Conversation] Avtex: Utilizing CRM to Increase Your Customer Experience

Using your CRM (Customer Relationship Management software) as a customer experience tool can allow you to drive your customer experience transformation. Most companies aren’t fully utilizing the capabilities of their CRM. Sometimes, the data in CRM isn’t as accurate as it could be. The other problem with CRMs is that often, different departments have different access to each customer’s data, which prevents the full picture of the customer from being relayed uniformly across the organization.

Here are three ways that CX leaders can use a CRM to improve customer experiences.

  1. Make it Easy for Customers to Do Business with You – Use customer data within the CRM to map journeys and eliminate pain points. Personalize experiences based on data to streamline interactions.
  2. Use Customer Data to Continually Improve Experiences – Gather and use customer feedback and track engagement trends. Consider where and when customers are interacting with you the most and then enhance those interactions.
  3. Use Customer Data to Look for New Ways to Foster Loyalty

Start the conversation with this question: What are the specific ways we are using our customer resource management tool to enhance the experience with our customers?

To continue the conversation, go to: experienceconversations.com.

[Book Report] Create an Artifact from the Gifts You Give

Many companies give gifts to their customers, but few do it well. When it comes to “strategic appreciation” – the act of letting your top clients know how much you really value them – the best book written on the topic is Giftology: The Art and Science of Using Gifts to Cut Through the Noise, Increase Referrals, and Strengthen Client Retention by a great friend of the show, John Ruhlin. John doesn’t recommend the exact gifts to give, but rather he teaches the strategies and techniques to discover the right gifts for your clients.

The first gift Joey ever received from John Ruhlin left an indelible impression. John sent Joey and his family a beautiful, personalized set of knives and a companion knife block to store them. The knives have Joey and his wife’s name on them – as opposed to John’s name or the name of his company (The Ruhlin Group). The knives are “touched” twice a day – once when Joey’s wife prepares dinner, and once when Joey does the dishes. Each time Joey does the dishes he thinks fondly of John and his thoughtful gift.

Instead of gifting your clients with something that will register as a blip on the radar, choose an item that will serve as the artifact of your relationship, something that becomes woven into the very fabric of their lives.

John Ruhlin, author of Giftology: The Art and Science of Using Gifts to Cut Through the Noise, Increase Referrals, and Strengthen Client Retention

When you give one of your client’s a quality gift, you don’t need to put your name on it. Your clients will remember you every time they see/use the gift because it was personal and meaningful. To apply the principles of strategic appreciation in your business, we recommend taking these two steps:

  1. Purchase and Read Giftology so you can learn the art of gifting!
  2. Reach out to John directly on his website, or if you prefer, leave us a voice message on the “Contact” page here at Experience This! and we’ll make a personal introduction.

Links We Referenced

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 a transcript of the entire Episode 80 here or read it below:

Joey Coleman: Welcome to Experience This, 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: Always upbeat and definitely entertaining, customer retention expert Joey Coleman-

Joey Coleman: And social media expert Dan Gingiss serve as your hosts for a weekly dose of positive customer experience. So, hold on to your headphones, it’s time to Experience This.

Dan Gingiss: Get ready for another episode of the Experience This show.

Joey Coleman: Join us as we discuss how past experiences can trigger current emotions, how creative play can produce qualified employment candidates, and how strategic appreciation can keep your customers coming back for more.

Dan Gingiss: Gift-giving, code breaking and artifact creating, oh my.

THIS JUST HAPPENED: Crazy Legs Podcast Gift

Joey Coleman: Just because you have required elements of your business, doesn’t mean they need to be boring. 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.

I received a package the other day in the mail that to be honest, took my breath away.

Dan Gingiss: Really? I’m intrigued. What was it, Joey?

Joey Coleman: Well, I’m happy to tell you Dan, but first I need to share some backstory. A few months ago, I recorded a podcast with my friend Ben Oosterveld. He has a show called, From Within and it was a fun conversation about my book, Never Lose A Customer Again, and the power of creating remarkable customer experiences at every step of the customer journey.

So that you have more context, we’ll link to it in the show notes that experiencethisshow.com, if you’re interested in checking it out. During our conversation, Ben asked me a series of rapid fire questions, one of which was, what is something you’re nostalgic about from when you were a kid, a toy, a video game, et cetera? I told him about something that happened to me when I was about nine or 10 years old.

I loved GI Joe figures and back in the day, the packaging for GI Joe characters included a dossier card on the back that detailed some key facts and stories about these fictional characters. I loved cutting these cards off the back of the packages and keeping them. I would read them, I would review them when I was putting together teams of characters for special missions, it was great.

And after I’d been collecting for a while, I realized that there were no GI Joe characters from my home state of Iowa, let alone my hometown of Fort Dodge. And what could be seen as an early indicator of my, let’s see if we can just fix this problem, I decided to write a letter to Hasbro, the company that made GI Joe figures, to ask if they would consider making a GI Joe character from Iowa.

I never heard back from the company, but about a year later, a new GI Joe character was released named, Crazy Legs. And not only was he from Iowa, he was from Fort Dodge, Iowa. Now I don’t know if my letter influenced the toy makers at Hasbro. But what I do know is that as a kid, this quickly became one of my favorite characters.

So the other day I received a package and when I opened it, I found a mint condition, still in the box, Crazy Legs action figure with the dossier on the back that said he was born in Fort Dodge, Iowa. I kid you not, it almost brought tears to my eyes.

In the package was a note from Ben thanking me for being on his show and apologizing that it had taken him a while to thank me because it took him some time to track down the character on eBay, but that he hoped I would appreciate it.

Dan Gingiss: Wow. I have goosebumps listening to that story.

Joey Coleman: Isn’t that amazing?

Dan Gingiss: I was not a GI Joe fan as a kid, but I love that there is a GI Joey character from Fort Dodge, Iowa, named Crazy Legs. And I think that’s now going to be my new nickname for you.

Joey Coleman: There you go. Nice. Well, it’s interesting because my experience with receiving this Crazy Legs action figure from Ben, got me thinking about the key characteristics of good gifting in either a business or a personal setting. And I wanted to share some of those things that I’ve learned along the way with our listeners, especially as people start to think about end of year gifts for their clients and colleagues.

Number one, unexpected gifts are the best gifts. Many businesses talk about creating surprise and delight moments for their customers. The first word in that phrase is the key word, surprise. The fact that Ben’s package actually came six months after I had recorded his show, was better than had it come almost immediately.

I personally don’t think it’s ever too late to send a gift or a thank you and if the recipient is surprised to receive it, you’ve actually created a great emotional reaction.

Dan Gingiss: I definitely agree and I often say that surprise and delight is not a strategy. It has to be something that comes naturally because the harder you try to do it, the less personalized it becomes. And so I think what was great about this is that it was absolutely a surprise.

The six months thing certainly helped. And clearly he knew this, it was going to be something that was also a delight. But it’s not something that’s repeatable or scalable for him because his other customers or his other podcast guests are probably not GI Joe fans.

Joey Coleman: Agreed. Or they may be GI Joe fans, but they’re not necessarily Crazy Leg fans. So you’re right, that the personalization really is key. Which brings me to my second point, Dan. Thanks for that segue. The more personalized, the better.

Anyone can send a gift, but the more personal the gift, the happier the recipient. Now I know you mentioned you weren’t a GI Joe fan as a kid, Dan. What did you play? What was your toy, did you [crosstalk 00:06:18], like go to guy?

Dan Gingiss: Actually, I’m thinking here because now I want to go on this guy’s podcast because what I loved as a kid were pinball machines. So maybe I could get one of those.

Joey Coleman: Six months later, Dan gets, a freight truck pulls up to his house with a pinball machine. No, I hear you. You know, what’s interesting to me is how Ben pulled this story out of me that I hadn’t thought about in many years and then he acted on it.

Now this actually brings me to the third secret of quality gift-giving. Listen for the golden nuggets to fall from the sky, and I must confess, I borrowed that phrase from my dad. My dad would sit in the courtroom, he was a criminal defense lawyer and he would listen intently for the golden nuggets that might fall from the sky.

What I mean by that is the things that would be said by a witness or an expert or a police officer on the stand that he could catch, latch onto and make a central part of his argument before the jury, as to why they should find his client not guilty.

Now in the corporate world, this technique is not that different. We need to actively listen during our conversations to identify the interest and the hobbies and the personal likes and dislikes and desires and basically anything that is hyper personal about the person we’re speaking with, whether that’s a customer, an employee, a colleague, a vendor. We can then use that insight to identify personalized gifts and opportunities to surprise them.

Dan Gingiss: I think one of the companies that does this the best is a company that we’ve talked about several times on the podcast and I love to talk about onstage because it gets the best reaction of any company, which is chewy.com.

And in fact, true story, Joey and I were together yesterday and in the car I got a phone call from a really good friend of mine who recently had his dog die and he called to cancel his order for dog food. And the next day he and his wife got flowers in the mail from Chewy and were absolutely stunned.

And so it’s very similar in the sense that that was their golden nugget falling from the sky, is they heard that one of their customers had had this negative experience. And they acted on it.

Joey Coleman: So true, so true. So the gifts don’t necessarily have to come as a moment of delight. They can come as a moment of sorrow, but the key is to make them personalized. The final thing I’d like to note is that nostalgia works even better with each passing year.

I know that sounds a little silly, but by definition, nostalgia refers to a sentimental longing or a wistful affection for things from the past. What I found over time is that as I get older, the things that tie me back to my childhood, where I grew up, the old toys I played with, the games I played, the hobbies I had produced an even stronger emotional reaction for me.

So what can we learn from this story of an unexpected thank you gift for being a guest on a podcast? Why I think we can learn a few things. Number one, unexpected gifts are the very best gifts. Number two, the more personalized the better. Number three, don’t forget to listen for the golden nuggets to fall from the sky. And number four, nostalgia works even better with each passing year.

One final thought if I may. During that series of rapid fire questions on his From within podcast, Ben asked me, “What’s the best physical gift you’ve ever received?” Well, let’s just say that Ben’s gift of a vintage Crazy Legs, GI Joe figure just rocketed into the top three physical gifts I’ve ever received from anyone on any occasion. Thanks Ben. It meant the world to me.

CX PRESS – Recruits from the Escape Room

Joey Coleman: 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.

Okay Dan, this is a bit of a random question, but you’re used to it by now. Have you ever been to an escape room?

Dan Gingiss: I have not, but my kids have been pestering me to go and I really do want to try it out.

Joey Coleman: Oh man, you definitely need to go and I think you might even want to go more after you hear this story. So first of all, in case some of our listeners haven’t been to an escape room or aren’t familiar with that phrase. According to Wikipedia, an escape room is a game in which a team of players cooperatively discover clues, solve puzzles and accomplish tasks in one or more rooms in order to progress and accomplish a specific goal in a limited amount of time.

The goal is often to escape from the room in which the game is being played. Craig Lorde recently wrote a story in the Ottawa Business Journal, titled, Solving Escape Manner’s new room could land you a job as a Canadian codebreaker.

The story is all about an Ottawa based business called Escape Manner and their new cybersecurity focused experience. The escape room partnered with the Communications Security Establishment or CSE, which is a federal agency in Canada that houses the Canadian government’s top code breakers.

Basically, it’s the Canadian version of the United States NSA, National Security Agency. Working with the CSE, the Escape Manor designed a new room called, The Recruit. In this game, participants will pretend to be a CSE freshman going through orientation when disaster strikes. As is usually the case in an escape room, the group will have to rely on quick thinking to solve the puzzles and save the day before it’s too late.

Dan Gingiss: It sounds amazing. Kind of sounds like Jack Bauer in an episode of 24.

Joey Coleman: Totally and it happens in a room. So because you mentioned you haven’t been, lots of times if you’re going to escape room, instead of like going out to a bar for the night or a restaurant, you get a couple of friends and you go to the escape room and it often takes anywhere from half an hour to two hours. You’re against a time limit, you’re solving clues, you’re having fun, you get to see which of your friends are smarter or clever than the others and you have a good time.

But what’s particularly interesting to me about the partnership between Escape Manor and the CSE is that CSE’s technical experts actually provided input on the puzzles and codes and the videos and imagery used in the game were filmed at CSE’s Ottawa headquarters. So this adds an incredible level of realism to the overall experience.

Dan Gingiss: As it turns out, the idea to collaborate on a cybersecurity and espionage themed escape room came up when CSEs marketing team was looking for new ways to spread the word about the agency’s work processing foreign signal intelligence and protecting Canadian computer networks.

Interestingly enough, as an agency that employs professional code breakers, CSE already had a lot of escape room fans among its staff. As such, the hope is that fans of escape rooms will potentially be good candidates for employment with CSE.

Joey Coleman: I absolutely love this idea and having worked in the intelligence community myself, I can honestly say that this sort of government/corporate partnership is something more countries should be considering.

In a world where cybersecurity is becoming more vital every day, finding creative and engaging ways to recruit new code breakers is something every intelligence agency on the planet is thinking about.

In addition, more and more corporations are bringing cybersecurity teams in house, so in the future, the need for these types of team members is only going to increase. But to be honest, this isn’t an entirely new idea.

Back in 1942 during the second world war, the British government worked with The Daily Telegraph to develop a very difficult crossword puzzle. Those who successfully solved it were encouraged to share their victory and later, at least as the story goes, some of these people were drafted by the war office to help break German codes.

Dan Gingiss: What the escape room is going to do to help CSE identify candidates isn’t that different than what was done back in World War II. If a group successfully completes the recruit game, they’ll be given the chance to do a bonus cryptographic puzzle.

If a player solves that puzzle, they will have the opportunity to voluntarily leave their contact information with the folks at Escape Manor, who will then pass it on to CSE. If a recruitment officer feels a candidate could be a good fit, they’ll reach out to discuss opportunities with the agency.

Joey Coleman: So how can you apply this kind of thinking to your organization? When it comes to recruiting new employees, consider the types of things your current employees like to do and then explore creative partnerships in a similar space. If your startup is filled with hard charging, type-A personalities who like to do adventure sports, you may want to partner with your local skydiving or mountain biking groups to find new candidates for employment.

If your business thrives based on a group of employees that are book club members after hours, you may want to offer to spend some of your marketing dollars to bring authors into your local community and then invite local book clubs to attend the event. Folks, you’re only limited by your own imagination. Who knows? Your next great hire could be hiding very close by.

START THE CONVERSATION – AVTEX

Joey Coleman:  Sometimes all it takes is a single question to get your company thinking about an improved customer experience. Here’s an idea for how you can start the conversation

This week’s Start the Conversation topic is CRM as a customer experience tool. Many organizations utilize CRM or customer relationship management systems to track relationships with customers and prospects.

But a CRM isn’t just a tracking tool. It’s also a customer experience tool. If you aren’t using a CRM and the data captured within it to drive your customer experience transformation, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity to deliver better customer experiences.

Dan Gingiss: Here are three ways that CX leaders can use a CRM to improve customer experiences. One, make it easy for customers to do business with you. Use customer data within the CRM to map journeys and eliminate pain points and personalize experiences based on data to streamline interactions.

Two, use customer data to continually improve experiences. Gather and use customer feedback and track engagement trends, where and when customers are interacting with you the most. Three, use customer data to look for new ways to foster loyalty.

Joey Coleman: Now, what’s really interesting is when we think about CRM at most companies, especially big companies, two major problems emerge. Number one, not everyone is using the CRM, so it’s difficult to get the salespeople to put in data about prospects that people are actually serving the customers aren’t necessarily recording every interaction. And so the data that’s in the CRM isn’t always as accurate as it could or should be.

Secondly, there’s a huge problem in many organizations that the CRM for an individual customer or the data on an individual customer can only be accessed by certain departments. This blows my mind that a company would have different CRM software tools for different departments, but it happens all the time.

You need to have a unified approach. You need to have all the data about your prospects and your customers stored in one place that is accessible by everyone in your organization, not only for them to add to it as they learn new things and catch those little golden nuggets that may drop from the sky. But also to make sure that when they do interact with a customer, they are referencing the most up to date customer interactions recorded in the CRM.

Dan Gingiss: And now for this week’s question about CRM as a customer experience tool, what are the specific ways we are using our customer resource management tool to enhance the experience with our customers? We encourage you to start the conversation within your own organization and then continue it with our friends at Avtex by going to experienceconversations.com. Again, that website is experienceconversations.com.

BOOK REPORT: Giftology by John Ruhlin

Joey Coleman: 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: I know we spoke about gifting earlier on in the show and it’s something that we both speak about regularly in our keynotes and workshops, but I think it would be in service to our listeners if we took some time to dive deep into this practice of giving gifts in a corporate setting.

Joey Coleman: You know, Dan, I wholeheartedly agree and this is a topic that comes up a lot, so I couldn’t think of a better way to discuss this than to do a book review of the best book I’ve come across on the topic of corporate gifting. In fact, it takes gifting beyond the usual behaviors and elevates it to strategic appreciation.

Now the book I’m speaking about is by my good friend, gifting expert, speaker and writer John Ruhlin. His book is titled Giftology: The Art and Science of Using Gifts to Cut Through the Noise, Increase Referrals and Strengthen Client Retention.

It’s a quick read. To be honest, the first time I read it was cover a cover on a flight and it’s full of fantastic advice and examples for how to think differently about your business gifting activities.

Dan Gingiss: Let’s let John explain in his own words what his book Giftology is all about.

John Ruhlin: Most business leaders agree that relationships have been, are and always will be the most important asset they have for their professional careers in growing their businesses. However, most business owners don’t properly utilize the most simple, oldest and most powerful tool in their relationship building arsenal, the gift.

Giftology is this study of growing relationships through strategic gift giving. It is the science behind who to gift, when to gift, how to gift and the tried and true ROI driving method of what to gift. This is not a book about what gifts to buy. This is a book about what types of gifts create the most emotional impact, that get talked about the most and that when delivered with the right attitude, presentation and timing, win. over the entire inner circle, including assistance, family members and spouses.

