Dissecting the Experience

Sometimes a remarkable experience deserves deeper investigation. We dive into the nitty-gritty of customer interactions and dissect how – and why – they happened. Join us while we’re DISSECTING THE EXPERIENCE!

Episode 79: Customers Like to Share Their Remarkable Experiences

Join us as we discuss: A plethora of positive customer experience stories, a debate about all of those subscription boxes, and a man who creates music on the fly.

Sharing, Shaving, and Singing – Oh My!

[Listener Stories] Positive Experiences Get Shared More than Negative Experiences

When was the last time you had a remarkable experience? According to our friends at the Sitel Group, 30% of people will share when they have a negative customer experience. But, statistics show that nearly 50% of consumers will speak about a positive experience! Dan wanted to test these percentages, so he asked his Facebook friends to share a remarkable customer experience.

From OtterBox replacing cases with no questions asked, to Wegmans Food Markets calling to let a customer know that an item purchased weeks ago was recalled, the stories poured in. In each shared example, companies went above and beyond to make things right for their customers – without asking questions.

When our customers don’t even have to ask for our help and we acknowledge that something might have gone wrong, that’s how you create a customer for life. That’s how you create the kind of connection and interaction that will not only keep that customer loyal, but they will want to tell that story again and again!

Joey Coleman, co-host of ExperienceThis! Show podcast

We’d love to hear about your remarkable experiences! Click here to share your experience in our contact form or record a digital voicemail for us by clicking on the “Start Recording” button.

[Agree to Disagree] There’s a Subscription for That

The very mention of “subscription services” brings thoughts of glee or dread – depending on what you are signing up to receive! In the past, “subscription” referred to magazines, papers, and maybe a mail-delivery music or movie club. In recent years, online subscriptions have exploded and now represent a huge industry in the United States and around the world. There are subscription services for razors, dive bar shirts, and socks – just to name a few. Why do consumers enjoy subscription services?

  • Save Money – Joey likes subscription services that help customers save money like those offered by Chewy Autoship and Amazon Subscribe and Save. Dan doesn’t like these types of subscriptions because they make him spend MORE money.
  • Experience Convenience – Subscriptions allow customers to “set it and forget it.” The problem arises when you completely forget the subscription and end up paying for something you no longer need or use.
  • Get Access to New Product – Valued customers can get access to new products before they are released to the public. On the other hand, how many products is too many?!

[Start the Conversation] Avtex: Technology’s Key Role in Customer Experience

Technology is integrated into almost every single interaction a customer has with any business. However, the amount of antiquated software out there is astounding. It’s important to ensure that the CX technologies you use are up to date and won’t negatively impact your customers’ interactions. Here are five technologies that could use a thorough and objective assessment to see if they are up to the task of delivering remarkable customer experiences:

  1. Contact Center platforms
  2. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools
  3. Employee productivity tools
  4. Data and analytics solutions
  5. Middleware and integration-supporting applications

Start the conversation with this question: Do our current technology platforms adequately support our CX strategy?

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

[Dissecting the Experience] Create a Remarkable Experience Even When You Feel a Little Unprepared

When you attend a national speaker’s conference, you never know who will strike up a conversation! In an elevator at the National Speakers Association annual meeting, Dan met Harold Payne, a multi-platinum singer-songwriter who is also a master improviser. Harold improvises songs for the clients and conferences where he presents and was kind enough to create one for our show that you can listen to here.

When we think about customer experience, I think that’s often what it’s about: just creating a moment, creating a memory, creating something that when the individual who’s been to your event or your office goes back home, they remember an experience they can bring back to share with their friends.

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

By creating something special for your clients, you give them something to remember and to share.

Links We Referenced

Host Contact Information

Email Dan: Dan@dangingiss.com

Tweet Dan Gingiss: @DGingiss

Email Joey: JoeyC@JoeyColeman.com

DanGingiss.com

JoeyColeman.com

Subscribe to Experience This on Apple Podcasts

Episode Transcript

Download a transcript of the entire Episode 79 here or read it below:

Dan Gingiss: Welcome to Experience This.

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

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

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

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

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

Dan Gingiss: Join us as we discuss a veritable plethora of positive customer experience stories, a debate about all those subscription boxes and a man who creates music on the fly.

Joey Coleman: Sharing, shaving, and singing. Oh my.

LISTENER STORIES: One Question on Facebook

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.

Dan Gingiss: One of the statistics I like to share in my keynote presentations actually comes from our friends at Sytel Group, and it’s that while 30% of consumers say they’d share a bad customer experience on social media, nearly half of consumers say the exact same thing about a positive experience. This presents a huge opportunity for companies to start intentionally creating more positive experiences so their customers can’t wait to talk about them with friends and family. Now full disclosure, that’s what my keynote is about, how to do that. But for this segment, I wanted to see what would happen if I asked a simple question on Facebook. What was the last remarkable experience you had with a company? And boy, my friends did not disappoint.

Joey Coleman: Well Dan, you know I’m not nearly as much of a social media guy as you are, but I saw your post and I also know that our mutual friend Jay Baer talks about how half of word of mouth marketing is still offline. So getting people to talk positively about your brand can have effects both on and off social media.

Dan Gingiss: Exactly right, my friend Joey. So are you ready to hear some of the great experiences that I got from this single question?

Joey Coleman: I am and I’m excited to be able to share those because I must confess, I was surprised when I saw it by the number of people who commented. It was pretty nice.

Dan Gingiss: Exactly.

Joey Coleman: It warms my heart.

Dan Gingiss: That it’s great, so I appreciate that you read it as well so we’ll share them together back and forth.

Joey Coleman: Perfect.

Dan Gingiss: So my friend Sandy responded by saying that Bombas sent seven pairs of socks instead of the eight that she ordered. “The customer service department was swamped and they were unable to respond within the timeframe promised. They not only refunded my entire purchase amount, but issued me a $50 gift card for a future purchase.”

Joey Coleman: Nice. Jamie said OtterBox, “They will provide you with a new phone case if yours get stretched out or cracked. No questions asked.”

Dan Gingiss: Love OtterBox had them as a guest on my last podcast and I’m a frequent user of their products. My friend [Katie 00:03:26] said, “Glossier had apparently discovered an issue with the pigment changing in some makeup that I bought. I had not noticed any issues. They both refunded my money and sent me a new bottle once they’d fixed the issue.”

Joey Coleman: Margaret shared that Wegmans called her house to tell her that a bag of flour she bought weeks ago had been recalled.

Dan Gingiss: That one stunned me by the way.

Joey Coleman: Yeah, weeks ago.

Dan Gingiss: Yeah. and a single item in a cart.

Joey Coleman: A single item.

Dan Gingiss: Yeah. Fantastic.

Joey Coleman: Impressive.

Dan Gingiss: So a friend named Dan, this is not me.

Joey Coleman: Not Dan. We’re not just making it up, folks. It’s a different friend.

Dan Gingiss: A friend named Dan said, “I was processing payroll while our HR manager was on vacation.”

Joey Coleman: Oh, lucky-

Dan Gingiss: Dan, yes.

Joey Coleman: … Oh, what a great gig.

Dan Gingiss: “A unique situation came up, so I called ADP for help. The person quickly understood what was needed, entered it into our payroll system so I didn’t have to do it and potentially screw it up and double-checked the information. It was a lifesaver and I didn’t have to bother my HR manager on her vacation.”

Joey Coleman: Ooh, I want to clap that one. That was nice yeah.

Dan Gingiss: Great B2B example also. .

Joey Coleman: For those of you that are like, well, what about B2B? B2B, B2C, it’s all H2H people, human to human. Okay. Stacy shared that All-Clad, replaced two of her ten-year-old nonstick pans because they’d lost their nonstick. She received two brand new pans just last week. No questions asked.

Dan Gingiss: And Lisa G. Said, “The car dealer who offered to send a driver with my mom’s car to her house to swap out her repaired car for the loner because he knows how tough it is for me to get an additional aid to stay with my mom when there are car issues.”

Joey Coleman: Oh, I love it. Human touch. Jeffery shares, “I was at Whole Foods in the checkout line. An item I had from the Butcher Block, 1.5 pounds of pork chops wasn’t scanning out correctly because the barcode was faded. The cashier called them and told them to change out the toner on the scale. He proceeded to place the pork chops in my bag.” I asked him how much and he said they’re free today because of the inconvenience of waiting for them to change out the toner. When in our lifetimes can we actually cry out free pork chops, and have it ring true?”

Dan Gingiss: Now that’s a good day. Julia said, “Bentley’s Pet Store called me within 24 hours letting me know they overcharged me for my purchase by 50% and offered a credit. I would have never known. Love them.”

Joey Coleman: And finally Lisa B. shares, “I emailed Zappos to let them know that the Nike’s I bought for my daughter had a hole after a month of wear. They refunded my entire purchase without me needing to return the shoes.”

Dan Gingiss: So why are we sharing all of these stories? It’s to show that a number of brands in both B2C and B2B, that’s business to consumer and business to business, for those not in the know, are starting to figure this customer experience thing out. Which means that if your company hasn’t yet, you’re behind the competition. It’s also to demonstrate that no matter what business you’re in, you can do these kinds of things too.

Joey Coleman: Oh, so true Dan. So true. There is no excuse for not caring about your customers. Most of these examples we just shared were about doing the right thing for the customer. Not making them jump through a lot of hoops to get a refund, and frankly leaving them happier than if they hadn’t had a problem in the first place. It’s really powerful when we can take a momentary interaction with a customer, add a little dash of surprise and delight by giving them something unexpected and then sit back and watch how they tell the story, how they shared that this has been their experience maybe weeks, months later.

Dan Gingiss: I also think it’s really instructive to realize that a number of these examples came from things that went wrong first, right? The price tag wasn’t visible when they went to scan it or the shoes had a hole in it, and they turned into the answer to the question of what’s the last great experience that you had with a brand?

Joey Coleman: Absolutely. I also loved that a number of these examples were things that the customer didn’t actually know something had gone wrong, so the recall on the flour, the overcharging by 50%, this is the business taking a vested interest. If you remember several seasons ago, and I won’t call on our a savant Dan to point out which episode it was, but years ago we talked about an experience I had watching Amazon where my wife and I rented a movie on Amazon and it was buffering slowly and so the movie was a little garbled. And the next day I got an unexpected, unprompted email from Amazon, from their video services department saying, “Hey, we saw that you rented this video. We saw that there were some issues in the bandwidth during delivery, so we’ve credited you back the rental fee for free.” Again, when our customers don’t even have to ask for our help and we acknowledge that something might have gone wrong, that’s how you create a customer for life. That’s how you create the kind of connection and interaction that will not only keep that customer loyal, but they will want to tell that story again and again.

Dan Gingiss: So we’d like to hear your customer stories as well. If you’d do us a favor, go to experiencethisshow.com, click on contact in the upper right hand corner, and you will see a little SpeakPipe widget. And this is basically a digital voicemail where you can leave us a message that will come to our inboxes and tell us about the last time you had a remarkable experience with a brand and your story might just appear in a future episode.

AGREE TO DISAGREE: Subscription Services

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

Dan Gingiss: It used to be that a subscription referred to your daily newspaper or a monthly magazine, then came digital subscriptions like Netflix and Amazon Music. Then there was the Dollar Shave Club. Now you can subscribe to almost anything. The online subscription market more than doubled each year from 2011 to 2016 with the largest players among them generating more than $2.6 billion in 2016 sales, up from just $57 million in 2011 according to McKinsey. You may or may not know that 70% of subscription services are sold in the U.S., the rest of the world only accounts for 30%. There were $1.2 billion in capital investments in subscription services in 2018. It’s estimated to be a 10 plus billion dollar market just in the U.S. And not including Amazon. And the average subscriber has two different services with a third of customers having three or more subscription services. And so we ask is this a good thing?

Joey Coleman: Well, let me say this as a little disclaimer before I make my point. I think there there’s a separate conversation to have here around consumption in the environment and how all that fits in. But if we’re just talking about the concept of a subscription versus non-subscription, I actually think subscription services work really well, for a number of reasons. First and foremost, they save the customer money. So if you’re a part of Amazon Subscribe & Save, or Chewy’s Autoship, everybody wins. The customer pays less. The company providing the subscription has a better idea of what their yield and what they’re through rates need to be so they can better forecast and make better use of their materials and their warehouse time. So overall it saves everybody money.

Number two, a subscription can be incredibly convenient. You can set it and forget it. Now, there are times where this can get a little bit out of control if you set it, forget it, and then all of a sudden you stock up on a lot of stuff you don’t need. But in the best uses of subscription services, you don’t have to remember to go to the store, which is great because let’s be candid, who really gets super excited about going to the store anymore? I know I don’t. I would much rather have it just show up at the house.

Number three, subscription services introduced me to new products and service opportunities that I might not otherwise know about. There’s a real opportunity here I think, to have curated experiences. To have someone else helping you to find the specific choices and expose you to the new possibilities within a subscription category service.

Dan Gingiss: Well Joey, since this segment is called Agree to Disagree, I’m going to have to disagree with you there.

Joey Coleman: Of course you are.

