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


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

Mysteries, Queries, and Quandaries – Oh My!

[Book Report] The Secret Diary of a Mystery Shopper

Things We Mentioned in This Segment:

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

[Dissecting the Experience] The Evolving Role of Text Messaging

Things We Mentioned in This Segment:

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

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

Things We Mentioned in This Segment:

• Avtex
• Experience Points

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

Things We Mentioned in This Segment:

Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)

Host Contact Information

Email Dan: Dan@dangingiss.com

Tweet Dan Gingiss: @DGingiss

Email Joey: JoeyC@JoeyColeman.com

DanGingiss.com

JoeyColeman.com

Subscribe to Experience This on Apple Podcasts

Episode Transcript

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Joey Coleman (36:39):
Ooo that sounds fancy!

Dan Gingiss (36:42):
I use that because I know that we have a recovering attorney on the program.

Joey Coleman (36:45):
Yep – the first step is admitting you have a problem…

Dan Gingiss (36:47):
Evidential. Yeah. So I had to submit like my LLC formation documents and uh, I had to give him some bank information, whatever. And I also had to tell him, by the way, this is the important part, where did I want them to send the money? Right. And so I go through that familiar process, I know all our listeners have done it. You’ve done it before where you set up a new bank account and they, they put like 31, send me a penny. And then yeah. And you have to confirm both. You have to confirm it. Right. So everything went through flawlessly and it all seemed set.

Joey Coleman (37:17):
I’m sensing a punchline, but…

Dan Gingiss (37:20):
Nope, that’s the end of the story. See you next time on Experience This! Now the next time I logged in to check my status, the bank account that I had just set up was missing. Oh, of course. And there was a message asking me to add one. So this was curious since I had obviously already done it. And so I tried to add it again, but I got an error message. So I emailed the bank and I was assured that my account was registered.

Dan Gingiss (37:48):
Everything was fine. And even though the website didn’t show my bank account information, don’t worry. It was there.

Joey Coleman (37:55):
The age old theory of don’t trust what you’re seeing, trust what I’m saying. Oh great! Surprise, surprise!

Dan Gingiss (38:01):
I was a little skeptical, but okay. So a couple of weeks later I was told that I was approved for a PPP loan, but I never saw any deposit come through. So I checked the website again and I get this message. The small business association requires that paycheck protection program loans be dispersed within 20 days of approval. Since we did not receive signed loan documentation from you during this time, we had to spend your loan for the dime being, Oh my goodness. You gotta be kidding me. So yeah. So sitting here waiting for the deposit and then they basically tell me you didn’t get the deposit because you didn’t give us a bank account is essentially what happened. So I emailed them again. And this time I got no answer for over a week. So I decided to call and people, we don’t want to call it’s a last resort. Yeah, exactly younger. Okay. But I called and I got this recorded message. Of course.

Joey Coleman (38:55):
Surprise! Your call is very important to us. We are very overwhelmed right now..

Dan Gingiss (39:03):
Volume, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. But what, the thing that annoyed me was is it the message kept telling me that everything I needed to know what’s on the website.

Joey Coleman (39:12):
Of course! Go to the website, go to the website! You’d already been to the website. Of course, of course.

Dan Gingiss (39:19):
So this just made me madder and madder as I’m listening to this thing. And it kept telling me to go to the very website that was not providing any information on why my loan loan had suddenly gone from approved to pending.

Joey Coleman (39:33):
You know, Dan, I think sometimes businesses just, they don’t remember that they’re dealing with customers that aren’t from 50 years ago. Right? I think the average customer today knows well, before you call, check the website, now that doesn’t always happen, but I know you always go to the website. First, most customers are trying to self serve and the best businesses should let them self serve. Let them go to the website and see, and guess what if they call you, it probably means that they couldn’t find the answer easily on your website or it’s not on your website.

Dan Gingiss (40:08):
I mean, if you’re going to tell people to go to the website, make sure the dang website works is all we’re asking for here. So finally, this is the best part. So I’m sitting there on hold like an idiot for five or 10 minutes, whatever it was. And all of a sudden the recorded message says your time in queue has expired. Please call back another time and hung up on me.

Joey Coleman (40:28):
So let me get this right… The hold service decided that it was tired of having you wait, so it kicked you out and have you call back another time.

Dan Gingiss (40:38):
It wasn’t after an hour, it was after five or 10 minutes and I was waiting on hold. So now I can’t get my question answered on the website. I can’t get my question answered on the phone and I’m literally handcuffed. I don’t have any idea what to do.

Joey Coleman (40:51):
You know – and I’m thinking somewhere, someone is being incentivized for hold times. Like someone on the bank is being incentivized for whole time. So they’re like, I’ve got an idea. Let’s kick people out after five minutes because then our longest whole time will be five minutes. Right? Write a brilliant sign, align the incentives here and make sure people do it not to mention. It’s like how absolutely infuriating. It’s like, you know, the person picking up and saying, Oh, let me transfer you. And you’re like, no, no, no. Don’t transfer me, click. And then you’re like, great. Now I’m completely lost and we’ll never speak to a human again.

Dan Gingiss (41:31):
Exactly. So listen, folks, when customers call you, don’t tell them to go to the website. What customers tweet you, don’t tell them to call you rest assured that your customers know the service channels that are available and they’re going to choose the channel they want, which isn’t always going to be the channel that you want. It’s the responsibility of the business to meet its customers where they are. My experience was so frustrating precisely because I tried to self-serve on the website. And then when I needed help, I was told to go to the website. Ugh!

[SHOW OUTRO]
Joey Coleman (42:10):
Wow! Thanks for joining us for another episode of Experience This!

Dan Gingiss (42:15):
We know there are tons of podcasts to listen, to magazines and books to read, reality TV to watch. We don’t take for granted that you’ve decided to spend some quality time listening to the two of us.

Joey Coleman (42:24):
We hope you enjoyed our discussions. And if you do, we’d love to hear about it. Come on over to ExperienceThisShow.com and let us know what segments you enjoyed, what new segments you’d like to hear. This show is all about experience. And we want you to be part of the Experience This Show!

Dan Gingiss (42:43):
Thanks again for your time and we’ll see you next week for more…

Joey Coleman (42:46):
Experience.

Dan Gingiss (42:46):
This!

Episode 110 – Creating Moving Experiences for People Who Are Moving

Join us as we discuss how to conclude a business relationship in a remarkable way, making it easy for your customers to comply with your contracts, and archaic interactions that hamper your success.

Canceling, Filing, and Updating – Oh My!

[Dissecting the Experience] The Xcellent Xfinity Xperience

Things We Mentioned in This Segment:

• Fort Dodge, Iowa
• Comcast – Xfinity
• Charlie Herrin
• Episode 43, Season Two – Saying Goodbye to Customers & Black Belt Movers
• Multi-Factor Authentication
• UPS Store
• Chewy

[Make the Required Remarkable] Thoughtful Design Makes Contract Compliance Easy

Things We Mentioned in This Segment:

Refueling Reminder – Near Gas Gauge
Refueling Reminder – Near Gas Tank

• U-Haul
Joe Maddon – Manager, Chicago Cubs

[Partnership with Avtex] Introducing the Experience Points Game Show!

Things We Mentioned in This Segment:

• Avtex
• Experience Points

[This Just Happened] Don’t Get Caught in Old Ways to Update a New Address

Things We Mentioned in This Segment:

• Magazine Subscriptions
• USPS Address Update

Host Contact Information

Email Dan: Dan@dangingiss.com

Tweet Dan Gingiss: @DGingiss

Email Joey: JoeyC@JoeyColeman.com

DanGingiss.com

JoeyColeman.com

Subscribe to Experience This on Apple Podcasts

Episode Transcript

Download an unedited transcript of Episode 110 here or read it below:

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

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

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

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

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

[EPISODE 110 INTRO]
Joey Coleman (00:39):
Get ready for another episode of the Experience This Show!

Dan Gingiss (00:44):
Join us as we discuss how to conclude a business relationship in a remarkable way, making it easy for your customers to comply with your contracts, and archaic interactions that hamper your success.

Joey Coleman (00:59):
Canceling, Filing, and Updating… Oh, My!

[SEGMENT INTRO – DISSECTING THE EXPERIENCE]
Joey Coleman (01:06):
Sometimes a remarkable experience deserves deeper investigation. We dive into the nitty gritty of customer interactions and dissect how, and why, they happen. Join us while we’re Dissecting the Experience.

[DISSECTING THE EXPERIENCE][The Xcellent Xfinity Xperience]
Joey Coleman (01:23):
Dan, in the immortal words of Brittany Spears, “Oops, I did it again.”

Dan Gingiss (01:30):
I am not even sure where to go with this one, Joey.

Joey Coleman (01:33):
Well, let me help you out, brother. I would like to officially announce to our loyal listeners that I am no longer coming to you from the comfort of my home in Boulder, Colorado. I have officially moved to Fort Dodge, Iowa – the small town in northwestern Iowa, where I grew up, which means I am much, much closer to where you live. Dan Gingiss!

Dan Gingiss (01:54):
That’s right. We’re going to be in the same time zone finally for the first time ever, which which makes for easier podcast recording. For sure! I was just wondering, as you were saying that, how many other people in the world have moved from Colorado to Iowa you think?

Joey Coleman (02:11):
You know, it would be fair to say that the majority of people usually are moving from Iowa to Colorado, but in this crazy pandemic time, as people look for ways to reconnect with family and loved ones, I think a lot of people that are finding themselves, or at least I’ve talked to a lot of friends and colleagues who are moving to be closer to family and are kind of reevaluating their schedules and their times and their commitments. And so we thought about it and we thought this would be a great way for our kids to get some more time with grandma and grandpa and with the aunts and uncles and all the cousins that live around here. So we are back in the Heartland. Iowa. ‘Murica! Love it. So good. And I know we’ve talked about the experience of moving in a previous episode.

Dan Gingiss (02:54):
Yeah. That would be Episode 43 back in Season Two, that would be October, 2018.

Joey Coleman (02:58):
Fabulous Dan. Absolutely fabulous. He is the master of our episode history, ladies and gentlemen! But as I was saying at the time we’re recording this, I am surrounded by cardboard boxes, bubble wrap, and moving blankets as we slowly – – make that very slowly but surely unpack in our new location. Now, during the course of our move, Dan, I had a number of interesting interactions as I am wanting to do as I go through life. And I thought that in each segment of this episode, we could speak about a different aspect of the moving process with the goal being, not that you improve your moving business – because most of our listeners are not in the moving business.

Dan Gingiss (03:37):
Except you Steve – thank you for listening!

Joey Coleman (03:41):
We’re so glad to have you hear. But instead to hopefully give people some ideas of things that I experienced in moving that happened in your business, that could be improved. Now, the first one I wanted to talk about is how you offboard a customer. Now I spent a lot of time talking about the importance of onboarding in my book and in my keynotes and in virtual speeches, but how you off-board a customer is also crucial. It’s the last thing, the final thing that they’re going to remember about their experience with you, which is why I want to share a little bit about my experience with Comcast.

Dan Gingiss (04:20):
And next week, ladies and gentlemen, after he’s done onboarding and offboarding, he’s going to talk about waterboarding. No, never!

Joey Coleman (04:29):
Well, let’s be candid and Dan full disclosure, Dan and I have spent some time with the fine folks at Comcast Comcast reputation for their experience. Let’s say five years ago, certainly 10 years ago. Is that very different world than the experience of dealing with Comcast today?

Dan Gingiss (04:47):
I actually, I actually heard, I don’t know if this is true, but I actually heard that that was one of the reasons for the name change to Xfinity – it was literally to walk away from the brand name because of the reputation it had developed. But as you and I both know that reputation has changed quite a bit over the last few years, it’s changed

Joey Coleman (05:04):
Dramatically. And part of the reason for that is the incredible work that the team at Comcast has done under the leadership of Charlie Heren and really looking at what has been a multi more than a billion dollars invested into customer experience enhancements. And I had the pleasure of even though cable companies are historically known for their lack of customer experience. I had the opportunity to have a remarkable experience, allow me to explain. So we’re getting ready to move and I need to cancel my home cable and internet service, which is provided by the folks at Xfinity Comcast. So I go online to see if I can do this and I’m chatting and pretty quickly they say for a cancellation, we want to talk to you, enter your phone number and we’ll give you a call. So I do, they call me immediately, which is awesome because I’m like, Ooh, LivePerson, non chat, we’re going to get this sorted out. And their goal, obviously when they first called me was to identify my account. And while they’re trying to pull that up based on my name and my address, the representative that I’m speaking to is making small talk about Colorado, right? I’m in Colorado. I have to give him my address. It identifies as being in Colorado. He’s asking if the wildfires are close to our house and showing a lot of empathy and connection interests, kind of easy rapport banter while they’re looking at my account, which I really appreciate. And it’s kind of easing into the conversation in a nice way. They then asked for the account number. Now I have to admit when they did this, Dan there, I actually said is I often do in these scenarios, if you were to offer me a million dollars to tell you my account number, you would get to keep your million dollars because most companies assign this account numbers that we don’t remember. How are we supposed to remember? It’s an arbitrary number to your customer. Sure. It might have some meaning to you, but it has zero meaning to me. And usually the only way that you have an account number easily at your fingertips is if you are holding an invoice or you have an invoice called up on your screen, which I didn’t. But this is where it got interesting. He actually said is the phone number on the account, a cell phone? And I said, yes, it is. He said, can you confirm the number? And I gave him my cell phone number. He said, I would like to send you a text message to confirm your identity. If you have your cell phone, I was blown away because I was like, Oh, this is super easy. You’re going to know it’s me because you’re going to send the text and I’m going to text back and we’re going to be good to go. And don’t, you know, it that’s what happened.

Dan Gingiss (07:44):
I like it. I like it. I mean, that’s a pretty simple and they’ve now identified you. So what happened next?

Joey Coleman (07:50):
Well, and what I also liked about this, and I don’t know about you, have you ever experienced that? I’ve never experienced proving my identity via text message on a cell phone. Like this was a new technology solution for me. So we’re two minutes into this call and I’m feeling pretty darn good about my relationship with the folks that I’m canceling my relationship with. Wait, hold on. I’m pretty good about it.

Dan Gingiss (08:11):
I got to interrupt here. So you’ve never done two factor authentication?

Joey Coleman (08:15):
I’ve done two factor authentication, but I’ve never done two factor authentication with a person on the phone saying, I’m going to send you this text message I get, I guess maybe I have, but I just, I never, I never thought of it this way. I’ve done it more for like logging in to get a password where they say, Oh, we’re going to send you this thing. And you have to read the number back to us. It’s always been an automated experience I’ve never had

Dan Gingiss (08:40):
Because it’s kind of the cross-channel thing. You’re on live run. And they’re confirming you by text. Exactly, exactly.

Joey Coleman (08:46):
Not such a Luddite that I am not familiar with the concept of two factor authentication, but you are correct. This is the first time I’ve ever had a human lead into that. So that kind of caught me off guard. The representative then confirms the subscriptions that I have is like, you have cable and you have internet and you have a router and you have a cable box and kind of confirmed all my equipment and then asked which almost every customer service person who has been trained to process a cancellation requests ask, why are you canceling? And I explained that I was moving from Colorado to Iowa. I think he might’ve made a remark similar to the one you did. Oh, you’re the first person I’ve ever talked to him in the history of the world. That’s moved from Colorado to Iowa. And he actually went so far as to say, and I see we don’t actually have any service in the place in Iowa.

Joey Coleman (09:35):
You’re moving to, cause I said the name of the town I was moving to and I thought, wow, this guy is doing like on the fly research. And I knew that Comcast was not a provider in the local community I’ve live in now. Uh, but the fact that he did that I thought was really interesting. Any, he basically apologized for it and I don’t want to say gave an excuse, but he was kinda like, you know, it’s just not a marketplace that we’ve really expanded into yet. And I’m sorry, we’re not going to be able to serve you anymore. So suddenly I’m canceling my service and I almost am starting to feel a little guilty about the fact that I’m canceling my service because I’m really enjoying the relationship that we’re having in the conversation we’re having. He then offered some options for the final payment.

Joey Coleman (10:19):
And this is where once again, the representative saw things from my perspective, I had previously been set up on autopay and he said, look, we can keep you on auto pay and that’s fine. But we find that sometimes when customers do that, they forget to cancel the autopay and there might be a payment that gets made that shouldn’t get made. And even though we’re going to cancel it, here’s what I’d like to recommend you do. Let’s take you off of auto-pay and send you your final bill as a prorated paper bill to your new, uh, address. And then you can log on and pay it online or just go through our portal and do that. But that way we don’t have any type of unnecessary charges on your account.

Dan Gingiss (11:03):
I like that he is thinking ahead and I think really helping you through the process, kind of making sure that nothing slips through the cracks. Now, granted, they want to make sure you pay them too, because you’re moving out of state. They don’t know where you’re going anymore. They may not be able to chase you down. But I think it’s a great example of understanding that moving is stressful. And that, that, you know, one thing you may forget to do is pay your last bill. And so he’s making it easier for you.

Joey Coleman (11:28):
Yeah, I loved it and it, and it felt like it was really looking out for me. And speaking of looking out for me now, we get to the part of canceling your cable and internet subscription that drives most people crazy. You have to get the gear back to them, right? You have to either mail it back. And now you’re trying to make a trip to the post office or you’re waiting for them to sell it, send you, you know, a box with the postage on it, or you’ve got to take it to some location. He says to me, here’s the thing. There are a number of X affinity stores in your town that you could take this to, or by the way, you could take it to any ups store and just drop it off and they’ll box it and package it up and mail it back to us.

Joey Coleman (12:11):
Oh, and by the way, you can do this anytime in the next 30 days. So if it’s easier for you with your move to box this stuff up, take it to Iowa and then take it to the ups store. That’s totally cool with us. Not a problem. Now we’ve talked about in previous episodes, this idea of, you know, kind of the benefit of being able to take things into the ups store and have a mailed back. And the fact, I forget what the, you might remember Dan, the phrase, you know, the it’s not frustration free packaging, that’s the other one, but the like, you don’t need to provide the packaging service, but I didn’t know that Comcast Xfinity had this relationship with ups and it felt really customer centric.

Dan Gingiss (12:51):
Yeah. And I like this because it actually reminds me of another company that we’ve talked about a couple of times on the show, which is chewy. And if you’ll remember the first time we talked about them, it was specifically of my friend, Mike and, uh, and his cat had just died. And, and the treatment that he got with the flowers and all the condolence card and all that for a customer that was literally out the door. And it sounds like Comcast kind of treated you the same way in the sense that they know they’re losing you as a customer. They know there’s nothing they can do about it, but they’re still helping you out, taking the time to make it as easy as possible. And they’re basically trying to leave you with a really positive impression.

Joey Coleman (13:37):
Absolutely. Which brings me to the final thing that the representative said, he made sure I understood everything. I didn’t have any more questions. And he concluded the conversation by saying, if we ever end up offering service in Iowa, we would love the opportunity to earn your business again. And the way that he ended the conversation on this final thought of, Hey, I know we’re not a good fit, but there’s kind of an almost subtle implication that if we were a good fit and we were there, we’d be a good choice for you. But by the way, we recognize that we’re not going to be presumptuous, that you would just continue with us. We hope we get the chance to earn your business again. I got to tell you, I hung up that call and I thought, I want to do business with them again. I hope they expand to Iowa so I can become a customer again, because the off-boarding experience was such a delight.

Dan Gingiss (14:34):
And that’s amazing. And so many companies can learn from that because one customer lost does not necessarily mean that they’re lost forever and they may come back. They may tell others about the experience and help you gain new customers. And so

Joey Coleman (14:52):
That customer that you think you’re losing, if you sort of broaden your perspective a little bit and realize that that too is a person that could help your business grow down the road, it’s worth investing at little extra time to be civil, to be nice, and to leave them with a good taste in their mouth. Absolutely. And to not take it personally, that you’ve lost the customer. I mean, here’s the deal. We lose customers all day, every day in our businesses due to no fault of our business, Comcast didn’t lose me because they did something wrong. They didn’t lose me because my internet was dropping. They didn’t lose me because the cable didn’t work while it was watching a Notre Dame game, they lost me because I moved to another place that they don’t serve. So it wasn’t that something was wrong. It was that something wasn’t available. And I think all too often, when a customer leaves businesses, whether that’s the organization as a whole culturally or individual reps kind of take it as a personal affront or they’re so focused on retaining the business that they go into sales mode of, well, what if we gave you a better package or a better deal? And the folks at Comcast realized very early on in the process, they can’t serve me in the place I’m going. And as a result were okay, sending me off in a pot,

[SEGMENT INTRO – MAKE THE REQUIRED REMARKABLE]
Joey Coleman (16:17):
Just because you have required elements of your business doesn’t mean they need to be, or it’s time to get creative, have some fun and make people sit up and take, notice, get your customers talking when you make the required remarkable.

[MAKE THE REQUIRED REMARKABLE][Thoughtful Design Makes Contract Compliance Easy]
Joey Coleman (16:36):
So I have to ask, did you hire movers or did you do the big Colorado to Iowa move yourself? Well, Dan, uh, you know, the answer to be candid is a little bit of both. I have reached a certain point in my life where I feel very fortunate that we can hire movers because I’m not super excited about lifting boxes and moving. And man, I love my two boys. I’ve got a four year old and a seven year old as you know, but it’s like adding kids added more stuff than I thought it was going bad and I’m not just blaming it on them. I got plenty of stuff myself. I mean, we at our, at our account with our mover, we were at North of 8,000 books. I mean, we’re literally moving a library at that point, but moral of the story, we had movers, but through a weird confluence of events, we also ended up with a U haul and I’ll save that story for another day.

Joey Coleman (17:25):
Cause it is a sorted tale indeed. But the moral of this story is I had an interesting experience with you hall. See, anytime you rent a U haul, you need to return it with the same fuel level as before. So unlike renting a car where you have to return it full with the U haul because it’s a big truck and it has a big guest tank, you have to return it back to the same fuel level. Now this is a contractual requirement, but the challenge is most people have never driven a large U haul truck and they don’t know how much gas to put in the tank to get it back to the required level. Yeah.

Dan Gingiss (18:04):
I mean, that is hard to estimate. I’ve had that happen every once in a while, even with a rental car where they give it to you and they’re like, well, it’s between three quarters and one half. And I’m like, okay, well, I’ll try to get it between those two on the way home

Joey Coleman (18:16):
Have you. And you hope that the person checking it in remembers what the person who checking it out, who usually with, at a different location, totally different person. When they say like, it’s kind of between this and this, just get it generally. And I’m like, do they ever go back and charge people? Like I presume they do, if you are way off, but I don’t know about you. There’ve been more than one time when I’ve been returning a car and I’ve been like, Oh my gosh, I got to forget. And like spin back around in the airport and go back to the nearest gas station to fill it with gas. But you call has a different approach to this, right? They’re requiring you not to return it full, but to the same level. And they have a solution to the problem when they print out your contract, it shows a gas gauge so that you can see not only how much gas was in it when you rented it, but all the little gradation markings on the gauge show you how many gallons of gas you’ll need to put into the tank in order to return it to the proper level.

Joey Coleman (19:17):
This was so cool. I had never seen anything even remotely close to this, right? So to me to make sure we explain it, and there are visuals over at our website in the show notes, right? For experience this show.com where you can actually see pictures of the contract and the gauge, but what they do is, so let’s say I rented it at three quarters of a tank, they’ll say to you, well, if you’re down to one quarter of a tank, put in 20 gallons and that gets you back to where you may be and it’s, what’s absolutely fantastic. But as if that wasn’t enough, there are stickers on the gas tank and on the gas gauge, reminding you look at your contract for specific information on how many gallons are needed when you refill. So at every turn you hold is working to make sure you know exactly how much gas you need to put back in the tank, which helps them to make sure their trucks come back properly filled. But it also helped me the customer as I was guided to put the right amount of gas in. So I didn’t have an underfilling situation where I would violate their contract and be charged more or an overfilling situation where I would spend more on gas than I needed to spend. You know,

Dan Gingiss (20:30):
I have quoted the great Sage, former Chicago Cubs manager, Joe Madden, multiple times on this podcast and his favorite or my favorite of his sayings is do simple, better, because I think not only does it apply to baseball, but it applies to business. And this is such a great of doing

Joey Coleman (20:48):
Simple, better. This is such a simple solution to a problem. That, again, isn’t just on new halls and trucks, which I agree is going to be tougher for a car driver to estimate, because if you’re not used to driving a truck, you have no idea how many gallons to put in, but that is a real problem. Even with rental cars, because you know, when the last guy doesn’t return it full, oftentimes they don’t go fill it up for you. They just deliver it to the next person with three quarters of a tank or whatever it is. And I love the elegance and simplicity of the solution. And you’re talking about stickers and printed gradations. I mean, this cost almost nothing to do, and yet it completely changes the experience and makes it easier for the customer. Absolutely. And I, and I’ll take it one step further.

Joey Coleman (21:34):
Dan, we’ve got this scenario where the last experience you have when you rent a car, you rent a, you haul is you go put the gas in it and drop it back off. So it’s in that off-boarding period that we talked about in the last segment with Comcast. So if the last experience I have is I put a bunch of gas in and then as I’m driving to the U hall, I see that I overfilled. I’m irritated. If I see I underfilled, I’m freaking out that I’m going to get charged later. And invariably you’re charged like $19 a gallon, right? They I’m waiting for the car rental company or the truck rental company that comes along and says, Hey, return it with whatever. And we’re going to charge you the prevailing street rate to get it back to normal. Not this fall, we’re going to charge you a whole tank, which is what most rental car companies do. Or the penalty of we’re going to charge you five times the going street rate for a gallon of gas. No, we’re just going to do the right thing and, and fill it back up so you don’t have to worry. But until that happens, you hall has a great solution.

[PARTNERSHIP WITH AVTEX][Introducing The Experience Points Game Show]
Joey Coleman (22:47):
We’ve talked about it every weekend. Now it is here. In fact, you probably already saw it, but if you didn’t, you want to get over to experience points, game.com. That’s ExperiencePointsGame.com to see our newest show. There are laughs. There are tears. There’s prizes to be won. Ladies and gentlemen, don’t miss the remarkable experiences and the celebrity contestants we have at experience points, game, check out the trailer. Now

Multiple Voices (23:11):
I’m going to say, I call it a moment of magic. My mom is an English teacher. I’ve written six books. I’m like, no, can’t do it. We’ll celebrate it over and over again on the way we need them to feel. If I take care of my team, they’ll take care of the customer. What the B to B companies report is the number one challenge to customer experience. That was so hard. That’s the difference? The analogy worked, the speech did not. And they said, that’s a lot of tacos. Show me the money. Let’s lose some. This is so cool. And I’m learning so much. It’s I think that’s powerful to say our customers are expecting more than ever before. I am still ready. There is no way is no way. I’m going to guess. 44%. Yeah, you did a hundred dollars per Dan Gingiss.

[SEGMENT INTRO – THIS JUST HAPPENED]
Joey Coleman (24:07):
We love telling stories, and sharing key insights you can implement or avoid based on our experiences. Can you believe that This Just Happened?

[THIS JUST HAPPENED][Don’t Get Caught in Old Ways to Update a New Address]
Joey Coleman (24:20):
Alright, Dan, we’re bringing it home. No pun intended. That’s it? You know, what can you say? We’re reaching the end of the episode. I want to talk about something that should be so easy to do. And with one of the experiences I had, so I had, it was and yet so easy to mess up. And that was the other experience. So this is a little compare and contrast about something that happened with me, updating my magazine subscriptions. Now I have a number of small addictions. I’m addicted to books. I’m addicted to travel. I’m addicted to art. And yes, it’s a little weird, but I’ve got a touch of a magazine addiction. Now I’ve tampered that down over the years where I used to subscribe. I’m not making this up to 30 magazines, which meant I had to read a magazine cover to cover every day, just to stay on top of the magazines. I’m now down to about 10, maybe 12. So it’s still a lot of magazines. And because I was moving, I needed to update the mailing address on my magazines. Now, anybody who’s listening, who’s ever done this. Usually what happens is you call up the subscription phone number in the magazine and you tell them your subscriber number and they update your mailing address. But I figured since it’s 2020, there must be a better way to do this. So the first experience I had, I went online. I was able to go to the main website for the magazine. I was able to click on a button in the navigation, down in the footer nav that said change, mailing address. I was like, Oh my gosh, thank you. Thank you, website designers who made the navigation easy to understand. I clicked on it. I entered my name and my address and my zip code. It confirmed based on that. It didn’t need me to confirm the subscription number, which I so appreciated. Cause I didn’t have the magazine in front of me, even though I subscribed to the magazine and I was able to put in my new address and it said, and here’s the punchline folks. Your subscription will be updated with the next issue that mails next month I thought this is fantastic. And then I had a different experience. It was like, wait.

Joey Coleman (26:29):
Yeah. So I thought, well, this was so easy. Why don’t I go to one of my other magazines websites and see if I can do the same thing. So I click on it, the website and I’m navigating around and there’s nothing that says, update your mailing. And I’m looking on, I’m looking and I’m digging and I’m into contact us and there’s no phone number. There’s just an email. And it’s like, we promise to be back to you within 72 hours. And I’m like, what are you kidding me? And I’m going around. And I can’t find anything. I can’t find anything. And finally I find a phone number and I’m like, great. So I called the phone number and here’s what happened. I explained that I had a subscription. They asked me for my subscriber number. I could not tell them. And what ensued was a 20 minute process for them to be able to try to identify my subscription without my subscriber number. Even though my name is Joey Coleman, which is not an entirely uncommon name, but in it not an entirely unique name, fair enough. And when they finally found it and here’s where it got really exciting friends, they couldn’t update my address. What I had to do is cancel that subscription and resubscribe using the new ad.

Dan Gingiss (27:42):
Uh – I mean, for reals?