Why is it important to get the inner circle on your side? Because five words about you from them, means more than 5,000 words from you about you. Giftology is the study of winning hearts, cutting through the noise and creating unbelievable experiences. Gifting is a business leader’s most powerful form of marketing for increasing referrals and cross selling and upselling opportunities.

And it is the marketing that up until now, has been the most poorly executed and vastly under utilized. If you’re a business leader who believes in generosity but doesn’t want to come across as [bribey 00:00:44] or back scratchy or quid pro quo, follow the methods of Giftology and watch as your ever deepening relationships, open doors and grant you access you never thought possible.

Joey Coleman: I love that. John is so right. Gifting is both an art and a science and it’s something that most businesses are giving little to no thought to. And I must confess, I’ve received some amazing gifts in the past and I think I’ve given some pretty great gifts too, but I am by no means as consistent about it as I could or should be.

Dan Gingiss: You know, I often bring up something that you mentioned in your book, because I see it so often, is that companies are giving branded or [logoed 00:00:44] items to their customers thinking that, that’s a gift.

And I seem to remember, I think it was you that said, or perhaps you were quoting John, that when you give somebody a branded item also known as swag, that that isn’t a gift, it’s marketing.

Joey Coleman: Absolutely.

Dan Gingiss: And that that’s a big difference.

Joey Coleman: It’s a gift for you. It’s a gift for your business to have them market. It’s not a gift for the recipient.

Dan Gingiss: Exactly. And so one of the passages that I loved in the book addresses this mistake directly. It says, and I’m quoting, “You would never go to someone’s wedding and give them a crystal vase from Tiffany and Company engraved with your name on it. So why would you give a corporate gift with your company name on it? Is it a promotion or a gift?”

This goes back to the idea of making sure something is personalized and not just branded. If it’s something all about them, it’s a gift. If it’s brand focused and all about you, with your colors, your logo, what you love, it’s a promotion.

Joey Coleman: You know, Dan, you’re right. This is something I talk about with clients and on stage all the time. Most companies are fooling themselves, that they’re gifting their customers. When in reality, they’re sending promotions to their customers. And if any of the listeners doubt the validity of this statement, I’d like you to imagine this scenario.

It’s Christmas morning or one of the nights of Hanukkah or your birthday and you receive a package from your grandmother. You open it up to find a sweater with her name on it. Now, you love your Nana and it was kind of her to get something for you, but you are not going to wear that sweater.

The same holds true for your customers. If you’re sending them apparel and swag that has your logo and marketing messages all over it, it’s not a gift. Stop it. Stop kidding yourself. Stop the behavior. It’s okay to send that stuff, but acknowledged that it’s a promotion.

As John noted in the passage that Dan has shared,. if it’s something all about them, it’s a gift. Now, speaking of favorite passages from the book, to be honest, I have dozens, but the one I want to share is this, “Instead of gifting your clients with something that will register as a blip on the radar, choose an item that will serve as the artifact of your relationship, something that becomes woven into the very fabric of their lives.”

Dan Gingiss: Wow. An artifact of your relationship, I definitely like the way John phrased that

Joey Coleman: I do as well, Dan, and you know, just the language he uses. Doesn’t that raise the bar when we think about gifting, instead of giving a gift, giving an artifact. It’s interesting, the first gift I ever received from John was indeed an artifact.

I had met him at an event, we had hit it off. We have similar messages and similar audiences. And a few days after I arrived back home, I received in the mail a custom engraved knife set for our kitchen. Now, these were beautiful Cutco butcher knives and a butcher block for them to go into. And the knives were all engraved with a message that said handcrafted exclusively for the Joey and Barrett-Coleman family.

Now, here’s the crazy thing. This gift is prominently displayed in our kitchen and it receives two touches every night. My wife uses the knives to prepare the meal and I clean and wash the knives every night after dinner. It’s truly become an artifact that serves as a reminder of my relationship with John and it’s been woven into the fabric of our day to day lives.

Dan Gingiss: I love it, but I’m sure that some of our listeners may be wondering how they can afford these types of gifts. How should they be thinking about their gifting budget?

Joey Coleman: Well, I’ve certainly wondered the same thing in the past, Dan. And I think it would actually be best if we turn to the author of Giftology, John Ruhlin, as he shares his thoughts on this specific question of how much to spend.

John Ruhlin: How much should I give is the number one question I am asked regarding Giftology. Gifting should be a part of your overall marketing and Biz Dev efforts. It should be something you actively budget for. If you do not have yet a budget, rely on the handwritten note, as we’ve talked about before.

But when you are able to invest money into gifting strategies, what you choose should be comparable to what it would cost for a nice dinner out with wine, great tickets to a ball game or a round a golf at an upscale club, an amount that typically falls somewhere between $100 and maybe $2,000 at the most.

Essentially, you’re gifting budget to retain and maintain clients should always fall somewhere between 2% and 10% of your current net profits or it should be a 20% redirect of your current marketing efforts overall.

Again, always ask yourself, what’s the most that I could do? Since it’s not uncommon for us to ask ourselves, what’s the least I can do without looking cheap, reprogramming your mindset might require some effort. Be honest. How many times have you been invited to a wedding or high school graduation and the first thing that comes into your mind is, do I really have to spend $250 or can I get away with $150?

Our natural tendency is to cut corners and go with the bare minimum. Most gifting strategies don’t work well because those implementing them are not willing to go out on a limb. They want the safe bets done as economically as possible. As a result, they typically reap few benefits. Remember that slow and steady wins the race. Be patient, invest in strategic gifting with a longterm view of the future as you would with a growth stock or asset allocation.

Over time, your investment will naturally compound. I always tell my clients, “If you’re not willing to commit to three years of hiring our outsource gifting agency, then I’m not going to guarantee any of the results.” You would never take a potential client out to dinner and demand their business before they’ve even opened the menu.

Giftology is a slow build, encouraging the relationship to develop over time. It’s an ongoing process. Again, it’s all about minimizing risk. People need to see what your true intentions are, that they’re genuine with no strings attached. Over time, you’ll tip the scales in your favor.

Don’t get me wrong, there are instances when you’ll see short term results, especially when you’re prospecting. But even when you invest a significant chunk of money to get someone’s attention, that’s what you’re getting, his or her attention. You’re not getting his or her loyalty or business. Not yet.

Joey Coleman: If you want to get someone’s attention and their loyalty or their business, you need to up your gifting game. There are two great ways to do that. Number one, go purchase and read John’s book, Giftology: The Art and Science of Using Gifts to Cut Through the Noise, Increase Referrals and Strengthen Client Retention.

You can find it on Amazon or wherever you buy your books and we’ll link to it in the show notes at experiencethisshow.com. Secondly, you can reach out to John directly via his website, giftologyplan.com that’s Giftology, G-I-F-T-O-L-O-G-Y, plan, P-L-A-N, .com.

Or if you prefer, go to experiencethisshow.com and leave us a voice message on our contact page and we’ll make a personal introduction. John and his team are incredibly skilled at helping you maximize the impact of your gifting budget by finding personal and meaningful gifts that your clients will see as an artifact of your relationship.

Please don’t waste another dollar on an impersonal gift card or an everyone gets the same fruit basket, annual gift to your customers. Start practicing Giftology and get ready to take your customer experience to the next level.

Wow. Thanks for joining us for another episode of Experience this.

Dan Gingiss: 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: 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: Thanks again for your time and we’ll see you next week for more, Experience This.

Episode 78: Using Artificial Intelligence to Support Your Customers

Join us as we discuss using AI to train your customer service reps, the internal path to entrepreneurial peace, and the ways one customer can positively and negatively impact the experience of another customer.

Intervening, Introspection, and Interacting – Oh My!

[CX Press] How Artificial Intelligence is Helping Customer Service Agents to Communicate with More Clarity

As consumers, artificial Intelligence (AI) is playing a bigger role in our lives every day. Interestingly enough, AI is also increasingly being used by customer experience professionals. Alejandro De La Garza detailed one of the new found uses for AI in his Time Magazine article, This AI Software Is ‘Coaching’ Customer Service Workers. Soon It Could Be Bossing You Around, Too.

In the article, De La Garza describes a new AI program – Cogito – and how it is helping customer service representatives to communicate more clearly, to empathize with frustrated callers, and to improve overall performance. Cogito recognizes tone, pitch, and various signs of discontentment in calls. It then gives realtime recommendations for customer service representatives to adjust their conversations – resulting in increased customer satisfaction. Historically, AI was used for operational, “behind the scenes” systems that were controlled by humans. Cogito is interesting because this new AI actually gives the humans using the software access to realtime advice and direction.

There’s a future where AI software like this becomes part of our normal day to day in conversations with parents, with spouses, and in preparing for job interviews.

Skylar Place, Chief Behavioral Scientist at Cogito

With great technological advances come new challenges. Technology is advancing so quickly that our brains are having to adapt more quickly than ever before. While many of us may believe our jobs are immune to AI, the truth is less certain. AI is advancing quickly, and no occupation is completely immune from AI’s impact. It’s time to shift the question from, “What if AI affects me?,” to “What will I do, and how will I adapt when AI becomes a regular part of my career?”

[Book Report] Find Encouragement and Inspiration as a Self Reliant Entrepreneur

In 1841, writer, speaker, and father of the transcendentalist movement Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote: Is it so bad, then, to be misunderstood? Pythagoras was misunderstood, and Socrates, and Jesus, and Luther, and Copernicus, and Galileo, and Newton, and every pure and wise spirit that ever took flesh. To be great is to be misunderstood.

Joey came across this quote in John Jantsch‘s fantastic new book, The Self Reliant Entrepreneur: 366 Daily Meditations to Feed Your Soul and Grow Your Business. Most customer experience experts – if not entrepreneurs themselves – operate in an entrepreneurial environment. Jantsch works to educate, provoke, and inspire self reliant entrepreneurs through a series of daily readings and prompts that encourage readers to think deeper.

Reason of course, keeps us out in jail, prudently employed and modestly goal oriented, but achieving the impossible, implausible or heaven forbid, unconventional, better way of doing something requires setting unreasonable ambitions buttressed with unreasonable actions. In fact, progress depends on it. The only truly unreasonable act is to believe that everything is okay as it is.

John Jantsch, author of The Self Reliant Entrepreneur: 366 Daily Meditations to Feed Your Soul and Grow Your Business.

Entrepreneurs can benefit greatly by paying less attention to the fad of the moment, and giving more focus to the wisdom of the past. If you are ready to be motivated, challenged, and encouraged in your entrepreneurial endeavors, do yourself a favor and pick up a copy of The Self Reliant Entrepreneur today.

[Start the Conversation] Avtex: Leveraging Data to Personalize Experiences

Data can sound like an incredibly tedious part of any business. However, customer data has many purposes, from tracking and charting transactions, to managing marketing outreach. By utilizing data gathered from customer interactions to personalize future experiences, a deeper and more committed relationship will often develop.

Here are three ways data can be used to personalize interactions with your customers:

  1. Using portal interaction data to automatically surface support content that better meets the customer’s needs and the most proved approach (historically) to achieving resolution.
  2. Streamlining contact center interactions by comparing the customer’s phone number or IP address against past interaction reports.
  3. Using trend data to identify common pain points and eliminating them, or creating specialized journeys for individual customer segments.

Start the conversation with this question: What customer data are we tracking, and are we effectively using it to drive better experiences?

To continue the conversation, go to: experienceconversations.com.

[Love It, Can’t Stand It] What Happens When One Customer’s Experience is Impacted by Another Customer’s Behavior

Sometimes, one customer’s actions can negatively impact another’s experience. Joey shared an unfortunate experience one of his friends had on an airplane, involving someone clipping their toenails in first class! While this was certainly not the airline’s fault, it obviously had an effect on his friend’s experience. When you are 35,000 feet in the air, you are subjected to the behavior of all the other people on your plane. Realizing that one customer can dramatically impact other customers’ experiences, here are a few things we love and cannot stand about airline travel:

Things We Can’t Stand:

  • Smelly food.
  • Passengers playing games or watching videos without wearing headphones.
  • People having loud conversations that people three rows away can hear.
  • Watching sensationalized news in an age where news is a negative trigger for many people.
  • Watching non-age appropriate content when seated next to a child. 
  • Cutting toenails or completing other personal grooming tasks like brushing hair, putting on deodorant, etc.
  • Taking off shoes and socks.

Things We Love:

  • The person in the window and the aisle seat giving the person in the middle both armrests without even discussing it – an unwritten rule of flying!
  • People who don’t recline their seat.
  • The person seated on the aisle graciously moving out of the way, so people can get in and out of their seat mid-flight. 
  • Passengers using the cabinet storage above them only after they’ve used the storage under their seat.
  • When people take time to read their seat-mates’ body language – do they want to talk, work, read, watch a movie? Whatever they want to do – let them do it!

It’s pretty easy to see how the behavior of one customer can dramatically impact customer experience – for better or for worse. And if that’s the case, what can companies do about it? One idea that is being implemented in many places is simply adopting a Code of Conduct for customers. These documents set clear expectations for what is allowed and what is not allowed – which can help insure that all customers have a great experience. Consider this: If your customers are in the same place, at the same time, how are YOU making sure they enjoy the experience without infringing on another customer’s enjoyment? 

Links We Referenced

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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Episode Transcript

Download a transcript of the entire Episode 78 here or read it below:

Dan Gingiss: Welcome to Experience This.

Joey Coleman: 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: Always upbeat and definitely entertaining, customer attention expert Joey Coleman.

Joey Coleman: And social media expert Dan Gingiss serve as your hosts for a weekly dose of positive customer experience.

Dan Gingiss: So hold onto your headphones. It’s time to Experience This.

Dan Gingiss: Get ready for another episode of the Experience This show.

Joey Coleman: Join us as we discuss using AI to train your customer service reps. The internal path to entrepreneurial peace. And the ways one customer can positively and negatively impact the experience of another customer.

Dan Gingiss: Intervening, introspection, and interacting. Oh my.

[CX Press] Learn how AI is Guiding Customer Service Agents to Communicate with More Clarity

Joey Coleman: 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 CXpress where we read the articles so you don’t need to.

Dan Gingiss: We’ve spoken several times on the show about the way AI is becoming a bigger part of not only our everyday lives as consumers, but increasingly in our conversations as customer experience professionals.

Joey Coleman: Which is why we wanted to share an article we came across in Time Magazine by Alejandro Dela Garza. The article is titled This AI Software is Coaching Customer Service Workers. Soon, it could be bossing you around too. And it’s about an Artificial Intelligence or AI program named Cogito. Cogito is designed to help customer service workers communicate more clearly, empathize with frustrated callers and improve their overall experience. It does this by listening to the tone, pitch, word frequency and hundreds of other factors in customer service conversations. When it detects that something is wrong, an irritated customer or a call center agent taking too long to respond, or an agent who sounds bored, tired, irritated, rushed, or otherwise unpleasant, it displays a notification on the agent’s computer telling them to slow down or speed up or stop talking or start talking or try to sound more sympathetic.

Joey Coleman: Basically it’s like having a seasoned veteran listening in on your customer service calls and providing real time actionable advice on how to respond to the situations you’re facing.

Dan Gingiss: This is a pretty interesting application of AI in the customer service arena. Up until now we’ve seen AI play a more behind the scenes role as it’s used to analyze data, track behaviors and route inquiries to the best channel for resolution. This new software Cogito is pushing beyond that. While once AI was seen as a tool largely under human control, Cogito is an example of an AI use case that is beginning to tell humans what to do.

Joey Coleman: You know Dan, I can definitely see some pros and cons to this type of tool. While on one hand it seems that Cogito can give someone a nudge in the right direction. It starts to get a little bit problematic if everybody relies on a nudge instead of changing their ways. Now, to be honest, the customer service representatives discussed in the article felt that in general the program is useful. Managers at one company said that using Cogito in their call centers improved first call resolution metrics by 3.5%, improved customer satisfaction by 13% and helped agents reduce average call time.

Dan Gingiss: I can’t help but think of my dependence on my GPS. The more I use it, the more I depend on it.

Joey Coleman: Turn now, Dan.

Dan Gingiss: And yes. And I don’t even bother trying to figure out the directions myself anymore.

Joey Coleman: Yeah. And I think that is a little bit of the problem, right? Because what happens when AI tools are, for lack of a better way of putting it, so involved with the conversation that customer service representatives are having, that the customer service representative doesn’t need to improve. They don’t need to get better. They don’t need to learn because the AI is nudging them the right way all the time.

Dan Gingiss: Exactly. Well, interestingly enough, everyone in the articles seem to think that we were still pretty far away from AI tools like this taking over call centers. The Cogito scientists felt that it was at least a decade away and the call center representatives noted that they didn’t feel threatened that Cogito would take their jobs because, and I’m quoting here, “People want to speak to a real person.”

Joey Coleman: Yeah. One of the problems I see with this type of thinking is that humans have an incredibly difficult time understanding the exponential change that is happening on the planet today. I mean, if we look at science, our brains developed over millennia in an evolutionary fashion and now change is happening at an exponential rate. And our brains just aren’t designed to be able to comprehend the speed and the significance of the changes. I had an experienced not too long ago, Dan, where I was sitting at a table with a doctor, a lawyer, an accountant, a financial advisor, and me, a professional speaker.

Dan Gingiss: It sounds like the beginning of a really bad joke.

Joey Coleman: It does sound like the beginning of a horrible joke, right? But what was interesting is we were talking about AI and we were going around the table. And what was fascinating to observe is that everyone at the table could see how all the other professions were going to be eliminated except for theirs. They would say, “Oh yeah, we’re not going to need doctors. We’re not going to do to lawyers, but accountants. You know accountants will still be necessary.” And it was fascinating to watch how people just couldn’t comprehend when it was that close to home. And I have to admit, I kind of felt that same type of thing going on in the article when the call center representative who was quoted was like, “Well, people want to speak to a real person.” Well, not all people, and not if that person doesn’t do what they hope they’re going to do. And not if that doesn’t resolve the way they think it’s going to resolve.

Joey Coleman: It’s just interesting to think about how these technologies are changing faster than our human brains are.