Dan Gingiss: I think subscription services have simply gone too far. First of all, they end up costing you more money because you get stuff that you don’t need. I use Amazon Subscribe & Save, but now I’m up to like $50 or $60 a month in stuff. And I always have to go back and double-check to make sure that I really need this stuff.

Secondly, I think companies are taking advantage of customers who are setting it and forgetting it. Even in the shave clubs and other things, sometimes you get three or four in a row and then you realize, “Well, I’ve got 24 razor blades now I’m going to be just fine shaving for a long, long time,” but it’s a pain to cancel and so people stay on and inertia takes over.

Joey Coleman: Don’t you shave your head every day, man? You go through a lot of razors I’m sure.

Dan Gingiss: It is pretty shiny.

Joey Coleman: It is shiny.

Dan Gingiss: Third, there are simply too many subscriptions out there. It absolutely boggles the mind. There’s the Bacon of the Month Club. There’s the Dive Bar Shirt Club, the Bagel of the Month Club, the Sock of the Month Club. And even one called Cannabox, which will send you cannabis supplies every month.

Joey Coleman: Wait a second. Are all of those real Dan?

Dan Gingiss: These are all real services [crosstalk 00:13:46] that I looked up on worldwide web.

Joey Coleman: No really, the dive bar one?

Dan Gingiss: Yes.

Joey Coleman: The dive bar one? Oh my gosh. Who really is sitting at home going, “Man, I wish I had some more t-shirts from dive bars I haven’t been to.

Dan Gingiss: It actually sounds kind of cool doesn’t it [crosstalk 00:13:58], now that you think about it.

Joey Coleman: It does sound kind of cool now that you think about it. Yeah it does. So I guess I’ve swayed you over them that you actually think it’s a good idea. Ladies and gentlemen, we call that the bait and switch. Dan fell for it. I reeled him in. Now, here’s the thing. I agree with you. If you are going to do subscription services, you have to pay attention to them. You really do because they can get out of control and I know I have suffered from that in the past where I’ve had subscription services and all of a sudden I’ve realized, wait a second, why am I still getting this? It goes from being a convenient way to get the things you need, to an inconvenient way to be billed for stuff you don’t want.

Dan Gingiss: And tell the audience Joey, how many magazine subscriptions you had until just recently?

Joey Coleman: Okay, until very recently I had a small addiction problem, two magazines. I was subscribed to 30 different magazines. Now prior to having children, I will confess I read these 30 magazines every month. I would basically had to read a magazine a day to keep up, but I really liked the format. I liked the tactile feel, I’m a visual learner. Some magazines worked better for me than reading online or just reading an article. I really liked it. But since having kids, I kind of woke up the other day, this is within the last month and realized, you know what, I don’t need to have as many subscriptions as I do. So I’m now down to just three, so I cut it by 90% [crosstalk 00:15:19] which saved a lot of money.

Dan Gingiss: Well the first step is admitting you have a problem Joey.

Joey Coleman: This is true. This is very true and that’s why I said see earlier disclaimer that you have to be responsible for your own subscriptions and not let them get out of control. That being said, as recent parents in the last few years, the fact that the diapers just show up without us having to think about it, that was a very convenient subscription that we will be very excited to not be part of in the near future. But the moral of the story is that worked well for us.

Dan Gingiss: Well, I think the message to companies is … subscriptions right now are a thing. They’re a fad. People are excited about them, they’re a trend. And what often happens is companies think, “Well, if this is trending, it’s something we need to jump on to.” And so what I want to suggest to listeners is, if you don’t have a product that is really relevant for a subscription service, don’t feel like this is a direction that you have to go. That being said, it is obviously a great way to get sustainable revenue from customers because they do set it and forget it, but it doesn’t work for everything. And I believe that there’s certainly some out there that can work really, really well, but that it really has gotten a little bit too far.

Joey Coleman: Well, I think subscription services are great.

Dan Gingiss: Well Joey, then I guess we’ll just have to, agree to disagree.

START THE CONVERSATION

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

Dan Gingiss: This week’s Start the Conversation topic is technology’s key role in customer experience. Technology’s vital role in meeting the changing demands of the modern consumer has long been recognized. Nearly every interaction occurring between a customer and an organization is driven or supported by at least one form of technology, and in many cases multiple platforms converge to support the interaction. Unfortunately, many CX leaders overlook the critical step of ensuring that these technologies are up to the challenge of supporting existing customer experience strategies or newly created experiences. This leaves the CX strategy vulnerable to failure or underperformance and may lead to challenges for both customers and employees.

Joey Coleman: It’s important to conduct a thorough and objective assessment of your customer experience technologies including these five key things. Contact center platforms. Customer relationship management or CRM tools. Employee productivity tools. Data and analytics solutions. Middleware and integration supporting applications.

Dan Gingiss: I have to tell you the Joey, having worked at a number of big companies, it is amazing how much old technology is still out there.

Joey Coleman: Ooh, legacy ware folks, it’s exciting.

Dan Gingiss: I mean stuff that was built in like the early nineties, late eighties.

Joey Coleman: Lotus Notes baby, Lotus Notes for everyone.

Dan Gingiss: Lotus Notes is just fantastic. And the thing is is that today customers expect more than that. Whether it’s a customer-facing piece of technology or it’s something that simply enables a customer experience, it really is important that this stuff gets upgraded for the times because the demand is so much higher today

Joey Coleman: And now for this week’s question about technology’s key role in CX, do our current technology platforms adequately support our customer experience strategy? We encourage you to start the conversation within your own organization and then continue it with Avtex at experienceconversations.com that’s experienceconversations.com.

DISSECTING THE EXPERIENCE: Improv Singing!

Sometimes a remarkable experience deserves deeper investigation. We dive into the nitty-gritty of customer interactions and dissect how and why they happen. Join us while we’re Dissecting the Experience.

Dan Gingiss: No, Joey and I aren’t going to sing for you again, but someone else is. Meet Harold [Pain 00:19:49] , a multi-platinum singer/songwriter who is also a master improviser. He’s written songs for Snoop Dogg, Rod Stewart, Patti LaBelle, Lana Del Rey, and Bobby Womack. But he also creates songs on the spot at events and conferences, similar to the artists that you sometimes see summarizing keynotes with drawings for example. Let’s take a listen to a sample from Harold’s work.

Harold P.: (Singing).

Dan Gingiss: So I know this sounds cliche, but I actually met Harold in an elevator.

Joey Coleman: This is so classic. It’s like the ultimate elevator music story.

Dan Gingiss: It is. It is. We were actually Joey and I were both at the National Speakers Association Influence Conference in Denver.

Joey Coleman: I was not in the elevator.

Dan Gingiss: Joey was not in the elevator, but I was heading back up to the room, and I met this guy and we shook hands. So we started talking. I said, “So what do you do?” And he says, “Well I sing improv songs for events.” I’m like, “What do you mean?” And he went on to explain it and I thought that he was absolutely fascinating and that we just had to have him on the show. Actually, I asked him to tell us a little bit more about his business in an audio file so that you guys can hear it as well.

Harold P.: So what I do is create customized and sometimes improvise songs for keynotes, events and conferences like that. For example, for the Experience show, I might do something like (singing).

Joey Coleman: I love it because companies often are looking for ways to make their experience more creative or more fun. And while I and Dan both fully understand that the type of music or the improv that Harold is doing here may not be your cup of tea. It’s important to remember that when you’re designing customer experiences, it’s more about what your customers feel than what you feel. So these types of things work. It works for Harold. It works for a lot of other folks out there who are doing creative things to tie together events or add a little spark. I was at a company offsite not too long ago where they brought in somebody who played piano and they did improv. And in my speech I had mentioned a case study that the punchline was root beer. And later on in the evening when the piano player sat down and did a Billy Joel song, The Piano Man, he came to the part where he said, (singing).

And the crowd all thought it was funny and everybody got that it was about me. And it was just this little tiny thing that made it feel special, it created a little moment. And at the end of the day, when we think about customer experience, I think that’s often what it’s about. Just creating a moment, creating a memory, creating something that when the individual who’s been to your event or partook of your conference or come to your office goes back home, there was a funny little interaction or a little jingle in their head that they remember that they can bring back to share with their friends.

Dan Gingiss: Did you put bread in his jar and ask him, man, what are you doing here?

Joey Coleman: I did ask him what he was doing there. Yes, indeed. Indeed.

Dan Gingiss: Well, I love what Harold’s doing and I do think there’s something in it for everyone and he’s so creative about using different musical genres, being able to work with companies or events to prepare songs in advance or to do it in a more improv style where he’s listening to a speech for example. Wouldn’t you love at the end of your keynote to have a song written about what you just spoke about? It’s so cool.

Joey Coleman: I think it’d be a lot of fun and true confessions, I will throw down the gauntlet and challenge myself publicly that I will do this. I have thought about ending a keynote with singing for a long time. I know Dan, you sing in your keynotes regularly. I’ve seen that happen. Dan does a wicked rendition of a song from The Greatest Showman. It’s fantastic. So yeah, I think it could be a lot of fun. And what I like about this, again, this isn’t just about improv singing in events folks. Okay, let’s pull this back to the 35,000-foot level. This is about taking a risk. This is about trying something different. This is about being comfortable with creating a little experience or a little moment that maybe feels awkward or maybe feels not perfectly thought out and executed, but it creates something special and lets them know it’s real. There’s such a trend in all of customer experience to polish the edges and make everything seamless. That’s fine, but it also can have impact if we do something that’s unexpected. It can have impact if we deviate from the path just a little bit as long as it’s a fun experience. Now, Dan and I have discussed doing something like this on the show for the longest time and while we don’t have a full musical episode baked out just yet, what about something like this? Three-four.

(Singing).

Dan Gingiss: (Singing).

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

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

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

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

Joey Coleman: Experience …

Dan Gingiss: This.


Episode 77 : Using Customization To Create Lifelong Loyalty

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

Cooks, Photographers, and Ditchers – Oh My!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here are three things to consider when gauging CX effectiveness:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Links We Referenced

Host Contact Information

Tweet Dan Gingiss: @DGingiss

Email Joey: JoeyC@JoeyColeman.com

DanGingiss.com

JoeyColeman.com

Subscribe to Experience This on Apple Podcasts

Episode Transcript

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

Dan Gingiss: Welcome to Experience This.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cooks, photographers, and ditchers, oh my!

[This Just Happened] Pots and Pans

Joey Coleman: We love telling stories and sharing key insights you can implement, or avoid, based on our experiences. Can you believe that this just happened?

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

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

Dan Gingiss: Well I do like to cook.

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

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

Joey Coleman: Such a long time.

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

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

Dan Gingiss: It possibly is.

Joey Coleman: Hmm, I wonder.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Joey Coleman: Free pots and pans!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dan Gingiss: The vase was shattered. Absolutely.

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

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

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

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

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

Joey Coleman: Yes, of course.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sometimes a remarkable experience deserves deeper investigation.

[Dissecting the Experience] Personalized Imagery

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dan Gingiss: Totally. Exactly.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Joey Coleman: Exposé?

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

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

Dan Gingiss: It is a lot of free time.

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

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

Dan Gingiss: Whoo-hoo!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[Book Report] Ditch the Act

We spend hours and hours-nose deep in books. We believe that everything you read influences the experiences you create. So we’re happy to answer our favorite question. What are you reading?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here is the deal.

Let me give it to your real.

The key to connection is to learn to reveal.

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

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

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

To be perfectly imperfect is how you win the game.

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

You will miss connections that you never knew you had.

And that, my friends, is a rap.

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

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

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

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

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

Dan Gingiss: You, sir.

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

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

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

Joey Coleman: Aw, thanks.

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

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

Dan Gingiss: Exactly.

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

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

Joey Coleman: Nothing like learning on the job.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Joey Coleman: Experience …

Dan Gingiss: … This.

Episode 76: How to Create Amazing Experiences Before They Become a Customer

Join us as we discuss the perils of automated outreach, the benefit of taking a few minutes to do your homework before speaking with a prospect, and how your reputation can precede you – in both good and bad ways.

Automating, Researching, and Anticipating – Oh My!

[Dissecting the Experience] The Problem with Over-Automated Prospecting

The Experience This Show tries to focus on positive customer experiences, but on occasion, we address some less than positive interactions we come across. Joey recently attempted to access a free document/research paper download from a company, only to be asked to enter his email. He used an email that is reserved only for situations like this, and received an automated response to that email address filled with several questions the company wanted answered so they could determine whether he was a qualified lead for their offerings.

Let’s keep in mind that the customer experience starts at the first interaction – long before you, or they [the prospect], have even figured out if they might be a good customer.

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

Personalizing communications takes time and caring about people individually takes effort, but investing this time early in the relationship pays huge dividends later. Prospecting, lead qualifying, and moving people through your sales process can be a challenging and time-consuming task – but it is worth it. While automation can be useful, automating initial communications is dangerous and in almost all instances, not a good choice to make. Please don’t overwhelm a prospective customer with multiple questions and don’t ever imply that how they answer your questions will determine whether or not you care about them or even want to continue the conversation.  If you want website visitors to share their name and email address to access your gated content, you should be willing to make the effort necessary to personalize your first email to them.

