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!

Episode 121 – The Sound and The Story

Join us as we discuss products that provide their own soundtrack, rockstars that aren’t real, and a story that made me want to try a brand new product.

Making, Faking, and Salting – Oh My!

Host Contact Information

Email Dan: Dan@dangingiss.com

Tweet Dan Gingiss: @DGingiss

Email Joey: JoeyC@JoeyColeman.com

DanGingiss.com

JoeyColeman.com

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

Episode Transcript

Download an unedited transcript of Episode 121 here or read it below:

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

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

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

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

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

Joey Coleman (00:49):
Get ready, for another episode of the Experience This Show!

Dan Gingiss (00:53):
Join us as we discuss products that provide their own soundtrack, rockstars that aren’t real, and a story that made me want to try a brand new product.

Joey Coleman (01:06):
Making, faking, and salting – Oh my!

Joey Coleman (01:12):
We love telling stories and sharing key insights you can implement, or avoid, based on our experiences. Can you believe that This Just Happened?

Joey Coleman (01:26):
We’ve spoken about LEGO many times before on the show and as our loyal listeners know, I am a big fan!

Dan Gingiss (01:34):
I sure hope you’re not going to make me go find all those episodes, but yes, we have brought up LEGO and, you know, just to say, Joey, I am also a big fan. Although I would say that when my kids stopped playing with LEGOs, I also did. And so, but I, I know the feeling of getting a new set and tearing, open the package and getting ready to build something new. And it’s, it’s definitely a ton of fun.

Joey Coleman (01:58):
It is, and I will say I played with LEGO as a kid growing up. I then didn’t do as much LEGO before I had kids. Now my boys at ages five and seven are right in the LEGO sweet spot, uh, where they’re old enough to not be playing with DUPLO and excited about building sets and can follow the directions. My five-year-old is regularly doing the super advanced sets and he gets a kick out of that. And I think it’s fun too. And so just a big fan, but that’s part of the reason why I wanted to come back to LEGO and no, I’m not going to make you Dan “Rain Man,” us with all the previous episodes. You’re right. But there was a new aspect of my LEGO experience that came up over the holidays that I wanted to share. So for Christmas, my two boys gave me the Iron Man LEGO art set.

Dan Gingiss (02:45):
Oh yeah. I think I saw that in a catalog or a circular or something. It’s the one where you make a portrait of iron man out of LEGO?

Joey Coleman (02:54):
You are correct. I love that you get circulars!

Dan Gingiss (02:55):
Oh, I get the Sunday paper, man. I read the ads.

Joey Coleman (03:00):
I love it. I love it. As part of their new art series, LEGO is celebrating some of the world’s most iconic artists and bands and characters with sets that allow you to not only make wall art to display, but each set comes with several building options. So not only could I make a portrait of the famous Iron Man, Mark III, which for those of you that are not huge Iron Man fans is the suit that he wore in the first Iron Man movie. But with those same pieces and that same board, if you will, I could also make the Hulkbuster Mark I or the Mark 85, which the Mark 85 is famous for being the suit that he wears in the final battle against Thanos in the last Avengers movie

Dan Gingiss (03:49):
You asically lost me. But I think I am going to say that I know enough to know that Hulk Buster refers to “Incredible” not “Hogan.”

Joey Coleman (03:58):
You are correct.

Dan Gingiss (03:59):
Okay. That’s good.

Joey Coleman (04:00):
That’s when Incredible Hulk got into like the costume and then they had to make the, a bigger costume so that Iron Man could fight Hulk it anyway, long story short, to be honest, I’m not as much of a comic book, aficionados as I might come off as in this conversation. But I was really intrigued by this, just this whole general concept of these LEGO art sets. And if that wasn’t enough, if you purchase three of the art sets, you can combine all of them to create a giant picture or as LEGO says the “Ultimate Iron Man” piece. So as you might imagine, I’m in the process of building the ultimate Ironman piece, which is what I wanted to talk about today.

Dan Gingiss (04:39):
I think this segment might be better with video cause I could see this.

Joey Coleman (04:43):
I think it definitely would be better with video and in the interest of full disclosure, maybe by the time we released this episode about, uh, don’t hold your breath fans. I don’t know that I will be able to, uh, complete this setup before then. But if you go online and you look at Ultimate Iron Man LEGO, you’ll see a picture of it, but long story short, instead of while video would make it great. I actually wanted to talk about the audio,

Dan Gingiss (05:07):
The audio? Our listeners are already experiencing the audio.

Joey Coleman (05:13):
Well, yes they are. But I wanted to talk about the audio experience of the Iron Man LEGO art set. So when you open the box, you find the assembly manual, as you might imagine. And in the front of that manual is a little QR code with the following text underneath it. And I quote, “LISTEN – start your exclusive podcast and immerse yourself in the Iron Man story. BUILD – follow the simple building instructions in this book to create your art piece, RELAX – LEGO art is the perfect way to disconnect de-stress and decompress.” Now, when you open the landing page that the QR links to there is a one hour and 30 minute podcast featuring interviews with comic book aficionados members of the Marvel comics team that worked on iron man and the two Lego designers that oversaw the creation of this specific LEGO art set. It’s entertaining, it’s educational. It’s just the sort of unique experience that adds an unexpected layer to the LEGO set.

Dan Gingiss (06:15):
Now, hold on, hold on. Before we go further, are you about to tell me that there’s going to be a new LEGO set that comes out with a QR code that links to the experience of this show?

Joey Coleman (06:23):
You know, that would be pretty fabulous. We would have to work on that. No, but I love this idea of, and I’m not a huge QR code guy, but ever since they made it so that your phone automatically links and you don’t have to like have a separate app and figure all that out, it makes it a lot easier. But I want to play a little sample of what you hear when you start off the podcast.

Guest Voices (06:46):
It was just an interesting idea. You know, of a guy who has to wear this big bulky armor as he did at first, but you still have to build in that weakness. What is his weakness? Wait a minute. Why is this thing on his chest? Oh, wait, he almost died. You know, he’s this very fragile guy in a certain way, but he’s also like one of the richest guys in the world, a great inventor and so forth. He’s a cool exec with a heart of steel. What else is there? Iron Man was always a, uh, an evolving look. It was interesting to see the story evolve because that first outfit that Iron Man had looked like a hot water tank.

LEGO Narrator (07:22):
Imagine crafting your own wall art. Maybe it’s a passion that fascinates you, or maybe it’s the promise of an immersive creative experience. Like no other, a piece of iconic art you can build for yourself, relax and reconnect with your creative side.

Joey Coleman (07:42):
Now this podcast, as you can tell is fun. It’s educational. It’s just some interesting yet relevant background sound to accompany you, building the LEGO set. And as I think Lego probably figured out, there are a lot of people who are fans enough of Iron Man to get the set, but they’re not crazy fans in the sense. And I, and I say that lovingly not pejoratively. They’re not going to know all the nuance of who drew, which comic and what the evolution of the various costumes were. But because they’re basically showing the different outfits that are Iron Man wore, the different armor suits, they’re walking you through the history and the evolution of the armor. And I got to say this podcast soundtrack thing that they did added an entirely new dimension to my LEGO experience. I’ve been building LEGO sets since I was seven years old and I’ve never considered what I’m listening to while I build the set.

Dan Gingiss (08:43):
So it’s fascinating because we’ve talked before about different senses on the show. We’ve talked about adding smell to a hotel, lobbies talked about the bookstore that I didn’t have any lights. And so this is interesting that we’re adding some audio here. What my question for you is does it make it easier or harder to put together the LEGO set? Like, are you busy listening to the podcast? And so now it’s hard to read the instructions or does it kind of just all flow together?

Joey Coleman (09:14):
Well, what’s interesting about the Lego art sets is the best way to describe it is it’s kind of like assembling a mosaic, right? You’re looking at a grid and they’re very specific little colored disc and you’re putting them in rows. So it’s kind of a rote task, you know, put the blue one here, put the black one here. Now put another blue one. So it doesn’t require kind of the same level of mental engagement that building a set where you’re building a tower or a ship or something like that might. So I actually found it additive. I could totally understand that thought of like, Oh, is it distracting? Which interestingly enough leads me to. The next thing I wanted to share, which is that not only is LEGO created soundtracks for the various Lego art sets and you can listen to these, by the way, on the LEGO website, you don’t need to purchase the set. You can just go listen to the various soundtracks they built, but they also recently announced another sound project and knowing how much you’re a Name That Tune kind of guy, Dan, I would like to play a little tune and see if you can guess what you’re listening to. Okay. So I’ll give you a hint, obviously it’s LEGO related, but see if you can tell me what this is

Random Sound (10:42):

  • sound

Dan Gingiss (10:43):
So it kind of sounds like a bunch of LEGOs falling down, but I’m not sure…

Joey Coleman (10:46):
You are so good at name that tune, Dan. Yes, it is a waterfall of LEGOs. And not only is it a waterfall of Legos, it’s a 30 minute track of LEGOs falling of like just falling and falling and falling and fall sound. Yeah. And what’s interesting is that is one of seven tracks on the white noise playlist from LEGO available on Spotify, which we’ll link to on our show notes page. So the interesting thing about this is LEGO has realized that some people might want sound in the background and they created these long play, looping 30 minute things that are just ambient background noise, but is LEGO related. Now I’ll be honest. It might be, uh, that might be a little too far for some people, but I just thought it was super creative that they did something like that.

Dan Gingiss (11:41):
Yeah, it is pretty neat. I mean, if it’s something that you want to listen to, I don’t know if does it help you go to sleep or…

Joey Coleman (11:46):
soothing background noise when you’re making Legos, guess.

Dan Gingiss (11:53):
It kind of sounds like maybe I should create one with like pinball sounds or something.

Joey Coleman (11:57):
Yeah – exactly! Well, and I think, I think the moral of the story is Lego has recognized that they can add another dimension to their experience by thinking about the auditory experience of what’s going on when people are building their LEGO set. So what can we learn from the incredible team at LEGO? Well, consider the environment where your customer is going to be using your product or your service consider why they use your product. And if the goal is something akin to LEGO users who have a goal of disconnecting and de-stressing and decompressing, you might want to help them achieve their goal by adding an auditory experience of your brand, what is the sound of your product? How can you use sound to entertain your customers? How can you use sound to educate your customers? Take note from the creative team at LEGO and make sound a bigger part of your customers’ experience.

Joey Coleman (12:53):
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.

Joey Coleman (13:11):
I’m curious, Dan, have you heard this singer before? I’m going to play a little clip:

Guest Voices (13:19):
You my número, número uno, but we overdosed You were there in my orbit like Pluto When we used to be close You said you were home, but I just caught you High at Chateau People said we would fade like a photo Didn’t think it would happen with you though I miss what we used to be Out every night in the streets.

Dan Gingiss (13:41):
Well, actually, Joey, this might surprise you… I have no clue.

Joey Coleman (13:49):
I had a feeling this one might be a little bit of a stretch, but before I explain, let me ask this. Is there anything that you can discern or tell me about this singer based on that little clip you just listened to?

Dan Gingiss (14:04):
Well, I mean, she’s females, it seems like a younger woman and uh, definitely, she was definitely saying some words in Spanish. That’s about all I got.

Joey Coleman (14:15):
All right. Well that is a pretty accurate guess. All things considered Dan you’re right? That she is a young singer. She’s 19 years old. She’s actually a Brazilian American model singer and Instagram influencer. And she’s also not human.

Dan Gingiss (14:32):
I’m sorry. I’ll rewind here. I’m sorry. Not human.

Joey Coleman (14:39):
Not human. Correct.

Dan Gingiss (14:40):
All right. I’m going to need an explanation here, Joey.

Joey Coleman (14:44):
All right. Well, I was definitely a little bit confused and wanted an explanation as well. When I first came across Lil Miquela, Dan, as it turns out, Lil Miquela is a computer generated persona created by the Los Angeles based firm Brud. Now Brud is a “transmedia studio that creates digital character driven story worlds that unfold across today’s social platforms.” Now I know that’s kind of a mouthful. That’s the way it’s described on their VC page. But the founder was previously a talent manager at Spotify and was helping artists build their personas. Now, instead of working with temperamental young recording artists, they build computer generated personas, and then bring them to life like Lil Miquela. She has over 27,000 followers on Twitter, which puts her at about 26,980 more than me. But here’s the real kicker. She has over 3 million followers on Instagram.

Dan Gingiss (15:50):
And do people know that she’s not real?

Joey Coleman (15:53):
That’s the kicker everybody’s in on it. Everybody’s in on the joke. They know that this is a computer generated avatar. It’s not a real human and they’re okay with that and they’re fans. And she interacts with people. Now we’ve spoken about something similar to this in our conversation about deep fakes being used in politics. And as you may recall, in that episode, we talked about deep fakes. It looks so real that they could confuse viewers. Now, Lil Miquela is admittedly, not real, but that takes us, I think, to a fascinating conversation about what’s real or not real. And whether that actually matters or not. Does it matter if the influencer promoting your brand or product is real? Does the analysis change when the audience knows the person isn’t real and they don’t care or better yet, they actually prefer knowing the person isn’t real like the case with Lil Miquela. Now I recently came across this website: ThisPersonDoesNotExist.com no, seriously, just type it in: ThisPersonDoesNotExist.com And when you go to this website, you’ll see a picture of a person, except it’s not a real person. It’s a computer generated image made using software from Nvidia to create an image that looks like a real person, but it isn’t a real person. And I’ll tell you, it’s almost impossible to tell the difference between what is the fake person and what is the real person.

Dan Gingiss (17:20):
ThisPersonDoesNotExist. Woah! She’s pretty…

Joey Coleman (17:27):
Yeah!

Dan Gingiss (17:27):
It’s just not real.

Joey Coleman (17:29):
Now. Now wait. And after a couple of seconds, a little thing will pop up. That explains that they use software to create this person. And if you hit refresh, you’ll see a different face… You’ll see another person.

Dan Gingiss (17:42):
Wow.

Joey Coleman (17:43):
Except except these aren’t real people. Now what’s crazy is the same creators of ThisPersonDoesNotExist.com, they have a website for cats: ThisCatDoesNotExist.com. Horses: ThisHorseDoesNotExist.com. Art! Well, you get the picture. And yet all of the pictures they’re sharing are computer generated. They aren’t real. Now while this is arguably a very interesting and maybe strange thing for us to be talking about on the experience. This show, I think this type of technology has a ton of experiential applications. I mean, within the last year of COVID protocols and lockdowns, imagine if you could still shoot commercials with quote “people,” by building them inside the computer program, imagine a manager that never needed to worry about their singer trashing a hotel room. Imagine a studio that could have an actor, an actress that never ages. Now some of these concepts were explored way back in the 2002 movie Simone. You remember that one Dan with Al Pachino?

Dan Gingiss (18:42):
I think so…

Joey Coleman (18:44):
But what’s interesting is in that movie, Al Pacino creates this computer generated actress who goes on to win all these acting awards. And that was science fiction in 2002, but that’s reality in 2021. I mean, it’s not even 20 years later. And this thing that was a Hollywood concept movie is a software that you can go on YouTube and watch a tutorial of how to make it create fake people.

Dan Gingiss (19:12):
Well now see, I was Lil Miquela. Cause you know, when you watch the video on YouTube, you can kind of tell it’s a computer generated character and hey, if her music sounds good to people. That’s all good, but I’m still stuck on ThisPersonDoesNotExist that I keep hitting refresh and refresh. I’m like, wait a minute. These people don’t exist. They all look like unbelievably real. And that starts to get really, really scary, especially in a world that you and I have been living in, in the United States where real news fake, no news lie is true. We don’t even know the difference anymore. This can make that even more complicated.

Joey Coleman (19:50):
Absolutely. And when you think about your brand and when you think about, you know, spokespeople or influencers that you might want promoting your products or services, and then you think about customers that you might interact with, or customer photos that you might have on a website or use in your marketing materials. Do those have to be real people? I mean, I think at the end of the day, most Americans know when they see an advertisement that those are actors that they’re hired to play.

Dan Gingiss (20:21):
Or are they?!

Joey Coleman (20:23):
But here’s the crazy thing. What if they’re not, what if you can get them to say anything? What if you can make a video or a computer generated persona that looks like someone famous, but isn’t really them. I mean, there was an ad during the Super Bowl that was about all the lookalikes and it had Christopher Walken’s voice and then the final, this, we’re long enough after the Super Bowl, I feel like I don’t need to say spoiler alert, but at the end of the commercial, they pull back and it’s a guy who says, and I’m not Christopher Walken and they show the guy and he’s definitely not Christopher Walken. And yet all this time, you’ve thought Christopher Walken was doing the voiceover. I think this is just crazy. When we think about building brands and building experiences and building interactions with our customers and with our employees, what defines real?

Dan Gingiss (21:14):
Well. I think that we know in customer experience that authenticity being genuine are things that customers value. So in the situation of Lil Miquela where people know they’re listening to something, computer generated fantastic, right? I mean, that’s part of the allure. And so I love that. I think we gotta be very careful though, when we’re trying to deep, fake our own customers into thinking something is real when it’s not, you know, you could go down a whole lot of bad paths with this, including, you know, fake testimonials and all sorts of things that I think are, we certainly would not advise on this show, but like the deep fakes that we talked about, I think it’s great to know that this technology exists so that you can watch out for it – either you, or your competition, or whoever else – and be aware of it and look, let’s keep it real folks.

Joey Coleman (22:08):
Absolutely. I mean, I don’t think I want to be very clear. I’m not suggesting any of our listeners create deep fake customers or personas. But what I am suggesting is that the landscape of influencers and content creation is changing in ways that I think most people aren’t even aware of let alone, considering I’d ask those people who are listening to answer this question, honestly, had you even heard of Lil Miquela before this segment? Now the answer is no. I’d like to suggest that you ask some teenagers, you know, or some folks that are in their early twenties, if they’ve heard of Lil Miquela and if so, what if they, what do they think of her or her music, or if you’re not into regular conversations with, uh, teens or people in their early twenties go to Lil Miquela’s Instagram profile and look through some of the images, try to find ones that you know are fake, but look real and then read her posts and the comments and the interactions and see if you can get a feel for what the personality is like. And then ponder the fact that you’re considering a personality and a persona that is entirely computer generated, and then ask what would happen if you brought this same level of creative thinking and technology application to the experiences that you’re creating for your customer.

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

Joey Coleman (23:54):
Today’s myth about chatbots? Chatbots are difficult and expensive to build and manage. Most people think that chatbots require significant time and an entire engineering team to build, not to mention dedicated subject matter experts and even more engineers to manage on an ongoing basis. Once the chatbot is put in place. In other words, chatbots require lots of time, money, and resources.

Dan Gingiss (24:22):
Now, while there is a myth that chatbots are expensive and difficult to manage, the reality is that modern chatbots are easy to implement and can learn on their own. Unlike traditional chatbots that require you to code for every possible question and answer combination you might possibly see next gen chatbots are able to access your company’s help content and use that information to answer customer questions.

Joey Coleman (24:46):
You don’t need to have a whole team on standby either. The chat bot learns and updates answers dynamically, which means the chatbot continues to get better with each passing day. Now, the best part modern chatbots can be fully rolled out and implemented in weeks, not months, and often don’t require any engineering support, friends. This isn’t like creating a computer, generated Instagram influencer and growing her following to 3 million plus people. No! It’s much easier and it requires a much smaller investment.

Dan Gingiss (25:20):
Well, that sounds so much better than what I was thinking, Joey, because let’s be honest. I didn’t exactly go to school to be a computer engineer. And I like how that a project isn’t going to have costs that spiral out of control once I decide to jump in.

Joey Coleman (25:34):
That’s another myth busted, thanks to our friends at Solvvy – the Next Gen Chatbot.

Joey Coleman (25:43):
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.

Joey Coleman (26:00):
I receive a fair number of e-newsletters each week and every once in a while, something grabs my attention and causes me to act such was the case. When I was reading my buddy Nathan Barry’s newsletter. Now Nathan is the CEO of ConvertKit, a fantastic email marketing tool, and while his communications are often about advances in email technology or growing subscribers or turning audience members into fans, this particular email was all about salt.

Dan Gingiss (26:31):
Was it worth its salt?

Joey Coleman (26:34):
Gosh, I can’t believe you went there. Yes, yes, indeed. It was worth its salt. So Nathan told this story of some salt that his wife ordered from San Juan Island Sea Salt. That’s the name of the company. And the story was so different and so interesting that based on his telling of the story alone, I decided to order some, I then had my own experience with the salt, which I wanted to dissect in our conversation here today.

Dan Gingiss (27:02):
All right! Let’s spice things up!

Joey Coleman (27:07):
Sorry ladies and gentlemen, he’s out of control! All right. Let’s get into the salt. All right. So first things first I went to SanJuanIslandSeaSalt.com. Okay. Real easy to remember URL San Juan,

Dan Gingiss (27:21):
It’s real sea salt, right?

Joey Coleman (27:24):
This is not Lil Miquela’s favorite sea salt.. And I immediately saw this text, “Sunshine and seawater. It’s a simple formula. We rely on purely solar heat to evaporate our seawater. No fans, no heaters, no boiling.” Now Dan, you’ve never heard of San Juan Island sea salt before, correct?

Dan Gingiss (27:45):
I can’t say that I have Joey…

Joey Coleman (27:47):
But what do you think they sell?

Dan Gingiss (27:49):
Uh, I’m going to go out on a limb and say sea salt?

Joey Coleman (27:52):
Exactly. And where are they based?

Dan Gingiss (27:54):
Oh, how about San Juan Island?

Joey Coleman (27:57):
And how do you think they make the salt? What’s the process by which they make the salt?

Dan Gingiss (28:02):
Oh, well it’s a simple formula. They rely on purely solar heat to evaporate the seawater. No fans, no heaters, no boiling!

Joey Coleman (28:09):
Exactly. Now here’s the crazy thing. I know you are a huge fan of clear language and using specific, clear, easy to understand by everyone language in your marketing. And here I am three and a half seconds into their website experience. And I know exactly what they do. That’s not always the case when I go to a website. In fact, that’s rarely the case. When I go to a website now, a couple of the text, I just shared with the images of the water and the various greenhouses, where they had these trays of water laid out to dry in the sun. And then more images of them actually scooping salt out of the trays. And I get it. So now it’s time to check out their website navigation. So I see the following words for the navigation: Story, Salt, Shop, Honey, and Contact.

Dan Gingiss (28:57):
Well, this is very clear and straight forward and much better than navigation on a lot of companies, websites. We talked about this as well in a previous episode about how navigation I remember we had, we talked to those, to that design company that had gone through the B2B navigation site.

Joey Coleman (29:18):
Exactly! And basically found that the navigation was horrid. Yeah, actually, Oh,

Dan Gingiss (29:22):
Now I got it. Joey. It was Season two, episode 48. Of course it was Tank Design.

Joey Coleman (29:29):
Wow, impressive. Impressive. Yeah. I would not have remembered this specific episode or season as usual. I love it. I love it. So I decided that I would click on story because I to learn more,

Dan Gingiss (29:42):
You see, I would’ve chosen honey, but okay. Keep going.

Joey Coleman (29:44):
I figured as much exactly. Well then I learned that the business began when the founder is a young college student made sea salt for Christmas gifts. He and his friends boiled seawater on their parents’ stove, but it took forever. It made a huge mess in a wasted, a ton of electricity. So years later, after working on a vegetable farm, he thought he could use his greenhouse building skills to create a salt operation. That was more energy efficient. He created a batch, took some jars to the local farmer’s market and sold $700 the first day.

Dan Gingiss (30:14):
I love it. He was like a self-made man with salts. I mean, it’s, that’s a fantastic story. And I love that story is even part of their navigation and, and you’re right for going there because we all like a good story about a brand. We all want to hear where things come from. A lot of people, I know you and your wife care very much about how things are made and where they come from and how environmentally friendly it is and all that sort of thing. So this definitely sounds interesting.

Joey Coleman (30:43):
Yeah. You know, it’s salt, it’s something that we use pretty regularly. I would say almost every dinner. There’s some involvement in salt, either in the preparation of the meal or in the actual eating of the meal. And this is kind of a fun way to support a local small business. So I’m in, unlike in the story, I think it’s fascinating. And so I went to their shop and I purchased three jars of salt, their signature natural salt, a steak blend salt, and a bull kelp salt.

Dan Gingiss (31:15):
Of course you went for the bull kelp salt! What the heck is bull kelp salt anyway?

Joey Coleman (31:20):
Well, I was wondering the same thing. And when I read the description on their website, which I’m going to share here in a second, I was sold before I got to the last paragraph. So let me read this. And you tell me when you’ve moved from just being curious or intrigued to, I got to taste this. “Bull kelp (Nereocystis lutkeana) is the king of the vegetative waterworld here in the Pacific Northwest. It has always captured my imagination for the thick forest. It forms along our islands, Rocky shores and for its sheer growing ability. Its average growth rate is four inches a day. But what many people don’t realize is that bull kelp is also a delicious and nutritious seafood. It’s with this in mind that we bring you our Pacific Northwest inspired flavored salt. We source our bull kelp from a very cool small family business in British Columbia, Canada called BC kelp. The business is run by a lovely young couple and they wild harvest all different sorts of seaweed in a sustainable manner from the cold clean waters of the queen, Charlotte islands. In fact, they learned their trade studying under the legendary wild plant guru, Ryan Drum of Waldron Island. The taste and smell of this product will remind you of picnics on a Rocky Northwest beach in the summer briny, salty, with a deep green earthiness. We like our kelp salt on eggs potatoes. And of course, salmon rounding out local seafoods “merroir” like terroir for the sea.

Dan Gingiss (32:52):
Oh, sign me up. I’m hungry, man.

Joey Coleman (32:55):
I mean, I, I read this and I was like, Oh my gosh, the story is in the product listing. And like, I want to know about this couple and I’m intrigued like, Oh, they’re getting the kelp and they’re mixing it in. And then as it dries, I’ve got little kelp flakes blended in with the salt and I’m there. So I put everything in the cart and I get a message saying that because of COVID they were only shipping once a week. So understandably expect some delays receiving the salt and then they signed off with a message. It said, “Thank you for shopping with us. It allows our family to do what we love for a living and live in the most beautiful place in the world. We’re so grateful for the opportunity to serve you.”

Dan Gingiss (33:31):
I see. There you go. You just put some money on your credit card. You could have buyer’s remorse, but you get a message like that and you feel good about making that purchase.

Joey Coleman (33:40):
Absolutely. And let me tell you I’ve purchased salt at the grocery store many times over the years I’ve even purchased some kind of fancy salts. I’ve never felt like I’m actually helping a human live, their dream and help their family, and envisioning what their salt farm must look like. Now, despite thinking that it would be a week to 10 days before I received my salt, three days later, a package arrived in the mail with a sticker on the side that featured an infographic that explained the sea salt harvest process at San Juan Island Sea Salt and an illustration of Essene. I think I’m saying Essene’s name properly, but if I’m not, please forgive me. Evidently as Essene is the employee that packed our salt and it showed that as Essene’s favorite product offered by San Juan Sea Salt is their Chili Lime Salt, the favorite place on the Island is Ruben Tart park in the Moonlight, and a little factoid about Essene is that their first job ever was wrapping caramels with San Juan Island Sea Salt

Dan Gingiss (34:45):
Things here. Sign me up for some chili lime salt, please. And I also noticed that this company sells caramels with sea salt and sign me up for some of those too.

Joey Coleman (34:55):
Amen brother. Right? How classic that they’ve built this entire salt based ecosystem.

Dan Gingiss (35:02):
All right. So we got to get down to this. So yeah, open the package, cook up your salmon or whatever it is and you use it was this like better than the salt at the grocery store.

Joey Coleman (35:12):
Oh my gosh. Here’s the thing. Not only do I think it tasted better, but I actually thought about the story while I was eating it. And I shared with my family, Hey, guess how they made this salt? I’m talking to my boys about how we made salt and I’ll be honest. And maybe this shows bad parenting that prior to now, we’ve never had a conversation about where does our table salt come from,

Dan Gingiss (35:35):
Terrible.

Joey Coleman (35:37):
But I found myself talking about it and the boys were asking about the bull kelp and you know, how did it work and how, what does it mean to harvest kelp? And how does that work? And we’re now living in Iowa and we’ve got a family farm here and so we are going to be, you know, the boys were part of the harvest that we had last fall and they’re going to be part of the planting in the spring. So it just felt like this great opportunity to connect with the source of our food, which is you and I have talked about before is increasingly such a big part of what so many consumers are looking for. Now, you might be listening to this and thinking to yourself, okay, but Joey, I don’t have a sea salt company. I don’t have a product company. I don’t…

Dan Gingiss (36:20):
Bring it home Joey. That’s what they’re saying. Bring it home!