Joey Coleman (27:45):
Right? This is a true story. Now here’s the crazy thing about this. I fully acknowledge that that is a first world problem. I fully acknowledge that, you know, no small fluffy animals were harmed in the creation of this customer disaster story, right? It’s not a huge thing, but it proves the point that we talk about on this show all the time, which is the little things matter. And when they actually explained to me that I needed to cancel the subscription and then call a different number to resubscribe and give my credit card over the phone,

Dan Gingiss (28:23):
Let me guess. Can I get, you can guess what do you think happened? I’m going to go ahead and guess that you canceled the subscription and didn’t call the other number!

Joey Coleman (28:32):
And you are correct. My friend and I won’t call that number again because I am not excited to support a business that has such an archaic, ridiculous way of handling things. I mean, if you are in the magazine business, you have to know that people move. And I even am accepting of the fact that some of the magazines that I changed, the address on, I had one tell me that my magazine will start to be delivered to my new address in three months. So for the next two months, the magazine is going to go to the old address and then be forwarded through the post office to the new address on, by the way, guess who pays for that? Oh, that would be the magazine because they can’t change the printing of their labels. Then I actually asked the person, why is it that it’s going to take three months? And they said, well, we batch print our labels quarterly. And I’m like, how much money are you saving by batch printing that you’re losing with all of the people who change address.

Dan Gingiss (29:30):
So first of all, I want to back up a couple sentences. If you’re in the magazine business, I’m really sorry. Well dig. I mean, yeah, fair enough. You’re probably losing every day. And so, uh, you know, I like to talk about the leaky bucket. Uh, it’s time to plug that bucket with the people that actually do want to stay. You should make it a tiny bit more easy for them to do that. But also I talked about in the previous segment about doing simple, better, and changing an address is simple. It is something that we now all expect to be able to do digitally. We shouldn’t have to talk to anybody. We should just be able to put it in the website and say, here’s my old address. Here’s my new address. And now we’re done. And if you want to make it difficult on people, you want to make it hard to change the address you want to make it so they’re going to lose two months of, you’re never going to see those two months of, uh, of magazines because the postal service doesn’t forward magazines, the only forward for a first class mail. So those magazines are going to be out in the abyss. You’re still going to pay for them. If you want to annoy your customers, then keep doing it the way that you’ve been doing it since 1950, when magazines weren’t in their heyday. But if you’re in really any industry, but especially one that is getting swallowed up whole right now, you got to do a better job focusing on keeping each and every one of your customers.

Joey Coleman (30:54):
Well Dan, I’ll take it one step further. If you ever have a scenario in your business that requires you to quote unquote, delete or erase or cancel an existing relationship with a customer and hope that they will re-trigger a new relationship with you immediately following that cancellation, stop it, stop doing that. And this sounds obvious, and it sounds like stuff. And I’m sure there’s some listeners going, Oh my gosh, this is bizarre. This is ridiculous. I can’t even believe this is happening in 2020. I can’t even believe that this is the reality of any business. I guarantee that a significant percentage of our listeners work in businesses or industries, where there are ridiculous little things that are happening just like this, that for some reason, we’ve made it hard to do. It’s hard to get a printed invoice or it’s hard to get an address change, or it’s hard to get on the phone with someone, or it’s hard to get, you know, proof of a purchase after the fact, you know, get a reprinted receipt or something like that. There are tons of things in your business that for whatever reason, you’ve made it difficult for your customers to do. And this is why such a, I’m such a big fan of the customer journey. Audit might be the only time you ever hear Dan, or I say, we’re a fan of an audit, but the reality is we get so insulated in our business and our operations that we lose track of the crazy hurdles we’re asking our customers.

Dan Gingiss (32:30):
Yeah, I totally agree. And the more hurdles we put in front of customers, the more likely that they’re going to trip over one of them. And when they that’s the time where they’re going to start reevaluating their relationship with you just as you did with the magazine that is going to make you call two different numbers, you reevaluated your relationship pretty quickly. I would imagine and decided that your relationship wasn’t worth it anymore. And you know, again, this is 2020. These are things that are expected to be in digital format that are easy without having to talk to somebody. And it’s not just millennials that want, that is every single generation that is willing to go online and do these things quickly now. And if you’re not there, you got to get there soon.

[SHOW OUTRO]
Joey Coleman (33:19):
Wow. Thanks for joining us for another episode of Experience This!

Dan Gingiss (33:23):
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 (33:33):
We hope you enjoyed our discussions and if you do, we’d love to hear about it! Come on over to ExperienceThis Show.com and let us know what segments you enjoyed, what new segments you’d like to hear. This show is all about experience, and we want you to be part of the Experience This Show!

Dan Gingiss (33:51):
Thanks again for your time. And we’ll see you next week for more…

Joey Coleman (33:54):
Experience.

Dan Gingiss (33:54):
This!

Episode 108 – From Analog to Augmented – Creating Experiences Everywhere

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

Payments, Pokemon, and Planning – Oh My!

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

Things We Mentioned in This Segment:

• IVR – Interactive Voice Response

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

Things We Mentioned in This Segment:

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

[Partnership with Avtex] Experience Points: Think Fast!

Avtex
• Experience Points

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

Things We Mentioned in This Segment:



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

Host Contact Information

Email Dan: Dan@dangingiss.com

Tweet Dan Gingiss: @DGingiss

Email Joey: JoeyC@JoeyColeman.com

DanGingiss.com

JoeyColeman.com

Subscribe to Experience This on Apple Podcasts

Episode Transcript

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[SEGMENT INTRO – MAKE THE REQUIRED REMARKABLE]
Joey Coleman (01:08):
Just because you have required elements of your business doesn’t mean they need to be boring. It’s time to get creative, have some fun and make people sit up and take notice. Get your customers talking when you Make the Required Remarkable.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Joey Coleman (05:48):
Correct!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dan Gingiss (23:51): Actually…

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

Dan Gingiss (24:00):
Actually…

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

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

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

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

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

[PARTNERSHIP WITH AVTEX] Think Fast!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dan Gingiss (28:23):
I’m ready!

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

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

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

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

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

Joey Coleman (28:46):
I love it. And what percentage of consumers respond to text messages in less than 10 minutes: 50% or 78%?

Dan Gingiss (28:54):
78%.

Joey Coleman (28:55):
Woo. That was fast.

Dan Gingiss (28:58):
How’d I do? How’d I do?

Joey Coleman (29:00):
Well, alas, Dan, we don’t have any more time on the clock. So people are gonna need to tune into Experience Points to learn more. See you there soon!

[SEGMENT INTRO – DISSECTING THE EXPERIENCE]
Joey Coleman (29:10):
Sometimes a remarkable experience deserves deeper investigation. We dive into the nitty gritty of customer interactions and dissect how, and why, they happen. Join us while we’re Dissecting the Experience.

[DISSECTING THE EXPERIENCE] Analog Planning Solutions Thriving in a Digital World
Joey Coleman (29:27):
Dan, are you a Kickstarter guy?

Dan Gingiss (29:30):
Well, a Kickstarter guy. I don’t know. I mean, I’ve, I’ve backed a couple of projects on Kickstarter, but I I’m not on there very often I would say.

Joey Coleman (29:39):
Alrighty, well, I’ll make a little true confession here. I may have an addiction to Kickstarter. I support or in the language of Kickstarter, “back” a lot of projects there. In fact, I was looking at it earlier and today I have supported or backed over 110 projects on the platform.

Dan Gingiss (30:02):
Wow. That does sound like an addiction. Do they have a support group for that?

Joey Coleman (30:06):
If they do, I need to join and I’m not a member yet, but maybe I should be. What can I say? I think it’s a really fascinating platform.

Dan Gingiss (30:15):
All right. Well, some of our listeners may not be familiar with it, so maybe you can give us a starter description on Kickstarter.

Joey Coleman (30:23):
Okay, so here’s the idea behind Kickstarter. It starts with a project creator, somebody who has an idea of something they’d like to see in the world. They make a little video explaining what they want to create. They tell the story of why they think it would be useful. They sell you on the idea of you need this product or this thing they’re going to create too. And then they set up some pledge support levels – ,which are basically different levels that, you know, for a dollar you can just be that you’re a supporter and a fan. And they go up to where maybe for like a thousand dollars, you can get the original artwork that they’re going to create or something like that. And then they also list out some risks and challenges and their likelihood of being able to successfully complete the project. Now, the platform features everything from games to films, to music, to technology inventions, to comic books. Basically, if you’re a creator and you can present a solid story, you can get people to back your idea by pledging money in advance of your product being completed. And you then use those funds – minus a fee to Kickstarter, of course – to fulfill the pledges and deliver your product to these loyal patrons who have agreed to be first movers or first supporters of your new brand.

Dan Gingiss (31:41):
You know, I really like this in concept, even though I don’t do it as often as you do, because first of all, you know, from a customer experience perspective, you’re really measuring the audience before you invest heavily into the product or service. And I mean, let’s face it, you go on Kickstarter and nobody’s interested – that’s a pretty good indicator that maybe you should go find something else!

Joey Coleman (32:04):
Yeah, exactly – and maybe you’ve spent, you know, an hour to write up your description and shot a little video on your phone and you know, all right. Well, my great idea. Yeah, my mom, my by one and maybe my roommate, but that’s about it. It’s not going to have the traction in the marketplace.

Dan Gingiss (32:20): Exactly, exactly.

Joey Coleman (32:21):
But if you get it right, it can go bonkers. And there was something that I found on Kickstarter recently, and I wanted to tell you about the product, because I think you’ll be interested to hear about the product. I think our listeners will be interested to hear about our product and also about the success that this creator was able to have on the Kickstarter platform.

Dan Gingiss (32:46):
Well, Joey, if you are a backer, I’m all ears.

Joey Coleman (32:50):
All right. Well, I appreciate that, Dan. I’m not exactly sure if this is going to be your kind of thing, which will, uh, reveal itself here momentarily, but bear with me. Okay. This product is called “Analog” and it builds itself as the simplest productivity system. It’s designed by Jeff Sheldon. Now Jeff is best known for starting a company called Ugmonk. Ugmonk is design studio in Downington, Pennsylvania, that creates and curates products that combine form and function from simple minimal well-made t-shirts to desk organizers Ugmonk is a lot like buying from your neighborhood corner store. And as it says on their website, quote, “not only are you supporting our family, but you’re also supporting other extraordinarily hardworking small businesses with all that said, if I’m lucky enough to call you a customer, great, but if for whatever reason, you don’t see anything that catches your eye, please walk away with this: I encourage you to leave the world better than you found it by thoughtfully choosing quality over quantity, less over, more lasting, over trending and profound over popular.”

Dan Gingiss (33:59):
We’ll find out whether I like this guy’s product, but I can tell you, I already liked the guy. I mean, he seems like a great guy.

Joey Coleman (34:03):
Yeah! He’s got, he’s got great copywriting and he clearly is speaking to a very specific audience. Now I actually came to know about Jeff and Ugmonk and Analog years ago when I tagged along to a meeting that my good friend and a friend of the experience, this show Clay Hebert was having with Analog’s creator. So Jeff was using a prototype of the Analog product and I was enamoured from the start. Now this is going to sound crazy folks, okay?! Analog is a physical companion for your digital tools. What that means is it helps you prioritize and focus on your most important task. So think of it as a daily to do list that is captured on paper instead of in your phone or computer.

Dan Gingiss (34:54):
Okay. Yeah, I I’m I’m with you so far. I mean, I have like Post-It notes all over the place and you know, it’s very difficult to keep organized and uh, even with phones and stuff like that. So I get it. Tell me more…

Joey Coleman (35:07):
I too have Post-It notes all over and let’s be candid, when you pick up your phone, let’s say you have a “to do list” app on your phone. There’s probably a billion entries and you have to learn how to use the app. And then you have to remember when you do something to go on the app. And I don’t know about you. I have a certain excitement about writing down what the things I’m going to be focusing on that day and then crossing them off at the end of the day. And it sounds crazy, but the psychologist will say that there’s a reason that we like to do that. And what Jeff done with Analog is he’s taken this necessary element of keeping track of the things that are in our minds, in a cacophonous world, where we just have tons of things coming at us all the time, and has produced a beautiful solution. It’s gorgeously designed. There are three cards: there are Today cards, their are Next cards, and Someday cards. So you can kind of bucket the items on your to do list. You get a fresh start every day because you start with a new card. It’s tangible and physical. It’s not sitting around in zeros and ones, and bits and bots on the internet. It’s something that you can actually hold in your hand and the way he’s designed it is there’s a desk holder where you can kind of prop up the card on your desk, right next to your computer, so it’s physically in front of you, or you can keep it within arms reach. There’s like a little travel holder where you can carry along like a little stack of what are basically beautifully designed index cards,, to record what your various task and to do items are.

Dan Gingiss (36:38):
Well Joey – I’m a simple man. I actually like the aspect of the non-digital and I have found for a long time that I’m much better off keeping it to do list on a piece of paper with a pencil. I still like writing in pencil. There is something about writing it down that somehow keeps it in my memory. I agree with you on the idea of crossing it off. I’ve never thought of this, however, as having to be a beautiful work of art or an, you know, an experience more than a pad of paper. So it’s, it’s interesting. I think conceptually, I’m definitely with you, I’ve looked at some of the pictures and we’ll include them in our show notes that it is, it is beautiful. So if you know, if you want something beautiful on your desk to help you, uh, keep track of your day, I think this definitely fits the bill.

Joey Coleman (37:34):
I appreciate that. And I think what it speaks to is this combination of form and function. And I think so often when people are developing products, there were, there were kind of two pieces of this story. I wanted to tell number one, when people are thinking about products as a general rule, they have a tendency to over index on either form or function. Now, based on what you just said, Dan, you kind of are a guide that skews a little more towards function. You’d be just as happy with a Post-It note or a spiral notebook or somewhere. You can write it down where as I might be a guy who skews a little bit more towards form than function, where if it looks pretty, I’m going to be more excited about it. This is why, interestingly enough, I use a Mac laptop. You use a PC laptop, okay? It’s not a commentary on Mac or PC it’s that aesthetics react differently. And what I think is interesting is in our modern world, you can carve out a niche, or a niche, or a niche (depending on how you pronounce it) of customers that skew way either form or function. And in an increasingly digital world, people are craving these analog experiences. And I have to believe in a world where we’re doing more and more Zoom calls, and more and more conference calls, and we’re not having as many interactions outside the home with beautiful things and beautiful products that having something that you can hold in your hand is going to change the conversation. And here’s the interesting thing… I’m not the only one who thought this. So when Jeff started the Kickstarter project, he hoped to raise $6,000. When the project was done, he had raised over $451,000 from over 5,000 backers. It’s not just Joey that liked the Analog solution.

Dan Gingiss (39:26):
Well, that’s pretty impressive. I mean $451,000 – I’m not all that good at math, but it’s a lot more than $6,000 isn’t it?!

Joey Coleman (39:33):
And these, by the way, are preorders. He’s now able to go to the printer and print exactly how many he needs at the price points he needs, having factored in the delivery cost and mechanisms. And he knows that his product launch is going to be successful – and profitable – from day one. And most businesses don’t have that level of confidence when they roll a new product into the marketplace.

Dan Gingiss (40:00):
Absolutely. And that’s what I was saying before that I think it’s such a cool idea that you can kind of pretest with the market. And obviously this guy knows that he’s onto something. So I hope you’ll come back and tell us about it once the item arrives?

Joey Coleman (40:14):
I definitely will Dan, but here’s something that I already know. And this takes us back to an earlier episode. We had this season where we talked about the Kenneth Cole luggage. And in fact it was the last episode, the one just proceeding this one. When you find a brand that you love, that consistently delivers remarkable results and experiences, when that brand comes out with a new product or a new service offering, you want it. You buy it! You trust that the experience will continue to be remarkable – which is what I’m expecting from the fine folks at Ugmonk with their new product Analog.

[SHOW OUTRO]
Joey Coleman (40:56):
Wow, thanks for joining us for another episode of Experience This

Dan Gingiss (41:00):
We know there are tons of podcasts to listen to, magazines and books to read, reality TV to watch. We don’t take for granted that you’ve decided to spend some quality time listening to the two of us.

Joey Coleman (41:10):
We hope you enjoyed our discussions and if you do, we’d love to hear about it! Come on over to ExperienceThisShow.com and let us know what segments you enjoyed, what new segments you’d like to hear. This show is all about experience and we want you to be part of the Experience This! Show!

Dan Gingiss (41:27):
Thanks again for your time and we’ll see you next week for more

Joey Coleman (41:32):
Experience.

Dan Gingiss (41:32):
This!

Episode 106 – Make the Most of the Situation to Create A Remarkable Experience

Join us as we discuss admitting mistakes before your customers notice them, building fans by sharing secret recipes, and revisiting the power of customer evangelism.

Reprints, Recipes, and Re-Releases – Oh My!

[This Just Happened] Juniper Books Plans a Reprint Before Anyone Realized It Was Necessary

Things We Mentioned in This Segment:

Episode 101 – Making Things Beautiful Rockets Your Business Forward
Juniper Books
Books Everyone Should Own
• Don Quixote
Episode 30 – Grammar Police

[Dissecting the Experience] The Chik-fil-a Secret Menu

Things We Mentioned in This Segment:

Chik-fil-a
Tik Tok – Chik-fil-a Menu Hacks

[Partnership with Avtex] Experience Points: Fake or Fact?

Things We Mentioned in This Segment:

Avtex
• Experience Points

[Book Report] The Cult of the Customer by Shep Hyken

Things We Mentioned in This Segment:

Shep Hyken
• The Cult of the Customer – by Shep Hyken

Host Contact Information

Email Dan: Dan@dangingiss.com

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Episode Transcript

Download an automated (non-corrected) transcript of Episode 106 here or read it below:

[SHOW INTRO]

Dan Gingiss (00:05):
Welcome to Experience This!

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

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

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

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

Joey Coleman (00:39):
Get ready, for another episode of the Experience This! Show!

Dan Gingiss (00:45):
Join us as we discuss: admitting mistakes before your customers notice them, building fans by sharing secret recipes, and revisiting the power of customer evangelism…

Joey Coleman (00:57):
Reprints, recipes, and rereleases… Oh my!

Joey Coleman (01:03):
We love telling stories and sharing key insights you can implement,, or avoid based on our experiences. Can you believe that This Just Happened?

Joey Coleman (01:18):
Hey Dan, let’s play “name that episode.”

Dan Gingiss (01:21):
Oh, you know I love that game!

Joey Coleman (01:24):
Yes I do. All right. Last season, I spoke about an experience I had with my friend Thatcher Wine’s company, Juniper Books.

Dan Gingiss (01:33):
I could never forget a name like Thatcher Wine.

Joey Coleman (01:37):
It’s a great name.

Dan Gingiss (01:37):
I remember it… it was Episode 101.

Joey Coleman (01:42):
You know, ladies and gentlemen, it’s amazing… My cohost is like the “Rain Man” of experience this episode numbers. Anyway, I know we spoke about the folks at Juniper Books, just a few episodes ago, but something happened between recording that episode and the one we’re recording now that I wanted to share. Now, as our listeners may remember, Juniper Books has a subscription program called, “Books Everyone Should Own” which they refer to as BESO (books everyone should own) – as in an acronym. It’s a series of classic books with refreshed, unique covers that are delivered monthly. Now, I got a subscription for my wife Berit and so each month she gets a new book in the mail.

Dan Gingiss (02:29):
I don’t know if you know this joy, but “beso” or “beso” means “kiss” in Spanish.

Joey Coleman (02:35):
Oh, there you go… I did not know that. Maybe they mean to pronounce it “beso.” I don’t know.

Dan Gingiss (02:43):
Anyway, I know that your wife Berit really enjoys books, so I’m imagining she is enjoying the ongoing surprise of getting a new book every month…

Joey Coleman (02:52):
You know, she does enjoy books and she loves surprises. And what’s interesting to me is that every time she gets a book, I get to see what it is. But to be honest, I don’t spend a ton of time looking at it because it’s her gift, which is why I was a bit caught off guard. When I received the following email from Juniper books one day. And to be clear, the reason I received this email is because I’m the one who gave the gift. So it’s my name on the account intentionally, because when I originally gifted her the gift, I didn’t want her to get an email about it. I wanted to surprise her. So the subject line of this email said, “Mistakes were Made” and the email reads as follows:

Joey Coleman (03:34):
Hello! Thank you for being a BESO subscriber. We hope you are enjoying your thoughtfully curated and designed collection of classics during these difficult times. We misprinted the recently shipped Don Quixote jacket and wanted to let you know that we will be sending you a replacement jacket in early August. The jacket you currently have has a placeholder text on the front inside flap that we neglected to remove before printing. We apologize for this air for 19 years, we have always stood behind our creations. We always want to make sure our books and jackets are of the finest quality that they look great on your shelves, feel good in your hands and that they stand the test of time. When the new jacket arrives, it will be pre folded. So you will be able to swap out the new jacket for the old one easily. Don’t forget that. One of the perks of being a member of one of our subscription programs is that you receive free shipping on any domestic orders@juniperbooks.com. Just be sure to sign into your account while shopping and your shipping discount will automatically apply. Our book sets are always great for gifting this summer and for the holidays, please feel free to reach out to me directly if you have any questions. Thanks again,

Dan Gingiss (04:52):
You know, joy, fun fact, but Don Quixote is Spanish!

Joey Coleman (05:00):
Ladies and gentlemen, Dan Gingiss – social media expert, and Spanish translator in this segment.

Dan Gingiss (05:09):
Si señor! Anyway, uh, I know, I know you’re probably looking for my comment here and I could deliver it in Spanish, but I’m going to keep this show in English. What I love about this is that it’s proactive and they didn’t have to wait for somebody to figure out that something was wrong or that there was an error. A lot of companies, their first instinct is if we don’t say anything, no one will notice.

Speaker 2 (05:33):
Totally, totally. And what was cool about this is to be completely candid. Neither I, nor my wife had noticed, like this mistake could have gone unaddressed for frankly quite a long time, if not forever, had we not been alerted to this scenario? So it’s a great example of when something goes wrong, be proactive, but here’s where I felt they really closed the loop on this. So not long after receiving the first email, I received another email with the subject line mistakes were fixed and the email reads as follows. Hello, thank you again for being a BSO subscriber with Juniper books, I thought I’d follow up on my email of July 8th, alerting you. There was an issue with the donkey Otay jacket originally sent in June. The corrected jacket for your edition of Don Quixote should be arriving any day. Now, once it does simply remove the jacket currently on the book and easily replace it with your brand new one, we do apologize for the air. As noted in my email, we will always stand by our product and we want your collection to be perfect. Please let us know if you have any questions. Thank you.

Dan Gingiss (06:49):
You know, I’m reminded here as I’m sure you were Joey of Episode 30 in Season 1.

Joey Coleman (06:56):
If you offered me a million dollars to tell you what we talked about in Episode 30, you would get to keep your million dollars… friends.

Dan Gingiss (07:05):
What we talked about was a tweet from the British clothing company, ASIS, which

Joey Coleman (07:12):
Do you remember this idea? Remember this? I didn’t remember that tweet Bart.

Dan Gingiss (07:16):
Yeah, of course. You’re blocking that out.

Joey Coleman (07:18):
I remembered the British clothing company.

Dan Gingiss (07:19):
But yeah, so they had a spelling error on one of their bags, the packages, their clothing, and you know, I always say most companies would have never noticed this spelling error. The one out of a hundred that did, would have thrown out the bags, but not a sauce. They ended up tweeting a picture of the error and they called it a limited edition and their tweet got more than 50,000 likes and however many thousand retweets just because they proactively admitted a mistake. They poked a little fun at themselves and had a little, you know, there was a little self-deprecating and I think it endeared people to the brand. And look, I wouldn’t say this example was quite as playful, but I think it stands to the same reason that they noticed the mistake. They’re very proud of their product. It wasn’t okay with them that it was wrong, regardless of whether it was okay with the customers. And so, like you said, at the Coleman family, it probably would have been okay. Nobody even noticed, but it wasn’t okay with them. And I think that says a lot about this company and it says to me that it’s the kind of company I want to do business with.

Speaker 2 (08:29):
Exactly Dan. And that’s the reason why I wanted to tell this story. Not because I’m a big fan of Juniper books, although I am not because, you know, they made this agregious error. They didn’t, it was a tiny little thing. But what does it say for someone you’re doing business with when they tell you that they’ve not lived up to their own standards? So often in the world of customer experience, the reason customer experiences go bad is because the companies fail to live up to the experience that their customers are expecting. It’s a completely different ball game and a completely different, uh, commitment to excellence. When as a brand, you say, you know what? We already sent out the product, you have it, no one’s going to be injured by this. This isn’t a product defect that we need to do a recall on this is a cosmetic thing at best.

Speaker 2 (09:22):
And probably something that less than 5% of customers would ever even notice. And yet for the folks at Juniper books that was not acceptable, they wanted to deliver the same standard that they had for the last 19 years. And you know, what’s great about this. They use the apology email to restate their brand commitment, to excellence in the apology email. As you may recall, they kind of referenced that free shipping perk of membership. So it’s not really an upsell. It’s more of a reminder that like, Hey, you have this perk of being a member that you might’ve forgotten about it. So Hey, if you want to take advantage of the perk, go ahead and do it. The tone was personal. It was honest. It was sincere. And they delivered the fix. You know, the newly printed jacket as planned on schedule as promised. Yeah.

Speaker 1 (10:15):
If you’re listening to the show, which obviously, if you can hear my voice right now, you clearly are. I would ask you to think about how would your company react to a mistake?

Speaker 2 (10:27):
Oh, be careful here, Dan, a lot of people are feeling self conscious right now. No kidding. They probably should people. Yeah, because they’re like, ah, my company would do nothing like this.

Speaker 1 (10:37):
Right? And then you should ask yourself why, but also, I mean, let’s run through the options here really fast, Joey. So we could do nothing and then what’s going to happen. Well, as you said, 5% of our customers are gonna call up. So we’re going to spend some call center, time, handling their calls. We’re going to have to do something for them, either refund their money, or maybe we print up a few extra jackets and we send it to them and then they’ll be happy and satisfied.

Speaker 2 (11:01):
And then maybe three months later, someone finally gets to reading Don Quixote. Cause it’s not a small book friends. And they then realize what the other people realized earlier. So then they call in and we hope to have printed enough, extra covers that we have some to send to them because God forbid, one of the other customers shares what had happened to them. They want to treat it, be treated the same. This is a problem that never ends.

Speaker 1 (11:25):
Right. And we have to stock these covers forever and all that stuff. Yeah.

Speaker 2 (11:28):
Instead we spent a little bit more

Speaker 1 (11:31):
Money now, maybe a lot more money now. And we sent the cover to everyone. But in the meantime, what we did is we made fans out of our customers and we got them telling their friends about us, talking about us, appreciating us more. I guarantee you, if you look at business metrics like, uh, how many of their customers

Speaker 2 (11:54):
Stay on this subscription program? Those will be extended. The, the tenure will be extended. More people will recommend them to their friends. A couple of people who host podcasts, they’ll talk about, Oh wait, that’s it. And that’s the crazy thing. Like, as I said in the previous segment, when we talked about the folks at junior pro books, you know, Thatcher wine is a friend of mine, like I’m a big fan of their brand. I’m a big fan of their coming. He has no idea. We’re talking about this on the show right now because I intentionally have not reached out to him. And instead, I’m just going to share the episode with him when it comes out, because here’s the secret friends and anybody who works in customer experience knows this. But I bet you’re frustrated because your boss and your boss’s boss don’t necessarily get this.

Speaker 2 (12:37):
It is incredibly difficult to directly draw ROI to this kind of activity. Because the return on this investment of doing the right thing probably doesn’t happen next month. It probably doesn’t happen next quarter. It may happen weeks from now or months from now or years from now. And you know, even talking about this story makes me think, gosh, it’s been a while since I’ve sent someone a gift from Juniper books, I should go do that. Right? So there are huge opportunities here. So what can we learn from this great example as set by Thatcher wine and his team at Jenner pro books? Well, friends, mistakes are going to happen. Even if you’ve been in business for almost two decades doing the same thing, the occasional error will slip through the cracks. How you respond, not only shows how much you prioritize and care about your customers, but it’s an indicator of whether you’ll still be in business 20 years from now, which I think is going to be the case for Juniper books. If you’re listening to our show and love books, like we do make sure to go over and show the fine folks at Juniper books, some love you can find the books. Everyone should own subscription series and lots of other beautifully designed books@juniperbooks.com.

Speaker 3 (13:57):
Sometimes a remarkable experience deserves deeper investigation. We dive into the nitty gritty of customer interactions and dissect how and why they happen. Join us while we’re dissecting the experience.

Speaker 2 (14:14):
Loyal listeners know Dan, you were previously the senior director of global social media for McDonald’s. And I came across something recently and thought to myself, self. I bet Dan will be able to share a unique perspective on this situation. You know, friends, it’s okay to talk to yourself. It’s not okay to answer yourself. So true. So true. Alright. I’m getting nervous here because you know, our listeners probably also know that working at McDonald’s is not my favorite experience in my whole life. So what do you got for me? But the fries are great. Okay. I think you’re actually going to like this one, Dan. So here’s the scoop recently, a young woman who worked for Chick-fil-A made a tic talk video about a secret menu hack now. Oh, Whoa, Whoa, Whoa, Whoa, Whoa. Did the words tick tock video, just come out of your mouth, Joey.

Speaker 2 (15:10):
Yes, they did. My friend. Yes they did. Oh, wait, does this mean that you’re on tick tock? Oh, absolutely not. Absolutely. I got a long streak of not being on social media that I have to uphold. I am not on talk, but I heard about this story because of how it connects to customer and employee experience. And I went to track down more details and in doing so I learned this Anna was a 19 year old Chick-fil-A employee had just finished her shift one day and afterwards she got into the car and got on tick TechTalk and shared a secret hack that would allow customers to order the seasonal mango passion tea, lemonade year round. And she also shared with the way that you could get a large for 4 cents cheaper than the regular size drink. So here’s a little clip of what she said.