[Dissecting the Experience] The Power of Personalized Prospecting

While working with the fantastic team at YokoCo to design a new website, Joey began exploring new ways to incorporate video into the site. In considering options for video players, he signed up for a free account with Wistia. Wistia then sent a personalized email – showing they had taken the time to research and learn more about his business – followed by the offer to set up a call with him to answer questions and discuss possible use cases. While intrigued by the email, it took two more efforts at outreach by Wistia, including a video message, before Joey scheduled a call with them. While Joey hasn’t upgraded to a paid account yet, he has stopped considering Wistia’s competitors.

The way we design initial communications and the level of personalization and personality we bring to the conversation often plays a major role in determining whether or not that person will EVER become a customer. So remember everyone – treat the prospect as well as you would treat a customer and the chance of that prospect becoming a customer in the future goes up dramatically!

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

Don’t wait until a prospect becomes a customer to treat them well. Start treating your prospect as if they are a valued customer from the outset, and in the process you will earn their respect and (hopefully) their business.

[Start the Conversation] Avtex: Developing Customer Centricity

Customer centricity means putting customers at the heart of every business decision. This sets the foundation for lasting relationships and customer experience success. Unfortunately, there are many challenges organizations must overcome in order to cultivate customer centricity throughout the entire business. These can include unyielding focus on revenue and profits, lack of awareness of a CX program, lack of buy-in from leadership, and more.

Here are three strategies for overcoming these challenges, and developing customer centricity in your business:

  1. Train leaders on customer centricity, its financial impact, and how to promote customer centricity within their individual teams/departments.
  2. Reward individual contributors for specific successes and their overall role in delivering customer centric experiences.
  3. Engage in internal active listening and empower all employees to share thoughts/concerns regarding customer needs/expectations.

Start the conversation with this question: Are we doing everything we can to develop a customer-centric approach throughout our organization?

To continue the conversation, visit: ExperienceConversations.com.

[This Just Happened] When Memes Hint at Shifting Realities

Social media posts often offer evidence of shifting customer experience behaviors. Memes are sometimes a clear way to see shifting trends. The meme Joey saw on Facebook about package delivery and customer experience is a great example of new trends in customer behavior and expectations:

You are being compared to every experience your customer has ever had, in ANY setting.

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

Are you raising the bar for the level of customer experience and customer service that you deliver in a way that is keeping up with the rest of the marketplace? Are you constantly exploring new ways to raise the level of the services you provide? Make sure you’re paying attention to shifting customer expectations before you find yourself featured in a meme that is less than flattering.

Links We Referenced

Host Contact Information

Tweet Dan Gingiss: @DGingiss

Email Joey: JoeyC@JoeyColeman.com

DanGingiss.com

JoeyColeman.com

Subscribe to Experience This on Apple Podcasts

Episode Transcript

Download a transcript of the entire Episode 76 here or read it below:

Episode 76

Learn How Prospecting Can Create Amazing Customer Experiences

Dan Gingiss: Welcome to Experience This.

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

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

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

Dan Gingiss: So hold onto your headphones, it’s time to Experience This. Get ready for another episode of the Experience This Show.

Joey Coleman: Join us as we discuss the perils of automated outreach, the benefit of taking a few minutes to do your homework before talking to a prospect, and how your reputation can proceed you in both good and bad ways.

Dan Gingiss: Automating, researching, and anticipating. Oh my.

[Dissecting the Experience] Automated Prospecting

Joey Coleman: It’s shocking how often people use 38 words to describe something when two would do the trick. We’re looking at you lawyers and accountants. Words matter, and there is no excuse for trying to hide what you mean. We explore words and messaging in this next iteration of Say What?

Dan Gingiss: We do our best on this show to only discuss positive customer experiences. We feel that there’s enough discussion about negative experiences in the world that we don’t need to contribute. However, every once in awhile, we share a story about an experience they could have been so much better with just a little more thought and consideration.

Joey Coleman: Absolutely, Dan. In fact, I recently went online to do some research on employee experience, and in the process, I had an interaction just like that. I came across a website offering several different white papers that were of interest to me. Now for the purposes of our conversations, we’ll call this company Pumpernickel. In order to access the white papers, I had to enter my email address so they could send me links to download the papers.

Now while this was a bit frustrating in and of itself, why they just didn’t let me download them in the first place without sharing my email, I have no idea. The papers seem to be so in alignment with what I was looking to find, I begrudgingly entered my throwaway email address.

Dan Gingiss: Your throwaway email address?

Joey Coleman: Yes, Dan. I have an email address that I can access, but it isn’t my main email address. I share it with websites that I don’t really need to have a personal connection with but require an email address to access their content. So for context of the rest of our conversation, let’s just pretend that my throwaway email address is NoOne@JoeyColeman.com.

Dan Gingiss: And, folks, that isn’t his real throw away address. Otherwise, he would be completely defeating-

Joey Coleman: I don’t want to give the throwaway address because then people will start to use the throwaway address and I really want it to be purely throw away.

Dan Gingiss: You know that’s funny, I get that, and I do the same thing. I have a Gmail account and a Yahoo account that actually look pretty similar in terms of their address. But I give the Yahoo one to all companies, and I get all my confirmations and receipts and spam and blah blah blah. And then my friends have the Gmail address, which is really where I have my human to human communication.

Joey Coleman: Right. And the crazy thing is the fact that you and I are having this conversation that we have fake email addresses. We could stop the segment right here, okay? Because if the businesses we deal with have created an environment where we need to come up with fake email addresses, stop behaving this way, folks, but I digress. Okay, the day after I received the papers that I had requested via email, I received another email that I’d like to share with you. And as a reminder, I’ve only edited the name of the company to protect the guilty.

Dan Gingiss: And he’s calling it Pumpernickel, which suddenly has me interested in bagels.

Joey Coleman: Yeah, there you go. I figured if nothing else, if we were going to hear an email that could’ve been better, I’d make you feel hungry. All right, here’s the email and I’m quoting directly. “Hi there. Thanks for your interest in Pumpernickel. Saw you checked out some Pumpernickel resources. Plus I’d love to learn more about Joey Coleman’s current HR needs. Can you please provide the following? How many employees work at Joey Coleman? How many are you looking to hire in the next 12 months? Do you use Gmail or Outlook? What is your ATS? Are you interested in Pumpernickel’s operations platform or our standalone onboarding solution? Thanks in advance for the insight. I look forward to hearing from you soon.”

Dan Gingiss: And while you’re at it, Joey Coleman, could you just do my job for me, please? Because I’m unable to.

Joey Coleman: Oh my gosh. Ridiculous. Ridiculous.

Dan Gingiss: There are, wow. There are so many things about that email that I hate.

Joey Coleman: This is why we don’t usually talk about the negative examples because Dan and I just get worked up.

Dan Gingiss: Yes, and I love that they ask how many employees work at Joey Coleman.

Joey Coleman: Yeah. Yeah.

Dan Gingiss: It hasn’t even figured out what that Joey Coleman is actually a person. Yeah.

Joey Coleman: Is actually a human. A human, yeah. And to be frank, that actually left me thinking that this might have been an automated email scrape that was generated from my email address alone.

Dan Gingiss: Absolutely. It was.

Joey Coleman: They didn’t call me by my first name, which was odd because I had filled out a name in the name field when I was downloading.

Dan Gingiss: Oh, so you don’t use a fake name?

Joey Coleman: I actually used a fake name. I do, which I’m not going to tell you what my fake name is, but I use a fake one. But they didn’t use it. They didn’t personalize the salutation to start, “Hi there, No one.” Which is what they could have gotten from the email if they would’ve presumed, because remember the email was NoOne@JoeyColeman.

Dan Gingiss: By the way, yeah, I’m just going to interrupt you. Listeners, between you and me, I’m going to find out his fake name and I’ll tweet it out later. 

Joey Coleman: Yeah. And it’ll be on Twitter and the good news is I’ll never even know. But anyway, the moral of the story is they completely missed that Joey Coleman’s a personal name, not the name of a company.

Dan Gingiss: It also seemed like they were asking completely irrelevant questions. Like why does it matter if you use Gmail or Outlook? And what if you don’t use either of those, like if you’re still a Lotus Notes fan or a Yahoo fan?

Joey Coleman: Or a Yahoo fan, as Dan alluded to earlier.

Dan Gingiss: Exactly.

Joey Coleman: This is so true, but based on what I understand about Pumpernickel’s services, the email platform you’re on has little to no impact on the applicability of their offerings. I just don’t get it. I don’t get it.

Dan Gingiss: And speaking of not getting it, I’m sure others are asking when it asks, “What is your ATS?” Do you even know what that means?Because I don’t.

Joey Coleman: I have zero idea. Folks, if you’re using an acronym in your initial email to a cold prospect, in other words, someone who you don’t know and they don’t know you, please don’t use acronyms ever. It creates so much confusion and it immediately alienates you from the recipient. At best, it feels impersonal, and at worst it makes the recipient feel out of the loop or confused or frustrated that they don’t know what the heck you’re talking about.

Dan Gingiss: You know it may just be me, but it seems like they’re asking all of their lead qualifying questions in a single email, and you said it before, but I think you’re absolutely right. How is this not a canned email that they just plugged in your company name?

Joey Coleman: I kind of almost hope that it is a canned email, because if it’s not and a human actually typed that email, I feel even worse about this situation than I did if it was an automation. Not only does it seem incredibly impersonal, but it also frankly feels incredibly lazy. It’s like these are the qualifying questions that a sales person would want answered in an initial sales call and here they’re going to ask them all in an email to decide if they want to keep emailing with me. It’s absolutely crazy.

Now, people who have been to some of my speeches or workshops know that I regularly draw analogies between customer experience and what it’s like when people first start dating. It’s easy to do that with this email as well. Now imagine a dating scenario where you connect with someone and decide to ask them for dinner for a first date. You then send an email that says something like this, and for those of you paying attention, I’m going to only slightly revise the email I received from Pumpernickel.

“Hi there. Thanks for your interest in me. I saw you checking me out. Plus, I’d love to learn more about your current needs. Can you please provide the following? How many relationships are you currently in? How many are you looking to be in over the next 12 months? Do you use Apple or Android? What’s your T2HU? Are you interested in me long term or as a one off solution? Thanks in advance for the insight. I look forward to hearing from you soon.”

Dan Gingiss: Joey.

Joey Coleman: That’s exactly what they just said to me.

Dan Gingiss: I’m the one in this scenario who is currently in a dating situation and I’m kind of glad it’s not you because that kind of email is probably not going to work. It’s actually a horrible idea.

Joey Coleman: And this is the point I make. If you wouldn’t do it in your personal lives, why the heck are you doing it in your professional lives? We shouldn’t be sending these type of emails. Now, I know personalizing a communication takes time. I know that caring about people as individuals takes effort. I know that prospecting and lead qualifying and moving people through your sales process is a challenge, but all that being said, please stop automating your initial communications. Please don’t overwhelm a prospective customer with a half dozen questions that imply that how they answer them will determine whether or not you care about them or want to continue the conversation. Folks, you can do better. We can all do better. Let’s keep in mind that the customer experience starts at the first interaction long before you or they have even figured out if they might be a good customer.

[Dissecting the Experience] Personalized Prospecting

Sometimes a remarkable experience deserves deeper investigation. We dive into the nitty gritty of customer interactions and dissect how and why they happen. Join us while we’re dissecting the experience.

Dan Gingiss: Wow. After that last segment, I feel like I need a shower.

Joey Coleman: And I don’t blame you, Dan. That’s one of the benefits of a podcast though, folks. If you feel you need a shower too, just hit pause, come back to it later. Or you can play it while you’re in the shower. But I digress. Let me try to dig us out of the customer experience hole that that last segment put us into by sharing the example of how prospect qualifying via email should be done.

Dan Gingiss: Yes, please.

Joey Coleman: Okay, so I recently launched a new website at JoeyColeman.com, and in the planning and development stage, we considered several different ways to share videos on the site as well as some other websites that I have. Now, the awesome folks at Yoko Co who incidentally designed the ExperienceThisShow.com website helped me out and as part of that process suggested I sign up for a free account with several different video hosting platforms so that I could check out their respective offerings.

Now, one of the services I signed up with was Wistia. The day after signing up for my free account, I received the following email message. “Hi, Joey. Congratulations on your free Wistia account. Wow, there is so much to say, but no one likes long emails. What a career you have built for yourself. It must be so amazing to work with such large companies as Hyatt Hotels and NASA. Awesome that you are also helping others grow their knowledge with all of your speaking appearances. One last thing, I really liked how on your about page, you mentioned your family and how important they are to you. Now on to Wistia and video. How are you looking to use video? What would you be hoping to get out of video? Do you have 15 minutes to talk about your video goals and how Wistia can help? If so, here’s my calendar to choose a time that works for you. Thanks, Kristen.”

Dan Gingiss: Okay, now that, people, is how you do it. Let’s see, let’s pick this apart a little bit. First of all, she acknowledged that no one likes long emails, which is true, and she showed that she was witty and has a personality, which I love.

Joey Coleman: And even before that she called me by name.

Dan Gingiss: She did. 

Joey Coleman: It said, “Hi, Joey.”

