Listener Stories

Episode 131 – The Time is Right for Better Customer Experiences

Join us as we discuss offering new products to your raving customers, speaking words of encouragement when you aren’t in the room, and making the big leap to do it on your own.

Waste-Composting, Hand-Washing, and Self-Employing – Oh My!

Referenced in the Show

• Lomi – Turn Waste To Compost with a Single Button
Children’s National Hospital
• The Self-Employed Life: Business and Personal Development Strategies That Create Sustainable Success – by Jeffrey Shaw

Host Contact Information

Email Dan: Dan@dangingiss.com

Tweet Dan Gingiss: @DGingiss

Email Joey: JoeyC@JoeyColeman.com

DanGingiss.com

JoeyColeman.com

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

Episode Transcript

Download a machine-transcribed, barely edited transcript of Episode 131 here or read it below:
(if anything doesn’t make sense or you have any questions about the transcript – just Contact us!)

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dan Gingiss (00:54):
Join us as we discuss offering new products to your raving fans, speaking words of encouragement when you aren’t in the room, and making the big leap to do it on your own.

Joey Coleman (01:09):
Waste-composting, hand-washing, and self-employing! Oh my!

Joey Coleman (01:14):
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 (01:28):
Long time listeners to the Experience This Show will remember a conversation that Dan and I had about the amazing compostable cell phone cases made by my Canadian friends at Piela.

Dan Gingiss (01:43):
Well, that would be back in episode 98 of season five. I do believe?!

Joey Coleman (01:46):
Yes, my friend. He’s done it again. Yes, indeed. The team at Pela makes a fantastic compostable cell phone case. And today they released a new product called Lomi. I want to play a audio of their CEO talking about what Lomi is, why it’s important for their customers, why it’s important for the planet and why you should get one. So listen to Matt. As he describes the new offering from Pela called Lomi .

Matt Bertulli (02:22):
What if changing the world was as easy as pushing a button. Hey, I’m Matt from Pela. And I want to introduce you to my friend. Lomi at Pela. We’re a team of engineers and material scientists. And for the last three years, we’ve been creating something truly special, a solution to the world’s garbage problem. Now, before I show you how long he is going to change the world, let’s talk about why you’re going to want one of your home today. Maybe you live in a big city and have agreement program. You know, those little plastic bins with leaky bags under your sink that are amazing at producing smelly gross liquid slugs that nobody wants to touch recommends anybody, or maybe you don’t have agreement system where you live. And instead you throw all your food waste into the garbage, which then goes to a landfill which produces methane, which causes climate change all while still smelling pretty terrible loamy makes your life so much easier. Lomi can compost your food waste, that pesky packaging from your online shopping habit and even biodegradable plastics. Yup. Lomi even works on Pela’s compostable phone cases, all at the push of a button. And as little as a few hours later, your waste has turned into the start of nutrient rich compost, totally mess free and odor neutralized. You probably know us at Piela as the inventors of the world’s first compostable phone case, peels customers have eliminated more than 41.8 million plastic bags worth of garbage in the last five years to create loamy. We’ve spent over three years completing more than 1000 compost tests and endless hours of design and prototyping. Loamy. Isn’t just beautifully designed. It is the world’s best home composter period. Food waste creates 330 billion pounds of garbage in North America. Each year, packaging and plastic represent even more garbage and add that number up even higher loamy makes food waste a thing of the past and helps you cut up to half of your carbon footprint all while making odor neutralized mess, free compost that you can feed your plants, tossing your garden, send it to the green bin or put it in the garbage together. We can do something that politicians and big businesses can’t seem to take any action on actually helping the planet. We can make trash thing of the past, back our project today, and you’ll help us bring Lomi to life.

Joey Coleman (04:25):
Now, I don’t know about you, Dan, but when you hear that, when you first are exposed to Lomi and what…

Dan Gingiss (04:30):
Already bought it! I did. I saw the video and then I, I, I bought it immediately. I’m sold.

Joey Coleman (04:39):
I love it. I love it. So here’s why I wanted to talk about Lomi by the way, I also already purchased my own loamy for at home. Here’s why I wanted to talk about this though. I think we have entered an era where every business on the planet absolutely must take into consideration the environmental impact of their product. And if you have a product that is going to be able to significantly help the environment, it is going to build buzz and build excitement about your offering.

Dan Gingiss (05:14):
I guess I think that’s true. I unfortunately think that environmental issues have become a little bit politicized.

Joey Coleman (05:24):
A little bit?! Understatement of the year.

Dan Gingiss (05:26):
And so I think that is true for a certain group of people. You and I are definitely within those people. The environment is a, is an issue I care very much about. Mostly I think probably fatherhood did that to me, that I felt like I needed to have some responsibility for how I leave the planet for my kids and grandkids. And so it’s an, uh, it’s important for me. And one of the things I liked about this was I’ve tried composting. Now a couple of times I had an electric composter that I plugged in before that was gigantic and it worked for a little while. And then like, you know, the stringy salary got caught in the motors and it was done. I had to throw it away. And then of course introduced her to the problem. Then I, then I went with the, uh, the spinning barrel that I had.

Joey Coleman (06:16):
Oh, the “tumbler of poo” as I like to call it.

Dan Gingiss (06:20):
That works. Okay. But the real problem is, uh, is exactly what Matt was describing at the beginning of the videos. You have this little table, top plastic container. It, you, you know, you want to use compostable bags in it, otherwise you’re, you know, again kind of defeating the purpose of the composer. And since those compostable bags are absolutely horrible, I use two of them. Uh, but the food still seeps through if I don’t change them every day or every other day. And so the whole thing is messy and disgusting and it just kind of leaves you asking why in the world am I doing this? And that’s unfortunate.

Joey Coleman (06:56):
It really is because here’s the thing you’re trying to do the right thing. And yet at every step along the way, it is inconvenient, smelly difficult, logistically challenging. When we lived in Boulder, we had what they call curbside composting and when we moved to Boulder, Colorado, my wife Barrett was ecstatic because she had wanted curbside, composting pretty much her entire life. She’s been a composter for ages. And she thought this would be great. And it was great, but they picked up every other week, which meant we had a trashcan outside where we would put art, double bagged bag of compostable food in there. And I got to tell you, by the time July or August rolled around in that summer heat, it was hard not to vomit carrying the trash bag to the curb for them to pick it up curbside, just because of the aromas wafting out from underneath it.

Dan Gingiss (07:52):
I mean, it was Creole Romas. Yeah. He’s being a little nice,

Joey Coleman (07:57):
It’s absolutely crazy. But what I love about this product is they took all, and it’s not surprising that it took three years of R and D. They took all of the pieces of the puzzle that were annoying to people and simplified them. It’s small, it’s convenient. It doesn’t smell horrible. It doesn’t require all of these plastic bags and it allows people to accomplish what they want to accomplish, which is to do the right thing for the environment. Yeah.

Dan Gingiss (08:27):
I mean, it kind of reminds me, I mean the best innovative products or services are those that really think through every piece of the puzzle and figure out what trips people up and how can we do it differently. And I’m always reminded of, of Uber. And the reason I’m reminded of them, because they’re obviously often cited for being such an innovative company, is that they not only solved all the problems of the passengers and why it was so to hail a cab and never be able to use, you know, the credit card machine was always out and cabbies were rude and all this stuff, but they also solved all the problems for drivers. Drivers didn’t want to carry cash. Drivers didn’t want to have to travel so far away from home, you know, all these things. And they solved, they looked at every pain point of a taxi driver and a taxi passenger, and they fixed them all. And that’s what it looks like. Obviously we haven’t used it yet, but it looks like that’s what they attempted to do here, because that video, I mean, I was nodding my head during that video because, and so were you because, you know, I’ve had the, I’ve had the countertop disaster, you’ve had the smelly garbage going out to the curb. And so they clearly know their audience. They know people that have tried to compost that have, you know, done their best, even if it isn’t working. And it looks like they have really tried to alleviate all of that. If this thing works as well as that video, I can’t wait

Joey Coleman (09:53):
If things, if this thing works as half, as well as the video, it’s going to be fantastic. And here’s why I wanted to talk about this. Some people are listening are thinking, Oh, Joey, seriously, what is it with the environmental product? And like, that’s not applicable to my business. Although see, earlier part of the conversation where I think you need to be taking that into consideration for your business, but here’s the behind the scenes that I think is incredibly relevant. The day that we are recording this podcast segment is the day that the product launched. Now, the folks at Piela sent everyone, all of their customers of which I am one an email a week ago saying we’re going to be launching on Tuesday morning at 9:00 AM Eastern, be one of the first people to sign up. And they did their, uh, their launches on Indiegogo, which if you’re not familiar with this, it’s kind of similar to Kickstarter. You basically go on, you buy a product before it’s made. And then the company uses the money from the pre-orders to help finish the last mile. If you will, of development. I went on at two minutes before it was set to launch and they were already selling. So I was purchaser number 126. And I was super excited because I know the folks in, but I have to admit when I saw that I was purchasing her number 126, I was like, wow, there are other people like me who set their alarms to be ready to rock when this thing launched. And it hasn’t even officially launched, but they’re already buying. And then

Dan Gingiss (11:24):
How many hours later Joey, tell me.

Joey Coleman (11:27):
Yeah, yeah. Wait a second. So, so that was this morning at 8:00 AM local time. So 9:00 AM Eastern, which is 8:00 AM here in Iowa. I got on a phone call. I got off a phone call an hour later. And just for giggles, I went to their site to see how many people had backed the project. This project costs about $300. At that time, they had raised $900,000 in the first hour. And I thought, Oh my gosh, this is amazing. Now, anytime you do a launch, there’s a lot of flood right in the first hour. And so I decided to check back in later in the day and see how they were doing right before we started recording. They were at $1.9 million raised today, today from customers in the time we’ve been talking about it, they are now at 2.15 million.

Dan Gingiss (12:24):
That’s right, because Joey told me about this right before we started recording. So that was at about 9:00 PM local time. So call it 13 hours from when he purchased it. I was then purchaser number 6,486. I believe it was.

Joey Coleman (12:38):
Yes.

Dan Gingiss (12:39):
And they’re now North of 6,500 backers. And as you say, uh, at over $2.1 million and the probably the most impressive statistic is apparently their goal was $50,000. So they’re 4315% ahead of their goal. I’d say that’s a good day.

Joey Coleman (12:57):
Yes. And this is day one of a 30 day campaign. So here’s the moral of the story. Friends. When you build a product and you release it to your raving fans, and that product is in alignment with your brand ethos. If you remember from our previous conversations about Pela, they build compostable cell phone cases. So for them to build a kitchen, countertop, composter is a logical brand extension. And frankly, a much more complicated product than the cell phone cases. But when you do something that’s in alignment and you have raving rabid fans, they will come out and support you like crazy. Now here’s the interesting thing. What will it be like when we turn in tune in, what will it be like when we tune in 30 days from now, when this campaign is over, I’m going to make a prediction. I’m going to predict that they will be somewhere near four and a half million dollars raised in 30 days. They may be higher than that. Here’s hoping, but this is what you can do. If you focus on creating remarkable experiences. When you come out with new products, your customers will be lined up to buy those too. Congratulations to the team at Peal. Congratulations on the launch of the new Lomi product and friends is you’re listening, you’re still within the 30 day limit. Go to the show notes@experiencethisshow.com. We’ll have a prominent link so that you can go get your own Lomi kitchen, top composter.

Joey Coleman (14:31):
You listened to us. Now we want to listen to you! By visiting our website and sharing your remarkable customer experiences with us. We can share them with a broader audience. Now, sit back and enjoy our Listener Stories.

Joey Coleman (14:50):
You ever something on social media, Dan, and think to yourself. Wow, that’s interesting. I’m wondering what the backstory is on that comment.

Dan Gingiss (14:58):
Ah, gosh, I love this segment already. Cause we’re always talking about social media. It’s always exciting when I bring up social media, isn’t it? Yes. And I have no idea where you’re going with this, but yes, of course. I do find that. I want to look for the backstory. Why Joey?

Joey Coleman (15:12):
Right. All right. All right. So here’s the deal. Last week, a friend of mine posted a job listing for a chief experience officer for his company. And he made this posting in a private Facebook group that I’m part of as our loyal listeners know, I am not a regular on social media by any means, but I’m in a couple of what I consider to be highly productive, private Facebook groups and where I just can network and associate and get some good advice with some other folks, so I happened to see this post and this post caught my attention, but one of the comments on the post caught my attention even more. And so I reached out to the person who made the post in order to get the full story and they were kind enough to oblige. It turns out they’re a listener to the show. So Jerry Simpson, the CEO of kite wire was kind enough to share a story about a fascinating and touching experience that he had. Let’s listen to Jerry’s story.

Jere Simpson (16:09):
My absolute favorite customer experiences as a customer happened for me at Children’s Hospital. I was with my youngest son and my wife, my youngest son was having surgery, which is, you know, fills me with a ton of anxiety and a ton of fear and makes me a ball of nerves. And I’m expected in the dynamic of my family to also be emotionally strong support for everybody else. So we get through the whole surgery, you sit there for hours, just waiting nervous. Then you take down a whole bunch of information. Um, what outpatient care is like, and you want to make sure that you don’t forget any of it. And my son is fussy and pain crying, um, and all the way out, I go into the restroom and wash my hands and washing my hands. And I look up and I see on the mirror, hang in there, dad. And it just felt like at the perfect time, somebody put their hand on my shoulder and was support for me. So when I didn’t know, because I knew, they thought about me and they thought about my experience and what I was going through in the first moment of the entire day, where I could be vulnerable just within myself. And I just thought that is such a thoughtful exercise that somebody went through to figure out where was the perfect touch point to put a hand on my shoulder.

Dan Gingiss (17:34):
Oh man, I got the chills listening to that. That is absolutely awesome. And it’s like, they knew he was there, right? It’s like they were literally talking to him. And I love, we’ve talked about proactive customer experience before and sort of anticipatory moments and you know, maybe a whole bunch of dads go in there and they look at that and they’re like, what are they even talking about? But even one guy in clearly one guy was affected by it. But my guess is that tons of dads have been in that same bathroom and have seen that message. And maybe they didn’t post it on Facebook, but it meant something to them. And you know, I also love it because I talk about this all the time. The best experiences don’t have to cost you any money. How long did it take to, or how much money was it to put a sign up on a mirror? Yeah, probably next to none.

Joey Coleman (18:30):
Exactly. And here’s the thing. They don’t necessarily know that it’s going to have the same impact on every person, but what they do know. And what Jerry’s story proves is that when it does have an impact, there is a high likelihood that it’s going to be a significant impact. And I absolutely love this story and thought that it brought up two key points that I wanted to talk about in this segment. First, the importance of creating poignant moments for your customers. And second, the idea of creating the type of interaction that really gets people talking. Now, when we think about poignant moments for our customers, one of the things that a lot of businesses do is customer journey mapping. And that makes perfect sense. But one of the questions I get a lot and I’m sure you do as well. Dan, whenever we speak or we’re on a consulting engagement is well on what day should that touch point come? When should it happen? When should I send that communication? And they want to know often because they want to automate it. And I get that. And that makes perfect sense. But what I think is becoming increasingly more valuable in our automated scheduled society are these un-timed, but geographically placed touch points like a message on the mirror, in the bathroom. We have no idea when a potential dad is going to walk in there. We also know that there’s a lot of men that are going to walk into this bathroom, who aren’t dads, who this message isn’t going to be nearly as poignant, but someone at children’s hospital figured out we can create an untimed moment that if we do it right, maybe the only time that that dad has had to look in the mirror and to really be honest with himself about what he’s feeling while his child’s here in the hospital. And if in that moment, we can let them know they’re not alone. We can give them the slightest boost of energy or confidence. What will that do? Not only to their experience, but to the experience of their families, to the experience of their child. Who’s the patient, these type of untimed, geographically placed touch points, I think are incredible. And it’s something almost every business the planet can do.

Dan Gingiss (20:48):
Well. Yeah, let’s be honest. Most of the men walking into that bathroom, probably our dads, I mean, it’s a children’s hospital. And so if we just kind of do the math, the, the hit, rate’s probably going to be pretty high, but I think that it plays on a couple of things. First of all, it plays on empathy, which we know is a hallmark to customer experience and, and, and being empathetic means understanding what somebody is going through in that moment. And yeah, your kids going in for surgery, you’re nervous, you’re scared, you’re worried. And you know, you might be alone or certainly you’re probably alone in the bathroom. And so it is that moment. And I think they’ve captured it perfectly. The other thing I really like is that we’ve talked a lot about how healthcare, especially in the United States is probably bottom of the barrel

Joey Coleman (21:34):
Horrible experiences, right. Fighting for last place with the cable companies.

Dan Gingiss (21:39):
Yeah. And so I love that it happened in a hospital that this was an experience that was designed in a healthcare space where frankly, we do not expect experiences like this. And so, you know, we talk a lot about it at customer expectations and the need to at least meet expectations and hopefully exceed them. I think the good news for the healthcare system and for hospitals is the expectations are probably pretty low, but this one soared over it and was probably more than anything surprising to Jere, right? Because you just, that’s not what somebody would expect walking into the bathroom, By the way, I do want to point out one other thing. This is the first time I think an experience this history, but you brought a bathroom story!

Joey Coleman (22:25):
Usually Dan has the bathroom stories, the bathroom experiences, no, this, this one, it absolutely stood out to me. And it, you know, to that point, Dan, I thought this is the kind of story that Dan’s going to be super excited about, which actually brings me to the second key point that I wanted to make about this story from Jerry. And that is this idea of creating interactions that get people talking. We all strive to do that as customer experience professionals, our hope is to create something that stands out in the crowd that gets people’s attention. And I know you heard Jere story in his own words earlier in the segment when we played that audio clip, but I’d like to share the rest of the social media posts that he made that originally got my attention. And I quote: “On the way out of the hospital today, I stopped to use the bathroom. And as I was washing my hands, I looked up and on the mirror was quote, hanging in there. Dad, it’s the third time I’ve experienced that mirror. And I appreciate it just the same this time as the other two, that’s the kind of CX thinking that really gets me excited.” I got to tell you, I have a hard time reading that passage without tearing, because I’m thinking of my friend, Jere who’s in this bathroom for the third surgery with his son, like, Oh my gosh, I can’t even begin to imagine the pain and the stress and the heartache and the angst. And he spoke to that earlier in the recording, but Holy cow, to have this moment where that’s released and here’s the kicker he’s been there before, he’s seen the message before and still it’s having that impact friends. To me, that’s how, you know, you’ve designed a powerful customer experience, touch point that when your customers experience it multiple times, it still gives them the emotional hit that it did the first time.

Dan Gingiss (24:33):
Yeah, Joey, this reminds me of something that actually my ex-wife and I termed the Dubrovnik Principle.

Joey Coleman (24:41):
The Dubrovnik Expeirence? Only, only you guys. I love it. I love it.

Dan Gingiss (24:47):
As our listeners who are a student geography know Dubrovnik is in Croatia. And we visited Dubrovnik on our honeymoon and had probably the perfect day in that lovely city and just absolutely it was such a memorable day. And about two years later, we went back to Croatia and we went back to Dubrovnik and we tried to replicate that day and it did it work. It just, we went to the same places, did the same things. We sat at the same cafe or did the same coffee. It just wasn’t the same. And we called that the Dubrovnik principle mostly because there, it actually comes up a lot in life, not just in travel that when you have an experience the second time, it’s great. It just isn’t as good as the first time, because the first time there’s the surprise element. And there’s, you know, I went, went to a really well-known restaurant in Chicago. That’s known for its experience and I had the most amazing experience. And then I brought somebody with me to go back and it wasn’t quite as good because I wasn’t experiencing it for the first time. And so I think the fact that he has gone through this three times, I loved also the words that he said, it’s the third time I’ve experienced that mirror. How many times has anybody experienced a mirror? Those words ever been said, and it’s three times and he’s still feeling it. So kudos to that hospital. Uh, amazing work.