Dan Gingiss: Well, I’m a believer that AI can be really useful in helping humans do their jobs better. So I love the concept of having like an AI machine next to a call center agent telling them all of the details of the customer’s previous experience with the company, so that they don’t have to be on four different screens looking that stuff up. And then the agent can really spend the time giving that human to human interaction that I do think customers want. If you extend that out to a doctor, for example, there was this story about how IBM’s Watson detected some disease in somebody that 15 doctors couldn’t find. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that Watson is going to do the surgery. I think it can definitely play that role in having access to so much data and being able to crunch it at a rate that our brains simply can’t handle, but next to a human that makes all of us that much smarter and that much better at our jobs.

Joey Coleman: I think it does, but again, with all great new technological advances come new challenges. One of the things that I thought was interesting in the article is they told the story of a woman who explained that after working with Cogito for a series of time, when she was in conversation with her boyfriend, he noticed a change in her speech patterns.

Dan Gingiss: Oh, wow.

Joey Coleman: That she was speaking more directly, that there wasn’t as much fluff or nuance. And the author alluded to the fact that isn’t it the fluff and the nuance that makes conversation between humans, human. And so what happens when we strip all of that away to just be about call times and resolution and, oh, the AI can anticipate exactly what the individual wants. It makes a little less personal empathy and personal  connection I think.

Dan Gingiss: Yes, I can definitely see that happening. So Cogito’s chief behavioral scientist Skyler Place had some interesting and somewhat shocking observations about how the world will change in the next three years. Place observed, and I’m quoting, “There’s a future where AI software like this becomes part of our normal day to day in conversations with parents, with spouses and in preparing for job interviews.” The team at Cogito is already using an AI application internally to coach and advise on everyday employee interactions, but the CEO is quick to acknowledge that they aren’t, “Quite yet sure if the general population is ready for this.”

Joey Coleman: Not quite sure if the population is ready for this? Yeah, I don’t even think we’re close to ready for any of this, Dan. But I think at the end of the day it’s coming whether we like it or not. And so the question needs to shift, I believe from a place of are we ready for this to happen? To, what are we going to do when this happens? Because it’s no longer a question of if, it’s just a question of when.

[Book Report] Find Encouragement and Inspiration as a Self Reliant Entrepreneur

Joey Coleman: 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: In 1841 Ralph Waldo Emerson, writer, speaker, and father of the Transcendentalist Movement wrote the following. “Is it so bad then to be misunderstood? Pythagoreous was misunderstood and Socrates and Jesus and Luther and Copernicus and Galileo and Newton and every pure and why spirit that ever took flesh. To be great is to be misunderstood.”

Dan Gingiss: Have I stumbled into the wrong show? This is an interesting way to start things off. I don’t think we’ve ever opened a segment here on the Experience This Show with a philosophical quote, let alone one from the 1800s.

Joey Coleman: I think we have Dan and I appreciate you and our loyal listeners for humoring me. But I thought this quote was interesting for two reasons. First, I think it describes most people working in customer experience today. I think we’re frequently misunderstood by our coworkers and peers and colleagues, and yet I think that’s great. Customer experience while familiar to all of us is still a pretty evolving discipline in the corporate setting. But second, while I’ve heard that quote I shared before I came across it recently while working my way through a book that my good friend John Jantsch wrote. The book is called The Self-Reliant Entrepreneur: 366 Daily Meditations to Feed Your Soul and Grow Your Business. Now, you may be familiar with John’s Duct Tape Marketing series of books, which are fantastic by the way. Especially Duct Tape Marketing and The Referral Engine.

Joey Coleman: But his newest book is a bit of a deviation in terms of topic and format. And so I wanted to discuss it in this segment of what are you reading?

Dan Gingiss: Okay, I’ll bite. How is it different from his other books?

Joey Coleman: Well, the self-reliant entrepreneur is more akin to a workbook than a typical business book, but the overall goal is pretty similar. It’s meant to inspire, to encourage, to provoke, to educate. Each day of the year receives its own entry, which includes inspirational writing from a transcendentalist movement writer, basically enough to get you thinking, pondering. And then each day’s entry concludes with a challenge question, asking you to apply the thinking from that day’s entry to your own life. Now, what does this have to do with customer experience? You might be wondering. Well, to be honest, many people who work in customer experience are either entrepreneurs or within their own organization, they play a entrepreneurial role leading the change to create organizational change.

Joey Coleman: Being an entrepreneur or even entrepreneurial can be quite difficult at times and frankly can feel pretty lonely. The book with its powerful self-reliance message, I think could be pretty useful to folks in those positions.

Dan Gingiss: But based on the way you describe the book, you don’t need to be an entrepreneur to get value it seems. Purchasing a copy to read the incredible text and make time to answer the questions at the end of the day’s entry could provide some fantastic introspection for anyone.

Joey Coleman: Yeah, I think it could Dan, and that’s again why I was excited to talk about the book a little bit. I think there’s something for everybody in John’s book, The self-reliant entrepreneur. You should definitely consider picking up a copy on Amazon at Barnes & Noble or your local Indie bookstore. In passing I’ll share another quote from the book that I think describes a mantra that all CX professionals can follow. “Reason of course, keeps us out in jail, prudently employed and modestly goal oriented, but achieving the impossible, implausible or heaven forbid, unconventional, better way of doing something requires setting unreasonable ambitions buttressed with unreasonable actions. In fact, progress depends on it. The only truly unreasonable act is to believe that everything is okay as it is.” Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw put it this way, “The reasonable man adapts himself to the world. The unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man. Today pledge to free yourself from the limitations of reason and give yourself permission to dream of things no reasonable person could.”

[Start the Conversation] Avtex: Leveraging Data to Personalize Experiences

Joey Coleman: Sometimes all it takes is a single question to get your company thinking about an improved customer experience. Here’s an idea for how you can start the conversation.

Joey Coleman: This week, start the conversation topic is, leveraging data to personalize experiences. Customer data can be used for many purposes, including tracking interactions, charting transactions, and managing marketing outreach. Data gathered during customer interactions can also be used to personalize future experiences which often foster a deeper relationship with the customer.

Dan Gingiss: Here are three ways data can be used to personalize interactions. One, using portal interaction data to automatically surface support content that better meets the customer’s needs and historical approach to seeking resolutions. Two, streamlining contact center interactions by comparing the customer’s phone number or IP address against past interaction reports. Three, using trend data to identify common pain points and eliminating them or creating specialized journeys for individual customer segments.

Joey Coleman: We talked a lot on the show, Dan, about the power of personalization. And I think this has been proven time and time again. I know as a consumer when I call in to a call center and because I’m calling from my cell phone number, they recognize that and they answer the phone and call me by name and immediately get to anticipate what I might be calling about. Like for example, when I call Delta and they recognize me and they say, “Oh, Mr. Coleman, are you calling about your flight tomorrow to LaGuardia?” It just speeds the conversation. It makes me feel like I matter. It makes me feel like they actually care about my business. And so I think every business should spend more time thinking about creative ways to personalize their interactions.

Dan Gingiss: For sure. I mean, as consumers or even as a business’s clients, we know that the companies we do business with have data on us, so you might as well use it.

Joey Coleman: Absolutely.

Dan Gingiss: And use it to our benefit. And now for this week’s question about leveraging data to personalize experiences, what customer data are we tracking and are we effectively using it to drive better experiences? We encourage you to start the conversation within your own organization and then continue it with Avtex at experienceconversations.com. That website again is experienceconversations.com.

[Love It, Can’t Stand It] What Happens When One Customer’s Experience is Impacted by Another Customer’s Behavior

Joey Coleman: Sometimes the customer experience is amazing and sometimes we just want to cry. Get ready for the roller coaster ride in this edition of, I love it, I can’t stand it.

Joey Coleman: I was thinking about something the other day while I was flying, Dan.

Dan Gingiss: Congratulations Joey.

Joey Coleman: Oh, I set myself up for that one, didn’t I? Didn’t I? Nice. Oh, well actually what I was thinking about was how on an airplane, one customer’s experience can be dramatically impacted by another customer’s behavior. And when that happens, the affected customer associates that experience not only with the other customer who quote unquote, caused it, but it also spins off onto the airline for better or for worse. And this got me thinking that it would be interesting to explore all the ways someone’s experience on an airplane could be dramatically impacted by the other customers. In short, how one company’s customer experience could be completely out of their control and what a company could do to monitor and adjust these feelings as need be if another customer infringes on the experience they’re trying to create.

Dan Gingiss: I’m guessing there might’ve been an incident on this plane that triggered this idea.

Joey Coleman: There was, but to be honest, it didn’t happen to me personally. I was on the plane thinking about a story a friend had told me, who this happened to them. They spend a lot of time on planes. They’re professional speakers as well. And at the risk of grossing anyone out, I will share this story, but I would encourage you folks, please stop eating or drinking if you’re doing either of those things right now while you’re listening to this show because you’re probably not going to like this story.

Dan Gingiss: Okay. Putting the coffee cup down. I’m getting a little nervous here Joey.

Joey Coleman: Yeah, let’s, let’s not have a spit take. And this is pretty intense. Okay, here it goes. My friend was flying in first-class here in the United States and noticed that a gentleman across the aisle and a row ahead of her had taken off his shoes while they were in mid flight. He then proceeded to take off his socks and just when my friend thought it could get no worse, the other passenger started clipping his toenails.

Dan Gingiss: Oh, come on.

Joey Coleman: I swear it’s a true story, it was terrible for everyone involved because not only were the toenails being clipped, but it’s not like they were being clipped onto a paper towel, they weren’t just being clipped onto the floor and onto the other people. And I don’t know how it works for you all, but sometimes when you cut a toenail, it doesn’t just gently fall right below the toe, it shoots off. There literally were toenails shooting across first-class.

Dan Gingiss: Oh, thank you for making me put that coffee down.

Joey Coleman: I know, right?

Dan Gingiss: I’m absolutely disgusted right now.

Joey Coleman: And this is why I thought my friend was lamenting that the flight attendants didn’t do anything about it. And they also commented on the fact that given this airline’s reputation for having maybe not the best attention to detail, that would those toenails be picked up by the cleaning crew or could it be several flights later and someone would still be finding the biological matter of a passenger who flew several flights before.

Dan Gingiss: Okay. I’m kind of in shock. Let’s change the subject.

Joey Coleman: Fair enough. Fair enough. Okay. Here’s the thing, and again, apologies to any of the listeners that were as disturbed and disgusted by that story as much as Dan and I were. But let’s change gears a little bit, and no pun intended, pull this back to 35,000 feet. I’d like to talk about all the things that can happen on a plane, stemming from one customer’s behavior, impacting another customer’s behavior. And I think what we can show here is how this impact can be positive or negative. And as a result, I thought it might be fun to talk about some of the things we love and can’t stand. So Dan, why don’t you kick us off?

Dan Gingiss: Good. I want to go first.

Joey Coleman: All right?

Dan Gingiss: I cannot stand it when people bring smelly food onto a plane because sometimes it’s great and it smells like nice French fries and sometimes it’s a little fancier of a meal or a little spicy or what have you. And it permeates the entire plane.

Joey Coleman: Yeah, it really does. And if you don’t like that particular type of cuisine, if you like that type of cuisine, it’s usually fine.

Dan Gingiss: Well no, because then you’re hungry and you really want it.

Joey Coleman: But fair enough, fair enough. But if you don’t like that type of cuisine, it can get really ugly really fast.

Dan Gingiss: It’s bad.

Joey Coleman: The one that is showing up pretty much every time I fly now that is just ridiculous, is when passengers are playing games or watching videos on their phone and they’ve decided not to wear headphones. Because they’re like, I’m sure you want to hear the cards sliding across as I play solitaire. The little… Honestly?

Dan Gingiss: I kind of like that sound.

Joey Coleman: Oh my gosh, you like it?

Dan Gingiss: Only when I’m playing.

Joey Coleman: You like it at the beginning. But after two hours of a flight… The other day I finally was, “I can’t handle it anymore.” And I actually leaned forward and said to the person, “You do realize that this entire section can hear you’re playing solitaire, right.” And the person was like, “Oh no, sorry.” And I’m like, “How did you not know? Are you so numb and so unaware of your own behaviors?” Okay. I’m getting worked up.

Dan Gingiss: Speaking of which, I cannot stand it when there’s someone on the plane that believes that he is the most interesting man in the world and is going to talk loudly and share his knowledge with us for pretty much the entire flight.

Joey Coleman: Yeah, and I love the gender specificity of that statement because it’s always a guy. It’s never a woman pontificating about the deals she’s closing and all the promotion she’s going to get. No, it’s some dude just harassing the person next to him. Totally agree. It’s ridiculous. One that I think I’ve observed people doing lately on flights is watching their favorite news channel, which is often fairly sensationalized in an age where news is a negative trigger for many people. I’ve actually seen the energetic shift when somebody flips on a news channel in front of them that clearly isn’t the news channel preference of the person sitting next to them and suddenly they realize they might be on opposite ends of the spectrum.

Dan Gingiss: Yes, and I’m not going to go back to your opening story because I’m still disgusted. But I have also seen people perform other personal grooming activities on a plane. Flossing teeth, putting on deodorant, that sort of thing.

Joey Coleman: Yeah. the putting on deodorant while sitting in the chair that that one’s, it’s rare, but when it happens, I’m just like, “How is this happening? Is somebody filming this? Are we in an episode of the Twilight zone or funniest home videos because I’m confused.”

Dan Gingiss: Yeah. There’s a bathroom on the plane for a reason.

Joey Coleman: Yeah. I’ll say the last thing. Let’s do one more that we can’t stand. The last one is one that I’m personally sensitive to because I have a six year old and a three and a half year old. It’s when the person sitting next to us on the plane is watching clearly non age appropriate content when they have a child or children sitting next to them. Now thankfully when I fly with my kids we take up a row, so it’s not really an issue. But I have seen unaccompanied minors flying next to again, mostly guys who decided that they want to watch something like John Wick 3, which is an incredibly violent movie sitting next to two six-year-old twins and I’m thinking you do realize that they see the screen, right?

Dan Gingiss: Although to be fair, I’m going to push back on this one because you could flip the script and say that to that guy, the problem is the thing he can’t stand is having to sit next to two six-year-olds, right? Because now have to dictate what he gets to watch.

Joey Coleman: Fair enough, fair enough. But also when you get on the plane and there are 50 movies to choose from, I think it’s okay to say, “Look, I don’t care if you watch something that’s maybe a little more adult in its nature, but it doesn’t have to be pushing the adult with a capital A, boundaries.”

Dan Gingiss: True.

Joey Coleman: All right, so that’s enough bad news. What about the impact of positive experiences? What are some of the things you love, Dan?

Dan Gingiss: Well, I appreciate it when the person on the window seat or the aisle seat understands that the person in the middle is really uncomfortable and allows them to have the armrests or at least most of the armrests rather than trying to fight them for it and make their experience even more miserable.

Joey Coleman: Oh, yes. We have talked about this before on the show when we talked about the changes that are coming to the middle seat. Yes. The rule is the person in the middle seat gets both armrests. I also really like it when people don’t put their seats all the way back or sometime, the best ones don’t put them back at all. It’s so ridiculous when I’ll be sitting on my laptop and next thing I know either the laptop is being jammed into my chest or it’s flipping off the table because the person in front of me has decided to throw their seat back with careless abandon, not even… I don’t know, if you’re going to put it back, at least go back slow, but just throw it back like, “Hey, don’t mind me while I sit in your lap?”

Dan Gingiss: Yeah, I think the sounds like you’re taking an, I can’t stand it and just flipping it into an I love it. Making it negative.

Joey Coleman: That’s kind of what happened right there. That’s true. That’s true.

Dan Gingiss: Tell us about your biggest mistake in business. Well, my biggest mistake is that I’m just too good at what I do.

Joey Coleman: It’s called taking a negative and turning it into a positive, Dan.

Dan Gingiss: But actually I believe that the airplane should just stop making the seats go back.

Joey Coleman: Agreed. 100%

Dan Gingiss: Like today with the amount of leg room there is, it’s not necessary to go back even three or four inches, just to stop it. Don’t make it [.

Joey Coleman: 100%.

Dan Gingiss: But I also appreciate… I love sitting on the aisle because I get a little extra leg room and can put the legs out into the aisle, et cetera. But when somebody wants to get up, I always stand up so that it’s easier for them to get out.

Joey Coleman: Of course it’s because you’re a decent human being.

Dan Gingiss: Yes. And I like it when people do that to me versus me having to… That whole dance of trying to climb over someone and not touch them or their things. Is just so uncomfortable and all they have to do is stand up and it would eliminate that.

Joey Coleman: It really would. Another thing I love is when passengers decide to follow the rules and use the storage above their seats, only after they’ve used the storage under the seat in front of them. It never ceases to amaze me when you get on the plane. And lots of times I’m doing quick turns and quick connections. So I’ve got my carry-on backpack as well as my small carry-on bag and I get on the plane and the cabin space above or the luggage space above is taken by tiny purses and tiny backpacks and little things where I’m like, “Seriously, that could go under the seat.” So I love it when people do that.

Dan Gingiss: I do too. And I also appreciate when somebody takes the time to read their seatmates body language. And what I mean by that is, do they want to talk and be spoken to or do they just want to read and work quietly and watch a movie? It’s oftentimes people will act the way they want to act, not how the receiving person wants them to.

Joey Coleman: Yes, the pro tip on that folks. Get the headphones out of your bag immediately upon being seated. Put those in if you want to avoid the conversations. Well, I think what’s interesting here is, all of these examples are about the airlines, but let’s not get caught up in thinking that this is only an airline problem. Many of our listeners have interactions where they can have more than one customer in their place of business at the same time, restaurants, movie theaters, doctor’s offices, and someone who is a customer that’s not you, could be impacting or influencing your experience. And so I think there’s an opportunity for businesses to think a little more strategically about what kind of behaviors happen within their place of business from other customers.