Dan Gingiss: It’s true.

Joey Coleman: Hey, love that.

Dan Gingiss: I sort of wrote that one off as being honest but okay.

Joey Coleman: But not based on our last segment.

Dan Gingiss: Yes. And I also, it is clear that she took some time to review your website and to learn about you., And granted she’s sort of citing some of it back to you to make sure you know that she knows about you, but it’s all good anyway because she did her homework about you. And the third thing that I really like, because I do this as well, is she gives you a link to her calendar so that you can easily make an appointment. And I’ll tell you, I started using Calendly about a year ago, and it is an absolute game-changer because you eliminate all those back and forth emails about, “Oh, when are you available? Are you available from any time between 9:30 and 11:30 next Thursday through Friday?” And so it makes it really easy for you to do it and it’s not nearly as pushy. I love it. I think it is an A-plus initial email.

Joey Coleman: I totally agree with you, Dan. And I admit I was intrigued even though I knew that this was really an email to hopefully shift me from the free account to a paid account. I thought it’d be interesting to connect with Kristen and if nothing else, see what motivated her to spend so much time personalizing an outreach message to me. I mean clearly she spent time on my website and learned more about me so that she could personalize and customize the message.

Dan Gingiss: So I assume you went ahead and scheduled a call with her.

Joey Coleman: Actually, no, to be totally honest, I got busy with other things. I was developing and building the website. There was a lot going on at that time and sadly I didn’t respond to her message.

Dan Gingiss: Ah, Joey. So what’s the end of the story? Did you ever connect with her?

Joey Coleman: Well, not exactly, but let’s just say Kristen didn’t take no for an answer either, which I really appreciated. A week later she sent me a video. Get it? She works for a video hosting company and the video encouraged me to reach out as well. This definitely got my attention and reinforced that the first communication wasn’t just a fluke.

Dan Gingiss: So then you scheduled a call with her?

Joey Coleman: Actually, no. Once again, I got busy with other things and I didn’t schedule the call. There was frankly so much going on at that time and while I was interested in learning more, it just wasn’t a priority right then and right there.

Dan Gingiss: I’m not sure I like this story.

Joey Coleman: Yeah, I hear you. I don’t blame you, but the good news is it has a happy ending. A few weeks later I eventually got on a call with Kristen and we had a great conversation. I used the link, as you suggested, to schedule and it was super easy and fast. And I actually scheduled a call for the next morning. I explained what I was looking for. I learned a lot more about Wistia and in my conversation I actually realized that for now I was okay using their free service. But you know what the best part was, Dan? Kristen didn’t mind. Even though she didn’t get the upsell, we agreed to stay in touch and she asked my permission to reach out in a few months and see how I was doing and since then she’s checked in every once in a while to see how things are going.

Now, while I haven’t migrated to a paid account with Wistia just yet, what I have done is stopped considering all of their competitors. In short, Kristen won the business even though I’m not yet an official paying customer and the revenue hasn’t started to flow in for them. What I am ready to do is commit that when a transition to a paid account is needed, I’m not going to need any selling, I’m just going to do it.

Dan Gingiss: Well, even though I was giving you a hard time for not getting back to poor Kristin over at Wistia, I do think that your behavior is probably more common than not. I mean, companies usually hope that initial contact from a prospect, which could be subscribing to a newsletter or downloading a white paper or signing up for the free version as you did. They hope that it’s a sign of immediate interest, but in reality it’s often just the first step in a much longer process. The way we design those initial communications and the level of personalization and personality we bring to the conversation often plays a major role in determining whether or not that that person will ever become a paying customer. So remember, everyone, treat the prospect as well as you would treat a customer and the chance of that prospect becoming a customer in the future goes up dramatically.

[Start the Conversation] Avtex: Developing Customer Centricity

Joey Coleman: Sometimes all it takes is a single question to get your company thinking about an improved customer experience. Here’s an idea for how you can start the conversation. This week’s start the conversation topic is developing customer centricity. Putting customers at the heart of every business decision, customer centricity, sets the foundation for lasting relationships and customer experience success. Unfortunately, there are many challenges that organizations must overcome to develop customer centricity throughout the entire business, including unyielding focus on revenue and profits, lack of awareness of a customer experience program, lack of a buy-in from leadership, and many more.

Dan Gingiss: Here are three strategies for overcoming these challenges and developing customer centricity in your business. One, train leaders on customer centricity, its financial impact, and how to promote customer centricity within their individual teams and departments. Two, reward individual contributors for specific successes and their overall role in delivering customer-centric experiences. Three, engage in internal active listening and empower all employees to share thoughts or concerns regarding customer needs and expectations.

Joey Coleman: It’s interesting, Dan, this whole idea of customer centricity is frankly not new. It’s something that people have been talking about for a while, but so few companies actually do it. And I think part of the reason they don’t do it is because a small group of folks in the company buy into it philosophically and they presume that that’s enough to shift the whole culture.

The reality is not everyone in your organization feels that they’re responsible for the customer experience, and yet they are. There is no function in any business that doesn’t in some way impact the customer experience. And so I think we need to do things like reward people for creating great customer experiences. We need to make sure that the internal incentives are aligned for these type of remarkable customer experience creation moments. At the end of the day, by adopting a philosophy of customer centricity, we commit to an ongoing evolution and development of a different way of looking at our business, a way of putting the customers into every conversation.

Dan Gingiss: And now for this week’s question about developing customer centricity. Are we doing everything we can to develop a customer centric approach throughout our organization? We encourage you to start the conversation within your own company and then continue it with our friends at Avtex by going to www.ExperienceConversations.com. Again, that’s ExperienceConversations.com

[This Just Happened] When Memes Hint at Shifting Realities

Joey Coleman: We love telling stories and sharing key insights you can implement or avoid based on our experiences. Can you believe that this just happened? I was on Facebook the other day.

Dan Gingiss: Hold up, stop the presses. You were on social media, Joey?

Joey Coleman: Yes, Dan. I know it’s a shock to both you and probably to most of our loyal listeners, but every once in a while I go on social media. And while I don’t usually post anything, I do my best to observe what’s happening. I often find it’s not only a way to keep tabs on what’s going on in my Facebook friend’s lives, but I sometimes come across evidence of shifting customer experience behaviors, which is what I was hoping to talk about in this segment.

So while I was scrolling through Facebook, I came across a meme of post that read as follows, and I’m quoting verbatim here folks, so please forgive me of what the post says is less than flattering about a brand that you love. “UPS, your package is in your city on a truck driven by Mike. It will arrive on your doorstep at 6:27 PM today. FedEx, your package is coming, you’ll get it when we get there. USPS, what package? Amazon. We’re already inside your apartment. Check the bathroom. Facebook, we know you were thinking about getting a toaster yesterday. Here are 20 ads for toaster ovens.”

Dan Gingiss: I love it.

Joey Coleman: Not bad, right? Not bad.

Dan Gingiss: Yes. And just for some of our listeners who may not know what a meme is, a meme is a humorous image or it could be a video or sometimes just a piece of text and it’s often copied and imitated again and again sometimes with slight variations and then shared across the internet. And this one’s really funny because it’s obviously sort of taking advantage of some brand perceptions that may be true or not true, but it’s certainly a kind of tightening the screws on some of those perceptions.

Joey Coleman: Absolutely. But what I liked about this, as I alluded to earlier, is it indicated, at least to me, a shift in customer expectations. So until about 45 years ago or so, the post office didn’t really have any major competitors. In the 1970s UPS and FedEx came onto the scene and for the longest time those three were the big players in getting things to your home, or at least here in the United States. And then in the mid-1990s Amazon came along, and for a while Amazon used UPS and then they added in FedEx and the US Postal Service.

Then they experimented with delivering using their own vehicles and now many of the deliveries are being made by private citizens working as independent contractors to make the deliveries. The point I’m trying to make here is that in just 45 years, a little bit less than my lifespan, the way items make it from the marketplace to your home has changed dramatically. The old maxim of, “Well, just pay attention to the competition,” doesn’t work anymore because companies like Amazon are becoming the competition for everyone.

Dan Gingiss: Well, I’m sure there are some businesses that Amazon is not going to compete with.

Joey Coleman: Well, I don’t disagree with you, Dan, and I probably could have explained that better. What I mean is that going forward, your competition isn’t the other people in your industry. It’s every experience your customers have ever had in any setting with anybody that they’re purchasing from. So you’re being compared to UPS and their give you an alert every step of the way notification.

Do you alert your customers every step of the way as you deliver your products and services? Can they check in remotely to see the progress you’re making on the offering that you’ve sold them? You’re being compared to Amazon and their, “We’re in the house already.” Do you make it beyond easy to reorder your products and services the way Amazon lets me push a button or ask Alexa and the next thing I know I have what I want at my house faster than I thought was humanly possible? Your competitors are the companies and brands and organizations that your customers are doing business with and having great experiences with in the process. That’s who you’re being measured against.

Dan Gingiss: And I want to jump in and say, because I know what some of our listeners are thinking, this is also true for B to B businesses. And the reason is that even in a B to B or business to business setting, you’re not marketing to an ivory tower. You’re marketing to another human being on the other end. And that human being is a consumer. So they have had experience with UPS and with Amazon. There’s no reason why a B to B company can’t update a client every step of the way on the process or the progress of a project that they’re working on. That’s a simple expectation that consumers now have, that the person on the other end of your B2B transaction also has.

Joey Coleman: Well, and folks, let’s be candid, your B is a C for all the hours they’re not at the office. And based on internet behavior at work, they’re also being a C at the office when they’re ordering stuff, when they should be working for you. So this whole contrived notion of, “Well, there’s B to B businesses and there are B to C businesses and they’re different.” Yeah, that played true maybe, I’ll give you a maybe, decades ago. It doesn’t apply today. It’s H to H. It’s humans to humans. So here’s the question to ask yourself: Are you raising the bar for the level of customer experience and customer service that you deliver in a way that is on pace and on par with the rest of the marketplace or with the entire world? Are you constantly exploring new ways to do that? Because if you’re not, you may end up becoming part of a meme on social media that you’re not too excited about.

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

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

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

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

Joey Coleman: Experience.

Dan Gingiss: This.

Episode 75: How to Live Up to the Standard of Making a Customer’s Entire Day

Join us as we discuss how sometimes what you see isn’t necessarily wise to believe, how to create a remarkable experience in a commoditized industry, and why the sense of smell plays a huge role in brand perception.

Manipulations, Massages, and Madelines – Oh My!

[Say What] Deepfake Videos Require Everyone to Be Skeptical

Most people are familiar with the age old maxim, “I’ll believe it when I see it.” Increasingly, thanks to advances in artificial intelligence and video editing, you simply cannot believe everything you see. Deepfakes are the product of human image synthesis compiled via artificial intelligence. By combining and superimposing existing images and videos onto source images or videos, deepfakes confuse the viewer and allow for videos that aren’t “real” to appear genuine. These videos can then be used to show real people (often celebrities) doing and saying things that they never actually said or did.

This is the video we reference created by Jordan Peele.

Throughout 2019, deepfakes were used for entertainment and satire (fairly harmless applications), as well as political and propaganda efforts (much more problematic). Because deepfakes are designed to purposefully deceive people and spread false information, they are going to increasingly become a challenge for companies and consumers alike. The more difficult it becomes to tell the difference between what is true and what is deception, the more challenging it will be to know whether a brand experience or impression is authentic or not.

[A]s brands and companies, we need to start thinking about how deepfakes could impact our customers’ experiences. What happens if trust erodes slowly, or in the converse, is wiped away because of a major event (caused by a deepfake video)?

Joey Coleman, co-host of ExperienceThis! Show podcast

Fortunately, as quickly as deepfakes are emergining in society, companies are developing artificial intelligence solutions that can help recognize deep fakes before they are widely disseminated. While it is encouraging that companies are starting to develop the technology to expose these deceptive messages, the technology to create deepfakes is improving so quickly that the videos are getting more and more difficult to evaluate.

How can you help avoid the perils of deepfakes? First, don’t trust everything you see. Make sure to be discerning with any video that comes across your screen – especially those that seem out of character. Second, start thinking about the impact a deepfake could have on your customers’ experiences. Finally, put plans in place to mitigate the damage that could potentially happen.

[Dissecting the Experience] The Best Part of Your Day – at John Robert’s Spa

Earlier this season, we heard from customer service expert John DiJulius and discussed his newest book, The Relationship Economy. One of John’s businesses, the John Robert’s Spa – a full-service salon and spa with four locations in northeast Ohio – pairs high-quality services with John’s signature customer service.

Every employee of the salon/spa is given a card they are expected to keep with them at all times. The card outlines the standards they are expected to maintain and serves as a regular reminder of their commitment. The company’s vision statement is to be the best experience in our guests’ day. By outlining ways to live up to this standard, John sets an expectation that is both understandable and achievable.

Three Pillars that John Robert’s Employees Follow:

  • Mastering: John’s team strives to be the best trained and educated staff in the industry.
  • Emotional Connection: John’s team uses his signature “Secret Service” to connect with clients. The specialize in collecting and utilizing customer information – specifically about their customers’ family, occupation, recreation, and dreams (FORD).
  • Give More – John’s team is committed to a surprise and delight philosophy at all times.