Joey Coleman (26:14):
Yes. Children’s hospital. Great job. You consistently do a great job for your patients. And what I love about this is you’re now doing a great job for their families as well. Friends, what can we take away from this story? In every business, there are the opportunities to create poignant moments for your customers to create in it, to create an opportunity for empathy, to create an opportunity, to let them know that they are seen, that they are heard that they are appreciated. And if you do this right, and you consider some untimed, but geographically placed touchpoints you to have the opportunity to create the kind of interaction that will get your customers talking again, and again, and again.

Joey Coleman (27:02):
Almost everyone has interacted with chatbots, but all too often, it’s been a bad experience. In MythBusters – presented by Solvvy – we explore a common myth about CX chatbots and see how the right technology can create a positive experience, every time.

Joey Coleman (27:25):
Today’s myth about chatbots? All chatbots use artificial intelligence and machine learning. At this point, we all know the support chat bot, buzzwords, AI, machine learning, natural language, understanding and so on. When you are lucky enough to find a chat bot that actually uses artificial intelligence and machine learning, it should be able to quickly learn by crawling your content with some minor training from your team. It should be able to start delivering impactful results immediately. Now, almost every chatbot claims to use artificial intelligence and machine learning nowadays. But that isn’t actually the case.

Dan Gingiss (28:05):
You know, Joey, I also find that many, many companies put artificial intelligence and machine learning as if it’s one thing completely different than none of this. I promise. No, not one. We must do the other so many chat bots don’t have real artificial intelligence or machine learning and still require manual rule building in order to work effectively while we know that AI and natural language understanding is the go-to for next gen high-performing chat bots, there are plenty of unintelligent chatbots that force you to manually spell out the answer for every possible question a customer might ask. The wrong chat bot can require months of your team’s time to build and becomes extremely expensive, very quickly. Worst of all these types of old-school unintelligent chat bots, don’t learn and improve over time on their own.

Joey Coleman (28:55):
So what should you do if you’re evaluating different chat bot solutions, we’ll make sure you understand how much intelligence is truly powering the bot. Is there real machine learning and intelligence at work, or we need to monitor and update the bot constantly to ensure a great customer experience as a general rule, the smarter the bot, the less work you’ll need to do.

Dan Gingiss (29:17):
And the less work you need to do the more time you can devote to your other CX initiatives like getting those awesome bathroom mirror messages deployed!

Joey Coleman (29:26):
And that’s another myth busted. Thanks to our friends and podcast supporters at Salvi, the next gen chat bot find them at Solvvy.com – that’s S O L V V y.com.

Joey Coleman (29:43):
We spend hours and hours, nose deep in books. We believe that everything you read influences the experiences you create. So we’re happy to answer our favorite question. What are you reading?

Dan Gingiss (29:59):
You know, Joey, we talk all the time, but there is a question that I regularly ask you that I realized earlier today. I haven’t asked you in quite a long time.

Joey Coleman (30:08):
Well, interesting. Dan, there’s a couple of those questions. So I’m wondering which one you’re thinking about. I’m thinking about the question. What are you reading? Oh, I absolutely love this question. It’s one of my favorites to ask people as well. I love asking you this question. To answer your question in the last year, to be honest, I really upped my reading of fiction and also poetry. I’ve been trying to kind of disconnect from the world a little bit and try to have some escapism and enjoy. To be honest. I also have a bunch of great friends that are authors. So I get to read a ton of upcoming books before they’re released to the world, which to be honest is one of the best things about being friends with an author, you can read their books before you get them in the store. And one of these books was actually just released yesterday. And interestingly enough is about something that you and I have in common.

Dan Gingiss (31:02):
Let me guess it’s either about customer experience or Legos.

Joey Coleman (31:06):
No, not this time.

Dan Gingiss (31:09):
What about board games?

Joey Coleman (31:11):
I do indeed like board games, as I know you do as well, but no, this one’s different. It’s actually all about running your own business. Oh yes, we do share that in common too.

Dan Gingiss (31:22):
All right. I’m intrigued. I’m intrigued. I want to learn good things about running my business. Tell me some more.

Joey Coleman (31:28):
Well Dan, this book is called the self-employed life, business and personal development strategies that create sustainable success. And it’s written by our mutual friend, Jeffrey Shaw. Now Jeffrey is a leading voice for self-employed business owners and he’s the host of the top rated podcast, the self-employed life, which has heard in over 200 countries around the world. But instead of me telling you about the book, I think it’d be best to have Jeffrey explain the book in his own words. So I asked him if he’d just share a little bit about the book.

Jeffrey Shaw (31:59):
I’ve asked countless number of people, why they went into business for themselves, and everyone has some variation of the same answer they wanted to control their destiny or control their future, or maybe they wanted to control the hours they worked to, which I reply. How’s that going for you? And everybody laughs because everybody realizes that while they intended on controlling their destiny and their future and their hours they’re entering what feels like almost completely uncontrollable circumstances, uh, economies go up and down, markets, change trends, come and go. And now we know there can be the occasional pandemic. So while the circumstances of being self-employed may seem completely uncontrollable. The one thing I’ve learned that you can control is that you can create the environment for the results you want. In fact, it’s the only thing that we can really control is the environment for the results we want. And that’s why in the self-employed life, I teach a strategy that I refer to as the self-employed ecosystem, the self-employed ecosystem consisting of three main elements, personal development, to expand the capacity of what you’re capable of and what you welcome. The second element is business strategies that are right sized for a small business. And the third element is daily habits that create consistency and sustainable success. And just like an ecosystem in nature of any one of those elements is off. It can throw off the entire system. And that’s why when you’re self-employed the old adage businesses business, don’t take it personal. Doesn’t apply because your level of success is contingent on your level of capacity and personal development. And that’s why the self-employed ecosystem is essential.

Joey Coleman (33:54):
Now this book is filled with great information for any business owner. Dan, there are a ton of books out there about being a business owner. But what I love about this one is it covers three key things that normally you would find in different books, but in Jeffrey’s book, they’re all in one. And those three key things are personal development, business strategies and daily habits. And what I love is he breaks down each one to talk about how important personal development is and how important daily habits are, especially given that most business books are just about the business strategies.

Dan Gingiss (34:30):
Ah, well, you know, those are, those are three good things I have to tell you. The one that really sticks out to me is the daily habits, because these are so hard to develop and I have been working on them. You and I were just talking about calendaring habits right before we went on air and you know, just trying to focus every day. It’s like, it’s a beautiful thing to work for yourself because you know, you have the best handsomest boss there is in the world. But then the other thing is, is you don’t have that person looking over your shoulder, giving you deadlines. And so the daily habit thing, I think to me anyway, is the part, like I turned the page right there. Cause I, I got to get better at that.

Joey Coleman (35:09):
Yeah. And I will tell you one of Jeffrey’s daily habits that he recommends that I love and I wasn’t doing before I read this book and now I am, he doesn’t have a to-do list. He has a to don’t list. He has a list of things that any times he finds himself doing these things, he cry, he stops doing it and gets back to the things he should be doing.

Dan Gingiss (35:30):
Like checking Twitter or Facebook…

Joey Coleman (35:33):
I wasn’t going to get specific.

Dan Gingiss (35:38):
Clubhouse?

Joey Coleman (35:38):
could be something to think about when we think about our favorite passages, you know, one of the things I wanted to do and I always love doing is asking authors, what’s your favorite part of the book? You know, it’s something we do in our book reports and knowing that I wanted to talk about this book that we were reading as well. I figured we, I would ask Jeffrey to, so here’s Jeffrey’s favorite passage from his book, the self-employed life.

Jeffrey Shaw (36:05):
What I didn’t realize at the time was that my simple egg business at 14 years old would be the beginning of a lifetime of being self-employed. Remember when I said I had butterflies in my stomach heading out on Saturday mornings, it’s because I was scared to death. I suffered from terrible shyness. As a kid, I would take profits from my egg business and buy self-help books by Wayne Dwyer and hide them in my house because my family would think I was weird. If they knew at one point, I even bought a book on self hypnosis to hypnotize myself out of shyness. I learned how to visualize myself in a power pose among a crowd of people. The first time I tried my power pose, it didn’t go so well. I was hanging out with a few neighborhood kids, which was already really unusual for me because normally I was locked in a room somewhere reading about how to think and grow rich. But on this day I thought I would try out my power pose while it may have felt powerful to me, the expression I received told me, I looked more like a cross between, I don’t know, Superman and a root Paul. One kid looked at me up and down and said, what the hell is wrong with you? That was the end of my hypnosis techniques. So going house to house and knocking on doors was a huge stretch for me. It wasn’t just out of my comfort zone because I would felt shy. The truth was I didn’t have a comfort zone at all. So why do it then why do any of us put ourselves through what we do as self-employed business owners? We know it’s not the easy way. I believe that whether or not we realize it in the beginning, what motivates us most is the desire to become bolder versions of ourselves that is deepening and developing into the best versions of ourselves as bigger than any fear, challenge or obstacle that we might face.

Dan Gingiss (38:00):
Super cool, great stories. And, uh, really can tell that this is going to be, this is going to have some interesting stuff in it that I probably haven’t considered before. Joey, do you have a favorite passage as well?

Joey Coleman (38:13):
You know, I do. And while mine doesn’t include references to Superman and RuPaul like that last one did, um, I think you might like this one, Dan, it probably comes as no surprise to you that my favorite passage in the book has to do with customer experience.

Dan Gingiss (38:26):
No!

Joey Coleman (38:27):
Shocker. I know. Right. All right. So, and I quote, we also know that in life, timing is often everything. Now see that it’s not just what you say or even how you say it, but also when you say it, the journey on which you take visitors, whether it’s prospective customers on your website, readers of your blog or listeners to your podcast is a blend of consumer behavior psychology and the subtleties of your audience. For example, typical consumer behavior will say that people need to see their problem before they seek a solution as a general rule. I would say that is true. However, the nuance is how do you point out the problems so that your audience responds well? Is it the usual pointing out their pain approach or is it a more aspirational helping them imagine what is possible if their pain point is solved more than in the past? I think many people prefer an aspirational message. So this idea of knowing the emotional journey your audience needs to go on in order to buy into your offer means understanding them on a whole new level.

Dan Gingiss (39:29):
I see why you picked this one out. I would actually argue, this is more of a marketing thing than a CX thing, but it does also show how the customer experience starts with the marketing. And then if we can figure out how to make an emotional connection with a prospect, by focusing, for example, on the aspirational, then we’re starting that experience off, right. And we’re getting them to buy from us. We’re setting that expectation. So I think that is a fascinating quote as well. Uh, you know, that I love the intersection of CX and marketing, and I think that very much pinpoints it.

Dan Gingiss (40:03):
I agree my friend. So here’s the deal. If you’re self-employed, I think you’ll love this book. If you’ve thought about starting your own business, or if you have a side hustle that is working its way into a business, I think you’ll love this book. In fact, if you’re all inspired about this book, the way I am, here’s what you can do. You can of course order the book or you can be one of the first 10 people to message us via the Contact Page ExperienceThisShow.com. And we will happily send you a signed copy from Jeffrey as our way of saying thank you for listening to experience this. And we wish you well on your self-employed journey.

Joey Coleman (40:43):
Thanks for joining us for another episode of experience. This, you are the best listener ever!

Dan Gingiss (40:49):
And since you listened to the whole show, yay, you were curious, was there a specific part of this episode that you enjoyed the most? If so, it would mean the world to us. If you could share it with a coworker, a friend or someone that just loves listening to podcasts.

Joey Coleman (41:03):
And while you’re in the sharing mood, if you felt inclined to jump over to iTunes or wherever you find your podcasts and write us a review, we would so appreciate it. And when you do, don’t forget to let us know as we might have a little surprise for you.

Dan Gingiss (41:19):
Thanks again for your time. And we’ll see you next week for more.

Joey Coleman (41:22):
Experience.

Dan Gingiss (41:22):
This!

Episode 125 – An Experience to Remember

Join us as we discuss getting people to come to court, when the custom clothing experience just doesn’t measure up, and a remarkable birthday celebration at a car dealership.

Summons, Suits, and Surprises – Oh My!

Referenced in the Show

• “Behavioral Nudges Reduce Failure to Appear for Court” – by Alissa Fishbane, Aurelie Ouss, and Anuj K. Shah in Science magazine

image courtesy of Shimkat Motors
image courtesy of K.C. Coleman
image courtesy of K.C. Coleman

• Shimkat Motors – Fort Dodge, Iowa

Host Contact Information

Email Dan: Dan@dangingiss.com

Tweet Dan Gingiss: @DGingiss

Email Joey: JoeyC@JoeyColeman.com

DanGingiss.com

JoeyColeman.com

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Episode Transcript

Download an unedited transcript of Episode 125 here or read it below:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dan Gingiss (00:53):
Join us as we discuss: getting people to come to court, when the custom clothing experience just doesn’t measure up, and a remarkable birthday celebration at a car dealership.

Joey Coleman (01:07):
Summons, Suits, and Surprises – Oh my!

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

Joey Coleman (01:33):
Have you ever been summoned to go to court, Dan?

Dan Gingiss (01:37):
Wow! What a way to start off a conversation.

Joey Coleman (01:41):
I’m leading into the episode strong.

Dan Gingiss (01:43):
Yeah. And I’m not so sure I should answer that question. Do I need a lawyer?

Joey Coleman (01:47):
Well, fair enough. Fair enough. But as most of our listeners know earlier in my career, I was a criminal defense lawyer, which is why I was very intrigued when I came across an article in Science magazine that will serve as our CX press article in this episode. The article was titled “Behavioral Nudges Reduce Failure to Appear for Court,” and the introduction explained the situation quite well so I quote, “[e]ach year, millions of people in the United States are required to appear in court for low-level offenses. Many defendants miss their court dates. Criminal justice policy often uses punitive sanctions to deter these failures to appear. For example, when defendants fail to appear, arrest warrants are issued, which draws defendants further into the criminal justice system. These policies presumed that defendants pay attention to those penalties and weigh them. When deciding whether to appear in court. In this study, we explore a different possibility for why defendants might miss court: simple human error. Although defendants are given all of the relevant information they need, they might be insufficiently aware of the information, it not be salient enough, or the defendants might forget it.”

Dan Gingiss (03:03):
In other words, they might be human?

Joey Coleman (03:06):
Exactly! A misnomer in the criminal justice system, I think for a lot of folks outside of the criminal justice system, who kind of presume that if you’re supposed to be in court, you must have some level of guilt, which of course is not at all the way it works – at least here in the United States. What I thought was interesting about this article, Dan is it described two large scale field studies conducted in New York city. And these studies explored ways to make defendants more aware of their court information. Now in the first study, the team redesigned the summons form that defendants receive for low level offenses to start with the old summons was labeled “Complaint Information. The People of the State of New York versus.” The new summons is labeled “Criminal Court Appearance Ticket.”

Dan Gingiss (03:54):
Yeah, that’s a little clearer!

Joey Coleman (03:56):
A little clear, a little less legalese. It’s pretty obvious what we’re dealing with here.

Dan Gingiss (04:03):
It’s just a little bit shy of get your “beep” to court.

Joey Coleman (04:07):
Let’s just say it’s right on the edge there. It’s pretty straightforward. The old summons had the court information far down the page and listed the date of the required appearance, and the location of the required appearance, in two different places on the complaint. The new summons moves the court date, the time and the court location to the top of the page, right underneath the defendant’s name – so it’s literally the first thing they see on the page after seeing their own name. And finally the old summons made passing reference to the consequences of failing, to appear for the court date, whereas the new and improved summons clearly States in bold typeface on the front of the form that missing the assigned court date will lead to a warrant being issued for your arrest.

Dan Gingiss (04:52):
You know, I can’t help, but think about the discussions we’ve had on this show about user experience, which of course is generally considered a digital term because it talks about the ability to navigate a website for example, or find what you’re looking for. But user experience can be everywhere. It can be in physical products and certainly it can be in a court summons. And I think that’s what they’ve done here is they’ve basically taken the most pertinent information and put it up front and made it clearer. They’ve boldfaced things that they want you to pay attention to. And they’ve used language that is simpler to understand, and those are all user experience things. So I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that this study resulted in more people showing up to their court appearances.

Joey Coleman (05:39):
Well, Dan, you may not have spent a lot of time in the criminal justice system. Good on you. Good law abiding citizen! But your instincts about the human condition are spot on. And they were proved out once again, in the criminal court system in New York, the result of using the new summons was pretty impressive as failure to appear. Rates went from 47% down to 40%. Now this 7% reduction avoided 23,000 warrants from being issued.

Dan Gingiss (06:13):
Wow. And if this were a business, you would start to calculate what’s the cost of issuing 23,000 warrants, and sending them out, and having the police follow up on them, and scheduling a new court date, and everybody’s time and all that sort of stuff. It must be substantial in terms of what the city was able to save from eliminating that many warrants, not to mention that people don’t really like it when they have a warrant out for their arrest. And if all you had to do is show up for, um, uh, what seems like a minor offense, it seems like it also provided a better experience if you will.

Joey Coleman (06:49):
Well, it provides a better experience. I think for everyone, for a couple of reasons, number one, this is keep in mind friends. This is a low level offense, these aren’t major crimes. Okay. So the fact of the matter is we don’t need to escalate to a warrant being issued for someone’s arrest. And in fact, we’ll talk about this later in the segment, but lots of times people miss their court date for really common reasons, but there’s this presumption that it’s nefarious because it’s criminal. So not only have we created a scenario where when they do come to court, everyone’s presuming that they must be bad because they didn’t come when they were supposed to. And we had to issue a warrant for their arrest, but imagine what it feels like to be the defendant and to be showing up in court in response to a warrant for your arrest and having a summons. And now you have two issues to deal with the original issue that the complaint was for, and on top of it, a warrant for your arrest for failure to comply with the complaint. So it gets pretty messy, pretty fast. But as if the results of this first study, weren’t impressive enough in a second companion study, the design team, augmented the form by sending text messages to highlight critical information in the week, leading up to the scheduled court appearance. So anyone who is willing to provide their cell phone number would receive a text message a few days before reminding them of the date and the time and the location of their appearance. And then another one the day before and defendants who didn’t receive text messages, fail to appear about 37.9% of the time in the study with text messages, those numbers dropped to 29% resulting in over 7,800 warrants being avoided on top of the ones that were already avoided by failure to appear because they didn’t know where there was supposed to go. So between the two impacts, we see double digit reduction in the number of warrants being issued and the number of people who are actually showing up as they were supposed to.

Dan Gingiss (08:53):
Well, it let’s back up a second here because you kind of glossed over something that I thought was pretty interesting in the studies. The city hired a design firm to design these letters, right? And that seems like a small thing. And yet look at what happened by focusing on, again, the user experience, all of the clarity of the letter or of the, of the text messages, but you wouldn’t necessarily think that a design firm would be needed for something like this. And I want to have, I want to challenge our listeners to think about places in your business, where maybe you do need a new set of eyes and you need somebody with some communication skills or different communication skills to come in and redesign. I don’t know, a welcome letter, an offer letter, a contract, something that may be causing confusion in your business, that, with simpler language highlighting the right things may eliminate that confusion.

Joey Coleman (09:52):
I couldn’t agree more Dan in your you’re absolutely right to be candid. I’m not exactly sure whether it was that they hired the design firm or the design firm was working with the scientists who were conducting the study, so I’m not exactly sure there, but what we do know is there were design elements that were enhanced in the printed summons form and improved on. And then they added the technological piece of the text messages, and then they ran a controlled science experiment to see what would happen. So this was not just a, Hey, this might be interesting to see what happens. No, there was actual data here. And what’s also fascinating is the impact it had in terms of people’s thought process. And I alluded to this earlier, but in some associated laboratory experiments, they ran at the same time that they were doing the tests – now, mind you, they did these in the lab, these weren’t with people that were actually receiving the summons – they kind of brought in groups to study their reactions. The researchers examined a lay persons and an experts belief about whether failures to appear were intentional or not. So they lifted a variety of lay people, a variety of experts from the criminal justice system and asked if somebody doesn’t show up for court when they’re supposed to, is that intentional or not? What was interesting is that study participants believed that failure to comply in criminal situations was more intentional and less accidental than in other domains, like missing a doctor’s appointment. If somebody was an expert, if they operated in the criminal justice system, they actually had better understanding that mistakes happen and that sometimes people just don’t show up. So what was fascinating is the lay people were actually harsher on the criminals or the alleged criminals in this case, then the actual people who worked in the criminal justice systems and the final findings showed that the people who saw the new forms were able to identify the court information more quickly and recalled it more accurately when asked about it later, which suggests that a meaningful portion of the defendants who fail to appear aren’t intentionally skipping court, but it’s really that they’re just unaware of the requirement to be in court.