Joey Coleman (36:22):
Let’s dissect it. What can we do? Number one, make sure your website is straightforward and easy to navigate. Explain what you do quickly and efficiently. Go on your website right now and if in 3.5 seconds, a brand new visitor, who’s never even heard of your company knows doesn’t understand exactly what you do, start rewriting your copy. Number two, tell your story in a compelling way, your imagining what this family looks like. You’re imagining harvesting the bulk help. You’re imagining what it looks like to stand in these greenhouses and see the sun evaporating the seawater and leaving the salt that they then scoop into the jars. Why are you imaginating that? Why are you imaginating that? That’s classic

Dan Gingiss (37:04):
Why are you making up words?!

Joey Coleman (37:05):
Exactly. Why are you imagining that? Because they told a great story. So explain your inspirations, explain your evolutions. Number three, make it easy to give you money. Oh man, the checkout process should be smooth and you should manage expectation. And they did a great job. Number four, be sincere. Say, thank you. Explain how much you appreciate your customers’ patronage. Number five, deliver early. It’s better to tell me the package will be there in 10 days and then have it arrive in half that time then to tell me it will take two days and have it arrive on day three. And number six, use your packaging to continue telling your story long after the sale has concluded. Don’t make your packaging just about a brand expression. Make it a story expression. Now, if you’ve been intrigued by San Juan Island Sea Salt, I suggest you check them out. See if you like their story. And if you do buy some salt and by the way, there might be some salt sitting around here in some care packages that we send to some of our loyal listeners who reach out and share ideas with us for segments during season seven, or make suggestions for our new, ask us anything segment you might’ve heard about in one of our earlier episodes or take other steps just to let us know you’re listening. Hey, we want to send you some salt and whether it’s the chili lime salt or the bull kelp salt, you think you’re going to like it!

Dan Gingiss (38:23):
And it’s going to be worth it’s salt!

Joey Coleman (38:25):
Thanks for joining us for another episode of Experience This! You are the best listener ever!

Dan Gingiss (38:36):
And since you listened to the whole show,

Joey Coleman (38:38):
Yay you!

Dan Gingiss (38:39):
We’re curious… Was there a specific part of this episode that you enjoyed the most? If so, it would mean the world to us if you could share it with a coworker, a friend, or someone that just loves listening to podcasts!

Joey Coleman (38:50):
And while you’re in the sharing mood, if you felt inclined to jump over to iTunes or wherever you find your podcasts and write us a review, we would so appreciate it. And when you do, don’t forget to let us know as we might have a little surprise for you.

Dan Gingiss (39:05):
Thanks again for your time and we’ll see you next week for more,

Joey Coleman (39:08):
Experience!

Dan Gingiss (39:08):
This!

Episode 120 – Zero In on Small, Personalized Touches

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

Painting, Disrupting, and Adapting – Oh My!

Host Contact Information

Email Dan: Dan@dangingiss.com

Tweet Dan Gingiss: @DGingiss

Email Joey: JoeyC@JoeyColeman.com

DanGingiss.com

JoeyColeman.com

Subscribe to Experience This on Apple Podcasts

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

Episode Transcript

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Joey Coleman (33:29):
Experience!

Dan Gingiss (33:29):
This!

Episode 117 – Making Your Mark on Brand Ambassadors

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

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

[Dissecting the Experience] Making Your Mark on Brand Ambassadors

Things We Mentioned in This Segment:

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

[Book Report] The Age of Intent

Things We Mentioned in This Segment:

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

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

Things We Mentioned in This Segment:

• Experience Points – presented by Avtex

[CX Press] Ecommerce Marketing 2020

• Ignite Visibility
• Ecommerce Marketing Study 2020

Host Contact Information

Email Dan: Dan@dangingiss.com

Tweet Dan Gingiss: @DGingiss

Email Joey: JoeyC@JoeyColeman.com

DanGingiss.com

JoeyColeman.com

Subscribe to Experience This on Apple Podcasts

Episode Transcript

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dan Gingiss (01:36):
Nope.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Joey Coleman (02:44):
Wow!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dan Gingiss (05:09):
Exactly!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Joey Coleman (20:31):
Nice.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dan Gingiss (28:07):
Pat Sayjack.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dan Gingiss (33:30):
Wow.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Joey Coleman (41:50):
Experience.

Dan Gingiss (41:50):
This!

Episode 116 – The Sonic Brand of Your Experience

Join us as we discuss using handwritten notes to create connection, refreshing the sound of your brand, and trying to figure out what happened next when you only know the first half of the story.

Connections, Cues, and Cameras – Oh My!

[CX Press] If You Can’t Touch, Use a Personalized Touchpoint

Things We Mentioned in This Segment:

On This Delta Flight, the Crew Did Something to Remind All of Us of the Importance of Creating Personal Connections – by Jason Aten on Inc.com
• Delta Airlines
• LaGuardia Airport (LGA)

[Dissecting the Experience] Evolving a Sonic Brand

Things We Mentioned in This Segment:

NBC Chimes
• Sports Center Intro
• Disney Intro
• THX Surround Sound Test
BYU’s a cappela group “Vocal Point” sings the THX Sound Cue
• Netflix “Ta-Dum”
• Netflix’s New Cinematic “Ta-Dum” Sound Cue – by Hans Zimmer
• Hans Zimmer

[Crossover Segment] Experience Points – What Happened with Rohit Bhargava

Things We Mentioned in This Segment:

• Experience Points – presented by Avtex
• Rohit Bhargava – innovation and marketing expert, founder of the Non-Obvious Company, and Wall Street Journal best selling author of six business books
• What Happened? – Celebrity Guest Rohit Bhargava – Experience Points
• Fake or Fact?! – Celebrity Guest Rohit Bhargava – Experience Points
• Think Fast! – Celebrity Guest Rohit Bhargava – Experience Points

Host Contact Information

Email Dan: Dan@dangingiss.com

Tweet Dan Gingiss: @DGingiss

Email Joey: JoeyC@JoeyColeman.com

DanGingiss.com

JoeyColeman.com

Subscribe to Experience This on Apple Podcasts

Episode Transcript

Download an unedited transcript of Episode 116 here or read it below:

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

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

New Speaker (00:17):
Always upbeat and definitely entertaining customer attention, expert, Joey Coleman,

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

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

[EPISODE 116 INTRO]
Joey Coleman (00:39):
Get ready, for another episode of the Experience This Show!

Dan Gingiss (00:44):
Join us as we discuss: using handwritten notes to create connection, refreshing the sound of your brand, and trying to figure out what happened next, when you only know the first half of the story!

Joey Coleman (00:57):
Connections, cues and cameras. Oh, my!

[SEGMENT INTRO – CX PRESS]
Joey Coleman (01:05):
There are so many great customer experience articles to read, but who has the time! We summarize them and offer clear takeaways you can implement starting tomorrow. Enjoy this segment of CX Press, where we read the articles, so you don’t need to!

[CX PRESS][If You Can’t Touch, Use a Personalized Touchpoint]
Joey Coleman (01:23):
Alright Dan, I have a confession to make…

Dan Gingiss (01:25):
Oh boy, I’m not entirely sure I’m qualified to hear this, but go ahead.

Joey Coleman (01:30):
All right – here’s my confession. It’s been 244 days, nine hours, 11 minutes and 19 – wait, make that 20 seconds – since the last time I was on an airplane!

Dan Gingiss (01:47):
It’s been that long?! That’s a long time Joey!

Joey Coleman (01:52):
It hurts. It hurts…

Dan Gingiss (01:52):
For guys that are used to being on an airplane, you know, sometimes, uh, several times a week, uh, back and forth, it, it really is – it’s a big part of our lives that has just completely disappeared.

Joey Coleman (02:06):
Vanished in 2019, I flew over 160,000 miles on Delta and I, yeah, it’s just it’s I miss it. I miss it. And while I don’t miss all aspects of flying, there are definitely some aspects that I do miss. And as our Experience This listeners know when I fly, as I mentioned earlier, you’ll find me flying Delta,

Dan Gingiss (02:29):
But I do think it’s been 244 days, nine hours, 11 minutes and 20 seconds since you’ve mentioned Delta on this podcast as well!

Joey Coleman (02:37):
It might be, it’s been awhile. It’s been awhile, but, um, that is probably why. And fans know that I’m a huge fan of Delta. That is probably why three people, including my amazing wife Berit, loyal Experience This show listener, Nick Hemmert, and Barry Glassman advisor to the wealthy around the world, sent me a link to the CX Press article. We’re going to talk about today within an hour of it being published. Like, you know, that my brand has been associated with Delta when there is a story that is published and within an hour of it going live, I get it from three completely different people. So let’s talk about the article. You can find a link to this article, which was written by Jason Aten, in the show notes that experienced this show.com or directly on inc com. And the article is titled, “On this Delta flight the crew did something to remind all of us of the importance of creating personal connections.” And this article details, a remarkable experience that Jason had while flying on a Delta flight to New York city and specifically to LaGuardia airport,

Dan Gingiss (03:45):
Because let’s face it folks, you aren’t going to have a great experience at LaGuardia airport!

Joey Coleman (03:51):
Oh, our poor friends at LaGuardia – that hurt!

Dan Gingiss (03:56):
It’s my least favorite airport on the planet. I’m sorry. I’m sorry guys in New York. I know, but no, I just it’s.

Joey Coleman (04:04):
We, we, we all have a challenging airport – Dan’s is LaGuardia. Well, anyway, as the plane was taxing to the gate, after landing a flight attendant came around and delivered handwritten notes to the passengers. Now the note which Jason included a picture of in his article, and again, we’ll link to in our show notes, read as follows:

Joey Coleman (04:26):
“Mr. Jason Aten – I wanted to take a moment to say thank you for flying with us today. Thank you also for being a Silver Medallion with us, it truly is passengers like you that make my job not only great, but also make Delta the airline that it is today. Thank you so very much for your continued loyalty, all my best and safe travels, Gabby bragger.

Dan Gingiss (04:50):
Well, I think this is awesome, but I hate to say my first reaction is this was easy to do because there were probably only four people on the plane!

Joey Coleman (05:00):
Now I will say the article kind of alludes to it. Wasn’t a super heavy packed flight, right? That were less people. But I think that proves the point. If the, if you’re dealing as most businesses are right now in this COVID era with even less customers than you have in the past, are you upping your game? Are you upping the experience? I mean, so many businesses are looking for ways to stand out in the marketplace, to connect with their customers, to get more business out of the clients that they do have. And this is a fantastic example of something that every business can do. It’s low cost, but it’s high ROI. It’s a small commitment of time, but it delivers longterm value. It’s such an easy thing to do, but here’s the reality. So many people who have found the time to listen to this episode of the experience, this podcast will not find the time or rather schedule the time to sit down and write. Thank you note to a customer. And I don’t say that to be critical of our listeners. I say, that’s how low hanging this fruit is and available for you friends. Like all you got to do is write a thank you note.

Dan Gingiss (06:09):
Yeah, I definitely agree. And it is a much under-utilized practice, much like recognizing birthdays, which we’ve talked about before. And I know in a previous episode we talked about one of my favorite brands called PunkPost, which is a terrific way to send thank you notes. If like me, you don’t have all the pretty stationary sitting around and you don’t feel like actually writing it yourself. PunkPost will do it for you. But I definitely think that is a amazing thing to do. And all jokes aside about how many people were on the plane. It is a fantastic practice. And I think it was clearly meaningful to this guy. I’m guessing that the flight attendant didn’t know that he wrote for inc. And we’ve mentioned many times before that we don’t always know if our customers have podcasts or write for anchor Forbes or have their own blogs or have social media followings, but that doesn’t really matter. Ultimately, what we want is for those customers to tell a friend, to tell a colleague, to tell a family member that this happened to them on Delta or on whatever company with whatever company you’re dealing with. And that becomes the elusive word of mouth marketing that, you know, I was a marketer for 20 years, this is the thing all marketers are trying to get is word of mouth marketing. And it comes down not to a funny advertisement or something like that, but something as simple as writing a thank you note.

Joey Coleman (07:37):
So true Dan, and something that folks who don’t regularly fly Delta may not know. There’s that reference in the note. Thank you for being a Silver Medallion, Silver Medallion in the Delta flight loyalty world means you fly 25,000 miles a year. So it’s actually their lowest threshold for being a recognized medallion or kind of loyalty member. So if, if this was going to somebody who flew a hundred thousand miles a year, you could kind of say, Oh, well of course this is their top customer. I’m not saying that Jason, isn’t a great customer and a loyal customer. But what I love about this is it’s a way to connect with people who maybe someday will be at the next level of being a customer. And you can lay a foundation with these personal touch interactions that kind of continue the conversation going forward.

Dan Gingiss (08:29):
So in other words, those Silver Medallions are the people that you diamond people look no, look down on?!

Joey Coleman (08:35):
No, no, no brother, every year I’ve got to work my way through silver, to gold, to platinum and finally land in diamond. Uh, so I to go through silver at the beginning of the year, I tried to go through it quickly. So I get to the next levels, but yeah, it’s all part of it. And I think so often people will ask whether it’s, you know, when I’m doing a virtual keynote or consulting with a client, they’ll say, well, Joey, is it okay if we treat different levels of our customers in different ways? Can we put more praise and more interesting things and more touch points onto our highest paying or our most profitable or most loyal customers? And I always say, yes, you absolutely can. As long as that doesn’t mean you have a pathetic experience for the people who haven’t reached that level.

Dan Gingiss (09:19):
Sure. The base, the base level still has to be good for you to do.

Joey Coleman (09:22):
Exactly. Exactly. So I don’t mind extra gilding for the people who are your most loyal or your most profitable or whatever categorization you might want to give them, but you gotta deliver something to everyone. And as I understand from the story and the article, doesn’t clearly detail this, but it’s written in a way that it makes me believe that everyone on the plane got a handwritten note. And stop and think about those long flights, where, and I say, this respectfully everybody’s been served, everybody’s gotten their food, their snack, their drinks, they’re watching their movie, they’re working on their laptop. They’re doing whatever they’re doing. And I’m describing this in detail because it’s been so long since most of us have been on a flight. I want you to remember what it was like lots of times the flight attendants disappear for 20 minutes, 30 minutes an hour on these long haul flights or they’re there, but it’s kind of getting missed during that downtime. Yes, they could be playing candy crush on their phone, or they could be writing a handwritten note. And this flight attendant happened to take the time to write the handwritten note, which really stood out and led to the article.

Dan Gingiss (10:20):
And look, I think for people listening, this is probably the most important time for you to do this because if you’re not an airline, you’re probably not in front of your customers right now. And, and they’re not in front of you even if they want to be. And so it’s a great time for you to reach out to people, to remind them that you appreciate them when times are down, when the chips are down and when times are good. And these are the customers that are continuing to purchase your products and service even during a pandemic. And I think they deserve special attention or recognition for their continued patronage, even when it might be a little tough.

Joey Coleman (11:01):
100%. I mean, if you can’t have personal touch interactions because we’re not doing actual touching at least have a cool touch point like this. And I think the handwritten thank you. Note is an no-brainer. I mean, when it comes to the investment that it takes you to write a handwritten, thank you note, compared to the impact that has on your relationship with the recipient. I actually can’t think of a single customer touchpoint or experience enhancement that will have a greater return on investment or better outcome for you. I mean, thank you. Notes are increasingly rare in our, on the go transactional. We don’t teach cursive anymore digital world, right? They offer a physical memento of a personal relationship with someone that is all too often relegated to a fleeting text message or an archived, or God forbid even deleted email message. It requires less than minutes of your time, but people keep notes like this around for months or even years. I mean, let me ask this question of you, Dan and everybody who’s listening at home. You can play along too. Do you have in your house a thank you note that somebody wrote to you? Yes or no?

Dan Gingiss (12:09):
I do. Yes.

Joey Coleman (12:10):
Yes. Now let me ask this question, is that, thank you note older than three months old?

Dan Gingiss (12:15):
Yes.

Joey Coleman (12:16):
Yes! So here’s the fascinating thing. You still have the note, you remember who it was from? You’ve read it at least once, if not more. And you kept it.

Speaker 3 (12:26):
Yeah.

Joey Coleman (12:28):
This is a hundred percent unscripted! Tell us about it.

Dan Gingiss (12:30):
Yeah. I have two of them hung up in my office because they inspire me and I read them all the time.

Joey Coleman (12:37):
I love it. I love it. So here’s the thing. We as human beings in, since the beginning of time, but particularly in the middle of this pandemic, we are dying for physical proof that we matter. We are dying for evidence that we have created a connection with someone that we have served, someone that they appreciate our presence on the planet. And a thank you note is a such an easy way to let them know that and people will keep these and they will look back on them and they will remember you. And they will think fondly of you and folks, it’s like, you can do this for less than a $1.50 per customer, like easy for less than a $1.50 per customer. And I’m counting postage, and the note, and the envelope, all in… Everybody should be doing this.

Dan Gingiss (13:21):
So as Jason Apley notes in the article, quote, “[e]very time you interact with a customer, you have an opportunity to reinforce your values and build the relationship. At a time when personal connections are more than a bit strained, every effort you make to reach out to your customers or anyone for that matter is a big deal.”

Joey Coleman (13:41):
Absolutely. So friends, we have a challenge for you. Having recently celebrated Thanksgiving here in the United States and in Canada, and with a nod of appreciation to our listeners outside of the United States and Canada, all of you listening around the world. Thanks so much for your support. Here’s the challenge. Pick one of your customers. And if you’re one of those overachievers, go ahead and pick three, but don’t pick more than three and write them a handwritten note, a physical handwritten note with your hand or a pen, thanking them for sticking with you through 2020, thanking them for their continued patronage. Let them know how excited you are to be serving them now and to continue serving them into the new year and beyond. Write the note and see what happens.

[SEGMENT INTRO – DISSECTING THE EXPERIENCE]
Joey Coleman (14:29):
Sometimes a remarkable experience deserves deeper investigation. We dive into the nitty gritty of customer interactions and dissect how, and why, they happen. Join us while we’re Dissecting the Experience.

[DISSECTING THE EXPERIENCE][Evolving a Sonic Brand]
Joey Coleman (14:47):
Dan, I know you are a huge fan of game shows.

Dan Gingiss (14:52):
I always have been. And I assume we’re going to talk about our new game show, Experience Points?

Joey Coleman (14:59):
Uh, not in this segment. We’re actually going to talk about Experience Points in the next segment, Dan, but for now, I want to give you a chance to play the Experience This version of a little game called, “Name That Tune!”

Dan Gingiss (15:12):
Okay. In all seriousness, and this is unrehearsed, that was one of my favorite game shows. And of all the game shows that have come back that have been resurrected over the years. I cannot figure out why Name That Tune has never come back?

Joey Coleman (15:24):
I know, I know it’s it’s so, especially with the advent of so many more people listening, I mean, let’s, let’s take it back from like the Walkman to the iPod, to Tik TOK today. Like music is such a bigger part of everyone’s life today in many ways than it was even 20 years ago. I agree with you Name That Tune would be an obvious, obvious play, but what I decided, cause I knew and the folks, this is completely unrehearsed. Dan has no idea where this is going because I know you’re a big fan of game shows. And there was a interesting little story. I came across that I wanted to share. I wanted to turn it into a game. So what I’m going to do is much like name that tune. I’m going to play a little audio clip and Dan, you get to guess where it comes from. All right. So here is your…

Dan Gingiss (16:10):
Put me on the spot.

Joey Coleman (16:13):
Here’s your first one.

Dan Gingiss (16:18):
Okay. Not only do I know that that’s NBC, but you know, it was really weird. Joey. I had a sense that that was the first one you were going to show me as soon as you said, here’s the first one. I’m like, it’s going to be done. And uh, I don’t know.

Joey Coleman (16:34):
I love it. It is a very, very famous sound cue. You did a great job of getting it. I love it.

Dan Gingiss (16:42):
Whew, I didn’t miss them all. So now I can relax a little bit.

Joey Coleman (16:45):
Exactly. You can breathe. These are, you got the first one right now. I got to tell you, Dan, of all the sound cues in the game. No pressure. This is the one I think you have the highest likelihood of getting, right? So you already got NBC, right? So you’re doing well. But this one, I really think there is a strong possibility. You’re going to get it right. All right. On your marks. Get set. Go.

Dan Gingiss (17:12):
Yes, definitely! ESPN Sports Center!

Joey Coleman (17:16):
Yes. Sports Center. You are correct. Dan Gingiss ladies and gentlemen to, for, to get it done. He knows. He knows his points. We’re not going for charity just yet. I’m not making a donation. Maybe if you get all five, I’ll do something special for you, Dan. All right. Now this one may be not quite as familiar to you, but I know will be familiar to a lot of our listeners.

Dan Gingiss (17:43):
You’re the dummy Dan? Everyone else will know it.

Joey Coleman (17:45):
No, no. I think you’ll know this one too. There you go. This, this, one’s got a little bit of a buildup. All right, that’s plenty.

Dan Gingiss (18:08):
Yeah. At the beginning I was like, what the heck is that?

Joey Coleman (18:11):
It’s the buildup…

Dan Gingiss (18:11):
I’m going to go with Walt Disney or Disney?

Joey Coleman (18:14):
You are correct. That is the opening theme to all Walt Disney movies. All right. We’ve got another one for you. Dan. Here you go again. This one’s got a little bit of a buildup.

Joey Coleman (18:53):
So it’s been awhile, I imagine. But do you remember where you heard that one?

Dan Gingiss (18:57):
I believe that is, I hope I get the brand right, but is that the Dolby sound surround sound?

Joey Coleman (19:02):
So close? It is THX. You are right. It is okay. It is the sound that they play at the beginning. When you’re at a movie theater.

Dan Gingiss (19:10):
Actually you’ll appreciate this, I once heard an acapella group do that and it was unbelievable because it actually heard in like five different sounds at the same time. And it came out amazingly well saving and I love it.

Joey Coleman (19:25):
We’ll see. We’ll see if we can track that down and put it in the show notes had experienced this show.com. All right. Now this is the last one. Dan, here’s the last sound cue for you? And I will tell you this one in advance. It’s actually quite short. All right. What do you think, Dan?

Dan Gingiss (19:43):
Yeah, I hear this one. I don’t know, like five times a week. I, I think it’s Netflix.

Joey Coleman (19:49):
Yes, sir. You are correct. Ladies and gentlemen, Dan Gingiss game show host-wanna-be extraodinairre, his favorite game show was Named That Tune and you proved it today with this segment, Dan, you got all of them, right? I love it. Now I got to tell you that last sound cue is pretty interesting because millions of people around the world are familiar with the tandem. You can’t log into Netflix, queue up some cartoons for the kids, or sit down to binge, watch a series without hearing that opening sound cue. Now as observed by Netflix product, vice president, Todd Yellin, quote, it’s become the gold standard for sonic brands. It’s immediately recognizable and everyone knows that it means Netflix.

Dan Gingiss (20:40):
Well, I feel like we could do a whole segment on what makes a sonic brand, which is kind of a cool term I haven’t heard before. But what I think is so interesting about this is we’ve touched on multiple different senses in our previous episodes, right? We earlier this season, we talked about the bookstore that is completely dark. And you talked about a restaurant that you went to in the dark and we’ve, uh, w last season we interviewed somebody that works for, uh, a company that produces scents, very memorable scents in hotels and, and other places and

Joey Coleman (21:16):
And we’ve talked about bespoke touch, you know, experiences like, you know, velvet touch, magnetic enclosures on packages and velvet paper for brochures. Yeah. We’ve talked a lot about different ways that senses can be incorporated into the customer experience.

Dan Gingiss (21:31):
Absolutely. And sound, for certain businesses, is absolutely one of those things.

Joey Coleman (21:36):
Absolutely. Now, while sound cues in general are fascinating. Here’s where the Netflix “ta-dum” ran into some challenges. Now, Netflix has grown beyond mailing DVDs to your house, right? They then went to streaming movies to your home, to funding their own movies for theatrical releases. And since 2018, they’ve been releasing original films that they produced and funded in the cinemas. And what happened is Netflix felt that the “ta-dum” sound felt a little too rushed for the cinematic setting.

Dan Gingiss (22:11):
Ooh, it sounds like they needed a little Hollywood boost!

Joey Coleman (22:15):
Exactly! And so according to the fine folks@classicfm.com quote, they needed a movie mood, a symphonic version of the sound to set people up for a longer experience. So what did they do? They hired Hans Zimmer. Some of our listeners may not know Hans Zimmer by name, but I guarantee you’re familiar with the sounds he’s created over the years, including the scores for 150 blockbuster movies like Inception, the entire Pirates of The Caribbean series, Gladiator, the Dark Knight trilogy, and the Lion King. So Zimmer worked to put together an epic new version of “ta-dum”, which I’d love to share with all of you now…

Joey Coleman (23:02):
So it still has the nice “ta-dum” at the end, but it’s a lot more substantial than what we heard.

Dan Gingiss (23:23):
Yeah. It’s interesting. And I I’d be very fascinated to see whether people recognize it as an enhancement to “ta-dum,” or whether they think of it as something completely different. I don’t know. I mean, listening to it, I’m not sure that I can say.

Joey Coleman (23:41):
Yeah, I’m not sure either. And again, we’ll have to see what it’s like in the movie theater when hopefully we can get back to movie theaters soon, but the reality is it’s 16 seconds long. It went from being a two to three seconds long to 16 seconds. I personally think it gives a totally new feel and, you know, the “ta-dum” sound has become really iconic in a short amount of time. And I love that Netflix went to the extra level of saying, you know what, in a theater setting, if we just pop up the Netflix logo and say, we want something a little more, we want to separate the fact that this is Netflix in the cinema, as opposed to Netflix in your home.

Dan Gingiss (24:23):
Yeah. And I think that’s the real reason for doing it is that this is a different product, frankly, that they’re putting out. And ultimately I’m assuming the cinema movies will end up on the streaming services as well. But I think that’s the goal is to differentiate it. And I think that, you know, even that Sports Center theme song that you’ve, uh, that you played has changed over the years and has evolved over the years. And I think that just like we look at our logos, and our colors, and our brand palette, and all that sort of thing, if you have a sound associated with your brand, it’s definitely something that you ultimately want to refresh at some point, you know, we’ve seen, if we stick with movies, you know, you see a company called 20th century Fox that had to grapple with, you know, whether they had to change their name as we entered the 21st century. And, uh, and you, and, and yet sometimes you see throwback. So Disney often leads with that, you know, the old 19, what is the twenties? And so I think you can go both ways. You, you can get that vintage, look if that’s what you’re looking for, or I think, you know, for Netflix, cause to really isn’t the vintage Netflix, so to speak, I do think they’re always looking to be cutting edge. And as the guy said, uh, to be a sonic brand.

Joey Coleman (25:41):
So true. And here’s the thing, listeners, friends, you might be sitting here thinking, all right, guys, what are we supposed to do with this segment? How are we supposed to learn from Netflix’s new symphonic sound cue? Well, here’s a few thoughts. Number one, if you don’t have sound cues in your business, you should consider them in a world where audio is becoming more and more important, whether that’s via voice assistance like Alexa. And I know I just turned her on when I said that or the rising prevalence of podcasts, your brand can and should be thinking more about audio and the sound of your brand. Then maybe you have in the past,

Dan Gingiss (26:20):
I got to interrupt you for a second here. So our listeners may or may not know Joey and I split up the duties of our podcast with not only writing the episodes, but also the kind of behind the scenes thing. And one of the duties that I have is I listened to the episodes before they air. And I am telling you, it would be so easy for me to fast forward through our intro music. I am always humming along with it. And like, you know, speaking on top of the voices because it’s just become, you know, like I get excited when I hear it. And so I, I think that is true of so many things that we don’t even think about how a sound or a jingle or a, or, or some sort of a cue can affect us.

Joey Coleman (27:01):
Yes, absolutely. And let’s be honest again, pull the curtain back a little bit more. We hired a composer to custom compose our music, not only for the show, but for the interstitials between segments and all the segment intros. Ironically enough, my college roommate, Davin Seaman, who’s an amazing musician and composer and keyboard player. We hired him to put something together for us and we’ve intentionally kept the same, you know, general feel to the music. Even as we’ve added new segments from season to season, we always go to him between seasons and we’re like, Hey, we’re going to have two new segment types this season, or we’re going to do this new this season, and he writes new music that fits in the same genre. So there’s regardless of how big or small your brand is, you can make a decision to invest in the sound. The second thing I want to point out is that as your brand develops over time, it’s really important to look at your brand identity elements and make sure they still work well with your current product and service offerings. I was the guy who for many years, spent time designing logos and getting organizations to have a brand style guide. But one of the secrets to a successful brand style guide is that it’s a living, breathing document. And in the same way that Netflix has moved out of the home, into the cinemas, they needed a sonic rebranding. And finally, when you think about how your brand fits with other brands, make sure you’re playing the same type of tune. What I mean by that is a three-second sound. You works for the Netflix login screen in your house – but in a movie theater that THX sound to you that we played earlier in the show is 27 seconds long. You can’t have the standard quote, “are the speakers working” sound to be longer than the sound cue for your feature film? So give it some thought, what’s the sound of your brand and what can you do to get that sound out to your audience?