Dan Gingiss: Yeah, I agree. And I think this is also true in the B2B world too. Is that we do business with companies and sometimes those companies annoy us in how their employees behave. Maybe they email us too often. Maybe the salesperson is calling me too often and I’ve asked him to stop or that I only want to speak to him once a week or whatever it is. You have to be able to read the other people in your environment and act accordingly.

Joey Coleman: Interestingly enough, it’s pretty easy to see how the behavior of another customer could dramatically impact your customer experience for better or for worse. What can a company do about it? Well, one option would be to adopt a code of conduct for your customers. Set clear expectations on what’s allowed and not allowed, and then be ready to celebrate or enforce the code as need be. We’re seeing this more and more with youth sporting events, for example, that have specific rules around parental behavior as opposed to child behavior.

Joey Coleman: Which is so needed, so needed. And I think it’s just a matter of time before we actually see this start to show up more in customer environments like restaurants and retail establishments and modes of transportation. Ask yourself this, if your customers are in the same place at the same time, how are you making sure that they enjoy the experience without infringing on another customer’s enjoyment?

Joey Coleman: Wow, thanks for joining us for another episode of Experience This.

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

Joey Coleman: Experience-

Dan Gingiss: This.

Episode 77 : Using Customization To Create Lifelong Loyalty

Join us as we discuss: The easiest return ever, a personalized image strategy, and how to dig deep into your personal space and share it with the world.

Cooks, Photographers, and Ditchers – Oh My!

[This Just Happened] How to Turn a Negative Experience into a Lifelong Customer

Many people look forward to Amazon Prime Day, scouting for goods that have been placed on a wishlist and then getting ready to finally purchase the coveted item. After eagerly anticipating Prime Day, Dan purchased some new pots and pans, waited for them to arrive, and finally received them – only to discover that one of the pots had a shattered lid.

First, he tried to call the manufacturer to return the set. Sadly, Dan couldn’t find the name of the company anywhere! Next, he called Amazon. When even Amazon couldn’t find the manufacturer of the set, without hesitation they accepted responsibility for the shattered lid and refunded the purchase price. No questions asked, no receipt necessary.!

It was incredible because she literally turned me, in a few moments, from being kind of irritated at this purchase, to once again believing that they [Amazon] are the greatest company on this planet.

Dan Gingiss, co-host of Experience This! Show podcast

When you give your customer the benefit of the doubt (like Amazon did with Dan) you not only honor their investment in doing business with your company, but you quickly neutralize a potentially negative experience. Sometimes, treating a customer this way can actually convert them from disgruntled purchaser to lifelong advocate.

Instead of focusing on the lost dollars that stem from one negative experience, consider the lifetime value of the customer and how taking the time to treat them right early on has the potential to build a long term customer relationship. When you treat your customers as friends, the benefits of that relationship will continue to pay dividends for years to come.

[Dissecting the Experience] Customizing and Personalizing Imagery To Create Connection

While scrolling through his Twitter feed, Dan, came across a fascinating thread/story shared by Rex Sorgatz. Rex logged into his Chase Bank account one day and was greeted by a picture of his neighborhood on the screen. Upon further investigation, Rex discovered that Chase actually commissioned photographers to take images in the 39 states where they have customers. The photographers captured images for each specific zip codes – including both day and night versions. To see this in action, visit the Chase website here. By changing the zip code and “day” or “night” tag, you can view a variety of custom images.

Interestingly enough, the images Chase uses aren’t the famous, iconic images one could expect to see on a large bank’s website. Instead, Chase opted to include images from local neighborhoods, small parks, and even a train. The images were curated to create a sense of belonging, connection, and personalization that a client would find surprising and engaging for their online bank account.

During his research, Rex discovered a few guidelines the bank used when sourcing and creating the images:

By creating these personalized and customized images, Chase managed to make their clients feel more connected – building trust and familiarity in what could have been an otherwise very cold and impersonal experience.

[Start the Conversation] Avtex: Gauging CX Effectiveness: KPIs that Matter

When attempting to gauge the effectiveness of a CX program, some leaders tend to focus on specific metrics, including sales numbers or customer acquisitions. Others rely on logistics-based metrics such as issue resolution times or call volume. Customer-focused metrics however, such as the Customer Effort Score (CES), Net Promoter Score (NPS), and Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT) actually serve as better indicators of the effectiveness of a CX program.

Here are three things to consider when gauging CX effectiveness:

  1. Not all metrics are created equal; you have to use the ones that work for your business.
  2. Ensure both quantitative and qualitative analysis of the customer experience.
  3. CX should lead to better business results, so make sure you can draw a clear connection.

Start the conversation with this question: Are we focused on the right metrics when determining the success of our CX programs?

To continue the conversation, go to: experienceconversations.com.

[Book Report] Using a Personal Brand to Create Consistency and Connection

Everyday, we are inundated with branding messages and in the process, given the opportunity to intentionally select our representative brands. Even with the most basic of decisions – from the name we use to the way we present ourselves on social media – personal branding forms an identity and familiarity for customers and colleagues alike. In the book Ditch the Act: Reveal the Surprising Power of the Real You for Greater Success, by Leonard Kim and Ryan Foland, the authors explain that it’s crucial for everyone to create a vulnerable, honest, personal brand.

A personal brand helps you form deeper connections with people online and offline. And it’s able to move you ahead in your career, whether that’s an internal promotion at your company, whether it’s paving the way up to C-suite, getting sought out by a competing company for better pay, landing the job of your dreams, or just making sure that your career becomes recession-proof.

Ryan Foland, personal branding experience and co-author of Ditch the Act

If you are looking for a book that will help you grasp the value and advantages of developing your personal brand with intentionality, pick up a copy of Ditch the Act.

Links We Referenced

Host Contact Information

Tweet Dan Gingiss: @DGingiss

Email Joey: JoeyC@JoeyColeman.com

DanGingiss.com

JoeyColeman.com

Subscribe to Experience This on Apple Podcasts

Episode Transcript

Download a transcript of the entire Episode 77 here or read it below:

Dan Gingiss: Welcome to Experience This.

Joey Coleman: 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: Always upbeat and definitely entertaining, customer retention expert, Joey Coleman.

Joey Coleman: And social media expert, Dan Gingiss, serve as your hosts for a weekly dose of positive customer experience.

Dan Gingiss: So hold on to your headphones. It’s time to Experience This.

Joey Coleman: Get ready for another episode of the Experience This Show.

Dan Gingiss: Join us as we discuss the easiest return ever, a personalized image strategy, and how to dig deep into your personal space and share it with the world.

Cooks, photographers, and ditchers, oh my!

[This Just Happened] Pots and Pans

Joey Coleman: 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: So this year on Amazon Prime Day I decided to finally order a new set of pots and pans.

Joey Coleman: Ooh la la! Pots and pans. Treat yourself to something special on Amazon Prime Day.

Dan Gingiss: Well I do like to cook.

Joey Coleman: That’s how Dan rolls, people; he rolls hard. And when this guy’s ready to splurge, we’re looking at pots and pans.

Dan Gingiss: Pots and pans, baby. I do like to cook, and my pots and pans we’re really getting old and ragged. So I picked out a set of pots and pans that I really liked that were on a great sale for Amazon Prime Day, ordered them up, waited my day and a half – or whatever it was – until they arrived-

Joey Coleman: Such a long time.

Dan Gingiss: I know, terrible. And I was so excited to open the box. And it’s like a 10 piece set, so it had two different size frying pans, it had a pot, and then it had, kind of like a double boiler kind of a thing. And there were, I believe, four different glass lids on top of these. Well I’m opening the box and I’m pulling out the pieces, and I see that one of the glass lids is completely shattered – I mean, 1,001 pieces. And so I’m disappointed because that doesn’t happen very often. And my first instinct was actually to call the manufacturer. So I’m looking on the box of this thing, and the box … It’s like the copper pot company, but it’s not even … It’s not even a trademark. I don’t know what brand it is, but meanwhile there’s absolutely no communication method at all. I Google it. I can’t-

Joey Coleman: And why do we think that is? Could it be because they don’t want you to contact them?

Dan Gingiss: It possibly is.

Joey Coleman: Hmm, I wonder.

Dan Gingiss: It possibly is. So I literally cannot find this company, so I called Amazon. Now what do you think, Joey, might have happened then?

Joey Coleman: Well this is a little bit of an unfair question because I have had my own experiences of contacting Amazon about problems, but what I imagine you might have thought would happen is what would happen with a typical company. You would call them and they would say, “Well wait a second, we’re just the store. We’re not the manufacturer. You need to contact the manufacturer. But you know, it also could have broken in delivery. You should probably talk to UPS as well.” It would have been a combination of the blame game of trying to point fingers at everyone else. Or, “Let’s make it so impossible for you to do this that you’re going to just give up.” And what I mean by that is, “Great. So we’re happy to take your return back. We’re just going to need a signed certified letter saying that you received it. We’re going to need three copies of your receipt. We’re going to need to know the name of the driver and what he was wearing, or she was wearing, when they dropped it off. And we’re going to need to know your Social Security number, what town you were born in, and the hospital where you had your first checkup.”

That’s my guess, is what most businesses require.

Dan Gingiss: Well believe it or not, that’s not what happened when I phoned Amazon. In fact, what happened was the woman did not know how to get in touch with the manufacturer either.

Joey Coleman: Oh my goodness. You know it’s bad when Amazon, the king of the retail world online, can’t get in touch with the manufacturer.

Dan Gingiss: Exactly. So what did she do? She said, “You know what? I am going to refund your purchase in its entirety. And why don’t you just keep the pots and pans?” And I thought to myself (a) that’s amazing (b) she just made my problem go away because, all of a sudden, I didn’t really care that I was missing a lid because I got free pots and pans!

Joey Coleman: Free pots and pans!

Dan Gingiss: And so it was incredible because she literally turned me, in a few moments, from being kind of irritated at this purchase, to once again believing that Amazon is the greatest company on this planet.

Joey Coleman: Yeah. What never ceases to amaze me … And Amazon is beautiful at this. You know? We are big fans in our household as well. We do a lot of business with Amazon. They are probably dollar-over-dollar the single biggest business that we buy from. What Amazon realized very early on in the process was that long-term customer relationships matter, and they would much rather sacrifice a small amount of profit today to gain your loyalty long term. They are brilliant at neutralizing negative experiences. They are brilliant at eliminating any type of hesitation or negative feeling you might have about them. I mean, at the end of the day the negative feeling was probably more directed at the manufacturer and/or the shipper. Because our presumption is it either got broken in route or it was broken when it was packaged. It wasn’t broken by Amazon. But what do they do? It’s not their fault but they make it their problem, and then they solve the problem.

Dan Gingiss: Absolutely. And I couldn’t be mad at the company because I couldn’t find the company.

Joey Coleman: You couldn’t find the company. Exactly.

Dan Gingiss: But, yeah. I mean, that is the way you handle a customer problem. And Joey’s right that, sure, they had to eat some money … Although my guess is they have a process to bill it back to the manufacturer. But either way they had to eat something, but it kept me a very happy customer that is going to come back and back.

And this reminds me of another story. When we had our first child somebody sent us flowers in the hospital from a really great company called ProFlowers, which is my personal favorite place to order flowers as well. And ProFlowers ships of flowers in a long box, and they always include a free vase so you get a glass vase with every shipment. And I opened the box of flowers and, maybe this is just a habit-

Joey Coleman: Let me guess: the vase was broken.

Dan Gingiss: The vase was shattered. Absolutely.

Joey Coleman: You know? This couldn’t be recipient error, at any point in this story, could it? This is one of those where Dan’s opening the box and he’s going, “There it is. Whoop … butterfingers.” It falls off his hand, “Oh, man! It arrived broken. How did that happen?”

Dan Gingiss: No, this is not user error, but thanks for suggesting that.

And I pulled out the flowers. And honestly I didn’t care about the vase because we’d used ProFlowers enough times that I had, like, 10 of them at home. But I decided to call them because as a customer experience guy, I thought they should know that the flowers arrived with a broken vase.

Joey Coleman: Healing the world of customer experience, one call at a time. Thank goodness.

Dan Gingiss: Exactly. I can tell you, I would have wanted to know that as business owner.

Joey Coleman: Yes, of course.

Dan Gingiss: And so I called up and it was actually a hilarious conversation. The woman is like, “Mr. Gingiss, step away from the flowers.”

And I’m like, “No, it’s okay. It’s okay. I’ve safely removed them.”

She’s like, “No, I don’t want you to get cut. I want you to throw the whole thing out and we’re going to send you new flowers.”

And I said, “Seriously, it’s all right. I pulled out the flowers and I just wanted you to know. I’m not asking you for anything.”

Well PS, the conversation goes back and forth. And essentially what I got her to do was send me replacement flowers two weeks later when the first ones were dead. And she more than happily obliged, which I thought was terrific.

But again in that story too, what I loved about it was, number one, she’s focused on the issue at hand which is it’s a potentially dangerous situation if you’re sitting among glass shards, and she doesn’t want the company to be responsible for that so she’s concerned for my safety; and then secondly, it’s not even a question, it’s, “Either we’re going to refund your money or we’re going to resend you the product again,” and it doesn’t … They don’t ask you 900 questions to make sure you’re not lying about it or whatever it is. It’s just their nature. Their initial instinct is to fix the problem. And I think that is really the hallmark of a great customer service interaction.

Joey Coleman: Isn’t it amazing when somebody that we’ve decided to do business with, we’ve decided to give our hard earned cash over to, decides to give us the benefit of the doubt, decides to see us as upstanding citizens? Which is a lot easier to do when you’re looking at Dan Gingiss than when you’re looking at Joey Coleman. But nonetheless, it is impressive. Let me ask two clarifying questions, Dan. So how far out are we from Prime Day now? How many months has it been, give or take?

Dan Gingiss: As we’re recording right now it’s about, I think, two months.

Joey Coleman: It’s about two months. And how long since you received those ProFlowers flowers?

Dan Gingiss: That is, like, 13 years ago.

Joey Coleman: 13 years ago, yeah. So here’s the point I wanted to make with that. If you create a remarkable experience that catches your customer off guard, that leaves your customer going, “That was easy. That was painless,” they will keep telling the story. When you go above and beyond when a customer has a problem, they will love you even more – despite the fact that something had gone wrong, despite the fact that there was a negative experience. So folks, here’s the key takeaway. Stop worrying about today’s dollars. Start worrying about the lifetime value dollars. Stop worrying about, “What are we going to do with this negative experience?” And start thinking about, “How am I going to build a long term customer relationship?” The secret here is to just treat your customers as if they were your friends. Give them the benefit of the doubt. Help them out. Do for them what you wish would be done for you, and everything else will take care of itself.

Dan Gingiss: And remember: Without customers, we don’t have a business.

Sometimes a remarkable experience deserves deeper investigation.

[Dissecting the Experience] Personalized Imagery

Joey Coleman: 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: So I found this story on Twitter. You see, Joey, Twitter does have its advantages.

Joey Coleman: You know? You say that time and time and time again. I’m not doing the tweeting. I’m not getting on the Twitters. That’s not going to happen.

Dan Gingiss: Well believe it or not, I’ve given up trying to get you to.

Joey Coleman: Folks, that’s not true. That’s not true. You need to know this. So there’s the behind-the-scenes.

About once a month Dan will message me – maybe it’s more like once every two or three months – and he’ll say something like, “Hey, by the way. See you haven’t posted in awhile. If you wanted to go on today and post …”

And I’m just like, “Maybe or maybe not.”

Dan Gingiss: So if you want to talk to us about the show on Twitter …

Joey Coleman: Only talk to Dan. You can tag me. And every once in awhile, like once a year, I’ll come in and like a comment. But just, Dan is the social media go-to on the Experience This Show.

Dan Gingiss: That’s @DGingiss, D-G-I-N-G-I-S-S.

Anyway, Twitter user, Rex Sorgatz … That’s a great name.

Joey Coleman: It is a great name. So he posted a series of 18 consecutive tweets where, well, he kind of dissected the experience like we do here on this show. And the experience he was looking at was logging into his bank’s website. Now he spent way too much time on this, but it was really interesting to see the results. So let me set this up for you. So his first tweet is about how he logged into his Chase bank account, and he noticed that the background photo was of his neighborhood. And he’s like, “Whoa, that’s kind of interesting.” So it caused him to wonder, “Does everybody see this photo?” And he then says, “This thread is an investigation into that question. Let’s call it Bank Stock Photo Regionalization.”

Now the long and short of it is he first found that in the URL of the landing page there was a zip code, his zip code. And so he changed the zip code to … I believe he went for (singing) 90210, and he saw that the picture changed to one in California. He looked at LA, San Francisco, San Diego, and he noticed that all of the images were of neighborhoods, not of well known locations. So when you went to San Francisco, you weren’t seeing the Golden Gate Bridge, you were seeing a neighborhood. And when you went to Chicago, my hometown, you see a street corner underneath an L train. You know? You don’t see the Sears or Willis Tower or Navy Pier or anything like that.

He then noticed that in the URL there was also the word “day,” and so he went in and changed the word “day” to “night” and saw a whole new set of images. And so he realized that Chase was also taking into account when you came to this landing page, and showing you a different neighborhood photo either in the daytime or at night.

So four or five tweets in, he says, “Oh, here’s a glitch.” He found out that Alaska, Hawaii, and New England all have the same photo during the day, but a different photo at night, which is kind of funny.

Those places totally look the same during the day. Totally.

Dan Gingiss: Totally. Exactly.

Now, some states … Also entire states had the same photos – Minnesota, Wisconsin, Indiana, Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, Oklahoma. Basically the entire Midwest.

Joey Coleman: I take this as a personal affront. As a native Iowan, when I typed in my parents’ zip code – which is in Northwestern Iowa – I saw a picture of a windmill. Which I know exists but it exists in Southeastern Iowa, not Northwestern Iowa. So I recognized it. It’s a popular scene. It’s just not associated with the zip code.

Dan Gingiss: Exactly. So we’re going to include a link in the show notes so that you can go play around with this yourself. Or if you’re so inclined, you can go to bitly.com/ capital E, capital T, capital C-H-A-S-E. So that’s ETChase, ET being Experience This. But we’ll include that in the show notes and you can go play around.