Dan Gingiss (12:03):
Yeah. And this gets to the fundamental, I guess, argument in business that we think our customers know all that we know about our products and services, and yet we live and breathe them every day. So we are of course the experts in them and our customers often don’t have all that information. And that’s why self-service has become such a popular thing. The fact that we even have to self-serve sometimes is frustrating. But heck when we do, we want to be able to find information, don’t assume that your customers know everything about your business, how it operates, what you want them to do, how you want them to do it, and when you want them to do it. And I think that’s what the court system figured out was that just because it all made sense to us, does it mean that it made sense to in this case, the most important person, which is the person that we’re requiring to show up?

Joey Coleman (12:55):
Absolutely. You know, what can we take away from this? We recognize friends that the majority of you are not involved in the criminal justice system, but in almost every business on the planet, there are behaviors that your customers are doing that you’re not happy about. They’re not showing up. They’re not completing forms fully. They’re not putting the right signature. They’re not giving the data that you need so that you can continue to deliver on the service. They’re not doing these things that you think are pretty basic. We have a tendency as humans to presume that that’s because the other person is just not complying or they’re not respecting us, or they’re affirmatively deciding to go against our wishes or they’re not smart, or they’re not smart when the reality is it may be our fault. We may not have expressly stated what needed to be happened. We may have not presented it in a way that was clearly understood to your point earlier, Dan, which I absolutely loved. It’s time to look at the aspects of your business, where you’re not getting the level of customer compliance and participation that you want and ask, could we design the experience to be better? And as a result, get a better experience for our customer.

Joey Coleman (14:13):
You listened to us, nNow we want to listen to you. By visiting our website and sharing your remarkable customer experiences with us, we can share them with a broader audience. Now, sit back and enjoy our Listener Stories.

Joey Coleman (14:29):
Congrats are in order, Dan. But I think I should let you share the big news instead of me sharing the big news here.

Dan Gingiss (14:38):
Oh, thanks buddy. I really appreciate it. Well, uh, on February 14th Valentine’s day, I got engaged and I’m super excited to have, uh, found the love of my life. And, uh, our listeners, our astute listeners may know that, uh, this is my second time around, but that’s just because we had to, we had to practice first to get it right. And, and now, now we’re going to get it right this time. So super excited.

Joey Coleman (15:03):
I love it. I love it. So excited for you, Dan, so excited for your lovely bride to be. She has definitely found a fantastic guy and in the spirit of joyous celebration, but with a tinge of a cautionary tale, as you begin to think about what has preparations, I have a little story. One of our loyal listeners, Cody Wales is the Manager of Consumer Experience Design at Advent Health. And he had a frustrating experience recently, as you prepared for his wedding. And he reached out to tell us about it, here is Cody sharing what happened:

Cody Wales (15:40):
So I have a customer service failure that I wanted to share. Uh, recently I went to a made to measure suit and dress clothes company for my wedding for to get suits from myself and my groomsmen. Uh, we drove down to Miami, which was a three plus hour drive, to their showroom so that we could have their tailors and their team measure us to reduce the probability of any miss measurements. It was a great in-store experience, but then when it came time for the suits to arrive and for us to try them on, we found that my, one of my groomsmen’s sleeves were four inches, too small. So immediately I reached out to the customer service team and they said, yep, we’ll make a remake, you know, shipped by this day and three to five day shipping. It’ll be there in plenty of time. That time goes by and I’m following up multiple times, haven’t heard back and suddenly they reach out and say, we’re sorry, it’s not going to ship until the day before the wedding. Obviously this is a huge issue. And they said, yep, sorry. And that’s it. I got ” we’re sincerely sorry,” via email. Uh, nothing else still working on resolving the issue, but what a failure of making it right. They could have gone above and beyond for such an emotionally important event and made me a customer for life. But now it’s the opposites opposite experience that I’m telling everyone not to use the service because they let me down on my big day.

Dan Gingiss (17:09):
Well, obviously Cody didn’t go to Gingiss formal wear. That was the first problem. I love it. You noticed? No, it was not the family formal wear business. No, I know it wasn’t cause it isn’t there anymore. So I can say that with some confidence, but man, I, that, you know, that definitely sounds annoying. And I know my dad who was, is definitely listening now would say that one of the biggest challenges in this industry is that you really only have one chance to get it right, because the wedding or the graduation or the prom or whatever it is, the big day happens once. And if you screw up the clothes for the other, for the customer, you don’t get a second chance. And so it has to be perfect. And in this case, it seems like it was far from it.

Joey Coleman (17:57):
Absolutely. And you know, weddings are high stress as is. And to your point, they’re operating on a fixed deadline. So if you operate in any business, forget the wedding industry, any business that is high stress with a fixed deadline, you must be ready for last minute resolutions and realize that missing the deadline is just not an option. You know, sometimes you’re in a business where, you know, if, for example, if I’m ordering a book online and the book arrives two weeks from now, as opposed to two days from now, it may be annoying, but it’s probably not a major crisis unless I needed to read that book and write a book report on it, or unless I was, you know, doing a podcast about the book and needed to read the book before we had the conversation. But again, if you’re in this business or you can envision scenarios where your customers might be in high stress, fixed deadline scenarios, you’ve got to be ready for the last minute craziness.

Dan Gingiss (18:56):
Yeah, for sure. And I think what’s also interesting here is that Cody had a couple of choices. He could have measured himself and his groomsmen and submitted the results online, which is convenient, but understandably, maybe a little nerve wracking that you might not know how to do it correctly. You might mess it up. So he drove those three hours to the company’s show room and said he had a great experience doing that. But if the customer goes out of their way to reduce the chances of error, that it would seem to me that the company should go out of their way to, uh, reduce the chances of error or at least to resolve things when an error happens. And obviously one of the other challenges here is that he couldn’t call customer service. There was only online options and those online options weren’t helpful. And I think about, uh, when people ask me how available they should be on social media, do they have to, you know, be around 24/7 to answer customer comments and complaints and I always say, it depends on what business you’re in, right? If you’re an international airline. Yeah. You bet you’re going to have to be there 24 seven. If you’re a mom and pop grocery store, no, you don’t have to, you can be there during business hours. But man, if you’re a company that provides people with clothing for their wedding at, which is a high stress and time sensitive situation, and you’re not there to answer their questions or to provide customer service, you’re not going to keep customers very long. And I do want to point out that at the end of Cody’s recording, he talks about how he’s telling everyone not to use this service. Right? And, and, and the reverse could have been true. He could have been talking about how great it was and how they have a customer for life. But instead he is telling people not to. And this is, this is the difference folks. This is the difference between having a happy customer who tells other people and creates more customers for you or having a disgruntled customer who tells other people and keeps new customers from coming to you. It seems like a simple choice.

Joey Coleman (21:00):
It’s it does seem like a simple choice, Dan, but you know, we wouldn’t have careers and a show. If everybody got this and behaved accordingly, right? This, the fact that things are going to go wrong is not what we’re trying to prevent, because things will always go wrong. There’s always the chance that something is outside of your control or mistakes happen, or situations arise that create scenarios that we’re not happy about, or that our customers aren’t happy about. But how we respond to those scenarios is what changes the story. And in fact, you can actually hear it in Cody’s recording. You know, he, when the suit arrives and the, it doesn’t fit, it’s like, Oh, okay. I reached out right away to let them know so that hopefully we could get things taken care of. And they’re like, Oh yeah, we’ll get to work on that right away. Up until that point in the story, if they actually delivered, Cody would probably be singing their praises. And would, even though there had been the misfire in the mistake, you would probably be like, you know, it didn’t go as well as I would have wanted on the first try, but man, they hustled and they got it done. And we were able to still pull off the wedding with no problems. The issue. I think if we really listened to the story that he shares, is that he didn’t feel that there was a proper level of empathy or apology for what happened. And I think the secret here is you need to quickly evaluate the significance of the problem when something comes up for your customers. And it’s not about how bad you think it is as the provider is the business. It’s about how bad the customer thinks the situation is. And if you are going to fail, you got to make sure that the apology is both sincere and significant.

Dan Gingiss (22:39):
Absolutely. I mean, I would have liked to see this company drive those same three hours from the showroom to the wedding location to deliver the suit, rather than putting it in the mail and depending on some shipping service to get it there on time as well! So there are things that you can do. And again, you know, you want to avoid the problem in the first place, but if you have a problem, how you react is going to go a long way to determining what customers do next and who they tell about it.

Joey Coleman (23:07):
Now, as you’ll notice, we didn’t mention the name of the made to measure suit company during this segment, because we have a policy here on experience, this of avoiding any brand shaming for bad experiences, but guess what? Customers don’t have that same policy when something goes wrong, they do name names and they are happily telling everyone they know not to do business with you because of the result of their bad experience. Now, if you want to make sure that customers are singing your praises, you need to make sure that you have systems and processes in place to make sure that when things do go wrong, like they did with Cody sued, you do everything to make it right. And speaking of spreading the word about remarkable customer experiences, if you’ve got an amazing customer story to share, or even a story of an interaction gone bad, we’d love to hear about it. Just visit the Contact Page at ExperienceThisShow.com and you’ll be able to leave us a voice recording and share your story. We’re excited to hear about your experiences and hope you’ll make the time to share for our next listener story.

Joey Coleman (24:11):
Almost everyone has interacted with chatbots, but all too often, it’s been a bad experience. In MythBusters – presented by Solvvy – we explore a common myth about CX chatbots and see how the right technology can create a positive experience, every time.

Joey Coleman (24:35):
Today’s myth about chatbots? It’s hard to measure the ROI of a chat bot. You might be thinking about adding a chat bot and automation tool to your website or your app, but it might not be a hundred percent sure about making the business case for adding this type of technology. Perhaps you’re concerned that proving the return on investment will be too difficult.

Dan Gingiss (24:57):
But the fact of the matter is it’s very easy to both measure and report on the value you get from a next gen customer support chat bot. The easiest way to make the case is by looking at how many customer questions, a chat bot resolves all on its own versus how many questions need to be resolved by contacting your customer care agents. Each instant resolution equals time and cost savings for your team. Often measured internally as cost per ticket or a similar metric add up instant resolutions and you can see how many tickets aren’t being created and how much agent time you’re saving straightforward.

Joey Coleman (25:32):
That’s simple ROI math to me, Dan! But you don’t even have to do the math next gen chatbots come equipped with intelligent dashboards that very quickly give you this information and tons more right out of the box. So it couldn’t be easier to explain and demonstrate the savings you’re getting immediately. Now there are other benefits to chat bots of course. Customers will love getting their answers quickly. Agents will love not having to field simple, repetitive questions all day. And when something goes wrong, like I don’t know a wedding suit that doesn’t fit properly. Your chat bot can make sure to properly escalate things, saving you time, money, and your reputation. The ROI for adopting better next gen chat bots and automation tools is easy to calculate once you project and then quickly prove the huge savings you’re getting.

Dan Gingiss (26:20):
And that’s another Myth Busted thanks to our friends at Solvvy – the Next Gen chatbot.

Joey Coleman (26:28):
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 (26:42):
One of the best things about my recent move to Iowa with my family is that I’m getting to spend more time with my nieces and nephews. And recently my wonderful niece, Charlotte, had a memorable sixth birthday experience. Now my brother, KC, who is Charlotte’s dad, explained what happened in a post that he wrote about on Facebook. And I’m going to quote his post and then kind of interject as we go to explain some of the things for our listeners.

Joey Coleman (27:10):
“Over the course of the last year, our family outings have been rather limited due to COVID. That being said, riding to town is frequently a highlight for our cabin fever country kids. Charlotte would consistently get excited as we drove past Shikmat Motor Company, and would profusely express her need to drive over the new Stonewall display at the corner of their dealership.” Now friends and listeners, I need to interject here to explain this wall to people who don’t live in my local community here in Iowa. At Shikmat Motors, they recently installed a large rock wall display. (You can see pictures in the shownotes at ExperienceThisShow.com). But when I say large, I mean five to six feet tall, 10 to 12 feet wide, and about 80 to a hundred feet long made of stone. Now the wall actually has a ramp running along the top so that the folks at Shikmat can drive cars up the ramp and then park them on the wall for a nice display. Well, let me get back to the story my brother KC is telling. “Charlotte wanted to do this so badly that she asked every time we drove past and may or may not have suggested that we quote “sneak in at night when they’re all sleeping to drive over the wall.” This is Joey. Again, to be clear as my niece’s official legal representation, we do not admit to that allegation. Okay. Sorry. Back to the story once more. “On Friday, Charlotte got her chance as she turned six years old and the team at Shikmat made her birthday extra special. Not only did they let her drive the Shikmat golf cart over the wall, but they also greeted her at the door with a happy birthday and a logoed Jeep duffel bag filled with balloons and car themed presents waiting for her. Our family was so impressed by the team and their willingness to make our little girl’s day. We can’t thank them enough for a memory that will last forever. This was such a simple but special win, and it is utterly refreshing to see a business go out of their way to do something so selfless. If you are thinking about a new vehicle, the team at Shikmat is truly amazing and they’re more than willing to do whatever it takes to provide a great “future” customer experience. Happy birthday to our sweet little girl and thank you Shikmat Motor Company for making her birthday wish come true.

Dan Gingiss (29:27):
All right, now I have to ask Shikmat Motor Company know about uncle Joey?!

Joey Coleman (29:34):
They don’t that it’s the crazy thing about this. They do not know anything about me. They do not know any of the things. Let me give a little more background story. So this literally I’ve heard about this for months. My niece is constantly talking about this, but I didn’t know what my brother had done. So one day he’s driving by and he’s like, you know what? I’m just going to go in and see if I can make something happen. So he drives in, in his Ford pickup, to a dealership that sells Dodge, Ram, Chrysler, and Jeep brands. And he asked the salesman, Hey, would it be possible to arrange somehow for me to be able to drive over the wall with my daughter for her sixth birthday, right? I mean total craziness, but the salesman says, you know, that’s totally fine with me, but I should probably check with a manager. This salesperson was willing to go the extra distance to ask to advocate and guess what they said, yes.

Dan Gingiss (30:41):
I think that’s amazing. And I’m sure that Charlotte, and KC, and you will never forget that experience, which is awesome. And again, we mentioned this in a previous segment. I want to point out that your brother ended his post by saying, if you’re thinking about a new vehicle, let me recommend the folks at Shikmat, even though he’s not a customer.

Joey Coleman (31:03):
He’s not a customer, but I will tell you, what’s interesting. I asked him about that that night. I said when, when they taught week, cause she came over for a birthday and of course my niece was raving about you just driven the wall at Shikmat and had this amazing experience. And I asked him and he said, you know, when we buy our next car, that’s where we’re going. Like it literally changed their purchase decision. And as you know, Dan cars, not the cheapest investment, like this is a major impact in terms of the bottom line at Shikmat, because not only will my brother buy his next vehicle there, but I gotta tell you, I’m sitting here thinking when it’s time for me to buy a vehicle, I want to go there as well, as does my family as does a lot of people in our community that are hearing this story.

Dan Gingiss (31:47):
Absolutely. And that’s why, whatever it costs them to do this, it was worth it. Now I do know that you’re the recovering lawyer on the show, but I, I got to say, I was a little bit worried about maybe the insurance implications of this.

Joey Coleman (32:01):
You know, Dan, you are not a lawyer, but you could play one on TV with that type of question. I love it.

Dan Gingiss (32:05):
Or at least on a podcast!

Joey Coleman (32:05):
At least on a podcast. So for insurance reasons, they couldn’t have my brother, or a six-year-old for that matter, drive my brother’s truck or one of the showroom models over the wall. But the team at Shikmat got creative and what they could allow was them to drive the golf cart that they have on site to like try people around the dealership. So it allowed them to avoid any insurance concerns. And my six year old niece, Charlotte got to sit on my brother’s lap and actually steer so she was quote unquote the one actually “driving” the golf cart over the wall.

Dan Gingiss (32:44):
Well, that’s fantastic. And I can tell you as a parent of two teenagers, golf carts are very, very appealing to kids. Like the coolest thing ever. I’ve actually been asked. No joke. When I was asking my 15 year old son, what he wanted for his birthday, he said, can I get it golf cart? And I was like, what are you going to do with that? So I love it. Yeah, clearly is a lot of fun. And I think it’s such a great story. I love that they added the, the Jeep swag. I think that made it more special. So she had something to take home. And like I said, this is an experience she’ll never forget. And it doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with selling Jeep vehicles. Although as you noted it eventually will connect to selling Jeep vehicles.

Joey Coleman (33:33):
It absolutely will. And here’s the interesting thing. Not only did the folks at Shikmat not know that I had a customer experience podcast, but they didn’t ask my brother to tell this story now, to be clear prior to him posting about it on Facebook. And prior to us recording the show, he asked them, is it okay if I promote this and tell this story? And they were like, yeah, we’d love that. But you don’t have to. Here’s where it gets really interesting. So since the birthday surprise happened, my brother of course has shared it in dozens of conversations. And so have I, and now of course, we’re talking about it on the podcast. So tens of thousands of people all around the world, they’re going to be listening to it. He also did a Facebook post that within 48 hours had received 245 likes and over 40 comments, which is pretty amazing engagement. But what really caught my attention is over 20 people shared the post and these are people that live in the community. Now I’m not going to call out Shikmator any other type of auto dealership, but let me tell you, I’ve spent enough time on auto dealers websites to know that it’s pretty rare that they do a post on Facebook that gets 245 likes over 40 comments and 20 shares. So the moral of the story here is when your customers are raving about you, that’s marketing, you can’t buy, but you can generate that kind of marketing when you’re willing to do things that are unique and unexpected.

Dan Gingiss (35:03):
Absolutely! Creating positive experiences gets people to share. We know because we’ve shared the shared the research here on the show that people are more willing to share positive experiences than negative ones. It’s just that we don’t have enough positive ones to share. And so when we actually have a positive experience, we want to tell people about it. I’ve done this survey tons of times to audiences. When I’m doing a keynote speech, I’ll ask the audience, raise your hand. If you remember the last time you were wowed by a brand and you couldn’t wait, tell people about it. And two, three, maybe four hands go up. And then I say, now raise your hand. If you remember the last time you were disappointed by a brand, every hand in the audience goes up. I mean, and that’s why I do it right? Cause it works every single time. We don’t have enough positive experiences to share, which is why, if you’re listening to the show, one of the tens of thousands that you referenced, creating positive experiences can become your best marketing because when other people are talking about how great you are, it sounds better. It’s more credible. It’s more genuine. If I say that, Joey is a fantastic keynote speaker. That sounds a lot better than Joey saying that Joey is a fantastic keynote speaker, right? And I know he is because I’ve seen him speak. So that’s more credible. And you know, I’ve never heard of this car dealership before, but I can tell you the next time I’m driving through Iowa, I’m going to determine if I need a car right then and there. Cause I want to go see these guys just because of a story that you’ve now shared.

Joey Coleman (36:36):
I love it, Dan. So what can we all learn from this story? Even those of us that aren’t involved with a car dealership? Other than my little brother, KC, who is clearly a rock star dad… when you go above and beyond to create remarkable experiences, people want to talk about it. I have to imagine that the team at Shikmat Motors in little old Fort Dodge, Iowa never expected a prospective six year old customer would want to drive over their new stone wall. But when they realized they could make a birthday celebration, that won’t soon be forgotten, they leapt at the chance. Now I’m guessing that’s why they’ve been in business for 70 years now, and will probably be in business for at least another seventy years.