[SEGMENT INTRO – CROSSOVER SEGMENT – EXPERIENCE POINTS]
Joey Coleman (29:03):
The following is a crossover segment from the new game show that Dan and I have been telling you about – Experience Points – brought to you by our friends at Avtex who also sponsor Experience This, the new game show combines customer experience trivia with lively discussions on how to create remarkable experiences in your business. And along the way, we try to have a lot of fun with our guests contestants. This week, we feature a game called what happened with innovation and marketing expert and all around great guy, Rohit Bhargava, enjoy the segment and see if you can guess what happened

[CROSSOVER SEGMENT – EXPERIENCE POINTS][What Happened with Rohit Bhargava]
Rules Hostess (29:40):
In What Happened?, watch the first half of an experience story. Choose what you think happens next from four possible endings. Answer correctly, for 500 points. If incorrect, you’ll be granted an extra life and the opportunity to answer from the remaining three endings for 250 points,

Joey Coleman (30:01):
Let’s earn some money for Donors Choose, are you ready to get started?

Rohit Bhargava (30:06):
I am ready to get started.

Joey Coleman (30:08):
Let’s do it.

Dan Gingiss (30:09):
All right. This is Nate Brown. He is the Chief Experience Officer of at Officium Labs in Nashville, Tennessee. He’s a CX guy through and through. In fact, he started a group called the CX Innovators and not surprisingly, he had a customer experience story that he wanted to share with us.

Nate Brown (30:28):
Hello there Dan and Joey, Nate Brown here. And I do have an experience for you. I knew quite a bit of photography. And last year I had a lens and a Canon 85 millimeter, 1.2 that I really loved, but I just didn’t need it anymore. It’s an expensive lens. And one that was collecting dust. So I began the process of researching, how can I trade this in and get something that would fit my needs a little bit better, something a little more wide angle and landed, uh, at the site of a major camera retailer based in New York and, and called them up and, uh, got a really nice gentleman there who, uh, offered. Yeah, you could trade that lens in and we’ll be able to get you a new lens. Uh, that is very, very close to what you’re looking for there. Go ahead and send that lens on end my goodness. If I only knew what was about to happen, I would have just kept that darn thing.

Dan Gingiss (31:17):
Okay. So Nate sent his lens into the camera store. What happened next? Is it (a), he receives a new lens along with a handwritten note and a free tripod.

Rohit Bhargava (31:31):
sounds good.

Dan Gingiss (31:32):
(B) he receives a new lens that quickly breaks and then finds out that the lens was a fake. (C) the company keeps his old lens and never sends a new one, or (D) he receives a better lens than he expected. He enters and wins a photography contest with it. What do you think Rohit? What happened to Nate?

Rohit Bhargava (32:03):
I think that he, uh, I’m going to go with C company, keeps the lens and never sends a new one.

Dan Gingiss (32:16):
And tell us why.

Rohit Bhargava (32:18):
Uh, I don’t have much to go on on this one. So this one’s kind of a guess.

Joey Coleman (32:25):
I love the honesty Rohit of a guess – indeed indeed!

Dan Gingiss (32:31):
So what if we told you Rohit that you should guess again, because it isn’t C. So why don’t we use our extra life and choose between A, B and D.

Rohit Bhargava (32:48):
All right. Um, I will go with, I’m going to stay negative on this one and go with B because I chose a lane, you know, so I’m going to stick with the, I think it was a negative experience.

Dan Gingiss (33:09):
Is there anything other than that this company was in New York that makes you think that it would be a negative experience?

Rohit Bhargava (33:15):
Um, no, pretty much the New York thing. It gives it away. I think that was entirely, you know, that was entirely it. I just think that you couldn’t possibly have a good experience going to New York. That must be it. Yeah. That’s it.

Dan Gingiss (33:26):
Sorry to our viewing audience in New York.

Joey Coleman (33:29):
One of the great things about Experience Points ladies and gentlemen, it’s always fun to see the logic and the rationale that our contestants put towards figuring out the game. Rohit – you said B – that Nate received a new lens that quickly broke and then he found out that the lens was a fake. Let’s go back to Nate to see what actually happened.

Nate Brown (33:50):
So conclusion to that story, it was an elaborate manipulation. They did not deliver on the promise that they had made originally had to pay significant money in to get the lens that I had asked for. And finally got the lens after they overcharged me $700 on my credit card had to spend weeks fighting to get my money back, get the lens works for awhile. The lens breaks I call the manufacturer. They, I give them the serial number. It turns out this company had given me a gray market version of the lens that the manufacturer won’t even repair. So now I’m stuck with a broken piece of equipment. I’ve been manipulated. They’ve done nothing to make this right now. It’s, it’s incredible to me. I’ve reported them to the federal trade commission. They’ve been a nightmare for me. I’m going to be a nightmare for them. I hate it. I don’t want it to be this way, but they have certainly earned it.

Dan Gingiss (34:36):
All right,

Rohit Bhargava (34:37):
Victory. You know, those new Yorkers, I got to say, it must be that!

Joey Coleman (34:45):
That extra life paid off row hit. You got it correct. On the second tribe. Wow. What a story, you know, really at the risk of, let’s not bag on New York, right? But let’s talk about the fact that sometimes people can have a preconceived notion about what it’s going to be like to do business with you based on your geographic location, based on what your website looks like, et cetera. Could you talk a little bit about how, you know, a reputation can precede you, uh, depending on, you know, extraneous factors that your prospects, your customers might build into their consideration?

Rohit Bhargava (35:24):
Yeah, I think, well, this part of it’s nothing new. We, we, I think anybody in business knows when you give someone a negative experience, you know, they’re going to have that negative experience and they’re not coming back. I think people underestimate is just how angry people can be and just how vocal they can be about their anger. And you heard it from Nate, uh, where he, he didn’t just say, man, I hate them. I’m never going back. He said, I hate them. And basically I’m going to tell everyone who will possibly listen to me how bad they are. And that’s a viral kind of hate that. We’ve really got to be concerned about anybody in business, because when you screw up and you own up to it and you try and fix it, uh, that person might not come back to you. Okay. But they don’t turn into that vocal hater that tells everyone how crappy you are. They just shut up, which is kind of worth it. If you think about it because not everybody does things perfectly all the time, but to be able to at least get somebody to a point where they can keep their negative experience to themselves is a certain type of victory.

Joey Coleman (36:30):
Absolutely. You know, I think Rohit one of the interesting things is, uh, lots of businesses refer to their negative customer reviews or the people that aren’t interested as detractors. And I think that limits the actual impact. If we think of having, you know, either advocates or detractors, it’s a different conversation than having advocates, detractors, and haters. I agree with you. Nate’s a great guy. He’s a super nice guy. He’s a friend of the show, but you can tell that they went too far and it’s almost like he’s on a mission to kind of bring the dishonesty that he experienced, uh, to bear to the greater public. So people don’t get taken advantage of the same way he did.

Rohit Bhargava (37:13):
Yeah. And you know, I think, I mean, you may have even written about this, like the opposite of love. Isn’t hate it’s indifference. And so like, we don’t usually care until you make us care so much that we actively hate you. And at that point we’re going to do more work. Cause like, look, it’s easier for him to do nothing, right. I mean, he’s not waking up in the morning saying I’d love to devote one hour a day to talking about how much I hate these guys. Like nobody wants to do that, but because his emotion so high, like he’s going to do it whenever he gets a chance to, and appear on a talk show to talk about it. Right.

Dan Gingiss (37:47):
Yeah. And I, one of the things that stands out to me here is, and maybe this is just my values and morals, but I, I can kind of guess that, uh, that you guys share them with me is if you’re gonna choose the path of being dishonest with your customers, you may win that transaction, but you sure as heck are not going to stay in business long and keep customers for a long time. You know, I had, uh, an experience ironically in New York city as well, where I was recording a podcast, probably with Joey, and I had forgotten my microphone. And so I needed to buy a microphone quickly. And so I went to, uh, time square and went into one of those ubiquitous electronic shops. And I found a Sony microphone and it was like a hundred dollars. And it’s just was more than I wanted to spend, but the guy had shown it to me and said, nah it’s too much, I’m okay. And as I was walking out the door, he said, how about 50? And I was like, wow. Okay. So it was right at the a hundred was more than I wanted to spend. I decided at that moment that I was not going to check my phone because I really needed the microphone. So I bought it for 50, got back to my hotel room, looked up the microphone on Amazon $7 and 99 cents. Right. And so I feel like, and then I look at the receipt and stamped on the receipt, no returns. And I’m thinking to myself like, okay, I get it. Maybe you’re preying on tourists or what have you, but this is not a way to run a business, especially today. Whereas you say Rohit, the people have a voice on social media and they’re not afraid to use it when they feel like a company has taken advantage of that.

Rohit Bhargava (39:22):
Yeah, it’s true. It’s true. Um, and I think that people are much more willing to talk about that and feel better when they do.

Joey Coleman (39:30):
You know, I think if we were to roll back the clock in history to when everybody lived in smaller towns or villages, if your product or your service didn’t work, not only did you offend that customer, but because your entire marketplace was just that little town or village, all the other people in the town or village knew about it. And so as a result, I think people try to deliver a better quality product. They tried to be honest with what they were doing and as time went on and cities got bigger and we grew, and we started to have things like Dan’s talking about being a tourist in a city, buying something, companies got to the place where they could take advantage of the fact that there was a bigger world that they could sell to and the likelihood of any one customer really being able to cause them problems was pretty small so they could cut corners and be dishonest. The reality today is though I think with everyone walking around with a phone that has a video camera in it, that they can shoot a testimonial video video, either positive or negative and post it to YouTube or TikToK or LinkedIn, or even the Twitters. Cause I know Dan’s all about the Twitters, uh, you know, wherever you’re posting it, it can go viral and suddenly the entire world knows you’re dishonest. So I think even if we don’t go to the place of morals that you illustrate Dan, which hopefully that’s where the majority of people are. And I imagine, and know all of our great listeners, they’ve Experience Points are, uh, it’s now to the point where you can’t hide anymore, the reality will catch up with you. And boy, if you create haters, they’ve got a lot more power and ability today than at any other time in history.

Dan Gingiss (41:05):
All right, Joey, let’s recap. How did Roe hit do playing? What happened?

Joey Coleman (41:11):
Well in this game, correct answers are worth 500 points. And while Rohit didn’t get it correct on his first try, he used his extra life, any answer to it correctly, which means he earned 250 points. Those points convert into dollars, which means that Rohit earned eight $250 donation to Donors Choose. Congrats, Rohit! Great job!

Rohit Bhargava (41:34):
Thank you.

Dan Gingiss (41:35):
And that concludes this episode of Experience Points. Check out more games with Rohit and our other celebrity contestants at ExperiencePointsGame.com. That site again is ExperiencePointsGame.com. We’ll see you soon for more examples of remarkable customer experiences here at Experience Points presented by Avtex.

Dan Gingiss (42:05):
We hope you enjoyed that sample segment of Experience Points! For more game show episodes, head over to www.ExperiencePointsGame.com or you can visit Avtex’s YouTube channel, or your favorite podcast app. Just search for Experience Points.

[SHOW OUTRO]
Joey Coleman (42:29):
Wow, thanks for joining us for another episode of Experience This!

Dan Gingiss (42:33):
We know there are tons of podcasts to listen, to magazines and books to read, reality TV to watch. We don’t take for granted that you’ve decided to spend some quality time listening to the two of us.

Joey Coleman (42:43):
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 (43:01):
Thanks again for your time, and we’ll see you next week for more…

Joey Coleman (43:04):
Experience.

Dan Gingiss (43:04):
This!

Episode 115 – Making Every Touchpoint Matter Across the Entire Customer Journey

Join us as we discuss a camping trip gone awry, why every customer touchpoint matters, and thinking fast when money is on the line.

Camping, Optimizing, and Winning – Oh My!

[Listener Stories] A Camping Trip Gone Awry

Things We Mentioned in This Segment:

• Managing Expectations: A Customer Experience That Leaves Praise on the Table – Guest blog post by Jamie Drake on the Dan Gingiss Blog

[CX Press] How to Identify and Optimize Customer Experience Touchpoints

Things We Mentioned in This Segment:

How to Identify and Optimize Customer Experience Touchpoints – by Jessica Greene at Help Scout
• Charles Schwab

[Crossover Segment] Experience Points – Think Fast with Shep Hyken

Things We Mentioned in This Segment:

• Experience Points – presented by Avtex
• Shep Hyken – customer service and experience expert, keynote speaker, and best-selling author; think of him as the “godfather” of customer service
• Think Fast – Celebrity Guest Shep Hyken – Experience Points
• The State of B2B Customer Experience Report – by GetFeedback (at SurveyMonkey)
• Microsoft
• Ritz Carlton
• Fake or Fact?! – Celebrity Guest Shep Hyken – Experience Points
• What Happened? – Celebrity Guest Shep Hyken – Experience Points

Host Contact Information

Email Dan: Dan@dangingiss.com

Tweet Dan Gingiss: @DGingiss

Email Joey: JoeyC@JoeyColeman.com

DanGingiss.com

JoeyColeman.com

Subscribe to Experience This on Apple Podcasts

Episode Transcript

Download an unedited transcript of Episode 115 here or read it below:

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

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

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

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

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

[EPISODE 115 INTRO]
Dan Gingiss (00:39):
Get ready for another episode of the Experience This Show!

Joey Coleman (00:45):
Join us as we discuss a camping trip gone awry, why every customer touchpoint matters, and thinking fast when money is on the line.

Dan Gingiss (00:58):
Camping, Optimizing, and Winning – Oh My!

[SEGMENT INTRO – LISTENER STORIES]
Joey Coleman (01:03):
You listened to us, now we want to listen to you. By visiting our website and sharing your remarkable customer experiences with us, we can share them with a broader audience. Now, sit back and enjoy our Listener Stories.

[LISTENER STORIES][A Camping Trip Gone Awry]
Dan Gingiss (01:22):
My high school friend, and new virtual assistant, Jamie Drake recently embarked on a 25 day, 3,400 mile camping adventure.

Joey Coleman (01:33):
Wow! That’s a long adventure… let’s be honest.

Dan Gingiss (01:35):
Yeah, that is a long adventure, especially during COVID. And uh, so she goes on this adventure and she wrote about it for a blog on my website, which is@dangingiss.com. Now she spoke about managing expectations and this idea of leaving potential prays on the table when companies miss those expectations. So in much the same way that I love to talk about. And I know you do too Joey, about how creating positive experiences causes people to share with friends and family. We also know that creating poor experiences, not only causes people to share, but also can just cause them to remain silent and that can often be bad.

Joey Coleman (02:16):
And sometimes, that’s even worse because if they’re loud and they’re unhappy, you can at least do something about it because you’re aware of it. If they’re silent and unhappy, Ooo, now you’re in trouble.

Dan Gingiss (02:29):
Exactly. And you’re missing out on an opportunity to have a fan praise you. And in this case, you know, Jamie has a decent following on social media and she’s got an audience that knows that she is a camper. And so she’s sort of a mini expert in this field and could very much be talking very positively about this, uh, camping supply company that she went to and, uh, and dead isn’t. Now we asked her to not name the company, but the point here is that there’s a huge missed opportunity. So let’s have Jamie tell her side of the story here.

Jamie Drake (03:12):
I recently went on a 25 days, 3,400 mile Epic adventure with my family and our camper. Now we’re seasoned campers. And when the world told us it wasn’t safe for us to leave our house, we decided to figure out a way to take our house with us. We were in a global pandemic and we wanted to try a socially distant exploration beyond our front door, after so many months of staying at home. So we saw our chance and we took it. But before we set out on our journey, we really needed one piece of the puzzle. And that was a new camper. The one that we had was a bit small. We knew exactly what we needed. We had done this before and we set out to our local chain of a national camping store to take care of buying a new camper. Our expectations were high and our excitement was even higher, but as soon as we walked in the door, our expectations were lowered, and lowered, and lowered, as we were met with bad salesmen and sneaky sales techniques and told that we needed a camper that was bigger and better and more expensive than what we were looking for. We didn’t appreciate these blatant tactics to encourage us to spend more money and buy a bigger unit. The constant obvious efforts were distracting and made the experience far less enjoyable. Now nothing was going to detract us from going on this trip. We wanted to take this adventure. We just also wanted to immerse ourselves in the culture of the store and have the support we needed on the road. Now they bragged and bragged about the epic support that they were going to provide while we were on the road. Should we need anything? And of course we were let down at every turn when we reached out for help, they weren’t there. But, I did learn a few things about being a customer. And I realize that loyalty should never be taken for granted. My loyalty should have been earned. It should have been nurtured. And in the future, when I need to buy something for our camper or our camping trips, I’m going to go out of our way to make sure I’m not purchasing or interacting with this company again. So they missed an opportunity to not only create a customer for life, but to create a loyal fan and they could have been singing their praises, but instead they left that praise on the table.

Dan Gingiss (05:28):
So the rest of Jamie’s story, which she talks about in the blog is that she actually did need the company’s help during the camping trip. And several times tried to reach out to them and you know, the whole sales pitch was about, Oh, we’ve got all these locations around the country. So wherever you are, we can come help you. And when she called the local locations, they had no idea who she was or what she needed or why they, why she was calling them…

Joey Coleman (05:55):
or had, it sounds like, any desire to help. Not only did they not have any of the things that had been promised, but it sounds like the lack of experience or the commitment to experience was so low that they didn’t even see it as an opportunity to create a good experience, to live up to an expectation, even if they weren’t aware of that expectation.

Dan Gingiss (06:18):
Well, right. And we’ve talked about this in some other segments, like when we talked about car rental companies, for example, you know, oftentimes there is the city that you pick up the car and the city that you’d drop off the car and it’s the same…

Joey Coleman (06:33):
And the billion dollar fee you pay for dropping it off, not in the same city, which I never understood. How often does that happen? It’s like just free money for the car companies.

Dan Gingiss (06:43):
It is. But my point there being that you often have two different experiences with the same company, but with two completely different groups of people. And I think that’s what the expectation was here, but I actually want to start at the early part of her story because I thought was what was so interesting here was the slimy sales techniques. And we’ve kind of all been through this at some point in our life. And, and we’ve talked on this show about various, uh, uh, sales experiences that we’ve had. But I thought that it was really interesting because this was like shooting fish in a barrel. I mean, she walked in knowing she was going to buy it camper, not like a stick of gum, like a camper, a significant purchase!

Joey Coleman (07:26):
It’s a significant investment. And I would imagine in general, uh, in the general scenario, I’ve never sold campers before, but I would imagine there are two and only two types of people that come into a camping store: the ones that are there to buy a camper that day and the ones that are there to kick tires, I think very rarely does somebody go in and go, Hey, let’s just go in and see what they have. And later go, let’s just get a camper. Right? I don’t think that happens. So you’re really only trying to discern between two types of potential avatars, if you will, or personas – the person who’s ready to buy that day and the person who is going to need a lot more convincing, and we’re almost certain is not going to buy that day. And Jamie was clearly the ideal one, the one we want in sales, the person who shows up ready to rock, ready to make this substantial investment.

Dan Gingiss (08:21):
Exactly. And I believe it’s page one, paragraph, one of the sales handbook that says selling when you get a yes.

Joey Coleman (08:28):
a hundred percent!

Dan Gingiss (08:30):
Like you’ve already convinced me. And like I said, Jamie and her family walked in convinced they were going to buy and they had done their research. And I think, you know, something that we haven’t talked about on the show, I don’t believe in 115 episodes is this idea that customers have so much research that they can do before even walking into a store nowadays. I mean, think about back when our parents buying a car, it was yeah. Our dealership that knew everything about the car.

Joey Coleman (08:59):
They knew everything about the car. They knew what colors it was available and they knew all the parts, all the functions, all the features. Now I can get that in 35 seconds on a website. Oh. And by the way, if I’m interested in buying a ca,r or in Jamie’s case a camper, I’m going to do my research in advance. There’s a high likelihood that your customer walking in actually knows more about your product than you do, because they only have learned about one of them. They’ve narrowed the field to the one camper that they want. Whereas you might have a dozen different makes and models that you’re selling. Whereas Jamie walked in knowing this is the exact one I want with these features or these ad-ons or you know, these elements.

Dan Gingiss (09:41):
Yeah. So I, I think that was, that really stood out to me that here’s somebody who knows what she wants. It’s an expensive item. Why can’t this salesperson just sell it to her? Why do they have to feel like they’ve got an upsell or offer her additional features? And as she said, this started off the experience poorly for her. And so they haven’t even left on the trip and they already don’t really like this company. Now that is not how you want to start a relationship with somebody who is about to make a big purchase with you. Somebody who has it turns out is an influencer in this space. Uh, but, uh, you know, it doesn’t even matter if you’re not an influencer that you still have friends and family and colleagues that you’re going to talk to about this new camper that you bought.

Joey Coleman (10:24):
Well, I would posit Dan that in 2020, everyone is an influencer.

Dan Gingiss (10:29):
Well, everyone has influence.

Joey Coleman (10:31):
Everybody has an influence. Everybody has a network of people who probably have similar interests or likes on them. I mean, in my experience, somebody who’s into camping, probably as friends that are into camping, you know, that kind of thing. And so we miss the opportunity because I think we’ve defined influence or where the capital “I” meaning somebody that has, you know, a million followers on Twitter, as opposed to influencer, maybe with a lowercase “i” that is, Hey, within their network, whether we take Dunbar’s Law and say, you know, 150 people or Facebook, a thousand plus friends that they’re going to post about their camping trip on Facebook or on social media and tell people about it’s like, there are people that are being influenced by the experience. And that’s why every experience I would say matters even more than it used to.

Dan Gingiss (11:18):
Yeah, I totally agree. So look, here’s what we can learn from Jamie’s situation here with the camper, when you are a salesperson, or if you have a sales staff, it’s important to one personalize the pitch, right? And in this case, the pitch did not need to be. And here’s all the other things we have because this particular person walked in knowing what they wanted. Someone else might walk in and say, well, here’s the story. I’ve got a family of six and we want to do this. And we don’t like this and we want to cook. And, and, and they may offer you the opportunity to give them options. In this particular case, that’s not, what’s happened. Number two is trying to provide immediate value because the beginning of this relationship started off sour. Now you’re playing from behind the eight ball when instead they could have wowed her with the initial experience, you know, kind of creating that expectation. And frankly, that comfort that the experience was going to continue to be positive throughout the camping trip. As we mentioned, stop selling when you get to a yes and finally make sure that the rest of your organization can deliver on what the sales team promises. So in Jamie’s case, they promise, don’t worry, we’ll be there for you wherever you stop in the country. And that turned out not to be true. So if it isn’t true, don’t be saying it to your prospective customers. So learn from the experience of Jamie and the bad experience that she had with this camping company. And don’t make the same mistakes at your company.

[SEGMENT INTRO – CX PRESS]
Joey Coleman (12:51):
There are so many great customer experience articles to read, but who has the time! We summarize them and offer clear takeaways you can implement starting tomorrow. Enjoy this segment of CX Press – where we read the articles, so you don’t need to!

[CX PRESS][How to Identify and Optimize Customer Experience Touchpoints]
Dan Gingiss (13:09):
This week’s CX Press article comes to us from Jessica Greene at Help Scout and is entitled “How to identify and optimize customer experience touch points.” Now the article begins and I’m quoting customer touch points or specific places in the customer journey where prospects and customers interact with your company. Those touch points might be direct interactions such as getting a demo from your sales team, or they can be indirect interactions such as reading a blog post, you published. Each of your customer touch points has a direct impact on your overall customer experience. The way prospects and customers perceive your company. A poor experience at one touch point can easily degrade the customer’s perception of multiple positive historical experiences at other touchpoints unquote. And I thought that last point was super powerful, right?

Joey Coleman (14:01):
Dan, I was just going to say, we need to reread that right. “A poor experience at one touchpoint can easily degrade the customer’s perception of multiple positive historical experiences at other touchpoints.” So it’s not enough to get one or two of them, right? Folks, we got to get all of them and a bad situation can erase all the goodwill you’ve built up.

Dan Gingiss (14:24):
Yeah, it’s that old saying? You know, it takes years to get a customer and second salutes one century. It’s absolutely true. And unfortunately, a negative experience is just weighed more heavily than positive one. I do believe that companies kind of build up a, a Goodwill bank over time that if you have enough positive experiences, I think customers are more forgiving of a negative experience. You know, for example, a company I’ve talked very highly about in the, because I’ve been a customer for a long time, Charles Schwab, I had an incident the other day, actually it was a day where the stock market opened up at, it was up 1500 points and everybody was going crazy. And for the first 45 minutes of the trading day, their site was down. Ooh, that’s good. Right. But you don’t want it. I wasn’t, I, I was a little bit frustrated, but I wasn’t angry at them because I’ve had such a great experience with them since literally 1996, that I was much more forgiving. So I do think you can build up that Goodwill, but what Jessica says makes a ton of sense. She goes on to list 11 key touch points and then shares what can be done at each of those touch points to ensure a seamless customer experience. Now, the touch points that she covered are the company website, the blog, social media emails, paid advertising, customer referrals, sales calls, and demos, self service, customer support, renewals, and cancellation. I love that she included cancellation.

Joey Coleman (16:00):
Yeah. So did I say it’s like this entire article, everything it’s the last sentence is where all the gold is. I mean, there’s gold in all of these, but again, same thing, as she said before in the, in the segment that you quoted, you know, the cancellation, a huge piece of the customer journey that is often overlooked. And what I love about this list is that it’s actually not in sequential order because I think all too often brands presume that a customer’s going to come down a certain path. But what we know is someone might see the ad, which is in the middle of her list and then do a sales call, which is just passed that in her list and then say, well, you know, I’m not sure I’m going to go check out their website and their blog. And you know, what people are saying are social. So people are, you know, customers are jumping all around the journey. It’s not a singular linear path that they’re walking. And I think that brands and organizations that think more holistically about the journey and that the customer can enter from any direction and move in any direction, once they’re in the flow is a great way to catch all of the touch points.

Dan Gingiss (17:06):
Yeah, absolutely. The customer journey is not linear and there is not one journey because everybody goes at their own pace and everybody researches differently, et cetera. And I’d also like to point out that while Jessica does a great job with these 11 key touch points, there’s lots of other touch points that can happen as well. Just a few that, uh, that I came up with kind of just thinking off the top of my head, and I’m sure you have some too Joey, you know, customer surveys, or voice of the customer opportunities, the mobile app, older, uh, throwback, uh, marketing channels like direct mail and television advertising, for example.

Joey Coleman (17:46):
Absolutely! Or things like phone calls – hello! – or billing, which guaranteed there is some form of billing and/or receipts or payment process. Contracts, the actual use of the product or service that you’re offering, and then all the intangible touch points and tangible touch points that come from use, whether they’re needing to call in for more order new supplies or, you know, get, you know, new ways of interacting that come from the usage of your products or services at the end of the day, if we’re actually to map out all the interactions, it can be pretty overwhelming and pretty daunting. And then I’ll layer this up. One more level, Dan, as a general rule, I’d be willing to bet that whether you take her list of 11 or the list we’ve added on, we’re now covering about 12 different departments within the organization.

Dan Gingiss (18:37):
Well, of course, and I think it certainly goes to show you that everyone in your organization has either a direct or indirect impact on the customer. There are very few, if any people that have no impact, right? And you could say, well, what about the person in the finance department? While the person in the finance department might oversee somebody who sends out the invoices or might determine the pricing, or might determine something else about how the financial aspect of your experience works. And though they may not be in front of the customer and the customer may never know the person’s name. They still may have a really big impact on how that person perceives your company. So check out the article on Help Scout’s website, we’ll link to it on ExperienceThisShow.com it’s called “How to Identify and Optimize Customer Experience Touchpoints.” And when you get back to work, after listening to experience this, try to list all of your customer touch points.

[SEGMENT INTRO – CROSSOVER SEGMENT – EXPERIENCE POINTS]
Dan Gingiss (19:44):
The following is a crossover segment from the new game show that Joey and I have been telling you about Experience Points – brought to you by our friends at Avtex who also sponsor experience this the new game show, combined fun and trivia with lively discussions on how to raise the experience bar in your business. This week, we feature a game called think fast with our good friend Shep Hyken. Enjoy the segment and see how many of the questions you get. Right?