Speaker 4 (16:05):
Okay. So I work at Chick-Filet. So I’m here to give you all the tips and tricks on secret menu items, um, how to get things cheaper and just all that. Okay. And this is only a part one. Let me start off with the seasonal drinks. Um, okay. Someone’s washing your Cortez. Wow. Okay. Anyways, um, so I wanna start with the seasonal drinks. So right now we have a mango passion tea, uh, basically the large, it’s not really a large. So what you’re going to order is going to order an Arnold Palmer, which is a tea and lemonade mixture. You’re going to ask her for pumps and Mingo by doing that, you literally get double the mango passion tea for literally the same price you can kind of see here. But Arnold Palmer is two 69 and a large mega passion T is two 65. It’s the same price in part two. I’ll tell you guys about secret frost.

Speaker 2 (16:55):
All right. So this is interesting. Uh, you know, she points out the, the kind of price difference and kind of remixing some of the drinks. And it’s always nice to see a employee get excited about where they work and want to share that with others. And, you know, there’s this hack culture that people seem to be glomming on to where if we can just, you know, if we can find a way to hack something, it’s fine. So I’m guessing though that I dunno things maybe got out of hand a little bit, otherwise I’m not quite sure why you’re sharing this just yet. Well, as usual, Dan you’re absolutely right. So this little tick tock video went viral and while I’m not sure how many people saw it right away, estimates are that it has been seen by millions of people it’s received over 300,000 hearts, which I guess is like the tech talk of likes and has almost a thousand comments at the time we’re recording this.

Speaker 1 (17:54):
Well, you cannot buy that type of engagement on social media. So Chick-fil-A, must’ve been thrilled.

Speaker 2 (18:01):
No, you would think that’s the case, but sadly that wasn’t the case and his boss wasn’t as thrilled as you or I might’ve been. In fact, she posted a second video to tech talk less than a week after the first video with some music playing and the captions, while you’re hearing this music in the background, relate her experience of making the video, becoming tic talk famous and being super excited about it. When the video goes viral and then receiving a call from her boss to turn in her uniform because she was fired.

Speaker 1 (18:34):
Oh no. Oh no, they did it.

Speaker 2 (18:37):
Yes, they did.

Speaker 1 (18:39):
That. Second video went viral too. Oh my,

Speaker 2 (18:42):
Your friend did it indeed to this date. It’s estimated to have been seen by millions and millions of people with over 250,000 hearts and over 1500 comments. So it actually has more comments than the first video. The second video has attracted more attention than the first one did. Okay.

Speaker 1 (19:02):
Okay. So you’re right. I have a couple of things just to say about this.

Speaker 2 (19:05):
I have an opinion about this and let’s be candid as a general rule. Chick-fil-A usually gets the customer experience, right? Like people rave about how friendly the Chick-fil-A employees are and how they come out in line at the drive through to take care of you. And everybody seems to always have a smile on their face and be thank you left. And right. Like most people usually don’t have a bad experience with the staff at Chick-fil-A. Yeah.

Speaker 1 (19:31):
I think the story here is actually not about Chick-fil-A. I agree. Let’s take a step back and let’s talk about secret menu items because this is actually a thing across the fast food and fast casual industry. And I did get to hear a lot about this at McDonald’s because I was working in social media. So I got to see all sorts of stuff, by the way, Joey, the things people do in a McDonald’s

Speaker 2 (19:57):
Well, the thing is anyone, any of it, any faster

Speaker 1 (19:59):
Food or fast casual restaurant, like I agree with you, that’s a story for another day. But one of the things that I figured out really quickly

Speaker 2 (20:08):
Was that the people that were sharing

Speaker 1 (20:11):
You hacks is really what we called them were some of our biggest fans. And some of these menu hacks were super creative. Some of them were really out there. I will never forget. There was one there’s two that I remember there was one guy that ordered a sandwich where he had one bun with every single piece of protein that McDonald’s offered. So there was like a fried chicken breast and a hamburger and a Mick rib and a sausage Patty from the big mafia lovers pizza. It was a heart attack. I would say that doesn’t sound good at all. Yeah. And then there was another guy, uh, this is a guy

Speaker 2 (20:55):
It’s always a guy. And I don’t say that to be a sexist. I say that because as a general rule,

Speaker 1 (20:59):
You guys are the weird ones. Yeah. Well, so when the, when McDonald’s installed the kiosks, there was an initially a, I don’t want to say an error, but basically something wrong, a little glitch. And it allowed you to essentially add up to, I think, 30 of any item on a sandwich. So a guy walked in and he said, okay, I want a hamburger. And I’d like 30 patties of beef. And I’d like 30 slices of cheese. And I’d like 30 pieces of lettuce and 30 tomatoes and 30 squirts of mustard and all this sort of, and all of this stuff. And the thing ended up pretty dang expensive sandwich. But it also, they ended up bringing it out to him on like three trays because the sandwich would be huge. Right. But that video went viral and you know, there were drink recipes and Starbucks has a huge secret menu. My favorite, by the way, is the peppermint Patty frappuccino. I don’t know why they don’t put that on the menu. Cause it is awesome.

Speaker 2 (22:02):
Well, and I know I’m not a Starbucks guy, but like in and out, burger is famous for its secret menu. You know, you can order a burger animal style. If you order it protein style, you don’t get the bond. It’s the gluten free version. It comes wrapped in lettuce. You know, a lot of these restaurants have these things and it’s not a huge deal. Like I understand in this particular scenario, Anna was suggesting something that would quote unquote, caused them to lose money. Now, granted it’s 4 cents and I don’t know about you, but I’d be willing as a business owner to shave 4 cents off the profit. If it meant someone came in and, or placed an order that they wouldn’t otherwise.

Speaker 1 (22:43):
I mean, look, if they, first of all, I it’s a little more than the 4 cents because I think what she was saying was you get more ingredients for your course out, but even so, uh, so what’s the worst that happens. A billion people come in and order it. I don’t think that’s a big, big problem. So the whole idea behind the secret menus or these hacks is that people figure stuff out right. When I was at discover and I worked in the rewards area, one of the things I found out is that if there’s a way to game the system, people will find it. And so we do the best we can to not allow people to really take advantage. But in this case with this employee and with the case of these special menu items or secret menu items, these are usually people that love your brand. They’re not trying to screw you over. They are trying to love you more. And so the surprising part about this story was that the company wasn’t thrilled that this video went viral and brought a lot of attention to a product offering that they have. Heck I didn’t even know they serve Arnold

Speaker 2 (23:46):
Palmers at Chick-fil-A and now I know you’re excited to go on. No, I totally agree with you, Dan. And I think the interesting thing about this is I can understand as a business owner, having an employee that does something that you’re less than thrilled about. Like I can try to put myself into the shoes of the franchise owner or the manager. Who’s like, Oh my gosh, this is bringing more heat than we would have liked. This is causing issues with corporate, et cetera, et cetera, whatever was going on. But to me, that’s not a let’s fire, the employee conversation. That’s a, how can we take this enthusiastic, energetic employee who is on a platform that most adults are trying to figure out, let alone actually create viral videos on and harness her ability and her personality to promote the brand in a way that we aren’t okay with.

Speaker 2 (24:41):
You know, I mean most brands have to just accept the fact that they can’t control the brand message on social media, the same way they can in their say, print advertising or what their marketing agency, you can’t control, what customers are going to do. And you really can’t even control what employees are going to do. But if the employee is going to do something, don’t fire them, redirect that focus and that energy into something, because what, the number of followers that she had, you could almost see where she did a weekly show on some type of a behind the scenes story at Chick-fil-A that would have built a huge following. And that’s

Speaker 1 (25:17):
Actually what I recommended to McDonald’s when we started seeing these secret menu items was let’s lean into this. Let’s be in on the joke because people are going to love the brand personality for that. Right. And again, I can’t see a downside, even I sorta get why, you know, you’re saying that it’s possible that the Boston may not have liked this, but I’m not seeing the business downside. To be honest with you.

Speaker 2 (25:45):
I think it’s a, it’s an old school way of thinking. I mean, and let’s be candid. We’re where these things, that big of secrets. I mean, for years McDonald’s talked about their special sauce, right? The secret special sauce. And wasn’t it. I mean, you know this better than I do, but wasn’t it McDonald’s Canada like did something with Twitter where they shared the recipe to the secret sauce.

Speaker 1 (26:06):
Yeah. I mean, they shared a lot of secrets because they had a program where they basically said to their customers, ask us any question, nothing’s off limits. We’ll answer it. And my favorite, one of those videos they showed, somebody said, why do your sandwiches always look better on TV than they do in real life? Which we probably all asked that question. And they went behind the scenes of a TV, commercial shoot. And they introduced you to the food. What was his name? What was his title? It was like the food artist. It was a food artist. Thank you, Joey. I remember got it

Speaker 2 (26:40):
From our buddy mutual friend, Marcus Sheridan. Who’s famous for the, they ask you answer book and methodology, which McDonald’s was following.

Speaker 1 (26:48):
Yes. And this guy had, I remember a tweezers and was placing Sesame seeds on the bun, just so that’s a job. Uh, so, but, but yeah, I mean, and you know what, that was a successful campaign. Big and people looked at McDonald’s Canada, cause McDonald’s us stubbornly wouldn’t do it. But McDonald’s Canada. They looked at them with more trust. They looked at them as a company that they wanted to do business with more or eat at more because, because they were open and honest and, and, and so again, if people are going to come in and order off the menu, or if you’re a retailer and they’re going to buy certain products and use them for ways that they weren’t to 10 intended that’s okay. You know, it, they’re still shopping with you. They’re spending money with you. And really, as I said, at the beginning, these tend to be some of your better customers. So I think the result of firing poor Ana here is that they may have also lost not just an employee, but they may have lost customers. Oh,

Speaker 2 (27:56):
Absolutely. Absolutely. And now they’ve got kind of a detractor of a former employee who interestingly enough, has filmed a third video where she basically goes through the entire menu, telling you all the ways to beat the men.

Speaker 1 (28:12):
I thought you were going to tell me that the third video was she’s now working at Popeye’s.

Speaker 2 (28:16):
Yeah, that would be great. I mean, let me tell you, if you’re out there employ this young woman, she like go hire her. So here’s the moral of the story friends. When you have a super engaged employee, especially one that is early in their career, recognize that mistakes may be made. And it’s up to you as the employer, not to compound these mistakes and instead to guide your employee to harness their talent into ways that allowed this employee to express themselves and their excitement for your brand, but ideally in ways that are a little bit more in alignment with your business operations, not to mention, if you have the opportunity to connect with your most rabid followers and fans, don’t miss it.

Speaker 1 (29:04):
Is it fake or is it fact the proverbial question, which we’re going to answer or rather our celebrity contestants are going to answer in the first of three games on our new game show, experience points

Speaker 2 (29:21):
In fake or fact contestants examine three similar experiences and try to figure out if each experience is real

Speaker 1 (29:29):
Fake. Every answer they get right is worth a hundred points.

Speaker 2 (29:33):
If they get all three answers, correct? They earn another 200 bonus points for a total possible score of five points, which converts into a $500 donation to the charity of their choosing. Thanks to our great friends at F techs.

Speaker 1 (29:51):
All right, Joey, let’s show him how this works. All right. Good idea, Dan,

Speaker 2 (29:56):
With one of our contestants, we talked about subscription programs. You know, those monthly boxes that you can subscribe to get a package to your house every month with a little moment of surprise and delight inside. And we asked, is there a subscription program for bacon?

Speaker 1 (30:15):
Yay. Exactly sure. Hope that one was fact,

Speaker 2 (30:20):
Let me ask, is it fake

Speaker 1 (30:22):
Or is it fact? Well, you’re going to have to tune into experience points to find out experience points is the new game show hosted by your friends, Dan Gingiss and Joey Coleman at brought to you by our friends, AV techs tune in to the video series and the podcast coming soon.

Speaker 2 (30:45):
We’re excited to give you an overview of an important book you should know about as well as share some of our favorite passages as part of our next book report

Speaker 1 (30:57):
For this week’s book report. We wanted to talk about a true friend of the show, an F O J friend of Joey and FOD friend of Dan, the one and only godfather of customer service, chef hiking, my brother from another mother, as we like to call each other. And chef just recently, rereleased a book that is called the cult of the customer. Now you may remember that we reviewed his last book, be amazing or go home and also the convenience revolution in previous episodes. And so when the culture of the customer came out, we asked chef to talk to us a little bit about it, especially this whole idea of releasing a book. So here’s chef giving us an overview of the cult of the customer. I love everybody has chef hiking here, customer service and experience expert. Very excited that my friends, Dan and Joey are allowing me to share some information about my latest book.

Speaker 1 (31:56):
The cult of the customer create an amazing customer experience that turns satisfied customers into customer evangelist. So the title, that’s an interesting title, the cult of the customer, by the way, this is an updated and revised edition from a book that I wrote almost 12 years ago, same title, but updated stats and facts, unless they were evergreen. We replaced all of it with stats and information that were less than a year or so old. So everything’s updated, got rid of some stories, changed up a few stories. And why is the title, the cult of the customer? Because that’s what the publisher said. They wanted the title to be. So what is the cult of the customer? This is actually a cult you want to belong to. So I believe that all customers go through five phases as they go from the beginning of their journey to their final phase, which is one where they’re amazed and love the company.

Speaker 1 (32:49):
So, uh, rather than use the word phase, we’re actually using the word cult. And I’ll explain why in just a few minutes when I read an excerpt from the book. So let’s talk about the five calls by the way. This is for everybody in any organization that deals with customers and that’s everyone. Because if you don’t have an outside customer, you have an internal customer and you need to take care of them as well. And also the book is not meant to be read. It’s meant to be used there’s exercises in the back of the book that you can use on and on the five cults, number one, it’s uncertainty customers. Aren’t sure what they’re getting into. Number two, they get into alignment with the company, as they start to do business with them. Number three, they experience what it is you want them to experience. Hopefully it’s good. And when they experience it over and over again, it becomes predictable. Then it’s ownership. So you go from uncertainty to alignment, to experience to the cult of ownership. And finally, if it’s a positive and predictable experience where customers say, I always enjoy doing business with them, that word always in front of anything. Good to describe you. That means they’re in the cult of amazement. That’s where you want to be with your customer.

Speaker 2 (33:57):
I gotta be honest, and I’m not sure that prior to our conversation, I have ever thought of a cult as a good thing. I mean, it’s, it’s pretty interesting. You know, cults have kind of a bad rap, but what I love about Shep’s description here is this idea of your external and internal customers and paying attention to the changes that a customer’s feeling as they navigate through the customer journey with you and what they need at each phase. I particularly like that idea of predictability turning into ownership, because I think all too often, companies tried to jump right to the ownership phase instead of delivering that consistent, predictable experience that actually builds ownership. And I think what’s interesting here is while this book may be a little bit older and he’s obviously refreshed it and added new stories and new stats, I don’t know that this principle of the power of creating a cult of customers has ever been more true than it is today.

Speaker 1 (35:01):
Yeah. And Chuck likes to talk a lot about consistency. And I do think that that is a facet of customer experience that is often overlooked. Customers expect things to work every time. Or if you have a certain part of your experience, they expect it to be the same. I mean, it’s why people go to certain fast food restaurants, cause the French fries are the same all the time and that’s what they expect. And so consistency can be a really good thing, obviously, unless it is consistently a bad experience, but he likes to talk about how creating that consistency starts to gain this fandom or, or cult as he likes to call it. So one of the things that I love that we do on the show, Joey, I think it’s one of the, one of my favorite things that we decided to do when we launched the show is that when we highlight books, we don’t just do an interview with the author like everybody else does, but we have them do the overview that you just heard.

Speaker 1 (36:03):
And then we ask them to read us their favorite passage. And so here is Shep Hyken author of the call to the customer, reading his favorite passage from his book. What is the cult of the customer? Well, if you’re in business, it’s the cult you want to belong to first things first. There’s nothing scary about the word cult. If you stop and think about it, you’ll realize you can find the word cult inside words that you already know and use without any problem like culture and cultivate cult comes from the Latin word Cultus, which originally meant care or tending. What we’re proposing in this book is creating a corporate culture that is so focused on taking care of and tending to employees and customers that the culture itself creates evangelists. Please bear in mind. As you make your way through this book, a cult is nothing more or less than a system of shared belief, interest or experience. In other words, a group of people with shared agreement about what they will be cultivating together. For example, you may be passionate about bike riding and like to hang out with other cyclists on weekends, strictly speaking, that’s a cult. You may enjoy action hero, comic books and attend comic book conventions twice a year. That too is a cult. When it comes to business, I’m in a cult and I hope you are too. It’s the cult of the customer,

Speaker 2 (37:27):
Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls. You come to experience this to learn about amazing, remarkable experiences and to learn about Latin words. I love it as somebody who took four years of Latin in high school, I loved that ship breaks down

Speaker 1 (37:41):
The Latin, where

Speaker 2 (37:44):
It comes from, you know, while my passage doesn’t have any Latin in it, it does come from a chapter. That’s all about what the journey looks like from the inside. And so here’s my favorite passage. A moment of magic and above average experience typically is the result of someone’s consistent and patient focus on the complex task of consistently delivering moments of magic to internal customers. So they can in turn consistently deliver moments of magic to external customers. Believe it, this kind of experience must be modeled internally before it can be delivered on a consistent basis across the organization. Oh my goodness. I love this passage. It’s so echoes something that I share with audiences all the time, which is we cannot expect our employees

Speaker 1 (38:36):
To deliver a remarkable customer experience. If they don’t know what one is, if they have no context for a remarkable experience themselves and the best way to give your employees a remarkable customer experience context is to deliberate, remarkable experiences to your employees. So you start it with the employees, you show them by the way you treat them and the way you communicate with them and the way you interact with them, what remarkable is. And then when you ask them to deliver a remarkable experience to your customers, they understand what’s being asked, they’re familiar with this. They know what it looks like. They know what it feels like. And as a result, they’re able to do it. I totally agree. And you know, the opposite of that is when you walk into a fast food restaurant and the person behind the counter looks at you, like you’re interrupting their otherwise pleasant day by wanting to place an order.

Speaker 1 (39:28):
And so when your employees are miserable, they’re going to provide a miserable experience to your customer. So it makes all the sense in the world. Now I conveniently chose a favorite passage from a chapter called what the journey looks like from the outside. Ooh, an alternative perspective. I like it. So here we go, you make the right promise and you follow through specifically, you brand the experience and bring your customers into alignment. With that experience, then you deliver on the promise over and over again, through this repeated and predictable satisfaction, your customer’s confidence increases. Eventually you develop a network of evangelists who create a community of believers for your organization. I said before that Shep likes the word consistency. And that was consistent across both of our favorite passages. Is that doing things over and over the right way is going to lead to a better experience.

Speaker 1 (40:26):
And I talk about something very specific to this when I speak as well, which I think is why we both picked these passages. Why they spoke to us is that when you create remarkable experiences, that ends up your best sales and marketing strategy. And here’s why, because you get people to talk about your brand instead of you having to talk about your brand, let’s face it, Joey. We all know you’re awesome, but it’s your sounds a lot better when I say you’re awesome. Then when you say you’re awesome, right? I think you’re awesome. Awesome. Shep. Hyken awesome. This book is awesome. Friends, go out and pick up a copy of chef’s book. The cult of the customer on Amazon at your local indie bookstore, wherever fine books are sold and learn how to turn your customers into a cult.

Speaker 5 (41:22):
Wow.

Speaker 1 (41:23):
Thanks for joining us for another episode of experience this we know there are tons of podcasts to listen to magazines and books, to read reality TV, to watch. We don’t take for granted that you’ve decided to spend some quality

Speaker 3 (41:34):
Time listening to the two of us. We hope you enjoyed our discussions. And if you do, we’d love to hear about it. Come on over to experience this show.com and let us know what segments you enjoyed, what new segments you’d like to hear. This show is all about experience, and we want you to be part of the experience this show. Thanks again for your time. And we’ll see you next week for more experience.

Speaker 5 (41:59):
Yes.

Episode 104 – Get People Talking with a Free Prize Inside

Join us as we discuss talking to customers in uncertain times, a remarkable credit card experience, and the power of Cracker Jack-esque surprises.

Canadian Professors, Apple Cards, and Inflatable Pools – Oh My!

[CX Press] Concrete Communication in Uncertain Times

Things We Mentioned in This Segment:

• Michael Fishman
• Consumer Health Summit (CHS)
• M.I.T. Sloan Management Review
• Grant Packard (associate professor of marketing at York University in Toronto)
• Schulich School of Business at York University
• Sarah G. Moore (associate professor of marketing at the University of Alberta School of Business in Edmonton)
• University of Alberta School of Business
• Brent McFerran (associate professor of marketing at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, British Columbia)
• Simon Fraser University – Beedie School of Business
• Speaking to Customers in Uncertain Times – by Packard, Moore, and McFerran in M.I.T. Sloan Management Review
• Professor Jonah Berger (associate professor of marketing at The Wharton School in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)
• The Wharton School of Business – University of Pennsylvania

[Dissecting the Experience] The Apple Credit Card – Changing the Landscape Again

Things We Mentioned in This Segment:

• Apple
• iPhone
• AirPods
• Mac
• Apple Credit Card
• Discover Card
• Discover Wins JD Power Award
• JD Power Award
• William Tell
• iPad
• American Express (Amex) Black Card
• Apple white matte finish
• Apple logo
• Credit card chip design
• Goldman Sachs
• Mastercard
• Wallet app
• Apple Pay
• Apple Watch
• MacBook Pro laptop
• credit card cycle date
• First USA
• Chase Bank

[Partnership with Avtex] We Love Gameshows – Do You?

Things We Mentioned in This Segment:

• Jeopardy!
• Wheel of Fortune
• Joker’s Wild
• Tic Tac Dough
• Press Your Luck

[This Just Happened] Inflatable Pools with a Free Prize Inside

Things We Mentioned in This Segment:

• Marcus Sheridan – Pool Guy
• River Pools and Spas
• Inflatable Pools on Amazon
• Amazon
• Cracker Jack

Host Contact Information

Email Dan: Dan@dangingiss.com

Tweet Dan Gingiss: @DGingiss

Email Joey: JoeyC@JoeyColeman.com

DanGingiss.com

JoeyColeman.com

Subscribe to Experience This on Apple Podcasts

Episode Transcript

Download a transcript of Episode 104 here or read it below:

[SHOW INTRO]

Dan Gingiss [00:00:05] Welcome to Experience This! 

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

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

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

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

[EPISODE 104 INTRO]

Joey Coleman [00:00:39] Get ready for another episode of the experience, this show. 

Dan Gingiss [00:00:45] Join us as we discuss talking to customers in uncertain times, a remarkable credit card experience, and the power of Cracker Jack-esque surprises. 

Joey Coleman [00:00:59] Canadian professors, Apple cards, and inflatable pools! Oh, my! 

[SEGMENT INTRO – CX PRESS]

Joey Coleman [00:01:07] There are so many great customer experience articles to read. But who has the time? We summarize them and offer clear takeaways you can implement starting tomorrow. Enjoy this segment of CX Press – where we read the articles so you don’t need to! 

[CX PRESS] Concrete Communication in Uncertain Times

Dan Gingiss [00:01:25] We’re living in a world that is fundamentally different from the world we were living in just a few months ago. As businesses work to navigate the experiences they’re delivering to customers, one of the big questions that everyone is wrestling with is how do we offer certainty in our communications when we’re speaking to people in uncertain times? 

Joey Coleman [00:01:47] Which is why we were intrigued by the following article that is our CX Press segment today. I want to give special thanks to my buddy Michael Fishman, who’s the founder of the Consumer Health Summit, who turned me on to a piece in the M.I.T. Sloan Management Review. The article is written by Grant Packard, associate professor of marketing at York University in Toronto; Sarah G. Moore, associate professor of marketing at the University of Alberta School of Business in Edmonton; and Brent McFerran, the associate professor of marketing at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, British Columbia. 

Dan Gingiss [00:02:22] Wow. So that’s like “associate professor of marketing cubed” and a coast to coast group of Canadian professors. 

Joey Coleman [00:02:30] So true, Dan. So true! And let’s be honest, when it comes to creating great customer experiences, I’ve had the pleasure of spending enough time in Canada to know that our friendly neighbors to the north are absolute pros. And the fact that these three professors collaborated on a great article titled “Speaking to Customers in Uncertain Times” comes as no surprise to me, and I’m super excited to dive into it. The article begins with some clear yet frightening observations… and I quote:. 

Joey Coleman [00:02:59] “Businesses are increasingly operating in a low trust world. The levels at which people mistrust government, traditional media, and social media, are high – and rising… Add to the trust deficit a global pandemic, in which consumers have been asked to limit their visits to stores and restaurants and to shop online when possible. Those who do venture out face an uncertain and literally distanced service experience. They’re questioned about their health. Asked to line up and wear mask, shown where to walk, and reminded to avoid other customers and employees… This trust deficit persist outside the retail space. Individuals contacting customer service –  whether it airlines, banks or retailers – during the pandemic are waiting longer than ever and dealing with uncertainty and frustration about refunds and product availability… So customers are arriving at interactions in highly charged, emotional states. Many frontline workers with similar safety anxieties and changing directives from their supervisors are also stressed. Further due to staffing cuts, shuttered branches, and closed call centers, many customer service employees are working from home with less support from team members and supervisors… In short, the potential for fraught customer service experiences, in-person or otherwise, is higher than ever. 

Dan Gingiss [00:04:18] Ouch! I mean, that one is tough to swallow, but it is absolutely true. And I guess that’s what keeps us customer experience folks in business. I mean, trust is vital when it comes to customer experience and due to the fact that the current environment has eliminated, or drastically reduced, most of the face-to-face, nonverbal ways that people build trust – things like smiles, and head nods, and handshakes – we really are operating in an unprecedented environment. So given the reality of the world right now, what are we supposed to do about it? 

Joey Coleman [00:04:55] Well Dan, I’m glad you asked – but I’m even more excited about the fact that the article speaks to three very specific things that companies can do, that are all supported by a growing body of research on how the use of language can help. Now, whether we’re considering in-person interactions, or voice based phone conversations, or text based emails and chats, the three things that are recommended are as follows:. 

Joey Coleman [00:05:21] • Speaking to customers with specific dedicated attention,. 

Joey Coleman [00:05:23] • Establishing individual connection through the use of the word “I”,. 

Joey Coleman [00:05:28] And conveying care through warm words and the generous use of “thank yous.”. 

Joey Coleman [00:05:33] Now let’s jump into the first recommendation. (1) Provide customers with dedicated attention and concrete language. 

[00:05:41] New research that was conducted by Professor Packard (one of the authors of the article) in conjunction with Professor Jonah Berger of the Wharton School, shows that careful strategies around language not only can increase customer satisfaction, but they also influence how much money the customer spends in the days following a customer service interaction. The secret is to have your frontline employees use words that describe the customer’s interest in concrete, specific terms. This signals the customer that the representative is genuinely listening. 

Dan Gingiss [00:06:17] For example, when a customer contacts a call center to check about a pending delivery, the research shows a customer is more satisfied when they hear, “your package will be at your doorstep next Wednesday” rather than “your order will be there next week.” A package is more concrete than an order; a doorstep is more concrete than “there”; and Wednesday is more concrete than next week. 

Joey Coleman [00:06:41] In a similar fashion, “How can I help you?” can sound canned and rote instead. An employee should mentioned the distinct thing the customer is interested in. For example, at a coffee shop, an employee might say, “Can I get a coffee started for you?” At a hardware store, if a customer is looking at lawnmowers, the employee might say, “Can I help you find a mower?” The more specific, the better. Now, this also applies when responding to complaints. Rather than just saying, “Sure, I can look into that,” it’s more powerful to repeat the concrete thing the customer wants – such as, “Sure, I can look into why we sent you the wrong shoes.” In short, when employees go from generalized scripts to specific comments, it lets the customer know that they’re being heard at an individual level. The more concrete the language, the greater the feeling of attention and focus. 

Dan Gingiss [00:07:35] The next recommendation focuses on personal responsibility. (2) Bridge the trust deficit through individual connections. It’s easier for customers to believe in a single, caring individual than in a vast corporation. Research shows that when employees use the pronoun “I” (referring to the agent), rather than “we” (referring to the agent and the company), it signals that the specific agent the customer is speaking to can be depended on. This simple shift in language using “I” helps customers feel that the employee is actually acting on their behalf. 

Joey Coleman [00:08:11] Now, for example, and let’s be honest Dan, this is one you and I are all too familiar with… When an agent says, “I’m sorry to have to cancel your flight,” it conveys a more genuine, personal sense of remorse than, “we’re sorry to cancel the flight.” The word “we” not only decreases perceived empathy, but it makes it seem like the employee is avoiding responsibility and blaming the company. And this doesn’t just apply to changes in the customer’s plans… Rather than saying, “we probably have that in stock,” you should say, “I can probably find that in stock.” The phrase “we probably have that in stock” guesses about something the employee seems to have no control over – while, “I can probably find that in stock” conveys that specific employee’s desire to make a personal effort to address the issue. The final recommendation from the article is a big one for me personally. (3) Don’t just be competent – be caring. 

Dan Gingiss [00:09:08] You know, Joey, “I can probably find that that’s one of your favorite topics, incorporating empathy into the customer experience.”

Joey Coleman [00:09:15] Yes, indeed Dan! Yes, indeed! Organizations need to find ways to show warmth and competence when interacting with customers. As the article notes, “[i]t’s nearly impossible to be both warm and competent at the same time. Research has shown that people who try to be warm often seem less competent and those who try to be competent often seem less warm.” Now, that being said, new research on conversational dynamics shows that it’s critical for employees to speak both warmly (in other words, emotionally) and competently (that is rationally). The secret is when they do it. Employees need to convey different tones during different parts of the interaction. So the research shows that customers appreciate employees most when the conversations are bookended with warm, considerate words – while the more cognitive, solution oriented words make up the middle of the conversation. In other words, start with connection, then speak specifically about the concrete issue at hand, then closed with more warmth and empathy about the situation occurring in the first place. 

Dan Gingiss [00:10:23] You know, this seems fairly straightforward, but I also want to deviate for a moment to say that this stuff really does matter. I can just imagine some people may be rolling their eyes about, well, using this word here, and this word there. But this research is coming to a conclusion that is not necessarily new. It’s just sort of explained in a different way with, I think, a better structure around it. 