We make them feel like the most important person in front of us and then finally give more. That’s our above and beyond pillar. Surprise and delight. Look for opportunities to go above and beyond. Be the best experience in our guest’s day – mastering, emotional connection, and give more.

John DiJulius, owner of John Robert’s Spa and author of The Relationship Economy

John sets a standard that is achievable, but he also sets a standard that makes the experience memorable and remarkable. This keeps employees focused on what matters. What can you do to set a standard that is achievable and understandable and will bring your customer experience to a new level?

[Start the Conversation] Avtex: Social Media as a Customer Experience Channel

Most potential customers now turn immediately to social media when they need to research and interact with businesses. These platforms allow customers to read reviews, ask questions, and seek support for specific issues. Unfortunately, many businesses either fail to leverage social media as a CX tool or do a poor job of maintaining their CX channels. 

To use social media as a CX channel, businesses should:

  1. Know which platforms are most popular with their target audience and focus efforts there.
  2. Create detailed policies and procedures specifically for social channels (What sorts of interactions will these channels support? Who will support them? What tone will the organization take in communicating with customers and prospects?)
  3. Observe the effectiveness of their efforts and adjust as necessary.

Start the conversation with this question: Are we effectively using social media to support and engage customers?

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

[This Just Happened] The Smell of Experience

Can you remember a time when you walked into a place that smelled particularly amazing? Or perhaps, a certain smell that triggers a fond memory of your childhood? Or the scent of a specific vacation? The sense of smell is one of the most primal senses and it ties directly to our memories – triggering emotions quickly and deeply.

The sense of smell can positively affect your customer and user experience. When you walk into a store and it smells amazing, you will have a better time at the store. You will even buy more products. You will be more relaxed, happy. But imagine you walked into the local retail shop and it smelled really bad… You will walk right back out of there!

Tuli Kraus, Fresh Scents, Inc.

Is your business fully taking advantage of the sensory experience of scent? If your business has a physical presence or you offer physical products, smell should definitely be considered when designing your customer experience.

Links We Referenced

Host Contact Information

Tweet Dan Gingiss: @DGingiss

Email Joey: JoeyC@JoeyColeman.com

DanGingiss.com

JoeyColeman.com

Subscribe to Experience This on Apple Podcasts

Episode Transcript

Download a transcript of the entire Episode 75 here or read it below:

Dan Gingiss: Welcome to Experience This.

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

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

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

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

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

Dan Gingiss: Join us as we discuss how seeing isn’t necessarily believing, how to create a remarkable experience in a commodity industry, and why the sense of smell plays a huge role in brand perception.

Joey Coleman: Manipulations, Massages, and Mayhem. Oh my.

[Say What] Deepfakes

Joey Coleman: It’s shocking how often people use 38 words to describe something when two would do the trick. We’re looking at you lawyers and accountants. Words matter and there is no excuse for trying to hide what you mean. We explore words and messaging in this next iteration of, Say What?

Dan, I’m going to go out on a limb here. I’d like to make a bold prediction.

Dan Gingiss: Oh, boy. I love it when you do that, Joey.

Joey Coleman: All right. Now this, at initial glance, could be seen as a negative prediction, which is not my intention. I just think it’s an important topic that we’re seeing in the news more and more and I think we’re going to see it a lot more in, let’s say, the next six months to a year. Here’s my prediction. I think at least one well known brand is going to deal with a major, deep fake issue.

Dan Gingiss: Sorry, did you say deep fake? I’m not familiar with that concept.

Joey Coleman: Yes. A deep fake issue. A deep fake is a video created using artificial intelligence. The intention of the video is to show real people, often celebrities or spokespeople, people that we know, doing and saying things that they never actually did. Now that’s why we made this a Say What segment.

When it comes to deep fakes, it’s very difficult to believe what the person on the video is actually saying. Now, in the last year, we’ve seen deep fakes used for entertainment, for satire, and as both political and propaganda tools. In fact, former president Barack Obama and Jordan Peele created a deep fake video to illustrate how this works, which we’ll play for you now.

To be clear before we play it, this is not President Obama speaking. Because you can’t see the video. Although, you can see the video if you go over to our show notes at experiencethisshow.com. What you’re hearing is not President Obama actually, but it looks and sounds like him.

Jordan Peele: We’re entering an era in which our enemies can make it look like anyone is saying anything at any point in time. Even if they would never say those things. So for instance, they could have me say things like… I don’t know. Killmonger was right or Ben Carson is in the sunken place. Now you see, I would never say these things, at least not in a public address, but someone else would. Someone like Jordan Peele.

This is a dangerous time. Moving forward we need to be more vigilant with what we trust from the internet. It’s a time when we need to rely on trusted news sources. May sound basic, but how we move forward in the age of information is going to be the difference between whether we survive or whether we become some kind of dystopia.

Joey Coleman: What’s troubling about this video, and deep fakes in general, is that they are designed to intentionally mislead people and spread false information. I think we’re going to see some brands deal with public backlash because of messaging that is spread via deep fake videos about those brands.

Dan Gingiss: I remember seeing some of these as well, and I can’t decide what’s worse, that this is happening more and more, or that the technology is advancing so quickly that telling the difference between real video footage and deep fake is incredibly difficult.

Joey Coleman: I agree Dan, and this isn’t just going to be a challenge for social media companies and for video hosting companies and all the copyright issues and the way they might get sued. This is going to be a challenge for companies and consumers alike.

Dan Gingiss: It does sound pretty frightening from a brand perspective. Hopefully you’re going to share with us some things we can do to mitigate this.

Joey Coleman: Absolutely. Because here on Experience This, we like to tell positive stories, we don’t want to leave you hanging by getting you anxious and afraid of this. So here’s what we do. As customers and consumers, we need to learn not to trust everything we see. Now, I know that may feel like a sad moment and a sad time in our history, but the reality is we don’t want to presume everything is fake, but we need to be more discerning with what we hold as true.

I also think that as brands or companies, we need to start thinking about how deep fakes could impact our customer’s experiences. What happens if trust erodes slowly, or in the converse, is wiped away because of a major event? Having a deep fake strategy and being ready to counter any misleading videos or messages is something that mid and large sized brands should already be thinking about if they’re not.

Dan Gingiss: The good news is that several tech companies are developing sophisticated algorithms and artificial intelligence to help recognize deep fakes. The software company Adobe has partnered with the University of California at Berkeley to train AI to recognize facial manipulation. This tool could eventually help consumers detect deep fakes and companies to spot deep fakes before they are widely disseminated.

Joey Coleman: You know, I am thrilled to hear that companies are, especially places like the University of California at Berkeley and Adobe, are working together to solve some of these problems, but I actually think in many ways the genie’s out of the bottle. This is going to be happening faster and causing bigger consequences than the average business or citizen is going to be able to keep up with or catch up too.

I think it’s just in many ways a dangerous time, and I hate that we have to teach people to be skeptical of what they see, because there’s this whole phrase that has been around since the beginning of human time almost, that seeing is believing, and now we actually are going to need to say, well, seeing isn’t believing. You need to figure out what you’re actually believing.

Dan Gingiss: Well, yeah, if we play the scenario out a little bit, let’s say that President Obama and Jordan Peele got together for another video, but this time it’s a video of president Obama speaking with the audio provided by Jordan Peele, and him talking about how he found a worm in his McDonald’s hamburger. And now all of a sudden, this is a video that gets passed around the internet and McDonald’s is dealing with a PR crisis because a former president got a worm in his burger, except it’s completely made up.

That’s the kind of thing that brands are going to have to be ready for, and their PR teams are going to at least have to have a plan for, as you say. And some of it may also be about educating the public specifically on deep fakes so that it’s not just this, don’t trust everything you see, which is amorphous, because the reality is we don’t know what we can trust in what we can’t, but maybe training the public on how to spot a deep fake. How to confirm whether something’s real or not. There are websites like Snopes that will either confirm or deny rumors spreading around the internet and consumers should be using sites like that to get the truth.

Joey Coleman: What I’d love is if most of the people on Facebook who have aunts and uncles and cousins that are on Facebook would start using Snopes, because the amount of times I see something posted, and I’m like, that’s just not true, that’s absolutely not true. I know you read on the internet that Abraham Lincoln said that the Tesla was his favorite car, but that’s just not true.

Dan Gingiss: But Joey, if it was on the internet, it has to be true.

Joey Coleman: If it’s on the internet it’s real. Yeah. Let’s see if we can maybe do our part. I know we played an audio clip earlier, folks. If you go to experiencethisshow.com, in the show notes we’re going to include video links to several examples of deep fake videos. I want to put a disclaimer out here. The majority of these thus far, the ones that have been really well done, have been done with political candidates. Which is terrifying in and of itself, so please don’t take our posting of these videos as being endorsements or critical, either way, of any of these candidates, but I think it’s useful to actually see just how professional these videos have become and just how realistic they seem. It’s actually pretty terrifying.

As I said at the beginning of this segment, our intention in discussing deep fakes is not to upset people or to speak negatively. Rather, our goal is to make our listeners aware of a growing problem so that they can A, be vigilant in their own video watching and B, start to think about how a deep fake would impact their customer’s experiences and what can be done now to set in place response scripts to mitigate that impact.

Sometimes a remarkable experience deserves deeper investigation. We dive into the nitty gritty of customer interactions and dissect how and why they happen. Join us while we’re dissecting the experience.

Dan Gingiss: Earlier this season we heard from customer service expert John DiJulius, and talked about his new book, The Relationship Economy. Today we’re going to discuss one of John’s businesses, the John Roberts Spa, a full service salon and spa with four locations in Northeast Ohio. Started in 1993, the salons offer a combination of high quality services and John’s unmatched superior customer service. We’re going to dig into one of the many aspects which makes John Robert Spa so successful.

DiJulius hands out a card to every employee that they’re expected to carry around with them to remind them of the company’s purpose, customer service vision statement, some non-negotiable standards, and what he calls the nevers and always. Here’s John DiJulius to explain.

John DiJulius: I would like to share with you the John Roberts Spa customer service vision statement, pillars, and nevers and always. Every employee carries around a credo card with all of this on it. So our customer service vision statement, which I like to call the action statement, what we have to do every time we come in contact with anyone, be it 10 seconds or 90 minutes, it is to be the best experience in our guest’s day. Be the best part of our guest’s day. And why is that so important? Because our guests are dealing with craziness, chaos in their life, and we might be that one escape. They’re giving and giving and giving, and they come to us for a massage, hair cut, facial, pedicure, and most of all to be rejuvenated, to be refilled, so they can go back on and be Superman or Superwoman. What we’re all trying to be.

So to be the best experience in our guest’s day, that’s the what we have to do. The how is from the three pillars, mastering, emotional connection, and give more. The mastering pillar is to be operationally excellent. No one should be better at their jobs than we are. That can be the person answering the phones booking your appointment, the concierge hostess that’s greeting upon arrival, to the technician, hairdresser, esthetician, massage therapist.

The second pillar, emotional connection. We utilize our customer intelligence to personalize every experience. We collect and utilize Ford, F-O-R-D, family, occupation, recreation, and dreams. We make them feel like the most important person in front of us.

And then finally, give more. That’s our above and beyond pillar. Surprise and delight. The answer is always yes, regardless of the question. And whatever, whenever. Make their day. If it’s raining outside and they just got their hair done, ask them for their keys, pull the car around, walk them out with an umbrella, give them a John Roberts Spa umbrella, and they’ll bring it back the next time. Look for opportunities to go above and beyond. Be the best experience in our guest’s day, mastering, emotional connection, and give more.

Dan Gingiss: Pretty cool, huh Joey?

Joey Coleman: That is cool. And there’s so many pieces of that that we could dissect, but I got to say the one that really jumps out at me is that idea of wanting this to be the best part of their day. Wanting their experience at the spa to be the best part of the day. Because I think that sets a standard that is easily achievable and understandable by the staff and something that can be renewed every time that the customer comes back to the spa.

It allows you to not think, I have to create the best experience they’ve ever had in their entire life. You’re just trying to make it the best of the day, which I think is a great way to keep employees focused on what really matters.

Dan Gingiss: Yeah. And it’s also training them to keep their eyes open. It obviously doesn’t rain every day, so they don’t need an umbrella every single time. But it is great that the employees recognize that somebody who just got their hair done doesn’t want to walk out into the rain. A problem I don’t tend to have very often, but I can at least-

Joey Coleman: See folks, Dan made that one on his own, I was going to let that go, but he made it.

Dan Gingiss: Yes, I can empathize. One of the things I thinks really cool is this list of nevers and always. John here lists 10 things that employees should never do and then a corresponding 10 things that they should always do, instead. Let’s take another listen.

John DiJulius: And then finally on our credo card, we have nevers and always. I’ll give you some examples. Something that no one in our staff represent our brand would never do or they will always do if the situation presents itself. Never points, always show them. That could be obviously face to face, someone asks you where the restroom is, or where the spa is, but that’s also over the phone. If someone calls up and asks for something, pointing would be saying, you can get that off our website. Showing them we’d be sending them a link.