[CROSSOVER SEGMENT – EXPERIENCE POINTS][Think Fast with Shep Hyken]
Rules Hostess (20:14):
In think fast, you will have one minute to answer five experience questions for each question you must quickly choose between two possible answers. Correct answers. Given before time runs out are worth 100 points, five, correct answers will earn you 500 bonus points for a possible school of 1000 points.

Joey Coleman (20:36):
There’s big money on the line Shep – are you ready to get started?

Shep Hyken (20:40):
Let’s get this party started!

Dan Gingiss (20:42):
All right. So for Think Fast today, we are going to be giving some questions grom a recent report from our friends at GetFeedback by SurveyMonkey. This is the “State of B2B Customer Experience Report.” Now we know that you work with lots of B2B companies and that you are after all the godfather of customer experience. So they should be a piece of cake for you. You ready to go?

Shep Hyken (21:08):
I’m ready.

Dan Gingiss (21:09):
All right, Joey, give us 60 seconds on the clock and let’s make some money. What percentage of B2B companies think their company is delivering an excellent customer experience? 48% or 68%?

Shep Hyken (21:20):
68%.

Dan Gingiss (21:24):
What percentage didn’t have even one part-time person taking ownership of CX initiatives, 24% or 42%?

Shep Hyken (21:34):
42%.

Dan Gingiss (21:36):
What do B2B companies report is the number one challenge to customer experience. Is it organization silos or executive sponsorship?

Shep Hyken (21:44):
I’m going with executive sponsorship?

Dan Gingiss (21:48):
90% of B2B said there is good value in customer feedback. What percent understand how their customers perceive their experiences? 58% or 70%?

Shep Hyken (21:58):
58%.

Dan Gingiss (22:00):
And finally, what percent is say improving customer experience at their company is important or very important. Is it 75% or 87%?

Shep Hyken (22:07):
87%.

Dan Gingiss (22:08):
The time is running out 87!

Joey Coleman (22:12):
With barely a second to spare! There wasn’t even a second. It was like we were at the Olympics. It was ticking over. Wow. That was fast!

Shep Hyken (22:20):
I was worried whether Dan was going to finish the question before the clock ran out!

Dan Gingiss (22:24):
I told you I’d finish man!

Joey Coleman (22:26):
We were rooting for you buddy. Oh, you did a great job getting through all five of those. Now let’s see how you did.

Dan Gingiss (22:34):
All right. On the first question, which was, what percentage of B2B companies think their company is delivering an excellent customer experience? You said 68%. The answer is 48%.

Shep Hyken (22:50):
Well, that’s a shame because that report is wrong! No, I just, I’m just kidding. You know, there’s this huge disconnect between what companies think they’re doing and what the customers are actually perceiving to the point where it’s an overwhelming majority of leadership thinks their companies are doing far better than they actually are.

Joey Coleman (23:11):
Absolutely.

Shep Hyken (23:13):
That’s where I came up with that one.

Dan Gingiss (23:14):
A second question is what percentage didn’t have even one part-time person taking ownership.

Shep Hyken (23:21):
And I bet I blew this one.

Dan Gingiss (23:22):
You said 42%. And the answer is – 42%! Good job.

Shep Hyken (23:29):
That word “part-time” as I looked at it, was it not even one part-time person? Yeah. So there you go, 42. And that blows my mind because even if you look at 10 years ago, there were reports showing that by the year 2020 customer experience is going to be like the number one most important initiative that companies should have. And yet look at this.

Dan Gingiss (23:49):
And I can say from reading this report, what this actually means is it is not a single person full-time or part-time that is working on it. That is dedicated to it. Not a single person. Yeah.

Shep Hyken (24:01):
If I had to read it again, I would have probably got it wrong because that part time they got to have somebody, at least part-time caring about it.

Dan Gingiss (24:08):
42% say they don’t. So the next question, what to be B2B companies report as the number one challenge to customer experience. You said executive sponsorship, the answer is organization silos.

Shep Hyken (24:25):
Which is symptomatic of a lack of executive sponsorship.

Dan Gingiss (24:33):
Well, sir, unfortunately it’s still the wrong answer, but hey, good try. Um, question number four 90% of B2B said there’s good value in customer feedback. What percentage understand how their customers perceive their experience? You said 58%. The answer is 58%. Very good, sir.

Shep Hyken (24:58):
I’m batting 500 right now. Is that right?

Dan Gingiss (25:01):
Well, we got one more. Let’s see…

Dan Gingiss (25:02):
I just want to say that if I were a baseball player, I’d have one freaking huge contract right now.

Dan Gingiss (25:09):
That’s true. That’s true. All right. The final question was what percentage say improving customer experience at their company is important or very important? You said 87% and the answer is 87%. Well done, sir.

Joey Coleman (25:27):
Ooo Shep! Fantastic. Well, thank you very much. Love it. Love it. Well Shep, you know, these questions all speak to, as you said, the disconnect between what companies say is important to them and what they actually do. Why is it you think that so many companies claim that customer experience is a high priority, but it really hasn’t been elevated to that business level objective. They haven’t put the resources, the people, the effort behind it, as much as they put the lip service behind it.

Shep Hyken (26:03):
So there’s actually so many different ways you can go with this answer, but I’ll say a couple of things. Number one, um, I do believe that executive sponsorship or leaderships leadership sponsorship as it was called, is an issue within many companies. They talk about it and yet they don’t necessarily act as the role model. They don’t create the service vision. It becomes like a theme at a particular time when they receive a complaint. And then that becomes the next most important thing for the next three months, till they move on to something else, the best of the best companies decide. This is super important to them. They make it part of their culture. Uh, it’s it’s built into how they hire people. And, and I think that’s where, uh, I don’t know if I’m getting away from your original question, but if that’s what they want to do to take the business to the next level, they need to be thinking it’s not a department, it’s a culture, it’s philosophical, everybody’s involved. And we need to show people, everybody, the person in the warehouse, somebody behind the scenes that never sees a customer, we need to show them just how important their role is to the other people they work with and the outside customer,

Dan Gingiss (27:14):
You know, Shep one of the things that was interesting to me about this study and what might’ve caused you to get that first question wrong was that this was only B2B companies. And I don’t know about you. I know all three of us have spoken on many stages about customer service and customer experience. One of the questions that I get the most often when I walk off the stage is does this apply to B2B? And my answer, which might be slightly more sarcastic than yours is at depends. Do you market to human beings? And I sort of pause there and they’re like, uh, yes. I’m like, well then it applies because human beings are consumers in their real life. And as, as we all know, you’re being compared to every experience that they’ve had, but I’m wondering why do we, why is that still a question and why the B2B companies somehow either feel that they’re exempt or don’t have the same kind of infrastructure technology operations that B2Cs have to make CX a priority?

Shep Hyken (28:15):
Well, B2C is primarily a retail type of feeling to it or a frontline feeling to it, a consumer, feeling to it. However B2B is different. And that, and as you get to B2B where I don’t think we’re looking at, you know, a software company that sells to consumers, uh, I mean, I’ll even say Microsoft, even though they’re B2B, they’re very frontline retail focus with certain products. They have, however, then you get into manufacturers and I have a client that said, uh, they’re in the kind of automation, robotics industry. They sell huge equipment to factories. If they blow it, if they blow it, it’s not just a little mistake and a competitor comes in. It could be 15 years before that piece of machinery gets replaced. And they refer to that as a generational mistake. It takes a full generation before you have a chance to go in there and get that business back if you lose it. So I believe that customer service and experience is far more important at those levels. I mean, if I walk into a mall and I, Oh, there’s a store that sells the jeans that I’m looking for, I may not even notice the name of the store. If I’m just going in to get an item. Uh, now I’m really not that kind of person. I, I have my person that I like to buy from an a particular store. They know what I want, but a lot of people think this way and if I’m treated poorly, I just go onto the next store or the next store, the next store in the mall. There’s so many to choose from, by the way, when I come back to the mall, I may or may not remember that experience. I might try them again, by the way, two or three times have a bad experience and I’m not going back. Most likely a lot of customers say it only takes me one, but in that B2B world, Oh my gosh, if you blow it, it could be big. It can be it. It’s not like Joe w you know, somebody else will buy another pair of jeans. No, when’s the next person that’s going to buy that, you know, $2 million piece of equipment, or the next opportunity we have with that company, it could be big,

Joey Coleman (30:20):
You know, Shep it’s so true. And I was really taken aback by your comment of a generational mistake. I mean, that, that really, I think puts, uh, cuts right to the chase on how significant the impact of some of these things can be on a business. We’ve talked kind of strategically about the importance of paying attention to customer experience in a B2B scenario, a business to business scenario. Um, and we’ve talked about, you know, obviously from the results of the game that most companies aren’t giving it the time and attention it deserves. You mentioned that the power of a culture and an organization, uh, being committed to this type of endeavor, what would you say are maybe one or two tactical things that our listeners and viewers could do? I mean, we’ve got a lot of folks who are, uh, you know, kind of running customer experience at organizations, but we’ve also got a lot of people that are fans of the show that are more practitioners, any thoughts on a tactical idea or two to infuse that customer experience into the B2B environment?

Shep Hyken (31:25):
Sure. Well, I mean, I really got to go back to the top and that’s where leadership simply defines what a customer experience vision is for the company. And I want them to define it in a way that’s memorable and easy for everybody to get into their brain. Um, I know it’s not B2B, but let’s go back to my good friends at the Ritz Carlton. You’ve known me for years. I’ve been talking about them for years. Their nine word credo “we’re ladies and gentlemen, serving ladies and gentlemen,” it’s nine words. When you come to work at the Ritz, that basically, you know what that’s about, you understand it, and then they train to it training. And it’s not something you did. It’s something you do ongoing, constantly reminding and reinforcing and sharing stories about when it’s working and what it really stands for. And that’s, what’s going to get that organization to start to get into alignment with a customer focused culture and start heading in the right direction, by the way, this credo or mantra, whatever you want to call it, this vision it’s permanent. You can’t say this is this year’s theme. This is what you do once you and live with it, change it, modify it for the first six months till you finally get to where, you know, this is what I want to live with the rest of my life, or at least close to it for years, at least.

Dan Gingiss (32:39):
All right. Cool. Well Joey, let’s recap how Shep scored playing think fast

Joey Coleman (32:45):
In this game, correct answers are worth a hundred points and Shep answered three questions correctly, which means he earned 300 points. Now these points convert into dollars, which means Shep earned a $300 donation to the Michael J. Fox foundation for Parkinson’s research. Congratulations, Shep!

Shep Hyken (33:05):
Well, thank you. And thank you to our good friends at Avtex for doing this. And you guys are great hosts. You know, if this whole thing doesn’t work out for you, I think a game show host is in your future.

Dan Gingiss (33:19):
This concludes this episode of Experience Points and check out more games with Shep and other celebrity contestants at ExperiencePointsGame.com. That site again is ExperiencePointsGame.com. We’ll see you soon for more examples of remarkable customer experiences here at Experience Points presented by Avtex.

Joey Coleman (33:48):
We hope you enjoyed that little teaser game of Experience Points for more game show episodes, head over to www.ExperiencePointsGame.com that’s ExperiencePointsGame.com or Avtex’s YouTube channel, or your favorite podcast app. Friends – you can find Experience Points all over the place. Go check it out!

[SHOW OUTRO]
Joey Coleman (34:17):
Wow! Thanks for joining us for another episode of Experience This!

Dan Gingiss (34:21):
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 (34:31):
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 (34:49):
Thanks again for your time and we’ll see you next week for more.

Joey Coleman (34:53):
Experience.

Dan Gingiss (34:53):
This!

Episode 113 – Getting Customers Talking – For the Right Reasons

Join us as we discuss reading in darkness, servicing on video, and confusing your customers.

Floating, Humanizing, and Infuriating – Oh My!

[CX Press] Not Seeing is Experiencing

Things We Mentioned in This Segment:

Wuguan Books – Taiwan (photo courtesy Lee Kuo-min)

• “At this bookstore in Taiwan, visitors shop in the dark” – by Maggie Hiufu Wong for CNN Travel (cnn.com)
• Dans le Noir – “dinner in the dark” restaurant in Paris, France
• “A Surreal New Bookstore Has Just Opened in China” – by Elizabeth Stamp in Architectural Digest
• Harry Potter – Lumos!
• Episode 42, Season 2 – “Signing” – Starbucks + Gallaudet University
• Episode 75, Season 4 – “The Smell of Experience” – Fresh Scents, Inc.
• Episode 82, Season 4 – “Serving Up Remarkable Experiences and Great Pizza to An Inclusive Audience” – Pizzability

[Listener Stories] How Best to Humanize the Customer Experience?

Things We Mentioned in This Segment:

• Lindsay McDermott – Chief Happiness Officer at HabitNest
• Habit Nest – find your journal today
• BombBomb – personalized video messaging via email
• Winning at Social Customer Care – by Dan Gingiss
• Tim Chang – Mayfield Fund
• Submit Your Listener Story Here

[Partnership with Avtex] Playing Experience Points – Think Fast!

Things We Mentioned in This Segment:

• Avtex
• Experience Points
• Think Fast!

[This Just Happened] Make Errors Easy to Correct

Things We Mentioned in This Segment:

Prepaid Visa Cards
• Web-Friendly Date Formats
• Error Messages for Websites

Host Contact Information

Email Dan: Dan@dangingiss.com

Tweet Dan Gingiss: @DGingiss

Email Joey: JoeyC@JoeyColeman.com

DanGingiss.com

JoeyColeman.com

Subscribe to Experience This on Apple Podcasts

Episode Transcript

Download an unedited transcript of Episode 113 here or read it below:

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

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

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

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

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

[EPISODE 113 INTRO]
Dan Gingiss (00:39):
Get ready, for another episode of the Experience This! Show!

Joey Coleman (00:45):
Join us as we discuss reading in darkness, servicing on video, and confusing your customers.

Dan Gingiss (00:56):
Floating, humanizing, and infuriating… Oh my!

[SEGMENT INTRO – CX PRESS]
Joey Coleman (01:04):
There are so many great customer experience articles to read, but who has the time?! We summarize them and offer clear takeaways you can implement starting tomorrow, enjoy this segment of CX Press – where we read the articles, so you don’t need to!

[CX PRESS][Not Seeing is Experiencing]
Dan Gingiss (01:22):
This week’s CX press article comes to us from CNN Travel and is titled “At this bookstore in Taiwan visitors shop in the dark.” And it’s written by Maggie HIFU Wong. It tells the story of uhon books located in [inaudible], which is Taiwan’s second largest city. Now the unique bookshop was created by the award-winning architecture and space designer, Chu Chicong, and it requires shoppers to navigate through the store in almost complete darkness, except for little dim spotlights on each of the book covers the result creates the illusion that the books are floating. Now, as you probably know, Joey, when we lose the ability to use one or more of our senses, the other senses become heightened. And that is exactly what happens to visitors in this bookstore. In fact, the stores translated slogan refers to being able to read your soul while inside of it.

Joey Coleman (02:25):
Well, there are so many things about this story that I absolutely love and friends, listeners, to give you a little insight to how this works every once in a while, Dan or I will text each other, a link to a story and say, Hey, what do you think about this one for experiences? When Dan texted me this link, not only was I like, yes, we need to talk about this on the show. But if we weren’t in the COVID environment while we’re recording this, I would’ve wanted to book a flight to Taiwan to go see this place. It looks fascinating. And there were a couple of pieces about this that really stood out to me in an era where everybody is paying attention to quote unquote, the death of retail and the moving of retail online individual physical stores need to think differently about the experience they create. And that’s clearly what this bookstore is doing. There’s an entire experience here in the heightened senses. I mean, it reminds me of a restaurant that I went to in Paris years ago called Dans le Noir – Dinner in the Dark. And it was basically a restaurant where you ate in complete darkness. The staff is all blind, so the darkness doesn’t bother them. They’re able to navigate between the tables and serve you. But as an individual who can see you are quote unquote, visually impaired for the meal, which heightens your sense of taste by having a delicious meal.

Dan Gingiss (03:43):
See, now that would drive me nuts because I like when I watch occasionally we’ll watch TV during dinner and the kids sometimes want to turn the light off. I can’t have the light off while I’m eating. I need to be able to see my food. It just gives me it kind of skeeves me out. Not to be able to see what I’m eating.

Joey Coleman (04:00):
Oh, see, I loved, loved to love this restaurant because it was that same thing. Like the smells were heightened, the tastes were heightened and you had to figure things out like how much, you know, what food am I pulling off my plate? And where is my plate? And where is the fork in relationship to my mouth? And all of these mustard exactly created a totally fantastic experience. And here I am years later, I mean, it was more than a decade ago that I ate at that restaurant and I can be transported instantly back to that experience. And I imagine folks going to this bookstore in Taiwan would have a similar experience.

Dan Gingiss (04:37):
Well, and I love that you mentioned Amazon, obviously we’re both Amazon fans here are both prime members for a long, long time, but I sorta get a little bit uptight when people blame Amazon for the death of small business. And I turn it around and I say, no, it’s the small businesses that have caused the death of small business in more cases than not because they didn’t respond to what was going on around them. And I always advise, I know you do too, Joey, that one of the ways that you compete with an Amazon is to do things they can’t do. And this is a great example of it. Amazon can’t turn off the lights, at least not yet in your house and create darkness in a bookstore and make it look like books are floating. And so I thought that was a really interesting comparison, but the article also talks about how this bookstore doesn’t even have a very big selection. It only has 400 books. Now, a typical medium-sized bookstore is going to have several thousand books. So 400, not much, but they’re so focused on creating an experience. And in the article, the store manager reports that people are spending much longer in this store than a typical bookstore. And even more than that, because it’s dark, they’re actually willing to consider books that they probably aren’t considering at the big bookstore, things like erotica and other topics that maybe are a little bit taboo when the lights are on.

Joey Coleman (06:10):
Fair enough, fair enough. And family show friends, don’t worry. It’s going to be okay. I totally embrace this concept because I agree with you, Dan. I don’t know that I’d go so far as to say that the, the small retail stores are to blame for not being able to stand up against Amazon because you run into a lot of things around pricing and availability and access. And, and we’ve really over-indexed, especially in the United States, but in a lot of countries in the world on the power of convenience and how convenience trumps everything. One of the places where we haven’t seen that as much is in some of the experiences I’ve had in Asian countries. I know you and I have both talked about the shopping experience in Ginza in Japan. And there’s this bookstore in Taiwan. And I read an article recently in Architectural Digest, which was about another bookstore – this one in Chung du in China that is designed to look like the MC Escher bookcase drawing, or, you know, illustration illusion, if you will. Uh, and we’ll link to that in the show notes at ExperienceThisShow.com as well. So you can see that, but I do think there is going to be this move, not only brought on by economics of creating more of an experience when it comes to the store. But I think in response to COVID, what we’re going to see is when people begin venturing out into the retail environment, again, in large numbers, physical locations are going to have to compete with the convenience of everything being delivered to home. And the best way for them to compete is not going to be on price. It’s not gonna be on convenience. It’s not going to be on size of selection. It’s going to be on the experience they create when you go to their location.

Dan Gingiss (07:54):
Absolutely. I mean, let’s be honest, books are more or less a commodity, the 400 books that are being sold in this store being sold in a store down the street. So it’s not about the inventory that they have. It’s about the experience that they’re creating and how memorable it is. Now. You also know, because I talk about it all the time that I love signs. And I think signage is such an interesting, fascinating way to communicate with your customers and to really show your brand personality. Well, it turns out that before you enter this dark bookstore, there are a series of rules that are posted at the entrance. Now, one of the main rules, which is important to note is you cannot bring in a flashlight, can’t turn on your phone or anything else to ruin the atmosphere for others. But the other rules seem to be a little bit tongue in cheek. Now I’ll be honest. I’m guessing that these are translations, uh, but I’m not entirely sure that the CNN article didn’t, didn’t say, but one of the articles, one of the signs says, don’t shout when someone steps on your toes, step on his or hers knife, which I love another one says, if someone wants the same book as you buy the book or get his or her number. And then the third one, which I particularly appreciated because when I saw the picture of these books, the first thing I thought of was Harry Potter. And I was thinking about the massive dining hall where all the students eat in the candles,

Joey Coleman (09:24):
Floating, floating candles, right? Yeah. And the great hall.

Dan Gingiss (09:27):
I love it. And so sure enough, the third, the third sign says, if you think it’s too dark inside, pick up a tree branch and shout Lumos.

Joey Coleman (09:36):
I love it. I love it. And what’s so great about this. And I’m in the midst of reading the third Harry Potter book, Prisoner of Azkaban to my two boys who are four and seven listeners. You can write in later and judge, if that’s too early to expose them to the Harry Potter books. But what I love about that particular sign, Dan is it’s a sign that anyone who’s read, the Harry Potter books will immediately resonate with. And if you haven’t read the Harry Potter books, you probably won’t. And it goes to show that it’s okay to have communication with your customers that targets into this specific type of customer you’re attracting. If you’re a bookstore, chances are pretty good. They’re familiar with Harry Potter and they’ve read Harry Potter, the person coming to your store. So I love the way there were some literary references in those signs that kind of took the conversation to the next level.

Dan Gingiss (10:30):
Absolutely. So here are the takeaways. The first is even in a commodity industry like books, customer experience can be a differentiator. The second is this is how to compete with the behemoths brands like Amazon is do things that an online retailer can’t do. And the challenge, I think, which is also a third takeaway, is how do you look at the sensory experience of your business? Now, this is not the first time we’ve talked about sensory experience and I’m going to pull my little rain man trick here, which I know you love because it’s going to be impressive. Ladies and gentlemen, hold on because we’ve actually talked about it multiple times. We talked about, uh, first we talked about the Starbucks near Gallaudet university that caters to the deaf community (that was episode 42). Then we talked about using smell as part of the experience. And, and we talked to a friend of mine that works for a scent company that was episode 75. And then you described your experience at Pizbility, where it was intentionally removing some of the different sensory aspects of the restaurant and creating a memorable experience. So this bookstore managed to do that with darkness. I’d be fascinated to know how you might be able to do it with your business, but standing out and creating an experience is a way to be remembered.

[SEGMENT INTRO – LISTENER STORIES]
Joey Coleman (11:52):
You listen to us, now we want to listen to you. By visiting our website and sharing your remarkable customer experiences with us, we can share them with a broader audience. Now, sit back and enjoy our Listener Stories.

[LISTENER STORIES][Humanize the Customer Experience]
Dan Gingiss (12:11):
So, as we’ve told you multiple times, we love it when listeners send in stories.

Joey Coleman (12:16):
Yes! We love it, keep them coming friends.

Dan Gingiss (12:19):
Yes. And while we always point you to the contact page on our website, which allows you to leave us a voicemail, some of you decide to send us an email instead, and you know what that is absolutely. Okay.

Joey Coleman (12:33):
You communicate in the way that works for you, friends.

Dan Gingiss (12:35):
Yes. We, we all believe in the channel of your choice, not to channel of our choice and Lindsey McDermott, who is the chief happiness officer of a company called habit nest that, uh, makes these beautiful leather-bound journals for all different occasions. I went to the website and I found some holiday gifts there. It’s beauty there. They’re great.

Joey Coleman (12:56):
And ladies and gentlemen, if Dan Gingiss went to the site, cause Dan’s not a big journal guy, let’s be honest. I’m more of a journal and like the tactile guy, Dan, not as much. So Lindsay kudos to you that I, Dan was so intrigued that he ordered some holiday gifts. Great job Habit Nest.

Dan Gingiss (13:11):
Yes. I didn’t say I ordered one for me. I heard of them as gifts, but he was, he was compelling you to take action. I liked it. I, Lindsay, reaching out to us has created sales for habit nest. So that’s wonderful. So anyway, what Lindsay wrote to us is, uh, first of all, thank you Lindsay, because she said that she has listened to virtually every one of our podcasts. And so she happens to know that we haven’t talked about this topic and, and she’s right. So she said one topic that I’d love to hear you talk about is humanizing customer engagement, for instance, should customer service folks respond with videos or voice notes? Do people want this or is it totally presumptive to say, Hey, you want to see my face? Or you want to hear my voice and Lindsey? I think it’s an awesome question. And in fact, I remember when I

worked for dDiscover, I did a lot of traveling, not traveling, sitting with customer service agents and, and call listening with them. And I talked to them about this. And one of the things that I found almost immediately was none of them wanted to be on camera, none of the customer service reps, just to be clear, none of the customer service reps. Correct. And, and I don’t know if it’s because they felt like they had a face for radio or, or, or they just weren’t comfortable with it. And this was several years ago. So it could be that. So I think my first thought about this topic is, is that you’d have to hire a different type of customer service agent who is comfortable being behind the camera. But I think it’s a great idea because it adds this level of personal connection that I think everybody’s looking for, especially right now, uh, that we’re missing, we’re missing that human connection. And so I think a really cool idea. What do you think Joey?

Joey Coleman (14:54):
I think it is not only a cool idea, but I think it is a must in your business. If you do not currently have ways to overemphasize the human nature of your brand, interacting with your customer, you are missing out on a huge opportunity. And I love the example of voice notes and videos. I mean, let’s look at the reality. We are at a really unique time in human history and that we all have the technology in our pocket or in our purse, a cell phone with a camera on it. That is more powerful that camera than the cameras used by network news just 30 years ago. And right now the majority of people who text you videos are your family and friends, your loved ones, the closest people in your circle. And yet when I go to the typical business’s website, they talk all about how as a customer, you’re going to be part of our family and the Acme Corp family looks out for our people. We care for et cetera. Why not use the technology and the tool that is most often used for family members to communicate with your customers? Not only does it put a face onto the image of the brand, but it allows for those unscripted interactions, those personalized interactions that let you know that you matter as a customer. And I think so many customers would happily continue to do business with an organization if they felt like they mattered. And this is one easy way to let the tool of communication prove that you matter.

Dan Gingiss (16:23):
Absolutely. And that kind of reminds me of just two episodes ago in Episode 111, when we talked about texting, it’s very similar, right? Is that, that’s how we communicate with friends and family. And so why shouldn’t companies communicate with us that way. Now there is software out there for people to use this. Uh, I’m certainly familiar with one called BombBomb that allows you

Joey Coleman (16:44):
Yeah. Our good buddy Ethan at BombBomb!

Dan Gingiss (16:47):
Exactly. And you know, you could record quick videos and send them via email. In fact, I’ve, I’ve received one. I remember one that I received from actually was a salesperson and the salesperson was sitting there in the thumbnail of the video with a sign that he was holding and it said, hi dad.

Joey Coleman (17:03):
And I’m like, well, of course I got to watch this now click on the video. Exactly. You know, it’s funny, Dan, you mentioned that I actually did a case study in my book about a company called Zogics that does the same thing. They send these little thumbnail videos to all of their new customers, with them holding a clipboard with the name of the customer on it and a button that encourages you to start watching. Now let’s break it down for the numbers. People real quickly, the typical email confirmation gets opened about four to 6% of the time their videos get watched. Last I checked, it was like North of 78% of the time. So these little personalized communications really do work.

Dan Gingiss (17:44):
Absolutely. And, and, and talking about customer service, which Lindsay specifically up, one of the people that I interviewed for my book Winning at Social Customer Care was David Basulto, who is the founder of a company called [inaudible]. I prefer basically helps you transform your iPhone or your iPad into state-of-the-art video equipment. And one of the things that David was he’s one of the first people to do this. He was using Snapchat for customer service, and he told me the story about a customer who had called, and they couldn’t figure out what he was doing wrong until they went on the Snapchat and the customer shot a quick video of his setup. And David immediately noticed that he had two cords that were plugged in backwards. They were, you know, he had reversed them. And as soon as he saw the picture, he’s like, Oh, just do this. And that fixed the problem. And he said, from that moment on, I realized that customer service adding a visual element to it was far more effective than somebody trying to explain a technology set up on the phone, which could be very frustrating, especially for those of us that aren’t as technologically inclined.

Joey Coleman (18:56):
Absolutely. Why not use the technology tools that we have to create better experiences and better interactions for our customers. I love that example. You know, I had the chance earlier today to hear a keynote presentation by a guy by the name of Tim Chang. And Tim is with the Mayfield fund. It’s a big, incredibly well-known venture capital firm out in

Silicon Valley. And he was talking about this shift in to, in technology to focus less on hyperconnection and to focus more on rehumanizing. He specifically mentioned that do not talk to me button on Uber. So like when you call an Uber, you could set it up that you don’t want to talk to the driver. And on one hand, while that increases efficiency and effectiveness and maybe makes for a better experience for you as the passenger, it takes a little piece of our humanity and does away with it. Like if you don’t want to talk to the driver, get comfortable with saying, Hey, I really appreciate it, but I’ve got something I need to work on. If you don’t mind, I’d love to just be able to work on that while I ride in your car. That to me, at least allows us to engage human to human. Instead of let me press a button. That means I don’t have to acknowledge your existence. And so I think the question that Lindsay asked about is something where, you know, we want to do this. We want to have these types of connections as humans yet because of technology. We think that, you know, it’s okay not to when the reality is technology gives us the opportunity to connect in ways we weren’t otherwise able to before technology.