[00:10:51] But the words that we use and the way that we communicate to our customers is one of the biggest parts of customer experience that I think is also one of the most overlooked. And if you don’t have a call center, that’s okay. You can think about how you communicate in marketing materials, or on your Web site, or your mobile app, or if you have a brick and mortar store, what your employees say. There’s so many places where we communicate… And the best part about fixing your communication is it doesn’t cost you anything. So I also appreciated how the article reinforced the power of a simple “thank you” during a customer interaction. While past research indicated it was important to apologize in customer service contexts, new work reveals that signaling appreciation (such as saying “thank you”) is prized by customers and often is more effective than saying sorry. Although apologizing does acknowledge the company’s failure, it doesn’t alleviate consumers’ negative thoughts toward the business. In contrast, saying thank you, for example, “thank you for your patience about this” shifts attention away from the company’s failure and toward customers – making them feel more important to the company at a personal or individual level. 

Joey Coleman [00:12:02] In short, given a world where face time is increasingly both minimized and physically distanced, and where conversations are increasingly happening over the phone, or via some keystrokes, the most successful organizations are giving careful consideration to the specific words they use when speaking to their customers. Don’t forget to: (1) provide customers with dedicated attention and concrete language, (2) bridge the trust deficit through individual connections, and friends, (3) be caring and competent in your conversations. 

[SEGMENT INTRO – DISSECTING THE EXPERIENCE]

Joey Coleman [00:12:38] Sometimes a remarkable experience deserves deeper investigation. We dive into the nitty gritty of customer interactions and dissect how, and why, they happen. Join us, while we’re Dissecting the Experience. 

[DISSECTING THE EXPERIENCE] The Apple Credit Card – Changing the Landscape Again

Joey Coleman [00:12:55] As you know, Dan, I’m a big fan of Apple. 

Dan Gingiss [00:12:59] Yeah, do I ever! You were giving me grief about being a P.C. guy right before we hit record on this episode! 

Joey Coleman [00:13:05] Yes, indeed I did, but I feel like it’s only fair, given that you give me so much grief about not being active on Twitter. 

Dan Gingiss [00:13:12] True. True. But I actually have many Apple products in my possession. I love my iPhone and AirPods, for example. It’s the Mac that I’m not so sure of. So I’m not sure that you’re making, and if I daresay, apples to apples comparison. 

Joey Coleman [00:13:27] Yeah… he went there, ladies and gentlemen. All right. Well, there’s actually a reason I’m bringing up Apple in our conversation, and that’s because I had an experience recently that I think you might have some unique insight into. I recently signed up for the new Apple credit card. 

Dan Gingiss [00:13:45] Well, you know that I like talking about credit cards Joey. 

Joey Coleman [00:13:48] I do! 

Dan Gingiss [00:13:48] As I’m sure our listeners know, I spent almost 10 years in the credit card industry at Discover Card, which is one of the smaller of both the issuers and networks in the United States, but that kind of made it a little bit more scrappy. And I was there, and part of the team, that won the J.D. Power Award for the first time, snagging it away from AMEX. And so, I love talking credit cards. Let’s do it! Tell me about the Apple card. 

Joey Coleman [00:14:16] All right. Well, I figure that this will come as no surprise to you or our loyal listeners, but while there are many credit card companies in the marketplace, just like there are many laptops and desktops, and tablet computer manufacturers, the experience Apple created is unique. 

Dan Gingiss [00:14:35] All right. I’ll take a bite at the “apple.” Do tell! 

Joey Coleman [00:14:39] Oh, geez… a reference to “biting the apple” and “William Tell” in the same sentence. Folks, he is on fire today! All right. Well, we need to get into this story. From the very outset, getting an Apple card felt different. I went online, I answered a few questions and I received my approval instantly. 

Dan Gingiss [00:14:58] Okay. Well, so far that sounds fairly common. 

Joey Coleman [00:15:00] Yeah, I get it. But what was different about the Apple card is that I was able to use it immediately to purchase the iPad that I was buying from Apple at the time. 

Dan Gingiss [00:15:10] OK. Now, that’s interesting! And I remember talking about this at Discover, trying to figure out, you know, you can’t get the card in the person’s hand fast enough, so how can we get something else, some other way, for them to use it? So it looks like in this case, the application basically was triggered from within your shopping cart? 

Joey Coleman [00:15:29] Correct. Now, granted, the shopping cart was at Apple, and the application was for an Apple credit card, so I get that it was easier for them than in many scenarios where the credit card is third party. But the fact that they integrated those two things, and they made it incredibly easy to sign up, and that I got to use the card immediately on the purchase I was making right then, it was my favorite two words Dan! 

Dan Gingiss [00:15:52] Well, I believe we call that “instant gratification.” 

Joey Coleman [00:15:55] Yes, indeed, instant gratification. But friends, it gets better. A few days later, I received my card in the mail. And this thing was beautiful!

Dan Gingiss [00:16:05] Now, I would expect that from an Apple product, but not necessarily from a credit card. I mean, maybe unless we’re talking like the Amex Black Card or something. 

Joey Coleman [00:16:15] Well, I hear you and the Amex by card is really nice, but this was a completely different experience. Now, in the interest of full disclosure, I’m a brand new customer and I got approved for kind of a basic credit limit. Not a big credit limit, just kind of their intro, you know, credit limit. But I received a premium experience. So let me describe it for you: the packaging was a thick cardboard card with an engraved Apple logo in relief. And when you opened up this white card on the inside, it showed a gorgeous color gradient that went from dark green in one corner to deep red in the other corner, to vibrant purple in the other corner, and it spread across the whole page just beautifully… it was like opening up a rainbow. And inside this color field was an inset where the card was placed. And the message, “activate your card, wake iPhone and hold here” was printed just below it. 

Dan Gingiss [00:17:12] Wait, wait, wait… “wake iPhone and hold it here?” Tell you more about that. 

Joey Coleman [00:17:15] I’m going to explain that, but before I explain that, let me tell you about the card, OK? And then I’ll explain what happened underneath it. So the card is metal. But more specifically, it’s titanium. It has that famous Apple white matte finish to it that’s created by layering multiple layers in some amazing process that was designed by the engineers at Apple before it gets engraved with the Apple logo in silver in the top left corner. And the only other thing on the front of the card is my name: etched in dark gray. And the chip, which, unlike the other chip cards that I have, shows a simple set of six ovals on the chip as opposed to a mismatched series of lines. No, seriously, friends, as you’re listening and you if you have a chip card, pull out the credit card you have, and look at the design aesthetic of the chip – and then realize that Apple, as usual, took every visual element into account when designing their Apple card. And they actually designed the look of the chip on the outside of the credit card. 

Dan Gingiss [00:18:20] I’m sorry. I’m actually doing what you just suggested Joey… and you’re right. They all look the same with these weird gray lines. 

Joey Coleman [00:18:30] Yeah. It’s like shards of metal, that you know, kind of got glued together in some type of a shape. The Apple card, it’s these six beautiful little ovals in the metal. 

Dan Gingiss [00:18:41] That’s pretty cool. So they put all of the disclaimers, and contact info, expiration date, CCW number, and bank logos and all that stuff on the back right? 

Joey Coleman [00:18:51] Actually, no. The only thing on the back of the card are two logos. Again, they’re etched in silver. One for Goldman Sachs (the issuing bank) and the other for MasterCard. 

Dan Gingiss [00:19:04] I got to say, that sounds kind of slick. 

Joey Coleman [00:19:06] Oh, brother, it is. And in fact, I feel special just holding this card – let alone using it! And speaking of using it, this is where Apple marries beautiful product design, with an unprecedented unboxing experience, and incredible software capabilities. So as I mentioned before, you get this beautiful card, you open it up, there’s this rainbow of delight. And to activate the card, it prompts me to wake my iPhone and hold it near the card. Now, when I did that, the Wallet app on my phone confirmed its proximity to the card, prompted me with a couple of easy questions, and my card was active. No calling an 800 number; no visiting a Web site to make my card live; no peeling the sticker off that says “remove the sticker once you’ve activated your card.” It all happened with ease, and grace, and now I could use my Apple Card on any device I had with Apple Pay: my iPhone, my Apple Watch, the iPad, the MacBook Pro laptop. It synched to all of these things instantly. Now, I should also mention the other items you asked about when it comes to where are they on the card… there actually isn’t any other information on the card. There’s no card number. There’s no expiration date. There’s no service phone numbers. There’s no CVV code. There’s no signature. There’s no copyright info. There’s nothing. It’s a barren titanium plain. It just feels elegant! Now, the reason for this lack of data on the card isn’t just for aesthetics – although let’s tell yah, the aesthetic is beautiful. It also helps with security – because if the card is stolen, or even viewed by someone in line behind you, no one can get your number. All of the associated details for the card are stored in the Wallet app on your phone. You can view your balance; your available credit; there’s a simple colored graph of weekly activity when a payment is due; your latest transactions. Each of these can be delved deeper into using the app and you don’t need to log into a separate Web site just to get more details. 

Dan Gingiss [00:21:09] So dumb guy question here: does this mean that you can’t use it for what we in the industry call, “card not present transactions” i.e., you can’t use it on the phone because you don’t have a number to read, or do you have to memorize the number? 

Joey Coleman [00:21:22] Oh now, here’s where it’s special. You can actually generate independent card numbers for your individual transactions. So you can generate one that you always use or if you’re giving your card over the phone and you don’t necessarily trust the person on the phone that you’re giving the card to, you can easily within the app generate a “one off use” number, give them that number, it gets used for that one charge and then that number will never get used again. 

Dan Gingiss [00:21:51] Yes. OK. So that I just want to let you know because, hey, you told you told the audience that I have some experience here. 

Joey Coleman [00:21:57] I do! 

Dan Gingiss [00:21:57] That is actually owned by Mastercard. That is not an Apple thing. That ability is for a Mastercard. 

Joey Coleman [00:22:05] OK, fair enough, fair enough. But that’s why we have, I presume, the Mastercard logo on the back of the card too. Right?! So they get some credit there. But yeah, it’s the fact that in a world where we’re increasingly worried about, you know, our credit card number being compromised, that we can create individual card numbers kind of on the fly, felt really cool to me. And you know, what they do on the back end around putting the customer first is also really unique as well. You know, a lot of credit card companies, and I say this respectfully because I have other cards as well, they try to hide the reality. Right?! Every credit card once their users to spend money, but it also wants you to keep a balance. And unlike other credit card companies, instead of hiding that information in a website or a monthly statement, Apple puts everything as clear as possible, right into the app. So you can see your weekly activity; you can click on a transaction and it shows you more information – this is all happening within the app. If you shop at one retailer multiple times, if you tap on any one location in the app, it will show you all the other transactions with that specific retailer as well as your running monthly total. When it comes time to pay, it allows you to see the interest you’ll be charged based on how much you pay off each month so you have a little kind of toggle switch where you can say, “well, I pay a little more, how much will my interest go down in the future?” They really make the paying of the card an experience and an interaction as well. 

Dan Gingiss [00:23:36] Man, I have so many things that I could say about this. I’m getting excited. And I think what’s going to happen is when we’re done recording, I’m going to apply for this card… 

Joey Coleman [00:23:43] Nice! Ooo – ladies and gentlemen, I may have swayed him over to getting an Apple card. I like it! I like it!

Dan Gingiss [00:23:49] There are a couple of things here that are really cool. First of all, they’re also giving you your cash back rewards in real time – which most cards do. Right?! It usually waits until you cycle at the end of the month. And I used to have this conversation all the time about this concept of a “cycle date,” – like who in the world, what customer thinks in terms of a cycle date right?! 

Joey Coleman [00:24:11] That would be No One. Even the people who work at the credit card company barely think of the cycle date. It’s like literally no customer thinks of this. 

Dan Gingiss [00:24:17] It’s an absolute made up concoction that every card uses and it doesn’t need to. And so the realtime thing makes a ton of sense. And also the paying more when you garner interest… When I was in business school back in 2001, I did a summer internship at First USA, which is now Chase Bank. And I was actually assigned, as a marketer, to the collections team – which was really a unique experience because you’re marketing to the people who aren’t paying you. This was kind of mind boggling to me. And what we ended up figuring out was that, by showing them graphically how long it was going to take to pay back their bill, and then how long it was going to take if they paid fifty extra dollars, one hundred extra dollars, etc., that it created, it got rid of this sick psychological barrier, in the sense that it gave them hope – like we talked about in the previous segment. I remember one guy, I’ll never forget him, he said, “as long as I can circle the date on my calendar when I’m going to be out of debt, then I’m OK. Even if it’s 15 years down the line, I just need to know when it is.” And true story, those graphs actually ultimately became the law of the land in the United States and now all credit card companies have to do that. And I think Apple, as usual, is taking it a step further because they’re actually encouraging people not to generate interest. And that is completely changing the game. 

Joey Coleman [00:25:51] Exactly. What credit card company wants you to pay your bill faster? Pretty much no credit card companies. So, I do think that Apple is completely redefining the game – as usual. But here’s the thing, friends. If you’re listening, you may be saying, “well, that’s nice and dandy for Apple, Joey. But how does this apply to my company and our product, and our service offerings? We don’t make computers. We’re not going to start issuing our own credit cards!” Friends – I get it. My goal in sharing this story is to inspire you. Inspire you to reimagine all the ways your customers interact with your products and services. To seek aesthetic beauty in the things you create. To place customer ease as your prime directive. To marry your offline customer interactions with your online customer interactions. There’s a reason why Apple is one of the fastest growing, most successful, most loved brands on the planet – and that’s because they make their customer experience a holistic driver in every product and service they create. So how can you infuse customer experience into every product and service you offer – so that your customers talk about how their required interactions with you, things like paying their bill, and receiving their bill, and interacting with your support team, and doing all the things that are necessary for their interactions with you – become worthy of remark. 

[PARTNERSHIP WITH AVTEX] We Love Game Shows – Do You?

Dan Gingiss [00:27:24] Joey, do you like game shows? 

Joey Coleman [00:27:26] You know, I actually do like game shows. Who doesn’t like a good game show? You know, you get a chance to laugh. You get a little entertained. Maybe you learn a thing or two. Game shows are great. 

Dan Gingiss [00:27:35] I love game shows. I’ve watched them since I was a kid when I was at home sick from school. I’d spend the whole day watching game shows. What were some of your favorites, or are some of your favorites?

Joey Coleman [00:27:48] Yeah. I got to say, I think I probably watched more back in the day, but one that has continued through my life is Jeopardy! Right?! It’s just, it’s fun… The whole family can play together. Everybody can yell at the TV at the same time. It rewards knowledge of useless trivia points. You learn a thing or two. I’m a big fan of Jeopardy! What about you? 

Dan Gingiss [00:28:10] And you know, it’s so funny because I think the world is divided into either Jeopardy fans or Wheel of Fortune fans, and I’m a Wheel of Fortune fan. 

Joey Coleman [00:28:17] Surprise surprise! Is anyone listening right now surprised that we’re on the opposite end of the game show spectrum? 

Dan Gingiss [00:28:23] Well, the reason is, is that I have always sucked at trivia. And so, I like watching Jeopardy, I just can’t play along. Whereas with Wheel of Fortune, I’m very good with words, I love the puzzles, and, you know, I’m screaming at the TV when there’s like only two letters showing and I’m like, how come you guys can’t see this?”. 

Joey Coleman [00:28:40] Nice. Nice! 

Dan Gingiss [00:28:41] When I was a kid, I watched Joker’s Wild and Tic Tac Toe. 

Joey Coleman [00:28:45] Well, what about Press Your Luck?! No whammies, no whammies, no whammies… that was always a really fun one, too. 

Dan Gingiss [00:28:49] Yeah. Absolutely loved it. The Price is Right, of course. And I mean on and on… So many great, great game shows. 

Joey Coleman [00:28:57] Why don’t more people do game shows? 

Dan Gingiss [00:28:59] I don’t know. I’m not sure. But I’ll tell you one thing, and I haven’t really told anyone this before, I kind of always wanted to be a game show host. 

Joey Coleman [00:29:08] You know, I feel like I knew that about you. I too, kind of like the game show host, if nothing else, to be able to do, ladies and gentlemen, the game show host voice. 

Dan Gingiss [00:29:17] What do you mean? You mean like this one? 

Joey Coleman [00:29:20] Yeah, exactly. As two guys that like horsing around, that’s really fun. You know what would be interesting? Are there many game shows around business? 

Dan Gingiss [00:29:29] I don’t know. I, I can’t say that I’ve ever heard a game show or seen one. 

Joey Coleman [00:29:34] There really aren’t a lot. But, you know, I wonder what the experience would be like? 

Dan Gingiss [00:29:39] That’s a good point, Joey. Hmm… 

Joey Coleman [00:29:44] And what would be the point of having a game show about experience? You could experience, the point, of the show. 

Dan Gingiss [00:29:54] Wow – you’re really on point. 

Joey Coleman [00:29:58] Aww – it’ll be a fun experience. Folks – stay tuned for more. You’re gonna have an experience, and we’ll get to the point. 

[SEGMENT INTRO – THIS JUST HAPPENED]

Joey Coleman [00:30:06] We love telling stories and sharing key insights, you can implement – or avoid – based on our experiences. Can you believe that This Just Happened? 

[THIS JUST HAPPENED] Summer Surprise – Inflatable Pools with Bonus Gifts

Dan Gingiss [00:30:20] So Dan, I got to ask you, how did you spend your “socially distanced” summer? 

Dan Gingiss [00:30:26] Well, let’s see, I had two kids at home that were supposed to be at overnight camp, so I had to entertain them… 

Joey Coleman [00:30:32] So you were a camp counselor… Congratulations! 

Dan Gingiss [00:30:35] Yeah. Let’s see. I adopted a senior dog, who has been awesome. So I’ve been out walking a whole lot more and maybe most importantly, from a professional perspective, I wrote my second book. 

Joey Coleman [00:30:50] Ooo lah lah! 

Dan Gingiss [00:30:51] So I got that done. 

Joey Coleman [00:30:52] We’re gonna have to get more into that in a future segment of Experience This! The reason I ask, is because like a lot of other people, I think around the world, our family ended up spending a lot more time at home this summer – confined to our backyard – than we had actually planned. And as the summer went on, I started to think about ways to make our time in the backyard more enjoyable. So we got some new lawn furniture, which was great, so we could just sit outside and, you know, relax, and read, and hang out, while the kids played. And then we started talking about getting a pool. 

Dan Gingiss [00:31:26] Did you call our good friend Marcus Sheridan – the “pool guy?” 

Joey Coleman [00:31:30] Actually, I did not call the Pool Guy this time, but when it comes time to actually install a pool in the yard permanently, Marcus’s team at River Pools and Spas is definitely who I’ll be reaching out to. But in all honesty, since we rent our house and given that full disclosure, I didn’t really start thinking about this pool idea until about halfway through the month of June, I was looking for a faster solution that would be the best solution for this summer. 

Dan Gingiss [00:31:58] So you went online? 

Joey Coleman [00:31:59] Correct. And a simple search of inflatable pools on Amazon brought me to the magical place where five star reviews and in stock availability overlapped in a listing for an inflatable pool that I promptly ordered. And when it arrived, my two boys were thrilled at the idea of having a place to cool off in the backyard since the pools here in town were closed. 

Dan Gingiss [00:32:24] OK, so that sounds really nice, but you made me say the word “Cracker Jack-esque” surprise in the intro, which was really hard to say, and I just said it again. So what does this have to do with inflatable pools? 

Joey Coleman [00:32:34] Well, then I’m glad you asked. And hopefully the people that heard that Cracker Jack a reference, we’re wondering. Here’s the thing. I’ve had the pleasure of working with hundreds of companies that sell their products on Amazon. And one of the common complaints I hear from these Amazon sellers is that while they love the access to the Amazon marketplace, they don’t like the limits on customer interaction and customer data that Amazon places on them when they use the Amazon platform. And so most sellers are lamenting the lack of connection to their buyers, and they’re frustrated that they don’t have an easy way to contact these people that purchase their products, and it just kind of creates a mess for everyone involved. 

Dan Gingiss [00:33:16] Yeah, I’ve definitely had that frustration as a consumer because you have to go through Amazon to get to whoever it is that sold you the product. 

Joey Coleman [00:33:25] Exactly. Which is why more and more companies that sell on Amazon have tried to incentivize purchasers to establish a direct relationship with them – as opposed to going through Amazon. And over the years, I’ve seen this through insert postcards that ask recipients to sign up for a newsletter, or directions that encourage purchasers to register for some random warranty, or even just fliers that say “visit our website and place your next order,” even though you place your order on Amazon because it was easy and simple to do. 

Dan Gingiss [00:33:58] Yeah. Not placing it on your website next time. Sorry. But those are not a particularly remarkable or surprise and delight worthy experiences. 

Joey Coleman [00:34:08] Correct. Which is why the inflatable pool company got my attention. So included in the packaging was a postcard that I’d love to share with you and our listeners. And the postcard read as follows: “Hello. Sincerely, thank you for your business and support. I hope the inflatable pool you purchased is everything you expected. Your satisfaction is my primary goal. If you have any questions or suggestions, please do not hesitate to contact me at any time.” (and then they shared an email address). The card went on to say, “Also, to claim your air pump or rectangular pool cover, please reach out to me with your order number and country. Thanks again for your shopping. Wish you all the best. Ann”

Dan Gingiss [00:34:50] Ooo! I’m not sure which one I want: the air pump or the pool cover! 

Joey Coleman [00:34:55] Exactly. And that’s what I thought. Now Dan, I’ve received dozens of inserts from Amazon sellers over the year, and this is one of the first ones I was ever excited about replying to. Now, the pump is really useful if you don’t already have one. And the pool cover is going to be useful to anyone who orders the pool as it’s custom-sized to fit. So compared to silly warranty registrations, or uninspiring coupons for discounts on future purchases, this was actually something I wanted! And I felt that same anticipation and excitement that I had as a kid when I opened a box of Cracker Jack to find the free prize inside. But this time, I got to choose the free prize. 

Dan Gingiss [00:35:38] I love it. That’s actually a really, fun marketing technique to give people a choice. So which one did you choose? The pump or the pool cover? The pool cover or the pump? 

Joey Coleman [00:35:49] You might have guessed. I actually went with the pool cover – and I went with the pool cover for two reasons. Number one, I already had an air mattress pump that work just fine to inflate the pool. So I knew I was good there. And I also felt that the pool cover would come in useful over the long haul and be harder to replace because it was custom-sized to the pool. Now, what I love about this example is that almost every product you purchase has some associated products that the company tries to upsell you on. Extra parts, add ons, maintenance tools, etc. Tying a useful add on – in this case, the pool cover – to my original purchase was a fantastic way to motivate me to go out of my way to share my email with the inflatable pool company. Now, this experience left me wondering how many companies sell through third party distributors, or platforms like Amazon, and are frustrated that they don’t have access to their end users. How many companies have tried a host of uninspired ways to access these end users to no avail? How many companies basically say, throw up their hands and say, “well, there’s nothing we can do” and send the same boring, useless inserts as their competitors? Well, what if they did something different? Why not build into your product price the additional cost of a supplemental item and then offer that item for free to customers that are willing to establish a direct connection to you? Now, this probably won’t bother your distributors or the marketplace where you sell, especially if the only way to get the supplemental item – like the pool cover – is via the primary purchase of the primary item. So like, for example, when I go on Amazon and I look for the pool cover that matches the inflatable pool I bought – you can’t find it. You can’t find it on their website. The only way to get it is through this special offer. Now, the only way the inflatable pool company could have made this better would be to make an online form where I could input my information instead of asking me to send them an email. But to be honest, other than that, I thought this was a really smart way to create a remarkable experience and an ongoing customer interaction “after the sale,” which is something that every organization should be focused on doing. 

[SHOW OUTRO]

Joey Coleman [00:38:03] Wow. Thanks for joining us for another episode of Experience This! 

Dan Gingiss [00:38:07] We know there are tons of podcasts to listen to, magazines and books to read, reality TV to watch. We don’t take for granted that you’ve decided to spend some quality time listening to the two of us. 

Joey Coleman [00:38:16] We hope you enjoyed our discussions and if you do, we’d love to hear about it! Come on over to ExperienceThisShow.com and let us know what segments you enjoy, what new segments you’d like to hear. This show is all about experience and we want you to be part of the Experience This! Show. 

Dan Gingiss [00:38:35] Thanks again for your time and we’ll see you next week for more. 

Joey Coleman [00:38:38] Experience… 

Dan Gingiss [00:38:39] This! 

Episode 103 – Adding a Little Sparkle Makes Your Experience Remarkable

Join us as we discuss major shifts in customer expectations, a not-so-average birthday celebration, and turning customers into raving fans.

Pivoting, Celebrating, and Dedicating – Oh My!

[Dissecting the Experience] COVID-19 and the Impact on Customer and Employee Experience

Things We Mentioned in This Segment:

• Sitel Group
• How Coronovirus is Shaping Consumer Trends – by Sitel Group
• McKinsey
• Adapting Customer Experience in the Time of Coronavirus – by McKinsey
• Chief Marketing Officer of Sitel Group – Martin Wilkinson-Brown
• HIPPA – The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996
• Statista
• Avtex
• Delivering Safe and Effective Customer Experiences Following COVID-19 – by Dan Gingiss on the Avtex blog
• We Could All Use Some Psychological First Aid – by Mary McNaughton-Cassill, Ph.D in Psychology Today Magazine

[This Just Happened] A “Sparkling” Birthday Surprise

Things We Mentioned in This Segment:

• Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar
• Open Table
• Rain Man
• Episode 66, Season Three
• Gaylord Texan Resort
• Episode 50, Season Two
• Chewy

[Partnership with Avtex] Coming Soon – to an Arcade Near You?

Things We Mentioned in This Segment:

• Avtex
• Gauntlet
• Galaga
• Leaderboard

[Book Report] Fanocracy – by David Meerman Scott and Reiko Scott

Things We Mentioned in This Segment:

• Fanocracy: Turning Fans into Customers and Customers into Fans – by David Meerman Scott and Reiko Scott
• David Meerman Scott
• Reiko Scott
• Inbound Conference
• Delta Airlines
• Social Media Marketing World
• Newsjacking – by David Meerman Scott
• The New Rules of Marketing and PR – by David Meerman Scott
• Marketing Lessons from the Grateful Dead – by David Meerman Scott
• Tony Robbins
• One Simple Question for the Presidential Candidates: What are You a Fan of? (Democratic candidates video)
• Kamala Harris
• Chicago Cubs
• Space Exploration
• University of Notre Dame
• The Fighting Irish
• Notre Dame Glee Club
• LEGO
• The Grateful Dead
• Harry Potter
• NASA
• NASA Social Media Channels
• Bryan Kramer

Host Contact Information

Email Dan: Dan@dangingiss.com

Tweet Dan Gingiss: @DGingiss

Email Joey: JoeyC@JoeyColeman.com

DanGingiss.com

JoeyColeman.com

Subscribe to Experience This on Apple Podcasts

Episode Transcript

Download a transcript of Episode 103 here or read it below:

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

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

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

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

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

[EPISODE 103 INTRO]
Dan Gingiss (00:38):
Get ready for another episode of the Experience This! Show

Joey Coleman (00:45):
Join us as we discuss major shifts in customer expectations, a not-so-average birthday celebration, and turning customers into raving fans.

Dan Gingiss (00:57):
Pivoting, celebrating, and dedicating! Oh my!

[SEGMENT INTRO – DISSECTING THE EXPERIENCE]
Joey Coleman (01:05):
Sometimes a remarkable experience deserves deeper investigation. We dive into the nitty gritty of customer interactions and dissect how, and why, they happen. Join us while we’re Dissecting the Experience.

[DISSECTING THE EXPERIENCE] COVID-19 and the Impact on Customer and Employee Experience
Dan Gingiss (01:22):
Welcome back to Season Six of the Experience This! Show. We are so happy to be back with you and so excited that you are here for another season chock full of great customer experiences. Now, obviously the world has changed just a bit in the past few months…

Joey Coleman (01:42):
Understatement!

Dan Gingiss (01:46):
With a certain pandemic ravaging the economy, people’s livelihoods, and of course their health. And new words and phrases have entered the lexicon like lockdowns, and quarantines, infection rates, stimulus bills, and there’s even a coin shortage in the United States. And many companies have either shuttered their doors, or unfortunately probably won’t live to see 2021. And entire industries have had to restructure and adapt in order to remain solvent, let alone competitive.

Joey Coleman (02:19):
You know, Dan we’ve also watched as the world has really grappled with important social issues like diversity and inclusion, which have affected how we look at hiring practices and changing customer demographics and even our political candidates. To put it mildly, there’s a lot that’s been going on since last time we all hung out together.

Dan Gingiss (02:39):
Exactly. And that is why Joey and I are so excited to be back here with you on the Experience This! Show, because if the past few months have taught us anything other than that, we each have the power to decide if we want to be part of the problem or part of the solution,

Joey Coleman (02:55):
Hint! Be part of the solution friends be part of the solution.

Dan Gingiss (02:58):
It is, that customer experience has actually never been more important. Our customers are depending on us, more now than ever, and they’re making future buying decisions based on their experiences with us right now. Some companies immediately got that and they pivoted to be more helpful and caring for their customers. Others kept plowing forward as if nothing had happened… occasionally checking a box by sending a copycat email, you know, the one: talking about their enhanced cleaning procedures and sending us to the CDC website.

Joey Coleman (03:31):
Oh geez. Yeah. You know, the reality friends is that those companies that have decided to take care of their customers during COVID-19 will have customers after COVID-19. Right? And the other thing that is going to stay the same,, along with the fact that great experiences work, they have worked, and they will continue to work, is that Dan and I are committed to continue bringing you examples of remarkable customer experiences that hopefully can, and should, inspire you to take action at your own company! We want to help you get more customers. We want to help you keep the ones you have. We want to help you by providing a regular little appetizer of customer experience delight – something to motivate you, something to get you thinking differently, something to get you to make the changes that will help your business not only survive going forward, but thrive going forward.