Joey Coleman (37:16):
Thanks for joining us for another episode of Experience This! You’re the best listener ever.

Dan Gingiss (37:28):
And since you listened to the whole show…

Joey Coleman (37:29):
Yay you!

Dan Gingiss (37:31):
Were curious, was there a specific part of this episode that you enjoyed the most? If so, it would mean the world to us if you could share it with a coworker, a friend, or someone that just loves listening to podcasts.

Joey Coleman (37:41):
And while you’re in the sharing mood, if you felt inclined to jump over to iTunes, or wherever you find your podcasts, and write us a review, we would so appreciate it. And when you do, don’t forget to let us know as we might have a little surprise for you.

Dan Gingiss (37:57):
Thanks again for your time and we’ll see you next week for more,

Joey Coleman (38:00):
Experience

Dan Gingiss (38:00):
This!

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

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

Camping, Optimizing, and Winning – Oh My!

[Listener Stories] A Camping Trip Gone Awry

Things We Mentioned in This Segment:

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

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

Things We Mentioned in This Segment:

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

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

Things We Mentioned in This Segment:

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

Host Contact Information

Email Dan: Dan@dangingiss.com

Tweet Dan Gingiss: @DGingiss

Email Joey: JoeyC@JoeyColeman.com

DanGingiss.com

JoeyColeman.com

Subscribe to Experience This on Apple Podcasts

Episode Transcript

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Shep Hyken (21:08):
I’m ready.

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

Shep Hyken (21:20):
68%.

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

Shep Hyken (21:34):
42%.

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

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

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

Shep Hyken (21:58):
58%.

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

Shep Hyken (22:07):
87%.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Joey Coleman (23:11):
Absolutely.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dan Gingiss (34:21):
We know there are tons of podcasts to listen to, magazines and books to read, reality TV to watch. We don’t take for granted that you’ve decided to spend some quality time listening to the two of us.

Joey Coleman (34:31):
We hope you enjoyed our discussions, and if you do, we’d love to hear about it. Come on over to ExperienceThisShow.com and let us know what segments you enjoyed, what new segments you’d like to hear. This show is all about experience, and we want you to be part of the Experience This Show.

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

Joey Coleman (34:53):
Experience.

Dan Gingiss (34:53):
This!

Episode 113 – Getting Customers Talking – For the Right Reasons

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

Floating, Humanizing, and Infuriating – Oh My!

[CX Press] Not Seeing is Experiencing

Things We Mentioned in This Segment:

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

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

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

Things We Mentioned in This Segment:

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

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

Things We Mentioned in This Segment:

• Avtex
• Experience Points
• Think Fast!

[This Just Happened] Make Errors Easy to Correct

Things We Mentioned in This Segment:

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

Host Contact Information

Email Dan: Dan@dangingiss.com

Tweet Dan Gingiss: @DGingiss

Email Joey: JoeyC@JoeyColeman.com

DanGingiss.com

JoeyColeman.com

Subscribe to Experience This on Apple Podcasts

Episode Transcript

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Joey Coleman (23:13): Think what?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dan Gingiss (34:25):
we know there are tons of podcasts to listen, to magazines and books to read, reality TV to watch. We don’t take for granted that you’ve decided to spend some quality time listening to the two of us.

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

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

Joey Coleman (34:55): Experience.

Dan Gingiss (34:55): This!

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


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

Fretboard, Facemask, and Fleetwood – Oh My!

[Listener Stories] The Power of Little Notes

Things We Mentioned in This Segment:

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

[ReDesign the Experience] The Apple Mask

Things We Mentioned in This Segment:

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

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

Things We Mentioned in This Segment:

• Avtex
• Experience Points

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

Things We Mentioned in This Segment:

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

Host Contact Information

Email Dan: Dan@dangingiss.com

Tweet Dan Gingiss: @DGingiss

Email Joey: JoeyC@JoeyColeman.com

DanGingiss.com

JoeyColeman.com

Subscribe to Experience This on Apple Podcasts

Episode Transcript

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dan Gingiss (38:42):
We know there are tons of podcasts to listen, to magazines and books to read, reality TV to watch. We don’t take for granted that you’ve decided to spend some quality time listening to the two of us.

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

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

Joey Coleman (39:13):
Experience

Dan Gingiss (39:15):
This!

Episode 109 – Enhancing the Experience with Efficiency and Effectiveness

Join us as we discuss using technology to know where to go, the move to telemedicine during the pandemic, and a framework for creating more content than you could possibly want.

Signage, Appointments, and Creators– Oh My!

[This Just Happened] Traffic Lights in the Bathroom?!

Things We Mentioned in This Segment:

• Chris Strub – friend of the Experience This! Show and all-around great guy
Dallas Fort Worth International Airport (DFW)

[Redesign the Experience] A Doctor’s Visit Without a Waiting Room

Things We Mentioned in This Segment:

The Rise of Telemedicine During the COVID-19 Pandemic – by Dan Gingiss 

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

Things We Mentioned in This Segment:

• Avtex
• Experience Points

[What Are You Reading?] Create Limitless Amounts of Content

Things We Mentioned in This Segment:

The Content Fuel Framework: How to Generate Unlimited Story Ideas – by Melanie Deziel

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 109 here or read it below:

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

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

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

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

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

[EPISODE 109 INTRO]
Dan Gingiss (00:35):
Get ready for another episode of the Experience This! Show!

Joey Coleman (00:46):
Join us as we discuss using technology to solve an age old problem of knowing where to go, the move to telemedicine during the pandemic, and a framework for creating more content than you could possibly want.

Dan Gingiss (01:03):
Signage, appointments, and creators… Oh my!

[SEGMENT INTRO – THIS JUST HAPPENED]
Joey Coleman (01:09):
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][Traffic Lights in the Bathroom?!]
Dan Gingiss (01:23):
So a good friend of mine, and friend of the Experience This! Show – Chris Strub – was actually traveling recently, he’s one of my few friends to be traveling, he has been going around to a few places to do his Giving Days that he hosts to raise money for charity. And he was walking through the Dallas Fort Worth airport. And I was pleased that he thought of me, maybe us, if you will, possibly…

Joey Coleman (01:49):
Well, let’s be honest, it was you – Strub! I’m taking this personally. I know Strub too, but no, no, no – I’m going to save my remarks… Go ahead, Dan!

Dan Gingiss (01:57):
Anyway, he thought of me and decided to tweet at me and said, “Never in the history of Twitter has a tweet been more likely to appear in a future @dgingiss CX keynote, then this bit of scatalogical brilliance” and he had a laugh out loud emoji. He then included three pictures, which I want to describe to our audience because I think he might be right now.

Joey Coleman (02:26):
Now before we describe them to the audience, Strub, I’m gonna forgive you for not including me in this tweet – he knows us well enough to know that I’m not on the Twitters. So, but thanks for getting it towards us. Yes, it probably will show up in a Dan Gingiss CX keynote but guess what, buddy, it’s showing up on the Experience This! Show as well!.

Dan Gingiss (02:45):
Exactly. So when you pass by the restrooms at Dallas Fort Worth Airport, you’re greeted with a, what looks like a pretty big, maybe 32″ television screen turned on its side, so it’s vertical.

Joey Coleman (03:02):
It’s a giant iPad!

Dan Gingiss (03:04):
Well, huge! Anyway, there’s one for men and one for women – as indicated by the internationally well-known man and woman signs. And it notes how many stalls are available in the bathroom, and how long it will take to walk to the next bathroom. And in the examples that he showed us, it just so happens, that there were four stalls available in the men’s room and two in the women’s room – which sounds about right, because you know, it’s always a, a longer wait for the women’s room, but then when you walk in, there are lights that are above each one of the stalls that are either green or red – to tell you which ones are occupied and which ones aren’t. And it kind of reminds me, I’ve seen those at parking garages before, but I’ve never seen one in a bathroom. And I thought it was pretty cool. So I appreciated him sharing it. What did you think Mr. Coleman?

Joey Coleman (04:02):
You know, it wouldn’t be a “Dan Gingiss episode” of Experience This if we didn’t have some mention of course, across the season, of a bathroom experience. So thank you, Chris Strub for pointing Dan in the direction so we could have the Season Six bathroom experience story!

Dan Gingiss (04:21):
Wait a minute, are you saying this just because I have not one, not two, but potentially three different bathroom stories that I tell in my keynotes?

Joey Coleman (04:29):
You know, let’s just say it’s clear that the bathroom experience is part of the experience and you stumble across a lot of remarkable ones. I actually found this one to be fairly remarkable for a couple reasons. Number one – when you are using the bathroom, the idea of someone knocking on the door is not super exciting. When you are using a bathroom in an airport, there are people that are trying to quickly use the bathroom and move on to their flight, so speed is probably at a more, a higher premium, in a bathroom setting in an airport then maybe in any other type of bathroom. And so the fact that they have almost a traffic light system of like, “Hey, you’re good to go on this one, not to go on that one,” I actually thought was pretty creative and it kind of speaks to something we talk a lot about on the show, which is – thinking about how you can deliver convenience to your customers. Now, in this case, the customer is the person needing to use the restroom. And obviously the organization is the Dallas Airport and they’ve made a technology investment to help move things along. What I also loved – the green and red lights, that was great – but I also loved the arrow pointing you in the direction of the next closest bathroom and telling you how long it would take you to walk there. Because especially if you’ve not been to an airport before, one of the things you’re often wondering like, well, if I don’t use this one, how far do I have to go? Is it before my gate? Or is it after my next gate? And am I going to have to walk past it? Et cetera. There’s a lot of stuff that’s going on and I think in a world where travel, as a general premise for many people, is a stressful experience, anything you can do to increase the convenience and the ease for your customers – while they’re already in a heightened, stressful state – is going to be a good thing.

Dan Gingiss (06:21):
Yeah. What I thought was interesting here was this seemed to be a combination of things that we’ve seen in other places. So I mentioned that I had seen it, and I’m sure you have too, in parking garages – which is a nice touch to tell you, “Hey, this parking garage is full” or “it has only three more spaces left.” And then there’s the lights over the different parking stalls to tell you which are available and which aren’t we also talked about. And you’re going to be very disappointed with Rain Man because I can’t find the episode in my brain, but we did an episode.

Joey Coleman (06:53):
Hang on ladies and gentlemen, I have to pick myself back up, I just fell over. Dan Gingiss is about to reference a past episode of Experience This! and he doesn’t know the call sign number. Hopefully some of you remember the episode number and can write in and let us know what it was.

Dan Gingiss (07:07):
Yes. Well, it was the episode where we talked about, I believe it was an entire episode about our experiences in London, I think? Or did we do one about, there was one where we did an international episode and in all of the experiences were about traveling… You had a massage and a haircut…

Joey Coleman (07:26):
It was in London, in the Heathrow Airport, yes!

Dan Gingiss (07:27):
So in that same episode, we also talked about how there were signs for security that told you how long each of the lines had to wait. So if you went to the South Security, it was a 15 minute wait, but the North Security only had 10 minute wait or something like that, and we thought that was really cool. So we’ve seen the kind of “how long you have to wait” thing in other places as well and then also, when you walk through an airport, you often see the signs that say “Next Eating Area – three minutes walk,” or it’ll show you all of the restaurants and how long it takes to walk there, and so I liked – as you pointed out – the little arrow that kinda said, “well, you can, uh, you know, you can wait for two more minutes and walk to the next one. Even better might’ve been to say that the next one had more stalls available, right? Because if you took the walk and then, and then it was busier, it might be frustrating…

Joey Coleman (08:24):
So true. So true, huge opportunity for the upgrade in the experience there, which I think brings up an interesting point Dan. The best experiences around, in many ways, are pirated from other industries and brought in your industry. And it’s one of the reasons why we decided when we created the Experience This! Show to talk about every possible industry under the sun, because our hope is that our listeners can hear one story and say, “that’s not my industry, but I could do something similar in my industry and it would stand out, it would be remarkable, it would be different!” And I agree with you giving someone a preview of what they might find when they make that walk, would be a great way to make it even more beneficial to the person looking at the sign.

Dan Gingiss (09:09):
So I think that’s a great segue to the takeaway here, which is, look, you may not even have bathrooms because you may be a completely digital business. So it’s not about the bathrooms. It’s about giving customers the information that they need to make the decisions that they need to make. And in this particular case, it has to do with, am I going to go to the bathroom now? Or am I going to walk further to another one? But the indicators, the signage, and the indicators, and the technology that’s used to track that, can be used in lots of other different places. And I urge you to think in your business of where your customers may be waiting, or may have to make a decision, that you can help them by just providing them with a little bit more information.

[SEGMENT INTRO – REDESIGN THE EXPERIENCE]
Joey Coleman (09:53):
With a pandemic sweeping the globe and shifting the way organizations interact with their customers, many of the old ways of operating just don’t work anymore. As we all navigate a COVID-19 world, it’s time to Redesign the Experience.

[REDESIGN THE EXPERIENCE][A Doctor’s Visit Without a Waiting Room]
Dan Gingiss (10:12):
Amid a global pandemic and stay at home orders in almost every state, most businesses have had to pivot to a virtual existence. Now in a healthcare industry, this means a much higher dependence on telemedicine, which is also called tele- health in some spaces. And that has both doctors and patients adapting. Doctors, therapists, dentists, even veterinarians, have shifted appointments to virtual settings as a means to triage health issues and provide non-emergency care to patients. Now I wrote about this in a blog for our friends and sponsors of the Experience This! Show – Avtex – and thought that we should also talk about it here on the Experience This! Show, because I found it to be a really interesting dynamic that has evolved out of the pandemic, that I think has a lot of impact both within the healthcare industry, of course, but also to businesses outside it.

Joey Coleman (11:12):
Well, and at the risk of, you know, putting the cart before the horse – or what’s the opposite of burying the lead? the reveal? – this may be something that is good, that has come from the pandemic. I mean, I don’t want to give away kind of where we’re taking the conversation, but I generally think this shift is a positive one.

Dan Gingiss (11:31):
Well, yeah. And we’ve talked about that several times this season that some of the changes that we’ve seen during COVID are (a) going to become permanent and (b) are positive improvements. And so if there is a silver lining to what has been a pretty lousy experience overall for everybody over the last six/seven months is that there are some positive experiences – customer experience or in this case, patient experience – coming out of it. So as I started investigating this, I did an informal survey of my friends and connections on Facebook. And I just asked people, “Have you used telemedicine? And if so, where?” And I was amazed at the results! People came back and said that they had virtual appointments with allergists, behavioral therapists, dermatologists, ears, nose, and throat doctors, mental health professionals, occupational therapists, ophthalmologists, orthopedists, physical therapists, neurosurgeons, and of course, their primary care provider.

Joey Coleman (12:27):
Well, I don’t know if this means that you have a lot of friends on Facebook, Dan, or if your friends have got some serious health issues! Are they just sickly folks?! No, I think, I think it’s probably the former (obviously I’m being facetious) but I think what’s fascinating here is we’ve got a lot of different types of medicine that I would posit prior to March or April of this year, people hadn’t considered that telehealth or the telemedicine solution, or if they had wanted that their provider didn’t offer it. I

mean, I shared earlier in the season – and I’ll steal one from you, Dan, I think it was Episode 103 – my wife’s experience with the eye doctor and being able to snap a photo of her eye and text it to the eye doctor and say, “Hey, what is this? What’s going on?” And the doctor being able to say, “Hey, guess what? It’s okay, it’s fine. It’s, you know, it’ll resolve itself in a week or so. And if it doesn’t let me know and you can come in and see me.” But just that ability to immediately get an expert assessment of the situation – without needing to get in the car and drive there, without needing to make an appointment, without needing to run the risk of exposing ourselves or the providers to COVID. I mean, the convenience alone is incredibly valuable…

Dan Gingiss (13:44):
It’s something you’d be willing to pay for in the future…

Joey Coleman (13:47):
100%! Let me tell you, I actually texted the provider afterwards and I said, “Send me a bill. Seriously!” And he was like, “No, Joey, it’s all good. We’ve been your eye doctor for years. Don’t sweat it. We’ll see you next time we see you for your regular annual checkup,” but it was so convenient that I found myself compelled as a patient or as a customer to say, “just bill me,” because I really appreciated the speedy response time.

Dan Gingiss (14:13):
Well, and you’re right, that a lot of these types of doctors have had to move here very quickly. I talked to someone who worked for a large, multi-state dermatology practice, and he told me that just in his organization, they saw telemedicine appointments jump from 10 to 20 per month before the pandemic, to more than 500 per day after the pandemic started.

Joey Coleman (14:41):
That, that’s like, that’s not even hockey stick growth… That’s rocket ship growth!

Dan Gingiss (14:44):
That is rocket ship growth.

Joey Coleman (14:47):
The crazy thing is, when that happens, it really pushes the bounds of the tech team who’s helping provide that. You know, I actually was talking to somebody who oversees technology for a major hospital provider and they had kind of a similar assessment and the way he described it, is he said, “Joey – we took our next six years of plans for rolling out telehealth and telemedicine and we implemented them in under 90 days.” And what this meant is his team was just slammed, and working, and to be candid – and I won’t mention any names – he said the hardest part was getting the doctors on board. The patients were ready, the patients were excited and like, didn’t need a lot of explanation. It was convincing the doctors that the image they had of themselves as being the kind of person who has people in, who have people in the waiting room, waiting them to see them could be sacrificed for speed, efficiency, safety, ease of use, a seamless experience, et cetera. Like all the benefits, but maybe a little bit of the less of the status or, you know, or at least that’s the way it was perceived in, uh, in his medical community he was working with.

Dan Gingiss (16:03):
It’s an interesting perspective that I hadn’t really thought of… But the folks that I talked to – and I talked to doctors, dentists, and even a veterinarian, two veterinarians actually – and they all reported positive patient experiences, which obviously is why we’re talking about it. But most importantly, they also reported successful clinical outcomes. So what that means is patients are getting their problems solved, like your wife did with her eye via telemedicine, it’s convenient, it’s fast, and it is been a really good experience – both from the clinical side and from the patient experience side. So I think it’s fascinating. And I mean, I was talking to my friend, who’s a veterinarian and I’m like, “How does this even work? Your patient can’t talk!”

Joey Coleman (16:54):
Right? It’s like, you know, “Buffy, what’s wrong with you? Bark girl! Bark!” You know, I mean, it’s, it’s, it’s a challenging concept, but let’s be honest, I think it’s the reality. I mean, I’ve got to ask you, Dan, what, what do you think? I mean, do you think this is a trend that is going to move from being a trend to being the reality that it’s here to stay? Or is this just kind of a COVID-era novelty or anomaly?

Dan Gingiss (17:19):
Well, I think this is a great question and I actually did ask, uh, both a doctor, friend and a vet friend. And before I tell you what they say, I thought it’d be fun, joy if you, and I just kind of volley back and forth a little bit on some of the advantages of telehealth or telemedicine of which I think there are many. And also, let’s just be honest with our audience. There are some disadvantages too, and maybe those are things that end up getting fixed. Maybe they’re not, but we’re still kind of early days here. So, you know, when to, off on the advantages, we talked about convenience. So I think that is really an obvious one. There’s also this issue of accessibility, which I thought was really interesting. And that might be for patients that want to visit a doctor in another state that they maybe wouldn’t have had access to before. Maybe there’s a specialist or something like that. And I thought that was kind of interesting that I, that I hadn’t thought about. And relatedly is there are different communities in particular, I would say the elderly community, which sometimes has difficulty obtaining transportation to a doctor’s appointment. And now that becomes completely unnecessary. And so that becomes more accessible for them as well.