And the last thing that he figured out was that these were not stock photos and that Chase had actually commissioned the photographers. And I have no idea how he did this, but he got ahold of the creative brief that Chase actually used. And it’s really interesting. It talks about particular brand attributes. So their personality’s about being trustworthy, and welcoming, and progressive, and contemporary. And the visuals are supposed to be authentic, and optimistic, and engaging. And they talk about the photography style.

And then there’s a list of places to avoid, which I thought was also really interesting. They didn’t want pictures of memorials, or universities, or religious buildings, or sports stadiums. And again I think the whole idea is that you’re not supposed to know the exact place where this is being taken, that it’s intentionally not the most popular places.

And then finally somebody else after seeing this long Twitter … not a rant, but a set of-

Joey Coleman: Exposé?

Dan Gingiss: Exposé … actually then created a map listing the seven regional default photos, and then the 39 different day and night pictures – there’s 39 days and 39 nights – and put them on a map so that you know, just by looking at the map, what picture you’re going to see.

Joey Coleman: That’s a lot of free time.

Dan Gingiss: It is a lot of free time.

Joey Coleman: That feels like a lot of free time.

Well here’s the thing. I will say, first of all, I actually … Ladies and gentlemen, brace yourselves: I see the benefit of something Dan found on Twitter.

Dan Gingiss: Whoo-hoo!

Joey Coleman: Because this is an interesting story, right? This is a great example of a company thinking about customization to match their personalization. Here’s what I mean by that. I think of customization and personalization as being two different things. Personalization is using the person’s name, using the individual identifiers about them. Customization is using identifiers and themes and interactions that are about a smaller segment of your group, or they identify where your customer is in the journey. So what’s interesting is when I type in the old zip code for where I used to live in Washington, D.C., as Dan alluded to, I was expecting – before knowing these were the rules – that I would see a picture of the Washington Monument, or the Lincoln Memorial, or the White House, or the Capitol, or some of the iconic imagery of Washington, D.C.

But I didn’t live on the mall next to the monuments. I lived in the neighborhood in Northwestern D.C. And what I actually got a picture of was the local park. And I know it’s the local park because I’d been to that park many times. Now it’s not a park that anyone in the world would know if you didn’t live in that neighborhood. And so I think what this does is by putting the image behind the login screen is it gives a very subconscious connection and familiarity. And at the end of the day, all humans are looking to feel connection. They’re looking to feel familiarity. And if a large bank like Chase can do this, at scale, that changes the game for how people think about their banking relationships.

Dan Gingiss: Yeah, I totally agree. And I think especially in this industry, if you think about it, all of the major banks are based in New York. And so they all have sort of the New York skyline as their background. You also probably have recognized over time that almost every bank uses blue as its main color. It’s sort of a financial color, right? So it becomes harder to stand out. And I think that, from a marketing perspective, this is great for Chase because it does make them unique. And when you get to that website and you see this beautiful image as a background, that’s not what you necessarily expect from a financial institution. It kind of reminds you that you are banking with somebody different. I think that was one of the things that I really liked. And, obviously, this guy who does have a lot of time on his hands, was clearly fascinated by it. But I love that he was able to dig all this up so that we can understand what went into it.

Joey Coleman: I think it’d be interesting, too, to look at the footprint of Chase Bank geographically. I wonder if they don’t have as big of a presence in the Midwest, and that’s why there’s more … You know? It might be that when they were putting together the creative brief … Because I want to give them the benefit of the doubt; this is a really interesting and fun idea. It might have been that they don’t have branches, or they don’t have a lot of customers, in Alaska and Hawaii, for example. So it was easier for them to do that.

What I’d be curious about, do you know, Dan, is it basing the zip code off of where you’re logging in from or the zip code on your account? So for example if I’m traveling would it show me, if I was logging into my Chase account from a hotel in Florida, pictures of Florida? Or would it show the pictures from my home account in Colorado? That’d be interesting to figure out too.

Dan Gingiss: Yeah. I’m not sure. I would guess that it’s probably based on the location of your computer, and then there’s a cookie, and you would get that same one over and over again. But I’m not entirely sure how it works.

Joey Coleman: That would be kind of an interesting way. So the reason I asked this question, folks, is at the end of the day, every experience you create, you can enhance it. You can plus it. You can take it to the next level. So maybe the first pass, we’d do these personalized images based on your region. Maybe the next pass is to tie it to where you are; because in an increasingly mobile society, people are logging in from all over. And it’d be kind of interesting if it was identifying that I was in a completely different state when I was accessing my bank account.

Dan Gingiss: Yeah. And I mean obviously this could get scary, right? Because Google Earth has basically photos of every house, and whatever, and in theory you could-

Joey Coleman: Please don’t show me my house when I log into the bank account; I would really rather you not. So, thanks, don’t share those photos with them, Google.

Dan Gingiss: Exactly. The takeaway here is that personalization and customization can help customers feel closer to the brand. It makes them feel that you’re listening to them, and that you know them, and it builds trust. And really, as one of our mutual friends likes to say, “We are all in the trust business.” And I believe that this is a kind of thing that really any organization can pull off either digitally, or even in your written communications.

[Start the Conversation] Avtex: Gauging CX Effectiveness: KPIs that Matter

Joey Coleman: Sometimes all it takes is a single question to get your company thinking about an improved customer experience. Here’s an idea for how you can start the conversation.

Dan Gingiss: This week’s Start The Conversation topic is Gauging Customer Experience Effectiveness: KPIs that matter. And of course KPIs are key performance indicators.

When attempting to gauge the effectiveness of an experienced program, many leaders focus on specific metrics including sales numbers or customer acquisitions. Others rely on logistics-based metrics such as issue resolution times, or call volume, things in the call center. Now these are important metrics but other numbers are just as critical including things like customer effort score or CES, net promoter score or NPS, and customer satisfaction or C-SAT. These customer-focused metrics will likely reveal more about the effectiveness of a CX program than the financial or operational ones.

Joey Coleman: Here are four things to consider when gauging customer experience effectiveness:

Number one – not all metrics are created equal. You have to use the ones that work for your business.

Number two – ensure both quantitative and qualitative analysis of the customer experience.

Number three – customer experience should lead to better business results. So make sure you can draw a clear connection.

And number four – if you’re going to use all of these KPIs, be careful that you don’t walk yourself into an acronym nightmare where your staff doesn’t understand what you’re actually talking about when you say CES, NPS, C-SAT or KPI.

Dan Gingiss: Exactly. And to put it in another way I remember, when I was in corporate America, that I got report overload all the time. You open up your email and there’s all these reports. And everybody wants to make a report because they feel like by having a report it somehow justifies what they’re doing to management. But the thing is is that it doesn’t end with just the report of the numbers. It’s about analyzing and understanding what the numbers mean, and taking action off of them. And so I always found that it was more important to look for action-oriented data, rather than just a report that is able to say, “Hey, this is great.”

Joey Coleman: And now for this week’s question about gauging customer experience effectiveness: Are we focused on the right metrics when determining the success of our CX programs?

We encourage you to start the conversation within your own organization and then continue it with AVTECH at experienceconversations.com. Remember, go to experienceconversations.com.

[Book Report] Ditch the Act

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?

Dan Gingiss: So I found a book that I thought would really lead to an interesting conversation in our What Are You Reading segment. Now I met Ryan Foland first at Social Media Marketing World earlier this year and then again at Inbound where we were both speakers. He’s a great guy. He is of the red haired variety, and so he loves to refer to himself as a ginger.

Joey Coleman: I love that the bald the guy is commenting on the ginger.

Dan Gingiss: Well, hey, he calls himself a ginger, right?

But he’s a terrific guy. He’s smart. He’s really funny. And, Joey, of course you will love this: he is a ridiculously prolific tweeter. You think I tweet a lot.

Joey Coleman: Oh, that’s why I haven’t come across Ryan yet. Oh sorry, Ryan. I’ll look forward to meeting in person since I’ll never see you on the tweeters.

Dan Gingiss: Yeah, you think I tweet a lot.

Anyway, Ryan is also a coach who helps leaders worldwide on the art of simplifying spoken and written messaging for greater impact. He’s the inventor of what he calls the 3-1-3 Method, which is a process whereby pitches begin as three sentences, condense into one sentences, and then boil down to three words. And he has a brand new book out with co author Leonard Kim. It’s about building a personal brand and it’s called Ditch the Act: Reveal the Surprising Power of the Real You For Greater Success. so I asked Ryan to tell us a little bit about it.

Ryan Foland: Ditch the Act is a book that I wrote with Leonard Kim. It’s a deep-dive into why and how you should build an authentic personal brand. Now you may be asking yourself, “Why should I build a personal brand?” Let me actually ask you a better question: “Why shouldn’t you build a personal brand?” If you do not want to make deep connections with your employees and your colleagues in the office, then you don’t need to have a personal brand. If you have to reenter the job market in the future, and if you want to spend months – if not years – to land a new job, then don’t worry about having a personal brand either. A personal brand helps you form deeper connections with people online and offline. And it’s able to move you ahead in your career, whether that’s an internal promotion at your company, whether it’s paving the way up to C-suite, getting sought out by a competing company for better pay, landing the job of your dreams, or just making sure that your career becomes recession-proof.

Building a personal brand isn’t limited to one specific type of person. We show you it can work for anyone. Ditch the Act demonstrates how exposing your failures and your weaknesses is an essential element to creating an authentic personal brand. We’ll show you how ditching the act and getting vulnerable is the best way to differentiate and grow your brand, all while cultivating brand loyalty. Ditch the Act will teach you how to bring your intentional personal brand to life.

Here is the deal.

Let me give it to your real.

The key to connection is to learn to reveal.

You see, you are not perfect and neither am I.

And that is the exact reason we can see eye to eye.

Everybody’s different, but we are all the same.

To be perfectly imperfect is how you win the game.

If you only showcase good and do not share the bad.

You will miss connections that you never knew you had.

And that, my friends, is a rap.

Dan Gingiss: Yes, folks, he raps too. He’s even been known to do it on stage during his keynote.

Joey Coleman: I want to see you rap in your next keynote, Dan. Challenge! Gauntlet thrown down, ladies and gentlemen. We will post the video later on experiencethisshow.com.

Dan Gingiss: Hey, I do sing in my keynote every once in a while but rap is probably not happening.

Anyway, the reason I chose this book to talk about on the show is that … Joey, you and I, though we get along famously, have really different strategies for building our own personal brands. And so I was hoping that we might do as Ryan and Leonard say, and Ditch the Act for a few minutes, and talk openly about how we go about our personal branding.

Joey Coleman: Muy Interesante. All right, I’m in. Who’s starting? You or me?

Dan Gingiss: You, sir.

Joey Coleman: Okay. So personal branding is something that I’ve thought a decent amount about for two main reasons. Number one, my career path has been incredibly eclectic. For those of you that know me, or who are loyal listeners, I worked in the intelligence community. I worked in the white house, I was a teacher. I was a criminal defense lawyer. I sold promotional products. I ran an ad agency. Now I’m a full time speaker. And so one of the challenges when you can’t hold a job – I mean, when you change careers as frequently as I do – is that your personal brand is the thread that needs to continue through. And so I’ve made some very conscious decisions about markers throughout my career that I’ve wanted to keep going so that, even if I was doing a different job in a different place or working in a different industry, there were some common threads.

One, that some people may not realize was a very conscious decision on my part, was the fact that I go by the name Joey. Now my legal name is Charles Joseph Coleman III – nice and pretentious sounding. But for the exception of one year – it was an ill fated year, years ago – I’ve always gone by Joey. During that year I went by Joe; it didn’t stick. I went back to Joey. The crazy thing about going by Joey is when you hear the name Joey, you immediately think of one of a small category of people: either a small child under the age of 10, Joey Buttafuoco, Joey Lawrence, or Joey Tribbiani from Friends. I am okay being in the top four Joeys in your mind, and my hope is to elevate to be the number one Joey in your mind. So I think there are some things we can do around personal branding just even by the way we refer to ourselves.

Dan Gingiss: Well you are the number one Joey in my life, Joey.

Joey Coleman: Aw, thanks.

Dan Gingiss: And it’s interesting that you say that because when I was a child I went by Danny. And when I got to college I introduced myself as Danny, and every person I introduced myself then turned around and called me Dan. And so it just kind of happened organically where I became Dan from Danny. And I feel great about that because now that’s the one that I turn around to the most – with my mom being the core exception; she will never stop calling me Danny.

Joey Coleman: Oh I love it. I got to spend more time hanging out with a Mr. and Mrs. Gingiss.

Dan Gingiss: Exactly.

You know? My background has also shaped my personal brand. I came from corporate America and was there for almost 20 years, and spent a decent amount of time at three major brands and had to build a personal brand that worked with those brands as well. Because before I became a full time professional speaker and consultant, I was often speaking on behalf of those brands. So it was Dan Gingiss from Discover, Dan Gingiss from McDonald’s, Dan Gingiss from Humana, and so I had to represent the business brand or the corporate brand at the same time. And certainly some companies are more understanding of personal brand than others. I think the really forward thinking companies get that their employees having personal brands is a good thing for the company, because they get to be known as thought leaders in their own right and then the company gets the halo effect; versus sometimes the other way around where companies believe that you should lead with their own logo. But we all know that people trust and believe and find more credible their friends and their people they interact with in real life in the social world than they do companies.

And so I continued to build my personal brand as a thought leader, particularly in the social media space, because I had to jump into that space having very little experience professionally. I remember the day that I got my Twitter account and I signed up was also the day that I was put in charge of the social media team at Discover. And I was like, “Well I should probably figure this thing out,” and joined Twitter. So however many tens of thousands of tweets later, I’m clearly fully immersed.

Joey Coleman: Nothing like learning on the job.

You know? The interesting thing about that is – and we joke about it a lot on the show – I have made the conscious decision not to invest a lot of time and effort into social media. And Dan and I banter about this regularly as our listeners know, but one of the things that I think is important when you look at your personal brand is to really make it personal. Figure out the things that work for you. There are so many pundits and experts and advisors out there saying, “Well if you want to build your personal brand, you have to have your own website. You have to be prolific on social media. You need your own YouTube channel, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.”

No, not at all. You just need to do you. You need to figure out what is most important to you and what is most in alignment with the brand you’re trying to create. Because let’s be candid: In an increasingly transient economy where people are changing jobs, changing careers maybe a dozen times over a lifetime, if not more, the only thing that’s the same is you. The only thing that carries from one job to the next is you. And so if you’re not taking the time to invest in your personal brand, I promise you the career path is not going to be as fulfilling, as adventurous, as fun, and as results-impacting as it could be if you did focus on your personal brand.

Dan Gingiss: So we recommend to everyone, go out and get the new book from Ryan Foland and Leonard Kim. It’s called Ditch the Act: Reveal the Surprising Power of the Real You For Greater Success. And we can’t wait to see your personal brands blossom.

Joey Coleman: Wow! Thanks for joining us for another episode of Experience This.

Dan Gingiss: 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: 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: Thanks again for your time, and we’ll see you next week for more …

Joey Coleman: Experience …

Dan Gingiss: … This.

Episode 74: Paying Attention to Shifting Behaviors Can Lead to Increased Customer Satisfaction

Join us as we discuss rewriting your message to acknowledge current realities, the pros and cons of sharing your email address, and the perils of always being connected.

Binging, Auto-Adding, and Considering – Oh My!

[This Just Happened] Netflix Nailed It!

Joey and his two sons have a Saturday morning ritual. No matter what time the boys wake up, they all head to the basement (letting mom sleep in) for Saturday morning cartoons! In an effort to shake things up a bit, they recently started watching a show called Nailed It! on Netflix. On the show, home bakers with a poor track record in the kitchen seek redemption and cash by trying to re-creating edible masterpieces. Needless to say, hilarity ensues.

While the episode was certainly entertaining, the most interesting part of the show came at the end, just after the winner was announced. The hostess signed off the current episode by welcoming the viewers to the next episode. This was brilliant as it assumed that Joey and his sons would continue to watch more episodes! With on-demand availability, people are now watching more than one episode in a single sitting. In fact, many people binge-watch shows like Nailed It! Amazingly, Nailed It has acknowledged this behavioral shift and adjusted their programming accordingly.

How are you adjusting your offerings to take into consideration the tectonic shifts that are occurring in customer behavior? Are you considering your content release schedule and what your customers want vs. what’s easiest for you?

Joey Coleman, co-host of ExperienceThis! Show podcast

Sometimes, even if you are not an early adopter or raving fan of these shifting trends, you must realign your message with the present day realities of customer behavior. What are you doing to continuously evolve your offerings so that customers and prospects feel like you are taking their needs, wants, and behaviors into consideration? 

On that note, we want to make sure to take our listeners’ behaviors into consideration! Do you think we should release the entire season of ExperienceThis! Show once a week (like old TV), or all at once (like a Netflix show)? Please take 3 seconds to vote in the poll below and let us know!

Coming Soon
Do you think we should release the entire season of ExperienceThis! Show once a week (like we do currently), or all at once (like an entire season of your favorite TV show being released on Netflix or Amazon)?
Do you think we should release the entire season of ExperienceThis! Show once a week (like we do currently), or all at once (like an entire season of your favorite TV show being released on Netflix or Amazon)?
Do you think we should release the entire season of ExperienceThis! Show once a week (like we do currently), or all at once (like an entire season of your favorite TV show being released on Netflix or Amazon)?

[I Love It, I Can’t Stand It] Email Lists

Most people have a very complex relationship with email. On one hand, it helps us to do business in an increasingly digital age. On the other hand, our email inboxes are becoming more crowded by the minute! How your email is used and even abused by email lists is a topic for recipients and senders alike. When you give your email to someone, what they do with it can vary from actually using it to communicate, to adding you to one of many email distribution lists.