Dan Gingiss (04:24):
So in Season Six, we’re going to talk about things like: innovation in the audio book industry;

Joey Coleman (04:30):
Launching a new Peruvian restaurant by sending packages in the mail;

Dan Gingiss (04:35):
The behind the scenes people creating experiences at sporting events;

Joey Coleman (04:41):
How to keep connected to the customers that used to come to your place of business, but are now staying at home;

Dan Gingiss (04:46):
Creating custom Zoom backgrounds for your best customers to use;

Joey Coleman (04:51):
Crafting analog solutions in a digital world;

Dan Gingiss (04:54):
The reasons why people stay loyal to brands;

Joey Coleman (05:00):
And so, so much more. But before we get into all of that over the course of the next season, let’s start dissecting this COVID era experience.

Dan Gingiss (05:11):
You mean the 800 pound elephant in the room Joey?

Joey Coleman (05:14):
You know, we’ve got to address it right early on, right folks. And for anybody listening, who’s saying, “Oh my gosh, great, this entire Season Six is going to be about COVID-19!” No, no, no. It’s not. The entire show is going to be what it’s always been about: customer experience. But if we didn’t take time, in this very first segment of Season Six, to actually address the elephant in the room, we’d feel like we were letting you down.

Dan Gingiss (05:37):
So I found two resources that I really wanted to share with our audience that I think will help to frame this discussion. The first is a study from our old friends at Sitel Group called “COVID-19 the CX Impact.” And the second is a terrific article by the consulting company, McKinsey, you probably have heard of them.

Joey Coleman (05:57):
I have, once or twice.

Dan Gingiss (05:59):
called “Adapting Customer Experience in the Time of Coronavirus.” And across these two reports, I found that a few key trends really emerged. And that’s what I want to talk about in this segment. The first, which I think we all know conceptually, but are really seeing this happening at the speed of light, is the move to digital.

Joey Coleman (06:20):
And I think what you said about the speed of light is so true, right? Every company in January of 2020 had a digital strategy. Two months later, that digital strategy was probably their only strategy!

Dan Gingiss (06:33):
Exactly. Or they, or it was ripped up and they had to rewrite it.

Joey Coleman (06:36):
Yeah, exactly. It’s a new digital strategy!

Dan Gingiss (06:39):
So the CMO (Chief Marketing Officer) of Sitel, Martin Wilkinson-Brown,

Joey Coleman (06:44):
Great guy, great guy and friend of ours.

Dan Gingiss (06:46):
He is, and he said this in the report and I’m quoting, “The key coronavirus consumer trend is that increasingly a brand is judged by the strength of its digital channels when it comes to customer experience. Now, the Sitel study found that as COVID-19 forced stores to close temporarily and for people to practice social distancing or even stay home, consumers looked to digital channels to serve their needs. 76% of respondents said that they’d made online purchases for things that they normally would have purchased in person. But what’s really important and interesting is that 57% said that they will continue this behavior once the pandemic ends. Now, McKinsey also found that, and I’m quoting again, “Digital adoption has grown strongly even among the most digitally resistant customers.” And so its article came to a similar conclusion quote, “[i]t’s likely that many customers who have converted to digital services will stick to them after the immediate health crisis is over. Companies who make this shift to digital and deliver superior experiences, have an opportunity to increase adoption and maintain these customer relationships after the crisis.”

Joey Coleman (08:03):
Dan, not only do I agree with everything that you said, whether it’s from the folks at Sitel or the folks at McKinsey, but we’ve experienced this in our own lives. We used to order some of our groceries online for delivery. Now we order all of our groceries online for delivery. I had never had the chance to really experience telemedicine before this, but ended up in a scenario where my wife Berit had something in her eye and we were trying to figure out whether we go to the eye doctor to get it looked at, but ugh – do we really want to be out like in a medical environment when there’s a pandemic going on?! And so we called the eye doctor and they were like, “just text us a picture of what’s going on. “And we texted the picture and they texted back and they’re like, “yeah, here’s what it is, nothing to worry about. It’ll be fine in about a week or two. And if it’s not, call us back.” Now, what’s fascinating about that, and sorry honey for the HIPAA violation I just committed there, but the moral of this story being, not only are the companies that have a digital strategy that have gained customers during this time going to potentially keep those customers, but the customer’s expectation for a digital solution is going to go up. I mean, I’m in a place where I don’t want to go to the doctor, if we can solve this via FaceTime or texting photos. I don’t want to go out and waste my time traveling from my home to whatever office it is, if we can do that electronically.

Dan Gingiss (09:34):
Yes, ladies and gentlemen, Joey has just admitted to the world that his wife actually has an eye.

Joey Coleman (09:41):
Well, you know, I try to be conscious of, uh, divulging other people’s, I have medical professionals in the family, we talk about HIPAA a lot, I want to be a good consumer.

Dan Gingiss (09:50):
I understand. And you know, it is also created, this move to digital has also created different ways for us to evaluate companies. So for example Joey, I went immediately to curbside pickup for groceries and I stopped because after four or five weeks, I was tired of the groceries being wrong. I was tired of the order being wrong or of their being out of certain items. It became so frustrating to me that I ended up deciding to just go put on a KN-95 mask and go do it myself. I mean, folks, this has now been going on for multiple months, and so the move to digital has happened, it’s going to stay, and your company has got to excel at it – otherwise you’re going to lose customers to the competition. Let’s move on to the second trend in the article, which was the move to home delivery. McKinsey says that home delivery has gone from a convenience to a necessity. And as Joey pointed out, this isn’t just pizza delivery anymore. This is grocery stores, pharmacies, meal delivery services, even car dealerships that are picking up and dropping off cars at people’s homes for repair and maintenance appointments. I had a bicycle picked up and dropped off for a repair and maintenance appointment. According to Statista, the grocery delivery app Instacart saw month over month growth of 218% as the pandemic began.

Joey Coleman (11:17):
Yeah, well, it’s a good time to be in the home delivery business. If there’s an upside to the pandemic, it’s if your business, like Instacart, was primarily built around home delivery, you experienced growth at a very accelerated rate. As you alluded to though, Dan, part of the challenge with experiencing growth at an accelerated rate is that things break faster too. And so I know Instacart had to go out and hire a bunch of new shoppers, there were a bunch of people who sadly lost their jobs and were looking for jobs and as Instacart, Amazon, and some of the other companies who were seeing an increase in business were kind of there to fill the void of people that were looking for jobs, the problem was, there wasn’t a lot of time for training. And there wasn’t a lot of time to necessarily make sure that that Instacart shopper, who was going to be going to the store and shopping for your stuff, although you were doing, you know, curbside pickup Dan so that was theoretically store employees, but the reality is there’s, there’s a learning curve on this stuff too. I think what’s interesting though, is in this move to home delivery, we’ve had the chance as a society, at least here in the United States, and I think it’s been prevalent globally, but probably accelerated here in the U.S. because of how long this crisis has continued to affect the U.S. compared to some other countries who have gotten/done a better job – but we won’t get into that! – the moral of the story being we need to make these shifts and customers want the convenience. They want to be able to order this stuff from home. And I think more and more consumers are realizing that the shopping process versus the convenience of having delivery just isn’t always worth it. You know, sometimes it’s nice and sometimes as you alluded to, you know, if you want to get the order exactly right, you want to go do it yourself. But sometimes it’s okay if it’s not perfect, if it’s done. And I think that’s kind of what has happened across a lot of these home delivery services.

Dan Gingiss (13:15):
Absolutely. So the third trend is a focus on safety. And this applies to both customers and employees. And I actually got to write a blog post for our good friends and show sponsors, Avtex.

Joey Coleman (13:29):
Woo hoo! Avtex!

Dan Gingiss (13:29):
So if you go to avtex.com and look at their blog, you’ll see this post. And I’m sure you’ve heard of the famous psychologist, Abraham Maslow, who created the famous hierarchy of needs in the 1960s.

Joey Coleman (13:45):
It’s such a nice little pyramid.

Dan Gingiss (13:47):
It’s a great pyramid. And it’s got five tiers of human needs ranked from the physiological at the bottom, which are the most basic needs, to self actualization at the top, which are the needs that are the most difficult to obtain. Well safety needs, which include both safety and security, are considered basic needs. And they’re ranked just above literally, food, and water, and warmth, and rest.

Joey Coleman (14:11):
Yeah, they’re right. This is the bottom of the pyramid folks. If you don’t have your safety needs taken care of, it’s kind of the case that nothing else matters.

Dan Gingiss (14:19):
Exactly. Which is why I am willing to predict here today, that “safety” is going to be the key word and key trend in customer experience in the next 6 to 12 months for sure. So Psychology Today Magazine noted that there are five elements to what is commonly referred to as “psychological first aid.” And this is something that’s often administered to victims of natural disasters and is equally applicable to the current pandemic. Now, those five elements are: (1) Help people feel safe, (2) create a sense of calm, (3) help regain a sense of control and self efficacy, (4) feed the need for social connection, and (5) believe in the power of hope. And I have to tell you, Joey, I kind of related to all five of these things right now.

Joey Coleman (15:09):
Oh, amen brother. Yeah. I mean, this is something that everyone needs and I don’t think you can experience full feelings of safety if you don’t have all of these things. Right?! And so I think there’s an opportunity for everyone listening to look at your business and say, are we helping our customers feel safe? Are we creating a sense of calm? Are we helping them to regain a sense of control or self efficacy? You know, what are we doing to help them to feel like they can get a little bit of their power back? How are we feeding their need for social connection? How are we giving them a feeling of hope? You know, this stuff isn’t just psychology mumbo jumbo that’s meant for a Psych 101 course. These are actionable steps that have been proven time and time again, as it relates to human needs, that if your business isn’t specifically addressing these, you’re missing a big opportunity. And I think what happened early on in this crisis is a lot of businesses read this as, “tell them you’re going to wear a mask and clean things up.” It’s like, okay, thanks that worked in week one and maybe week two. But as you pointed out, months later, you know, different people have different definitions of safety. Different people are experiencing different levels of calm. Different people want different levels of control and connection. But I think most people, still want hope. And that’s where I think every business has the opportunity to make sure they’re checking all five of these boxes.

Dan Gingiss (16:38):
Absolutely. And as with anything in customer experience, you have to start with your employees because if your employees don’t feel safe, they’re not going to be able to provide that safety to your customers. So everything has changed for businesses since March, and we know it can be overwhelming. The good news, I think for those of us focused on customer experience is that there has never been a more important time for CX.

Joey Coleman (17:03):
Never! In the history of customer experience, if you work in customer experience, this is the magical time – right now.

Dan Gingiss (17:11):
So since we can’t solve every issue all at once, we believe that starting with the three main trends identified in this segment, which is the move to digital, the move to home delivery, and a focus on safety, that will help us stay ahead of the curve and ensure that we continue to serve our customers during a very difficult time and beyond.

[SEGMENT INTRO – THIS JUST HAPPENED]
Joey Coleman (17:33):
We love telling stories and sharing key insights you can implement, or avoid, based on our experiences. Can you believe that This Just Happened?!

[THIS JUST HAPPENED] A “Sparkling” Birthday Surprise
Dan Gingiss (17:46):
Before everything locked down, my family took our 14 year old son out for his birthday at his choice of a restaurant, and the guy’s got good taste, he chose Fleming’s Steak House.

Joey Coleman (17:59):
He does have good taste! I’m guessing my invitation might’ve gotten lost in the mail for that birthday celebration?

Dan Gingiss (18:05):
I think maybe you were on stage that night – that must have been it, yeah, I think you couldn’t do it.

Joey Coleman (18:11):
Ladies and gentlemen, did you see how quickly my good partner, and friend, Dan recovered on that? Yeah. Yeah. Blame it, blame it on being on stage with the audience. Okay. That’s fair. That’s fair.

Dan Gingiss (18:22):
So let me set this up for you. So like I do often, I booked, the restaurant reservation on Open Table, which as you know, is a third party reservation app. And there’s a spot in the, in the reservation, where it says, “are you celebrating anything?” And we said, yeah, we’re celebrating our son’s 14th birthday,

Joey Coleman (18:38):
Which let’s be honest, anytime you fill that out, you always wonder, are they going to do anything with that?

Dan Gingiss (18:43):
Exactly.

Joey Coleman (18:43):
I’ve filled it out plenty of times where they might as well have said, you know, what’s your horoscope for today, because it would’ve been about as impactful on the experience I had. Most restaurants don’t seem to pay attention to that field the way they could or should.

Dan Gingiss (18:58):
Exactly. Well we walked in and told them our name, and the guy took one look at us and pretty much figured out who the 14 year old was.

Joey Coleman (19:06):
It’s the hair, it was the hair wasn’t it?! That was the only way he knew.

Dan Gingiss (19:11):
And the impeccably dressed maitre d reached behind the counter and handed my son a hand signed birthday card. And the outside of it says “Happy Birthday.” And the inside says, “Thank you for celebrating with us. Best wishes from your friends at Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar.” And then somebody wrote in, “and many more.” And I was stunned because…

Joey Coleman (19:34):
You thought to yourself, “not only is this a great birthday, but we’re going to talk about this on the show! Ladies and gentlemen, the show writes itself. Dan and I go about our lives and the show writes itself!

Dan Gingiss (19:45):
Exactly. And that’s why we keep going and going like the Energizer bunny. So, I mean, I’ve celebrated a decent number of birthdays at restaurants and, uh, and I have never seen this happen. So he’s, uh, he’s walking us to the table and he kind of winks at my son and says something like, I can’t remember the exact words, but something like, you know, “we’re going to have something special for you after you, after your dinner.” And it was at that moment, Joey, where I realized we weren’t getting a slice of cake and a candle. Right. Because that’s what you get at a restaurant.

Joey Coleman (20:16):
Because you don’t set that expectation unless you’re going to do something special.

Dan Gingiss (20:20):
Yeah. There’s nothing wrong with a slice of cake and a candle. It’s really nice, but it is certainly not unexpected.

Joey Coleman (20:26):
Nor remarkable.

Dan Gingiss (20:27):
Right. So we had a lovely dinner and after the dinner was over the waiter returned with a plate that had, it’s a little hard to describe, but on one half of the plate, the chef had used cocoa powder and obviously a mold of some sort, or stencil, to write “Happy Birthday” in cocoa powder, which was super cool. And on the right side, instead of your typical slice of cake, was a box that had four handmade chocolates, each one in its own little section of the box, and coming out of the top was not a candle, but a sparkler.

Joey Coleman (21:09):
Oh, nice! Let’s get the fire extinguishers folks. This is going to be a big one!

Dan Gingiss (21:13):
I’m telling you if that’s the only, if it was a slice of cake and a sparkler, I think we would have all been impressed but the waiter explained to us that these are handmade by their pastry chef and you know, and they were amazing. Right?! And it was also a little bit lighter than a big piece of cake and all that.

Joey Coleman (21:33):
You each had a bite, basically, as opposed to seventy bites, which let’s be candid, if you’ve had the pleasure of eating at a nice steakhouse like Fleming’s, by the time you get to the dessert, usually there’s not enough room left. Right?! You’ve had your steak, you’ve had your sides. It’s been a filling meal.

Dan Gingiss (21:50):
So what I loved about this was, the presentation was amazing. It is one of these things, you and I talk about being shareable, right? I mean, what do you think my 14 year old son did, even for a guy like you, that’s not particularly social media savvy, what do you think he did when this thing came out?

Joey Coleman (22:06):
So given that he’s 14, I’m guessing that he snapped it or tick tock’d it or did something where he filmed a little video and put it onto social while he was sitting there.

Dan Gingiss (22:17):
Nice work, Joey! You got the nomenclature down!

Joey Coleman (22:20):
Ladies and gentlemen, he can talk the lingo! Even though I’m not on the platforms – don’t come looking for me, I’m not there. I just lurk. It’s awkward. It’s inconvenient. But I try my best.

Dan Gingiss (22:30):
But yes, he took a picture of it so that he could snap his friends. I took a picture of it because I knew…

Joey Coleman (22:35):
You tweeted!

Dan Gingiss (22:36):
I tweeted and I knew it was gonna make the show. But, uh, I think the lesson here, you know, you and I have talked about birthdays before and you told a great story a couple seasons ago about…

Joey Coleman (22:48):
Do it Rain Man! Do it Rain Man! What episode was it? I know you know

Dan Gingiss (22:51):
Oh – it was Episode 66 in Season Three.

Joey Coleman (22:52):
Yeah, see, ladies and gentlemen, you think we might do this research in advance before we start recording, but we don’t. Dan is just a savant, not the idiot part – the savant part, when it comes to knowing our episodes. It’s amazing! Yeah. Episode 66 – back when I was at the Gaylord Texan Resort on my birthday. Right? That’s the one you’re referring to.

Dan Gingiss (23:09):
And the whole thing that was remarkable to you, was that somebody remembered your birthday.

Joey Coleman (23:13):
Somebody who not only remembered my birthday, but they asked for my driver’s license and my credit card to confirm, and the receptionist at the Gaylord Texan Resort actually looked at my driver’s license, which has my birthday on it, and realized that she was reading the date of my birthday on the actual day of my birthday, and took the extra step to say happy birthday. And then, if you haven’t listened to that episode, go back and listen, it’s an oldie, but a goodie, they delivered a card that was signed by all the front desk staff and some of the other people in the senior management team to my room later that night along with some little birthday treats. So yeah, we all have birthdays, and yet how many businesses completely miss the opportunity to acknowledge a customer’s birthday when they know what the birthday is?

Dan Gingiss (24:03):
Exactly. Exactly. There must be dozens of companies that know our birthday. Every time we’ve applied for any sort of credit or a credit card, or a mortgage, or whatever it is, they know our birthday.

Joey Coleman (24:15):
All the utility companies, every single utility company knows your birthday. They do nothing with it.

Dan Gingiss (24:20):
So use your customer data to improve the experience. I mean, another example that I remember, one of my favorites was, Episode 50 Season Two, where we talked about Chewie and the best customer service email ever written, that included a reference to the customer’s cat’s name – Roma. Right? And how, how much that touched her because they remember her cat’s name and how personalized that was.

Joey Coleman (24:48):
Yeah. Everybody wants to make this harder than it is. Like let’s, let’s break it down a little bit, folks. Yes, you need to pay attention to gather the data, but then all you need to do is feed it back to the customer. What do I mean by that? You have to empower your employees to listen to the conversations they’re having, to observe their customers in the native habitat, to investigate what’s going on with the people who do business with you, to identify some of these key personal markers – a birthday, a pet’s name, a favorite hobby, the sports team they root for, their kids’ names, where their kids go to school, you know, their favorite place to go on vacation. The thing that you’re tracking doesn’t matter. It matters that you track it and that you use it. And I think that “using it” is where most businesses fall apart. I mean, we mentioned birthdays, most businesses that have a record of our birthdays Dan, don’t actually acknowledge our birthdays. And I don’t know about you, it wouldn’t take that much to stand out when it comes to acknowledging my birthday, right? They could send a birthday card. They could send a little, they could make a little happy birthday video from their entire team where they just sing happy birthday, not to me personally, but then send that video to me so that you get to see all the people who are working on your account or working on your business. It doesn’t have to be the same experience that other brands give. You can do something unique. You can do something special. And it’s not that hard to stand out.

Dan Gingiss (26:18):
Absolutely. And that’s what gets us back full circle to the birthday cake and the candle. The birthday cake and the candle is a lovely gesture, but it’s completely expected. The handmade box of chocolates with the sparkler and the handwritten card? That’s unexpected. So it’s not about spending more money, it’s just about being a little bit different and not doing it the same way everybody does it because you think that’s what people want, but actually going the other way, and trying to do something unique so that you are memorable and remarkable.

[PARTNERSHIP WITH AVTEX] Coming Soon – to an Arcade Near You?
Joey Coleman (27:00):
Hey Dan, should we tell them?

Dan Gingiss (27:01):
I don’t know… should we…

Joey Coleman (27:02):
Well, it’s kind of a secret, but it’s kind of a secret, but I kind of want to give them a hint.

Dan Gingiss (27:06):
But they told us to kind of keep quiet about it didn’t they?

Joey Coleman (27:10):
I know we’re not supposed to be talking about it just yet, but I want to talk about it just yet. Even though it’s not here yet. It’s coming soon.

Dan Gingiss (27:15):
All right – perhaps a little tease.

Joey Coleman (27:17):
Okay, it’s big. I’m excited about it. Are you excited about it?

Dan Gingiss (27:21):
I’m actually super pumped. Joey.

Joey Coleman (27:23):
I’m super excited about it. I haven’t been this excited about something probably since, uh, hanging out in the arcade playing Gauntlet.

Dan Gingiss (27:31):
Oh, you mean Galaga right?

Joey Coleman (27:33):
Oh, Galaga too! Gauntlet is a separate game. Galaga? Fabulous. Nice reference. But Gauntlet? Pretty awesome too. Because when you played video games, what did you get?

Dan Gingiss (27:43):
A whole lot of fun? I don’t know what the answer to that question.

Joey Coleman (27:46):
Oh my gosh, so great. You did get a whole lot of fun, but you also got points.

Dan Gingiss (27:49):
Ohh! Points…

Joey Coleman (27:52):
Leaderboard. Leaderboard! Who’s up?! Who’s got the points?! Who’s got the high score?! There’s going to be a chance for a high score…

Dan Gingiss (27:58):
Joey – what were your initials when you got on the…

Joey Coleman (28:01):
CJC baby? Yeah.

Dan Gingiss (28:02):
Oh, CJC. Yeah. I know this is going to surprise you, mine was CUB.

Joey Coleman (28:07):
Oh, shocker. I love it. I love it. Okay. So here’s the thing. We can’t talk a lot about it, but here’s what we can say. Our amazing friends and partners at Avtex, not only our sponsors of Season Six of the Experience This! Show, which we so love them for being our loyal partners on Experience This. But we’ve got a new thing coming. It’s not here yet. It’s coming soon. Not going to tell you when! But it’s going to be here before we know it.

Dan Gingiss (28:34):
I’m going to give them one hint, Joey.

Joey Coleman (28:36):
Okay. One hint.

Dan Gingiss (28:36):
I can’t help myself.

Joey Coleman (28:38):
Okay.

Dan Gingiss (28:38):
Here’s the hint: not only will you get to hear our voices, but you’re actually going to get to see our handsome faces.

Joey Coleman (28:48):
Ooo lah lah! Well, at least Dan’s handsome face. My face will be on the screen – not as handsome as Dan, but what can you say? It will be an experience and there might be some points. All right, stay tuned. There’s more coming.

[SEGMENT INTRO – BOOK REPORT]
Joey Coleman (29:00):
We’re excited to give you an overview of an important book you should know about, as well as share some of our favorite passages, as part of our next Book Report.

[BOOK REPORT] Fanocracy by David Meerman Scott and Reiko Scott
Dan Gingiss (29:12):
For our first book report of Season Six, I wanted to highlight a new book called” Fanocracy.” And it is written by David Meerman Scott and his daughter Reiko Scott. Now David Meerman Scott is an entrepreneur and keynote speaker and I had a chance to see him at the Inbound Conference and then didn’t, I couldn’t, because I had some, I think I had a flight delay? And so I missed his presentation. I was really bummed.

Joey Coleman (29:40):
You must not have been flying on Delta! David’s a great guy though I gotta tell you. I’ve had the pleasure of being at the same events David has been at. He’s an amazing human being and this is a great book.

Dan Gingiss (29:49):
Yeah. He’s a great speaker as well. Because I did get to see him at Social Media Marketing World and he absolutely blew me away. So he’s a great speaker. He’s written 10 other books. I think he’s most famous for a book called “Newsjacking” and also “The New Rules of Marketing and PR” and he actually wrote an entire book of marketing lessons from the Grateful Dead. And you’ll hear in a second, when he reads the overview of his book, that he has been to many, many, many Grateful Dead concerts. So he wrote his latest book with his 26 year old daughter Reiko on Fanocracy or how to create raving fans. And I have to tell you the first thing that impressed me about this book, the forward was by none other than Tony Robbins, so you kind of figure like, alright, this is going to be serious here.

Joey Coleman (30:36):
You gotta love that! You got to love… Tony’s a great guy and has a great message, and I loved that David’s book started out with that. You know, one of the things that I saw that was connected with the book and I actually saw a video of it, which really helped to bring it home, is David went around and he asked the 20 Democratic candidates for president the same question. And the question was this: “Besides your work and your family, what are you a fan of? Now, the reason he asked this, and the reason he says “besides your work and family” is because most people, when asked, “what are you a fan of?” their default answer is going to have something to do with their work or something to do with their family. But what David was trying to get to is, what are the other things that make you tick? What are the things that make you human? What are the things that make you special? And I say he asked the 20 Democratic candidates. He also says in the video, he went to a rally for Donald Trump. And he was going to ask, President Trump the same question, but the President didn’t take any questions, so he wasn’t able to ask the question. But he did share video from the Democratic candidates that he asked and a couple of interesting things came out from this. Number one, the variety of answers. Uh, the difference between how some candidates tried to dodge the question, or maybe pivot it back to one of their talking points. But the one that stood out to me was Kamala Harris. And when he asked her this question, first of all, she lit up like a Christmas tree. She was so excited about her answer and started talking about her love of jazz – and particularly listening to her father’s albums of Miles Davis and John Coltrane. And he actually shows video footage afterwards of her continuing the conversation with him after the event and it’s clear that he’s hit a nerve. And what I loved about this is, when we find the thing that someone is truly a fan about, they LOVE to talk about it.

Dan Gingiss (32:29):
Absolutely. And I love the word passion as well, which she clearly showed in this video and which the other respondents talked, used passion, as they were about the thing that they were interested in. And I’m going to give you about 30 seconds to think about this Joey, because I’m going to ask you as well, but for me, the thing about “what am I a fan of” has always been this, I mean if you ask anybody that knew me in high school, the first thing they’ll tell you is he’s a Chicago Cubs fan. And it was just part of my being and something that also I would light up about every time I’d get to talk about it. And I think it’s so important to have that thing that isn’t about work, and isn’t about family, although you can enjoy sometimes your hobbies with work friends and family friends, but it really is about what other part of your life just gets you going. And so for me, it is the Chicago Cubs. How about for you, Joey?

Joey Coleman (33:24):
You know, what’s interesting Dan, as I think about this question, and I want to be clear, I’m not trying to dodge it, the answer has kind of changed over time. You know, when I was growing up, I remember being very, very into space and space exploration. And then when I was in college, I went to the University of Notre Dame, I was very into the Fighting Irish and to the Notre Dame Glee Club who I sang with and I know we’ve shared on the show before, and we’ve even had a singing episode on the show, you know, you and I both have that common love of singing. But I think if you were to ask me today, what is the thing I do outside of work and outside of family that I absolutely love it’s actually takes me back to something I was a fan of when I was a kid that has kind of been reintroduced to me as an adult via my kids, and that is building with LEGO. I love building with LEGO and I love doing it with my boys, and I’d be lying if I didn’t say sometimes daddy works on the set when they’re asleep!

Dan Gingiss (34:20):
You put a few piece together? I love it!

Joey Coleman (34:21):
Just a couple, you know, not so much that they can tell that I advanced the game significantly, but occasionally I enjoy building my own… I don’t know what it is… It’s, it’s the creative nature, it’s seeing a finished product in fairly short order, but yeah, it’s a fun way for me to have some play in my life, which I think when play and passion meet, it gets really exciting.

Dan Gingiss (34:42):
That’s awesome. So as usual, we have asked the author to share with us an overview of the book in his own words. So here is David Meerman Scott talking about his new book with his daughter, Fanocracy.

David Meerman Scott (34:58):
Over the last few years, I noticed that the pendulum has swung too far in the direction of superficial online communications at a time when people are hungry for a true human connection. So I started talking about that with my daughter Reiko – she’s now 27 – we started about five years ago having this discussion. And I said, Oh my God, I’m such a Grateful Dead geek! I’ve been to 75 Grateful Dead concerts, 804 live music concerts in my life. And Reiko said, “I know Daddy, I’m a massive Harry Potter fan.” So we got to thinking about how so much online is superficial and it bugs the hell out of people. When you get on an email list and you get a constant set of emails, or someone connects with you on LinkedIn and tries to sell you something, and yet at the same time, we’re fans of the things we love. So Reiko and I spent five years researching this idea of “fandom.” Our thesis is that fandom is something that any organization or any person can create. The same ideas that build fans of the Grateful Dead and build fans of Harry Potter, can be achieved by any organization. We found examples of all kinds of government agencies, nonprofits, B2B companies, software companies, consumer product brands, doctors, lawyers, dentists that have built fans. In fact, we found a government agency that has over 50 million fans. You can be walking down the street in any city in the world and not be surprised if somebody is walking towards you wearing a t-shirt with a NASA logo. NASA has 50 million fans. There’s no question after doing the research, which became our book “Fanocracy: Turning Fans into Customers and Customers into Fans” that my daughter Reiko and I learned that anybody can build fans and in our book we have a prescription for how anyone can do it.

Joey Coleman (37:03):
I love it. You know, when I hear the reference to his daughter’s love of Harry Potter, I have to admit my boys are just starting to get into Harry Potter. My boys are seven and four and we’re reading the Harry Potter books out loud at night to them. And the idea of someday writing a book with something that my boys love, co-authoring a book with them, is really appealing. The other thing I want to point out is that mention of NASA. I actually had the pleasure of working with NASA on a project years ago and it’s actually, when I list out my bio of companies I’ve worked with, it’s one of the ones that the most people react to. And I think he speaks to that, in the sense that they have 50 million fans. If you are associated with NASA, people are excited about that. And so I think what I love about the book and, you know, David highlights this in his overview and it really can be found in the pages of the book, is, when you can connect with people on something that they’re a fan of, or their fandom, it creates a different level of connection.

Dan Gingiss (38:06):
Absolutely. And, and we talked about it in the last segment too, about finding that one thing that personalizes the experience for your customers. And often times, that is something that they’re a fan of. And it’s no surprise that a lot of business gets done on golf courses, for example, right? Because people are fans of golf and they love playing, and it becomes not just a sport, but really a lifestyle, a religion almost. And everybody has one. And once you know it, you have this automatic conversation topic that you can have with them, even if you’re not particularly well versed in say jazz, you at least can start a conversation with somebody and you know that you’re going to kind of reel them in because you’re going to, you’re going to see them light up as Kamala Harris did when she was talking about it. So we also like to do something really cool here on the show, which is that we ask our authors to share with us their favorite passage from their book. And then Joey and I are going to share our favorite passages. So here again is David Meerman Scott reading his favorite passage from the book.