Joey Coleman (18:32):
Oh, Dan, I totally agree with you and I’ll take it one step further. You know, what about those who are, you know, not in a position to have their own vehicle, right? So that they’re, they’re run into transportation concerns and they’re used to taking the bus and they may have to take a bus for four hours to get from one side of town, to the other, jumping from bus to bus, to bus, to get to a medical provider. It’s easier just not to go. And what’s fascinating is when we think of telemedicine, you know what originally came out of the idea of doing these things over the phone? Well, the reality is more Americans and more people globally are walking around with their phone in their pocket or in their purse today than at any other time in human history. And the reach, if you will, of a cell phones into lower economic communities is much higher than one might otherwise expect. So there is a huge access piece of this that comes along. This isn’t only good for the patients though. This is good for the doctors. I mean, there’s a much higher efficiency and seamlessness that they can move through the potential revenue for a doctor increases dramatically. Because if you think about just even if you’re a non doctor and you think how now in the COVID era, you jump from Zoom call to Zoom to Zoom call, and you might crank out four calls where if you were getting in the car and going around and doing sales appointments or marketing calls or whatever it may be or visits, you know, it would take you a day. You can do four before lunch. And I think doctors, it’s the same thing. They can be much more efficient and increase the number of patients that they interact with in a given time period.

Dan Gingiss (20:03):
You know, I love that you said that Joey, because, uh, one of the things that I talked about in my book was about how Uber solved the problem for both passengers and for drivers. And that’s why it was so successful in, in disrupting. And I think you’re absolutely right here and I’ll go one step further that besides from helping patients and helping doctors get also helps the system because it reduces unnecessary visits for non-emergencies, right? You have people that go to the doctor or go or worse, go to the emergency room for things that they don’t really need to. And that then by reducing those, that frees up those resources for the people who really need them who are really experiencing an emergency. So whenever you have a situation where basically it’s a win, win, win, that is generally the kind of disruption that is going to last. And that I think generally we now welcome.

Joey Coleman (20:58):
Absolutely. And I mean, let’s be honest that the ER piece of this is huge. If you look at the amount of emergency room visits that are for things that are not emergencies, and that’s either because they’re dealing with a patient who’s uninsured or under insured, or doesn’t have a primary care physician, or doesn’t feel that they can make their schedule work to get an appointment three weeks from now. So they just go into the ER, whenever it’s available. I mean, this led to the proliferation of urgent care centers. But I think when we think about telemedicine and telehealth, that takes it to an entirely different level. It’s like, you know, the age old, a TV ad. If you have a phone, you have a lawyer. It’s like, if you have a phone, you have a doctor. And I think that’s actually better for our society than if you have a phone, you have a lawyer.

Dan Gingiss (21:46):
Sure, exactly. So quickly let’s cover a couple of the disadvantages because there definitely are some. You pointed out one, I think earlier, which is that there is a cost to doctors or hospitals for purchasing new equipment, integrating technology into existing systems, making ensuring privacy and security training doctors and staff. So, you know, while a lot of organizations have been able to stand this up really, really quickly, it is not without expense, both dollars and time resources.

Joey Coleman (22:21):
Well, and this is a, you know, just as a little aside, you know, one of the challenges that exist in a lot of hospitals today is the confluence between HIPAA (the major regulation here in the United States around healthcare privacy) and technology. And interestingly enough, one of the ways that shows up is if you have a computer screen in the office where there are going to be patients or other people, it is set to log out or to force you to type in your name and password on a much faster rate than the typical computer you use in an office setting. So there there’s, you know, kind of, for lack of a better way of putting it behavioral challenges that have to be adopted as well. And, you know, I mentioned the lawyers in the last comment and I say this as a recovering lawyer, we’re going to need a dramatic rewrite of most of the laws as it relates to healthcare and privacy if we are going to make the move to telemedicine that I think most patients want to move to. And I think most doctors probably as well, another challenge, I think that ties into this, that I alluded to earlier with, you know, the veterinarian scenario is not being able to examine patients physically. I don’t know about you Dan, but there’s plenty of times where I go into the doctor where it’s not enough to say, Hey doc, what does this look like to you? Right. They’re poking it. They’re prodding it. They’re doing there. You know, there there’s more physical interaction than would be available over a screen call.

Dan Gingiss (23:53):
Oh, absolutely. For sure. And, and there, I mean, just like any experience, nothing replaces being there in person, and there are definitely going to be health issues in which you have to do that. It’s interesting that you mentioned HIPAA. I am one of the few people in the world that has actually read that entire privacy policy.

Joey Coleman (24:12):
I’m sorry, Dan, we got to get you a better life.

Dan Gingiss (24:15):
I know it’s tough, but it’s just a fun fact about it. It also doesn’t even mention social media and has not been updated since the advent of social media. So when you talk about technology, I mean, social media now is, I don’t know how many years old, but let’s call it North of 10 and there are no rules around this. And so as we continue to build on the technology and now we’ve got tele medicine, at some point, this stuff is going to have to be updated,

Joey Coleman (24:42):
Not to mention the number of people who happily violate their own privacy. As it relates to health care all day, every day. If I had a dollar for every time, I saw somebody on Facebook post a photo of some rash or bruise and say, Hey, does anybody have a guess what this is? And I’m just like, you’re going to crowd source via Facebook, an assessment of a medical issue. And invariably, you know, there’ll be some picture of somebody and it just looks terrible and nasty and oozing puss and it’s bad. And people are chiming in like, go see a doctor, stop asking your ex boyfriend from high school, for his opinion about what this is, unless that person happens to be a medical professional, don’t do it. So, yeah, there’s definitely a lot of downsides, but I think the interesting thing is we could have made this an Agree to Disagree episode, but I be willing to bet that the problem was we would have both ended up in the same camp, which is we agree that telehealth is a good thing. We agree that it is a silver lining from the COVID pandemic experience. And we think it’s here to stay.

Dan Gingiss (25:47):
I totally agree. And back to the doctor and the vet that I talked to, so the doctor said, and I’m quoting, “I think telemedicine will stay with us in one form or another after the pandemic. So it makes sense to figure out how to integrate it, to improve patient care and access.” And then the veterinarian who, by the way said that one of the downfalls was, was patient’s expecting that he always be available. And he referred to that. I thought this was brilliant as “being on a leash”,

Joey Coleman (26:18):
Ladies and gentlemen, he’s here all week!

Dan Gingiss (26:19):
Yeah, it was awesome. Anyway, he said, and I quote, “This is not going away. Just like most advances in technology and our civilization. It’s only going to become more and more incorporated into our life because of technology because of convenience and because of cost. These are things that the general public wants.”

Joey Coleman (26:37):
Well, ladies and gentlemen, boys, and girls there, you have it, Dan and I, we choose to agree to agree and advise all of our listeners to consider what parts of your pandemic experience will continue when the crisis is behind us. What have you done in your business to adapt to this world where we want to do more things online versus offline, and how are you making the investments that are going to continue those type of offerings going forward? Maybe the silver lining in all of this is that as we’ve all been pushed online, some experiences like going to the Dr. May have actually gotten better and may have actually improved for good and for good. I mean, not only for our personal good, but for the longterm as well.

[PARTNERSHIP WITH AVTEX][Introducing The Experience Points Game Show]
Dan Gingiss (27:32):
Hey, everyone for this entire season, you’ve been hearing Joey and I talk about this great new project that we’re working on with our friends at Avtex. It is called the Experience Points Game Show, and it is now available for you to watch or listen to… now! We are so excited. Please go to ExperiencePointsGame.com for more information. And here is an exclusive preview:

Multiple Voices (27:54):
I’m going to say what a moment of magic. My mom is an English teacher. I’ve written six books. I’m like, no, can’t do it because we will 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. B2B companies report is the number one challenge, the customer experience. That was so hard. That’s the difference. The analogy worked. The speech did not a lot of tacos. Show me the money. Let’s win some money. This is so cool. And I’m learning so much. I think that’s powerful to say our customers are expecting more than ever before. I am still ready. There’s no way. There’s no way I’m going to guess. 44% hundred dollars per Dan Gingiss.

[SEGMENT INTRO – WHAT ARE YOU READING?]
Joey Coleman (28:49):
We spend hours and hours, nose deep in books. We believe that everything you read influence, it says the experiences you create. We’re happy to answer our favorite question. What are you reading?

[WHAT ARE YOU READING][The Content Fuel Framework by Melanie Deziel]
Dan Gingiss (29:02):
Many of us, whether we are solopreneurs or employees at companies have become content creators. I personally have been doing it for quite a long time. Starting with writing more than 250 articles for my college newspaper, the daily, Pennsylvania, and today, just between the two of us, Joey, we have this podcast and a video series that we’re doing for our

friends at Aztecs. I have a weekly live video series that you are a guest on. We both blog. We deliver keynotes. We’ve written books. It’s a lot of content.

Joey Coleman (29:39):
It’s a lot of content. And I don’t know that I’ve ever thought of all the different ways we’re creating content, but you’re absolutely right. I mean, it seems like every day I’m busy designing new slides, or writing something new for others to consume, or shooting a little video, or even something as simple as an email or a status update or a text message or a tweet – okay, just kidding. I’m not tweeting, but you are Dan. You’re tweeting enough for both of us. And you know, let’s be honest, we’re here on episode 109 of the Experience This Show. And we’re still creating new content every single week.

Dan Gingiss (30:14):
Yeah, no kidding. I’m still stunned about that. And I do think I speak for both of us when I say that we actually believe the show has gotten better as it’s gone along.

Joey Coleman (30:23):
At least that’s the hope right listeners? That is the hope. Is that like a fine wine we’re improving with age?

Dan Gingiss (30:29):
Exactly. So we also both know that content can be in the form of marketing frequently asked questions, blogs, product information, or really anything else. It’s always an important part of the experience. And often prospects will consume many, many pages of a website, for example, before deciding to do business with a new company. So that’s why I was interested in my friend, Melanie Deziel’s new book, The Content Fuel Framework: How to Generate Unlimited Story Ideas.

Joey Coleman (31:01):
Wait a minute. Did you say unlimited Dan?

Dan Gingiss (31:04):
I did Joey. And what I love about this book is that the framework is so darn simple. Here’s Melanie to tell us a little bit more about it.

Melanie Deziel (31:14):
I’m Melanie diesel, the chief content officer of story fuel and author of the content fuel framework, how to generate unlimited story ideas. The content field framework is a book for creators and marketers of any kind who have found themselves southernly needing to come up with tons of content ideas when maybe they didn’t have the training to do that. I use my background as a journalist to share my framework for how you can come up with an unlimited number of story ideas. The framework is simple and easy to use, and it’s made up of just two things. The focus, what is your content about and the format? How do you bring that content to life? The book is packed with tons of examples. It gives 10 different focuses you should consider and 10 different formats to start you off. In each chapter of this. Easy to read book has tons of examples showing you how this would come to life for businesses and solopreneurs of all types. My goal with the book is that if you read it – and I promise it’s a quick and easy read – you will find that you have a deep well of creativity inside of you. That you can activate whenever you need. Whenever you need something to post on your blog, to share on your social media platforms, a new video, you need to create a campaign you need to plan for a client… It doesn’t matter what you’re creating content for or why it only matters that you understand you have the tools you need to come up with content ideas. Whenever you need to. The book is, as I promise, an easy read and it’s packed with useful information prompts and all kinds of helpful resources and tips to help you get started. I really believe that if you read this book, you can go ahead and create hundreds. If not thousands of content ideas at the drop of a hat whenever you need to. So if that’s something that would benefit you and your business, please check out The Content Fuel Framework: How to Generate Unlimited Story Ideas by Melanie Deziel.

Dan Gingiss (33:08):
So, as Melanie mentioned, the framework has 10 focuses, which are people, basics, details, history, process, curation, data, product, examples, and opinions, and also 10 formats, which are writing infographics, audio, video, live video image, galleries, timelines, quizzes, tools, and maps. And her book walks through all of the focuses and all of the formats and shows real examples of content in action for each.

Joey Coleman (33:40):
That’s a whole lot of content options and a whole lot of categories and what I really liked was audio format. Since after all we’re recording a podcast right now, Melanie says that one of the advantages of audio content is that it can be consumed while the audience is using their eyes and hands for other activities. When content is audio only, this means that you, as the creator or storyteller can tap into time when your audience would otherwise not be consuming content while they’re working out at the gym, while they’re walking the dog, getting ready for work, washing dishes, which by the way, that’s my favorite one folks) or on their daily commute.

Dan Gingiss (34:19):
I’m wondering how many listeners ears perked up right now? Because you just said what it was that they were doing.

Joey Coleman (34:27):
Literally, we probably just described what you were doing. You know, we didn’t say sitting in a chair, just listening to the melodic tones of our voices talking about customer experiences. No, you’re probably doing something else. You’re multitasking, but this is kind of the good multitasking in that you can learn while your body’s doing, more rote activities.

Dan Gingiss (34:47):
Exactly. I also liked that Melanie used some of the less obvious formats and talked about timelines and quizzes and maps and that sort of thing. And that got me thinking differently because usually when I start to write a blog or a podcast segment, I just do it when an idea pops into my head or when I have a real life experience, I haven’t ever really thought of it this strategically before by combining that focus and that format. So check out Melanie Deziel’s book, The Content Fuel Framework: How to Generate Unlimited Story Ideas and never struggle to create content for your prospects and customers again.

[SHOW OUTRO]
Joey Coleman (35:33):
Wow. Thanks for joining us for another episode of Experience This!

Dan Gingiss (35:37):
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 (35:47):
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 (36:04):
Thanks again for your time, and we’ll see you next week for more

Joey Coleman (36:08):
Experience

Dan Gingiss (36:08):
This!

Episode 97: The Benefits of Delivering Effortless Customer Experiences

Join us as we discuss how Amazon approaches customer service, a nefarious attempt to silence customers, and the unique challenges of replacing a mattress.

Servicing, Calling, and Relaxing – Oh My!

[Dissecting the Experience] How Amazon Makes Customer Experience Effortless

Amazon is known for convenience and efficiency – two hallmarks of customer service. But customer service is not built overnight. It’s also not built without a team and strong intention. At Amazon, all of the employees follow six tenets of customer service. Amazon doesn’t just make a customer’s experience easy, they strive to make it effortless.

The six tenets (as shared by a loyal fan of the Experience This! Show from deep inside of Amazon) :

  1. Relentlessly advocate for customers
  2. Trust our customers and rely on associates to use good judgement.
  3. Anticipate customer needs and treat their time and attention as sacred.
  4. Deliver personalized, peculiar experiences that customers love.
  5. Make it simple to detect and systematically escalate problems.
  6. Eliminate customer effort through this sequential and systematic approach: defect elimination, self-service, automation, and support from an expert associate.

[W]hile your goal shouldn’t be to out-Amazon Amazon, you can definitely take inspiration for how Amazon does things to make your own company more successful.

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

Amazon is certainly in a class of its own, but their approach to customer service offers lessons any company can apply. Learning how to shift from making a customer experience easy, to actually making it effortless, could be the key to giving your company a global reputation for customer experience.

[CX Press] When Your Call Matters

Every customer wants to feel special and the voice recording when dialing in to a major corporation often includes a message reminding us of how important our call is. But as the old customer experience joke goes, if it was really that important to you, wouldn’t you answer the call instead of making me hold for an agent? The economics behind making it difficult for customers to complain was recently exposed in the Minnesota Star Tribune by Jackie Crosby in her article, “Your Call is Important to Us.” Based on research findings from the University of Minnesota, companies across all industries regularly apply a unit hassle cost to decide how important it is to answer a customer call. The unit hassle cost defined as is the impact of annoyance to a customer when inconvenienced. As it turns out, many people simply don’t find the inconvenience of complaining worth their time to get to a resolution – and thus, many companies successfully avoid needing to handle complaints.

Many companies want customers to give up before getting a resolution to the problem. Instead of making the customer experience effortless (like Amazon did in the previous segment), these companies make resolution so tedious that customers give up before their issue is resolved. While this may save money in the short run, it has a long term cost to the brand’s reputation.

[Listener Stories] Make Customers Happy When Things Don’t Work Out

A few episodes ago in episode 95, we spoke to Carol Clegg (a marketing consultant, retreat creator, and loyal listener of the Experience This! Show) about a great experience she had with a mattress return on Wayfair. As it turns out, Carol has been shopping for mattresses a lot lately and was fortunate enough to have another great experience, with another mattress company!

When Carol needed a new mattress she placed her online and when it arrived, she realized it wasn’t the best fit for her needs. When she called customer service to explore her options, they provided two easy alternatives: donate the mattress, or schedule a pick-up time to have it collected (at no cost) by the company.

By making it simple and easy for Carol, her confidence and happiness in the company increased – even though things didn’t work out as she had hoped. Not only did she feel good about the experience, but she told other people (including us) and we told A LOT of other people. By making things easy, if not effortless, you can even turn unsatisfied customers into raving fans.

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 97 here or read it below:

 Joey Coleman: Welcome to Experience This.

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

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. 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 how Amazon approaches customer service.

Dan Gingiss: A nefarious attempt to silence customers, and the unique challenges of replacing a mattress. Servicing, calling and relaxing. Oh my.

[Dissecting the Experience] Amazon’s 6 Tenets

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

Dan Gingiss: Like you Joey, I know people who know people. So when an anonymous Amazon employee offered up access to an internal sign at Amazon headquarters talking about the company’s six customer service tenets, I clearly paid attention. And I wrote about this for Forbes, but I also thought it would make a great dissecting the experience segment here on the Experience This show, because so many companies are talking about how to be more like Amazon. And I think these six customer service tenets provide a glimpse into the culture at Amazon and what makes them such an impressive company.

Joey Coleman: Now, as a reminder, folks, your goal shouldn’t be to be more like Amazon, because Amazon is always going to be the best Amazon out there. But what you can do is use these ideas as inspiration for your company and how to improve your own customer service.

Dan Gingiss: Okay, so without further ado, here are the six customer service tenets that are displayed at Amazon’s headquarters.

Dan Gingiss: The first one is relentlessly advocate for customers. Now, I love this because it’s saying that the employees have to be on the customer’s side. It’s realizing that without customers, we don’t have a business. The customers are not the enemy. The customers are the people that keep our business rolling, and relentlessly advocating that for them, I think is a great intentional use of language. Relentlessly means, never ending, never dropping the ball for the customer. And advocating means, focusing on making sure that the customers are getting the best deal, the best experience. And if that is the only thing that’s on this sign, I’d be impressed with this company.

Joey Coleman: I agree Dan. Number two, trust our customers and rely on associates to use good judgment. Folks, that’s not that complex. We should be more trusting of both our customers and our employees. People at their core are good. People at their core know how to do this stuff. Yet all too often, we lay our policy on policy, or we anticipate that there’s going to be fraud and nefarious behavior and so we won’t do nice things for people. When you trust your customers, they trust you back. Okay? When you trust your employees to use their good judgment and give them the freedom to do that, they will use their good judgment. And since happy employees create happy customers, and happy end customers create happy employees. The effect of trusting your customers and relying on your associates to use good judgment has a ripple that goes through your entire organization.

Dan Gingiss: Number three is anticipate customer needs and treat their time and attention as sacred. Now I think this one gets broken down into two parts. The anticipate the customer needs is really interesting because, Amazon is able to take an educated guess about why somebody is contacting them. For instance, if you just placed an order recently, it’s likely that you might be calling about that order. Joey, you shared a while back about an experience that you had downloading a video where they anticipated that your download speed was low and that you didn’t have a good experience and they refunded you without even asking. Anticipating customer needs is so critical because it makes people feel like you understand them and that you’re looking out for them.

Dan Gingiss: The treat your time and attention as sacred is also really cool because, let’s face it, a lot of companies abuse our time. A lot of companies make us wait on hold for a long time or they don’t answer our email or social media posts, and they force us to jump through all sorts of hoops to make a claim or get our refund or cancel an account. But Amazon knows that people don’t want to have to do that, and they know that by treating their customers well and valuing their time, they’re going to create even more loyalty.