Things We Can’t Stand:

  • When someone we meet at an event adds us to their e-newsletter.
  • When companies share your email with third parties who in turn start marketing to you.
  • When you make a donation, and the cause/non-profit immediately starts emailing you for more donations.
  • When you want to access content on a website, you enter your email, and then a sales person starts reaching out to set up a call so they can pitch you.

Things We Love:

  • When people ask permission to introduce me to someone via email rather than in Messenger, or by text, or without asking!
  • When people are transparent about how many emails you will receive in the coming weeks after you provide your email for the first time.
  • When someone forwards you a newsletter and gives you the option of receiving more issues (instead of automatically subscribing you).
  • When people receive your email from a third party that you do have a relationship with, but acknowledge the mutual relationship when they send the first message.

Always consider the golden rule when you are dealing with email: Do unto others’ email as you would want done unto yours!

[Start the Conversation] Avtex: Employee Experience Matters Too

While having satisfied customers may seem to be the most important focus, if your employees aren’t having a good experience, your customers will suffer as well. CX leaders are often solely focused on their customers’ experience, but the truth is, the employee experience matters too. Failing to consider the employee experience can lead to unnecessary stress, frustration, and staff turnover, especially when the employees are asked to do too much with too little support.

Here are three ways to improve the employee experience:

  1. Ensuring the organization’s CX technologies and tools are capable of supporting employees and the CX strategy.
  2. Integrating commonly used technology platforms to streamline routine activities, such as customer data review or entry.
  3. Continually reviewing processes and policies to eliminate common pain points or roadblocks that negatively impact employees.

Start the conversation with this question: Are my employees given the tools and support they need to do their jobs and execute our CX strategy?

To continue the conversation, go to: experienceconversations.com.

[Book Report] Indistractible by Nir Eyal

The modern world is filled with distractions – most notably, the technology at our fingertips. In his book Indistractible: How to Control Your Attention and Choose Your Life, Nir Eyal addresses the hidden psychology that causes us to constantly be distracted. Interestingly enough, Nir’s first book was called Hooked, which addressed the four step process companies use to get customers “hooked” on their products. In Indistractible, Nir provides a way to break this ongoing, addictive cycle.

Now we should realize that distraction is not a new problem. But by understanding the root cause of distraction, the deeper psychology of why we go off track, we can make sure that we can get the best out of these technologies without letting them get the best of us.

Nir Eyal, author of Indistractible

An interesting aspect of this book, is that Nir doesn’t suggest technology abstinence. Instead, he suggests a four step process to help create boundaries, take back control over the distractions, and return balance in your life.

If you are ready to take control of your life again and establish some healthy boundaries for the role technology plays in your life, make sure to read Indistractible.

Links We Referenced

Host Contact Information

Tweet Dan Gingiss: @DGingiss

Email Joey: JoeyC@JoeyColeman.com

DanGingiss.com

JoeyColeman.com

Subscribe to Experience This on Apple Podcasts

Episode Transcript

Download a transcript of the entire Episode 74 here or read it below:

Dan Gingiss: Welcome to Experience This.

Joey Coleman: 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: Always upbeat and definitely entertaining, customer retention expert, Joey Coleman.

Joey Coleman: And social media expert, Dan Gingiss, serve as your hosts for a weekly dose of positive customer experience.

Dan Gingiss: Now hold onto your headphones. It’s time to Experience This!

Dan Gingiss: Get ready for another episode of the Experience This show.

Joey Coleman: Join us as we discuss scripting your message to acknowledge current realities, the pros and cons of sharing your email address, and the perils of always being connected.

Dan Gingiss: Binging, Auto Adding and Considering. Oh my!

[This Just Happened] Netflix Nailed it! (binge watching)

Joey Coleman: 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: In our house, I have a Saturday morning ritual with my boys. Whenever they wake up, which to be honest is usually super early, they come and wake me up and we all go downstairs to our living room to watch cartoons together.

Dan Gingiss: Oh, I remember those days. Mine are now teenagers and near teenagers, so we’re not really watching cartoons anymore.

Joey Coleman: Not as much into the cartoons anymore. No, I hear you. And to be honest, it’s one of the reasons I do it because not only does taking the boys allow my wife to sleep in after a long week, but it gives me some quality time together with my sons that I know won’t be as interesting to them as they get older.

Joey Coleman: So what we usually do is watch cartoons on Netflix. But recently we tried a new show that I had heard about and I thought they might enjoy, called Nailed It. Have you ever watched, Nailed It, Dan?

Dan Gingiss: So I have not watched Nailed It, but I want to ask a question before you even start. Was it something you thought they would enjoy or something Netflix thought that they would enjoy?

Joey Coleman: Good clarifying question. Netflix suggested it and I had also heard from our niece that she likes to watch the show. And so I thought, “All right, maybe the boys will like this too.” And to be honest, you can only do so many episodes of Paw Patrol and Octonauts before you say we got to throw something different into the system.

Dan Gingiss: And Spongebob. That was the one I could not stand.

Joey Coleman: Oh yeah, we don’t do SpongeBob at our house. We are a SpongeBob free home. Thankfully. Octonauts, Paw Patrol, love them. Great shows. But something that wasn’t a cartoon seemed like it might be interesting as well. So we decided to watch Nailed it.

Joey Coleman: Now for all of you that may not be familiar, Nailed It is a baking show that brings together three amateur bakers who compete against each other to win a $10,000 prize. Now, each round sees the host, comic Nicole Byer, and renowned pastry chef Jacques Torres, showcasing a beautifully made cake or cookies or a dessert of some type. And then the contestants are given a limited period of time, usually 20 minutes to two hours, to make something that looks just like the example. Now the phrase, Nailed It, comes from a popular trend on Pinterest to try to make what you see and even when you basically fail epically, you say “Nailed it.”

Dan Gingiss: Nailed it.

Joey Coleman: Yeah. Okay, good. You knew that one. I like it.

Dan Gingiss: I can’t decide what’s more shocking, Joey, that you’re watching a baking show because I know you don’t know how to bake, or that you know about Pinterest and the concept of ‘nailed it.’

Joey Coleman: Well I resemble those remarks, Dan. I agree with you. I am not into baking but I can certainly appreciate a well-designed and baked dessert. I also love the concept of boldly claiming that you nailed it, when in reality your finished product looks nothing like what you saw on Pinterest. But to be honest, the thing I wanted to talk about has less to do with the show and more to do with what happened at the end of the show we were watching in the final few seconds.

Joey Coleman: I want to play for you a clip of the show so that you understand what I mean. By way of setting this up a bit, the host, Nicole, is going to announce the winner of the episode and then she’s going to encourage her guest hosts to shower the winner with money. They have this device that shoots the $10,000 bills all over the winner. The part to pay specific attention to is right after that when the host speaks directly to the viewer. Take a listen.

Nicole Byer: The winner is … Chris. Hit him with that cash.

Chris: I can finally say, “Chris, you nailed it.”

Nicole Byer: Thanks for joining us on Nailed It. The next episode starts in four, three, two, one.

Nicole Byer: Welcome to Nailed It.

Dan Gingiss: Very interesting. It’s as if the show is both encouraging the viewer to watch more and anticipating that they’re going to watch more right now.

Joey Coleman: Exactly, and this is the thing. I had never seen this before in any type of show. As anyone who is a subscriber to Netflix knows, as soon as you finish watching one episode of a show, they automatically start playing the next episode a few seconds later. This helps everyone involved. The viewer who’s engrossed in the TV doesn’t have to select the next episode and Netflix keeps you engaged and watching by automatically starting the next episode. But what caught my attention is that the producers and writers for the show Nailed It are so familiar with the typical binge watching that occurs on Netflix, that they actually built the prompt to stay watching into the script of the show.

Dan Gingiss: Wow. We have clearly come a long way since the way the shows ended when we were kids. I remember  it being this huge deal when a show would end with ‘to be continued.’ Because it was a two parter, whereas most of the time when we were kids, the episodes kind of stood on their own. So this is however completely taking that to a different place.

Joey Coleman: Yeah. I mean there’s something completely different from tune in next week to the next episode starts in four, three, two, one and then it’s playing. Now I know consumers have been binge watching shows ever since it became possible to view things on demand. But I have never seen a show address this behavior so head on.

Dan Gingiss: Yeah, I agree. I don’t think I’ve ever seen that either. The only thing I can maybe compare it to is that some of the reality shows like America’s Got Talent will have a live performance show on one night and then the results on the next night. And you almost can’t help but watch two nights in a row. But even then, it’s not immediate. And this is this understanding that the whole concept of binge-watching is now this moment. And I just wonder, how many episodes are there of this thing? How many hours into the night am I going to stay up if I just leave it going?

Joey Coleman: Right. And most of the research actually shows, since on demand TV has come out, the amount of time people spend watching in a single setting has increased dramatically. So overall TV usage and a lot of demographics is going down because there are so many other distractions. Your phone and the internet and things you could be doing on a laptop or an iPad. But when you do sit down to watch, binging is kind of a common practice and behavior.

Joey Coleman: So here’s our question for you, loyal listeners, how are you adjusting your offerings to take into consideration the tectonic shifts that are occurring in customer behavior? Are you considering your content release schedule and what your customers want? Or are you considering what’s easiest for you in terms of a production schedule? Does your messaging and positioning align with the present day realities of customer behavior, even if you yourself aren’t an early adopter or a raving fan of these shifting trends? What are you doing to constantly evolve your offerings so that customers and prospects alike feel like you’re taking their needs and their wants and their behaviors into consideration?

Dan Gingiss: Joey, you and I have talked about something related to this about our very show. One thing I think that our listeners and friends and, well, my social media followers know is that-

Joey Coleman: That was subtle, wasn’t it? For those of you keeping score at home, social media expert, Dan, one, non social media expert, Joey, zero.

Dan Gingiss: So what they all know is that you and I both practice what we preach.

Joey Coleman: We try to.

Dan Gingiss: That’s really important.

Joey Coleman: We try to.

Dan Gingiss: Yes. So to that end …

Joey Coleman: Yeah. So to that end, let’s put this to the test. You’re listening to our show and since season one, Dan and I have been having conversations outside of the recording room, discussing whether or not we should drop our shows, an entire season of the Experience This show, once a week like we currently do, or whether we should release an entire season all at once, a la Netflix. Thus far, we’ve decided to release the shows in a weekly fashion.

Joey Coleman: But it’s an ongoing discussion we’re having. In fact, we want to ask you what you think. Would you like to have an entire season of Experience This released all at once? Or do you like the fact that we drip a little bit out every week? We release a single episode. To do this, visit experiencethisshow.com and click on the listener poll at the top of the homepage. We’d love to see what all of you think and if there’s a strong consensus one way or the other, we’re happy to adjust the plans for future seasons of the Experience This show.

[I Love It, I Can’t Stand It] Email Lists

Joey Coleman: Sometimes the customer experiences is amazing. And sometimes we just want to cry. Get ready for the roller coaster ride in this edition of I Love It.

Dan Gingiss: I can’t stand it.

Joey Coleman: I’m in a very complicated relationship that I want to tell you about, Dan.

Dan Gingiss: Uh oh, this doesn’t sound good. Everything okay with you and Berit?

Joey Coleman: No, no. It’s all good. I’m not talking about my personal relationships. I’m talking about my relationship with email.

Dan Gingiss: Oh, I can understand that. That is complicated.

Joey Coleman: Yeah, so in fact, the specific aspect of my email that I want to talk about in this segment is how my email address gets used and regularly abused by other people. I thought it might actually be a ripe topic for us to discuss. And considering there some things that I absolutely love but many that I can’t stand, I thought this could be a good format for it. So that we end on a high note, let’s start with the things that we can’t stand about how our email is used in ways that are not exciting to us.

Joey Coleman: So for example, when I meet someone at an event and we exchange business cards and I think, “Oh, this is interesting. I’ll be in communication with this person.” And then they take the email on my business card, which is my personal email and add me without asking to their e-newsletter, which usually is about something that I have zero interest in. It drives me insane.

Dan Gingiss: How about when companies share my email address with third parties, that then start marketing to me? And this happens sometimes because I go by Dan, but every once in a while I’ll get something that’s addressed to Danny or Daniel or I’ll have my last name misspelled. And you can see it propagate as the name gets sold and sold over and over again.

Joey Coleman: So true. That’s kind of like what we’ve talked about in episodes in the past. As somebody who goes by Joey, if I get anything addressed to Joseph or to Joe, I know that they don’t actually know me. Yeah, I agree.

Joey Coleman: The other one that drives me crazy is when I donate to a friend’s cause. So like on Facebook, somebody says, “Hey, for my birthday I’m raising money for this cause.” And I donated to that cause. And then that cause automatically starts emailing me their newsletter, asking me for additional donations, giving me random thoughts. And I feel it’s one of those times where I feel like I want to say to them, “Folks, I appreciate you’re hopefully doing good work in the world. But the only reason I know about you, the only reason I’m interested in giving money to you is because my friend asked me to. I’m not actually interested in your cause.”

Dan Gingiss: You know when I share my email to access some content on a website for example, and then you get an email back from the sales team asking to set up a call so that they can sell me something. And it’s like, “Well, no, I really just wanted the content on your site and you put it up there and you made me put in an email. If I want to talk to you for a sales presentation, I know where to reach you.”

Joey Coleman: Yeah. And that one in particular happens to both of us, we’ve talked about this on the show before, all the time because we do a lot of research. We’re speakers, we’re writers. We’re trying to find things and it’s like there’s a giant disconnect between a company’s content arm and their sales arm. The content can stand alone and be free and it establishes you as a thought leader or as an industry leader. It doesn’t mean that I’m interested in buying your widgets.

Joey Coleman: Okay. So we’d better stop there because I get the feeling we could go on and on about all the ways that companies and people misuse email addresses. But let’s talk about some of the best practices for using a customer email address instead. Dan, why don’t you go ahead and start us off on this one?

Dan Gingiss: Well, I think one of the great ways to kind of overcome one of the things we can’t stand is when somebody forwards me say a single copy of a newsletter or a piece of content and then gives me the choice of continuing on to subscribe. So I’m okay with them sending the taster without signing me up continuously without my permission.

Joey Coleman: So true. And what about when people ask my permission to make an introduction and then they do it over email instead of connecting me via messenger or text message? Email has its purpose and I like it when it’s used that way, but before you share my email with another person, make sure that I’m okay with that.

Dan Gingiss: I also like it when people are transparent about the fact that sharing my email will bring a series or sequence of emails to my inbox over the coming days and weeks. We talk about setting customer expectations a lot on this podcast and this is very similar is that if you tell people, “Hey, when you give me your email, you’re going to hear from me twice a week or you’re going to hear from me every other week.” That makes me much more comfortable giving you my email rather than having no idea how often you’re going to use it and abuse it.

Joey Coleman: Yeah. Last but not least, I love it when people do gain my email from a third party that I have a relationship with and then they acknowledge it or cite that when they send me the first message. So, “Oh, we got your information from so-and-so because they thought you might be interested in XYZ.” That I’m okay with. Friends, let’s be candid. Seth Godin addressed this way back in 1999 in his book Permission Marketing. And if you haven’t read it, go read it right now, as the concepts and the principles he outlines have certainly stood the test of time and clearly not enough people read the book because they wouldn’t be behaving this way if they had. In the meantime, please, please, please consider your customer’s emails to be sacred and follow the golden rule. Do onto those emails as you would have done unto yours.

[Start the Conversation] Employee Experience Matters Too

Joey Coleman: Sometimes all it takes is a single question to get your company thinking about an improved customer experience. Here’s an idea for how you can start the conversation.

Joey Coleman: This week’s start the conversation topic is employee experience matters too. CX leaders are often laser focused on the experience customers have while interacting with their brand. While the customer’s experience during an interaction is important, of course, so is the experience of employees who support customers during these interactions. Employees are often overlooked during customer experience planning. Failing to consider the employee can lead to unnecessary stress, frustration, and staff turnover, especially when the employees are asked to do too much with too little support.

Dan Gingiss: And believe you me, your customers can see it on your employee’s faces. A happy employee equals a happy customer. So here are three ways to improve employee experience. One, ensuring the organization’s customer experience technologies and tools are capable of supporting employees and the CX strategy. Two, integrating commonly used technology platforms to streamline routine activities, such as customer data review or data entry. Three, continually reviewing processes and policies to eliminate common pain points or roadblocks that negatively impact employees.

Joey Coleman: Dan, you’re so right. I often think of it as the customer experience and the employee experience being two sides of the same coin. As we elevate the customer experience, we by default elevate the employee experience. If the employee experience is in the tank and not doing well, the customer experience is going down too.

Joey Coleman: You can’t ask your employees to create a remarkable customer experience if they don’t know what one is. We need to, as employers, show our employees the same laser focus and dedication to their experience that we’re asking them to show when it comes to the experiences they create for our customers. So how might we do this? Well, one quick idea is from the concept of personalization. We think about all the different ways we personalize for our customers, but do we have that same kind of data about our employees? Do we know their spouse’s name? Do we know their anniversary, their birthday? Do we celebrate those things? Or are those the kinds of communications that are only reserved for data we collect from our customers? Something to think about.

Dan Gingiss: And now for this week’s question about the importance of employee experience. Are my employees given the tools and support they need to do their jobs and execute on our customer experience strategy? We encourage you to start the conversation within your own organization and then continue it with our friends at AVTECH, by going to experienceconversations.com. Once again, that is experienceconversations.com.

[Book Report] Indistractible

Joey Coleman: 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: Dan, I have to tell you, I’ve been reading a book that I think you would enjoy, but it goes a little bit against the grain when it comes to social media.

Dan Gingiss: What do you mean?

Joey Coleman: So as you know, I’m not that active on social media. I know. Shocker, shocker.

Dan Gingiss: You don’t say.

Joey Coleman: We’ll pause a moment, everyone, so you can pick yourself up off the floor. But I’m willing to confess to you and to our loyal listeners that I don’t have the best relationship with social media. Not just because of the things you would say about how I need to be tweeting more and doing things like that. The fact of the matter is I regularly find myself mindlessly wandering through Facebook, scrolling through LinkedIn or even looking to see what you’re up to on Twitter. I know, it does actually happen.