David Meerman Scott (39:19):
As we discussed our experiences over many nights across the dinner table, we began to consider the ideas that you will now find in our book. It was a sharp reminder to both of us, that hobbies and passions don’t disappear as soon as one is steps into adult or professional life. We both agree that the myth of unyielding professionalism can obscure our genuine connections. That’s why we chose to write this book. Exchanging texts about television shows or comic books has gotten daughter, Reiko, through study hours that extended far into nights that would have otherwise felt endless. And father David, has forged deep lifelong friendships with those who are as passionate about live music as he is. To love things outside work is to make meaningful connections with likeminded people. To achieve the success that comes with developing passionate fans of your business, fandom culture is necessary. Yet there’s another important reason to understand these ideas as we said earlier. Exposing ourselves to people who share our interests, leads us to live a happier life. And when you can introduce your fandom passions and bring in others who are completely different from you and they become fans, you create an ideal environment – a place where great things happen.

Dan Gingiss (40:44):
So I also selected my favorite passage, which I’d like to read now, and here it is: “The fundamental ingredient for true fandom, meaningful and active human connection, demonstrates a shift in the way a company relates to its customers. A true fanocracy mobilizes people to think, feel, and act together with a helpful, positive force during difficult times.” Now I love this for so many reasons. Obviously the human connection part we’ve said it many, many times on the show, to quote our mutual friend, Bryan Kramer,” It’s no longer B2C, or B2B, it’s H2H – human to human. And especially during a time where we’re all stuck at home, we’re craving human interaction. And I love the piece about it being a helpful, positive force during difficult times. As I noted earlier in the show, we’re all either part of the problem or were part of the solution. And hopefully out of this difficult time comes some good.

Joey Coleman (41:48):
You know, I think connection is always powerful and all too often, we talk about connection with our customers, but my favorite passage actually dives to the other side of the equation, that is, our employees. And in a chapter called “Develop Employees Who are Fans,” David writes, “Passionate employees are excited about you and their work and they are eager to tell others. People who feel trusted and are allowed to make their own decisions, become passionate about their company. Passion can become a habit.” I think whenever we are considering customer experience, we need to include employee experience in the same conversation. And as we think about developing fans of our brand, it’s important that our employees are fans as well. And I think the way to get into creating a fan-like relationship with your employees is to look at ways you can be fans of the things that they are fans of,, and vice versa. And as that connection builds your employee experience builds your customer experience builds, you will have more fans – both internally and externally.

Dan Gingiss (43:00):
So pick up “Fanocracy,” the new book by David Meerman Scott and Reiko Scott on Amazon or your favorite bookstore, and while we’ll be featuring a number of other awesome books this season, we always want to hear about the books that you’re reading as well. So please feel free to drop us a line. Our email addresses are so easy: joeyc [at] joeycoleman.com, dan [at] dangingiss.com. Let us know what you’re reading, because maybe it’s a book that we haven’t gotten to yet, and we’d love to feature it on a future episode.

[SHOW OUTRO]
Joey Coleman (43:36):
Wow. Thanks for joining us for another episode of Experience This!

Dan Gingiss (43:41):
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 (43:50):
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 (44:09):
Thanks again for your time and we’ll see you next week for more.

Joey Coleman (44:12):
Experience!

Dan Gingiss (44:12):
This!

Episode 101: How Trends Shape and Influence Customer Expectations

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

Curation, Creation, and Contention – Oh My!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Case in Favor of Privacy

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

The Case in Favor of Convenience

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

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

Links We Referenced

Host Contact Information

Email Dan: Dan@dangingiss.com

Tweet Dan Gingiss: @DGingiss

Email Joey: JoeyC@JoeyColeman.com

DanGingiss.com

JoeyColeman.com

Subscribe to Experience This on Apple Podcasts

Episode Transcript

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

Dan Gingiss: Welcome to Experience This.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[Book Report] MegaTrends

Joey Coleman:   We are excited to give you an overview of an important book you should know about as well as share some of our favorite passages as part of our next book report. As you reflect on the past decade and look forward to the next decade, we found a great resource to help you think bigger about the trends that are shaping the world. Let’s listen to my great friend and prolific author, Rohit Bhargava, as he describes his newest book.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Joey Coleman: Yes, you are.

Dan Gingiss: … given that last time statement.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[Dissecting the Experience] Juniper Books

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

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

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

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

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

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

Joey Coleman: Really?

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

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

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

Joey Coleman: Oh, nice.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Joey Coleman: Of course.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[Agree to Disagree] Privacy vs. Convenience

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dan Gingiss: In terms of meeting my expectations…

Joey Coleman: Yes.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Joey Coleman: Sure.

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

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

Joey Coleman: It’s a great book…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Joey Coleman: … Experience…

Dan Gingiss: … This.


Episode 100 : The Best Experiences from the Experience This! Show

Join us as we look back on some of our favorite customer experience stories and celebrate our 100th episode with our Best of the Best show.

100 Episodes – Oh My!

[This Just Happened] The Best of “This Just Happened”

Wonderful customer experiences happen every day and this segment was designed to showcase personal and brand experiences we hear about from friends and family or that we experience ourselves! Over the last 100 episodes we’ve shared 65 “This Just Happened” stories so picking the best ones was challenging to say the least. Let’s count down the Top 5 experiences of “This Just Happened”:

5. EmpowerCX (Episode 65) – Our only episode recorded in front of a LIVE studio audience! We were thrilled to partner with our good friends at the Sitel Group to be the closing keynote of their EmpowerCX event in 2019. We had such a fun time working together that we went on to co-host a podcast for them that features their team members, research, and clients called Empower CX Now. If you enjoy The Experience This! Show, you should check out our other show too! 😉

4. Kids Talking to Alexa (Episode 1) Ahh the memories… Our first episode featured the way our children interacted with voice assistants like Alexa (including putting ice cream on the shopping list and asking Alexa to play “childish” songs) and how voice is beginning to changing the customer experience in dozens of industries.

3. Take on Me (Episode 18) Can the new version be better than the original? Joey was skeptical at first, but listening to the Norwegian synth-pop band A-ha offer up an acoustic version of their 80s pop classic “Take on Me,” reinforced the fact that experiences can always be improved upon.

2. Stephen Curry Basketball Shoes (Episode 57). When a young girl brought it to basketball superstar Stephen Curry’s attention that his shoes weren’t sized for girls, he not only wrote her a handwritten reply, but asked her to help design a new line of shoes for women. With proper care and attention, a brand misstep can become the stuff of legends…

1 . Chewy.com (Episode 17 & Episode 50) – The only brand to appear twice in our list, Chewy shows that attention to customer experience and little extra touches creates raving fans. When one of our listeners received a bouquet of flowers after their pet died, Chewy created a customer who definitely will be back.

The bar for customer experience is very low, and you don’t need to high jump over it. You just need to do a little bit better to stand out; make something ordinary into extraordinary. And then we’ll talk about it on this show!

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

[Dissecting the Experience] The Best of “Dissecting the Experience”

Over the first 100 episodes of our show, over half (54 to be exact!) featured a “Dissecting The Experience” segment. In this segment, we take a deeper dive into a featured experience to determine what really makes an interaction special/unique/noteworthy. makes them remarkable, and often it’s more than one thing. Let’s count down the Top 5 experiences of “Dissecting The Experience”:

5. Pizzability (Episode 82) The experiences you design for your customers should serve all of your customers – regardless of their unique abilities. Pizzability offers great food in a restaurant specifically designed to be accessible to it’s employees and customers – regardless of whatever needs they have.

4. Imperfect Produce (Episode 57) Just because it doesn’t look “pretty” doesn’t mean there isn’t a market for your offerings. Imperfect Produce delivers fresh product with a “less than perfect look” to customers that will happily place taste over image and are happy to contribute to the cause of reducing food waste.

3. Savannah Bananas (Episode 71). Have you ever been to a party where a baseball game broke out in the middle?! That’s what it’s like to attend a Savannah Bananas game. Located in Savannah, Georgia, the team is built on a “Fans First” culture that prioritizes incredible experiences above everything else. Next time you want to go to a sporting event, it’s worth the trip to Savannah to watch the Bananas… well… Go Bananas!

2. Website Navigation (Episode 48) Sometimes the littlest things are the biggest things and that certainly rings true when it comes to your website navigation. You’ll be shocked (we certainly were) to find out that what you think is easy to navigate often leaves your customers completely lost and confused.

1 . Steve Spangler Science (Episode 24) Our first ever “double-length” episode, we brought the experience home to our children when we introduced them to Steve Spangler’s incredible science kits. Bringing science experiments into the house not only creates remarkable experiences for young learners, but it turns them into raving fans of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) when they get back to the classroom.

To create a truly remarkable customer experience, you must go deep with your customers. When you design every single aspect of an interaction as part of one cohesive experience, the impact is noticeable, significant, and long-lasting.

[Avtex Webinar] The 4 Phases to Managing CX Through Crisis

As we are all now aware, global pandemics, natural disasters, and other unforeseen events can wreak havoc on business plans. There isn’t a business that hasn’t dealt with this in the last two months as the result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Which is why our friends at Avtex (gracious sponsors of Season 5 of the Experience This! Show) are planning to share their Responding to Crisis with CX model in a FREE webinar on May 5, 2020 at 1:00pm EDT/ 12:00pm CDT.

To register for this webinar and receive a free copy of their white paper: “A Four-Phased Approach to Delivering Effective Customer Experience During a Crisis” go to: experienceconversations.com

[Required Remarkable] The Best of “Make the Required Remarkable”

Every business has dozens of required elements – but few put in the extra effort to make those required elements remarkable. By paying attention to the expected interactions and making them remarkable, patrons will realize that your commitment to customer experience runs deep. Let’s count down the Top 5 experiences of “Make the Required Remarkable”:

5. Birthday Wishes (Episode 66) What makes for a disappointing birthday? When someone that claims to care about you, and knows your birthday, doesn’t do anything to acknowledge your special day. Too many companies ask for your birthday information and then do nothing with it. Our one wish as we blow out our birthday candles? That brands start to acknowledge memorable milestones for their customers.

4. Women Wins $10K for Reading Fine Print (Episode 73) Sometimes, reading the fine print pays off. That was certainly the case for one woman who took advantage of some playful fine print in a disclaimer and won $10,000 in the process!

3. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter (Episode 41) How do you bring a magical movie to life in the real world? Create an immersive experience like the one at Universal Studios and transport your customers into another realm that will captivate, inspire, and excite them – not to mention getting them to tell everyone they know about their experience.

2. “I’m on Hold” Music (Episode 6) What if the hold music people listened to while waiting to speak with you was designed to be part of the experience? That’s what we’re talking about when we say evaluate every customer touchpoint that you’re required to have and look for ways to make it remarkable!

1 . Your Customers are Cheating on You (Episode 1) For our very first segment of our very first episode, we turned to the Godfather of Customer Service – our good friend Shep Hyken and his belief (that we agree with!) that your competition is every other company with which your customers do business.

Thank You for Listening!

We’d certainly be remiss if we didn’t take this time to thank all of our loyal listeners who have stuck by us for 100 episodes.! Without you, there literally wouldn’t be a podcast. So thank you, from the bottom of our hearts, for allowing us to take up some of your valuable time each week and for letting us do something we love doing. Here’s to the next 100 episodes!

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 100 here or read it below:

Joey Coleman: Welcome to Experience This, where you’ll find inspiring examples of customer experience, great stories of customer service and tips on how to make your customers love you even more. Always upbeat and definitely entertaining customer attention expert, Joey Coleman and social media expert Dan Gingiss serve as your hosts for a weekly dose of positive customer experience. So hold onto your headphones. It’s time to experience this.

Dan Gingiss: Get ready for a special 100th episode of the Experience This show.

Joey Coleman: Woohoo. Join us as we look back on some of our favorite customer experience stories in three of our most popular segments, counting down to the best of the best.

Dan Gingiss: Episodes and episodes and episodes.

Joey Coleman: And episodes and episodes and episodes.

Dan Gingiss: And more episodes. Oh my.

The Best of ‘This Just Happened’

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: Welcome everyone to episode 100 of the Experience This show. I’m not going to lie, Joey. I think this is a pretty momentous occasion.

Joey Coleman: I’m not going to lie, Dan, I didn’t know if we’d make it. No, I’m just kidding. I knew we’d make it. But I too think this is kind of a fun marker, not only for us, but more importantly for our listeners. I mean at the end of the day, most podcasts don’t make it to 100 episodes. And who would have thunk way back when when our mutual friend Jay Baer was hosting a little gathering and you and I were standing next to each other talking and he came up and said, “Hey, I think you guys should do a podcast together,” that we’d be here in season five, 100 episodes later?

Dan Gingiss: Yeah. But if we had known better back then and not recorded 40 episodes in season one.

Joey Coleman: Season one is really long. We would be much deeper in five seasons if we would have broken this up.

Dan Gingiss: We’d be at least in season seven. But anyway, that aside, we thought we’d do something a little bit different and a little bit special for our 100th episode. See, when we first started this podcast, we wanted to make it a unique listening experience, which is why one of our first decisions was to not make it an interview show like so many other business podcasts.

Joey Coleman: And that’s nothing against interview show, folks. Some of our favorite other podcasts are interview shows. It’s just we wanted to try something completely new, which ironically enough, hasn’t stopped a plethora of PR agents reaching out to pitch us on interviewing the CEOs of companies, even though we don’t do interviews. But I digress.

Dan Gingiss: Exactly. Well, the whole idea was is we felt like if we were going to teach people how to create remarkable experiences, we needed to make sure that we were creating a remarkable listening experience for our show. And to do that, we wanted to do something different. So we settled on three main segments per episode. And to make it even more interesting, we created nine different segment types. And we eventually added two more after that so that you never know quite what you’re going to get from each episode. Now when people ask me about the podcast and they haven’t listened to us, I liken it to the Price Is Right, except sadly without Bob Barker.

Joey Coleman: Dan Gingiss, come on down.

Dan Gingiss: Thank you Johnny. I’ll bid $1. In any event, after more than 300 individual segments, we thought we’d celebrate this week by looking back at some of our favorites for three of our most frequent segment categories. And the first one is This Just Happened. Believe it or not, we’ve had 65 This Just Happened stories over the years. So picking the top ones was quite challenging. These segments were created for us to share personal experiences and also brand experiences that we hear about from friends, family, and in social media. After all, remarkable experiences are the ones that are most often shared in the first place. So let’s count down the top five.

Joey Coleman: Number five is Empower CX. Episode 65, the only time we’ve done an episode completely live, but maybe not the last time. There might be some interesting things in the work, people. At the end of the day, a live experience was absolutely incredible for us, and the audience seemed to enjoy it as well. In fact, we enjoyed working with our friends at Sitel so much that we created a second podcast with them where Dan and I are the host called Empower CX Now.

Dan Gingiss: Number four is kids talking to Alexa, which came in our very first episode, episode one. And that was so much fun in particular because I mentioned during that segment that one of the things my kids, much younger at the time, liked to do was to ask Alexa to play the poop song, which is a real song. As it turns out, I believe because of a Google alert, the writer of the poop song found out that we referenced his song and he emailed me, thanking me for the reference and telling me that he actually holds the Guinness Book Of World Records for the most songs written. He’s written 65,000 songs, including a whole bunch, I’m not making this up, about poop, puke and pee.

Joey Coleman: Wow. Here in the hundredth episode, we decide to digress into the unprofessional side. But nonetheless…

Dan Gingiss: Well I can tell you my kids that day thought that dad was a true hero because the guy who wrote the poop song was emailing him.

Joey Coleman: I absolutely love it. So number three was episode 18, the story of Take On Me. Now, you may be familiar with that classic ’80s tune Take On Me by Aha. Well, what had happened is they had recorded at a private concert an acoustic version that was not only as poignant and as catchy as the original one, but was in many ways haunting and marked a nostalgic time for all of us that had grown up listening to the song and the original version to hear it as a quiet, more acoustic version years later. Oh, my kids still request that song be played because it’s such a great version of the song.

Dan Gingiss: Yeah, it was awesome. And it was hard to believe that you could take what was almost a perfect ’80s song and even try to improve upon it, dare to improve upon it. But they did a great job. Number two, and this is one that I repeat quite often in my keynote speeches because I just love it, is the Stephen Curry basketball shoes story. This is where NBA all star, Stephen Curry, received a handwritten note from a girl named Riley who was very upset because she couldn’t find his shoes in girl sizes. Now she had done her homework. She knew that Stephen had daughters and was a big proponent of women’s sports and pointed this out in the letter, and asked for him to please make the shoes available in girl sizes. Stephen Curry, NBA all star, busy millionaire, on the court and off the court, entrepreneur, he took the time to write a handwritten note back to Riley.

Dan Gingiss: Not only telling her that he was correcting the oversight with the manufacturer, offering her the newest pair of his Curry shoes right off of the assembly line. But finally saying that in advance of International Women’s Day, he wanted Riley to help him design a brand new girl’s shoe, which she got to do. And there’s this awesome picture that was put out by Under Armor showing Riley holding her shoe, which she autographed for Stephen Curry. It was a wonderful story and the message there was if Stephen Curry can respond to his fans with a handwritten letter, can’t you do the same for your customers?

Joey Coleman: Oh, I love it. I love it. I love it. The power of the handwritten note, which brings us to number one, the top episode of This Just Happened over the last hundred episodes, five seasons is none other than chewy.com, the only company to appear twice on our This Just Happened list. Well we first talked about their amazing personal customer service in episode 17 after three different acquaintances of ours brought the company to our attention within the same week, folks. Okay. This happened within the same week. And I remember your friend Mike after losing his cat, Homey, completely stunned to receive a bouquet of flowers and a sympathy card from this amazing company. We talked about how important it is to treat customers well even on the way out. After all, Mike by definition was no longer a customer at the time. But of course when Mike got another cat, you can guess where he went back to purchasing food and supplies. Yes. That would be chewy.com. And then in episode 50, you shared what you thought was the greatest customer service email ever.

Dan Gingiss: Oh yeah. That one was to our listener, Mari Anhel, and I’ll never forget her cat Roma, and she had left a negative review on Chewy’s site about a particular brand of cat litter, not a Chewy brand, and she left a negative review because she wanted to warn other long haired cat owners that this particular litter did not work well for her cat. Chewy saw the review, proactively sent out an email saying, “We’re so sorry that you had a bad experience with this litter. We’ve gone ahead and refunded your money.” Please note that Mari Anhel never asked for a refund.

Dan Gingiss: The customer service agent then took the time to share four other litters and links to purchasing those that she thought might work better for her long haired cat, mentioned the cat by name and offered to put a picture of the cat up in their offices. I absolutely love this letter, and one of the things that I thought was amazing about it was despite how personalized it was, I truly believe that most of it was templated so that it is repeatable and scalable in their business, which again means you can do the same thing.

Joey Coleman: So is there one takeaway that you think people should have from listening to all of these This Just Happened segments Dan?

Dan Gingiss: I do, and we’ve said it many times on the show in different ways. The bar for customer experience is very, very low, and you don’t need to high jump over it. You just need to do a little bit better to stand out, make something ordinary into extraordinary, step over that low bar. You don’t have to worry about jumping. And then when you create that extraordinary experience, we’ll talk about it on our show.

The Best of ‘Dissecting The Experience’

Joey Coleman: 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: Now continuing on in our 100th episode, we’re going to now look at Dissecting The Experience. We’ve had 54 Dissecting The Experience segments since we began the show. And we looked back at all of them to select our favorites. Now with Dissecting The Experience, we wanted to take a deeper dive into some experiences to really get at what makes them remarkable, and often it’s more than one thing. So without further ado, let’s count down the top five.

Joey Coleman: Number five is a fantastic restaurant with a great mission in Denver, Colorado called Pizzability. I had the opportunity to go to Pizzability and see how their entire restaurant experience is designed to be accessible, accessible to the different types of customers that they have, whether that’s utensils that were easier to hold, menus that you didn’t have to read, the ability to mark things by sight and by pointing as opposed to needing to speak. The entire experience was designed to be remarkable, frankly for an audience and a customer demographic who usually is struggling with the way things have been designed. It was a beautiful example of how you can make the experiences you create accessible to all of your customers, not just some of them.

Dan Gingiss: Number four is Imperfect Produce, which we covered in episode 57. This is one of my favorite companies based in San Francisco, and they help farmers by rescuing fruit and vegetables that would otherwise go to the landfill simply because they aren’t as pretty as the produce that supermarkets and grocery stores demand. Sometimes they’re too big, sometimes they’re too small, sometimes they have a little bit of a dent, but they all taste perfectly good and there’s no need to waste them. So Imperfect boxes them up and ships them out as a subscription service that is so flexible. You get to pick exactly what you want in your box every week. I enjoy being a customer.

Dan Gingiss: And one of the things that keeps me there is they help to track the impact that I, Dan Gingiss, have had on the environment by participating in this service. The amount of produce, now over 500 pounds for me, that would have gone to the landfill, the amount of water and CO2 that’s saved from farmers not having to replant every year. And they all do it with a lot of wit and humor in their marketing, ranging from their billboard ads, which have a picture of dancing dates and saying, “We’ll help you get more dates,” to the messages on their box that include helpful information about storing fruits and vegetables but also things that make you smile, to some of the special goodies and surprises that they’ll insert in the box when you least expect it. It’s a terrific experience and very deserving of number four on our list.

Joey Coleman: Number three is the fantastic sports team, the Savannah Bananas. Back in episode 71, I shared an experience that my family and I had visiting the Savannah Bananas baseball team. Run by our good friends, Jesse and Emily Cole, the Savannah Bananas is not really a baseball team. Yeah, they play baseball, but it’s basically a party where a baseball game breaks out. They do amazing things like having a child hit the first pitch so that they run the bases and make sure they’re all working, which my oldest son got to do. Then they have another kid in the audience say, “Play ball,” to start the game, which my other son got to do. I got to throw in the first pitch, which of course was a banana, not a baseball. There were fireworks, there were promotions, there were stunts, there were games. And in the background, there was a baseball game that was played. Folks, if you get the chance to spend any time in the Southern East coast of the United States, find your way to a Savannah Bananas baseball game for a remarkable audience experience.

Dan Gingiss: Number two on the list is website navigation, a segment that we did in episode 48. And the reason why this went so high on the list for me was that it was something that I really, really learned from, even though I spent over three years managing website design and development for a Fortune 300 company. You see, what this piece of research found was that B2B companies, especially in the SAS space, which is software as a service space, almost all of them have the exact same navigation on their website. And this design agency was trying to get one of their clients to have different navigation, and the client was resisting because they wanted to be like all of their competitors. So this agency went out and did a big survey, and what they found was absolutely stunning. Customers had no idea where to find things on the website because the navigation that was being used had similar words like services and products and programs and other things where people couldn’t tell the difference between them.

Dan Gingiss: And so when asked, where do you think you would find this on the website? They had no idea. And that was a stunner for me and something that I really learned from and took to some consulting clients and to other companies that I know to use as advice. And that to me is really why we’re here, Joey, is to learn things and not just teach them to others, but to learn them ourselves. And that’s why I loved that segment.

Joey Coleman: Such a great segment, which brings us to the number one segment of Dissecting The Experience across 100 episodes of the Experience This show. Ladies and gentlemen, let me take you back to season one episode 24 when we had a double segment talking about Steve Spangler Science. Steve Spangler Science is a company that offers science kits that you can order to do experiments in your home. We did a box opening with each of our kids. We audio recorded this so that you could hear the oohs and the ahs as the kids got to experiment with science and learn in the process while also having fun.

Joey Coleman: We then paired this with An I Love It, Can’t Stand It segment about the things that are great and not so great about school. And we got the same kids who had played with the Steve Spangler Science kit to actually tell us about their experience of school and education. When it comes to being lifelong learners, I think we have a tendency as we become adults to focus more on books and podcasts and going to conferences instead of more kinesthetic learning experiences like doing experiments, blowing things up, making snow in your house, the crazy things you can do with Steve Spangler Science kits. So there you have it, ladies and gentlemen, the top five examples of Dissecting The Experience. Dan, what do you think is the main takeaway from the segments? How can we dissect the takeaway?

Dan Gingiss: Dissect the dissection, if you will. Well, in order to create a truly remarkable customer experience, you have to go beyond just the surface, which is exactly why we called the segment Dissecting The Experience in the first place. All of these great examples showcase companies that are thinking about every single aspect of the experience as one cohesive thing, not as individual disconnected experiences created by siloed organizational charts. I think when you look at all of these examples plus a lot of the others that we’ve shared in this show, that’s really the key thing that we want people to remember is that when your organization is siloed, you might be able to improve one piece of the experience. But these are companies that have taken a look at everything from their marketing and advertising to their packaging, to their actual product or service to their customer service, to their social media. I could go on and on and on. And it all fits together into a cohesive experience. And if you want us to include your company in a future Dissecting The Experience, that’s what you’re going to have to do.

The Best of ‘Required Remarkable’

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 wrapping up our special 100th episode, we’re now going to talk about our Required Remarkable segment. But before we get into it, we do have to point out that we’ve had 75 CX Press segments, the most of any segment, but we chose not to create a top five list of those because they don’t really feel as rankable, if that makes sense. But we are going to look at Required Remarkable even though we’ve only done 15 of these segments because, and I think I can speak for you here, Joey, we both believe that these are the kinds of examples that companies absolutely must be paying attention to.

Joey Coleman: Absolutely Dan. And they may not always be the sexiest examples, although let’s be candid, the five we’re about to remind you about actually are, but that doesn’t make them any less important. See, the required things in your business are the things that you and your customers are taking for granted. And if you can make those things remarkable, that’s the way to catch them off guard. That’s the way to get people talking about your business, your brand, your services and your products. So let’s get into our top five examples of required remarkable experiences starting with number five.

Joey Coleman: From episode 66, birthday wishes. Folks, this is such an obvious thing for any company to do. So many companies ask you or record the information of what is your birthday, and then don’t do anything to acknowledge you on your birthday. As we get older, people don’t acknowledge our birthdays as much anymore. When you’re a kid and you have a birthday, you throw a party, invite over all of your friends. There’s pin the tail on the donkey. There’s pinatas, there’s cake, there’s cookies, there’s presents. There’s all kinds of hi-jinks and excitement. When you have your 46th birthday or your 53rd birthday, or even your 28th birthday or 34th birthday, these aren’t as memorable. There’s an opportunity for the businesses who know your birthday to stand out by acknowledging your special day.

Dan Gingiss: Number four on the list, woman wins $10,000 for reading the fine print.

Joey Coleman: As a lawyer, I loved this one. This was so good.

Dan Gingiss: This was episode 73 last season, and it was a story of a woman who actually sat down and read the fine print at her insurance company, and figured out by reading all of the disclosures that she had to do a certain thing, complete a certain task, to win $10,000. And the idea here was clear. The company knew that very few people read the fine print, and they wanted to see if even one person could do it. And this woman happened to be the lucky winner. But I loved it because it not only exposed a problem in the experience of fine print, which is that it’s almost intentional that people not read it, which is problematic because if you talk to the lawyers, they want people to read it.

Dan Gingiss: In fact, they assume people read it. And that’s what they’re allowed to do according to the law. As long as we put the fine print in front of customers, we can assume that we’ve done our part. But what we like to teach on this show is that there’s always an opportunity for creativity. There’s always an opportunity to bring marketing or design people in to make the required parts of your business more interesting and more fun. This insurance company did it by hiding a little Easter egg in the fine print, in the form of a $10,000 sweepstakes, and I am so proud of this woman for winning it,

Joey Coleman: Which brings us to number three. Number three takes us back to the very beginning of season two, episode 41, when we had the opportunity to go to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios. It was as if we were in the movie. Everywhere we walked, the streets felt like the streets of Diagon Alley. Hogwarts was up on the hill. You had this experience that you were almost in the movie, even though you were in the amusement park. Characters walking around. There were singing frogs. There were magicians in robes. There were kids waving wands all over and creating opportunities for the buildings to come to life based on the interactivity of the spells that the children were casting. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter looked at all the details that are required in any operation and decided how can we make these details, these required elements more remarkable? From the food to the signage, to the design and architecture, to the various phrases that their staff used when they interacted with us, there were a stack of required elements that became truly remarkable.

Dan Gingiss: One of my favorite photographs of my kids is my son with a butterbeer mustache from the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, and it’s just perfect. Number two on the list, one of our favorites is the I’m On Hold Music in episode six, season one. This is a fantastic example, maybe the quintessential example, of taking the required part of your business and making it remarkable. A conference call system decided that rather than put people on hold and have them listening to, I don’t know, a beep or elevator music or complete silence or your call is very important to us, they had somebody commission a song about waiting on hold. And I urge you to Google I’m on hold music, you’ll get to a YouTube video that is absolutely amazing. And the reason it was so remarkable is it literally changed the concept of waiting on hold. Usually when you’re on hold, you can’t wait for the person to join the call. In this case, when I heard this song, I didn’t want them to join the call because I wanted to hear the rest of the song.

Joey Coleman: It’s funny, Dan, that you picked this one. Just last week I was on a conference call with a new client that was booking me to a keynote speech at their annual meeting. And while I was waiting for them to log in, I heard the chorus I’m on hold, and I immediately was teleported back to our experience. So yeah. What a great example. Which brings us to the number one Required Remarkable segment of the first 100 episodes of Experience This. And that would be, yes, episode number one, the segment, your customers are cheating on you. Folks, this is the very first segment of the very first episode of Experience This. And I think that’s interesting for two reasons.