Joey Coleman: Amazon customer service tenet number four, deliver personalized, peculiar experiences that customers love. Did that word peculiar surprise you? See, everyone’s trying to be personalized these days, but Amazon has proven time and time again that it’s not for everyone. By being just a little bit peculiar, Amazon in its products become so much more memorable. For example, Amazon is hidden all of these interesting things that you can tell Alexa to do, right? It’s in-home speaker system. Try asking Alexa to beatbox for example, and you’ll have an interesting experience. You might have also noticed the word love, and might be thinking, well, I’m not sure how to get people to actually love a business. Well, the way you get them to love your business is to love on them. To treat them as individuals. To deliver those type of personalized interactions that they can’t help but talk about.

Dan Gingiss: Number five, make it simple to detect and systematically escalate problems. One of the things I love about this one is that it’s operational in nature and we often overlook operations as contributors to customer experience. But in fact, when the operations fail is usually when people have customer experience problems. I love that they use the word simple, because making the customer service agent’s job easier helps them to value a customer’s time and provide a better interaction. And escalating problems is absolutely critical because if you can’t quickly escalate problems, that leads to potential outages or major public relations issues when things really get out of hand. We’ve all heard about different companies whose entire systems go down, and this becomes a really big PR nightmare. Whereas being able to escalate the first problem that came in through a single customer, may have prevented the bigger problem from happening later.

Joey Coleman: And the final customer service tenet used by Amazon to create remarkable interactions for their customers, number six, eliminate customer effort through this sequential and systematic approach. Defect elimination, self-service, automation, and support from an expert associate. I love this. Amazon doesn’t want to reduce customer effort, they want to eliminate it. And they set out a four-step process for doing that. Defect elimination. Let’s make sure that all of our products have zero defects and that they work right out of the box and people are feeling good. Self-service. Let’s empower our customers, have the opportunity to take care of themselves. Automation, let’s make everything convenient. Make things come to the customer before they even realize they need them. Try to systematize and structure things wherever possible to make it easy. And last but not least, support from an expert associate. Not the lowest paid employee in the organization. Not somebody who’s just in a call center, dialing it in, doing their job. But they want their associates to be seen internally and externally as experts. The more they can do this, the happier their customers are. And this sequential and approach makes so much sense.

Dan Gingiss: So, when people ask why Amazon is winning in so many different industries, it’s because they create an effortless experience for their customers. And these six customer tenants explain why. The main takeaway here is that why your goal shouldn’t be to out-Amazon Amazon, you can definitely take inspiration for how Amazon does things to make your own company more successful.

[CX Press] When Your Call Matters

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: When consumers are dealing with having to return gifts and other unwanted purchases, that often requires the dreaded call to customer service. We all know the common recorded message, “Please hold, your call is very important to us.” But new research out of the University of Minnesota and the University of Southern California, finds that actually your call might not be that important.

Joey Coleman: What you talking about Willis?

Dan Gingiss: That’s the topic of today’s CX Press article aptly titled, Your Call is Important to Us. Not really, because many companies try to wait you out, study shows. And I’d be remiss if I didn’t credit one of our most loyal listeners. Thanks dad …

Joey Coleman: Aw, Mr. Gingiss. Whoo-hoo.

Dan Gingiss: … for pointing out this article to me in the Chicago Tribune, although it was originally published by Jackie Crosby in the Minneapolis Star Tribune. The researchers tried to take an academic view of customer frustration when trying to return merchandise. They found that companies quote, “Deliberately employ inefficient multi-step processes, hoping that you will give up so they can avoid giving you a replacement or refund.” Joey, are you still there?

Joey Coleman: I am Dan, but I am seething right now. I can’t decide whether I want to pick my chin up off the floor or whether I want to race out and find these people. This is insane. I can’t believe this behavior. And yet, in some ways I’m not surprised by this behavior.

Dan Gingiss: Yes. It almost seems like it should be an April fool’s joke, but alas it isn’t. The researchers actually developed a mathematical model they called unit hassle cost.

Joey Coleman: Of course it’s called the unit hassle cost. I love it.

Dan Gingiss: Sounds right. Sounds right. It’s related to David Hasslecosts. Sorry guys. Anyway, unit hassle cost is the level of annoyance or frustration a person experiences when being inconvenienced. And what they found was that customers with less severe complaints, often find the hassle of escalating the complaint or remaining on hold, just isn’t worth it. So if a company can estimate the hassle cost, perhaps with artificial intelligence, they can exploit it.

Joey Coleman: Oh my gosh. Folks, I’m getting riled. Seriously, because you know who else does this, insurance companies. Insurance companies are notorious, I’m going back to my days as a lawyer, for denying claims without even reading the claim. I had a situation one time where my little brother, who at the time was four, closed a pocket knife on his hand and sliced his hand very badly. I was practicing law. He was covered by my dad’s health insurance and the claim got denied. And it got denied, and when I called in to ask them about it, the agent actually said, “Oh yeah, I see where it wasn’t reviewed, it was just denied.” And I’m like, “Wait a second, what?” And he goes, “But I’m denying it again. This should have been worker’s comp.” And I was like, “He’s four.” And there was dead silence on the other end. And they’re like, “Okay, we’ll cover the claim.” And I’m thinking to myself, if I hadn’t pushed, if I hadn’t asked, the insurance that we paid for wouldn’t have been applied to an injury that is exactly why you have insurance.

Joey Coleman: It’s the same way when you have a complaint with a brand and you call in, they’re now thinking about just delaying the amount of time you’re on the call to get you to give up. This isn’t crazy.

Dan Gingiss: Well, let’s roll it back a little bit. The whole reason why the customer service department exists in a company is because something in the customer experience has gone wrong, causing the customer to need to contact.

Joey Coleman: Exactly. Customer service is reactive, right? It’s dealing with problems and helping answer questions.

Dan Gingiss: Exactly, so that’s why it even exists in the first place. But now if you have companies that are trying to essentially exploit the idea of a customer calling when they have a problem and trying to take advantage of them, again, it’s almost like a double whammy. And I think what is really perplexing about the math here, I tried to look at this subjectively, because after all this was an academic endeavor here. But the idea of guessing the short-term gain of not having to refund an order, and comparing that to the long term loss of bad word of mouth and customers defecting to the competition, I just don’t see how the math works. It’s like you’re saving a few pennies today, but costing yourself tons of dollars down the road.

Joey Coleman: When did we decide that there would be math? I was told there would be no math. Here’s the crazy thing. So much of this has become numbers-driven that we’re missing the point. When you tell someone that you love them, do you ask them to quantify what the amount is? Well, do you love me more than yesterday? Or is it a little less or is it a 0.7 today and hopefully a 0.9 tomorrow? We need to stop bringing math to the conversation of customer experience. Now I get that we need to have ROI. I get that organizations are making investments and they’re trying to figure out how to maximize their dollars, but your point, Dan, short-term maximization of dollars and revenues and profits often results in long-term destruction of customer value, of customer loyalty, and of the overall experience.

Joey Coleman: Folks, if you work in a business, if you’re one of our listeners and you work in a business where they have talked about unit hassle costs, number one, please let us know. Number two, tell us the name of your brand because I don’t even want to do businesses with brands that are evaluating the unit hassle costs.

Dan Gingiss: And number three, run away quickly.

Joey Coleman: Oh my gosh.

Dan Gingiss: I agree. The fact that a company would even think of this means that something is broken at the core. But I would suggest to our listeners that there may be places in your customer journey where this is happening inadvertently, not on purpose, right? Is that we do create hassle for customers all over the place and we may not be trying to do it, but what’s happening is we’re not eliminating the hassle. So the reverse of this, and the reason why people love Amazon so much and why so many other companies are going out of business in the age of Amazon, is that they’re not even identifying the hassle or pain points that they are currently creating, and looking to eliminate them.

Dan Gingiss: Obviously, if you’ve gone over the ethical line of trying to create hassle, that’s a completely different story and that’s where I want you to run away. But the truth is, most companies create some sort of hassle for their customers and eliminating them is a great way to keep people happy and loyal.

Joey Coleman: Less friction equals happier customers. Less hassle equals happier customers. Folks, you know where these friction points exist in your business. It’s not one of those things where we need to quickly go out and survey all of our customers to find out where the problems are. Give me any gathering of employees from any organization, and I can guarantee that they’ll be able to point out where the organization needs to improve. And one key area to look at is, where are you forcing your customers to do things, because either that’s the way we’ve always had them do it. Or that’s what the form requires. Or that’s what our system and policy dictates. If any of those phrases are coming out of your mouth, there’s an opportunity for improvement right there.

Dan Gingiss: So instead of telling your customer, “Please hold, your call is very important to us,” try to eliminate the call in the first place by fixing the thing that caused it.

[Listener Stories] The Mattress

Joey Coleman: You listen to us, now we want to listen to you. By visiting our website and sharing your remarkable customer experiences with us, we can share them with a broader audience. Now sit back and enjoy our listener stories.

Dan Gingiss: Two episodes ago, we featured a listener story from Carol [Klegg 00:17:48], a marketing consultant at Travel Like a Local Today. Carol shared a story about ecommerce company Wayfair, and how they responded to a bed that was damaged in transit.

Dan Gingiss: Well, with most every bed comes a mattress. And it turned out that Carol had another great experience there. Let’s hear again directly from Carol.

Carol: Dan, this is Carol again from Retreats to Lisbon on Twitter and coming to you with my reason for adding the mattress company [Avia 00:18:16], and I’m probably not pronouncing that correctly, to my list that I want to make of wonderful customer experience. Bought this mattress online, hesitantly read plenty of reviews. Mattress arrived. Unpacked it, expecting it to be softer than it is and it’s like, oh my goodness, this is a king size mattress. And yes, I know they have a hundred day return policy, but what on earth is that going to look like? And this is going to be more effort than it’s worth to return it. And, just trying to think of all different ways. I thought, well, you know what? A phone call is a good place to start.

Carol: And so I called their number. Easy to get hold of. Answered the phone straight away. Listened to my discussion. All I wanted to know is what the process was if I do decide to return this mattress, and the options were awesome. The first one was, you can donate it. And the second one was, we will send somebody to pick up the mattress, wrap it up, take it away. And no cost, no charge for that. And we will send you your replacement mattress ahead of that time. And I was like, wow, this is just amazing. It’s like the solution, boom, done. Given to me and yes, so now I have the option, I have my a hundred days to try out the mattress knowing that I’m backed by this awesome customer service from this company and that I can take my time and make sure that, do I need to return it? And then know that I don’t need my husband home. I don’t need any help. That somebody will be coming here to just take care of it all for me. So, another company whose customer service and customer experience rocks.

Dan Gingiss: This story actually reminds me quite a bit of the story that Carol told about Wayfair earlier this season. They both have something in common, making things easy on the customer. The Harvard Business Review found that the number one most important factor in a customer’s loyalty is reducing customer effort. And that’s exactly what both Wayfair and this mattress company have done.

Joey Coleman: Yeah, I think at the end of the day what’s interesting is, so often as businesses, we fail to recognize the extreme effort that our customers have to go through to interact with us. And wherever possible, reducing that effort has an inverse relationship to their increase in happiness. What I mean by that is, for each notch of effort that you can bring it down, my happiness of doing business with you will go up.

Dan Gingiss: Yeah, I want to point something else out about her comment here. So she’s talking about this mattress company that has a hundred-day return policy and clearly that is a marketing angle. It’s also a benefit of doing business with the company. But, what was interesting was, that that wasn’t clear to her. She said, “What on earth is that going to look like? And is this going to be more effort than it’s worth to return it?” So yeah, you could have a thousand-day return policy, but if it’s a pain in the neck to to return it, then that doesn’t have much value to me. Plus, and I’ve wondered this as well, once somebody sleeps on a mattress and then you return it, what happens next?

Joey Coleman: Ooh, I actually know the answer to this one Dan. Most of the mattress companies that have these type of policies, will then donate the mattress to a local homeless shelter.

Dan Gingiss: That’s awesome.

Joey Coleman: So they put it back into use as opposed to turning it around and selling it to another customer.

Dan Gingiss: Excellent. Excellent. But my point there is that, this company has a nice feature in its hundred-day return policy, but it isn’t communicating it effectively enough. And so, as we just got done talking about, one of the things that is clear here is that Carol had to call in the first place, right? Because, the whole transaction was causing her nervousness before she made the purchase, so she felt that she had to call and talk to somebody about it. And to me, if I were advising this company, that’s one of the first things I would look at is, why did Carol even have to call?

Joey Coleman: Absolutely. And I think it brings us back to the topic we talked about earlier in this season of the explainer video. This could be a great example where a company could have an explainer video that says, “Here’s how we handle if you want to send the mattress back. This is what we’ve done to make it easy, to make it convenient for you.” Lots of times, organizations have really customer-centric and customer-focused policies that are written about or presented in a way that the customer doesn’t realize it’s in their best interest. And so I think there’s always an opportunity, it’s why it’s great to have new employees or new customers and get their honest feedback, because they haven’t bought into the way you operate. They haven’t gotten use to the way you operate. And so they still have a little bit of that wonderment or surprise or uncertainty about your business operations, and that gives you the opportunity to identify places where you could be more clear or more focused in your messaging.

Dan Gingiss: Yeah, I think a great example of this is when I was in the credit card industry. All the research showed that customers hate doing math. So when you talk about rewards programs, there’s actually not a huge difference to most customers between 1% back, one and a half percent back, 2% back, 3% back, because they can’t do the math anyway-

Joey Coleman: Right.

Dan Gingiss: … and they don’t want to do the math.

Joey Coleman: Right.

Dan Gingiss: They conceptually understand that 2%’s better than 1%, but they’re not going through the calculations in their head to understand how much better. So it doesn’t have the impact that reflects the cost or the investment in doubling the rewards.

Joey Coleman: Well, and let’s look at the basics. 1% back versus 2% back. The average customer is going to look at that and go, “Well that’s just a single percent higher,” instead of saying, “That’s twice as much.” We see this show up in the investment world with fees, right? Your mutual fund fee. The difference between 1% and 2% is dramatic over the lifetime of the investment. So I agree with you. Wherever we can eliminate the math, that also helps eliminate the friction.

Dan Gingiss: So we want to thank again, Carol Klegg, for sharing her listener story.

Joey Coleman: Carol’s like the super-listener. Carol, you’re a rockstar. We love the fact that not only you tell this story, but then you came back with the follow-up story about the first story you submitted.

Dan Gingiss: And I can speak for Joey in saying that, “Carol, we do hope that after all of this, you are having a peaceful night’s sleep on your new bed and your new mattress.” And remember to our other listeners, that you too can share a story for use in a future episode. Just go to our website at www.experiencethisshow.com. Go to the contact section, and click on start recording, and you can leave us a digital voicemail with your experience that we will use in a future episode.

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 95: It’s The Little Things That Make You Stand Out from the Competition

Join us as we discuss the added difficulty of ordering very large items online, a loss of identity in one major travel industry, and what we love — and can’t stand! — about rental cars.

Sleeping, Renting, and Driving – Oh My!

[Listener Stories] What Happens When a Mistake Turns into a Remarkable Experience

We love to feature the great customer experiences our listeners have every day. While almost everyone has a negative customer experience to share, when someone has a remarkable experience with a company – even when the product isn’t delivered as promised – it’s worth exploring. Loyal listener Carol Clegg (marketing consultant and “creator of destination mastermind business retreats for solo women and business owners” at Travel Like A Local Today) reached out to share a remarkable experience she had with Wayfair.

Carol ordered a mattress and was notified that it was damaged in transit. This was obviously not the news she hoped for – especially since she needed this large, expensive item delivered within a specific time window for an Airbnb she and her husband owned. When she called Wayfair, the customer service representative was able to immediately handle the issue. The mattress was replaced, expedited, and the entire issue was resolved with a single call!

[S]he put that all together within minutes. I got the notification that it was on its way to me, and it was just her attitude, her willingness, her friendliness, and no questions asked! She took care of it. This is the customer experience that people need to have when they’re dealing with companies.

Carol Clegg, Marketing consultant and loyal listener of the Experience This! Show

The fact that this was a large purchase (both in size and price tag), with a time sensitive delivery window, made for a huge impact when things didn’t go as planned/promised. However, by remedying the situation quickly, efficiently, and effectively, a negative experience turned into a remarkable case of customer service. What can you do to empower and train your team to turn negative experiences into positive ones by going above and beyond?

P.S. Don’t forget – we love to hear from our listeners! Share your story with us today by leaving a recording here.

[Dissecting the Experience] When a Customer Experience is Indiscernible from Any Other

When traveling recently, Dan was quickly reminded that every single rental car company was eerily similar. Despite his investigatory efforts, he concluded that there was very little to differentiate one company from the next. The questions asked by the check-in staff were the same, the cars all looked the same, the contracts seemed to be written by the same lawyers. The entire industry had become so commoditized that each and every company looked and felt the same.

The real epiphany came when I was sitting in the rental car, and I realized that there was not a single differentiating feature that told me which rental car company I had rented from.

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

The car rental experience is filled with tedious, commoditized interactions that are ripe for disruption including:

  • The Contract – Rental agreements are lengthy, boring, and filled with language the average person can’t begin to understand let alone enjoy. Customers are left to initial here, here, here, and here, and then hope for the best.
  • Gas – Why are the only two options (a) bringing the car back with a full tank (which means you need to delay your race to catch your plane with a pitstop at an over-priced, airport gas station), or (b) commit to paying a high price for an entire tank of gas – regardless of how much you actually use?
  • Insurance – No one seems to understand or agree whether you should sign for or decline the offered insurance. Most people don’t even understand their own auto insurance policy – let alone options that are presented with a tone that reeks of “unnecessary upsell.”
  • Tolls – You’re visiting a new area and they expect you to be able to effectively determine whether you need to drive on toll roads or not? And they they charge you a fee for the privilege of using a toll road – even if you don’t drive on one? How does any of this make sense?
  • The Car – When you get in the car, there is nothing to identify the car as being in a specific company’s fleet. The cars all look and feel the same. The same makes. The same models. The same colors. The same interiors.

But it’s not just rental cars. Every industry has commoditized elements that are waiting to be disrupted. What elements of your industry are the same as your competition and what could you do to shake things up?

[Love It/Can’t Stand It] Love Upgrades, Hate the Lines…

While the rental car experience feels the same regardless of which brand you choose, it’s certainly not a good feeling. Certain aspects of the experience are great (upgrades, the chance to drive unique or unfamiliar cars, the ability to choose your ride in the garage, etc.) while others are beyond annoying (long lines after a long flight, needing to find a gas station right before returning, uncertainty about the insurance, etc.).

The point of this segments isn’t to pick on the rental car industry – but rather to show that every business has things customers love and can’t stand about the experience. Do you know what your customers love and can’t stand? If not, are you working to figure it out? If you do know, are you working to accentuate the positives and eliminate the negatives?

Host Contact Information

Email Dan: Dan@dangingiss.com

Tweet Dan Gingiss: @DGingiss

Email Joey: JoeyC@JoeyColeman.com

DanGingiss.com

JoeyColeman.com

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Episode Transcript

Download a transcript of the entire Episode 95 here or read it below:

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 another episode of the Experience This! Show.

Joey: Join us as we discuss the added difficulty of ordering very large items online, a loss of identity in one major travel industry, and what we love and can’t stand about rental cars, sleeping, renting and driving. Oh my!

[Listener Stories] Learn to Provide an Experience People Can’t Stop Talking About 

Joey Coleman: You listen to us. Now, we want to listen to you. By visiting our website and sharing your remarkable customer experiences with us, we can share them with a broader audience. Now, sit back and enjoy our listener stories.

Dan Gingiss: In case we haven’t mentioned it before, we love listener stories.

Joey Coleman: Oh, we do love them.

Dan Gingiss: We know that customer experience happens every single day, and there’s no way Joey and I can stay on top of every experience with every company. That’s why we depend on you, our loyal listeners, to share your great experiences with us, so we can talk about them here.

Joey Coleman: Now, as a reminder, you can share your experiences with us by going to experiencethisshow.com, the contact page, and then there’s a big orange button that says start recording. When you click on that button, you can just leave us a little voicemail. Now, why do we use the start recording? Well, if we get your listener story where possible, we’d like to include you telling your story instead of us just relating your story in our own words. So, check that out at experiencethisshow.com, the contact page, and then start recording your own listener story.