Dan Gingiss (20:32):
Totally agree. So what can you do in your company? Here’s what I would suggest find a customer service agent who’s willing to be the Guinea pig and make sure that they’re working on a channel where video is possible. It might be chat. It might be social media. It might be messaging and text and have them shoot a video in response to a question rather than just sending text back and see what happens, see how your customers respond. I’m going to guess that they’re going to love it.

Joey Coleman (21:04):
Absolutely. And by the way, you mentioned this earlier, Dan, I just want to briefly give, cause you asked me, you know, I’m not sure if customer service reps, I was working with some customer service reps the other day who were really anxious about starting to do video calls. And I explained a little bit what I’ve learned about the science of video. One of the main reasons people don’t like to see themselves on video is not because they think they’re unattractive or as you said, they have a face for radio. It’s that when we use a video camera, especially on our computer to shoot one of these little videos, we don’t see a mirror image when you are eye goes and stands and looks in front of a mirror. We see a mirror image of ourself. But when we see something that’s been filmed, we’re not seeing the mirror image. So it feels off to us. And it’s off to us in a way that we can’t describe because we know it’s us and we know what the situation is, but we’re seeing a view of ourselves that we’re not used to seeing. It’s the same reason why people don’t really like photos of themselves often is because they’re seeing a view that is not the view that they see when they look in the mirror. Now, the reality is that is the way the rest of the world has always seen you. You are the only person on the planet that is seeing the vision of you looking in the mirror. Everybody else sees the vision looking at you. So the reality is your employees are going to feel a little anxious about this in the beginning, push through it, shoot videos for them, have them shoot videos for each other, like any tool, the more you use it, the more comfortable you will be.

Dan Gingiss (22:33):
And set up incentives for it as well. Cause everybody loves a good contest or a good incentive. And I think you’ll get people doing it. Lindsey. Thank you so much for writing in. We really appreciate you listening and coming up with a great topic for us for this listener stories. And if anybody is listening right now and is inspired to go try this at your business, please let us know, go to experience this show.com to the contact section and either record us some audio, send us an email or heck send us a video.

[PARTNERSHIP WITH AVTEX][Playing Experience Points – Think Fast]
Dan Gingiss (23:13): Joey, think fast!

Joey Coleman (23:13): Think what?

Dan Gingiss (23:15):
Think fast. It’s the third of three games that we’re playing on our hit new game show, experience points presented by our friends at Avtex.

Joey Coleman (23:26):
Ah, yes. Think fast. This game is so fun precisely because it makes people sit up straight and pay attention. Let’s hear how the game works:

Rules Hostess (23:38):
In Think Fast, you will have one minute to answer five experience questions for each question you must quickly choose between two possible answers. Correct answers. Given before time runs out are worth 100 points, five, correct answers will earn you 500 bonus points for a possible score of 1000 points.

Dan Gingiss (24:01):
I really like this game because we take a study that a white paper, a report to survey, whatever it is that has been put out by real grownup research. That’s exactly. It’s been put out by a legitimate companies and we pull some of the statistics from the study and we turn them into questions. And what’s interesting is they’re only mult, they’re multiple choice, but there’s only two possibilities. So they’ll never be on the window. Yeah, you have a 50 50 chance. And yet the questions are really, really hard.

Joey Coleman (24:38):
Exactly. And in fact, they are so hard that only one person thus far has gone five for five with all the questions you’ll have to tune in at ExperiencePointsGame.com, that’s ExperiencePointsGame.com to see which contestant goes five per five when thinking fast.

Dan Gingiss (24:58):
Absolutely. And the other great thing about this game is that it gives our contestants the biggest potential to earn money for their charity. They can earn up to a thousand experience points, which converts to a thousand dollar donation. And I’ll tell you, one of the things Joey I’ve loved about this game show is the charities that our cusp that our contestants have picked are like, everyone is more amazing than the last one. And it feels so good that we’re doing something that is raising money for such great work.

Joey Coleman (25:31):
Dan, I couldn’t agree more. And in many ways it’s not surprising because our contestants, everyone is more amazing than the last one. We got some incredible customer experience, professional friends, folks that you’ve heard about folks that you’ve never heard about. But once you do get the chance to experience their wit their wisdom, their insight, their perspective, you will be paying attention to what their view on the customer experience landscape is going forward.

Dan Gingiss (25:58):
So come play along with us as we play Think fast on Experience Points brought to you by Avtex.

[SEGMENT INTRO – THIS JUST HAPPENED]
Joey Coleman (26:06):
We love telling stories and sharing key insights you can implement – or avoid – based on our experiences. Can you believe that This Just Happened?

[THIS JUST HAPPENED][Make Errors Easy to Correct]
Dan Gingiss (26:20):
So the other day I opened up my mailbox and I got one of those envelopes that feels like there’s a credit card inside.

Joey Coleman (26:28):
Ooo la la – you were intrigued.

Dan Gingiss (26:30):
I was because I didn’t order a credit card, like.

Joey Coleman (26:33): Free money, Free money!

Dan Gingiss (26:35):
Well, as it turns out, Joey, it was free money. I got a prepaid visa card worth $20.

Joey Coleman (26:45): Interesting. Who is this from?

Dan Gingiss (26:47):
That’s a great question, Joey. I have no, I don’t have a clue.

Joey Coleman (26:53):
A loyal listener from Experience This was kind enough to send Dan a prepaid… wait! I didn’t get a prepaid call. I got, maybe it wasn’t a listener. I don’t know. It was probably somebody from the Twitters.

Dan Gingiss (27:03):
Well, I got to tell ya, so I get this card and what was fascinating to me was I get, there’s a letter that comes with it and it’s kinda, you know, it’s a similar to the letter that you, um, that you get when you get a new credit card, except it’s like, you know, dear customer, here’s your prepaid card. And here’s all the rules around. It love us. And I’m like, okay, but why am I getting this prepaid card? Now I had an idea. It probably had something to do with a rebate form that I filled out at some point in time. And you know, sometimes they send you rebates as a prepaid card. So I’m assuming that’s what it is. There’s a name on the card that I’ve never heard of. So it’s a brand name. I’m not gonna mention it, but it’s a

brand name that I don’t recognize and don’t believe I’ve ever bought a product from it. It’s probably a holding company or something like that. So obviously this was strange, but it kinda got stranger. And this is really what I want to talk about is it had a little sticker on it, much like a credit card that said, you know, go ahead and activate it online. Now you go to activate it at, uh, you know, some website called prepaid cards are us or whatever it is. Um, and so you go in and it says, activate my card. And it asks you to type in the card number and the expiration date pretty and the three digit code. Okay.

Joey Coleman (28:29): We know this game.

Dan Gingiss (28:30):
So I hit submit and I get an error message and it says, invalid expiration date. I’m like, Oh, okay, hold on. Let me check. It was only four numbers. I go back, Oh four slash two, one. I’m like, okay. I typed in Oh four slash two on what do you mean in valid? And it won’t even let me resubmit it because now the submit button has been great out until obviously I make some sort of a change and I’m like, Whoa, what do I do? And so I started playing around and I should say, I spent almost three years at discover, heading up digital customer experience. So the way I run a website,

Joey Coleman (29:07):
You know your way around a website and particularly, you know, your way around a website around activating a card.

Dan Gingiss (29:13):
Well, actually that’s so true.

Joey Coleman (29:15):
So you have hyper relevant experience.

Dan Gingiss (29:17):
I do. I do. And so I cut to the chase. The website wanted me to enter the expiration date as Oh four slash 2021. In other words, month, month slash year, year, year, year. But number one, I’ve never seen an expiration date on a credit or debit or prepaid card that has the four digits. And number two, that’s not what this card says. So card says the, uh, the expiration date is Oh four slash two one. So why in the world would a programmer require a four digit year in order to submit this successfully? And so that got me thinking about a number of different things. First of all, when you have an error message on your website, it is so critical. And I worked on this a lot at discover. It is so critical that you tell people what is the error? You can’t just say error or, you know, invalid expiration with no explanation. All it needed to say was please enter the expiration date as M M slash. Why, why, why, why? And I would have known exactly what to do. It’s like when we forget our password and you know, they only tell you about the 27 rules of the password when you set it, but not when you can’t remember,

Joey Coleman (30:32):
You’d write away. Remember this is one of those times where you needed to use an uppercase and lowercase and a number and not the name of anyone related to you or that you’ve ever met. Oh, great. Great. That’s my cue that it’s “password4” is the answer.

Dan Gingiss (30:48):
Exactly. Exactly. So air messages actually are, it’s one of these forgotten parts of the user experience in digital because error messages happen all the time. And if you don’t program your website correctly, or you don’t give it a lot of thought, oftentimes it’s an error message. It’ll show up just in red letters. And it won’t say anything specific. It’ll just say error. And, um, I had one situation. I recall where there was, uh, the error message did not show up when people had expanded their screens had zoomed in their screens more than a hundred percent, the error message fell off the screen. So we had people that were getting error messages and literally couldn’t see the error message

Joey Coleman (31:28):
Message to them. Yeah. These are things,

Dan Gingiss (31:30):
These things sound small people, but they’re a really big, it can be a very frustrating pain point for a customer.

Joey Coleman (31:39):
And we talk about empathy a lot on this show. And frankly, the reason we talk about empathy is because we need to talk about it a lot, because most organizations aren’t showing empathy for their customers. I think this is a great example of really connecting with the frustration that a customer would feel when something goes wrong. We’ve all been in that position. As you alluded to earlier, Dan, where something is wrong on the form, and we’re not sure what it is. And we’re sitting there trying to figure it out. And if it’s something that we really want, we’re going to invest a lot of

time trying to figure it out. And if it’s something that we don’t care about, we’re going to move on to the next thing. And either way your brand loses, because either I’ve moved on or I’ve had to fight to stay there. And now I’m irritated at you.

Dan Gingiss (32:23):
Absolutely. And remember, I’m in the process of self-serving here, right? So I’m not using up your customer service time or dollars or resources because I’m self-serving. And yet you’re preventing me from doing that. The other thing that crossed my mind on this, and since we are listeners now know that you recently moved back to Iowa, I’m gonna let you tell your silo joke. One more time for a sec.

Joey Coleman (32:45): Should I do it right now?

Dan Gingiss (32:47): Go for it.

Joey Coleman (32:47):
Okay. I’m ready. So ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls silos work fantastically on the farm, but they are a nightmare in your organization. Leave the silos on the farm. We don’t need them in your company.

Dan Gingiss (33:02):
Absolutely. And I would say that in this case, almost guaranteed, there were silos in the organization. One silo was in charge of sending out the card and the mailing that didn’t tell me who it was from and another silo was responsible for the website and those two silos didn’t talk. And thus, one of them has a two digit year on the expiration date. And one of them has a four digit deer year. And again, I know this sounds like it’s really small, but the little details add up and they make a big difference because really we should be trying to frustrate our customers when Joey, uh, that it would be certainly less, if not, never on that for her, we don’t, we never want to frustrate our customers. And so any time we were doing that, even inadvertently, we gotta be aware of it and fix it. So look, people, listeners, and companies around the world. If you’d like to keep sending me prepaid cards, I am fine with it. I will work my butt off to activate them online. If you want to keep sending me free money, but do yourself a favor, make it easier on the customer and check your work with the other silos in your company or better yet. Knock down those silos and design the experience together.

[SHOW OUTRO]
Joey Coleman (34:20):
Wow! Thanks for joining us for another episode of Experience This!

Dan Gingiss (34:25):
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 (34:34):
We hope you enjoyed our discussions and if you do, we’d love to hear about it. Come on over to ExperienceThis Show.com and let us know what segments you enjoyed, what new segments you’d like to hear. This show is all about experience, and we want you to be part of the Experience This Show!

Dan Gingiss (34:52):
Thanks again for your time and we’ll see you next week for more…

Joey Coleman (34:55): Experience.

Dan Gingiss (34:55): This!

Episode 112 – Little Things Make a Big Difference in Customer Experience


Join us as we discuss a little touch that drew a lot of attention, the power of seeing someone’s face when they speak, and a viral sensation that brought together two classic brands..

Fretboard, Facemask, and Fleetwood – Oh My!

[Listener Stories] The Power of Little Notes

Things We Mentioned in This Segment:

Jeff Robbins, customer experience professional andExperience This! Show listener
• Fretboard Coffee
• Dave Elman, owner of Fretboard Coffee
• Submit Your Listener Story Here

[ReDesign the Experience] The Apple Mask

Things We Mentioned in This Segment:

Apple Design Teams Develop Special Face Masks for Employees – by Mark Gurman in Bloomberg.com
• KN95 Mask (N95 mask)
• Apple
Apple Mask – courtesy of Mark Gurman (Twitter: @markgurman)
Clear Mask
Gallaudet University
Episode 42, Season 2

[Partnership with Avtex] Playing Experience Points – What Happened?

Things We Mentioned in This Segment:

• Avtex
• Experience Points

[CX Press] TikTok + DoggFace + Ocean Spray + Fleetwood Mac = Viral Video

Things We Mentioned in This Segment:

Ocean Spray Just Gave Viral Skateboarding TikTok Guy an Extraordinary Gift – It’s a Lesson in Emotional Intelligence – by Justin Bariso in Inc.com
• Nathan “DoggFace” Apodaca TikTok video (original)
• Ocean Spray
• Fleetwood Mac
• Dreams by Fleetwood Mac
• Nissan Frontier Pickup
• Thank You Nissan and Ocean Spray TikTok video
• Tom Hays, CEO at Ocean Spray Cranberries
• Tom Hays TikTik video
• Billboard – Fleetwood Mac

Host Contact Information

Email Dan: Dan@dangingiss.com

Tweet Dan Gingiss: @DGingiss

Email Joey: JoeyC@JoeyColeman.com

DanGingiss.com

JoeyColeman.com

Subscribe to Experience This on Apple Podcasts

Episode Transcript

Download an unedited transcript of Episode 112 here or read it below:

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

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

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

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

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

[EPISODE 112 INTRO]
Joey Coleman (00:40):
Get ready for another episode of the Experience This Show!

Dan Gingiss (00:44):
Join us as we discuss a little touch that drew a lot of attention, the power of seeing someone’s face when they speak, and a viral sensation that brought together two classic brands.

Joey Coleman (00:58):
Fretboard, face mask, and Fleetwood… Oh my!

[SEGMENT INTRO – LISTENER STORIES]
Joey Coleman (01:04):
You listened to us. Now, we want to listen to you by visiting our website and sharing your remarkable customer experiences with us. We can share them with a broader audience. Now, sit back and enjoy our Listener Stories.

[LISTENER STORIES][The Power of Little Notes]
Joey Coleman (01:22):
We’ve got the best listeners in the world, don’t we Dan!

Dan Gingiss (01:25):
I could not agree with you more, Joey. I get so excited when people give us feedback and tell us how much they love the show, or they point out a specific segment. And it just makes me feel like the work that we put into this show is worth something to people and that we’re helping them. And I think that is very rewarding.

Joey Coleman (01:46):
Absolutely. And you know, we’re big fans of creating an actionable show, but we’re also big fans of the fact that we’re not the only two having experiences in the world. And we regularly get messages from our listeners where they share interesting stories about something that’s happened to them that they thought we might enjoy.

Dan Gingiss (02:06):
And we definitely enjoy them.

Joey Coleman (02:08):
Yes we do. Which is why we were thrilled to receive the following message from Jeff Robbins, a loyal listener of Experience This:

Jeff Robbins (02:17):
Dan and Joey longtime listener. First time recorder wanted to share a story with you, a kind of experience, economy type story, taking a basic commodity to making it into an experience for you. Uh, live in Columbia, Missouri. I’m a experienced professional here and coffee shop here, small little local coffee shop. When you buy a pound of coffee, you open up the package and there’s a business card in there with the name of the company on there. And then there’s on the back that says your coffee was born while we rock too. And then I’ll tell you the song and the artist. And it says, thanks for the little musical note. It’s all handwritten. It’s a great little surprise. The first I saw it, I was like blown away. And so just instantly became loyal to this local roaster and a great, great coffee. And the name of the coffee shop is Fretboard – so it has a musical vibe to it. So want to share that with you? Thanks so much. Appreciate your show.

Dan Gingiss (03:19):
Okay. First of all, I love long time listener. First time recorder, outstanding way to start your submission, Jeff. We really appreciate it. Great story. This sounds like an amazing place. Really. It means a lot to us that you are helping us find really cool experiences that are out there. Because a lot of the stories that we tell here are personal experiences or from our own friends and family. And so when we have listeners submit them, it really means a lot to us and we will share them all day long people because we love hearing about new experiences.

Joey Coleman (03:56):
Absolutely. And Dan and I were very intrigued by this story for a number of reasons which we’re going to get into, but we reached back out to Jeff to see if he could snag a photo of the insert card that he mentioned so that we could include it on the show notes at: experiencedthisshow.com, which by the way we did so you should go check it out at: experiencethisshow.com and Jeff later shared that he picked up some more Fretboard Coffee.

Joey Coleman (04:22):
That was a reminder for those of you that might be less musically inclined than others. The fret board is basically think of it as the strip of wood, where you put your fingers on a guitar, right, where you’re kind of pressing down different strings on the guitar to change the sound that’s the fret board or the fingerboard. Okay. So Jeff shared that he picked up some more Fretboard Coffee, but to his surprise, there was no song card. And Jeff was super bummed his words and decided to email the contact address on the website and the owner. Dave Elman emailed back very quickly. In fact, he replied in less than 30 minutes and here’s what the owner of fretboard coffee had to say:

Joey Coleman (05:01):
Hi Jeffrey, thanks for your email. It’s one of my favorite little touches and I’d love to keep it going. However, when the pandemic hit, we had to carefully consider every aspect of production. We decided to suspend the song cards as it was just one less thing to put into the coffee bags that could potentially introduce contamination. I realized that the risk is extremely small, but as a business, we’ve decided to take every precaution possible. We shut down to the public before it was mandated and we’ve had all staff in masks since far before it was required. Our shop is actually still closed to the public for now. We hope that we can bring the coffee cards back after things returned to normal. Please keep in touch and let us know if you have any other questions. Thanks Dave Elman owner and roaster at Fretboard Coffee.

Dan Gingiss (05:49):
Okay. First of all, you glossed over a little too quickly, the whole responded in 30 minutes thing. Cause that’s incredible. Especially the owner of the company. And I talk about being responsive all the time. I wrote about it in my first book. And it’s part of my whole theory on creating remarkable experiences is when people talk about you and they say nice things, or when they have questions or complaints, when you’re responsive, people remember that. And the fact that the owner responded in 30 minutes is incredible. And then I liked his answer too, right? It’s an honest answer. It is the, the move that they made was done for the safety of the customers. And so I read this note and I feel better about the coffee company, even though I might be missing one of my favorite aspects of it.

Joey Coleman (06:37):
Absolutely. And this is the fine line that so many businesses in the COVID era are walking. This idea that pieces of your business operations that are designed to create little touch points or little special experiences for your customers may have been called into questions, or maybe you can’t do them anymore because of the pandemic. And how are you navigating that? Now what’s interesting is Jeff – who submitted the story to us, let us know that he is pumped, that Dave will eventually bring the song card back. That being said, quote, “I appreciate his attention to the sensitivity around contamination and the effort to keep his employees and customers safe.” Now friends, let me point something out that Jeff shared that I think is the case with the majority of your customers. If you explain to them why you are doing things, and if it comes from a place of empathy and a place of consideration and care for either the customer or your employees or both, most customers will understand, most customers will say, wow, I know I’m not getting exactly what I used to get. And while that’s disappointing, thanks for making the right choice, even though it was the hard choice.

Dan Gingiss (07:54):
And I’ll add onto that, Joey, I believe firmly that right now and probably for the next six to 12 months, that safety is going to be one of the key words of customer experience. That if people don’t feel safe doing business with you, they’re going to go to your competitor. And so the fact that they’re doing this at the coffee shop to keep their customers safe and that Jeff, our listener understands that and appreciates that. I guarantee you makes him more loyal to the company and he’ll be there when they finally open up their doors again. And so safety is absolutely critical and I believe that’s going to continue even after the pandemic. I think all of us that used to laugh at call people germaphobes, we’re all germaphobes now. I don’t think the hand sanitizers going away just because the pandemic’s over, right? We’re going to want clean spaces. We’re not going to want contamination. And people are going to be more sensitive to it after going through this, this pandemic. So the safety thing is going to be a key component of the experience going forward.

Joey Coleman (09:04):
Dan, I couldn’t agree more. You know, I was doing a presentation for a group of executives the other day, and I was actually talking about Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. And at the risk of turning this into a psychology one Oh one class, most people in the business world have heard of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. But if you haven’t, here’s a quick little refresher, it’s basically a pyramid. And the idea being as you get the needs at the base of the pyramid, you move up to the next level and then the next level. And then the next level on the top of the pyramid is something called self-actualization, which is what most businesses were offering pre-pandemic. They were offering you products and services that allowed you to create the best version of yourself. What we’ve been called to do now in a pandemic era is to go to the bottom of the pyramid: safety air, your personal security, your physiological safety, all of these elements that were prior to the pandemic, just basic Antioch up chips for human survival. That had been called into question. So I totally agree with you. Friends were at least six more months of this, if not a year of this, if not 18 more months of this, and I’m not saying of this being the full pandemic experience we’re having, but the impact that COVID-19 is having on business operations now at the risk of, you know, making this all about the pandemic, I do want to point out that Jeff shared a couple of other elements of the Fretboard experience that caught his attention and caught our attention as well. You get a free 12 ounce coffee when you purchase a bag of coffee. So when you go into the store and you buy the bag that they’re going to give you something to drink, to enjoy now so that they don’t delay the gratification until you go home and use the bag of coffee to make the coffee at home. The label that is written on the bag is handwritten as is the song card. So it has this personal touch. The espresso bar at their physical location is a beautiful giant wooden fret board. So they take the name of the brand and they’ve made it part of the fixtures in their location. And the shop is actually a garage, which makes you think about a garage band. So they are really living the experience in every touch point.

Dan Gingiss (11:20):
I love that. And it, again, that, you know, they’re appealing to obviously a certain population with that. But I think the idea of a consistent experience is one that we talk about. And it’s what defines a great customer experience. I usually use the word immersive, which is feeling the experience in your bones and understanding, and feeling that it’s consistent throughout. And so what I love is from start to finish that it’s a different kind of coffee shop that has created this immersive experience that is all around guitars and music. And I think that, you know, it is important to note that one of the key facets of that experience they had to eliminate they’ve obviously kept some of the others, but I think that this is why Jeff even noticed it, right? Because they’ve created something that is different and unique and immersive, and then when it goes away, people notice it. And so the learning here to me, one of the big learnings is that when you create an immersive experience, it is a great way for people to remember you. And we use the word remarkable here on the show all the time, meaning literally worthy of remark, because we want people to talk about your business in a positive way. And it certainly sounds like this place has done a great job of that.

Joey Coleman (12:43):
I couldn’t agree more, Dan, you know, and when we think of an immersive experience, how does our listener story from Jeff Robbins support that theory? Well, it’s the little things that matter. A small gesture employed by Fretboard Coffee, to insert a little card, telling people who purchased their coffee beans, what the roasters were listening to when making the product got Jeff’s attention. So he shared that with us, which led us to connect with Jeff, who then reconnected with Fretboard Coffee’s owner and all of this culminated in a story that we share with our listeners all over the world. Friends, we have two requests for you: number one, keep the stories coming, visit experience this show.com, navigate to the contact page, and then click on the orange button, labeled start recording, and you’ll be able to leave us a recording about some experience you’ve had. And hopefully we can play that in a future episode. And number two, if you love coffee and you want to support small businesses that are really doing their best to deliver remarkable experiences before, during, and after the COVID-19 pandemic, go to FretboardCoffee.com, that’s fretboard F R E T B O a R D coffee.com and order some coffee or some cool coffee, swag or something, help us support our listeners and their stories!

[SEGMENT INTRO – REDESIGN THE EXPERIENCE]
Joey Coleman (14:11):
With a pandemic, sweeping the globe and shifting the way organizations interact with their customers many of the old ways of operating just don’t work anymore. As we all navigate a COVID-19 world, it’s time to Redesign the Experience,

[REDESIGN THE EXPERIENCE][The Apple Mask]
Joey Coleman (14:30):
Out of curiosity Dan, how many masks would you say are in your regular rotation when you go out in public these days?

Dan Gingiss (14:38):
Oh, wow. I hadn’t actually thought of it that way. And I would say I’m not using it as a fashion statement, but I obviously have my Cubs mask. I mean, so clearly I got that one, but that one you got no, cause that’s kind of a cloth masks so I’m not enough super excited about how protective it actually is, but I have the KN95 for when I go to the grocery store, a place where I know there’s going to be a lot of people. And then I have kind of the disposable, you know, white or blue mask that, you know, I use once or twice and, and toss. But those are probably the three that you’ll see me rocking.

Joey Coleman (15:15):
Gotcha. Well, I’ve actually got four. I’ve got the N95, you know, that’s kind of the, Oh my goodness. And then I’ve got three cloth ones, a bright blue one, a dark blue one and a gray one. But after seeing a recent story on Bloomberg, I’m thinking I may need to track down another one. Now this story was all about the special face mask that Apple has designed for their employees to wear in both their corporate headquarters and their retail store environments. Now, because it’s a product designed by Apple. You can imagine there will be two key components.

Dan Gingiss (15:51):
I’m going with beautiful design and crazy prices.

Joey Coleman (15:56):
You know, Dan, you are half, right? If you go to the show notes at experience, this show.com, you can see some photos of an unboxing experience that an Apple employee shared on Twitter of all places. Ironically enough, I know, right. It was linked to in the article and I clicked through. But as you might imagine, it feels pretty familiar with the same white packaging and white product design. It’s very AirPods. So in that way, but that being said, you can’t purchase these masks. They’re only for Apple employees to wear while working at headquarters or working in their stores.

Dan Gingiss (16:34):
Well, of course I love that the company is paying attention to its employees and providing PPE to keep them safe. We know we’ve said before, we’ll say it again. Employee experience equals customer experience. If your employees are feeling safe, then they’re going to be able to make your customers feel safe. If your employees don’t feel safe, it’s a lot to ask them to try to make customers feel safe. So I love that Apple has gone above and beyond in typical Apple style and made this mask that I’m hoping you’re going to tell me at some point we can still get.

Joey Coleman (17:08):
Well, here’s the thing. We can’t get this one, but don’t worry. There’s, there’s good news at the end of the story. What I like about this is Apple did two things. Number one, you know, it’s Apple, right? So they require you to wear a uniform, which is basically a t-shirt. And I don’t know how often you go into the Apple store, damn, but the t-shirts kind of change. They’ve got different colors and different messages, and it’s all very branded and on brand in terms of the, the marketing messaging and the positioning. But I also like that they, you know, recognize that the mask has really become a fashion statement, not a fashion statement in the sense that as I alluded to at the beginning of the story, you’re picking what color you want to wear, but this idea that you’re wearing it and so they’re providing this for their employees. What I also loved about this is Apple in recent years has been making this big push towards being more sustainable and more environmentally conscious and what they did – and this was kind of a footnote in the article – but they actually work to find the appropriate materials that would filter the air while not disrupting supplies of medical, personal protective equipment. So they went out and they found materials that weren’t going to be used in the N95 mask and the masks that were used in hospital settings and instead identify different materials so they didn’t negatively impact the supply chain in the medical world, which I thought was, again, Apple kind of going above and beyond and thinking through these things.

Dan Gingiss (18:36):
Yeah, I really like that. And it’s kind of rare from a technology hardware company, right? That is using all sorts of materials that we don’t have any idea whether we can reuse or recycle or what they do to the earth. And so I like that in this particular case, they were thoughtful about that. And that has been, you know, one of the controversies that has come out of the pandemic is, as companies are trying to obtain PPE for their employees, certainly at different times in the last few months that may or may not have come at the expense of getting PPE to our frontline workers, who, and our medical workers who probably need it more. And it is a little bit of a disturbing trade-off. So I kind of liked that Apple sort of stepped aside and said, okay, we’re not going to get involved in that. We’re going to let all the, the PPE go to the first responders and we’re going to come up with a different way.

Joey Coleman (19:34):
I agree. And interestingly enough, earlier in the pandemic, Apple made a face shield for medical workers and distributed millions of other masks across the healthcare sector. They had a huge stockpile of masks that they had acquired over the years since their headquarters in California. And they were dealing with some air quality issues. So they actually are all about paying attention to these things. And so now they not only have these new face mask, but they’re also sourcing some clear masks.