Joey Coleman: Number one, it represents the core foundation of what this show stands for. And here 100 episodes later, five seasons later, it is as pertinent today as it was then. Based on an article written by our mutual friend Shep Hyken, a legend in the customer service and customer experience space. The takeaway was that your competition has changed to become every other company your customer does business with. See, it used to be that your competitors were who your customers were comparing you to. Now your customers are comparing you to the best experience they’ve ever had. Cirque de Soleil, Tesla, Walt Disney, Netflix, Amazon, Emirates Air, all the amazing brands in the world that are creating remarkable experiences and taking these required elements and making them remarkable, that’s who you’re being compared to. So what are you doing to stand out?

Dan Gingiss: And I think it’s really important to note here that this applies just as much to B2B or business to business companies as it does to B2C or business to consumer companies. Because your customers in a B2B space are consumers. You are not selling to a building just because you sell to a business. You’re selling to a buyer who’s a human being, who has had consumer experiences at the brands that Joey just listed. And believe it or not, you’re being compared to them as well. So you may not think it, you may think if you’re in the B2B space that you’re being compared to other B2B purchases, but you’re actually being compared to every other experience with every other brand that your buyer has had.

Joey Coleman: Folks, the reason why I love this segment type so much, the Required Remarkable segment, is because this is the low hanging fruit in every single organization. If you are listening to this podcast, there are required elements of your business, hold music, email signature lines, contracts, proposals, the way you conduct your in person meetings, the way you deliver your deliverables. Your business is rife with opportunities to take required elements and make them remarkable.

Dan Gingiss: We’d certainly be remiss if we did take this time to thank you, all of our loyal listeners who have stuck by us for 100 episodes. Without you, there literally would not be a podcast. So thank you from the bottom of our hearts for allowing us to take some of your valuable time each week and for letting us do something that we love doing. So here’s to the next 100 episodes.

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 99 – The Upsides and Downsides of Investing in Customer Experience

Join us as we discuss a memorable employee onboarding experience, insurance for your… pizza?, and the cost of poor customer experience.

Training, Explaining, and Draining – Oh My!

[Dissecting the Experience] Investing in the Employee Experience with Continuing Education

When Dan’s sister got a new job at the world famous consulting firm Deloitte, she went through an immersive training program at Deloitte University. Known by employees as “DU,” the quarter-mile-long, state-of-the-art facility represents an investment of over $300 million in order to create an immersive onboarding experience for new employees. DU offers classes, restaurants, and a place to stay during training – not to mention opportunities for employees to fully understand the culture of the organization while continuing the education necessary to further their careers.

This “corporate school” shows a commitment to their team members’ education. Last year, DU had over 10,000 graduates from their programs which include both employees and interns. The students love DU – as reflected by an overwhelming approval rating of 4.8 out of 5 stars.

As the global business landscape continues to shift and change, and new issues emerge, our goal is for DU to continue to lead the way in developing a workforce of the future – prepared to tackle tomorrow’s most crucial challenges.

Heidi Soltis-Berner, Managing Director of Deloitte University

By setting the tone for what it means to work at Deloitte via an immersive onboarding experience, the company shows just how much it values and appreciates its employees. While many companies provide continuing education to their employees, Deloitte’s investment in creating an experience goes far beyond the typical business training program.

[This Just Happened] Mitigating Customer Fears with Unexpected Insurance

Over the years, Domino’s Pizza has added many items to their menu. But a new menu item recently caught most of their customers by surprise: insurance. Now to be clear, this isn’t the typical insurance policy. Domino’s Delivery Insurance allows you to comfortable navigate the perils of ordering pizza. If your pizza gets cold on the way home, or the box gets turned upside down accidentally, or if your pizza arrives in any less-than-desired way, you can return it for a free replacement.

When you focus on your customer and understand both their needs and their worries, you can creatively address those through marketing and your product offering.

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

By offering insurance, Domino’s is mitigating customer worries and exceeding customer expectations. Even though it may not qualify as “real” insurance (in that you don’t need to pay a policy premium to receive the coverage), having this policy in place gives customers the added security that when they place an order, they will enjoy the arrival of their dinner safe and sound.

What are the fears and insecurities your customers face? What can you do to reassure them or reduce their concerns?

[Avtex Webinar] The 4 Phases to Managing CX Through Crisis

As we are all now aware, global pandemics, natural disasters, and other unforeseen events can wreak havoc on business plans. There isn’t a business that hasn’t dealt with this in the last month as the result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Which is why our friends at Avtex (gracious sponsors of Season 5 of the Experience This! Show) are planning to share their Responding to Crisis with CX model in a FREE webinar on May 5, 2020 at 1:00pm EDT/ 12:00pm CDT.

To register for this webinar and receive a free copy of their white paper: “A Four-Phased Approach to Delivering Effective Customer Experience During a Crisis” go to: experienceconversations.com

[CX Press] The Cost of Neglecting Customer Experience

Many businesses talk about the return on investments in customer experience. But few consider the cost when customer experience isn’t a priority. In The Cost of Neglecting Customer Experience, Benedict Clark from Acquire.io explores the actual costs to a company when customer is ignored and in what will probably be no surprise to regular listeners of The Experience This! Show, the cost is significant.

You’d think it would be easy for businesses to keep customers front-of-mind. After all, they’re the reason they exist in the first place. But sometimes the temptation to cut corners, minimize costs, and try to maximize immediate returns simply proves too strong to resist. Before you know it, your customer experience has been critically compromised.

Benedict Clark, Content Editor for Acquire.io

Clark outlines the four main reasons companies often neglect CX including the fact that they:

  1. Don’t have the right technology.
  2. Don’t have the right culture.  
  3. Don’t have the right processes.
  4. Don’t have the right strategy.

He then proceeds to illustrate the real costs of neglecting CX including:

  • You lose sales – It is estimated that over $537 billion is lost every year due to poor customer service.
  • Your reputation suffers – Research from Temkin Group shows that 86% of buyers will pay more for a good experience.
  • You lose customers – Only 13% of clients who have a bad experience will return.
  • You miss out on talented staff – Research from CareerBuilder shows that 71% of workers in the US will not apply to work with a company experiencing negative press.

While the benefits of good customer experience are well documented, as this article shows there is a very real cost to NOT providing good customer experience.

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 99 here or read it below:

Dan Gingiss: Welcome to Experience This!

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

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

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

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

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

Joey Coleman: Join us as we discuss a memorable employee onboarding experience, insurance for your pizza, and the cost of poor customer experience.

Dan Gingiss: Training, explaining and draining. Oh my.

[Dissecting the Experience]  Deloitte University

Joey Coleman: 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: About a year ago, my sister started a new job at Deloitte, the global audit and consulting company. As a new employee, she had the opportunity to attend Deloitte University, a completely immersive onboarding experience that convinced her, as it does thousands of others, that she had made the right career decision to join the company since she spoke so highly of it. Upon her return, I had to check it out. I spoke with managing director, Heidi Soltis-Berner, who runs Deloitte University, or DU do those in the know, and I wrote an article in Forbes about it. Joey, I kid you not out of 100 plus articles I’ve written for Forbes, this article ranks number one in terms of views with nearly 35,000 as we’re recording this episode.

Joey Coleman: Wow, that’s awesome. I mean, obviously it made an impact on more than just Deloitte employees then.

Dan Gingiss: Exactly, which is why I wanted to share the story with our audience as well, but first some facts and figures. Deloitte University was the result of a $300 million investment, the largest investment for employee development in the company’s history.

Dan Gingiss: Every year it serves nearly 10,000 college graduates and 4,300 interns who participate in first year training. Others participate again at various career milestones, such as after a promotion, and that averages an astounding 50,000 employees every year. The 2018 Deloitte millennial survey found that 50% of millennials say opportunities for continuous learning are very important, and 80% say that professional development or formal training is the most important thing for them to be their best. And 90% of the sessions at DU are led by partners, principles, and managing directors, sharing real world experiences and simulating interactions with clients.

Joey Coleman: I mean, for lack of a better way of putting it, Dan, this sounds like a really fun school and a really big school, right? I mean, when you just think about the logistics of managing 50,000 employees going through training, 10,000 new employee college graduates, I also found it interesting that over 4,000 interns go through training there. I think it’s, often when we think of interns, most companies are like, “Oh wait, we have an intern showing up today? Oh, what are we going to have them do?” And clearly Deloitte has decided to invest in these interns, who ideally most companies have interns to vet future potential employees. So it makes sense to make the investment early on.

Dan Gingiss: Exactly. And as you point out, this is a big and impressive facility. It is not your ordinary training facility. It’s located in Westlake, Texas, an upscale suburb of Fort Worth. And it’s five stories high in a quarter mile in length. There are more than 30 classrooms just on the first floor, while the other floors contain a total of 800 sleeping rooms, plus a restaurant, and a state of the art fitness facility.

Joey Coleman: Wait a minute. So it’s like a dorm with the classrooms attached and restaurant, this is like one stop learning, eating, sleeping, everything all bundled together.

Dan Gingiss: It is all except it’s more like a five star hotel than a dorm.

Joey Coleman: Nice.

Dan Gingiss: The floors with living quarters contained communal areas called city places. And I thought this was really cool. Each of the city places highlights a large Deloitte office around the world and they actually stock the city places with snacks and beverages that represent each one of those locations.

Joey Coleman: Oh, so it’s like Epcot center but for corporate training and development.

Dan Gingiss: Exactly, exactly. And Heidi Soltis-Berner said that she tries to create her words, “A platinum level experience for employees,” so it really is like a high end hotel. In fact, I got Heidi to record us some exclusive audio talking about Deloitte University, so let’s hear from her in her own words.

Heidi Soltis-Be…: Deloitte University, or DU as we call it, is our 700,000 square foot state of the art leadership learning and development center located in West Lake, Texas. When we opened DU back in 2011 the idea of brick and mortar learning center went against conventional wisdom at the time. However, we made the bold decision to invest $300 million because we believed in the importance of a facility like DU to enhance and evolve our culture and the development of our people. It was the single biggest people focused investment in our organization’s history. Since 2011, we’ve delivered more than 6 million learning and development hours to our people, we’ve continued to invest in and evolve the DU, so it meets the needs of our professionals and the most pressing issues our clients face with innovations like our 5G partnership with AT&T and our digital hub, an example of the truly immersive experiences available.

Heidi Soltis-Be…: There are so many things that set DU apart, from our very focused intent on helping our people hone their soft skills in today’s digital age, our commitment to wellbeing, and our commitment to sustainability. DU has exceeded our original vision as well as the expectations of tens of thousands of people who experienced DU every year. In fact, DU has become the cultural home of Deloitte, bringing together people of diverse backgrounds and experiences from every aspect of our business to share new insights and bold ideas. Deloitte University’s global footprint now includes six campuses around the world, and above all DU is first and foremost about our people. As we look to the future, we are excited to see how the learning and development is taking shape. And we are proud to have been a first mover in this space. As the global business landscape continues to shift and change and new issues emerge, our goal is for DEU to continue to lead the way in developing a workforce of the future prepared to tackle tomorrow’s most crucial challenges.

Dan Gingiss: Now one other thing that Heidi does is she continually monitors guest experience with post-training surveys, and she has sustained a rating of 4.8 out of five with overwhelming positive feedback from participants. So what I think is so interesting about this, Joey, is that this sounds like it could be a independent for-profit college and yet it’s actually part of this really big company.

Joey Coleman: Well, I think it’s great that so many companies claim to care about the education and the growth and learning of their employees, but Deloitte has really invested. I mean $300 million, that is not an inconsequential sum. But what I love about this, and we’ve talked about this in previous episodes, is the commitment to continuous learning. The commitment to creating a space and an environment that fosters learning and innovation. I love that they sleep, and eat, and learn all in the same building because as you know, as a fellow speaker, all too often the place where you have the ballroom, where you’re giving the speeches might be in the hotel. But the second that people go to their rooms, nobody’s talking to each other anymore. Whereas it sounds like in this model, you know that everybody who’s “staying” at the facility is a deployed employee who has that point of commonality. And as a result I imagine there’s some interesting conversations or as they refer to in the interior design world collisions between different employees walking through the facility.

Dan Gingiss: Yeah, and I think it starts with the fact that the first time you see this is as a brand new employee. And you talk about in your book about the first 100 days of being a customer and very similarly, the things that you experienced in your first few days at work are really going to set the tone for how you feel about working for the company going forward. And I’ve been multiple times, I’ve been at companies where they don’t even have a computer set up for me on the first day.

Joey Coleman: Right.

Dan Gingiss: Right. Because IT couldn’t get around to it. And that sets a tone and you’re like, “Oh, okay, this is not really an organized company.” Whereas Deloitte is taking these people to Texas to have this immersive experience where one of the things that happens, like with my sisters, they walk out saying, “Wow, am I glad to be here.”

Joey Coleman: Yeah. And not only are they taking their new employees, they’re continuing to bring back their veteran employees for ongoing education. And I imagine the ability to give that platinum experience reminds the employees of the experience that Deloitte wants them to deliver to their customers. We talk a lot about the fact that you can’t ask an employee to deliver a remarkable customer experience if they don’t know what one is. It sounds like the employees of Deloitte who have spent time at DU absolutely understand what that level of an experience should feel like.

Dan Gingiss: Yeah. And even a step up is, it’s basically used as a form of reward, right? Is that when you get promoted or something big happens in your career, you get to go back and get this added training. And so it’s something that they’ve realized that their employees want and so then they’re offered, they’re able to offer it.

Dan Gingiss: So one last thing to just point out here is you don’t have to spend $300 million to do this for your employees. Sure, you may not have the same five star hotel set up with all of the city rooms and their snacks. But the point is, is that Deloitte has their finger on the pulse of especially the millennial employee population and what they’re looking for at work, and they’re providing it to them and creating happy employees, which as you said, create happy customers. So think about how you can do that within the auspices of your own organization. How you can focus on not just having that one week of employee orientation that has the same online classes that everybody’s taken for the last 15 years, but really trying to spruce it up, make it different, give people exposure to higher ups in the company, and really realize that that first week or two is going to set the tone for how they behave and act and work and commit to your company going forward.

[This Just Happened] Dominoes Insurance

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 here’s a fun fact about me, Joey.

Joey Coleman: Oh, I know a lot of fun facts about you, Dan. What’s this one?

Dan Gingiss: Well, this is what I must confess. I often use in the two truths and a lie game. So if we ever play this, you’re going to have to pretend like you don’t know it.

Joey Coleman: I’m going to try to potentially avoid playing this game with you, Dan, but okay, I’ll bite.

Dan Gingiss: It’s a lot of fun. But anyway, the fun fact is that when I was in high school, I actually delivered a pizza to Michael Jordan.

Joey Coleman: Wait a second, the man, the myth, the legend himself, MJ? You, Dan Gingiss, delivered a pizza to him?

Dan Gingiss: Number 23 /45, yes I did.

Joey Coleman: Oh, I liked this /45 that shows that Dan is an actual fan. The 23 is an easy serve up folks, but the /45 is special. I like it.

Dan Gingiss: So it happened when I was working for Domino’s Pizza, which I did for almost four years, mostly as a delivery boy. But I also got to answer the phone and make pizzas and in fact when Michael called one time I was able to do all three. I picked up the phone, talked to him, took his order, made his pizza, and delivered his pizza, which was pretty cool.

Joey Coleman: Door to door service from Dan the Domino’s Man Gingiss, I love it.

Dan Gingiss: So I have always been fascinated by the Domino’s brand story, which as you probably know if you followed, has really evolved over the years. And a couple of years ago the CEO publicly admitted that their pizza didn’t really taste very good and they redid the recipe. And I will say objectively, if you have not had a Domino’s pizza in a long time and you’re still remembering what it tastes like when you were a teenager, try it again, it actually is pretty dang good.

Joey Coleman: Dan, no pun intended. I think I’ll bite, I’ll try that because I haven’t had Domino’s in a long time, and I do have memories of it being a very economic solution but not necessarily a gourmet solution, which is usually not what you’re looking for when you’re in college ordering pizza.

Dan Gingiss: Yes. And I’m not sure that I would go so far as to say gourmet, but they still do have… It is still a very good economic solution as well. But in any event, one of Domino’s newest marketing initiatives is to actually offer insurance.

Joey Coleman: Okay, wait a second. We were just having a really nice positive conversation about pizza. I was salivating, I was getting excited about this, and now you mentioned the word insurance from a pizza company?

Dan Gingiss: Yeah. So I thought that too, but it may not be what you think.

Dan Gingiss: It started with what they called carry out insurance, and I urge our listeners to Google the TV commercial on, you’ll find it on YouTube, it’s actually really funny. And sure enough on their website they talk about the things that are covered by their insurance program. The headline says, “Yeah, we cover that,” and it gives examples like, “I slipped on something slippery,” or, “Rain, so much rain,” or, “It got cold while I was stuck in gridlock,” or, “I braked, it flew,” or, “I was balancing it on my head and I don’t have great balance.” “My dog licked it.” “A stranger sneezed on it,” and so on and so forth. The deal is, is that if your pizza gets ruined or damaged in any way after leaving the store, you can bring it back and have it be remade for free. Now of course you have to bring the whole pizza back, you don’t get to eat all the slices but one and then claim that the dog licked it.

Dan Gingiss: So with the success of that program, Domino’s recently added delivery insurance. According to their website, it says, “Whether you’ve invited the gang over to watch the big game or you’re settling in for family movie night, Domino’s creates made to order meals that satisfy everyone. Domino’s stores do everything they can to make sure their pizza experts create your meal exactly the way you want it. Domino’s delivery insurance program provides extra peace of mind. Something wrong with your order? Simply make a claim and dominoes will make it right,” and they make it right by either providing a coupon for 20% off your next order or 60 rewards points, which is the equivalent of a free pizza redeemable in the next 30 days. Pretty cool, huh?

Joey Coleman: Yeah. This is actually an insurance program that I could get behind and what was funny is you were explaining the program, which I had not heard of before, I was reminded of the times where the pizza slid off the seat and the car because I broke fast and now the toppings are on the top of the pizza box instead of on top of the pizza, or where things did… I’ve thankfully never had a dog lick the pizza, but when you think about all the things that can go wrong and how frustrating that is because you’ve left to go get the pizza and come home and your family, or your friends, or even just you by yourself are excited to eat the pizza and now there’s an issue with the pizza. What I really like about this is that it gives customers peace of mind and makes them much more likely to trust the brand.

Joey Coleman: I mean, when you think about how often something happens that would necessitate if you will, a claim on this insurance policy. It’s not often enough that I think Domino’s would be too worried about it, but diminishing those fears could be pretty significant. It also acknowledges that mistakes happen, but customers shouldn’t be worried about it. I mean, I think all of us have had the experience at a restaurant where you walk away and you drop the drink and it spills and then you go back to have them refill the drink and it’s like, “I just spilled this right in front of you. Can you just refill it?” And sometimes they’re very gracious and happy to do that. Other times they’re like, “Well you can buy another one.” Finally, I like the fact that it eliminates a customer pain point of having to complain about a wrong order. Now they can just open the app or go to the website and report the issue and it gets solved and it gets solved in a good way, they get an entirely new pizza.

Dan Gingiss: Yeah, this is a far cry from back in the day where they had the 30 minute guarantee for delivery.

Joey Coleman: Yeah, I remember that.

Dan Gingiss: And I was a driver of back then and you know that may have caused a little bit of aggressive driving to make sure that I got there within the 30 minutes. But I like this because it’s so customer friendly and it clearly understands the customer perspective. I mean, look, we’ve all had a case, whether it be with pizza or some other food where the order is wrong, and part of that is because human beings are making the order, and so human error is inevitable. For Domino’s to come out in front of that and say, “Hey, we know this is going to happen,” like when their CEO said the pizza didn’t really taste good, it’s genuine and authentic and that’s what today’s customers are attracted to. So I think this builds a lot of brand value.

Joey Coleman: I love it when a brand speaks truth or speak something that all their customers know. When the CEO of Domino’s said, “Hey, our pizza doesn’t taste very good,” it wasn’t like there were huge customers going, “Oh my gosh, no, it’s the best pizza I’ve ever tasted,” customers are like, “Yep, that’s true. And we’re excited that you know that as well.” I think the same holds true for this insurance policy. It’s like, look, things happen that aren’t your fault and maybe even if they are your fault, it diminishes your experience of our brand. So we’re going to be there to back it up and help you out.

Dan Gingiss: Yeah. Both of us know, I think a lot of our listeners know that self deprecating humor is usually very effective and it’s why I try to get in front and tell all the bald jokes before anybody else can. Right?

Joey Coleman: I do the same with the lawyer jokes, it’s totally fine.

Dan Gingiss: Exactly. So I think that’s one of the things that Domino’s has figured out, is they made this TV commercial, again, about the take carry out insurance is hilarious. This guy’s literally trying to get his pizza home and all these things keep happening that are preventing him from getting there. And then the commercials message is, “Don’t worry, we’ll make you a new one. Hot and fresh.”

Joey Coleman: Do you have to pay for the insurance or is it just a promotional program?

Dan Gingiss: Nah, it’s just part of-

Joey Coleman: So it’s just part of the marketing stick. It’s not that [inaudible 00:19:54]. So I think what’s interesting about that too is they’re taking something that we all like but don’t like to pay for. We all like the idea that our risk is mitigated with insurance, but it drives us a little crazy to A, pay for the insurance, and then B, worry about what things will be covered. They’re eliminating the two parts of insurance that we don’t like, paying for it and, “Oh, but we’re only covering this weird random thing. Not all the things we know are going to actually happen.”

Dan Gingiss: Exactly. So the takeaway here is that when you focus on your customer and understand both their needs and their worries, you can creatively approach those through marketing and your product offering. As you said, Joey, our guess is that Domino’s probably doesn’t pay out on this assurance very often, primarily because the vast majority of the time they do get the order right, but they’ve gotten a lot of mileage out of the advertising campaign across multiple channels, and in the process they’ve likely changed the minds of many of their consumers. Before we finish, I just want to say one more thing, to the customer that always used to order the small triple anchovy pizza, that’s just gross.

[CX Press] The Cost of Neglecting CX

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

Dan Gingiss: Today’s CXPRESS article comes to us from Benedict Clark, the content editor at acquire.io, which provides chat, video, and co-browsing solutions. The article is titled, The Cost of Neglecting CX.

Joey Coleman: Spoiler alert, folks, it’s a big cost.

Dan Gingiss: Yes, you are right on the money there, Joey.

Joey Coleman: Oh, I see what you did there. All right, fair enough.

Dan Gingiss: Anyway, the article begins by stating a somewhat obvious but still startling fact, “You think it’d be easy for businesses to keep customers front of mind after all, they’re the reason they exist in the first place, but sometimes the temptation to cut corners, minimize costs, and try to maximize immediate returns simply proves too strong to resist. Before you know it, your customer experience has been critically compromised. It just isn’t a sustainable approach.”

Joey Coleman: Clark goes on to identify four reasons why companies may neglect the customer experience. Number one, they don’t have the right technology. Number two, they don’t have the right culture. Number three, they don’t have the right processes. And number four, they don’t have the right strategy, which includes proper prioritization. So what are the actual costs of poor customer experience? Well, let’s discuss them.

Dan Gingiss: Number one, and probably the biggest, is you lose sales Vision Critical estimates the overall impact of bad customer experiences in the United States is more than $537 billion.

Joey Coleman: That’s billion with a B, right?

Dan Gingiss: [inaudible 00:23:00] billion.

Joey Coleman: Yeah, it’s huge. It’s a lot. Number two, your reputation suffers. 86% of buyers are willing to pay more for a great customer experience. And if you’re not providing that, people will know and they will tell other people, who will then tell other people, and this is bad.

Dan Gingiss: And here’s the other thing, folks, if you’re not providing it, someone else will. And so it’s not just that your customers are running away from you, they’ll be running toward your competitor.

Dan Gingiss: Number three, you lose customers. A study by Temkin Group found that 86% of customers that received a good customer experience said they would buy from the company again compared to just 13% who received very poor customer experience. The stats here are clear. If you deliver a positive experience, people want to continue being your customer. If you deliver a negative one, they’re going to find someone else to give their money to.

Joey Coleman: And last but not least, number four, you miss out on talented staff. More than 70% of US workers will not apply for a job at a company with negative press. What’s more, companies with bad reputations often have to pay employees more in order to stay. Folks, this stuff feeds upon itself. A bad customer experience leads to a bad employee experience, which then leads to a bad customer experience, which then leads to more bad employee experiences.

Joey Coleman: So when we think about having A players, and the most talented staff, and the people who will really deliver, they are attracted to companies with positive press. They are attracted to companies that deliver remarkable customer experiences.

Dan Gingiss: One of the things I like about this article is that it takes what we say on this show and flips it on its side. It comes to the same conclusion, but we’re always talking about why it’s so important to create a great positive experience. And what is often not talked about is what happens if you don’t, right? You and I, being in the business that we’re in and working with the companies that we work with, we’re used to being around people that agree with us that customer service and customer experience is something we should be focusing on. But this really takes a look at, “Okay, if you don’t buy this, if you want to just pretend that this customer experience revolution isn’t happening, okay, go forward, but do so at a huge risk.”

Dan Gingiss: And here’s what happens if you want to ignore this trend, losing customers, losing sales, losing reputation and losing employees, I’m not sure what’s left after that.

Joey Coleman: Well, and I think for all of our listeners who may have been in a situation where a boss, or a board of directors, or someone you report to ask you to justify the cost of a customer experience initiative, we all know that that’s sometimes difficult to do. How do you put a price on success? How do you put a price on what that looks like to create those remarkable interactions? This provides some interesting opportunities to say, “Well, I may not be able to tell you how much it’s going to improve our business, but I can tell you how much problem we’re going to be able to avoid and how much loss we’re going to be able to avoid by focusing on the customer experience.”

Dan Gingiss: Exactly. And I think that that speaks as loudly to a finance department or to a CEO as the benefit that you can get from doing it. So it’s a great takeaway for our listeners to say, “Look, sometimes it’s difficult to calculate an exact return,” although I will argue that you should harder because I think generally it is calculable, if you, or calculatable, what word is that?

Joey Coleman: Either way you can add the numbers up and it’s bigger.

Dan Gingiss: Okay. Yeah. Calculatable I think I’m going to go with. You can calculate it because you can understand the lifetime value of a customer and the future value that that customer will bring by staying with you. You can also obviously estimate that same value if the customer walks out the door, and remember that when they walk out the door it’s a double negative because you’ve lost them as a customer and your competitor has gained them as a customer. So it’s like losing two.

Joey Coleman: Yeah. So it doubly hurts your bottom line because as your customer goes to that competitor, that competitor now has more revenue to work with, they have more profit to work with, they can start to compete with you in different ways, offer more technology solutions, offer more free things to the customer. And so to your point, Dan, you really are losing twice.

Dan Gingiss: So the article states that if you want to create a great customer experience, you should do three things. One, create conversations with your customers. Two, unite all of your departments. Man, is this one important to you? So tired of siloed departments.

Joey Coleman: Yeah, yeah. I say this all the time. As a guy who grew up in the Midwest in a farming community, silos are incredibly important and useful and valuable on a farm. In a company, they are terrible, they cause all kinds of problems. And here’s the thing I’m going to keep saying this until companies break down the silos in their organizations, because we’ve all heard it before, we’ve read it in the magazines, we’ve heard keynote speakers talk about this, and yet so many organizations, as soon as they break into their little fiefdoms or their departments or silos, it’s as if they’re competing against each other instead of competing against the competition to create great experiences for their customers.

Dan Gingiss: Right, we’re all on the same team. We all have the same logo on our business cards. And number three is to be omni-channel, which is another way to say be where your customers are. So as with all CXPRESS articles, we’ll include a link in the show notes at www.experiencethisshow.com if you’d like to read the entire piece.

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 98 – Providing Great Experiences for Your Customers and the Earth

Join us as we discuss mobile phone cases you can bury in your garden, special privileges for those that make green choices, and the shifting expectations of thirsty customers!

Composting, Selecting, and Hydrating – Oh My!

A little disclaimer about this environmental episode of ExperienceThis!

In the last few years here in the United States, for some reason we’ve increasingly decided to make environmental issues into political issues. While we feel that there are certainly political and economic considerations that need to be brought into the conversation about the environment, the environment is something that impacts all of us – regardless of political affiliation. The environment is changing regardless of why we think it’s changing. We believe it’s time to spend less time discussing the why and more time discussing the what. We all live on the same planet and if we’re going to continue to create remarkable experiences, we’re going to need to have a planet to live on!

[Dissecting the Experience] Pela Case – Trendy and Environmentally Conscious Go Together

Consumers care more and more about where their products come from and what the company that creates them believes in. One company that stands out for both its products and its values is Pela Case. Pela offers the world’s first compostable mobile phone case and has created a company committed to creating zero waste with their products. They’re also doing all they can to create a waste free future for all of their customers.

The company sends out a mailer with each case they sell so that customers can easily return their old mobile phone case. Pela then uses the old case in future Pela products or makes sure it is disposed of in an environmentally friendly way. In addition, your new Pela Case arrives with no packaging (those plastic clam shells drive us crazy and always end up leaving the worst cuts!) so it’s one less item of waste and uses less fuel to ship (because the weight of the packaging is less).

Pela Cases are sturdy, well-built, and environmentally conscious. Made from a material called flaxstic (which is a compostable material made of flax shive) the cases are trendy and environmentally conscious at the same time (one of the many reason’s why Joey protects his phone with a Pela case).

When you are done with the case (e.g., if you decide to upgrade to a new cell phone style/design/model), you can throw your old case in a compost bin (if you’re lucky enough to have curbside composting in your community), plant it in your yard, or send it back to Pela as described earlier. Pela also makes a variety of eco-conscious lifestyle products including sunglasses, screen protectors, and AirPods cases.

Many companies have a mission, we’re a mission that happens to have a company.

Matt Bertulli, CEO of Pela Case

Pela combines great products, profitability, great customer service, and environmental conscientiousness. These things are increasingly important to consumers (especially younger generations) and as proof of that growing interest, the Pela website is currently receiving over four million views per month.

Can you find a way to align what’s best for your company, with what’s best for your customers, with what’s best for the environment? As Pela shows – it is possible to accomplish all three goals with the same product.