Never say no. You cannot use that word. Now the always isn’t always say yes. Sometimes that’s not possible. The always is just focus on what you can do. Never say no problem. Always say certainly my pleasure, absolutely.

Some other ones never overshare. Always take care of it. Never show frustration publicly. Be a duck. Always be a duck. I want a duck. A duck is the most graceful, beautiful thing gliding across the water. What no one sees or knows is it’s paddling like hell underneath.

That is our credo cards. We go over this every day in appreciative title. One thing from it every day. So it’s always new. We can get probably 20 to 25 days out of a credo card without repeating it. That is our service vision pillars and nevers and always.

Dan Gingiss: I really like some of these and I think we’ve all experienced them with different companies that we do business with. This idea of when you’re in a really large home improvement store and you ask, hey, where are the nails? I’ve literally gotten this answer before, well you need to go down to aisle six, then turn left, then go past three different sections, then turn right, then you’ll see the washing machines, then head straight and then turn left and you’ll get there. And it’s like, yeah, I already forgot those instructions.

Joey Coleman: Can instead I follow the breadcrumbs, sir?

Dan Gingiss: And he’s saying, walk them there. Don’t point, just walk them there. And it’s such a big difference when somebody does that.

Joey Coleman: It really is. And at the risk of sounding old fashioned, it’s a return to grace and etiquette. When we were growing up, I don’t know about you guys, we were taught some of these things that I don’t think are taught as much anymore today. But that whole idea of being polite, calling people Mr. Smith, or Mrs. Smith, or Ms. Smith, and what we think of as the polite way to go through life, is not the normal way to go through life anymore.

In our effort to be more convenient and be more efficient, we’ve actually become more rude. And what I love is that John has this credo card that reminds his employees that at least when they’re there working in his shop, it’s about grace. It’s about politeness. It’s about really showing the customer the way, to deliver them that remarkable customer experience.

Dan Gingiss: The other thing I really liked, because you know I love language so much, is that he really focuses in on specific words that make a difference. John DiJulius has been saying for years that people should never say no problem in a customer service engagement. And the reason for that is that when a customer asks for something and you tell them no problem, you’ve now suggested to them that what they were asking for might have been a problem. And of course from their perspective it’s not a problem, it’s just something that they want.

It is also taking a negative word no, in front of problem, and turning it into a positive word, yes, or sure, or I’d be glad to, and I think this stuff does make a difference. You may not notice it in every interaction, but again, over time as you interact with the employees at John Robert Spa, you’re going to notice something different about them and you’re going to notice that they are more polite, that they are more graceful, that they’re using niceties, and you walk out of there feeling like you got more than just a haircut or a massage.

Joey Coleman: I also really liked his analogy to the duck. All too often I find myself in a business establishment where it’s clear that the staff is frustrated about something that has nothing to do with me. I walked into this environment. And while I wouldn’t want to suggest that folks shouldn’t be able to feel the emotions that they’re feeling and experience their emotions, there’s a difference between doing that on display for all of your customers to see, and doing it in more of a private setting or scenario. I think that standard for the team to look, we’re going to look graceful, we’re going to be elegant, even if it means underneath the system we’re running as fast as we can, is a great ideal to set for the staff.

Dan Gingiss: Never let them see you sweat, as the commercial used to say. The last thing I love about this is that, let’s face it, a salon is a commodity industry. I know in my hometown alone, there’s probably 10 choices that I could have if I wanted to go and get a massage. And so standing out with customer experience is absolutely critical because competing on price is a loser’s game and they’re essentially selling the same product. So the takeaway is when you properly train and prepare your employees to create a superior consistent experience and then show them how, you can develop the same reputation as John Roberts Spa of having a superior customer experience even in what is a commodity industry.

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

Dan Gingiss: This week’s Start the Conversation topic is social media as a customer experience channel. Social media has become a preferred channel for customers to research and interact with businesses. These platforms allow customers to read reviews, ask questions, and seek support for specific issues. Unfortunately, many businesses either fail to leverage social media as a CX tool or do a poor job of maintaining their CX channels.

Joey Coleman: To use social as a CX channel, I talked to Dan and the folks at Avtechs because let’s be candid, I’m not really on social channels. But what businesses should do is number one, know which platforms are most popular with their target audience and focus efforts there. Number two, create detailed policies and procedures specifically for social channels. What sorts of interactions will these channels support? Who will support them? What tone will the organization take in communicating with customers and prospects? And number three, observe the effectiveness of their efforts and adjust as necessary.

Dan Gingiss: Well you’re right, Joey, this is a topic that is near and dear to my heart, because I literally wrote the book on the topic, which is called Winning at Social Customer Care and it will show you how to do those things that Joey just listed.

A couple of things that I want to point out here is it’s really important to be where your customers are in social media. I often get asked, especially after speeches, what social media channels should I be in? And my answer, which may not be as fulfilling as you might hope, is with another question, which is, which channels are your customers in?

When I worked at Humana and we were selling to seniors, it was not that important that we were in Snapchat, but it was very important that we were on Facebook. I also always suggest to people to respond to everyone, people who are complaining, people who are asking questions, and people who are complimenting you.

Joey Coleman: And now for this week’s question about social media as a customer experience channel, are we effectively using social media to support and engage customers? We encourage you to start the conversation within your own organization and then continue it with Avtechs at experienceconversations.com. That’s www.experienceconversations.com.

We love telling stories and sharing key insights you can implement or avoid based on our experiences. Can you believe that this just happened?

Dan Gingiss: I recently got the opportunity to speak at Inbound, one of the largest marketing conferences in the country, and I was invited to a networking dinner where I got to sit next to Naftuly Kraus, who goes by Tuli. His LinkedIn profile describes him as, The Scent Guy, because he works for a company called Fresh Scents Inc., which is a leader in the ambient marketing industry. The company provides nursing homes, schools, hospitals, gyms, office buildings, and more with, and I’m quoting, “scenting solutions” that are controlled by scent machines connected to mobile apps. The company’s website says, “With our sense of smell is so closely linked to memory, a pleasing aroma experience, or a bad one, can have lasting effects on a businesses bottom line.” I asked to Tuli to tell us a little bit more about the power of smell.

Tuli Kraus: Today I want to talk about how much of the sense of smell can positively affect your customer and user experience. When you walk into a store and it smells amazing, you will have a better time at the store. You might even buy more products. You will be more relaxed, happy. But imagine you walked into the local retail shop and it smelled really bad. You will walk right back out of there. You might’ve even tell your friends how bad your experience was.

Here’s a cool study that the Wheeling Jesuit University did. They had volunteers smell peppermint oil every two hours over the course of five days and when the study was over, they realized that these volunteers actually consumed 3,500 calories less, which was incredible.

There is a reason why these big hotel chains use great fragrances in the public areas, the common areas. I have friends that have come to me and said, “Tuli, have you ever been to this hotel in, for example, Colorado?” I said, “No,” and they tell me, “they have this amazing fragrance and it smells so good,” and I’m like, “Do you go there often?” They’re like, “I was there once a couple of years ago.” Just this just gives you an example how far deep in your brain the sense of smell can be stuck if it’s a good fragrance. Anyways, thanks for having me on the podcast. All the best guys.

Dan Gingiss: I don’t know about you Joey, but I found this to be absolutely fascinating, so I decided to research it a little bit more. According to Psychology Today, olfaction, which is also known as the sense of smell, is the most primal of our six senses. Throughout human evolution, the sense of smell has been key to our survival. A negative smell, such as a dead animal can trigger an instantaneous reflex to take flight, whereas a positive smell, such as burning wood or baking cookies, can trigger a sense of security. Smell directly ties to memories in a way that no other sense can. Humans are capable of distinguishing thousands of unique odors. So maybe The Rock was actually onto something when he yelled his signature question as a professional wrestler, “Do you smell what The Rock is cooking?”

Joey Coleman: Wow. I’m mostly stunned at this point because we are deep into four seasons of this podcast before we get our first professional wrestling reference in the show. Well done, Dan. Big fan of The Rock. I like it.

Well, if I may, let’s counter that with a literary reference that may play to another segment of our listeners. My wife Barrett is a voracious reader and early on in our relationship she introduced me to a fantastic book, In Remembrance of Things Past, and in this book, Marcel Proust illustrates how smell is linked to the earliest life experience and it’s stored in our memory and specific neural networks.

In this story, Proust describes very vividly how some forgotten childhood memories rocket back into the consciousness with the original intensity they had from the time, when a protagonist in the story that he’s writing about dips a Madeline Biscuit into a cup of tea.

First of all, honey, that one’s for you. Second of all, this concept is not new, thanks to The Rock. This is as, Dan noted out, primal in our existence as human beings, and I think a lot of businesses overlook the power of smell.

I have some good friends and clients, Steve and Katisha Weaver, who run a company in Ohio called Candle Lab, where you can actually go into their store, choose different scents, and then they mix them into candles or lotions. It’s actually a really unique and different experience because I don’t know about you, I’ve been gifted, shall I say, some of those scented candles that find their way being gifted right into a landfill somewhere as soon as I receive them.

Dan Gingiss: Or re-gifted.

Joey Coleman: Or re-gifted. But I actually try not to re-gift them because I’m like, why would anybody want this? But the thought of making my own was really fun.

And that’s where I think Tuli’s work as well as Steve and Katisha Weaver’s work is also a fantastic way to think about scent in your brand.

Dan Gingiss: For sure. And I just want to note for the record that while Proust was definitely onto something more than 100 years ago, The Rock clearly made smell cool again.

Joey Coleman: Oh, maybe that’s what it was.

Dan Gingiss: Tuli actually gave me a small vial of a scent that is absolutely recognizable as being from a major high end hotel chain. I can’t tell you which one because it’s one of his clients, but it was absolutely incredible because as soon as I smelled it, I could identify with that brand. And it turns out they’re not the only hotel chain that has their own smell. What I love about this is we often talk about how every interaction with the brand affects the overall customer experience, but rarely have we ever talked about an olfactory interaction.

I’ll tell you where I notice it the most. The first, and we have talked about this, is when I get into an Uber or Lyft and the car has a really heavy air freshener smell and I’ve got to immediately roll down the windows. That’s a negative connotation.

But on the positive side, I believe that every time I walk into a Starbucks I get that same pleasant smell that’s really comforting. It’s the smell of coffee, coffee beans, and usually some sort of baked goods combined. I believe that if I walked into a Starbucks blindfolded, I could probably tell you that I was in a Starbucks.

Joey Coleman: Well, and it’s interesting, so many smells are associated with specific industries. When we think about going into an open house in a real estate setting and looking at a home that you might buy, invariably they’re baking bread or chocolate chip cookies because they know those smells are really well received by the majority of people.

Or when you think about going into a hospital, often it smells like antiseptic cleaner and it has that more, yes, we’re glad it’s clean, but it feels a little on the chemically side and so automatically that’s creating emotions of fear, uncertainty, and angst in the patients that are coming to the hospital.

So I think the key takeaways here are that while smell may not be a part of every company’s customer experience, it should at least be something that you’re considering, especially if you are a business that has a physical presence. What are you doing to make sure that your brand not only looks good, but smells good?

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

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

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

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

Joey Coleman: Experience This.

Episode 73: How to Overcome Negative Reviews and Create Stronger Customer Relationships

Join us as we discuss: The future of customer engagement, why it pays to read the fine print, and how human-to-human interactions are the key to customer experience success.

Engaging, Squinting, and Interacting… Oh My!

[Dissecting the Experience] A Site that Tells You What Customers Want

When it comes to customer experience topics, there are hundreds of places to find content. Recently, we got the chance to check out the site of one of our new partners on the podcast this year, SAP Customer Experience . While the site is hosted by SAP, you’d never know it because it’s only very lightly branded and really focuses on quality content. The Future of Customer Engagement and Commerce offers dozens of thoughtful, intelligent, content-rich articles – all about CX. In addition, the site is designed as an experience – there are no popups, no sales pitches, they don’t sell the mailing list, and did we mention it’s FREE!

The site showcases articles and videos across six topics: commerce, customer experience, customer service, sales, marketing, and purpose (including things like diversity, gender equality, and thought leadership). The site is filled with a wide variety of articles – many of which are focused on identifying what customers really want.

What customers really want is a connected journey, based on trust. Trust is what people look for.

Joey Coleman, co-host of ExperienceThis! Show podcast

The Future of Customer Engagement and Commerce website is a great resource for customer experience professionals, and frankly anyone interested in CX (which to honest, is probably our whole listening audience)! Recently named “the best CX thought leadership portal in the industry” by Paul Greenberg on ZDnet, check out the new site from SAP today!

[Required Remarkable] Woman Wins $10K For Reading Fine Print

Do you read the fine print on your insurance policies? Don’t feel bad if the answer is no as most people don’t. But sometimes, reading the fine print can save you money – or even better, make you money. A story shared in People Magazine by Joelle Goldstein explains how a Georgia Woman Wins $10,000 for Reading the Fine Print on Her Insurance Policy Deep in the fine print of an insurance policy, a woman found a clause about a competition that included a prize of $10,000 for the first person to email and mention it. So she did. And she won $10,000!