Dan Gingiss: So, today’s listener story comes to us from Carol Clegg, a marketing consultant and “creator of destination mastermind business retreats for solo women, business owners” at Travel Like A Local Today. Carol called in with this story about e-commerce company, Wayfair, a retailer that sells furniture and home goods. Let’s hear directly from Carol.

Carol Clegg: Hi, Dan. This is Carol here from retreats2Lisbon and Twitter, and I’m giving you some feedback on my great customer experience with Wayfair. It just makes my heart feel so good when you have a really good experience and somebody cares and somebody listens. So, I bought items before from Wayfair and know that their customer service is excellent. So, when I purchased some household things recently, one of them being a new bed for an Airbnb that we have, I was updated with their frequent text messages, which is wonderful, that the item was damaged in transit. That actually was a notification from FedEx.

Carol Clegg: I called Wayfair at their 1800 number. I did not hold on for long. I got to speak to a really nice person who immediately pulled up my order, no delay, no needing to check in with somebody else to get approval to do something. She could see that the order was on its way back to her, and she said to me, what would I like to do? I said I’d love a replacement and as quickly as possible because we’re traveling for December, and I really would like it to be delivered while my husband is still home, so he can assemble it, and I only have a really tiny window to do that. She put that altogether within minutes. I got the notification that my shipment was on its way to me. It was just her attitude, her willingness, her friendliness and no questions asked, take care of it, that was that wow. This is a customer experience that people need to have when they’re dealing with companies. So, you can tell that I am a little passionate about having the good experience as a customer. That’s because I think it’s so important.

Joey Coleman: Now, before we dive into the specifics of Carol’s story, I just want to go back to one of the first things she said. “It just makes my heart feel so good when you have a really good experience and somebody cares and somebody listens.” Wow. If that doesn’t inspire you to try to create a great experience for a customer, I’m not sure what would. Imagine what a customer whose heart feels good would do for your company. Well, if she’s like Carol, she’d tell a lot of other people about her experience.

Dan Gingiss: Exactly, and that’s kind of the point of this segment on listener stories. We don’t ask you to share bad experiences because we hear enough about those in the media and in social media. We focus on the great ones because those companies deserve the word-of-mouth marketing they get from thrilled customers. So, let’s unpack the bed story. The first thing that I realized from this is that this is a big-ticket item in more than one way. It’s big because a bed is pricey, and it’s big because a bed is large in size.

Joey Coleman: Right.

Dan Gingiss: So, that in itself makes this a difficult transaction from the beginning.

Joey Coleman: Right, and no pun intended, bigger items with bigger prices have the potential for bigger problems. This is actually compounded by the time sensitive nature of the situation. As Carol noticed, they were going to be traveling, and they really wanted to get it delivered before they left. Now, I’ll be honest. I’ve been in that situation where you order something online, and I spend a lot of time on the road, and I’m trying to rush to get things there before I leave or I don’t want things to come after I’ve left especially like something like a bed that would sit on the porch waiting, sending a signal to every burglar and thief driving by that guess what? No one is home. So, there’s a lot of elements of this experience and challenges for Wayfair to deliver a remarkable experience for Carol.

Dan Gingiss: Yeah. The things that stuck out to her, she was able to contact them and not have to hold or wait to talk to somebody, which of course is one of the major pain points of calling a toll-free number. The thing that I think really stood out the most was that there were absolutely no questions asked. If you didn’t like the bed, you could return it, and there’s no questions asked. That takes away the fear that people have. Every time we buy a big-ticket item, whether we want to or not, we have a little bit of buyer’s remorse. Should we have parted with that much money? Was it worth it, et cetera? When you can take that fear away from customers, they are going to trust you more, and they’re going to trust their own instincts in terms of making the purchase, which exactly is what I think Wayfair wants to happen.

Joey Coleman: We’ve talked about these types of guaranties and warranties on the show before. I don’t understand, Dan, why more companies don’t just move to the no questions asked. Now, I get it. There are some people that will abuse that, but I truly believe that the increase in your business that you will get from people that are loyal to you because you have a no questions asked policy far outweighs anybody that would abuse you.

Joey Coleman: In fact, years ago, I had the chance to do some consulting work with Zappos. They are infamous for their policy that you can return a pair of shoes up to 365 days after you’ve purchased them. I was having a conversation with the then CEO, Tony Hsieh about this policy and like, “Well, how does fraud work in this?” He said, “Look, Joey, we recognize that there’s some people that will abuse the system, and we track how often people call back and return the shoes later. Now, after they’ve reached a certain point, which we’re not going to disclose publicly what that threshold is, but I promise you, it’s really far down the road, we will actually just say to them, “Guess what? We’re not a good fit for you. We’re removing you from our customer ranks, and you can’t buy from us again”” The number of people that actually get removed is really small, so I think all businesses could stop and think about what is the no questions asked policy you could adopt for your product or service to create more customer loyalty.

Dan Gingiss: Yeah. I think that’s a great story about Zappos because it often is the case that companies will find the exception first, and that will be the reason for not doing something. “Well, we can’t offer a no questions asked because people take advantage of it.” Well, yeah. A few people may take advantage of it, and you should put guardrails in place so that the gamers, as we used to call them at Discover, the gamers can’t win out all the time, but the truth is, is that if you have any sort of rewards or loyalty program, anything, any opportunity, any loophole at all, gamers are going to find it. Right? That is a cost of doing business, but it doesn’t mean that you should not create a great experience for every other customer because you’re afraid of two or three customers taking advantage of you.

Joey Coleman: Absolutely. Don’t let the fact that one or two may abuse it, stop you from helping all the others. In the same way that we often talk about on the show, don’t feel that you have to create the same experience for everyone. If you want to treat a handful of customers better than others or go above and beyond in this scenario for someone, it’s not as if that then becomes the rule that you have to follow every time. Wayfair doesn’t always have to treat their customers as well as they treated Carol. It’s amazing that they did, but don’t let the going above and beyond by a single agent stop you from doing more of it in the future.

Dan Gingiss: One last thing that I want to highlight before we finish this segment is, what did Carol do after having this great experience with Wayfair? Well, number one, she reached out to her favorite podcast hosts and shared the story, knowing that we would share it with more people. Presumably, she also told friends and family about it, but also, I think we know that the second thing is the next time Carol needs any kind of furniture or home goods, she’s going back to Wayfair. So, thanks again to Carol Clegg for sharing her listener story, and kudos to Wayfair for providing a remarkable customer experience.

[Dissecting the Experience] Rental Cars

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: All right, Joey. We’re going to ad lib a little game here-

Joey Coleman: Oh, great.

Dan Gingiss: … that we did not talk about ahead of time, but I think you’re going to be good at this. It’s called name that airport code.

Joey Coleman: Oh geez. All right.

Dan Gingiss: I know you’re a big traveler.

Joey Coleman: All right. I am.

Dan Gingiss: So, I know you can do it.

Joey Coleman: All right.

Dan Gingiss: Let’s start with an easy one. You’re from Denver. What’s Denver’s airport code?

Joey Coleman: DEN.

Dan Gingiss: Okay, and I’m from Chicago, and O’Hare is?

Joey Coleman: ORD.

Dan Gingiss: Right. If we go all the way West to Los Angeles, it is …

Joey Coleman: Probably LAX.

Dan Gingiss: Okay. Now, how about Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania?

Joey Coleman: Yeah, no idea.

Dan Gingiss: Well, for our astute listeners, it’s AVP-

Joey Coleman: AVP.

Dan Gingiss: Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. I had an interesting experience renting a car there recently. Now, to be fair, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, as you might imagine, is a small airport but nonetheless, it got me thinking. When I approached the counter, the very first question I was asked was, which rental car company? I took a step back, and I realized there were three stations at the counter, one for Avis and Budget, which are sister companies, one for Hertz and Dollar, which are also sister companies, and one for National and Enterprise. Ditto.

Dan Gingiss: Each station had a separate employee, and each had the same first question. So, it got me thinking about how the rental car industry has become so commoditized that even presumably competing brands are combining their experience into a singular, undifferentiated one. The real epiphany came when I was sitting in the rental car, and I realized that there was not a single differentiating feature that told me which rental car company I had rented from. It literally could have been any of them. So, I know you travel a lot too, Joey, and you probably noticed these same things, but I came up with five parts of the rental car customer experience where I think there’s an opportunity to differentiate, but it’s not just being done. So, you jump in with the experiences that you’ve had as we go along. Cool?

Joey Coleman: All right. That sounds good. Yeah, and I’m super excited we’re having this conversation because I, number one, can’t believe we haven’t talked about this before. I too find that there is zero differentiation, and number two, I am waiting eagerly for someone to come in and completely disrupt the rental car industry.

Dan Gingiss: Exactly. So, I do want to say that the five things I’ve come up with are very U.S. centered. I have heard, and occasionally, I’ve only rented a car once or twice overseas, but I’ve heard that the experience is quite different outside the United States and maybe quite better than the United States. So, for our international listeners, please know that we’re talking about U.S. based rental car companies here. Now, the first thing is the contract. The contract usually starts, the discussion about the contract usually starts with initial in these seven places, and then sign here.

Joey Coleman: Right, and you’re encouraged to do it as quickly as possible. It’s on a small screen that’s difficult to read, and it’s just like click, click, click, sign, and give me the keys.

Dan Gingiss: You’re actually giving them the benefit of the doubt because most of the time, I find it’s not on a screen at all. It’s still on paper.

Joey Coleman: Oh, interesting. Interesting.

Dan Gingiss: I would say that when you have to initial in seven places, that is already a pretty good sign that the experience is too complicated.

Joey Coleman: Yes. This is the classic case of the lawyers, and for those of you that may not remember, I’m a recovering attorney, so I have permission to make fun of lawyers. A classic case of the lawyers determining the customer experience, which should always be a red flag in your organization. Have customer experience people involved in the conversation. Now, as we talk about a lot on this show, required legal disclosure language is a great opportunity for a creative marketer to turn it into an experience. After all, the goal is to get the customer to read and understand the legal contract, yet that’s not usually the result. As I implied, folks are just encouraged like, “Just initial here. You don’t …” I’ve actually had car rental agents tell me, “You don’t need to read it. Just sign it.” That’s always a comforting feeling when signing a legal agreement that if something goes wrong, I have to buy a car.

Dan Gingiss: Yeah, don’t say that to a lawyer, folks. That’s not a good sign. So, I say that instead, rental car companies could use icons and easy-to-understand language in the contracts. They could convert the process to an app or some sort of mobile digital thing like you were describing and/or ask the desk employees to explain it to every customer in plain English. So, instead of saying, “Just sign it. Don’t read it,” what they could say is, “Here are the seven things that you’re signing. If you want to read in more detail, the language is there for you.” So here’s the next one. The gas.

Joey Coleman: Oh.

Dan Gingiss: Now, there are usually two choices with neither one being a good option.

Joey Coleman: The bad choice and the even worse choice.

Dan Gingiss: Yeah. It’s the we win and the you lose choices. You can either pay for an entire tank of gas upfront, which is usually at a reasonable per gallon rate, but if you’re traveling less than 300 miles, you end up paying for gas that you don’t use, or you can let the rental car company fill the gas tank when you return it, which is usually at a per gallon rate that is three times the average fill-up price. Of course, you can also fill up the tank yourself as long as you remember-

Joey Coleman: Oh, raise your hand if you’ve returned a rental car and not filled it up with gas.

Dan Gingiss: Yes.

Joey Coleman: That would be me so many times, I’ve lost track.

Dan Gingiss: Because either you forget or you run out of time or you can’t find a local gas station, et cetera.

Joey Coleman: Yeah. This is so absolutely ridiculous. There has to be a simpler way. Now, for example, one way a company could stand out would be to offer a worry-free return policy where they charge you a reasonable per gallon amount for the gas used, or why don’t you just charge me for the gas used? That’d be my favorite part. I’d be willing to pay the more expensive price if you only charge me for the number of gallons that I actually used while I had the car rented. This would completely change the rental car experience and create value for the customers in the process.

Dan Gingiss: Agreed. So, how about this one? Number three, the insurance. Now, let’s face it. Very few Americans understand the nuances of their insurance policies whether it’s health insurance, home or renter’s or auto insurance. We talked about this way back in episode nine when we looked at the poorly named explanation of benefits. It is neither an explanation nor a benefit in the healthcare industry and the language it uses that customers do not understand. In the rental car industry, this poses a big problem in the unfortunate event of a car accident while driving the rental car. It also results in customers often paying twice for the same insurance, once to their auto insurance company and once to the rental car company.

Joey Coleman: Oh, and I’ll go one step further, Dan. Depending on the credit card you have, there might be a third company you’re paying for insurance, and that would be your credit card company that includes in their annual fee certain coverages or if you have a credit card like I do with American Express, they have a program that I’ve opted into, which every time I pay for a rental car with my American Express, not only do they cover part but I have a separate rider that kicks in that they charge me separately with insurance, but you’re right. It’s like you need a law degree, or you have to have previously sold insurance to be able to navigate all of the twists and turns of insurance for your car.

Joey Coleman: Now, instead of offering a $20 per day insurance rider that most people turn down because you know they don’t want to pay $20 but some people unsuspectingly accept, why not add one or $2 to every rental and insure everyone automatically? It’d be one less thing for the drivers to worry about, it’d be something easy for the agencies to do, and they’re already charging you all of these random fees that get bundled in that are different than the price that is originally quoted. Bump that up just a little bit. Cover the insurance, and pitch it as a benefit to your renters.

Dan Gingiss: Absolutely. So, number four is the tolls. Now, it’s perfectly fair for rental car companies to charge customers for tolls used. What’s less fair is to also charge a per day fee for the benefit of having the E-ZPass device in your car.

Joey Coleman: I also love that the per day fee applies to every day of the rental period, not just the days that you use the E-ZPass. So, for example, if you’re going to rent a car for a week to go to the beach and you have to drive on the toll road on day one to get there and on day seven to get back to the airport, you get to pay for the days that your rental car was parked at the beach. Not that I’ve ever had something like this happen before.

Dan Gingiss: No, and if you read the fine print, which I know you as a recovering attorney do, it also is charged per calendar day, whereas, the rest of the contract is per 24 hours.

Joey Coleman: Yes.

Dan Gingiss: Meaning, if you rent a car on a Tuesday and return it on a Wednesday, you’re charged for one day of rental but two days of the toll because you have it on both Tuesday and Wednesday.

Joey Coleman: Yeah, it’s absolutely insane especially because at the end of the day, the rental car company likely doesn’t incur any costs to have the toll reader in the car in the first place. Now, granted there’s certainly bookkeeping that needs to be done to allocate the right tolls to the right customers, but I agree, this is something that could be much simpler and fair to all the customers.

Dan Gingiss: Last but not least, in fact, maybe the most important is the car itself. Wouldn’t it be nice to find a bottle of water or a mint in the car when you pick it up? How about a sign that thanks you for being a customer and directs you to the telephone number if you need help with anything? Better yet, consider using the OnStar technology found in many cars to allow the driver to contact the rental car agency directly with a question or problem.

Dan Gingiss: Another idea would be to partner with SiriusXM to equip all cars in the fleet with a radio service. A nice added benefit, which would also serve as a perfect taste test to then market the subscription service to car owners, or consider painting the cars a more unique color than black, white or gray to make it easier to find a rental car in a crowded parking lot. The list goes on and on.

Joey Coleman: Oh, I couldn’t agree with you more here, Dan. In fact, on more than one occasion, I’m embarrassed to say I have walked out of a hotel and put my keys into the door of the wrong rental car to unlock the door because I was parked to another rental car of the same make and model that was the same color. Huge opportunity to stand out here. It’s difficult to tell any of these apart.

Joey Coleman: In addition, when it comes to being in the car, what I think is fascinating is, why is there no signage anywhere in the car, even on the key chains? Half the time, the key chains don’t have the name of the rental car company. If I was trying to create loyalty and I had that time of you sitting in the car, I would be doing things to make you think positively about my rental car company instead of making you just feel like this could be any car on the planet. Now, I will say there’s a brand that is trying to disrupt this world called Silvercar. Silvercar is owned by Audi, and all their rental cars are Audis. So, they’re super nice cars.

Dan Gingiss: Really? Shocking.

Joey Coleman: Yeah, and they’re all silver but in this case, they’re all really nice cars, and they stand out in the crowd.

Dan Gingiss: So, that’s five ways we think that rental car companies can improve the customer experience. Did we miss any? If you have one you’d like to add, go to experiencethisshow.com and click on contact to leave us a message, and if there are other industries you’d like for us to cover in a similar way in a future episode, we’d love to hear that from you too.

[Love It/Can’t Stand It] Rental Car Companies

Sometimes, the customer experience is amazing, and sometimes, we just want to cry. Get ready for the rollercoaster ride in this edition of I love It, I Can’t Stand It.

Dan Gingiss: It’s time for another edition of I Love It, I Can’t Stand It where we take a look at an industry and try to identify all the things we think are going right and the things we wish we could get fixed.

Joey Coleman: By the way, folks, just as an aside, don’t get caught up in the industry we’re talking about. The point we’re trying to make with this segment is every industry has things that the customers love and can’t stand. One exercise you could do in 2020 with your team is to sit down and just make a list of all things your people love and all the things they can’t stand. Now, you’ve got your homework of what you want to work on to enhance in the new year.

Dan Gingiss: Exactly. So, since we just talked about my rental car experience, we thought it’d be fun to circle back and talk about this often overlooked travel experience. So, let’s start with the loves. Joey?

Joey Coleman: I love it that I can drive a type of car or a model that I haven’t driven before. Now, I’m not much of a car guy, but I do enjoy seeing the different car brands in action. So, if there’s a VW or a Kia or something I don’t drive very often, I’m psyched to get the chance to check it out.

Dan Gingiss: Similarly, I love it when I get a new car or a car that has very little mileage on it because it just feels like such a treat to drive a car where you’re only like the second or third or fourth person to drive it because I drive a nice car, but I’ve had it for a long time. It’s got a lot of miles on it so-

Joey Coleman: Doesn’t quite have that new car smell anymore.

Dan Gingiss: It’s kind of lost the new car smell.

Joey Coleman: I love it when they let me pick the car I want. A couple of the car rental places, you’d go out, and they’re like, “Just pick any car from this row.” What I also love about that is my six-year-old and my four-year-old sons, they get to pick the car, and it adds, after a long flight, it makes the rental car experience of waiting around to sign the contract, need everything done, a lot more enjoyable because they feel that if they’re patient and well-behaved during that process, they get to decide what we drive for the vacation.

Dan Gingiss: Likewise, I love it when, of course, they upgrade the car for me. Even if I don’t need a bigger car, and I usually don’t because I’m often traveling by myself, it just makes me feel good like I’m a valued customer. Certainly, if I have the family with me, it’s a godsend.

Joey Coleman: I love it when a toll device is already installed either inside the car or a license plate reader, and I don’t have to think about it. Often, when you’re in a new place, you don’t know which roads are toll roads and not toll roads. Most people aren’t traveling around with a bunch of change in their pockets anymore. So, it makes it a lot easier for you to navigate new territories when you don’t have to factor in tolls.

Dan Gingiss: Finally, we referenced this in the last segment. I love it when I get a car that isn’t white, black or gray because I can actually find it in the parking lot. When I do have that chance that you mentioned where I get to pick my own car, I will often go for one that is not one of those three colors. All right. Those are the things we love about renting cars, but of course, there are some things that stick out to us as opportunity areas. So, Joey, why don’t you get us started on the can’t stand?

Joey Coleman: Oh my gosh. I’m going to try not to explode when I talk about this one, but the lines at the rental car counter are insane. Now, I get it that they want you to sign up for their loyalty programs so that you can pass right through and your name’s on the board, but sometimes, and I’m a partner with a lot of the different rental car companies, I don’t have one that I’m particularly loyal to. Lots of times, you get to an airport, a little random airport as it may be, and you’re forced to use a company you haven’t used before and then you have these lines.