Dan Gingiss: Hey, thanks buddy.

Joey Coleman: I know it’s shocking. You’re the only one I look at. It’s okay. The problem with this isn’t that I’m on social media. The problem is that technology is distracting me from things that I know are more to me. I say these things are more important to me and yet when it comes to my behavior, I still do them.

Dan Gingiss: Yeah, I feel you here, man. I mean this is the first year, 2019 is the first year that I have worked for myself. And so I now work from home every day. And dealing with distractions is literally a daily challenge for me. There’ve been days where I will intentionally go and sit out on my deck so that I’m not inside where I can see the refrigerator or I can go play with one of my pinball machines or-

Joey Coleman: Or I’ll just go fold that laundry. It will only take me a minute. Or maybe I can rearrange the linen closet today.

Dan Gingiss: Yes. What’s for dinner tonight? I better go shopping. But so, distractions can be both technological and not, but they’re very, very difficult to deal with. And I think technology in particular, because of its addictive nature, is one of the hardest ones to push out.

Joey Coleman: I totally agree. And that’s why I wanted to talk about this book I’ve been reading and how to take action on these things. But I’ll come back to the action part. So the book is called Indistractible, How To Control Your Attention And Choose Your Life. It’s written by my good friend Nir Eyal, who we talked about way back in season one, episode 32.

Dan Gingiss: Hey, look who’s the episodes savant now.

Joey Coleman: I know. How about that? Well, I knew I was going to be trying to convince you that technology and social media was a little bad. So I thought I’d play your role here.

Joey Coleman: So what’s fascinating to me is that Nir’s first book, Hooked, which was fantastic by the way, was all about how technology companies use a four step process embedded into their products to subtly encourage customer behavior. Another way to put that, to get you addicted. So through consecutive hook cycles, these products bring the user back again and again and it creates this repetitive behavior. Now in Nir’s newest book, Indistractible, he teaches readers how to counter those hooking behaviors. I had the chance to talk with him about why he thinks this book and its message are so important at this time in human history. Here’s what he had to say.

Nir Eyal: Becoming indistractible is the skill of the century. We’ve all seen how potentially distracting our devices can be in our day to day lives. Products like Facebook, your iPhone, Instagram, WhatsApp, Slack. I mean it goes on and on and the fact is these products are designed to hook you. I should know because my first book was a Wall Street Journal bestseller by the title Hooked, How To Build Habit Forming Products. Now I wrote Hooked so that all sorts of products can use the same techniques that the social media networks use, that all kinds of technology companies use to keep you hooked in order to build healthy habits in our lives.

Nir Eyal: However, there is a dark side. The cost of these products that are so engaging, that are so habit forming is that sometimes we can go overboard. Now we should realize that distraction is not a new problem. But by understanding the root cause of distraction, the deeper psychology of why we go off track, we can make sure that we can get the best out of these technologies without letting them get the best of us.

Dan Gingiss: Well, first of all, I absolutely love that this guy first writes about the addictive nature of technology and then writes about how to get yourself unaddicted from said technology. So that is a person who clearly has his eyes wide open and understands the changes of the world. So I think that’s super cool.

Dan Gingiss: This is a really complex topic because the technology to which we have become addicted is also a critical part of our lives and has changed our lives for all of the good reasons that Nir outlined in his first book. And so it’s really difficult because … My dad has a saying, if some is good, more is better. And I think that generally is true in life. But perhaps with these kinds of technologies, it may not be. So what are some of your favorite takeaways so far?

Joey Coleman: Well, first and foremost, I’ve noticed how increasingly distractable I’ve become over the years. So the fact that I’m even aware that there’s a problem, I think is moving in the right direction. There’s so many things that are vying for my attention. And to be honest, I often struggle to maintain specific focus without succumbing to avoidable interruptions and unnecessary distractions. At times, I get pretty frustrated with myself. But one of the things I’ve loved about Nir’s book is it’s helped me to see that there’s a hidden psychology that is driving all of us to distraction. It’s not that I’m bad, it’s that we’re hardwired to succumb to these type of challenges.

Dan Gingiss: So does he suggest that we just get rid of all of our social media, technology, phones, and every distraction in life?

Joey Coleman: No. He doesn’t. And what’s interesting is most people who ,when they hear about Nir’s book or they hear the title, they’re going to go, “Oh great. Then I have to just go cold turkey and get rid of everything and abstain.” And in fact he actually describes that solving the problem is not as simple as deleting apps and destroying cell phones. In fact, he says that’s a mistake because abstinence doesn’t actually work.

Joey Coleman: Instead he provides a four step process for making the most of technology without letting the technology take over your life.

Dan Gingiss: Well, that sounds more appealing than trashing my cell phone.

Joey Coleman: It does. I think it sounds more appealing and it also sounds more realistic. Nir does a great job of giving advice on how to raise indistractable children, for example, in an increasingly distracting world. Something that frankly hit home for me because of the way watch my son’s clamor for screen time, even though we limit screen time in our house pretty significantly. But what I did notice is going through this and reading this book is that while I will say to my sons, without hesitation or guilt, “We are not using the iPads today.” If someone said to me, “You are not using your phone today,” I think I’d react even more strongly than they do. I mean, they’re not happy when I say no iPad time. If somebody said to me, no iPhone time, I wouldn’t be happy at all.

Dan Gingiss: Well, as I like to say to my kids, the iPhone is a privilege, not a right.

Joey Coleman: Fair enough. Fair enough.

Dan Gingiss: And the thing is is that for you and I, Joey, we use our phones all day for business and it becomes a required part of doing our jobs. And yet we also use our phones for things like checking our social media platforms and playing games and other things that are obviously the privileges of life. And I think that the trick is making sure that that balance is in place.

Joey Coleman: I agree. I think all too often, and I am guilty of this too, so listeners, if this applies to you, please know I’m not judging. I claim that my phone is for business, but when I get into bed after a long day of work and it’s midnight and my wife’s already asleep and I go on Facebook and next thing I know it’s 2:30 AM. I’ve been scrolling and watching videos and entertaining myself. That’s not work. I’ve sacrificed sleep because of the addiction.

Dan Gingiss: And I definitely suggest that that’s a habit you may want to consider changing.

Joey Coleman: Oh, 100%.

Dan Gingiss: And similarly with the kids, sometimes they’re using it for educational purposes and many times it’s sitting mindlessly watching video after video after video. Kind of like we were talking previously. It’s really easy once you get onto YouTube, it’s kind of like Nailed It, is that as soon as you’re done with one video, another one pops up.

Joey Coleman: Absolutely. And as I mentioned earlier, the book has already produced actions and results in my life. Now we’ve talked a little bit here about social media in our phone. The book actually lays out simple and effective ways to improve your relationships across the board with family and friends and work. And one of the things I looked at specifically was my relationship with email. Prior to reading Nir’s book, I was constantly checking and rechecking email. I know it’s something that I know I shouldn’t do, but after reading Indistractible, I had a better understanding of why I do it.

Joey Coleman: So to fix this problem, I started scheduling long stretches of time where I would shut off my email on my laptop and put my phone into airplane mode. This lets email pile up instead of constantly bombarding me throughout the day. I also got aggressive on deleting apps from my phone, especially those that I noticed were distracting me the most. I can still access these sites on my laptop, but since laptop is tucked into my bag when I travel versus being in my hand or my pocket, like my phone, I find that I spend less time mindlessly consuming content. If I want to consume content, it takes a specific action, which by its very nature means it’s a more intentional activity.

Dan Gingiss: Well, as I said earlier, I feel you because all of this is very familiar to me and I have the same issues. And I think for me, it also involves going to a place where I’m not as likely to connect with email or go onto social media. It’s why I go outside. Sometimes the internet isn’t as good outside. And what I find is when I’m say, writing a post for Forbes, if I go put myself out of wifi range and sit down, I can write a post in 45 minutes to an hour. Whereas if I do it in my family room or living room where the wifi is great, I’ll get distracted so many times it’ll take me two hours to write the same post. So that’s one of the hints that I’ve at least used that I think has helped.

Joey Coleman: I love it and I think this is an evolving consideration and conversation for all of us. What I like the most about this book was not the tips, although there were certainly many, or the stories which were fantastic, or even the psychology which knowing Nir, it was incredibly well-researched and cited. What I enjoyed the most is that it shifted my thinking. I’m now more aware when a distraction tries to draw me in and I immediately take action to refocus or I figure out a way to minimize the likelihood of that distraction coming back in the future.

Dan Gingiss: Hey look, Joey, over here.

Joey Coleman: Squirrel?

Dan Gingiss: Hey. Hey.

Joey Coleman: Squirrel? So at the risk of distracting you from listening to this podcast, don’t worry, we’re nearing the end of the episode anyway, I recommend you go pick up a copy of Nir Eyal’s book Indistractible, How To Control Your Attention And Choose Your Life. Not only do I think you’ll enjoy it, but I think it could end up being the catalyst that allows you to take control of your life again and reestablish some healthy boundaries for the roles that technology plays in your life.

Joey Coleman: Wow. Thanks for joining us for another episode of Experience This.

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

Joey Coleman: Experience.

Dan Gingiss: This.

Episode 73: How to Overcome Negative Reviews and Create Stronger Customer Relationships

Join us as we discuss: The future of customer engagement, why it pays to read the fine print, and how human-to-human interactions are the key to customer experience success.

Engaging, Squinting, and Interacting… Oh My!

[Dissecting the Experience] A Site that Tells You What Customers Want

When it comes to customer experience topics, there are hundreds of places to find content. Recently, we got the chance to check out the site of one of our new partners on the podcast this year, SAP Customer Experience . While the site is hosted by SAP, you’d never know it because it’s only very lightly branded and really focuses on quality content. The Future of Customer Engagement and Commerce offers dozens of thoughtful, intelligent, content-rich articles – all about CX. In addition, the site is designed as an experience – there are no popups, no sales pitches, they don’t sell the mailing list, and did we mention it’s FREE!

The site showcases articles and videos across six topics: commerce, customer experience, customer service, sales, marketing, and purpose (including things like diversity, gender equality, and thought leadership). The site is filled with a wide variety of articles – many of which are focused on identifying what customers really want.

What customers really want is a connected journey, based on trust. Trust is what people look for.

Joey Coleman, co-host of ExperienceThis! Show podcast

The Future of Customer Engagement and Commerce website is a great resource for customer experience professionals, and frankly anyone interested in CX (which to honest, is probably our whole listening audience)! Recently named “the best CX thought leadership portal in the industry” by Paul Greenberg on ZDnet, check out the new site from SAP today!

[Required Remarkable] Woman Wins $10K For Reading Fine Print

Do you read the fine print on your insurance policies? Don’t feel bad if the answer is no as most people don’t. But sometimes, reading the fine print can save you money – or even better, make you money. A story shared in People Magazine by Joelle Goldstein explains how a Georgia Woman Wins $10,000 for Reading the Fine Print on Her Insurance Policy Deep in the fine print of an insurance policy, a woman found a clause about a competition that included a prize of $10,000 for the first person to email and mention it. So she did. And she won $10,000!

I think there are opportunities for disclosures to be interactive. I’ve seen companies that have definitions attached to words that customers aren’t going to understand, or including pictures or video to explain some of the policies. A lot of people may not read, but they might consume a photo or a video.

Dan Gingiss, co-host of ExperienceThis! Show podcast

Making the fine print, the ‘legalize,’ easier to understand and more entertaining, can help customers actually read the policies, and people will even respond to them. You may not want to offer a $10,000 reward to get people to read your legal disclosures, but by taking time to review your disclosures and update them with language designed to create an experience, even the most boring areas of your terms and conditions can become engaging for your customers.

[Start the Conversation] Avtex: Dealing with Negative Reviews

Negative online reviews are a part of doing business. No matter how hard a business tries, at some point customers are likely to encounter some frustration during their relationship. It’s your reaction to these negative reviews that matters.

You can use negative reviews as an opportunity to do better – not just for the one individual that you first disappoint, but for any customer who may encounter the same pain point or frustration. 

Here are three tips to take into consideration when dealing with negative reviews:

  1. Track common issues raised in reviews through active listening or Voice of the Customer programs.
  2. Develop a proactive outreach to negative reviewers to help address their concerns and fix the issue at hand.
  3. Create a strategy for tracking and resolving these issues.

You should always respond to everyone who leaves you negative feedback. Fix what’s wrong and then try to make the problem right. This can actually turn a client from a negative reviewer into one of your biggest advocates.

Start the conversation with this question: What actions are we taking to address our negative online reviews? To continue the conversation, go to: experienceconversations.com.

[Book Report] How to Build Stronger Customer Relationships in The Relationship Economy

John DiJulius – noted customer service guru – has a great new book called The Relationship Economy: Building Stronger Customer Connections in the Digital Age. In the book, John states that in spite of (and because of) advances in technology, we’ve become a less connected society. We must get back to human-to-human interactions in order to build real relationships with our customers.

Today’s illiterate are those who have an inability to truly make a deep connection with others. Of all the skills that can be mastered, the one that will have the biggest impact on each of us personally and professionally, is the ability to build an instant rapport, an instant connection with others. Whether it be an acquaintance, friend, customer, co-worker, or a total stranger, this skill should be taught at home, in school, from pre-K to graduate school, and of course in business.

John DiJulius, author of The Relationship Economy

John DiJulius offers some specific guidelines that will help you become your customer’s most trusted advisor, including:

  1. Love what you do.
  2. Get to know your customer, not only professionally, but also personally.
  3. Be more committed to the success of your customer than they are.
  4. Don’t share how you can help them until you have completely understood their goals and their problems.
  5. Make sure your clients never meet anyone smarter than you at what you do.
  6. Be honest and transparent.
  7. Share bad news as quickly as you can.
  8. Be a resource broker by making the right connections and introductions.

If you want to learn how to build a business that nurtures human-to-human interactions and creates deep connections with customers in the process, make sure to read The Relationship Economy by John DiJulius.

Links We Referenced

Host Contact Information

Tweet Dan Gingiss: @DGingiss

Email Joey: JoeyC@JoeyColeman.com

DanGingiss.com

JoeyColeman.com

Subscribe to Experience This on Apple Podcasts

Episode Transcript

Download a transcript of the entire Episode 73 here or read it below:

Joey Coleman: Welcome to Experience This.

Dan Gingiss: 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.

Joey Coleman: Always upbeat and definitely entertaining. Customer retention expert Joey Coleman.

Dan Gingiss: And social media expert Dan Gingiss serve as your host for a weekly dose of positive customer experience.

Joey Coleman: Now hold onto your headphones. It’s time to experience this. Get ready for another episode of the Experience This! show.

Dan Gingiss: Join us as we discuss the future of customer engagement, why it pays to read the fine print and how human to human interactions are the key to customer experience success.

Joey Coleman: Engaging, squinting, and interacting, oh my.

[Dissecting the Experience] A Site that Tells You What Customers Want

Dan Gingiss: 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: So Joey, I happened upon a great web resource for customer experience professionals and frankly anyone even interested in customer experience, which I have to assume is our entire listening audience. Seeing as how they’re currently listening to our show. Joey, this is no ordinary site. This site was recently named the best CX thought leadership portal in the industry by Paul Greenberg on ZDNet.

Joey Coleman: I’m intrigued. Tell me more Dan.

Dan Gingiss: Well, the site features articles and videos across six topics. First is commerce, which includes e-commerce, B2B, and B2C. The second is customer experience, which includes user experience, CRM or customer relationship management, public sector, and employee engagement. The third is customer service. Fourth is sales. Fifth is marketing. The sixth is purpose, which includes diversity, gender equality, et cetera. What’s cool is that the site is designed as an experience. There are no popup ads or auto play videos.

Dan Gingiss: All the articles can be read in less than 10 minutes. When you subscribe, you only receive content updates, no sales pitches. In fact, not only don’t they sell the mailing list, they don’t even let their own company use it for anything else. So this is an exclusive club.

Joey Coleman: This actually sounds too good to be true. All right. What’s the website we’re talking about?

Dan Gingiss: Patience, my dear Joey. I have been loving the thought leadership on this site because it’s not all internal people. They incorporate many different contributors throughout the industry. They have created a robust array of content and ideas for leaders in pretty much any industry, whether you’re in commerce, marketing, sales, CX, service, tech. In fact the site has more than 300 page one Google returns. So you know it’s highly credible and as you and our listeners know, thought leadership builds trust and authority. So the more we learn, the more we’re able to articulate our own thoughts and opinions with others.

Joey Coleman: Oh, so the site you’re talking about is I’m guessing either Fortune or the Wall Street Journal?

Dan Gingiss: You are not correct on either.

Joey Coleman: What?

Dan Gingiss: It’s actually the site of one of our new partners on the podcast this year. SAP Customer Experience. Though you’d never know it because it’s only very lightly branded and it really focuses only on quality content, not on selling you anything. It’s called the future of customer engagement and commerce. The URL is www.the-future-of-commerce.com and if you didn’t write all of that down, we’ll include it in the show notes. But it is the-future-of-commerce.com with hyphens between each of the words. Those six topics I listed before. They actually do map back to SAP core customer experience product, which is called C/4 HANA.

Joey Coleman: So wait a second, I actually think I’ve already come across this site. I was doing some research recently and I found a bunch of great articles there. Jason Rose wrote a piece called What Customers Want. Jeannie Walters wrote one called How to Avoid CX Disasters and Emily Morrow wrote about Four Ways to Improve Customer Service.

Joey Coleman: These were all great articles and I agree with you, it doesn’t have a kind of a promoted site feel that some of the portal sites in the industry have. I mean, let’s be candid, that’s why we’re interested in partnering with SAP because if we’re going to recommend that folks go check out a site, we don’t want it just to be a giant sales pitch.

Dan Gingiss: Every time I think I know something that you don’t, so sure, of course you’ve heard of this site before. So quote me this then if you read that article, what do customers want?