I think there are opportunities for disclosures to be interactive. I’ve seen companies that have definitions attached to words that customers aren’t going to understand, or including pictures or video to explain some of the policies. A lot of people may not read, but they might consume a photo or a video.

Dan Gingiss, co-host of ExperienceThis! Show podcast

Making the fine print, the ‘legalize,’ easier to understand and more entertaining, can help customers actually read the policies, and people will even respond to them. You may not want to offer a $10,000 reward to get people to read your legal disclosures, but by taking time to review your disclosures and update them with language designed to create an experience, even the most boring areas of your terms and conditions can become engaging for your customers.

[Start the Conversation] Avtex: Dealing with Negative Reviews

Negative online reviews are a part of doing business. No matter how hard a business tries, at some point customers are likely to encounter some frustration during their relationship. It’s your reaction to these negative reviews that matters.

You can use negative reviews as an opportunity to do better – not just for the one individual that you first disappoint, but for any customer who may encounter the same pain point or frustration. 

Here are three tips to take into consideration when dealing with negative reviews:

  1. Track common issues raised in reviews through active listening or Voice of the Customer programs.
  2. Develop a proactive outreach to negative reviewers to help address their concerns and fix the issue at hand.
  3. Create a strategy for tracking and resolving these issues.

You should always respond to everyone who leaves you negative feedback. Fix what’s wrong and then try to make the problem right. This can actually turn a client from a negative reviewer into one of your biggest advocates.

Start the conversation with this question: What actions are we taking to address our negative online reviews? To continue the conversation, go to: experienceconversations.com.

[Book Report] How to Build Stronger Customer Relationships in The Relationship Economy

John DiJulius – noted customer service guru – has a great new book called The Relationship Economy: Building Stronger Customer Connections in the Digital Age. In the book, John states that in spite of (and because of) advances in technology, we’ve become a less connected society. We must get back to human-to-human interactions in order to build real relationships with our customers.

Today’s illiterate are those who have an inability to truly make a deep connection with others. Of all the skills that can be mastered, the one that will have the biggest impact on each of us personally and professionally, is the ability to build an instant rapport, an instant connection with others. Whether it be an acquaintance, friend, customer, co-worker, or a total stranger, this skill should be taught at home, in school, from pre-K to graduate school, and of course in business.

John DiJulius, author of The Relationship Economy

John DiJulius offers some specific guidelines that will help you become your customer’s most trusted advisor, including:

  1. Love what you do.
  2. Get to know your customer, not only professionally, but also personally.
  3. Be more committed to the success of your customer than they are.
  4. Don’t share how you can help them until you have completely understood their goals and their problems.
  5. Make sure your clients never meet anyone smarter than you at what you do.
  6. Be honest and transparent.
  7. Share bad news as quickly as you can.
  8. Be a resource broker by making the right connections and introductions.

If you want to learn how to build a business that nurtures human-to-human interactions and creates deep connections with customers in the process, make sure to read The Relationship Economy by John DiJulius.

Links We Referenced

Host Contact Information

Tweet Dan Gingiss: @DGingiss

Email Joey: JoeyC@JoeyColeman.com

DanGingiss.com

JoeyColeman.com

Subscribe to Experience This on Apple Podcasts

Episode Transcript

Download a transcript of the entire Episode 73 here or read it below:

Joey Coleman: Welcome to Experience This.

Dan Gingiss: Where you’ll find inspiring examples of customer experience. Great stories of customer service and tips on how to make your customers love you even more.

Joey Coleman: Always upbeat and definitely entertaining. Customer retention expert Joey Coleman.

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

Joey Coleman: Now hold onto your headphones. It’s time to experience this. Get ready for another episode of the Experience This! show.

Dan Gingiss: Join us as we discuss the future of customer engagement, why it pays to read the fine print and how human to human interactions are the key to customer experience success.

Joey Coleman: Engaging, squinting, and interacting, oh my.

[Dissecting the Experience] A Site that Tells You What Customers Want

Dan Gingiss: Sometimes a remarkable experience deserves deeper investigation. We dive into the nitty gritty of customer interactions and dissect how and why they happen. Join us while we’re dissecting the experience.

Dan Gingiss: So Joey, I happened upon a great web resource for customer experience professionals and frankly anyone even interested in customer experience, which I have to assume is our entire listening audience. Seeing as how they’re currently listening to our show. Joey, this is no ordinary site. This site was recently named the best CX thought leadership portal in the industry by Paul Greenberg on ZDNet.

Joey Coleman: I’m intrigued. Tell me more Dan.

Dan Gingiss: Well, the site features articles and videos across six topics. First is commerce, which includes e-commerce, B2B, and B2C. The second is customer experience, which includes user experience, CRM or customer relationship management, public sector, and employee engagement. The third is customer service. Fourth is sales. Fifth is marketing. The sixth is purpose, which includes diversity, gender equality, et cetera. What’s cool is that the site is designed as an experience. There are no popup ads or auto play videos.

Dan Gingiss: All the articles can be read in less than 10 minutes. When you subscribe, you only receive content updates, no sales pitches. In fact, not only don’t they sell the mailing list, they don’t even let their own company use it for anything else. So this is an exclusive club.

Joey Coleman: This actually sounds too good to be true. All right. What’s the website we’re talking about?

Dan Gingiss: Patience, my dear Joey. I have been loving the thought leadership on this site because it’s not all internal people. They incorporate many different contributors throughout the industry. They have created a robust array of content and ideas for leaders in pretty much any industry, whether you’re in commerce, marketing, sales, CX, service, tech. In fact the site has more than 300 page one Google returns. So you know it’s highly credible and as you and our listeners know, thought leadership builds trust and authority. So the more we learn, the more we’re able to articulate our own thoughts and opinions with others.

Joey Coleman: Oh, so the site you’re talking about is I’m guessing either Fortune or the Wall Street Journal?

Dan Gingiss: You are not correct on either.

Joey Coleman: What?

Dan Gingiss: It’s actually the site of one of our new partners on the podcast this year. SAP Customer Experience. Though you’d never know it because it’s only very lightly branded and it really focuses only on quality content, not on selling you anything. It’s called the future of customer engagement and commerce. The URL is www.the-future-of-commerce.com and if you didn’t write all of that down, we’ll include it in the show notes. But it is the-future-of-commerce.com with hyphens between each of the words. Those six topics I listed before. They actually do map back to SAP core customer experience product, which is called C/4 HANA.

Joey Coleman: So wait a second, I actually think I’ve already come across this site. I was doing some research recently and I found a bunch of great articles there. Jason Rose wrote a piece called What Customers Want. Jeannie Walters wrote one called How to Avoid CX Disasters and Emily Morrow wrote about Four Ways to Improve Customer Service.

Joey Coleman: These were all great articles and I agree with you, it doesn’t have a kind of a promoted site feel that some of the portal sites in the industry have. I mean, let’s be candid, that’s why we’re interested in partnering with SAP because if we’re going to recommend that folks go check out a site, we don’t want it just to be a giant sales pitch.

Dan Gingiss: Every time I think I know something that you don’t, so sure, of course you’ve heard of this site before. So quote me this then if you read that article, what do customers want?

Joey Coleman: Well, Dan, I’m glad you asked. See, I spend less time on Twitter and more time on websites. What customers really want is a connected journey that’s based on trust. Trust is by far the leading quality that humans look for and need in the relationships we maintain, whether it’s in our personal life or at work or with the brands we choose to purchase from, or at least that’s what one of the articles on the site said.

Joey Coleman: In fact, 81% of global consumers say that trusting a brand is a deciding factor in their purchase decisions and once a company has gained the trust, they’ve also gained your loyalty.

Dan Gingiss: It does make you wonder why so many companies still have archaic policies and nuisance fees when trust is all they really need. Not to mention all those companies losing our personal data. So here’s something I’ll bet you don’t know. That the topics on the site also get featured on Twitter in the form of a monthly CX tweet chat, which I actually got to participate in recently and was a ton of fun. That allows readers to engage with the content and express their own thoughts on the topics.

Joey Coleman: My friend as usual you are correct. I don’t know the Twitters, I leave all the twittering to you.

Dan Gingiss: Well, thank you, I appreciate that. So do yourselves a favor, loyal listeners and bookmarked www.the-future-of-commerce.com for tons of great content that will inspire you to take the next step in your customer experience journey. While you’re at it, if you are not like Joey and you actually are on Twitter, follow our friends at SAP Customer Experience on Twitter and they are @sap_cx. I follow them. They have great content. A lot of it from this site that they share on Twitter. So it’s a really good follow. Thanks so much. The SAP Customer Experience team for being great partners with the Experience This show

[Required Remarkable] Woman Wins $10K For Reading Fine Print

Joey Coleman: Just because you have required elements of your business doesn’t mean they need to be boring. It’s time to get creative, have some fun, and make people sit up and take notice. Get your customers talking when you make the required remarkable.

Dan Gingiss: So although this is a required remarkable segment, it’s actually based off of a great article in of all places. I’m sure a place that you read quite often, Joey People Magazine.

Joey Coleman: Only when I’m getting my haircut, Dan. Which is most people know is rarely.

Dan Gingiss: So there was an article earlier this year by Joelle Goldstein on People.com that is called, Georgia Woman Wins $10,000 for Reading the Fine Print on Her Insurance Policy. The subhead is, after years of constantly reading the fine print of documents Donelan Andrews’s meticulous work finally paid off.

Dan Gingiss: Now you can probably imagine the details of this story and we’re not going to go through the article, but I pick this out because we love to talk about fine print and legalese on this show. How it can actually detract from the experience if you’re not paying attention to it. So this insurance company did something really cool and basically buried a prize within the fine print, literally knowing that nobody was going to read it until this fine woman found it and actually won the prize.

Dan Gingiss: I absolutely love it. As I said, we’ve talked about fine print before on the show, even way back in season one, episode 11 when we talked about iflix which is the Asian competitor to Netflix. They have an email disclosure at the bottom that instead of saying the typical, “If you’re the unintended recipient of this email you must delete it immediately or we take your children.”

Dan Gingiss: They start with a headline that says covering our butts. What’s awesome about it is it actually gets you to read the disclosure because it’s interesting and the rest of it is just as humorous. That of course fills the lawyers dreams of people actually reading it. So that’s what happened in this story. I also remember a test that I did when I was at Discover where we had an ad and as with most credit card ads, there were a lot of asterisks throughout their fine print, right?

Joey Coleman: What? You’re kidding. No, not at all.

Dan Gingiss: What we did was we tested. I believed as a psychology major and also I’m a marketer. So I believed that an asterisk had a negative connotation that it basically told you there’s fine print and there’s something to look out for. So I did a test where the only thing I changed on the ad was I changed the asterisks to footnote numbers. Because I believed that a footnote number suggests there’s additional interesting information. Like when you see a footnote in a book or a scholarly article.

Joey Coleman: Folks, he’s not just pretty, he’s smart.

Dan Gingiss: Believe it or not, we saw a double digit increase in response rate by only changing the asterisks to the numbers. So this is really interesting topic and it’s why I picked out this article because I love that this woman won that money and that the insurance company paid it.

Joey Coleman: I think it’s great. I think it’s great that the lawyers who wrote that fine print had fun with it. Now whether it was them or the marketers involved in the company, who knows. But to be honest, I went to GW Law School in Washington, DC. I had a great legal research and writing professor. During your first year of law school, everybody is required to take a class called legal research and writing.

Joey Coleman: The point of the writing portion of that class was to try to get people to not write in legalese. That was the mission at least of my professor for that class. I remember very well his name is Ken Kryvoruka and Ken was great because he was always encouraging us to eliminate the legal words and write in common language.

Dan Gingiss: You mean like plain English?

Joey Coleman: Yes, plain English. Exactly. To make it much more legible, much more readable, much more understandable. That’s definitely something that I know there is a pocket of lawyers that are committed to. I know lots of times on the show and in my presentations I make fun of lawyers and I usually excuse that because I am one, but I know that there are lawyers that pay attention to this.

Joey Coleman: There is a legitimate concern that the lawyers have though. Because disclosures have really turned into the CYA tool for any potential issue that you might come across. So the best lawyers I find are the ones who are working with the marketing team to translate the legalese into something more entertaining.

Joey Coleman: Now, quick story. On my website, there is a privacy policy. Now I don’t collect any data, so there doesn’t really need to be a privacy policy. But I put one on there just for giggles and it’s written to have the legal CYA elements that I need. But it’s written to be entertaining when you read it.

Joey Coleman: Here’s the funny thing, about once a quarter, someone will email me and say, “Oh my gosh, I’m rolling on the ground laughing. I just read your privacy policy. Thank you so much for having fun with this.” So we try to practice what we preach. There is not, in my opinion, a business on the planet today that wouldn’t benefit from looking at their rules, their policies, their descriptions. And trying to inject a little fun, a little humor, a little levity, something to make it more exciting.

Joey Coleman: Now, I’m not saying you have to put in that there’s a $10,000 prize, but what I am saying is you can connect with your customers in an entirely different way because some of them are reading the fine print

Dan Gingiss: Just in case people don’t know what Joey’s legal acronym of CYA means, it’s kind of the equivalent of iflix covering our butts, but use your imagination for what the A stands for.