Dan Gingiss (20:05):
And you’re about to tell us what a clear mask is, right?

Joey Coleman (20:08):
I am Dan, and this is where this story gets particularly interesting and takes it to another level. So the clear mask has all the properties of irregular protective face mask, but instead of covering the mouth with cloth, it has a clear shield that allows people to see the wearer’s full face. So people who are deaf or hard of hearing can understand better because they can read the lips. Now clear mask is the first fully transparent, FDA cleared mask, that is optimized for maximum clarity and Apple work with Gallaudet University in Washington, DC to identify solution, and then tested the clear mask with employees in their stores.

Dan Gingiss (20:52):
I love it. And as our listeners may recall, uh, we talked about a partnership between Starbucks and Gallaudet University back in episode 42, and Gallaudet specializes in educating the deaf and hard of hearing students. And it’s yet another example of a brand reaching out to the amazing educators at Gallaudet to help find creative solutions that work for every customer.

Joey Coleman (21:18):
Yeah. And you know, what’s interesting, Dan, I found that when I’m wearing a mask out in public, one of the things that is somewhat disconcerting is normally if I’m walking through a store, I would smile at the other people I’m walking by, you know, you make eye contact with someone and you express a smile or something just to be friendly. Well, when you’re wearing a mask, you can’t see that unless it’s a clear mask. So there’s the benefit for everyone wearing a clear mask. But there’s also the benefit for folks who maybe are having difficulty hearing folks. And I know I’ve certainly been in a situation where someone who’s wearing a mask is speaking to me. And it’s harder to hear what they’re saying because of the mask, the clear mask kind of solves for that problem.

Dan Gingiss (22:02):
Absolutely. And it is, I think one of the things that we’ve all missed in the last few months is that, you know, used to be that you would see somebody wearing a mask. And that was a different thing in the United States. I mean, obviously in Asian cultures, it’s been very common for a long time, but here in the US it wasn’t. And now we see them all the time. And one of the things that we’ve missed is you, you can’t see most of someone’s face, right? You, you can only read their eyes. You can’t read their whole facial expression. And certainly if you are needing to read lips or something in order to hear better, you’re, you’re kind of lost. So I think it’s a very interesting solution and I’m glad you found it.

Joey Coleman (22:42):
Well, friends, it would be great to be on the other side of this pandemic, but we’re not. And if you talk to medical professionals and look at the research globally, and that means going beyond your favorite news channel and actually exploring the global response to COVID-19, you’ll find a common thread among countries that have eliminated or dramatically reduced the COVID threat – their citizens wear masks whenever they leave their homes and interact with others in public and in the same way. So many people look to the example of Apple to model, surprise and delight for their customer experiences. Dan and I recommend that our listeners look to Apple again and see them as leading the way when it comes to mask, then go find some great mask solutions for yourself, for your team and your customers so we can all work together to eliminate this pandemic threat and get back to some really great customer experiences.

[PARTNERSHIP WITH AVTEX][Playing Experience Points – What Happened]
Joey Coleman (23:40):
You know, one of the best things about our new game show experience points is that we got to have a lot of fun creating the games that we play our partners at Avtex, who are also sponsors of the experience. This show, let us have a lot of free reign. And we collaborated together to come up with some interesting ways to talk about customer experience. So one of the games we created is called What Happened, and here’s how the game works:

Rules Hostess (24:11):
In what happened. Watch the first half of an experience story choose what you think happens next from four possible endings. And for correctly, for 500 points, if incorrect, you’ll be granted an extra life and the opportunity to answer from the remaining three endings for 250 points.

Dan Gingiss (24:32):
So I absolutely love this game because like our listeners story segment earlier on in this episode on experience, this, this is an opportunity for us to hear from other people about stories that they have had that are either good or bad customer experiences. And so they record videos for us and we get to hear their story, but only the first half of the story. And then there’s this whole mystery about what happens next and you and I got to have the fun of writing the four potential answers to what happened next.

Joey Coleman (25:07):
Absolutely. And what I love about the, the user generated listener generated stories is folks just so you know, Dan, and it was really just Dan. I think I did it once. Dan did it twice tweeted out, Hey, or, and did on Facebook and all the socials, you know, Hey, tell us your stories and here’s the rules. Tell us the first half, and then do a second video where you tell the second half, and we got dozens of submissions. And I think what it really proved is that everyone is having customer experiences, that they want to talk about. Whether those are the good experiences, the bad experiences, the ugly experiences, or the exceptional experiences, they want to share their story. And so not only is this a fun way to incorporate listener generated stories into the game, but it’s really interesting to see how many of our celebrity contestants and, oh, we’ve got an amazing lineup of celebrity customer experience experts, what they think the answers are because there’s that interesting dance between, well, what the answer should be versus what do you think actually happened.

Dan Gingiss (26:11):
or what I hope it would be? And that’s the fun, right? We often get the person cause they’re a lot of them have been involved in customer experience. They’re saying, well, gosh, I really hope that they took great care of them. And it was a fantastic experience. But this answer over here sounds so much more typical. And of course we’ve inserted that answer on purpose because it sounds typical. And I know we sound a little, like, what’s the word that I’m looking for here where we’re trying to trick people, but it’s really just, we’re trying to have, we’re trying to make customer experience fun. And I think we’ve really succeeded with this show.

Joey Coleman (26:45):
So friends, if you want to find out What Happened and not just the game, what happened, but also what happens in general on experience points, go check out the show. You can find this on YouTube. You can find us as a podcast. You can go to experience points, game that’s ExperiencePointsGame.com and see our celebrity contestants. See videos, listen to the game, come check it out. If you like the experience, this show sponsored by our great partners at Avtex. I think you’re really going to love experience points the game from our friends today.

[SEGMENT INTRO – CX PRESS]
Joey Coleman (27:24):
There are so many great customer experience articles to read, but who has the time we summarize them and offer clear takeaways you can implement starting tomorrow. Enjoy this segment of CX Press, where we read the articles so you don’t need to!

[CX PRESS][TikTok + DoggFace + Ocean Spray + Fleetwood Mac = Viral Video]
Joey Coleman (27:42):
Alright Dan, what do skateboarding, Fleetwood, Mac and ocean spray have in common?

Dan Gingiss (27:48):
Okay. I have no clue at all.

Joey Coleman (27:55):
I was actually hoping you would have no clue. I felt like there was a 50/50 chance here. You’re either going to know exactly what I was talking about, or you were going to have no idea what I was talking about. And I got to tell ya, I’m thrilled that it’s no idea.

Dan Gingiss (28:08):
I mean, obviously I know what those three things are separately, but I have no idea what they have in common, our audience.

Joey Coleman (28:15):
So, so let me explain a little bit about this. If folks haven’t had the chance to see this yet. So this is an evolving story in experience marketing, vitality and empathy, which you can read more about in the inc com article by Justin Brisso titled ocean spray just gave the viral skateboarding, TikTok guy, an extraordinary gift. It’s a lesson in emotional intelligence. Now here’s what happened a few weeks ago. Nathan “Dogface” Apadaca was on his way to the potato warehouse where.

Dan Gingiss (28:51):
hold on a minute.

Joey Coleman (28:53):
This is so great. There is so many fabulous pizza that says an actual story, an actual, honest to goodness story. And let me tell you, by the time I am done with this story, it is so beautifully surreal and fabulous that you couldn’t replicate it. And that’s part of the reason why it’s so incredible.

Dan Gingiss (29:10):
I just want to remind you though, before you go on that so far, you have mentioned the viral skateboarding, Tik TOK guy, some dude named dog face. And he was of course on his way to a potato warehouse.

Joey Coleman (29:22):
I know it’s just like this story. You would think I’m making it up. But folks, to my knowledge, every piece of this story is true. All right. So a few weeks ago, Nathan face Apodaca was on his way to the potato warehouse where he works in Idaho when his 2000 Dodge Durango gave out on him now, because he didn’t want to be late for work. Nathan grabbed his skateboard – or longboard for all of you, aficionados listening – and as he skated down the highway, he decided to film a quick video of himself, sipping on a big bottle of ocean spray, cranberry juice and lip sinking to the Fleetwood Mac classic Dreams. Now what happened after this (as if that wasn’t incredible enough) what happened after this is the video which he uploaded to TikTok went viral and it racked up millions of views. In fact, as we’re recording this right now, over 60.8 million views, people started filming their own recreations of the video, including Fleetwood Mac and all of this led to a ton of free advertising for ocean spray, because remember he’s drinking the Ocean Spray, cranberry juice, but instead of just saying, thanks or taking advantage of all this free press, the folks at Ocean Spray decided to do something special. So first they partnered with a local Nissan dealership to give Nathan a new and get this folks cranberry red Nissan Frontier pickup truck. It’s so good. And then they filled the cargo bed with jugs of cranberry juice. And there’s the ocean sprays CEO, Tom Hayes noted quote. When we saw Nathan’s video and the joy it created, we knew we needed to celebrate him and the happiness he spurred. We were humbled to gift him something of importance to him, a truck we knew he needed.

Dan Gingiss (31:23):
You know, I love this so much because earlier on in this season, Episode 106, for those scoring at home, you talked about a, another TicTok video about an employee from Chick-fil-a and Chick-fil-a’s response was not quite as positive as Ocean Sprays. And I think what’s great about this is that ocean spray could have just put on their marketing hats and tried to capitalize on the surprise virality, like so many other brands have done, but instead they showcased how brands could and frankly should use emotional intelligence to connect with their customers. And so, as it turns out in an early interview with TMZ, Nathan shared that his Durango while having over 330,000 miles on it just, and I quote, shuts off sometimes

Joey Coleman (32:18):
As, as vehicles that have over 330,000 miles are want to do sometimes, right? And so when it came time to acknowledge all this great free publicity ocean spray did more than say, thank you. They actually showed their thanks.

Dan Gingiss (32:35):
And this, similar to the Chik-fil-a story led to even more publicity, Nathan made a second video driving his new truck while, what do you think he was drinking Joey?

Joey Coleman (32:46):
That would be Ocean Spray cranberry juice.

Dan Gingiss (32:48):
That would be Ocean Spray cranberry juice. And that new video has already racked up as of this recording, nearly 28 million views.

Joey Coleman (32:59):
It’s insane. And to fully bring this story full circle, Ocean Spray’s CEO created his own version of the video in an effort to quote, keep the vibe going.

Dan Gingiss (33:12):
And I love that because there is nothing better than a CEO acting human, right? It is so true. I mean, we see these frankly, mostly guys, you know, dressed up in their suits in front of the microphone, doing a quarterly earnings statement, very serious. Exactly. And it’s very rare that you just see them in blue jeans or shorts, you know, being a person with their family. And, and I love, I mean, there are not a lot of CEOs that would have been bold enough to go and shoot their own video. Very few I’d say of the fortune 500, I dunno, less than 10, you think would probably be willing to do it.

Joey Coleman (33:55):
I was going to guess five, but definitely less than 10 because you run the risk of, you know, well, that’s not what we’re supposed to look like. And here’s the point – friends we’re living in an era where the more real you are, the more attention that garners. You know, I think we are hopefully knock on wood, moving beyond the era of everything being hyper scripted and PR you know, quaffed and, you know, figured out in a way that everybody’s like, Oh, here’s the prepared scene and the scripted move. It’s like, no even reality TV. People are getting bored with reality TV because they’ve come to realize that reality TV shows are scripted. And that’s what made this video so fascinating and what it made it stand out. Because, I mean, this is the guy who works at the potato warehouse, right. And he’s just shooting this video.

Dan Gingiss (34:51):
I so want some videos of the potato warehouse, cause I’m imagining right now. And I, I, I mean, it’s just great.

Joey Coleman (34:57):
Yeah, it’s great. And the, the ripple effect, no pun intended on this was crazy because Fleetwood Mac released to the song Dreams 43 years ago. And this week where we’re, when we’re recording dreams was number three on the billboard charts. Like this is the song that was popular 43 years ago. And people have heard it plenty since then, but it’s like, it just skyrocketed the popularity and Fleetwood Mac is like, you know, and they’ve done some interviews with him where he’s just, Oh my gosh, like, this is an amazing experience. And we love it. And we love the energy behind it. And it wasn’t done for commercial purposes and it wasn’t a scheme and it wasn’t to try to bring something back. It was pure fun and music and joy and skateboarding down the highway to get to work LA jug and, you know, while drinking a jug of ocean spray. I mean, it’s just everything about this was what viral videos in my opinion should be about.

Dan Gingiss (36:06):
Yeah, absolutely. And I have to say having two kids, one of whom is quite active on TikTok. It is amazing that one of the results of TikTok becoming popular is that my kids know music from many, many generations. And I there’s been several times where my son or daughter will start singing along to a classic rock song. And I’m like, where do you know this? From the answers TikTok, because a lot, because all these videos are set to music and, and somehow some way a song like Fleetwood, Mac’s just shows up. And now everybody knows that song. And it’s it’s number three 43 years after it’s released. I think that’s a good thing. And it’s one of the positives that I think that platform has brought to society.

Speaker 2 (36:52):
Well, and that may be the one of the first times that a parent has ever sung the praises of Tik TOK. I love it, Dan. And it’s so true. I mean, our youngest son who is four the other day, I saw him walk by the Alexa and he said, Alexa, play, I Love Rock and Rroll by Joan Jett and the Blackhearts. Right? And it’s like, how does he know this song was decades before he was born? And it’s the exposure to the music. It creates connection. It’s a nostalgia for the parents. I love every bit about it. So what can we learn about this example, this story? Well, we can learn that Joey’s actually doing a decent job staying up on the TikTok kids to Joey stories from social media. Okay. But seriously, what can we learn about the confluence of Nathan’s TikTok video and Fleetwood Mac’s playful participation and Ocean Spray’s empathetic gifting? Well, what we can learn is that people are thirsting for human connection. We love a feel-good fun, loving story. And while it’s impossible to know whether or not something is going to go viral, when we film it, our reaction afterwards is much easier to design. So look for opportunities to reward and acknowledge your advocates. If someone’s going to sing your praises, whether that’s figuratively or literally look for ways to thank them, that move the dial for them in the same way that they move the dial for you. Somebody leaves you a positive review on Amazon. Go thank them. Shout them out. Somebody kind enough to comment about you on social, acknowledge that and throw the gift back to them. So in the now famous words of Nathan dog face Apodaca, we can all just keep the vibe going.

Dan Gingiss (38:30):
And me? I’m going to get some cranberry juice.

[SHOW OUTRO]
Joey Coleman (38:38):
Wow. Thanks for joining us for another episode of Experience This!

Dan Gingiss (38:42):
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 (38:52):
We hope you enjoyed our discussions. And if you do, we’d love to hear about it. Come on over to ExperienceThis Show.com and let us know what segments you enjoyed, what new segments you’d like to hear. This show is all about experience, and we want you to be part of the Experience This Show.

Dan Gingiss (39:10):
Thanks again for your time. And we’ll see you next week for more

Joey Coleman (39:13):
Experience

Dan Gingiss (39:15):
This!

Episode 108 – From Analog to Augmented – Creating Experiences Everywhere

Join us as we discuss the frustrating process of trying to pay your health insurance premiums, the boundaryless world of augmented reality, and planning your day without using electronics.

Payments, Pokemon, and Planning – Oh My!

[Make the Required Remarkable] Can I Please Just Give You My Money?!

Things We Mentioned in This Segment:

• IVR – Interactive Voice Response

[CX Press] Pokemon Invasion at the Magic Kingdom – an Augmented Reality Experience at Walt Disney World Resort

Things We Mentioned in This Segment:

Pokemon Go
Walt Disney World Resort
• The AR that Ate Disney World – by Josh Goldblum on MuseumNext
• Bluecadet Interactive
Haunted Mansion
Universal Studios
Urban Achieve App
Slavery at Monticello App
• NO AD NYC
Ginza shopping district in Tokyo
• Episode 31, Season One – What Are You Reading? Ready Player One
Ready Player Two

[Partnership with Avtex] Experience Points: Think Fast!

Avtex
• Experience Points

[Dissecting the Experience] Analog Planning Solutions Thriving in a Digital World

Things We Mentioned in This Segment:



Kickstarter
Clay Hebert
• Analog – non-digital planning system
• Ugmonk – a design studio in Downingtown, PA, creating and curating products that combine form & function – founded by Jeff Sheldon, designer

Host Contact Information

Email Dan: Dan@dangingiss.com

Tweet Dan Gingiss: @DGingiss

Email Joey: JoeyC@JoeyColeman.com

DanGingiss.com

JoeyColeman.com

Subscribe to Experience This on Apple Podcasts

Episode Transcript

Download an unedited transcript of Episode 108 here or read it below:

[SHOW INTRO]
Dan Gingiss (00:05): Welcome to experience this.

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

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

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

Dan Gingiss (00:30):
So hold onto your headphones. It’s time to experience. Yes.

[EPISODE 108 INTRO]
Joey Coleman (00:39):
Get ready for another episode of the experience, this show!

Dan Gingiss (00:45):
Join us as we discuss the frustrating process of trying to pay your health insurance premiums, the boundaryless world of augmented reality and planning your day without using electronics.

Joey Coleman (01:00):
Payments, Pokemon, and planning. Oh my!.

[SEGMENT INTRO – MAKE THE REQUIRED REMARKABLE]
Joey Coleman (01:08):
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.

[MAKE THE REQUIRED REMARKABLE] Can I Please Just Give You My Money?!
Joey Coleman (01:28):
Okay Dan, I know that we do our best to only discuss positive customer experiences here on the Experience This Show, but I had a doozy of an experience recently that offered so many opportunities for improvement that I wanted to share with our listeners.

Dan Gingiss (01:45):
Well, we know that bad experiences can often provide us with the most important takeaways on how not to do things, but this one sounds like a could have been pretty bad.

Joey Coleman (01:57):
It was pretty bad for sure. All right, allow me to set the stage… I do my best to set up all of my monthly subscriptions on auto-bill so that I (1) always make sure to pay my bills on time and (2) so that I don’t need to think about it. If I’m going to be subscribed to something and a bill is going to be coming every month, I like to just set up auto-bill plus auto-pay equals “auto-Joey doesn’t have to think about it!”

Dan Gingiss (02:22):
I love how organized you are and that makes perfect sense. Uh, I mean, look, it’s convenient for you as the customer and it’s convenient for the business because hey, they know that their money’s coming and it’s coming consistently.

Joey Coleman (02:35):
Yeah, right?! I mean, this should be a win/win for everyone, but let me explain how this particular business tried to make it lose/lose for everyone involved. Now I wanted to set up auto billing and auto payment, to a credit card, for my monthly health insurance premium payments.

Dan Gingiss (02:54):
Okay, let me stop you right there. So having worked in this industry, you just said the two words that are associated with perhaps some of the worst experiences (at least in the United States) that a customer can have. And those two words are the dreaded “health insurance.”

Joey Coleman (03:12):
It’s so true. It’s like it strikes fear in the hearts and minds of young children everywhere. Yeah, no, it’s ridiculous. And did they ever live up to that terrible reputation! I’m not going to say the name of the insurance company basically because Dan made me not say it before we started recording because I wanted to light these people up – but I imagined this story might apply to several insurance companies and if my provider happens to be listening in, hopefully they’ll make some improvements. So at the end of last year, I needed to get new insurance because my existing carrier quit providing coverage in the state where I live. So I found a new provider online, I applied and ta-da! – was approved for coverage. I then started getting bills, which I would pay as they came in. But I struggled to find the functionality to set up auto payments. Now, after many months of this, I received yet another paper invoice and thought, this is ridiculous, I’m going to solve this problem today! I’m going to set up auto payment and I’m going to save some trees in the process.

Dan Gingiss (04:21):
I love that you’re both efficient, and environmental, and clearly a man on a mission. But what strikes me here is that this really shouldn’t be your problem.

Joey Coleman (04:31):
It really shouldn’t. And this isn’t rocket science, uh, at the risk of breaking the fourth wall… We’re in 2020 people. We are in 2020 right now, sending something up to auto bill to a credit card and have that payment run every month should be, I don’t know the ante up chips for any business that seeks regular payment from its customers! I don’t understand. I don’t understand. But I digress. So I went to the website that was referenced on my paper bill to quote, “pay online.” But for some reason I couldn’t access the website using my saved username and password.

Dan Gingiss (05:09):
Okay – that never happens.

Joey Coleman (05:11):
Yeah, because that never happens. But this was a little bit strange Dan, because I was 100% sure that I had set up a username and password on the website before to fill out some paperwork for a doctor’s visit that I had. So I know I had done this before.

Dan Gingiss (05:30):
You know, I have to tell you, remembering passwords is my single biggest pet peeve. And I know a lot of people you’ve, you’ve spent a lot of time in the security world, passwords tend to be relatively useless anyway, and yet,

Joey Coleman (05:48):
Correct!

Dan Gingiss (05:48):
And yet they just keep getting more and more complicated. I’ll tell you, without without giving up of my passwords, you know, there’s a certain digit that I end that I add to the end of mine. Uh, and then when they make me reset it or I forget it, I just add another one of those.

Joey Coleman (06:07):
It’s “password5” ladies and gentlemen – that’s Dan’s password! Password5 – after the Jackson Five!

Dan Gingiss (06:13):
So I can always gauge how annoyed I am with a company by how many times I have to hit this digit.

Joey Coleman (06:19):
and you have to change the number, I love it. I love it. I love it. I love it. Yeah. So here’s the thing. Most passwords? Total facade. It’s like security at the airport. It is designed to make you feel better, but it’s really not making you any safer. But for some reason, I went to this website and I couldn’t get in. Aand I tried and I was like, no, I know I have the password. And I had it actually saved and I knew what it was. And so when you can’t do something online, what do you do? You call the phone number. Which I did. And I was immediately placed into IVR hell.

Dan Gingiss (06:55):
Oh boy, IVR, the old “interactive voice response” system folks, you know, the one press 7, if you’re still listening and can’t believe we haven’t given you a relevant option yet!

Joey Coleman (07:08):
Exactly, exactly. And I kept saying, “representative!” “Representative!” “Operator! “Human! Human!” and pressing buttons until I finally got to actually speak to a human being

Dan Gingiss (07:19):
Quick question: did you, did you push zero really hard though, because of multiple times?!

Joey Coleman (07:23):
I want to figure out a way, you know, I know they do sentiment analysis on voices within IVR system to hear if the customer is getting worked up, they can route you to a more senior person. I want them to figure out how to connect the haptics of my phone, to the call center, so that when I’m jamming my finger on the zero and screaming, “Human! Human! Operator!” that they know I’m about to put my thumb through my phone and they get me to somebody who can help faster. But that’s what I would like to have happen… and I would like to say that when I got on the phone with a human, everything got set up and was easy peasy. But instead, the representative explained – now hold onto your seats folks – that they actually have two different websites: one ending in .org and the other one ending in, uh,
yeah, .org as well. The first.org website is where you go to see your doctors’ appointments to get test results, to schedule visits, etc. And the second.org website is where you go to pay your bill. They are two entirely different websites!

Dan Gingiss (08:38):
So wait, they have a separate website for paying the bill – that you can’t access from the main website where you have all of your other online interactions with them?!

Joey Coleman (08:46):
Exactly. 100% Dan, you got it! Okay. I had to create an entirely new username because as it turns out, for some reason you can’t have the same username and an entirely new password, because again, for some reason you can’t use the same password. So I had to have two separate usernames and two separate passwords for the same relationship with the insurance company. And after trying to give them money for over an hour, between my own troubleshooting and waiting to speak to a live person that could actually explain what was going on, I was finally able to set up my monthly bill so that it would auto-pay.

Dan Gingiss (09:29):
Well, Joey, on behalf of health insurance providers, everywhere, I’d like to apologize for your poor experience.

Joey Coleman (09:36):
I need therapy at this point for this. This is ridiculous.

Dan Gingiss (09:40):
I mean, there’s a bunch of things that obviously are going wrong here. And I’ve been trying to think, as you’ve been telling this story, why in the world, they would have a separate site. And most answers in the healthcare industry are unsatisfactory from a CX perspective, and from a customer’s perspective, it’s literally, I don’t care. Right? So my guess is there was some compliance reason that they did it so that they kept credit cards away from, you know, health information or they just outsourced it to somebody else. And they said, well, we’ll do this because it’s cheaper and faster for us, even if it’s not cheaper or faster for the customer.

Joey Coleman (10:17):
Yeah! And to me then I feel like the default is they actually didn’t care because as a recovering attorney and I’ll be the first to admit, I am not intimately familiar with all the particulars of HIPAA and the various compliance laws that health insurance companies are under, but for the life of me, in all of my experiences, I have never come across an organization that requires two separate usernames and two separate passwords to access the same company and pushes you through one website for every interaction except paying your bill. And then they push you through a different site. It makes no sense.

Dan Gingiss (10:56):
Yeah. And I mean, probably Joey, this was from the days when people paid their health insurance by writing a check and sticking it in the mail. And that’s probably the extent of the maturity of their payment processing systems. And so now that people want to pay online, the answer internally is, well, how do we do this quickly? And cheaply? I mean, this is just an inconvenience for us. And yet it isn’t – because when people pay online, they pay more quickly. They pay on time. They pay more accurately. There’s less processing – it’s actually, yeah, you, you have to pay a fee as a company generally for the transaction – but all in all, it’s going to end up a lot cheaper for the company. And to be perfectly honest Joey, even if it wasn’t, I still believe it’s incumbent upon the company to provide a payment experience that is simple. And I want to bring this to today because we’re seeing payments – I’ve also spent a lot of time in the payments industry – we’re seeing payments come back into the national storyline again, because people now are looking for touchless payments. And this used to be a thing that is sometimes they offered it, sometimes they didn’t… I’ve never been a huge Apple Pay or Google Pay user because I’m not even sure which stores take it and which stores don’t, and so what have you, and now all of a sudden, everybody wants it. And so many more places are offering. And I think you make a good point about that you’re just trying to give them money. A quick story – and very quick – is when I worked at Discover, as you may know, not every merchant in the US takes Discover either – and when I got to talk to some of the merchants, I would ask them, “why do you want to not accept a method of payment from your customer?” I mean, if they want to pay you in, I don’t know.

Joey Coleman (12:49):
anything other than a wagon full of wheat! But any type of “convertible” usable currency, whether it’s a credit card, whether it’s cash, you know, come on friends! It’s not that hard. And especially when it’s credit card, because I presume the folks you were talking to took other credit cards – they just didn’t take Discover.

Dan Gingiss (13:10):
But again, their reasoning might’ve been, Oh, well, you know, discover costs me a 100th of 1% higher per transaction in terms of a fee. It’s like, you know what? Your customer doesn’t care. They just want to use their card and you’re telling them no, and you think that doesn’t have an impact on their experience, but it absolutely does!

Joey Coleman (13:30):
Absolutely! And here’s the crazy thing. If it is difficult to pay you, what other aspects of this relationship am I not going to enjoy? If the act of me giving you money is going to cause me stress and a headache, what’s going to happen when you actually have to deliver on the service? What, what state do you think I’m going to be in? What do you think my pre-framed expectations are going to be? It’s a hot mess!

Dan Gingiss (13:57):
I’ll give you one more though. Joey… If it’s hard to pay you, I’m going to go find somebody who’s easy to pay!

Joey Coleman (14:04):
Oh, it’s funny you should say that Dan, because I spent today – in anticipation of recording our segment – trying to find a new insurance company because I’m done. I’m done! And I haven’t had any negative experiences with them in terms of the care, but I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop. I’m like, if it’s this hard to pay you, what’s it going to be like when I actually need you to cover a claim? What’s it going to be like when I need you to go to bat for me? So at the end of the day, here’s the thing – this segment is a required remarkable story. And while our stories usually talk about interactions that are worthy of making a remark about, we don’t often talk about the negative remarks. But I wanted to break from our tradition this time, to point out that you’re most commonly occurring activities: scheduling appointments, communicating with customers, taking payments, should be the easiest, most convenient, most efficient elements of your brand experience. And if your required interactions aren’t designed to maximize the customer experience, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity to create a touch point worth talking about. And frankly, you’re going to be missing out on a lot more in the, not too distant future, because you’re not going to be in business anymore.

[SEGMENT INTRO – CX PRESS]
Joey Coleman (15:26):
There are so many great customer experience articles to read, but who has the time we summarize them and offer clear takeaways you can implement starting tomorrow. Enjoy this segment of CX Press, where we read the articles, so you don’t need to!

[CX PRESS] Pokemon Invasion at the Magic Kingdom – an Augmented Reality Experience at Walt Disney World Resort
Joey Coleman (15:41):
Dan, have you or your kids ever played Pokemon Go?