Joey Coleman: Well, Dan, I’m glad you asked. See, I spend less time on Twitter and more time on websites. What customers really want is a connected journey that’s based on trust. Trust is by far the leading quality that humans look for and need in the relationships we maintain, whether it’s in our personal life or at work or with the brands we choose to purchase from, or at least that’s what one of the articles on the site said.

Joey Coleman: In fact, 81% of global consumers say that trusting a brand is a deciding factor in their purchase decisions and once a company has gained the trust, they’ve also gained your loyalty.

Dan Gingiss: It does make you wonder why so many companies still have archaic policies and nuisance fees when trust is all they really need. Not to mention all those companies losing our personal data. So here’s something I’ll bet you don’t know. That the topics on the site also get featured on Twitter in the form of a monthly CX tweet chat, which I actually got to participate in recently and was a ton of fun. That allows readers to engage with the content and express their own thoughts on the topics.

Joey Coleman: My friend as usual you are correct. I don’t know the Twitters, I leave all the twittering to you.

Dan Gingiss: Well, thank you, I appreciate that. So do yourselves a favor, loyal listeners and bookmarked www.the-future-of-commerce.com for tons of great content that will inspire you to take the next step in your customer experience journey. While you’re at it, if you are not like Joey and you actually are on Twitter, follow our friends at SAP Customer Experience on Twitter and they are @sap_cx. I follow them. They have great content. A lot of it from this site that they share on Twitter. So it’s a really good follow. Thanks so much. The SAP Customer Experience team for being great partners with the Experience This show

[Required Remarkable] Woman Wins $10K For Reading Fine Print

Joey Coleman: Just because you have required elements of your business doesn’t mean they need to be boring. 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: So although this is a required remarkable segment, it’s actually based off of a great article in of all places. I’m sure a place that you read quite often, Joey People Magazine.

Joey Coleman: Only when I’m getting my haircut, Dan. Which is most people know is rarely.

Dan Gingiss: So there was an article earlier this year by Joelle Goldstein on People.com that is called, Georgia Woman Wins $10,000 for Reading the Fine Print on Her Insurance Policy. The subhead is, after years of constantly reading the fine print of documents Donelan Andrews’s meticulous work finally paid off.

Dan Gingiss: Now you can probably imagine the details of this story and we’re not going to go through the article, but I pick this out because we love to talk about fine print and legalese on this show. How it can actually detract from the experience if you’re not paying attention to it. So this insurance company did something really cool and basically buried a prize within the fine print, literally knowing that nobody was going to read it until this fine woman found it and actually won the prize.

Dan Gingiss: I absolutely love it. As I said, we’ve talked about fine print before on the show, even way back in season one, episode 11 when we talked about iflix which is the Asian competitor to Netflix. They have an email disclosure at the bottom that instead of saying the typical, “If you’re the unintended recipient of this email you must delete it immediately or we take your children.”

Dan Gingiss: They start with a headline that says covering our butts. What’s awesome about it is it actually gets you to read the disclosure because it’s interesting and the rest of it is just as humorous. That of course fills the lawyers dreams of people actually reading it. So that’s what happened in this story. I also remember a test that I did when I was at Discover where we had an ad and as with most credit card ads, there were a lot of asterisks throughout their fine print, right?

Joey Coleman: What? You’re kidding. No, not at all.

Dan Gingiss: What we did was we tested. I believed as a psychology major and also I’m a marketer. So I believed that an asterisk had a negative connotation that it basically told you there’s fine print and there’s something to look out for. So I did a test where the only thing I changed on the ad was I changed the asterisks to footnote numbers. Because I believed that a footnote number suggests there’s additional interesting information. Like when you see a footnote in a book or a scholarly article.

Joey Coleman: Folks, he’s not just pretty, he’s smart.

Dan Gingiss: Believe it or not, we saw a double digit increase in response rate by only changing the asterisks to the numbers. So this is really interesting topic and it’s why I picked out this article because I love that this woman won that money and that the insurance company paid it.

Joey Coleman: I think it’s great. I think it’s great that the lawyers who wrote that fine print had fun with it. Now whether it was them or the marketers involved in the company, who knows. But to be honest, I went to GW Law School in Washington, DC. I had a great legal research and writing professor. During your first year of law school, everybody is required to take a class called legal research and writing.

Joey Coleman: The point of the writing portion of that class was to try to get people to not write in legalese. That was the mission at least of my professor for that class. I remember very well his name is Ken Kryvoruka and Ken was great because he was always encouraging us to eliminate the legal words and write in common language.

Dan Gingiss: You mean like plain English?

Joey Coleman: Yes, plain English. Exactly. To make it much more legible, much more readable, much more understandable. That’s definitely something that I know there is a pocket of lawyers that are committed to. I know lots of times on the show and in my presentations I make fun of lawyers and I usually excuse that because I am one, but I know that there are lawyers that pay attention to this.

Joey Coleman: There is a legitimate concern that the lawyers have though. Because disclosures have really turned into the CYA tool for any potential issue that you might come across. So the best lawyers I find are the ones who are working with the marketing team to translate the legalese into something more entertaining.

Joey Coleman: Now, quick story. On my website, there is a privacy policy. Now I don’t collect any data, so there doesn’t really need to be a privacy policy. But I put one on there just for giggles and it’s written to have the legal CYA elements that I need. But it’s written to be entertaining when you read it.

Joey Coleman: Here’s the funny thing, about once a quarter, someone will email me and say, “Oh my gosh, I’m rolling on the ground laughing. I just read your privacy policy. Thank you so much for having fun with this.” So we try to practice what we preach. There is not, in my opinion, a business on the planet today that wouldn’t benefit from looking at their rules, their policies, their descriptions. And trying to inject a little fun, a little humor, a little levity, something to make it more exciting.

Joey Coleman: Now, I’m not saying you have to put in that there’s a $10,000 prize, but what I am saying is you can connect with your customers in an entirely different way because some of them are reading the fine print

Dan Gingiss: Just in case people don’t know what Joey’s legal acronym of CYA means, it’s kind of the equivalent of iflix covering our butts, but use your imagination for what the A stands for.

Joey Coleman: We keep this clean for the kids so you can listen to the podcast while you’re driving them to school folks.

Dan Gingiss: Exactly. We don’t want that explicit tag added on.

Joey Coleman: Exactly. No explicit for the Experience This show.

Dan Gingiss: So I think there’s also opportunities for disclosures and other terms and conditions to be interactive. I’ve seen companies that have definitions attached to words that customers aren’t going to understand or that include pictures or even video in explaining some of the policies. Because a lot of people aren’t going to read, but they might consume a photo or a video.

Dan Gingiss: Remember that the goal of disclosures and legalese is to explain the finer details to a customer. I often get asked because I’ve worked in regulated industries both in financial services and in healthcare, which can be really difficult. How do you deal with that as a marketer? Where I start from is that regulators often have a good customer experience sense in mind when they create the regulations. The problem then is that they tell us how to execute on them and that is generally going to be in a way that isn’t that customer friendly.

Dan Gingiss: But if we start from the fact that the regulators, the lawyers, and the marketers all want customers to understand what they’re getting themselves into; that we all should have the same goal of making sure that the disclosures are easy to understand so that people do get what they’re going into. So I do think working together with those groups is probably the best way to make your language more understandable.

Dan Gingiss: So I want to send my personal congratulations to Donelan Andrews’ for her meticulous work as the headline said, in reading the terms and conditions and for winning the $10,000. But the takeaway obviously is that it shouldn’t take $10,000 to get people to read your legal disclosures. Take the time, read them yourself. If you find yourself falling asleep, drooling on the table, then that means your customers are doing the same thing, and use language to create an experience.

[Start the Conversation] Avtex: Dealing with Negative Reviews

Dan Gingiss: Sometimes all it takes is a single question to get your company thinking about an improved customer experience. Here’s an idea for how you can start the conversation

Dan Gingiss: This weeks’ Start the Conversation topic is dealing with negative reviews. Negative online reviews. Unfortunately, they’re a part of doing business. Try as hard as you might. Customers are likely to encounter some frustration during a lengthy relationship with the brand and they’re not afraid to share it out in public.

Dan Gingiss: So it’s how you react to these negative reviews that really matters. Use negative reviews as an opportunity to do better, not just for that one customer that you disappointed, but for any other customer that might encounter the same pain point or frustration down the road.

Joey Coleman: In order to put this into practice, here are three things to consider when dealing with your negative reviews. Number one, track the common issues that are raised in your reviews through active listening or voice of the customer programs. Number two, develop proactive outreach to negative reviewers in order to help address their concerns and fix the issue at hand.

Joey Coleman: Number three, create a strategy for tracking and resolving these issues. Don’t make it a system of one offs and you need to meticulously record and track these to make sure that every negative review is being effectively and efficiently addressed.

Dan Gingiss: Look, I’ve been talking about this for years. You need to respond to everyone who leaves you feedback. The one exception there would be trolls and we’re not talking about trolls here. We’re talking about people that have legitimate negative feedback and are leaving online negative reviews. Use it as a learning opportunity to fix what’s wrong, but also respond to them and try to resolve the individual’s problem.

Dan Gingiss: You will be shocked how many times I’ve seen in my career where somebody that starts off as a detractor get their problem resolved and then becomes a company advocate. You actually turn them around to be somebody that wants to promote your brand because how you reacted when times were tough.

Dan Gingiss: So it’s a huge opportunity to take advantage of. I recommend that every company not be afraid of complaints because as I like to say, the people who complain are the ones who care, the ones who don’t care have already left for your competitor.

Joey Coleman: Now for this week’s question about dealing with negative reviews, what actions are we taking to address our negative online reviews? We encourage you to start the conversation within your own organization and then continue it with Avtex@experienceconversations.com that’s experienceconversations.com.

[Book Report] How to Build Stronger Customer Relationships in The Relationship Economy

Joey Coleman: 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: So I’m super excited about this week’s book report, because it is by a great friend of the show and long time customer service guru. John DiJulius and he has a brand new book out called The Relationship Economy: Building Stronger Customer Connections in the digital Age.

Dan Gingiss: In the book he argues that in spite of and because of the advances in technology, we’ve all become a little bit less connected with each other. That we have to get back to H to H or human to human interactions in order to build real relationships with customers and brands. We’re going to have John tell us a little bit about his new book, The Relationship Economy.

John DiJulius: Today we are living in the digital disruption era. Technology has provided us with unprecedented advances, information, knowledge, instant access, and entertainment. As convenient as these advances have made our lives, it also changed the way we communicate, behave, and think, which has led to a dramatic decline in our people skills.

John DiJulius: As a society, we are now relationship disadvantaged. The pendulum has swung so far over to high-tech low touch and those who understand that human touch is the most important part of any experience, especially a great customer experience will flourish. Personally and professionally success is about creating and building human connections.

John DiJulius: Technological advancements are critical to every business staying relevant. However, technology by itself is not a differentiator. The more you place technology between the company and the customer, the more you remove the human experience. For anyone in any business to thrive in the future, they will have to master the art of relationship building. Organizations now need to reinvent their business model to marry digital and human experience in the best way possible.

John DiJulius: In a relationship economy, the primary currency is the connections and trust among customers, employees, and vendors that create significantly more value in what we sell. These relationships and connections help make price irrelevance. The relationship economy is about building a culture that recognizes the importance of each individual and making everyone part of a community that is working towards something bigger, a community that makes them feel cared for.

John DiJulius: The relationship economy is how strongly you feel about the people and businesses in your life. Relationships are the biggest differentiator in customer and brand loyalty. Relationships are at the center of all we do. Welcome to the relationship economy.

Joey Coleman: I love this book and I love John’s perspective on this. I think it’s really interesting that we live in an era where humans are more connected than at any other time in human history. You can be friends with someone thanks to the internet who lives on the other side of the world, who you’ve never met and you never will meet.

Joey Coleman: And yet if we talk to mental health professionals around the world, humans are experiencing more loneliness, more depression, more feelings of disconnection and disease than in any other time in human history. So this idea of focusing on relationships and the power of building relationships, again, both in our professional and our personal lives is so timely and so vital and so important.

Joey Coleman: At the end of the day, customer experience really is about relationship. If we boil it down to its core essence, customers crave a relationship with the businesses they interact with. In fact, I would posit that as more true today than at any other time in human history.

Joey Coleman: We have so many customers that want to do business with people who are friends. They want to do business with brands that stand for the same things that they do. In many ways, it’s kind of a reversion back to when we were more of an agrarian society where you went to the general store and they knew you by name and you knew them by name and everybody was in it together working alongside each other.

Joey Coleman: While businesses have grown, while technology has created distance between folks, that yearning for more relationship and more connection is truer today I think and is only increasing in the future.

Dan Gingiss: Yeah, I couldn’t agree more and I would argue actually that although the technology has caused people to feel further apart, I actually think social media is one of the things that has caused this trend. The reason is is that social gave consumers a voice for the first time, but it also gave them an opportunity to interact with brands that they never had the chance to do before. Right?

Dan Gingiss: In the past, if you wanted to interact with a brand, you wrote them a letter or you called their 800 number. But that was really if you had a customer service problem and now all of a sudden we can talk to brands as friends. We can talk to them as really other humans and we get messages back that are often signed by Sally or Steve or whatever.

Dan Gingiss: So there’s a human on the other end. That has built a different kind of relationship between consumer and brand than ever existed before. I think what consumers are saying is, “We like that and we want more of it.”

Joey Coleman: Well, and I think reiterate your point Dan, that idea of we need to respond to our customers on social. The days of somebody putting an opinion or a critique in the suggestion box and that was the end of it are gone. The customers want that back and forth. Give and take interaction.

Dan Gingiss: Absolutely. So we on this show, love to ask authors what their favorite passage of their own book is. So here is John DiJulius reading his favorite passage from The Relationship Economy.

John DiJulius: Today’s illiterate are those who have an inability to truly make a deep connection with others. Of all the skills that can be mastered, the one that will have the biggest impact on each of us personally and professionally is the ability to build an instant rapport, an instant connection with others. Whether it be an acquaintance, friend, customer, coworker, or total stranger.

John DiJulius: This skill should be taught at home, in school from pre-K to graduate school, and of course in business. Unfortunately, it is rarely taught in any formal way. Make no mistake about it. The lack of social skills our society has today is the problem of business leaders to solve, and there’s three ways we have to do this.

John DiJulius: Number one, use technology to perform basic tasks, alternative convenience for customers, enabling employees to focus on what is most important. Building relationships that result in higher customer loyalty, retention, lifetime value, and job satisfaction. Number two, build a culture that creates emotional connections with your employees. Finally, number three, incorporate relationship building training for new and existing employees.

Joey Coleman: I love it. I love the way John compares this inability to make deep connection to illiteracy. It’s that important. This is such a crucial and vital piece of the customer experience and the relationship we’re trying to build with our customers.

Joey Coleman: I read this book cover to cover, there are so many fantastic passages, but my favorite quote or passage from the book is as follows. Being a trusted advisor means demonstrating that no one cares about your customer’s business like you do. You earn business by being generous with your knowledge and resources without asking for anything in return.

Joey Coleman: John then goes on to give some specific guidance on how to become a most trusted advisor. Trusted advisors is a phrase that is bandied about in board rooms and halls of business around the world all day, every day. But how do you actually do it? How do you get to that position of being a trusted advisor?

Joey Coleman: Well, there are eight key steps. Number one, love what you do. Number two, get to know your customer not only professionally but also personally. Number three, be more committed to the success of your customer than they are. Number four, don’t share how you can help them until you have completely understood what their goals and problems actually are.

Joey Coleman: Number five, make sure your clients never meet anyone smarter than you at what you do. Number six, be honest and transparent, which segues to number seven, share bad news as soon as you can. And number eight, be a resource broker by making the right connections and introductions at the right time that will benefit your customers.

Dan Gingiss: I love how John talks about being a trusted advisor because in full disclosure, Joey, John has been a trusted advisor for me for many years. He’s been a mentor and a teacher and a guy that I can bounce ideas off of, which I really appreciate. So he is one of these guys that doesn’t just write about it. He practices what he preaches.

Dan Gingiss: So I to really love the book and my favorite quote actually is sort of a quote of a quote because it comes within the book from founder and CEO Sheldon Wolitski of the Select Group, which is one of the leading IT recruiting and staffing companies.

Dan Gingiss: Here’s what Sheldon said, “I went out and hired a CXO chief experience officer and his whole role is to make sure that customers are having an amazing experience. It’s been an absolute game changer. We are just obsessed over this and it’s interesting. It’s actually given all of our employees a little bit more of a purpose in life as well and a purpose in their job. Before we were focused on revenue and placing people, but now we are focusing on impacting lives and that’s what we’ve really done. It’s really kind of the why behind why we do what we do. So it’s been a huge transformation.”

Dan Gingiss: I love that because most companies don’t yet have a chief experience officer, but it is becoming a title that is starting to be introduced and I think it’s a great case study to see that it can make a huge impact when the buck stops with someone on customer experience. Somebody who is able to take that 30,000 foot view and see the entirety of the customer journey with your company.

Joey Coleman: Folks, this is a great book. This is a great book for you. This is a great book for your team. This is a great book for anyone in your life that understands the importance of relationships or wants to reinvest and double down into the relationships they have. So go buy the book. Don’t rent the book, don’t check the book out of library.

Joey Coleman: Okay. You can check the book at our library if you really want to, but I’d encourage you to buy the book because this is the kind of book that you’re going to want to come back to again and again. The book is The Relationship Economy: Building Stronger Customer Connections in the Digital Age by John DiJulius. A great speaker, a great author, a great customer experience professional. Go get The Relationship Economy today. Wow, thanks for joining us for another episode of Experience This.

Dan Gingiss: 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: 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.

Dan Gingiss: Thanks again for your time and we’ll see you next week. For more…

Joey Coleman: Experience.

Dan Gingiss: This.

Episode 72: If You Really Want to Show Your Customers that You are Loyal, Don’t Expire Their Loyalty Points!

Join us as we discuss one of the biggest annoyances in air travel, treating your most loyal customers poorly, and the importance of learning all you can about your customers.

Eliminating, Expiring, and Understanding – Oh My!

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