Joey Coleman: We keep this clean for the kids so you can listen to the podcast while you’re driving them to school folks.

Dan Gingiss: Exactly. We don’t want that explicit tag added on.

Joey Coleman: Exactly. No explicit for the Experience This show.

Dan Gingiss: So I think there’s also opportunities for disclosures and other terms and conditions to be interactive. I’ve seen companies that have definitions attached to words that customers aren’t going to understand or that include pictures or even video in explaining some of the policies. Because a lot of people aren’t going to read, but they might consume a photo or a video.

Dan Gingiss: Remember that the goal of disclosures and legalese is to explain the finer details to a customer. I often get asked because I’ve worked in regulated industries both in financial services and in healthcare, which can be really difficult. How do you deal with that as a marketer? Where I start from is that regulators often have a good customer experience sense in mind when they create the regulations. The problem then is that they tell us how to execute on them and that is generally going to be in a way that isn’t that customer friendly.

Dan Gingiss: But if we start from the fact that the regulators, the lawyers, and the marketers all want customers to understand what they’re getting themselves into; that we all should have the same goal of making sure that the disclosures are easy to understand so that people do get what they’re going into. So I do think working together with those groups is probably the best way to make your language more understandable.

Dan Gingiss: So I want to send my personal congratulations to Donelan Andrews’ for her meticulous work as the headline said, in reading the terms and conditions and for winning the $10,000. But the takeaway obviously is that it shouldn’t take $10,000 to get people to read your legal disclosures. Take the time, read them yourself. If you find yourself falling asleep, drooling on the table, then that means your customers are doing the same thing, and use language to create an experience.

[Start the Conversation] Avtex: Dealing with Negative Reviews

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

Dan Gingiss: This weeks’ Start the Conversation topic is dealing with negative reviews. Negative online reviews. Unfortunately, they’re a part of doing business. Try as hard as you might. Customers are likely to encounter some frustration during a lengthy relationship with the brand and they’re not afraid to share it out in public.

Dan Gingiss: So it’s how you react to these negative reviews that really matters. Use negative reviews as an opportunity to do better, not just for that one customer that you disappointed, but for any other customer that might encounter the same pain point or frustration down the road.

Joey Coleman: In order to put this into practice, here are three things to consider when dealing with your negative reviews. Number one, track the common issues that are raised in your reviews through active listening or voice of the customer programs. Number two, develop proactive outreach to negative reviewers in order to help address their concerns and fix the issue at hand.

Joey Coleman: Number three, create a strategy for tracking and resolving these issues. Don’t make it a system of one offs and you need to meticulously record and track these to make sure that every negative review is being effectively and efficiently addressed.

Dan Gingiss: Look, I’ve been talking about this for years. You need to respond to everyone who leaves you feedback. The one exception there would be trolls and we’re not talking about trolls here. We’re talking about people that have legitimate negative feedback and are leaving online negative reviews. Use it as a learning opportunity to fix what’s wrong, but also respond to them and try to resolve the individual’s problem.

Dan Gingiss: You will be shocked how many times I’ve seen in my career where somebody that starts off as a detractor get their problem resolved and then becomes a company advocate. You actually turn them around to be somebody that wants to promote your brand because how you reacted when times were tough.

Dan Gingiss: So it’s a huge opportunity to take advantage of. I recommend that every company not be afraid of complaints because as I like to say, the people who complain are the ones who care, the ones who don’t care have already left for your competitor.

Joey Coleman: Now for this week’s question about dealing with negative reviews, what actions are we taking to address our negative online reviews? We encourage you to start the conversation within your own organization and then continue it with Avtex@experienceconversations.com that’s experienceconversations.com.

[Book Report] How to Build Stronger Customer Relationships in The Relationship Economy

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

Dan Gingiss: So I’m super excited about this week’s book report, because it is by a great friend of the show and long time customer service guru. John DiJulius and he has a brand new book out called The Relationship Economy: Building Stronger Customer Connections in the digital Age.

Dan Gingiss: In the book he argues that in spite of and because of the advances in technology, we’ve all become a little bit less connected with each other. That we have to get back to H to H or human to human interactions in order to build real relationships with customers and brands. We’re going to have John tell us a little bit about his new book, The Relationship Economy.

John DiJulius: Today we are living in the digital disruption era. Technology has provided us with unprecedented advances, information, knowledge, instant access, and entertainment. As convenient as these advances have made our lives, it also changed the way we communicate, behave, and think, which has led to a dramatic decline in our people skills.

John DiJulius: As a society, we are now relationship disadvantaged. The pendulum has swung so far over to high-tech low touch and those who understand that human touch is the most important part of any experience, especially a great customer experience will flourish. Personally and professionally success is about creating and building human connections.

John DiJulius: Technological advancements are critical to every business staying relevant. However, technology by itself is not a differentiator. The more you place technology between the company and the customer, the more you remove the human experience. For anyone in any business to thrive in the future, they will have to master the art of relationship building. Organizations now need to reinvent their business model to marry digital and human experience in the best way possible.

John DiJulius: In a relationship economy, the primary currency is the connections and trust among customers, employees, and vendors that create significantly more value in what we sell. These relationships and connections help make price irrelevance. The relationship economy is about building a culture that recognizes the importance of each individual and making everyone part of a community that is working towards something bigger, a community that makes them feel cared for.

John DiJulius: The relationship economy is how strongly you feel about the people and businesses in your life. Relationships are the biggest differentiator in customer and brand loyalty. Relationships are at the center of all we do. Welcome to the relationship economy.

Joey Coleman: I love this book and I love John’s perspective on this. I think it’s really interesting that we live in an era where humans are more connected than at any other time in human history. You can be friends with someone thanks to the internet who lives on the other side of the world, who you’ve never met and you never will meet.

Joey Coleman: And yet if we talk to mental health professionals around the world, humans are experiencing more loneliness, more depression, more feelings of disconnection and disease than in any other time in human history. So this idea of focusing on relationships and the power of building relationships, again, both in our professional and our personal lives is so timely and so vital and so important.

Joey Coleman: At the end of the day, customer experience really is about relationship. If we boil it down to its core essence, customers crave a relationship with the businesses they interact with. In fact, I would posit that as more true today than at any other time in human history.

Joey Coleman: We have so many customers that want to do business with people who are friends. They want to do business with brands that stand for the same things that they do. In many ways, it’s kind of a reversion back to when we were more of an agrarian society where you went to the general store and they knew you by name and you knew them by name and everybody was in it together working alongside each other.

Joey Coleman: While businesses have grown, while technology has created distance between folks, that yearning for more relationship and more connection is truer today I think and is only increasing in the future.

Dan Gingiss: Yeah, I couldn’t agree more and I would argue actually that although the technology has caused people to feel further apart, I actually think social media is one of the things that has caused this trend. The reason is is that social gave consumers a voice for the first time, but it also gave them an opportunity to interact with brands that they never had the chance to do before. Right?

Dan Gingiss: In the past, if you wanted to interact with a brand, you wrote them a letter or you called their 800 number. But that was really if you had a customer service problem and now all of a sudden we can talk to brands as friends. We can talk to them as really other humans and we get messages back that are often signed by Sally or Steve or whatever.

Dan Gingiss: So there’s a human on the other end. That has built a different kind of relationship between consumer and brand than ever existed before. I think what consumers are saying is, “We like that and we want more of it.”

Joey Coleman: Well, and I think reiterate your point Dan, that idea of we need to respond to our customers on social. The days of somebody putting an opinion or a critique in the suggestion box and that was the end of it are gone. The customers want that back and forth. Give and take interaction.

Dan Gingiss: Absolutely. So we on this show, love to ask authors what their favorite passage of their own book is. So here is John DiJulius reading his favorite passage from The Relationship Economy.

John DiJulius: Today’s illiterate are those who have an inability to truly make a deep connection with others. Of all the skills that can be mastered, the one that will have the biggest impact on each of us personally and professionally is the ability to build an instant rapport, an instant connection with others. Whether it be an acquaintance, friend, customer, coworker, or total stranger.

John DiJulius: This skill should be taught at home, in school from pre-K to graduate school, and of course in business. Unfortunately, it is rarely taught in any formal way. Make no mistake about it. The lack of social skills our society has today is the problem of business leaders to solve, and there’s three ways we have to do this.

John DiJulius: Number one, use technology to perform basic tasks, alternative convenience for customers, enabling employees to focus on what is most important. Building relationships that result in higher customer loyalty, retention, lifetime value, and job satisfaction. Number two, build a culture that creates emotional connections with your employees. Finally, number three, incorporate relationship building training for new and existing employees.

Joey Coleman: I love it. I love the way John compares this inability to make deep connection to illiteracy. It’s that important. This is such a crucial and vital piece of the customer experience and the relationship we’re trying to build with our customers.

Joey Coleman: I read this book cover to cover, there are so many fantastic passages, but my favorite quote or passage from the book is as follows. Being a trusted advisor means demonstrating that no one cares about your customer’s business like you do. You earn business by being generous with your knowledge and resources without asking for anything in return.

Joey Coleman: John then goes on to give some specific guidance on how to become a most trusted advisor. Trusted advisors is a phrase that is bandied about in board rooms and halls of business around the world all day, every day. But how do you actually do it? How do you get to that position of being a trusted advisor?

Joey Coleman: Well, there are eight key steps. Number one, love what you do. Number two, get to know your customer not only professionally but also personally. Number three, be more committed to the success of your customer than they are. Number four, don’t share how you can help them until you have completely understood what their goals and problems actually are.

Joey Coleman: Number five, make sure your clients never meet anyone smarter than you at what you do. Number six, be honest and transparent, which segues to number seven, share bad news as soon as you can. And number eight, be a resource broker by making the right connections and introductions at the right time that will benefit your customers.

Dan Gingiss: I love how John talks about being a trusted advisor because in full disclosure, Joey, John has been a trusted advisor for me for many years. He’s been a mentor and a teacher and a guy that I can bounce ideas off of, which I really appreciate. So he is one of these guys that doesn’t just write about it. He practices what he preaches.

Dan Gingiss: So I to really love the book and my favorite quote actually is sort of a quote of a quote because it comes within the book from founder and CEO Sheldon Wolitski of the Select Group, which is one of the leading IT recruiting and staffing companies.

Dan Gingiss: Here’s what Sheldon said, “I went out and hired a CXO chief experience officer and his whole role is to make sure that customers are having an amazing experience. It’s been an absolute game changer. We are just obsessed over this and it’s interesting. It’s actually given all of our employees a little bit more of a purpose in life as well and a purpose in their job. Before we were focused on revenue and placing people, but now we are focusing on impacting lives and that’s what we’ve really done. It’s really kind of the why behind why we do what we do. So it’s been a huge transformation.”

Dan Gingiss: I love that because most companies don’t yet have a chief experience officer, but it is becoming a title that is starting to be introduced and I think it’s a great case study to see that it can make a huge impact when the buck stops with someone on customer experience. Somebody who is able to take that 30,000 foot view and see the entirety of the customer journey with your company.

Joey Coleman: Folks, this is a great book. This is a great book for you. This is a great book for your team. This is a great book for anyone in your life that understands the importance of relationships or wants to reinvest and double down into the relationships they have. So go buy the book. Don’t rent the book, don’t check the book out of library.

Joey Coleman: Okay. You can check the book at our library if you really want to, but I’d encourage you to buy the book because this is the kind of book that you’re going to want to come back to again and again. The book is The Relationship Economy: Building Stronger Customer Connections in the Digital Age by John DiJulius. A great speaker, a great author, a great customer experience professional. Go get The Relationship Economy today. Wow, thanks for joining us for another episode of Experience This.

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

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

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

Joey Coleman: Experience.

Dan Gingiss: This.

Episode 71: How a Baseball Team with a Unique Culture Transformed the Fan Experience

Join us as we discuss an entertainment spectacle with some baseball in the middle, building a culture of experience, and how to be successful by standing out.

Bananas, Baseball, and Yellow Tuxedos — Oh My!

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Episode 70 – How Small Details Add Up to Create Positive Customer Experiences

Join us as we discuss: the key takeaways from a designer of colored bricks, how behind the scenes activity can support your customer-facing activity, and how the art inside the front door can set the tone for a stay.

LEGO, Leverage, and Lobbies. Oh my!

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Episode 68 – The Rewards of Taking Risks to Promote Inclusivity

Join us as we discuss: the role of gender in artificial intelligence, explaining a printed piece of paper using a video, and taking an online store into the mall.

Choosing, Perusing, and Browsing. Oh my!

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Episode 67 – Creating Unique Experiences Through Exclusivity and Humor

Join us as we discuss: how humor can play a role in the customer experience, an unlikely alliance of fierce competitors, and a marketplace that helps bars set prices based on supply and demand.  

Smiles, Sodas, and Sips. Oh my!

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Episode 66 – Going One Step Beyond to Engage Customers in Unexpected Ways

Join us as we discuss: embracing conspiracies to liven up your experience, making everything you touch part of the experience, and paying attention to your customers’ celebrations so you can join them in the festivities.

Gargoyles, Rings, and Birthdays. Oh my!

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