Dan Gingiss (15:48):
Okay. Well, first of all, I’m insulted by the fact that you think I played this. No!

Joey Coleman (15:52):
Hey, you know, it takes all different kinds. I know you’re a real tech guy. You’re aware of the socials, you’re on the Twitters, and you’re doing your thing. And I thought, you know, you, you pay attention to trends in technology. I thought you might’ve given it a dabble.

Dan Gingiss (16:05):
Yeah – no Pokemon Go for me. My son collected the cards for a while, but for whatever reason, neither of them got into the “Go” thing.

Joey Coleman (16:14):
Gotcha. Well, I haven’t either, but to be honest, that doesn’t mean that I’m not interested in augmented reality – or AR as people often call it. To be honest, that’s why I was intrigued by an article that I came across recently titled “The AR that Ate Disney World.” Now the article was on the MuseumNext website, that’s MuseumNext.com for those of you that aren’t regularly cruising the MuseumNext website for breaking CX news! Uh, but it was written by a former office mate and friend of mine, Josh Goldblum. Josh is the founding principle of Emmy award winning interactive design studio, Bluecadet Interactive. And in the article, Josh relates an interesting scenario that played out when he took his son to Disney World for the first time earlier this year (pre-COVID). He sets the scene as follows:

Joey Coleman (17:08):
“As the two of us stood in line at Haunted Mansion – me trying to introduce my son to the happiest place on earth and him getting increasingly restless, I finally gave up my phone and let him play a game. Pokemon Go. Pokemon Go is a massive AR scavenger hunt game that allows players to compete and collect location specific Pokemon. Here we are in the heart of the Disney empire and to my surprise, it had been fully and aggressively populated with Pokemon Go PokeStops and gyms. Even in the very heart of Disney’s Magic Kingdom, Pokemon has staked its claim. There stands a statue of Walt Disney holding hands with Mickey, Cinderella’s Castle towering in the background. To say it’s a popular place to take a family picture or a selfie would be a massive understatement! It’s also a PokeStop. While tourists cued to take pictures, my son eagerly challenged other Pokemon trainers and collected rare Pokemon. He was ecstatic by what he was seeing, and it seemed to have much more to do with Pokemon brand IP than the famed IP of Disney corporation.

Dan Gingiss (18:20):
So I feel like we have to explain a little bit of this here because man, my head is spinning already. Uh, first of all, I was actually thinking about a story you told previously about Universal Studios and how good they are with the lines and how much I was really interesting to stand in line.

Joey Coleman (18:36):
They keep you engaged while you wait.

Dan Gingiss (18:39):
Right – and here’s the opposite. And so, uh, I think that was immediately disappointing, but this Pokemon game, from what I understand and what we’re talking about, augmented reality what’s happening here is, is people are using their phones and they use the camera part of their phone to sort of show where they are. And then things pop onto the screen that are not actually in the world (that’s why it’s augmented reality) things pop up onto the screen sort of on top of the camera video.

Joey Coleman (19:10):
Exactly! So you feel like you’re looking through the phone at the world and you know what the world is behind the phone (because you can see kind of around the phone and see it there), but what you’re seeing on the phone, includes other images, other characters, other items that aren’t there in the real world, but they’re in the augmented reality that you can see through your phone.

Dan Gingiss (19:34):
Right? And for this particular game, if you find the rare Pokemon or whatever it is…

Joey Coleman (19:37):
You get points. You can collect things. Yeah. Yeah.

Dan Gingiss (19:40):
So the fascinating thing here, and I’m guessing, this is why some of why you’re sharing this story is that Pokemon is not a Disney brand and Disney is famously very protective of its brand. And yet here is this gentleman and his son in line at a Disney park and then walking around the Disney park playing Pokemon. And I got to imagine the Disney folks are not real excited about that because they want everything, they want to control every facet of the experience. And

obviously they want it to be their branding. So I’ve kind of interested to hear what hear what happened next?

Joey Coleman (20:17):
Well, you’re, you’re spot on Dan, because I think like most businesses, there is a presumption that when you come to their property, or their place of business, or their office, or their restaurant, or their, you know, store, whatever it may be, that your only going to experience things that they have put there, and that are in the real world, and that they are going to be able to architect, and design, and dare I say, control the type of interactions you have. And despite the fact that Disney has big fences around the property, that you have to buy a ticket to get in, guess what?! The Pokemon characters come in. Now as Josh notes in this article, “the best AR puts new lenses on the world, around us, adding new interpretations.” He goes on to share how, “the urban archive app sends New Yorkers push notifications when they are near the sites of historic photos from the New York Public Libraries Archives. The Slavery at Monticello app features location-specific content that adds to the experience of exploring Thomas Jefferson’s home, a the folks at No Ad took an almost adversarial approach using AR to replace billboards with art – for an experiment in real life ad blocking. These applications of AR rewrite the world around us – without boundaries, or restrictions.

Dan Gingiss (21:47):
And I’ll give you an example related to the business world that I thought was really cool. And this was actually before AR became a thing in the United States. So I happened to be traveling in Japan and I was in Tokyo and there is a famous shopping district called Ginza – I don’t know if you’ve been there or not?

Joey Coleman (22:04):
Oh yes! Ginza is fantastic!

Dan Gingiss (22:06):
I actually took a – fun fact – I took a picture (a selfie) in front of a gigantic door that had a big G on it, which of course in my mind stood for “Gingiss” not Ginza. I digress… Anyway – and what, what this company had built was an AR app that as you’re walking down the street of Ginza, and you see all the stores on your left and right, that offers from those stores started popping up onto your screen because the screen knew that you were right next to Coach, the whatever, whatever store it was. And these offers would start popping up as you walked down the street, which I thought was really fascinating. So there’s definitely business applications for this, but it is a little bit intrusive. It’s a little bit, you know, I would say you called me a technology person before. I would say, this is really the early adopters right now that are using this for any business perspective. The gamesmanship part is, is kind of fun. I mean, the Pokemon Go thing had it to 15 minutes of fame in the, you know, in the world and it was a lot of fun. But I’m curious to know whether this technology ends up having applications that are more widespread going forward.

Joey Coleman (23:25):
Well, I think what’s interesting, Dan – and I agree with you, we are very much in the early stages and it’s why, you know, I want to do at least flag this in a segment on our podcast because we, we really haven’t talked about augmented reality before (that I’m recalling or certainly not in depth). And…

Dan Gingiss (23:42):
Wait a minute, do you want to ask the Episode Rainman whether we have?

Joey Coleman (23:44):
Okay Rainman – have we talked about augmented reality before at any point in the last six seasons?

Dan Gingiss (23:51): Actually…

Joey Coleman (23:52):
Oh sweet nectar of the gods. Unbelievable. Ladies and gentlemen, Dan Gingiss. He is the librarian of our history.

Dan Gingiss (24:00):
Actually…

Joey Coleman (24:01):
I don’t remember the episode we recorded yesterday! Dan’s going to tell us about what we recorded years ago!

Dan Gingiss (24:07):
Well, it was years ago. It was Season One, Episode 31, we did a “What Are You Reading” segment on “Ready Player One.”

Joey Coleman (24:16):
Oh yes! Fantastic book! Segue… Ready Player Two is coming out soon – a sequel to the fabulous book Ready Player One. Fantastic! Fantastic! But anyway, we digress. So here’s the thing. You’re right. Dan, we are at the very edge. Most businesses aren’t even familiar with the concept of augmented reality, let alone doing anything to incorporate it into their experience, but here’s why I wanted to flag it. Now the possibilities for incorporating augmented reality into your brand and into your brand location are truly limitless. We haven’t even begun to scratch the surface of what’s possible. Now imagine Nike creating an impact for you, what their experience in the stores, but then take it one step further and imagine what would happen if Nike added in a digital cheering crowd in the bleachers where you run at your local track in the morning before work, right? Is there a monument in your town that you don’t like for whatever reason? Well, imagine being able to tell the rest of the story or your version of the story in augmented reality, while you’re waiting for the local government to make a decision about whether or not to remove the monument. Now, as Josh notes in the article, “In my own city of Philadelphia, we only have two monuments to women in the entire city. Solving that disparity will take a generation. And in the meantime, AR could memorialize and tell the stories of the women who should be commemorated with permanent monuments.” So we can actually start to think about taking our brand experiences and pushing the envelope well beyond the scope of the real estate we own and the experiences we can control.

Dan Gingiss (26:03):
I think that’s the neatest part about this story is that basically the folks at Pokemon go have invaded enemy territory, right? And have been able to bring their brand into an area that as we said, is, is famously closed off or, or at least is famously meticulously monitored. And, uh, and they’re able not in the real world, but in the augmented world to invade into Disney and bring their brand with them.

Joey Coleman (26:32):
Absolutely. Well, I’ll conclude this segment by giving Josh Goldbloom of Bluecadet Interactive, the last word he wraps up this CX press article” “The AR that Ate Disney World” with this hope: “The full power of AR will come when users can create and contribute their own content and worlds. We aren’t fully there yet, but already these tools are slipping into wider use. I look forward to a not too distant future where everyone has the opportunity, at least digitally, to design the world around them. Where access to a range of AR tools will allow us so many new ways of seeing.”

[PARTNERSHIP WITH AVTEX] Think Fast!

Joey Coleman (27:22):
Alright, give me 60 seconds on the clock Dan!

Dan Gingiss (27:24):
Wait, what?

Joey Coleman (27:25):
60 seconds! 60 seconds!

Dan Gingiss (27:27):
Okay. But what are you going to do with them?

Joey Coleman (27:29):
Okay. It’s not what I’m going to do with it, Dan. It’s what our celebrity contestants are going to do when they have just 60 seconds to answer a series of questions in the final game, we’ll play on our new game show, Experience Points – presented by our friends at Avtex, who transformed customer experience through CX design and orchestration.

Dan Gingiss (27:48):
In Think Fast, we ask five experience questions. Each question has two possible answers. Contestants need to think fast and answer fast because they have just 60 seconds to complete the game.

Joey Coleman (27:58):
Correct answers. Given before time runs out are worth a hundred points. If they correctly answer all five questions, the contestant earns a bonus of 500 points for a total possible score of 1000 points, which would mean a $1,000 donation to the charity of their choosing.

Dan Gingiss (28:14):
Alright, let’s show them how this works. Joey.

Joey Coleman (28:16):
Good idea. Dan, I’m going to ask you three quick questions from an upcoming episode of Experience Points. Are you ready?

Dan Gingiss (28:23):
I’m ready!

Joey Coleman (28:24):
All right. Let’s do this on your marks, get set, Go!

Joey Coleman (28:28):
What percentage of consumers have received a text message from a business: 54% or 84%?

Dan Gingiss (28:34):
Uh, 84%.

Joey Coleman (28:35):
Which group checks their phone the most within an hour: 30 to 44 year olds, or 45 to 60 year olds?

Dan Gingiss (28:43):
I’m going against the grain and saying 45 to 60.

Joey Coleman (28:46):
I love it. And what percentage of consumers respond to text messages in less than 10 minutes: 50% or 78%?

Dan Gingiss (28:54):
78%.

Joey Coleman (28:55):
Woo. That was fast.

Dan Gingiss (28:58):
How’d I do? How’d I do?

Joey Coleman (29:00):
Well, alas, Dan, we don’t have any more time on the clock. So people are gonna need to tune into Experience Points to learn more. See you there soon!

[SEGMENT INTRO – DISSECTING THE EXPERIENCE]
Joey Coleman (29:10):
Sometimes a remarkable experience deserves deeper investigation. We dive into the nitty gritty of customer interactions and dissect how, and why, they happen. Join us while we’re Dissecting the Experience.

[DISSECTING THE EXPERIENCE] Analog Planning Solutions Thriving in a Digital World
Joey Coleman (29:27):
Dan, are you a Kickstarter guy?

Dan Gingiss (29:30):
Well, a Kickstarter guy. I don’t know. I mean, I’ve, I’ve backed a couple of projects on Kickstarter, but I I’m not on there very often I would say.

Joey Coleman (29:39):
Alrighty, well, I’ll make a little true confession here. I may have an addiction to Kickstarter. I support or in the language of Kickstarter, “back” a lot of projects there. In fact, I was looking at it earlier and today I have supported or backed over 110 projects on the platform.

Dan Gingiss (30:02):
Wow. That does sound like an addiction. Do they have a support group for that?

Joey Coleman (30:06):
If they do, I need to join and I’m not a member yet, but maybe I should be. What can I say? I think it’s a really fascinating platform.

Dan Gingiss (30:15):
All right. Well, some of our listeners may not be familiar with it, so maybe you can give us a starter description on Kickstarter.

Joey Coleman (30:23):
Okay, so here’s the idea behind Kickstarter. It starts with a project creator, somebody who has an idea of something they’d like to see in the world. They make a little video explaining what they want to create. They tell the story of why they think it would be useful. They sell you on the idea of you need this product or this thing they’re going to create too. And then they set up some pledge support levels – ,which are basically different levels that, you know, for a dollar you can just be that you’re a supporter and a fan. And they go up to where maybe for like a thousand dollars, you can get the original artwork that they’re going to create or something like that. And then they also list out some risks and challenges and their likelihood of being able to successfully complete the project. Now, the platform features everything from games to films, to music, to technology inventions, to comic books. Basically, if you’re a creator and you can present a solid story, you can get people to back your idea by pledging money in advance of your product being completed. And you then use those funds – minus a fee to Kickstarter, of course – to fulfill the pledges and deliver your product to these loyal patrons who have agreed to be first movers or first supporters of your new brand.

Dan Gingiss (31:41):
You know, I really like this in concept, even though I don’t do it as often as you do, because first of all, you know, from a customer experience perspective, you’re really measuring the audience before you invest heavily into the product or service. And I mean, let’s face it, you go on Kickstarter and nobody’s interested – that’s a pretty good indicator that maybe you should go find something else!

Joey Coleman (32:04):
Yeah, exactly – and maybe you’ve spent, you know, an hour to write up your description and shot a little video on your phone and you know, all right. Well, my great idea. Yeah, my mom, my by one and maybe my roommate, but that’s about it. It’s not going to have the traction in the marketplace.

Dan Gingiss (32:20): Exactly, exactly.

Joey Coleman (32:21):
But if you get it right, it can go bonkers. And there was something that I found on Kickstarter recently, and I wanted to tell you about the product, because I think you’ll be interested to hear about the product. I think our listeners will be interested to hear about our product and also about the success that this creator was able to have on the Kickstarter platform.

Dan Gingiss (32:46):
Well, Joey, if you are a backer, I’m all ears.

Joey Coleman (32:50):
All right. Well, I appreciate that, Dan. I’m not exactly sure if this is going to be your kind of thing, which will, uh, reveal itself here momentarily, but bear with me. Okay. This product is called “Analog” and it builds itself as the simplest productivity system. It’s designed by Jeff Sheldon. Now Jeff is best known for starting a company called Ugmonk. Ugmonk is design studio in Downington, Pennsylvania, that creates and curates products that combine form and function from simple minimal well-made t-shirts to desk organizers Ugmonk is a lot like buying from your neighborhood corner store. And as it says on their website, quote, “not only are you supporting our family, but you’re also supporting other extraordinarily hardworking small businesses with all that said, if I’m lucky enough to call you a customer, great, but if for whatever reason, you don’t see anything that catches your eye, please walk away with this: I encourage you to leave the world better than you found it by thoughtfully choosing quality over quantity, less over, more lasting, over trending and profound over popular.”

Dan Gingiss (33:59):
We’ll find out whether I like this guy’s product, but I can tell you, I already liked the guy. I mean, he seems like a great guy.

Joey Coleman (34:03):
Yeah! He’s got, he’s got great copywriting and he clearly is speaking to a very specific audience. Now I actually came to know about Jeff and Ugmonk and Analog years ago when I tagged along to a meeting that my good friend and a friend of the experience, this show Clay Hebert was having with Analog’s creator. So Jeff was using a prototype of the Analog product and I was enamoured from the start. Now this is going to sound crazy folks, okay?! Analog is a physical companion for your digital tools. What that means is it helps you prioritize and focus on your most important task. So think of it as a daily to do list that is captured on paper instead of in your phone or computer.

Dan Gingiss (34:54):
Okay. Yeah, I I’m I’m with you so far. I mean, I have like Post-It notes all over the place and you know, it’s very difficult to keep organized and uh, even with phones and stuff like that. So I get it. Tell me more…

Joey Coleman (35:07):
I too have Post-It notes all over and let’s be candid, when you pick up your phone, let’s say you have a “to do list” app on your phone. There’s probably a billion entries and you have to learn how to use the app. And then you have to remember when you do something to go on the app. And I don’t know about you. I have a certain excitement about writing down what the things I’m going to be focusing on that day and then crossing them off at the end of the day. And it sounds crazy, but the psychologist will say that there’s a reason that we like to do that. And what Jeff done with Analog is he’s taken this necessary element of keeping track of the things that are in our minds, in a cacophonous world, where we just have tons of things coming at us all the time, and has produced a beautiful solution. It’s gorgeously designed. There are three cards: there are Today cards, their are Next cards, and Someday cards. So you can kind of bucket the items on your to do list. You get a fresh start every day because you start with a new card. It’s tangible and physical. It’s not sitting around in zeros and ones, and bits and bots on the internet. It’s something that you can actually hold in your hand and the way he’s designed it is there’s a desk holder where you can kind of prop up the card on your desk, right next to your computer, so it’s physically in front of you, or you can keep it within arms reach. There’s like a little travel holder where you can carry along like a little stack of what are basically beautifully designed index cards,, to record what your various task and to do items are.

Dan Gingiss (36:38):
Well Joey – I’m a simple man. I actually like the aspect of the non-digital and I have found for a long time that I’m much better off keeping it to do list on a piece of paper with a pencil. I still like writing in pencil. There is something about writing it down that somehow keeps it in my memory. I agree with you on the idea of crossing it off. I’ve never thought of this, however, as having to be a beautiful work of art or an, you know, an experience more than a pad of paper. So it’s, it’s interesting. I think conceptually, I’m definitely with you, I’ve looked at some of the pictures and we’ll include them in our show notes that it is, it is beautiful. So if you know, if you want something beautiful on your desk to help you, uh, keep track of your day, I think this definitely fits the bill.

Joey Coleman (37:34):
I appreciate that. And I think what it speaks to is this combination of form and function. And I think so often when people are developing products, there were, there were kind of two pieces of this story. I wanted to tell number one, when people are thinking about products as a general rule, they have a tendency to over index on either form or function. Now, based on what you just said, Dan, you kind of are a guide that skews a little more towards function. You’d be just as happy with a Post-It note or a spiral notebook or somewhere. You can write it down where as I might be a guy who skews a little bit more towards form than function, where if it looks pretty, I’m going to be more excited about it. This is why, interestingly enough, I use a Mac laptop. You use a PC laptop, okay? It’s not a commentary on Mac or PC it’s that aesthetics react differently. And what I think is interesting is in our modern world, you can carve out a niche, or a niche, or a niche (depending on how you pronounce it) of customers that skew way either form or function. And in an increasingly digital world, people are craving these analog experiences. And I have to believe in a world where we’re doing more and more Zoom calls, and more and more conference calls, and we’re not having as many interactions outside the home with beautiful things and beautiful products that having something that you can hold in your hand is going to change the conversation. And here’s the interesting thing… I’m not the only one who thought this. So when Jeff started the Kickstarter project, he hoped to raise $6,000. When the project was done, he had raised over $451,000 from over 5,000 backers. It’s not just Joey that liked the Analog solution.

Dan Gingiss (39:26):
Well, that’s pretty impressive. I mean $451,000 – I’m not all that good at math, but it’s a lot more than $6,000 isn’t it?!

Joey Coleman (39:33):
And these, by the way, are preorders. He’s now able to go to the printer and print exactly how many he needs at the price points he needs, having factored in the delivery cost and mechanisms. And he knows that his product launch is going to be successful – and profitable – from day one. And most businesses don’t have that level of confidence when they roll a new product into the marketplace.

Dan Gingiss (40:00):
Absolutely. And that’s what I was saying before that I think it’s such a cool idea that you can kind of pretest with the market. And obviously this guy knows that he’s onto something. So I hope you’ll come back and tell us about it once the item arrives?

Joey Coleman (40:14):
I definitely will Dan, but here’s something that I already know. And this takes us back to an earlier episode. We had this season where we talked about the Kenneth Cole luggage. And in fact it was the last episode, the one just proceeding this one. When you find a brand that you love, that consistently delivers remarkable results and experiences, when that brand comes out with a new product or a new service offering, you want it. You buy it! You trust that the experience will continue to be remarkable – which is what I’m expecting from the fine folks at Ugmonk with their new product Analog.

[SHOW OUTRO]
Joey Coleman (40:56):
Wow, thanks for joining us for another episode of Experience This

Dan Gingiss (41:00):
We know there are tons of podcasts to listen to, magazines and books to read, reality TV to watch. We don’t take for granted that you’ve decided to spend some quality time listening to the two of us.

Joey Coleman (41:10):
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 (41:27):
Thanks again for your time and we’ll see you next week for more

Joey Coleman (41:32):
Experience.

Dan Gingiss (41:32):
This!

Episode 107 – The “Behind the Scenes” Elements and People that Make for a Remarkable Experience

Join us as we discuss the story behind the story of America’s biggest winery, CX heroes who remain behind-the-scenes, and a lifetime warranty that over-delivered.

Wines, Horns, and Suitcases – Oh My!

[Make the Required Remarkable] Your Brand Spirit Should Be Evident in Everything You Do

Things We Mentioned in This Segment:

Barefoot Wines – Making Things Beautiful Rockets Your Business Forward
The Barefoot Spirit: How Hardship, Hustle, and Heart Built America’s #1 Wine Brand – by Bonnie Harvey and Michael Houlihan
• The Shadow
• Ed Asner
** Note: audio clip from “The Barefoot Spirit” used with permission.

[CX Press] The People Behind the Scenes “Make” The Customer Experience

Things We Mentioned in This Segment:

The goal-horn operator. The ‘Split the Pot’ seller. The Zamboni driver. Meet 8 behind-the-scenes people who make things go during Blackhawks games at the United Center – by Jimmy Greenfield of The Chicago Tribune

[Partnership with Avtex] Experience Points: What Happened?

Avtex
• Experience Points

[This Just Happened] Kenneth Cole’s Luggage Secret? Avoid Customer “Baggage” with a Strong Warranty

Things We Mentioned in This Segment:

• Kenneth Cole Luggage
Episode 89 – Travel Away with New Luggage
• Away Bags
• Episode 4 – Dissecting the Lands End Experience
• Episode 77 – How to Turn a Negative Experience into a Lifelong Customer

Host Contact Information

Email Dan: Dan@dangingiss.com

Tweet Dan Gingiss: @DGingiss

Email Joey: JoeyC@JoeyColeman.com

DanGingiss.com

JoeyColeman.com

Subscribe to Experience This on Apple Podcasts

Episode Transcript

Download an automated (non-corrected) transcript of Episode 107 or read it below:

[SHOW INTRO]

Dan Gingiss (00:05):
Welcome to Experience This!

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

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

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

Dan Gingiss (00:31):
So hold onto your headphones… It’s time to Experience This!

Joey Coleman (00:39):
Get ready, for another episode of the Experience This! Show!

Episode 104 – Get People Talking with a Free Prize Inside

Join us as we discuss talking to customers in uncertain times, a remarkable credit card experience, and the power of Cracker Jack-esque surprises.

Canadian Professors, Apple Cards, and Inflatable Pools – Oh My!

[CX Press] Concrete Communication in Uncertain Times

Things We Mentioned in This Segment:

• Michael Fishman
• Consumer Health Summit (CHS)
• M.I.T. Sloan Management Review
• Grant Packard (associate professor of marketing at York University in Toronto)
• Schulich School of Business at York University
• Sarah G. Moore (associate professor of marketing at the University of Alberta School of Business in Edmonton)
• University of Alberta School of Business
• Brent McFerran (associate professor of marketing at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, British Columbia)
• Simon Fraser University – Beedie School of Business
• Speaking to Customers in Uncertain Times – by Packard, Moore, and McFerran in M.I.T. Sloan Management Review
• Professor Jonah Berger (associate professor of marketing at The Wharton School in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)
• The Wharton School of Business – University of Pennsylvania

[Dissecting the Experience] The Apple Credit Card – Changing the Landscape Again

Things We Mentioned in This Segment:

• Apple
• iPhone
• AirPods
• Mac
• Apple Credit Card
• Discover Card
• Discover Wins JD Power Award
• JD Power Award
• William Tell
• iPad
• American Express (Amex) Black Card
• Apple white matte finish
• Apple logo
• Credit card chip design
• Goldman Sachs
• Mastercard
• Wallet app
• Apple Pay
• Apple Watch
• MacBook Pro laptop
• credit card cycle date
• First USA
• Chase Bank

[Partnership with Avtex] We Love Gameshows – Do You?

Things We Mentioned in This Segment:

• Jeopardy!
• Wheel of Fortune
• Joker’s Wild
• Tic Tac Dough
• Press Your Luck

[This Just Happened] Inflatable Pools with a Free Prize Inside

Things We Mentioned in This Segment:

• Marcus Sheridan – Pool Guy
• River Pools and Spas
• Inflatable Pools on Amazon
• Amazon
• Cracker Jack

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 Episode 104 here or read it below:

[SHOW INTRO]

Dan Gingiss [00:00:05] Welcome to Experience This! 

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

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

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

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

[EPISODE 104 INTRO]

Joey Coleman [00:00:39] Get ready for another episode of the experience, this show. 

Dan Gingiss [00:00:45] Join us as we discuss talking to customers in uncertain times, a remarkable credit card experience, and the power of Cracker Jack-esque surprises. 

Joey Coleman [00:00:59] Canadian professors, Apple cards, and inflatable pools! Oh, my! 

[SEGMENT INTRO – CX PRESS]

Joey Coleman [00:01:07] There are so many great customer experience articles to read. But who has the time? We summarize them and offer clear takeaways you can implement starting tomorrow. Enjoy this segment of CX Press – where we read the articles so you don’t need to! 

[CX PRESS] Concrete Communication in Uncertain Times

Dan Gingiss [00:01:25] We’re living in a world that is fundamentally different from the world we were living in just a few months ago. As businesses work to navigate the experiences they’re delivering to customers, one of the big questions that everyone is wrestling with is how do we offer certainty in our communications when we’re speaking to people in uncertain times? 

Joey Coleman [00:01:47] Which is why we were intrigued by the following article that is our CX Press segment today. I want to give special thanks to my buddy Michael Fishman, who’s the founder of the Consumer Health Summit, who turned me on to a piece in the M.I.T. Sloan Management Review. The article is written by Grant Packard, associate professor of marketing at York University in Toronto; Sarah G. Moore, associate professor of marketing at the University of Alberta School of Business in Edmonton; and Brent McFerran, the associate professor of marketing at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, British Columbia. 

Dan Gingiss [00:02:22] Wow. So that’s like “associate professor of marketing cubed” and a coast to coast group of Canadian professors. 

Joey Coleman [00:02:30] So true, Dan. So true! And let’s be honest, when it comes to creating great customer experiences, I’ve had the pleasure of spending enough time in Canada to know that our friendly neighbors to the north are absolute pros. And the fact that these three professors collaborated on a great article titled “Speaking to Customers in Uncertain Times” comes as no surprise to me, and I’m super excited to dive into it. The article begins with some clear yet frightening observations… and I quote:. 

Joey Coleman [00:02:59] “Businesses are increasingly operating in a low trust world. The levels at which people mistrust government, traditional media, and social media, are high – and rising… Add to the trust deficit a global pandemic, in which consumers have been asked to limit their visits to stores and restaurants and to shop online when possible. Those who do venture out face an uncertain and literally distanced service experience. They’re questioned about their health. Asked to line up and wear mask, shown where to walk, and reminded to avoid other customers and employees… This trust deficit persist outside the retail space. Individuals contacting customer service –  whether it airlines, banks or retailers – during the pandemic are waiting longer than ever and dealing with uncertainty and frustration about refunds and product availability… So customers are arriving at interactions in highly charged, emotional states. Many frontline workers with similar safety anxieties and changing directives from their supervisors are also stressed. Further due to staffing cuts, shuttered branches, and closed call centers, many customer service employees are working from home with less support from team members and supervisors… In short, the potential for fraught customer service experiences, in-person or otherwise, is higher than ever. 

Dan Gingiss [00:04:18] Ouch! I mean, that one is tough to swallow, but it is absolutely true. And I guess that’s what keeps us customer experience folks in business. I mean, trust is vital when it comes to customer experience and due to the fact that the current environment has eliminated, or drastically reduced, most of the face-to-face, nonverbal ways that people build trust – things like smiles, and head nods, and handshakes – we really are operating in an unprecedented environment. So given the reality of the world right now, what are we supposed to do about it? 