[Make the Required Remarkable] Every Customer Touchpoint Shows What You Value

On a recent business trip, Joey needed to rent a car and was able to select a Toyota Prius. The next night, as he was looking for parking at an event, he noticed the best spots in the lot were reserved for fuel efficient vehicles.

The more you narrow the types of audiences you serve, the more comfortable you get with celebrating specific types of customers, the more successful your business will be… and the more your customers will start talking about you.

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

There are parking spots for the disabled, parking for expecting moms, and even parking for veterans. These all communicate with customers the priorities of the company in charge of the parking lot.

In fact, every interaction communicates with customers. If you have to pay for plastic bags at the grocery store, you know that the store is trying to reduce their waste. When a city rewards you for creating less trash, you know that they are trying to reduce their waste.

Sometimes, we need to make a statement about who we are trying to attract as customers. More and more often, people are looking for organizations that are doing their part to help the environment. Every touchpoint tells a customer about what you and your company value. Why shouldn’t that communication start in the parking lot?

[This Just Happened] Water at the Hole

It is estimated that Americans use more than 50 billion plastic water bottles a year, and yet only 23 percent of those get recycled! Recently, Joey committed to stop buying single use, plastic bottles of water and instead to use a reusable bottle he could fill while on his travels.

The point of segment isn’t to talk about Joey’s water consumption, but rather to consider two questions every business should constantly monitor:

  1. What happens when your customers shift behavior?
  2. What can you do to cater to these shifting behaviors? 

Customers are increasingly traveling with reusable water bottles – even when just running errands in their local community. More and more water fountains are being retrofitted to incorporate a water bottle filling station – some of which track and promote the number of “bottles saved” by filling up at the station. Delta Airlines partnered with the Atlanta Airport to help keep a the Flint River (which runs under the airport) flowing by restoring 1,000 gallons of water for every bottle filled at the airport. As part of this initiative, they have restored more than 23 million gallons of water!

More people make environmentally conscious decisions when it’s convenient. By putting water bottle refilling stations throughout the airport, it becomes easier for customers to use them. Observe the behaviors of your customers and then look for ways you can meet their shifting needs and desires. If you can work alongside your customers to be more innovative and make positive choices easier, you can improve customer experience and help the environment at the same time.

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 98 here or read it below:

[Introduction] Welcome to Experience This, where you’ll find inspiring examples of customer experience, great stories of customer service and tips on how to make your customers love you even more. Always upbeat and definitely entertaining. Customer attention expert, Joey Coleman and social media expert, Dan Gingiss, serve as your hosts for a weekly dose of Positive Customer Experience. So hold onto your headphones. It’s time to Experience This.

Joey Coleman: Get ready for a very special Earth Day episode of the Experience This! Show.

Dan Gingiss: Join us as we discuss cell phone cases you can bury in your garden, special privileges for those that make green choices, and the shifting expectations of thirsty customers.

Joey Coleman: Composting, selecting and hydrating – Oh, my!

[Dissecting the Experience] Pela Case – Trendy and Environmentally Conscious Go Together

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

Joey Coleman: A little disclaimer about this environmental episode of Experience This. For some reason in the last few years here in America, we’ve increasingly decided to make environmental issues into political issues. While Dan and I feel that there are certainly political and economic considerations that need to be brought into the conversation about the environment, the environment is something that impacts all of us regardless of political affiliation. The environment is something that is changing regardless of why we think it’s changing. We believe that it’s time to spend less time discussing the why and more time discussing the what now. The fact that the matter is we all live on the same planet and all of our customers live on the same planet and if we’re going to continue to create remarkable experiences for our customers and remarkable experiences for our employees, we’re going to need to have a planet to live on.

Joey Coleman: Have you ever heard of compostable cell phone cases, Dan?

Dan Gingiss: I can’t say that I have, Joey.

Joey Coleman: I had a feeling that this might be a newer concept for you because frankly, it’s a fairly newer concept for me. And I wanted to talk about it because I was so intrigued by the story of the company that makes these, that I had to purchase one for myself. Now, in the interest of full disclosure, Pela Case are the makers of the world’s first compostable phone cases. The company’s run by three of my friends, Matt Bertulli, Brad Peterson, and Jeremy Lang. And to be clear, they didn’t ask me to talk about their products on the show. In fact, prior to us recording this, they have no idea that I’m going to talk about their products and nor are they sponsors. But my experience with their product was so compelling that I needed to tell our listeners about it.

Dan Gingiss: We talk about in almost every episode that if you create a remarkable experience, you’re going to create people that not just want to talk about you, but need to talk about you to their friends, family, and in this particular case, podcast listeners. So it sounds like that’s what Pela did here.

Joey Coleman: They absolutely did, Dan.

Joey Coleman: So let me set the stage for you. I purchased a new iPhone that was a different size from my previous phone and so I needed a new case. Now it bothered me that while I was able to trade in my old iPhone to Apple for them to resell to a new customer, the change in phone size meant I had to throw out my old cell phone case and get a new one. And I hadn’t had that phone for that long. But as it turns out that wasn’t true.

Joey Coleman: Enter Pela Case. Pela was founded in 2011 by environmental consultant Jeremy Lang after a trip to Hawaii left him shocked to see how much plastic pollution had washed up on the beaches. So Jeremy took action and after much research, trial and error, he created a material called flack stick, a unique blend of plant based bio polymer mixed with flax shive. An annual renewable waste product of the flax oil seed harvest in Canada. Now using this flax stick, Pela created its flax shive phone case, a case that comes in both iPhone and Android model formats. The cool thing about this case, it completely breaks down into carbon water and organic biomass. In short, that means you can put your phone case into the compost or bury it in your garden when you’re finished with it and it will naturally and quickly decompose.

Dan Gingiss: And I’m sitting here with Joey and recording studio and actually looking at his phone case and it’s pretty cool. It looks like it has almost, you know those plantable cards that you get that have the seeds in them and you can grow something. That’s kind of what it looks like except I am guessing this is flax shive.

Joey Coleman: Those are the flax, that’s actually the flax shive that you can see in the case. They’re kind of little flecks of yellow on a black case. Which interestingly enough, if you’ll notice on the case, it has a honeycomb design with bumblebees on it. And this particular case, when you purchase it, they make a donation to support honeybees because they’re a huge part of the ecosystem. And if we could go do a whole segment on honeybees and how the impact that they play-

Dan Gingiss: But I will say just before you move on that it actually looks like a pretty normal case. I’m not sure if you had told me it was biodegradable or compostable that I would have known because it looks like it’s a black case, rubbery in texture. It feels pretty strong so it doesn’t look any different.

Joey Coleman: Yeah, and it’s very strong. It protects the phone. It’s got great grip to it, which I know is something, especially with the new iPhones that feel like you’re holding a wet fish in your hand, they’re so slippery, you want to have a little grip. What I thought was really interesting about this whole setup is that it gave me the opportunity to not only make an environmental choice, but Pela Case did something with the old phone case that was interesting too.

Joey Coleman: They have a program called Pela 360. And this program excepts other company’s plastic phone cases that are then either up cycled into Pela products or properly recycled. So when a customer purchases a Pela Case, they also receive in the package an envelope that allows them to send their used Pela case when they’re done with it or a conventional plastic case back to Pela’s sustainability studio.

Joey Coleman: Now several national retailers are also interested in this program as well and plan to offer Pela 360 in their retail locations later this year.

Dan Gingiss: Mr. Coleman, I have a question. So why would somebody want to mail back their Pela Case if they can just plant it in their garden?

Joey Coleman: For some reason, if somebody might live in a place where they don’t have a garden. They might live in an urban environment where for them to go out and find a shovel and dig something and put it in, that’s a challenge. What’s really cool about the case though, here in Boulder, it’s filled with environmentally aware folks. We have curbside compost, for example, like in the same way that the trash is picked up on the curb every week, every other week the compost is picked up. So when I’m done with my case, I’ll be able to just throw it in the compost and that’s easier.

Joey Coleman: But they’re trying to think through all the reasons why someone wouldn’t make the right choice to eliminate those barriers and to make it very easy to make an environmental choice. What’s crazy to me is the impact that cell phone cases has on the environment. I have to admit, before I purchased my Pela Case, I had no idea how big this problem is. More than 1.5 billion phone cases are discarded every year. The majority of which are made with conventional plastic. And to make matters worse, the plastic recycling system isn’t working as well as it needs to, as less than 5% of all plastic gets recycled, the rest ends up in landfills.

Dan Gingiss: Yeah, and this is clearly a problem. I’ve been a big recycler my whole life, but even I have grown fatigued over the years as you find out that companies don’t know what to do with all of the recycling that we’re generating, and China no longer wants to take our recycling. There’s been stories of entire townships that have taken recycling and it’s all landed in the landfill anyway. And so it’s a huge problem and it’s a problem that a lot of companies are trying to address in different ways. I’ve used straws and silverware and coffee cups that are compostable or at a very least recyclable. But now coming up on biodegradable.

Dan Gingiss: I think it’s really interesting when it works. There are other times where I’ve had paper straws over a plastic straw and I find myself sucking on paper shards. And so the product itself doesn’t work very well. And I think that’s why I made the comment about your case is that we can’t forget, especially as experienced people, that the products we create still have to work.

Joey Coleman: It still has to work.

Dan Gingiss: It can’t just be environmentally friendly.

Joey Coleman: Just like any [inaudible 00:09:47] to sit down at the game is the product has to work.

Joey Coleman: And Dan, you’re so spot on. Increasingly more and more companies are looking at how can every facet of their business be environmentally aware. And it’s one of the things that I love about Pela because their commitment to the environment truly cuts into every interaction they have with you. The inset mailer that I received with my new phone case, which you can see some photos of on our show notes page for this episode at Experiencethisshow.com reads as follows, “Welcome to the Pela family. Thank you for helping us keep the planet clean and healthy. You’ll notice that your Pela case did not come with a package. We decided to eliminate this step to further reduce unnecessary waste. With the money we save on our packaging, we can donate even more funds to clean ocean initiatives around the world.” When I read this, I absolutely loved it.

Joey Coleman: I mean everywhere you look, people are paying more attention to use and reuse and the disposal of the things that are used. And it’s not just consumers that are interested in this. Okay. A few months ago, Marcy Venture Partners, co founded by American rapper Jay-Z, invested $5 million in Pela Case.

Dan Gingiss: Wait, wait, wait. Is this our first Jay-Z reference?

Joey Coleman: This is our first Jay-Z reference, I think. Definitely this season, maybe ever. And it’s not surprising to me that pillowcase case is catching the attention of consumers and investors alike, given the significant environmental improvements they’re making. So here are a couple of stats about this one little company. 25 employees, and what they’ve been able to do in terms of their environmental impact. Pela Case prevented 147,180 pounds of plastic from entering the waste stream. They protected 14,890 feet of coastline with the Surf Rider Foundation. Over 530,000 people have switched to using compostable phone cases, and the company has grown 3,509% in the past five years, and averages four million visitors to their website per month.

Joey Coleman: We talked in an earlier episode about the Musee d’Orsay in Paris. They’ve had four million visitors to their museum since they opened. This website’s getting four million visitors per month.

Dan Gingiss: So the learning here for our listeners is that environmentally concerned companies are drawing the attention of consumers. Consumers are seeking them out. And so it is one of these things that if you’re not thinking about, you really should be because especially with younger generations, but I think starting with our generation, Joey, with Gen X and younger, this is a hot topic. And people are choosing to do business with companies that are at least paying attention to this and trying to be environmentally conscious.

Joey Coleman: They are. And what’s great is when you start to pay attention to this a little bit in your company, it naturally takes on a life of its own. I mean, Pela started by making cell phone cases. They now make biodegradable sunglasses because that’s another thing that people often buy. They buy a new pair every season or every other season and what do they do with the old pairs? Well lots of times they end up in the trash. So Pela has made biodegradable sunglasses that work fantastically and are incredibly beautiful from an aesthetics point of view.

Joey Coleman: In fact, I was speaking with the CEO, Matt Bertulli not too long ago, and he said something to me in passing. “Joey, many companies have a mission. We’re a mission that happens to have a company.” And it’s absolutely inspiring to me what the folks at Pela are doing to make the world a better place. They’re designing beautiful products, they’re growing their business, they’re taking great care of both their customers and their employees. And in fact, Bertulli said, “Since day one, we’ve been focused on the most sustainable options when making our products, making products more easily accessible to our customers and lowering our carbon footprint are high priorities for us. The mobile phone industry is a great example of where quite a bit can be done to create better, more environmentally friendly products. Put simply, as a consumer, you can protect your phone and the planet. There doesn’t need to be a compromise.”

Dan Gingiss: I love that part about they’re not needing to be a compromise because what it means is there’s still profitability that can be had and they’re still satisfied customers that can be had, et cetera. So if you’re interested in learning more about Pela case, and of course, as Joey said, they’re not a sponsor. We don’t get anything for you going to this site. We’re just sharing it as a courtesy. It’s P-E-L-A-C-A-S-E.com to look at their phone cases or their biodegradable sunglasses. And again, the takeaway for you is think about what you can do to align what’s right for your business, what’s right for your customers and what’s right for the planet. It’s the earth day trifecta.

[Required Remarkable] Green Parking Spaces

Speaker 1: Just because you have required elements of your business doesn’t mean they need to be boring. It’s time to get creative, have some fun and make people sit up and take notice. Get your customers talking when you make the required remarkable.

Joey Coleman: Have you ever been rewarded for the car you choose to drive, Dan?

Dan Gingiss: Rewarded how? I don’t think so. But why do you ask?

Joey Coleman: Well, recently I had an experience where I got special treatment for choosing a specific rental car, something that had never happened to me before. So here’s what happened. I flew to Washington DC for a series of meetings and speaking events and as such, decided to rent a car because most of my engagements were happening outside the city in Virginia and Maryland. DC has got a great public transportation system but I knew I was going to have to be going here, there and every there. So I rented a car. And as I went to the car rental place, I was thinking about Pela case and I was thinking about my increased effort to try to be more environmentally conscious. And so I decided to rent a Prius.

Dan Gingiss: That’s cool. I’m not even sure I’ve ever been offered the chance to rent a Prius, but I probably would take them up on the offer if it was there.

Joey Coleman: Yeah. And it was comparably priced to the other rental cars. And of course in the back of my head I was thinking, “Well, I’ll help the environment. Plus I won’t have to pay for as much gas when I go back to the airport. So this’ll be a net win for everybody involved.” And then I headed out for a series of meetings. The day of meetings culminated with an event and dinner near the HEC warehouse in Ivy city, which is an up and coming part of Northeast Washington DC. And when I pulled into the parking garage and started to look for a spot, my eye caught something I’d never seen before. The very best parking spots in the garage, the ones that were closest to the stairs and elevators were painted green and reserved for low emitting fuel efficient vehicles.

Dan Gingiss: I love that. That’s a great reward for driving green. Although I have to tell you where my mind goes here. The only downside is it requires the non efficient cars to drive farther.

Joey Coleman: Fair enough. Fair enough. True, true. But I imagine it also creates a scenario where the non efficient car drivers see that and whether consciously or subconsciously they’re reminded that the choice they made there could be a benefit for making a different choice. So it was also interesting that it was painted next to the elevators. So I took the stairs, not the elevator, but that was the setup. And here’s what I thought. I made a decision the day before on what car to rent and now I was getting special treatment for picking the environmentally friendly choice.

Joey Coleman: If you want to see what these parking spots look like, by the way, go to our show notes at Experiencethisshow.com and you can see some photos that I took. But what I found impressive is that almost every business with a physical location has some type of parking option for their customers that are visiting. And yet how many businesses have made the time to think about making this required component, I.e Parking spaces for your visitors into something remarkable.

Dan Gingiss: Yeah, I’m reminded of some other parking options. I mean obviously handicapped parking has been around for a long time and I would put that as a required part of your business because it tends to be regulated and mandated. But now there’s some places that have special parking for expectant mothers or for veterans or for other things. And again, I’m somewhat split. I love the idea in concept. I think it is great for an expected mother, for example, not to have to walk quite as far. I’m also on the flip side, sometimes confused slash perturbed when I’m driving around in a parking spot and there’s so many allocated to different things. I literally can’t figure out which spot I’m supposed to park in.

Dan Gingiss: There was one recently where I could see the word veterans, but there was like four sentences of copy on there that I think had something to do with how you prove you’re a veteran with an ID card or whatever. And I’m like, “I don’t know what this is but I’m going to go find a different spot.” Because it just was sort of too confusing. So I think it’s something to watch out for but I think it rewarding for the green choice is a great way to get more people to choose green.

Joey Coleman: Right, I agree. And as with all initiatives you might adopt around making a required element of your business more remarkable, the goal is to make it remarkable, not complicated. And so I think there is definitely something to pay attention to there. What surprised me or kind of it reinforced for me maybe, is that every business has the opportunity to think about the environment in a different way and think about how their business footprint could contribute to making the environment better.

Joey Coleman: I also think it’s the case that there isn’t a business on the planet that doesn’t have at least a percentage of their customers, and that percentage may differ depending on the industry that you’re in, that aren’t increasingly committed to environmental causes. So I think you get the opportunity to build affinity with certain segments of the customers you serve by showing that you too are paying attention to this stuff.

Dan Gingiss: Yeah, and to give another example, my local grocery store not only rewards you for bringing your own grocery bags, the reusable grocery bags. I think they knock off like, I don’t know, ten cents per bag on your order, but they also have a monthly drawing for a gift card to the grocery store that you can only enter if you brought reusable bags. It’s a similar concept where they’re not pushing it.

Dan Gingiss: And I’ll be honest with you, much to my dismay, I’d say 90% of the people, maybe 95% of the people still choose the plastic bags. I mean, I wonder how much of an impact it’s making. But that said, when I put my name and phone number into the drawing box, the drawing box is full. So that means some people are making the choice to bring their own bags.

Joey Coleman: Absolutely. So one tip and two stories. The tip, whenever I don’t take the plastic bag, like even if the gas station, you decided to grab a candy bar before a long road trip and they say, “Would you like a bag?” I always say, “No thanks. I’ll do my bit to help the environment.” I actually say that with the thought being that slowly but surely, the more we can work this into our conversations, the better it is for all of it. Two quick stories.

Joey Coleman: One, in Switzerland, not too long ago, they decided to start charging for garbage pickup by the pound. So they installed scales in all of the garbage trucks that would drive around and pick up people’s garbage. And they weighed your garbage and your bill for garbage collection was based on how much garbage you handed in. This was an effort to make the country more responsible about waste. In 60 days it dropped 90%.

Dan Gingiss: Wow.

Joey Coleman: 90%.

Dan Gingiss: Because people are just stashing it in their basement?

Joey Coleman: I think it’s because people looked at it and they said, “Oh my God, if I have to pay for it, I don’t want to do this.” A lot of jurisdictions have moved, the second story, have moved to you have to pay for the plastic bags. The more you have to pay, the more it will condition the behavior. When it’s you have to pay five cents for the plastic bag, well there’s not as much of an incentive. When you have to pay $5 for the plastic bag, it changes the conversation.

Dan Gingiss: Yeah. In the town that my parents live in, you have to buy stickers for every garbage bag and you have to pay per garbage bag but recycling is free. So it does give you that incentive.

Joey Coleman: I love it. I love it. So how can all of this apply to your business? Well, let’s ask a couple of questions. Are there extra little perks you can give to your favorite customers? Can you treat customers better that align with your mission, vision, and values? Can you use design and positioning to court customers that fit a specific demographic you’re trying to attract?

Joey Coleman: All too often, companies are afraid to do something special for one type of customer at the risk of alienating another type of customer. But the best companies realize that it is as important to know what you’re against as what you stand for. The more you narrow the types of audiences you serve, or at the very least, the more comfortable you get with celebrating specific types of customers, the more successful your business will be and the more your customers will start talking about you. When is the last time someone remarked about the parking spaces in the garage or a parking lot next to your building? Every interaction is a chance to stand out. Every touchpoint offers the chance to do something special. Every required element of your business can be made into something remarkable.

[This Just Happened] Water at the Hole

Speaker 1: We love telling stories and sharing key insights you can implement or avoid based on our experiences. Can you believe that this just happened?

Joey Coleman: I noticed something while traveling in the past few months that I think represents an interesting conversation about how brands and companies are responding to changes in customer expectations and behaviors. And I was hoping to illustrate this point by talking about water.

Dan Gingiss: Water?

Joey Coleman: Yes, water. So allow me to explain. In the past when I travel for work, water was something that I didn’t really think that much about, at least consciously. I drink water in route to the airport and then throw out my plastic water bottle when I got to security because you’re not allowed to take it through security. I then go through security and on the other side I had purchased another plastic bottle of water. I then drink that bottle of water before getting on the plane. And then once on the plane I’d ask for water, which the flight attendant would pour out of a plastic water bottle into a plastic cup.

Joey Coleman: I then get off the plane and head to my hotel. Usually to discover that the hotel had provided several plastic bottles of water in my room, some of which are complimentary, others of which required me to pay an arm and leg to purchase.

Dan Gingiss: That is a lot of water and many plastic bottles. So I will, as a PSA to our listeners, let you know that you can take through an empty plastic bottle.

Joey Coleman: Yes, you can.

Dan Gingiss: If you’ve already drunk the water.

Joey Coleman: Yes, you can. But you have to drink all the water real quick and then take it through and then where do you fill it? Which actually brings me to the point that I wanted to make in our conversation today. But before I get to that, let’s talk about how big this problem is. Okay, first of all, buying all that extra water, it’s like $5 to $10 a bottle, right? So it’s expensive, but what’s worse than that is the impact it has on the earth of having that much plastic being only used once.

Joey Coleman: It’s estimated that Americans use over 50 billion plastic bottles of water per year and only 23% of those get recycled. In Lake Michigan alone, an equivalent of 100 Olympic size pools full of plastic bottles get dumped into the Lake every year.

Dan Gingiss: That’s my lake you’re talking about.

Joey Coleman: Your backyard. Over 100 Olympic size pools filled with plastic bottles. That’s how many plastic bottles get dumped in each year.

Dan Gingiss: And Joey, I don’t want to get you riled up here. And we did say at the beginning of the show that we weren’t going to get political or talk about the why of climate change. But I do think this particular issue is fascinating because when you and I were growing up, there was no such thing as bottled water.

Joey Coleman: It didn’t exist.

Dan Gingiss: So in one generation, humans have created this problem. That’s a fact.

Joey Coleman: 100%.

Dan Gingiss: You can’t argue that. It’s not about science, that’s a fact. We created this problem.

Joey Coleman: And I’ll go one step further, corporations have played a huge part in creating that problem because corporations have messaged out, “Well, the water in your tap, oh, it’s not as purified and isn’t electrolyte filled and as wonderful as this water.” When the reality is if we actually test the water, the stuff you’re drinking out of the plastic bottles, in most jurisdictions now, not in Flint, Michigan, oh my God, fix that problem, but in most jurisdictions, the water out of your tap is healthier and better for you than the water in the plastic bottle that you’re buying at the grocery store.

Joey Coleman: So I thought this was ridiculous. I wanted to stay hydrated, but I realized the impact I was having. So I set a goal in 2019 to try to make it through the year without purchasing a single plastic bottle of water. And the way I did that is I took one of those metal water bottles that I’d received, this swag at an event I had spoken at. I clipped it to my backpack and as I set out on my various trips. I started looking for water fountains where I could refill my reusable water bottle instead of stores selling single use plastic water bottles.

Dan Gingiss: And now that we’re in 2020, how did you do on your goal?

Joey Coleman: Well, to be honest, I did fairly well, especially considering my prior behavior. And I think it’s important when we think about environmental initiatives that improvement is better than perfection. So across 2019 I purchased less than ten plastic bottles of water during my travel, which when I think back to the fact that prior to that in 2018, I might’ve purchased ten in a single trip. That felt like really good progress.

Joey Coleman: And each time I did purchase one I felt a pang of frustration and made sure that I properly recycled that bottle. So at least I was doing a little bit better. But to be honest, this segment really isn’t about my personal water consumption or sustainability goals. It’s about finding what you’re looking for and having someone make it easier for you to find it.

Dan Gingiss: So what did you figure out through this experiment?

Joey Coleman: Well, I learned several things, but there are two significant things that I wanted to share and discuss in this segment. Number one, what happens in your space when customers shift their behaviors? And number two, what can brands do to cater to these shifting behaviors? So first of all, let’s talk about what happens in your space.

Joey Coleman: I’ve noticed that in the last few years, more and more water fountains that are located in public spaces and particularly airports are being retrofitted to include filling stations where it’s easy to fill a reusable water bottle. Now these filling stations even display a counter that shows how many disposable plastic water bottles have been saved by you using the water fountain instead of purchasing the water. And as I travel around, I regularly see filling stations touting over 300,000 bottles saved. Now I don’t know exactly, I’ve seen the counters rollover, it’s based on the amount of water they do. So I have to believe that these numbers are fairly accurate. And in fact, the Atlanta airport recently partnered with Delta Airlines to help keep a local river flowing. And they pledged to restore 1000 gallons of water for every water bottle filled at one of the fountains in the airport.

Joey Coleman: To date, they’ve restored 23.3 million gallons of water based on the behavior of Delta customers and people flying through Atlanta.

Dan Gingiss: Which I love because obviously in Atlanta it’s mostly Delta customers.

Joey Coleman: Well, that’s true. So it’s a nice little co-branding opportunity for them.

Dan Gingiss: But I’d also say the next step in that, because I’ve seen these filling stations too, they’re at my home airport of O’Hare and there’s actually a lot of them if you don’t have to walk very far to get one, et cetera. I think the next step though is that the stores in the airports have to stop selling plastic bottles and only sell reusable bottles. And then you will have an ecosystem that continues to work.

Joey Coleman: Right. And what we’ve learned about humans, and we talked a little bit about this with the garbage bags, while we all want to make the right choice, sometimes the convenience of the bad choice is just too overwhelming for us to make the change.

Dan Gingiss: But think about that pang that you said about buying a plastic bottle. What if the pang instead was having to pay $19.95 for a reusable bottle, which is going to annoy a lot of people, but it actually might change the behavior because they sure don’t want to do that the next time they come to the airport.

Joey Coleman: Absolutely. And I think the crazy thing about reusable bottles, and I don’t know if you’ve had this experience, you’ve got to find the one that works for you. Like for me, because I carry a backpack when I go, I wanted a bottle that I could clip to a carabiner on the outside of my backpack so I didn’t get water on my computer. And finding a bottle that would fit the Caribbean or that looks pseudo professional on my backpack was something important. So it’s almost like we have an opportunity to think about the aesthetics and the packaging of these solutions as well when we’re designing these types of products.

Dan Gingiss: Which ironically has been going on in the backpack industry now for a while, right?

Joey Coleman: Correct.

Dan Gingiss: Because now backpacks are not just for school children anymore. I use one as well. They’re very stylish, they’re meant for business people to carry around laptops and other type stuff. So there’s no reason why this space couldn’t go in that direction.

Joey Coleman: It’s also become acceptable to wear both straps or the backpack instead of having to go visit a chiropractor every day. But I digress.

Joey Coleman: The second thing I noticed around the water is that certain brands are changing their behaviors to cater to their customer’s desires. So I stayed at two hotels last year, one in Miami and one in Baltimore, that had large water coolers in the lobby where they encouraged guests to fill their reusable water bottles before heading out for the day or heading to their room for the night. There were no complimentary bottles of water in the guest room. And the staff went out of their way to point out that the water was available. In addition to a hotel in Miami that we spoke about back in episode 70, the one hotel has a filtered water spigot in the guest room. So there’s the sink where you can wash your hands and brush your teeth. But next to it was a separate filtered water that said for your drinking pleasure. So they actually built that into the hotel room experience, which made finding my water very, very easy.

Dan Gingiss: And it’s interesting you mentioned that because I’ve been meaning to tell you this, Joey. I’ve been staying at the same hotel in one particular city that I continue to visit a consultant client at. And what’s happened is every day, I try to usually refuse the housekeeping, but sometimes you can’t. And when the housekeeping comes every day, not only do they make up the bed and replace the towels, but they’re now replacing all of the soap. So I’ve opened up a bar of soap, I’ve used it once to wash my hands and they’re giving me a brand new bar of soap. And not only that, but there’s always the sign that says, “Hang up your towel if you want to reuse your towel.” So I’ll do that and they take the towel anyway. So when I was checking out the last time, they said, “Is everything okay with your stay?” I said, “Actually, no. I have a complaint and-

Joey Coleman: And I’ve got to say I love that you couched it as a complaint because if you would’ve said, “I have a suggestion,” it probably wouldn’t have done it. It doesn’t alert the mind to the average front desk employee the way a complaint does. But you obviously did it in a professional and respectful manner.

Dan Gingiss: Oh, yeah. I said, “Look, I don’t think that you need to be taking my soap every day. The bars are designed to be a certain size to last for a few days in a hotel. That’s exactly their purpose.” And what’s interesting is this person immediately told me that it was a policy of the parent company, which I know not to be true because I stay at these hotels all the time and I’ve never seen it happen.

Joey Coleman: I think the opportunity then is to ask for the manager, speak to the manager directly, especially since it’s a place you go to regularly. And if not, write the letter to corporate saying, “This manager, this location quoted me this is your policy. I’ve stayed at other places where it’s not.” Like we get the opportunity potentially to become activist.

Joey Coleman: So friends, loyal listeners, please don’t get caught up in the specifics of the water that we talked about during this segment, but rather see this as an analogy that you can apply to your business. How is your business adapting to the shifting behaviors of your customers? Your customers likely use their cell phones all day, every. Do you have free chargers available in your lobby or waiting room? Your customers probably love to be online. Do you have open WiFi for people to use when they’re in your space or waiting to meet you? And some of your customers are likely looking to fill up their reusable water bottles.

Joey Coleman: Are you there to help them meet their needs and in the process, show them that you’re ready to cater to their future needs as they may arise. Go grab a glass of water and talk to your colleagues about ways to do this in your business. You’ll surely come up with some great customer experience enhancements and you’ll get hydrated in the process.

Speaker 1: Wow. Thanks for joining us for another episode of Experience This.

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

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

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