Joey Coleman [00:04:55] Well Dan, I’m glad you asked – but I’m even more excited about the fact that the article speaks to three very specific things that companies can do, that are all supported by a growing body of research on how the use of language can help. Now, whether we’re considering in-person interactions, or voice based phone conversations, or text based emails and chats, the three things that are recommended are as follows:. 

Joey Coleman [00:05:21] • Speaking to customers with specific dedicated attention,. 

Joey Coleman [00:05:23] • Establishing individual connection through the use of the word “I”,. 

Joey Coleman [00:05:28] And conveying care through warm words and the generous use of “thank yous.”. 

Joey Coleman [00:05:33] Now let’s jump into the first recommendation. (1) Provide customers with dedicated attention and concrete language. 

[00:05:41] New research that was conducted by Professor Packard (one of the authors of the article) in conjunction with Professor Jonah Berger of the Wharton School, shows that careful strategies around language not only can increase customer satisfaction, but they also influence how much money the customer spends in the days following a customer service interaction. The secret is to have your frontline employees use words that describe the customer’s interest in concrete, specific terms. This signals the customer that the representative is genuinely listening. 

Dan Gingiss [00:06:17] For example, when a customer contacts a call center to check about a pending delivery, the research shows a customer is more satisfied when they hear, “your package will be at your doorstep next Wednesday” rather than “your order will be there next week.” A package is more concrete than an order; a doorstep is more concrete than “there”; and Wednesday is more concrete than next week. 

Joey Coleman [00:06:41] In a similar fashion, “How can I help you?” can sound canned and rote instead. An employee should mentioned the distinct thing the customer is interested in. For example, at a coffee shop, an employee might say, “Can I get a coffee started for you?” At a hardware store, if a customer is looking at lawnmowers, the employee might say, “Can I help you find a mower?” The more specific, the better. Now, this also applies when responding to complaints. Rather than just saying, “Sure, I can look into that,” it’s more powerful to repeat the concrete thing the customer wants – such as, “Sure, I can look into why we sent you the wrong shoes.” In short, when employees go from generalized scripts to specific comments, it lets the customer know that they’re being heard at an individual level. The more concrete the language, the greater the feeling of attention and focus. 

Dan Gingiss [00:07:35] The next recommendation focuses on personal responsibility. (2) Bridge the trust deficit through individual connections. It’s easier for customers to believe in a single, caring individual than in a vast corporation. Research shows that when employees use the pronoun “I” (referring to the agent), rather than “we” (referring to the agent and the company), it signals that the specific agent the customer is speaking to can be depended on. This simple shift in language using “I” helps customers feel that the employee is actually acting on their behalf. 

Joey Coleman [00:08:11] Now, for example, and let’s be honest Dan, this is one you and I are all too familiar with… When an agent says, “I’m sorry to have to cancel your flight,” it conveys a more genuine, personal sense of remorse than, “we’re sorry to cancel the flight.” The word “we” not only decreases perceived empathy, but it makes it seem like the employee is avoiding responsibility and blaming the company. And this doesn’t just apply to changes in the customer’s plans… Rather than saying, “we probably have that in stock,” you should say, “I can probably find that in stock.” The phrase “we probably have that in stock” guesses about something the employee seems to have no control over – while, “I can probably find that in stock” conveys that specific employee’s desire to make a personal effort to address the issue. The final recommendation from the article is a big one for me personally. (3) Don’t just be competent – be caring. 

Dan Gingiss [00:09:08] You know, Joey, “I can probably find that that’s one of your favorite topics, incorporating empathy into the customer experience.”

Joey Coleman [00:09:15] Yes, indeed Dan! Yes, indeed! Organizations need to find ways to show warmth and competence when interacting with customers. As the article notes, “[i]t’s nearly impossible to be both warm and competent at the same time. Research has shown that people who try to be warm often seem less competent and those who try to be competent often seem less warm.” Now, that being said, new research on conversational dynamics shows that it’s critical for employees to speak both warmly (in other words, emotionally) and competently (that is rationally). The secret is when they do it. Employees need to convey different tones during different parts of the interaction. So the research shows that customers appreciate employees most when the conversations are bookended with warm, considerate words – while the more cognitive, solution oriented words make up the middle of the conversation. In other words, start with connection, then speak specifically about the concrete issue at hand, then closed with more warmth and empathy about the situation occurring in the first place. 

Dan Gingiss [00:10:23] You know, this seems fairly straightforward, but I also want to deviate for a moment to say that this stuff really does matter. I can just imagine some people may be rolling their eyes about, well, using this word here, and this word there. But this research is coming to a conclusion that is not necessarily new. It’s just sort of explained in a different way with, I think, a better structure around it. 

[00:10:51] But the words that we use and the way that we communicate to our customers is one of the biggest parts of customer experience that I think is also one of the most overlooked. And if you don’t have a call center, that’s okay. You can think about how you communicate in marketing materials, or on your Web site, or your mobile app, or if you have a brick and mortar store, what your employees say. There’s so many places where we communicate… And the best part about fixing your communication is it doesn’t cost you anything. So I also appreciated how the article reinforced the power of a simple “thank you” during a customer interaction. While past research indicated it was important to apologize in customer service contexts, new work reveals that signaling appreciation (such as saying “thank you”) is prized by customers and often is more effective than saying sorry. Although apologizing does acknowledge the company’s failure, it doesn’t alleviate consumers’ negative thoughts toward the business. In contrast, saying thank you, for example, “thank you for your patience about this” shifts attention away from the company’s failure and toward customers – making them feel more important to the company at a personal or individual level. 

Joey Coleman [00:12:02] In short, given a world where face time is increasingly both minimized and physically distanced, and where conversations are increasingly happening over the phone, or via some keystrokes, the most successful organizations are giving careful consideration to the specific words they use when speaking to their customers. Don’t forget to: (1) provide customers with dedicated attention and concrete language, (2) bridge the trust deficit through individual connections, and friends, (3) be caring and competent in your conversations. 

[SEGMENT INTRO – DISSECTING THE EXPERIENCE]

Joey Coleman [00:12:38] Sometimes a remarkable experience deserves deeper investigation. We dive into the nitty gritty of customer interactions and dissect how, and why, they happen. Join us, while we’re Dissecting the Experience. 

[DISSECTING THE EXPERIENCE] The Apple Credit Card – Changing the Landscape Again

Joey Coleman [00:12:55] As you know, Dan, I’m a big fan of Apple. 

Dan Gingiss [00:12:59] Yeah, do I ever! You were giving me grief about being a P.C. guy right before we hit record on this episode! 

Joey Coleman [00:13:05] Yes, indeed I did, but I feel like it’s only fair, given that you give me so much grief about not being active on Twitter. 

Dan Gingiss [00:13:12] True. True. But I actually have many Apple products in my possession. I love my iPhone and AirPods, for example. It’s the Mac that I’m not so sure of. So I’m not sure that you’re making, and if I daresay, apples to apples comparison. 

Joey Coleman [00:13:27] Yeah… he went there, ladies and gentlemen. All right. Well, there’s actually a reason I’m bringing up Apple in our conversation, and that’s because I had an experience recently that I think you might have some unique insight into. I recently signed up for the new Apple credit card. 

Dan Gingiss [00:13:45] Well, you know that I like talking about credit cards Joey. 

Joey Coleman [00:13:48] I do! 

Dan Gingiss [00:13:48] As I’m sure our listeners know, I spent almost 10 years in the credit card industry at Discover Card, which is one of the smaller of both the issuers and networks in the United States, but that kind of made it a little bit more scrappy. And I was there, and part of the team, that won the J.D. Power Award for the first time, snagging it away from AMEX. And so, I love talking credit cards. Let’s do it! Tell me about the Apple card. 

Joey Coleman [00:14:16] All right. Well, I figure that this will come as no surprise to you or our loyal listeners, but while there are many credit card companies in the marketplace, just like there are many laptops and desktops, and tablet computer manufacturers, the experience Apple created is unique. 

Dan Gingiss [00:14:35] All right. I’ll take a bite at the “apple.” Do tell! 

Joey Coleman [00:14:39] Oh, geez… a reference to “biting the apple” and “William Tell” in the same sentence. Folks, he is on fire today! All right. Well, we need to get into this story. From the very outset, getting an Apple card felt different. I went online, I answered a few questions and I received my approval instantly. 

Dan Gingiss [00:14:58] Okay. Well, so far that sounds fairly common. 

Joey Coleman [00:15:00] Yeah, I get it. But what was different about the Apple card is that I was able to use it immediately to purchase the iPad that I was buying from Apple at the time. 

Dan Gingiss [00:15:10] OK. Now, that’s interesting! And I remember talking about this at Discover, trying to figure out, you know, you can’t get the card in the person’s hand fast enough, so how can we get something else, some other way, for them to use it? So it looks like in this case, the application basically was triggered from within your shopping cart? 

Joey Coleman [00:15:29] Correct. Now, granted, the shopping cart was at Apple, and the application was for an Apple credit card, so I get that it was easier for them than in many scenarios where the credit card is third party. But the fact that they integrated those two things, and they made it incredibly easy to sign up, and that I got to use the card immediately on the purchase I was making right then, it was my favorite two words Dan! 

Dan Gingiss [00:15:52] Well, I believe we call that “instant gratification.” 

Joey Coleman [00:15:55] Yes, indeed, instant gratification. But friends, it gets better. A few days later, I received my card in the mail. And this thing was beautiful!

Dan Gingiss [00:16:05] Now, I would expect that from an Apple product, but not necessarily from a credit card. I mean, maybe unless we’re talking like the Amex Black Card or something. 

Joey Coleman [00:16:15] Well, I hear you and the Amex by card is really nice, but this was a completely different experience. Now, in the interest of full disclosure, I’m a brand new customer and I got approved for kind of a basic credit limit. Not a big credit limit, just kind of their intro, you know, credit limit. But I received a premium experience. So let me describe it for you: the packaging was a thick cardboard card with an engraved Apple logo in relief. And when you opened up this white card on the inside, it showed a gorgeous color gradient that went from dark green in one corner to deep red in the other corner, to vibrant purple in the other corner, and it spread across the whole page just beautifully… it was like opening up a rainbow. And inside this color field was an inset where the card was placed. And the message, “activate your card, wake iPhone and hold here” was printed just below it. 

Dan Gingiss [00:17:12] Wait, wait, wait… “wake iPhone and hold it here?” Tell you more about that. 

Joey Coleman [00:17:15] I’m going to explain that, but before I explain that, let me tell you about the card, OK? And then I’ll explain what happened underneath it. So the card is metal. But more specifically, it’s titanium. It has that famous Apple white matte finish to it that’s created by layering multiple layers in some amazing process that was designed by the engineers at Apple before it gets engraved with the Apple logo in silver in the top left corner. And the only other thing on the front of the card is my name: etched in dark gray. And the chip, which, unlike the other chip cards that I have, shows a simple set of six ovals on the chip as opposed to a mismatched series of lines. No, seriously, friends, as you’re listening and you if you have a chip card, pull out the credit card you have, and look at the design aesthetic of the chip – and then realize that Apple, as usual, took every visual element into account when designing their Apple card. And they actually designed the look of the chip on the outside of the credit card. 

Dan Gingiss [00:18:20] I’m sorry. I’m actually doing what you just suggested Joey… and you’re right. They all look the same with these weird gray lines. 

Joey Coleman [00:18:30] Yeah. It’s like shards of metal, that you know, kind of got glued together in some type of a shape. The Apple card, it’s these six beautiful little ovals in the metal. 

Dan Gingiss [00:18:41] That’s pretty cool. So they put all of the disclaimers, and contact info, expiration date, CCW number, and bank logos and all that stuff on the back right? 

Joey Coleman [00:18:51] Actually, no. The only thing on the back of the card are two logos. Again, they’re etched in silver. One for Goldman Sachs (the issuing bank) and the other for MasterCard. 

Dan Gingiss [00:19:04] I got to say, that sounds kind of slick. 

Joey Coleman [00:19:06] Oh, brother, it is. And in fact, I feel special just holding this card – let alone using it! And speaking of using it, this is where Apple marries beautiful product design, with an unprecedented unboxing experience, and incredible software capabilities. So as I mentioned before, you get this beautiful card, you open it up, there’s this rainbow of delight. And to activate the card, it prompts me to wake my iPhone and hold it near the card. Now, when I did that, the Wallet app on my phone confirmed its proximity to the card, prompted me with a couple of easy questions, and my card was active. No calling an 800 number; no visiting a Web site to make my card live; no peeling the sticker off that says “remove the sticker once you’ve activated your card.” It all happened with ease, and grace, and now I could use my Apple Card on any device I had with Apple Pay: my iPhone, my Apple Watch, the iPad, the MacBook Pro laptop. It synched to all of these things instantly. Now, I should also mention the other items you asked about when it comes to where are they on the card… there actually isn’t any other information on the card. There’s no card number. There’s no expiration date. There’s no service phone numbers. There’s no CVV code. There’s no signature. There’s no copyright info. There’s nothing. It’s a barren titanium plain. It just feels elegant! Now, the reason for this lack of data on the card isn’t just for aesthetics – although let’s tell yah, the aesthetic is beautiful. It also helps with security – because if the card is stolen, or even viewed by someone in line behind you, no one can get your number. All of the associated details for the card are stored in the Wallet app on your phone. You can view your balance; your available credit; there’s a simple colored graph of weekly activity when a payment is due; your latest transactions. Each of these can be delved deeper into using the app and you don’t need to log into a separate Web site just to get more details. 

Dan Gingiss [00:21:09] So dumb guy question here: does this mean that you can’t use it for what we in the industry call, “card not present transactions” i.e., you can’t use it on the phone because you don’t have a number to read, or do you have to memorize the number? 

Joey Coleman [00:21:22] Oh now, here’s where it’s special. You can actually generate independent card numbers for your individual transactions. So you can generate one that you always use or if you’re giving your card over the phone and you don’t necessarily trust the person on the phone that you’re giving the card to, you can easily within the app generate a “one off use” number, give them that number, it gets used for that one charge and then that number will never get used again. 

Dan Gingiss [00:21:51] Yes. OK. So that I just want to let you know because, hey, you told you told the audience that I have some experience here. 

Joey Coleman [00:21:57] I do! 

Dan Gingiss [00:21:57] That is actually owned by Mastercard. That is not an Apple thing. That ability is for a Mastercard. 

Joey Coleman [00:22:05] OK, fair enough, fair enough. But that’s why we have, I presume, the Mastercard logo on the back of the card too. Right?! So they get some credit there. But yeah, it’s the fact that in a world where we’re increasingly worried about, you know, our credit card number being compromised, that we can create individual card numbers kind of on the fly, felt really cool to me. And you know, what they do on the back end around putting the customer first is also really unique as well. You know, a lot of credit card companies, and I say this respectfully because I have other cards as well, they try to hide the reality. Right?! Every credit card once their users to spend money, but it also wants you to keep a balance. And unlike other credit card companies, instead of hiding that information in a website or a monthly statement, Apple puts everything as clear as possible, right into the app. So you can see your weekly activity; you can click on a transaction and it shows you more information – this is all happening within the app. If you shop at one retailer multiple times, if you tap on any one location in the app, it will show you all the other transactions with that specific retailer as well as your running monthly total. When it comes time to pay, it allows you to see the interest you’ll be charged based on how much you pay off each month so you have a little kind of toggle switch where you can say, “well, I pay a little more, how much will my interest go down in the future?” They really make the paying of the card an experience and an interaction as well. 

Dan Gingiss [00:23:36] Man, I have so many things that I could say about this. I’m getting excited. And I think what’s going to happen is when we’re done recording, I’m going to apply for this card… 

Joey Coleman [00:23:43] Nice! Ooo – ladies and gentlemen, I may have swayed him over to getting an Apple card. I like it! I like it!

Dan Gingiss [00:23:49] There are a couple of things here that are really cool. First of all, they’re also giving you your cash back rewards in real time – which most cards do. Right?! It usually waits until you cycle at the end of the month. And I used to have this conversation all the time about this concept of a “cycle date,” – like who in the world, what customer thinks in terms of a cycle date right?! 

Joey Coleman [00:24:11] That would be No One. Even the people who work at the credit card company barely think of the cycle date. It’s like literally no customer thinks of this. 

Dan Gingiss [00:24:17] It’s an absolute made up concoction that every card uses and it doesn’t need to. And so the realtime thing makes a ton of sense. And also the paying more when you garner interest… When I was in business school back in 2001, I did a summer internship at First USA, which is now Chase Bank. And I was actually assigned, as a marketer, to the collections team – which was really a unique experience because you’re marketing to the people who aren’t paying you. This was kind of mind boggling to me. And what we ended up figuring out was that, by showing them graphically how long it was going to take to pay back their bill, and then how long it was going to take if they paid fifty extra dollars, one hundred extra dollars, etc., that it created, it got rid of this sick psychological barrier, in the sense that it gave them hope – like we talked about in the previous segment. I remember one guy, I’ll never forget him, he said, “as long as I can circle the date on my calendar when I’m going to be out of debt, then I’m OK. Even if it’s 15 years down the line, I just need to know when it is.” And true story, those graphs actually ultimately became the law of the land in the United States and now all credit card companies have to do that. And I think Apple, as usual, is taking it a step further because they’re actually encouraging people not to generate interest. And that is completely changing the game. 

Joey Coleman [00:25:51] Exactly. What credit card company wants you to pay your bill faster? Pretty much no credit card companies. So, I do think that Apple is completely redefining the game – as usual. But here’s the thing, friends. If you’re listening, you may be saying, “well, that’s nice and dandy for Apple, Joey. But how does this apply to my company and our product, and our service offerings? We don’t make computers. We’re not going to start issuing our own credit cards!” Friends – I get it. My goal in sharing this story is to inspire you. Inspire you to reimagine all the ways your customers interact with your products and services. To seek aesthetic beauty in the things you create. To place customer ease as your prime directive. To marry your offline customer interactions with your online customer interactions. There’s a reason why Apple is one of the fastest growing, most successful, most loved brands on the planet – and that’s because they make their customer experience a holistic driver in every product and service they create. So how can you infuse customer experience into every product and service you offer – so that your customers talk about how their required interactions with you, things like paying their bill, and receiving their bill, and interacting with your support team, and doing all the things that are necessary for their interactions with you – become worthy of remark. 

[PARTNERSHIP WITH AVTEX] We Love Game Shows – Do You?

Dan Gingiss [00:27:24] Joey, do you like game shows? 

Joey Coleman [00:27:26] You know, I actually do like game shows. Who doesn’t like a good game show? You know, you get a chance to laugh. You get a little entertained. Maybe you learn a thing or two. Game shows are great. 

Dan Gingiss [00:27:35] I love game shows. I’ve watched them since I was a kid when I was at home sick from school. I’d spend the whole day watching game shows. What were some of your favorites, or are some of your favorites?

Joey Coleman [00:27:48] Yeah. I got to say, I think I probably watched more back in the day, but one that has continued through my life is Jeopardy! Right?! It’s just, it’s fun… The whole family can play together. Everybody can yell at the TV at the same time. It rewards knowledge of useless trivia points. You learn a thing or two. I’m a big fan of Jeopardy! What about you? 

Dan Gingiss [00:28:10] And you know, it’s so funny because I think the world is divided into either Jeopardy fans or Wheel of Fortune fans, and I’m a Wheel of Fortune fan. 

Joey Coleman [00:28:17] Surprise surprise! Is anyone listening right now surprised that we’re on the opposite end of the game show spectrum? 

Dan Gingiss [00:28:23] Well, the reason is, is that I have always sucked at trivia. And so, I like watching Jeopardy, I just can’t play along. Whereas with Wheel of Fortune, I’m very good with words, I love the puzzles, and, you know, I’m screaming at the TV when there’s like only two letters showing and I’m like, how come you guys can’t see this?”. 

Joey Coleman [00:28:40] Nice. Nice! 

Dan Gingiss [00:28:41] When I was a kid, I watched Joker’s Wild and Tic Tac Toe. 

Joey Coleman [00:28:45] Well, what about Press Your Luck?! No whammies, no whammies, no whammies… that was always a really fun one, too. 

Dan Gingiss [00:28:49] Yeah. Absolutely loved it. The Price is Right, of course. And I mean on and on… So many great, great game shows. 

Joey Coleman [00:28:57] Why don’t more people do game shows? 

Dan Gingiss [00:28:59] I don’t know. I’m not sure. But I’ll tell you one thing, and I haven’t really told anyone this before, I kind of always wanted to be a game show host. 

Joey Coleman [00:29:08] You know, I feel like I knew that about you. I too, kind of like the game show host, if nothing else, to be able to do, ladies and gentlemen, the game show host voice. 

Dan Gingiss [00:29:17] What do you mean? You mean like this one? 

Joey Coleman [00:29:20] Yeah, exactly. As two guys that like horsing around, that’s really fun. You know what would be interesting? Are there many game shows around business? 

Dan Gingiss [00:29:29] I don’t know. I, I can’t say that I’ve ever heard a game show or seen one. 

Joey Coleman [00:29:34] There really aren’t a lot. But, you know, I wonder what the experience would be like? 

Dan Gingiss [00:29:39] That’s a good point, Joey. Hmm… 

Joey Coleman [00:29:44] And what would be the point of having a game show about experience? You could experience, the point, of the show. 

Dan Gingiss [00:29:54] Wow – you’re really on point. 

Joey Coleman [00:29:58] Aww – it’ll be a fun experience. Folks – stay tuned for more. You’re gonna have an experience, and we’ll get to the point. 

[SEGMENT INTRO – THIS JUST HAPPENED]

Joey Coleman [00:30:06] We love telling stories and sharing key insights, you can implement – or avoid – based on our experiences. Can you believe that This Just Happened? 

[THIS JUST HAPPENED] Summer Surprise – Inflatable Pools with Bonus Gifts

Dan Gingiss [00:30:20] So Dan, I got to ask you, how did you spend your “socially distanced” summer? 

Dan Gingiss [00:30:26] Well, let’s see, I had two kids at home that were supposed to be at overnight camp, so I had to entertain them… 

Joey Coleman [00:30:32] So you were a camp counselor… Congratulations! 

Dan Gingiss [00:30:35] Yeah. Let’s see. I adopted a senior dog, who has been awesome. So I’ve been out walking a whole lot more and maybe most importantly, from a professional perspective, I wrote my second book. 

Joey Coleman [00:30:50] Ooo lah lah! 

Dan Gingiss [00:30:51] So I got that done. 

Joey Coleman [00:30:52] We’re gonna have to get more into that in a future segment of Experience This! The reason I ask, is because like a lot of other people, I think around the world, our family ended up spending a lot more time at home this summer – confined to our backyard – than we had actually planned. And as the summer went on, I started to think about ways to make our time in the backyard more enjoyable. So we got some new lawn furniture, which was great, so we could just sit outside and, you know, relax, and read, and hang out, while the kids played. And then we started talking about getting a pool. 

Dan Gingiss [00:31:26] Did you call our good friend Marcus Sheridan – the “pool guy?” 

Joey Coleman [00:31:30] Actually, I did not call the Pool Guy this time, but when it comes time to actually install a pool in the yard permanently, Marcus’s team at River Pools and Spas is definitely who I’ll be reaching out to. But in all honesty, since we rent our house and given that full disclosure, I didn’t really start thinking about this pool idea until about halfway through the month of June, I was looking for a faster solution that would be the best solution for this summer. 

Dan Gingiss [00:31:58] So you went online? 

Joey Coleman [00:31:59] Correct. And a simple search of inflatable pools on Amazon brought me to the magical place where five star reviews and in stock availability overlapped in a listing for an inflatable pool that I promptly ordered. And when it arrived, my two boys were thrilled at the idea of having a place to cool off in the backyard since the pools here in town were closed. 

Dan Gingiss [00:32:24] OK, so that sounds really nice, but you made me say the word “Cracker Jack-esque” surprise in the intro, which was really hard to say, and I just said it again. So what does this have to do with inflatable pools? 

Joey Coleman [00:32:34] Well, then I’m glad you asked. And hopefully the people that heard that Cracker Jack a reference, we’re wondering. Here’s the thing. I’ve had the pleasure of working with hundreds of companies that sell their products on Amazon. And one of the common complaints I hear from these Amazon sellers is that while they love the access to the Amazon marketplace, they don’t like the limits on customer interaction and customer data that Amazon places on them when they use the Amazon platform. And so most sellers are lamenting the lack of connection to their buyers, and they’re frustrated that they don’t have an easy way to contact these people that purchase their products, and it just kind of creates a mess for everyone involved. 

Dan Gingiss [00:33:16] Yeah, I’ve definitely had that frustration as a consumer because you have to go through Amazon to get to whoever it is that sold you the product. 

Joey Coleman [00:33:25] Exactly. Which is why more and more companies that sell on Amazon have tried to incentivize purchasers to establish a direct relationship with them – as opposed to going through Amazon. And over the years, I’ve seen this through insert postcards that ask recipients to sign up for a newsletter, or directions that encourage purchasers to register for some random warranty, or even just fliers that say “visit our website and place your next order,” even though you place your order on Amazon because it was easy and simple to do. 

Dan Gingiss [00:33:58] Yeah. Not placing it on your website next time. Sorry. But those are not a particularly remarkable or surprise and delight worthy experiences. 

Joey Coleman [00:34:08] Correct. Which is why the inflatable pool company got my attention. So included in the packaging was a postcard that I’d love to share with you and our listeners. And the postcard read as follows: “Hello. Sincerely, thank you for your business and support. I hope the inflatable pool you purchased is everything you expected. Your satisfaction is my primary goal. If you have any questions or suggestions, please do not hesitate to contact me at any time.” (and then they shared an email address). The card went on to say, “Also, to claim your air pump or rectangular pool cover, please reach out to me with your order number and country. Thanks again for your shopping. Wish you all the best. Ann”

Dan Gingiss [00:34:50] Ooo! I’m not sure which one I want: the air pump or the pool cover! 

Joey Coleman [00:34:55] Exactly. And that’s what I thought. Now Dan, I’ve received dozens of inserts from Amazon sellers over the year, and this is one of the first ones I was ever excited about replying to. Now, the pump is really useful if you don’t already have one. And the pool cover is going to be useful to anyone who orders the pool as it’s custom-sized to fit. So compared to silly warranty registrations, or uninspiring coupons for discounts on future purchases, this was actually something I wanted! And I felt that same anticipation and excitement that I had as a kid when I opened a box of Cracker Jack to find the free prize inside. But this time, I got to choose the free prize. 

Dan Gingiss [00:35:38] I love it. That’s actually a really, fun marketing technique to give people a choice. So which one did you choose? The pump or the pool cover? The pool cover or the pump? 

Joey Coleman [00:35:49] You might have guessed. I actually went with the pool cover – and I went with the pool cover for two reasons. Number one, I already had an air mattress pump that work just fine to inflate the pool. So I knew I was good there. And I also felt that the pool cover would come in useful over the long haul and be harder to replace because it was custom-sized to the pool. Now, what I love about this example is that almost every product you purchase has some associated products that the company tries to upsell you on. Extra parts, add ons, maintenance tools, etc. Tying a useful add on – in this case, the pool cover – to my original purchase was a fantastic way to motivate me to go out of my way to share my email with the inflatable pool company. Now, this experience left me wondering how many companies sell through third party distributors, or platforms like Amazon, and are frustrated that they don’t have access to their end users. How many companies have tried a host of uninspired ways to access these end users to no avail? How many companies basically say, throw up their hands and say, “well, there’s nothing we can do” and send the same boring, useless inserts as their competitors? Well, what if they did something different? Why not build into your product price the additional cost of a supplemental item and then offer that item for free to customers that are willing to establish a direct connection to you? Now, this probably won’t bother your distributors or the marketplace where you sell, especially if the only way to get the supplemental item – like the pool cover – is via the primary purchase of the primary item. So like, for example, when I go on Amazon and I look for the pool cover that matches the inflatable pool I bought – you can’t find it. You can’t find it on their website. The only way to get it is through this special offer. Now, the only way the inflatable pool company could have made this better would be to make an online form where I could input my information instead of asking me to send them an email. But to be honest, other than that, I thought this was a really smart way to create a remarkable experience and an ongoing customer interaction “after the sale,” which is something that every organization should be focused on doing. 

[SHOW OUTRO]

Joey Coleman [00:38:03] Wow. Thanks for joining us for another episode of Experience This! 

Dan Gingiss [00:38:07] 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 [00:38:16] 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 enjoy, 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 [00:38:35] Thanks again for your time and we’ll see you next week for more. 

Joey Coleman [00:38:38] Experience… 

Dan Gingiss [00:38:39] This!