Joey Coleman: In fact, I spent at a, what I would call a small to medium-sized airport in Wisconsin recently, I spent over an hour in line. I had my wife and my two boys with me, and by the time I finally got to the front to rent the car, the entire family was ready to be done with the vacation that had just started.

Dan Gingiss: Yeah. Have you ever gotten there and there’s like six rental car counters from different brands and everyone’s in your line-

Joey Coleman: Exactly.

Dan Gingiss: … and the other ones are empty?

Joey Coleman: I’ve always thought there’s a huge opportunity. If I own a rental car company, what I would do is I would give all of those other brands the opportunity to say, “We will match your price right now.”So, whatever it is.” You could walk out of line with your contract or with your confirmation and say, “I was going to rent this type of car for 100 bucks instead of having those folks just sit there on their phones, playing Candy Crush.

Dan Gingiss: Exactly. Well, I can’t stand having to refill the gas tank before I return the car for a couple of reasons. First of all, I’m usually in a place that’s foreign to me, so I don’t know where the nearest gas station is, and then you’ve probably gone through this too. You try to find one that’s close to the airport, but of course, the ones that are close to the airport are really expensive, or you try to find one that’s a little bit farther away, but you hope that after you fill up, by the time you get there, it still says full, right? All this while you’re trying to catch your flight, so you’re worried about having enough time. It’s just a huge inconvenience. If that one thing could be removed, I think the whole experience would be a lot smoother.

Joey Coleman: Agreed, Dan. Agreed. I also can’t stand it when my car smells especially when it smells like cigarette smoke. Now, I know most of the rental car companies you get in the car, it’s got a big sign that says no smoking. Well, guess what? People smoke in the car. So, what I don’t understand is how the people that cleaned the car didn’t notice the smell and felt it was okay to put it back in the line because the car’s going to be cleaned. It’s going to be pulled around from that little spot into a new parking spot. Someone from the rental car company has been in the car and didn’t care enough about the experience for the customers to flag that, hey, we need to do something to get the smell out of this car.

Dan Gingiss: That’s a great point because that person that’s checking the car, they’re checking hundreds of cars every day. So, each individual car is not a big deal, but for the customer, that car is the entire deal, right? That one car is the entire deal, and so my one of my kind of stance is very similar, which is when there’s something wrong with the car, it hasn’t been checked out before I drive off. So, you drive off and the second you leave the place, you see a low tire pressure come on or you see something like that, and you’re like, “Oh crap. Now, I got to worry about car problems, and this is exactly why I’m renting a car, is to not worry about car problems. And these are things that need to be checked out ahead of time.

Joey Coleman: Agreed. I can’t stand the math and the evaluation that I have to do to figure out if the insurance is worth it or not, right, and which insurance. There’s always like seven levels of insurance. We cover if it’s a Tuesday and you get into a fender bender over here, but if you get this insurance, we cover every day of the week. You’re like, I’m not sure if I’m running on a Tuesday. I can’t remember. It’s like folks, there’s got to be an easier way to handle car rental insurance.

Dan Gingiss: Finally, this may sound petty, Joey, but I can’t stand that so many rental car companies still use dot matrix printers. The reason is, is I think the dot matrix-

Dan Gingiss: I think the dot matrix printer is symbolic of bigger things, right?

Joey Coleman: Oh, totally. If that’s your idea of the technology you’re bringing to the table for the experience, you’ve told me everything I need to know about how much you value the overall experience.

Dan Gingiss: Exactly. You compare that to using an iPad or some sort of a technology where I can check in before I even get there. Think about the hotels we’ve talked about where you can now open up your hotel room door with your phone. You don’t even need a key, and yet, some rental car companies are still using [inaudible 00:31:03]. It makes no sense. So, those are the things that we love and can’t stand about rental cars. If we missed any, please let us know at experiencethisshow.com, and if you have an industry where you’d like to share your loves and can’t stands with us, go to experiencethisshow.com to the contact section and click on start recording to leave us a digital voicemail that we may use in a future segment.

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

Joey Coleman: Experience …Dan Gingiss: This.


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

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

Principles, Videos, and Tissues – Oh My!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[Dissecting the Experience] Explainer Videos

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

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

Tony Jones, Innovation Director at Signal TV

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

[Avtex Engage 2020] Always Be Learning More

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

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

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

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

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

[Listener Stories] Puffs to the Rescue

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

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

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

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

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

Links We Referenced

Host Contact Information

Email Dan: Dan@dangingiss.com

Tweet Dan Gingiss: @DGingiss

Email Joey: JoeyC@JoeyColeman.com

DanGingiss.com

JoeyColeman.com

Subscribe to Experience This on Apple Podcasts

Episode Transcript

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

Episode 89: Disrupt the Marketplace by Giving Customers What They Want

Join us as we discuss brands that keep (and don’t keep) their promises, putting the functionalities you want into your luggage, and helpful parking lots.

Promises, Packing, and Parking – Oh My!

[Listener Stories] Keeping – and Not Keeping – Promises

Loyal listener Kyle Moeti called into the show to share three of his recent customer service experiences with brands and their promises. He even went as far as to title his voicemail for us, “Deodorant, Undies, and Wallets!” – which we loved! Thanks for listening and for sharing your stories Kyle!

When Kyle asked the representative from Schmidt’s Deodorant why the product regularly separated when used, he received a detailed response about how the products natural ingredients cause that to happen, along with suggestions on how to avoid this happening. After some back-and-forth correspondence, the rep sent Kyle two full-sized products to sample (not the mini travel size samples Kyle was expecting).

After corresponding with two other brands (Jockey and Tumi) regarding faulty products and how to return them, Kyle didn’t receive the responses he was promised from either brand. When customer representatives fail to deliver on their promises – especially in a faulty product/return/refund scenario, it takes a bad situation and makes it worse.

Unanswered customers actually can be worse than disgruntled customers because there is nothing worse than feeling unheard.

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

[This Just Happened] Travel Away with New Luggage

Contrary to other luggage brands Joey and Dan have experienced, the new “Away” brand luggage creates a remarkable experience by offering a generous return policy, a customer-friendly warranty, and fun messages on their packaging.

When designing products, first you need to get the product right and then you can move on to the product experience. In Joey’s experience with Away luggage, the product is great. It’s a good looking suitcase, it has a ton of interior storage, it’s very lightweight (even when full), and it’s made
from a durable polycarbonate shell – which means it’s strong as can be. In addition, an ejectable battery allows for a phone to be charged four times before it needs to be refreshed.

If the product doesn’t live up to your expectations, you usually don’t get the chance to get to the experience.

Joey Coleman, co-host of The Experience This! Show podcast
Playful messaging keeps Away customers engaged throughout the order process.

As if the product experience wasn’t impressive enough, an easy to use website, a comprehensive and customer-friendly warranty, and playful notes/messages on the packaging made for a series of interactions that Joey is still talking about – months later. Remarkable experiences create the word of mouth marketing buzz that most businesses would love to have.

Creative messaging inside the box delivers an unexpected, “outside the box” experience!

[Avtex Engage 2020] Always Be Learning More

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

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

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

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

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

[This Just Happened] A Smart Parking Lot

Have you ever gone to the mall and forgotten where you parked your car? That will be an experience of the past when all parking lots adopt the same technology used by a Miami shopping mall to help visitors find misplaced vehicles in the parking lot.

When Joey forgot where he parked his car at a Miami mall, a kiosk allowed him to enter the license plate and the computer “found the car.” It then illuminated a map to allow Joey to navigate through the parking garage to find his “missing” vehicle.

“Park Assist” helps drivers remember where they parked in crowded parking garages.

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 89 here or read it below:

Dan: Welcome to Experience This.

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

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

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

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

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

Dan: Join us as we discuss three different experiences by one listener, putting new functionality into your luggage, and two podcast stories about the same thing.

Joey: Promises, packing, and parking. Oh my.

Joey: You listened to us, now we want to listen to you. By visiting our website and sharing your remarkable customer experiences with us, we can share them with a broader audience. Now, sit back and enjoy our listener stories.

Joey: Dan and I were thrilled to receive a message from our loyal listener, Kyle Moeti. We’ve heard from Kyle before and we’re excited to hear from again. How do we know he’s a loyal listener? Well, he used the fun three word format that we used to title our podcast episodes as the subject line of an email message that he sent us. It read: “Deodorant, Undies, and Wallets!” I’ll let Dan share the email.

Dan: First of all, that’s a great subject line for an email.

Joey: That’s a great subject line.

Dan: Who doesn’t open that one?

Joey: Exactly.

Dan: Kyle writes, 

“Hey guys, Schmidt’s Deodorant is a fantastic company. I emailed them a question about their deodorant separating. The agent, Marie eagerly responded, stating that since the deodorant is natural, it can separate, but here’s what you can do to counter that and went on to explain it. Her email was three to four paragraphs of detailed instructions about this and other helpful tips. I asked followups and each of her emails was as thorough. By the end of her second to last email to me, she says they’ll send me two of their new scents and lists them for me to pick. Based on this line of correspondence, and had she offered nothing, I’d have already been sold on the culture of the company. Her final email to me stated that the freebies were on their way.

At this point, I’m stoked to be getting a couple of travel-size sticks from a fresh off the press deodorants. Nope. She sent me a couple of full-size deodorants. It’s customer service like this that started with a simple question that made a lifetime customer out of me. She went above and beyond to make this ordinary experience extraordinary.

Similarly, I hit up Jockey on Twitter to let them know of a drop in quality from a few of boxers I had purchased more recently as compared to years earlier. My intent was to air my grievance, because they’re pricey garments, not expecting anything in return. The rep responds apologizing and says she can replace them. I say thank you, provide her my information, and then the world of social responses to my DM go dark. I follow up about a month later. Nothing. I, again, DMed them a month later. Crickets. This raised a lot more questions than it answered. I’m left scratching my head as to why that conversation went from trying to appease a disgruntled customer who may still purchase from them to ignoring and guaranteeing I won’t do business with them again.

Unfortunately, the stories of negative experiences vastly outweigh the positive. I bought a Tumi wallet after finally deciding I was going to pull the trigger on a pricier but better quality wallet that I’ve had. I received the wallet and it wasn’t what I expected since I had purchased it online. I called to seek a return, which was simple enough. I had a request to have the return put back on another card than I had purchased with since the glass card had been misplaced. The agent said that was impossible. I pled with her a bit and explained my situation. She said she’d look into it and get back to me within the day. I’m still waiting.

My question to this is, why do people keep their promises? As a marketer, I find that keeping your word is an incredibly easy, cheap, and most importantly, effective way of pleasing a customer. Thanks for taking the time to read these. I’ve loved the show since day one. Thanks for making such excellent content, Kyle.

Joey: Wowza. Well, first of all, thanks so much for sharing your stories, Kyle. We love featuring stories from our listeners. So if you want the chance to have your story featured on the Experience This show, visit the contact page experiencethisshow.com and leave us a voice recording or send us an email. We love hearing from you. We want to share your experiences with our fellow listeners. Now, I think there’s three interesting examples here, Dan. Where should we dive in?

Dan: Well, I think we should take them in order. First of all, Schmidt’s Deodorant. like Kyle, I love the way that they were so responsive and engaging in their communications. They not only answered his question but went the extra mile to really explain it in great detail. And if that wasn’t enough, they sent him some free samples and let him pick the sense he wanted to receive.

Joey: Not only did they let Kyle pick, but they gave him a nice additional moment of surprise and delight when they sent full-size versions instead of the tiny sample versions that most companies would have sent. You know, I must confess, I’ve always wondered, why don’t they just send the full-size version? Yes, you may not use it and that could be wasteful, but the number of times that you’d be excited about receiving the larger size, even if you didn’t end up using it, I think that’s a story that would continue to pay dividends when it came to longterm loyalty.

Dan: I definitely agree. Send more than planned and you’re probably going to get a response that’s greater than you hoped for. Now, what about the exchanges with Jockey on Twitter? Well, I liked that they responded initially and that they offered to resolve the problem, which I think is really smart. They then moved him to DM, or direct message, which is a common strategy of brands, especially with people who are complaining, because let’s face it, they don’t want the complaint to be public, they want to take it private.

Dan: Had they solved his problem then in direct message, I think this story doesn’t ever get told because it’s fine and it works, but the problem is he goes to direct message and then he gets ignored, and so he’s still waiting to get these replacement undies. I just had to say undies again, because it was a fantastic word. Like he said so eloquently, it turned him from a fan of the brand to now somebody who’s not likely to buy from them again. This wasn’t a difficult thing to resolve, especially since they started down the path of resolving.

Joey: Yeah, and they said they’d resolve it. I mean, folks, as you well know, if you listen to the show with any sense of regularity, I’m not even really on Twitter and even I know that it’s bad form for social customer care. I mean, we should figure out a way to send this Jockey rep a copy of the fantastic Winning at Social Customer Care by Dan Gingiss. I mean, but I digress. Let’s talk about Kyle’s final story, Dan, with Tumi Luggage. I must admit, this one hits close to home, because I’ve had some challenges with that brand over the years.

Dan: Well, it’s a little too expensive for my tastes, so I’m going to have you talk about this one, but obviously it brought up some old wounds.

Joey: Well, it did. You see, I can empathize with Kyle and his decision to spend more than he normally would. Tumi’s products are definitely priced at a premium, which is marketers speak for saying they’re expensive, but I made the decision a few years ago to pay what was really a crazy amount to purchase some large Tumi suitcases for both my wife and me.

Joey: We were traveling a ton and I figured Tumi bags have a reputation of being the best, so I’ll make this investment because clearly I’ll get the value. Here’s where my situation ended up being similar to Kyle’s. I went back to the store to have them do some repairs where there had been damage and they were less than excited to fix it. Now, to be honest, this is a pretty typical response when you take a broken item back to the item to repair it, but the problem was it was in conflict with what the original salesperson had told me when he praised their lifetime warranty. As it turns out, he defined lifetime differently than I did. I thought it meant for my life, weirdly enough.

Dan: Wait a minute, that’s crazy, Joey.

Joey: He thought it meant for one year, and then a limited warranty for two to five years for these other things that were never going to happen anyway. Needless to say, this type of experience didn’t breed lifetime loyalty.

Dan: Yes, and that is definitely not the best experience. I’ve had the reverse happen with a couple of companies that do have lifetime warranties. I have to be honest with you, I’m always stunned when they do honor it, even though it’s called a lifetime warranty, so you would think they should, but that is an awfully generous component of a number of companies.

Joey: Absolutely. It’s one of those things that when they live up to it, you’re stunned. Why? Because usually, they don’t live up to it. The other folks, right?

Dan: Exactly. Well, if you’re going to look into things, you need to get back to the customer who brought the problem to your attention in the first place. We need systems to make sure that these types of complaints are answered. If it’s not possible on the first call, at least make a note of it and have a process to guarantee that you get back to the customer. Unanswered customers actually can be worse than disgruntled customers, because there’s nothing worse than feeling unheard.

Dan: I’ll even add to this. One thing that I recommend to companies is that you get back to people who even just make suggestions to your company. If somebody makes a suggestion, “Hey, Tumi Luggage, I think it’d be great if you added centered wheels to your luggage,” and then a year later you add centered wheels, you should get back to that person and say, “Hey, we took your great suggestion and that person will love you for it.

Joey: Well, rest assured, our loyal listeners, we hear you. As I said at the outset of this segment, we’d love to hear from you even more, so visit that contact page experiencethisshow.com and leave us a voice recording by pressing the big orange button that says start recording or send us an email. We’d love to feature your experiences, the good, the bad, and the ugly, on a future episode of Experience This.

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

Dan: Okay. Joey, you opened the door in the last segment that you might be in the market for a new suitcase. Did you ever find one?

Joey: I actually did. Once I knew that it was time to get a new suitcase, I started paying more attention to the bags I saw in the airport and the suitcases of my friends and colleagues and what they were using. I happened to be at an event with a good friend who had an Away bag and I found myself loading it into the back of an Uber as we headed to the airport together to catch our flights home after the event. I have to admit, I was thoroughly impressed.

Dan: What impressed you about a piece of luggage?

Joey: Well, there were a couple of things because I believe that luggage, while functional, can be impressive. First of all, it was featherweight light. We had been at an event for four days and this tiny carry-on roller bag felt like it weighed half as much as my bag. We had packed a similar amount, so it wasn’t just that I-

Dan: I was going to ask, yeah.

Joey: Yeah, I figured as much. We had packed a similar amount. As if that wasn’t enough, it had four wheels instead of the usual two. And these wheels had great spinners, and I don’t mean like spinners you see on the rims, right? I mean, the wheels spun around, so it was super easy to navigate through the airport.

Dan: It sounds like you may have taken it for a test drive.

Joey: Yes, I did. See, my friend let me drive his bag, if you will, while we were at the airport. I knew I wanted something different, and one of the big challenges I find with purchasing a new suitcase in 2020 is that you’re often buying based on a photo or a video on a website without ever getting to put your hands on the bag and test it out. In this way, the luggage buying experience, while more convenient with eCommerce, has some added new challenges that didn’t exist when you used to go to a luggage store and buy the bags you wanted and try them on for size.

Dan: For sure. I mean, we often talked about the fact that the product needs to be great first and then you layer on experience on top of that. How did the product and experience measure up this time?

Joey: Well, you’re right Dan. So often, if the product doesn’t live up to your expectations, you don’t even get a chance to get to the experience. But in this case, the product was great. It’s a good looking bag. It has a ton of interior storage. It’s very lightweight, even when filled. And it’s made from a durable polycarbonate shell, which is a fancy way of saying it is super strong and resilient. In addition, it has an ejectable battery that I can charge my phone four times on a single charge. Now, I didn’t even know that I was missing this capability in my old suitcase, and now I love being able to stand at the airport, right next to my bag, with my phone plugged into my bag, charging away, without needing to fight for one of those open outlets where everyone else is trying to charge their phone and laptop before they get on the plane.

Dan: Okay. I don’t want to digress too much, but is this one of those bags where they tell you that you have to take the battery out before you do something with it?

Joey: Yes, yes. Great follow up question since we’re promoting this bag. Some airlines, and I know Delta, because I fly Delta, make you remove the battery before you get on the plane. What’s interesting about Away bags is when they first came out, that wasn’t possible. Removing the battery wasn’t possible. What they did is designed a new bag with a removable battery and sent it free to everyone who had ever purchased one of their bags. So, early on they were winning customers left and right. But it’s super easy. You pop this little slot in the bag, press on the battery, it ejects, and then you can take it, and that way you can also charge while you’re on the plane if you’ve checked your bag.

Dan: But is that before you check it or before you carry it on?

Joey: Both. Even as a carry on, they want you-

Dan: So why does it have to be separate when you’re carrying on?

Joey: Because, and I was wondering, I was like, “Well, what’s the issue if you’re carrying it on?” They don’t want to then check your bag and put it underneath. The problem with these battery-based bags is when they put it underneath, so they want it out of there if you’re going to check it. The reason they have you get it out before you even walk on the plane is on the off chance that there isn’t enough room on the plane for your bag, they don’t want to have to remind you to remove it then, so they just have everybody remove it at the outset. It’s a little annoying, but the benefit of being able to charge your bag kind of trumps, in my experience, the inconvenience of popping it out before you get on there.

Dan: And just to clarify, Joey’s not charging his bag, he’s charging his phone with his bag.

Joey: Exactly. That’s what I meant to say. It’s a live show, ladies and gentlemen. Well, you know, here’s the thing. The overall experience was also great, going beyond the product. First of all, the Away Luggage website is easy to navigate and it offers clear specific descriptions of their products, including useful things like the exterior and interior measurements, and it promises that the bag is sized to fit in the overhead bin of most major airlines, something that’s very important when you’re considering a carry on. In addition, they specifically outline a warranty that I thought was very generous.

Dan: Given your last warranty experience, I’m curious as to what they offer.

Joey: Well, even the language around their warranty, Dan, was customer friendly, and I’m quoting here. “Put this piece to the test on your next trip and make sure it’s right for you. If not, you can return it anytime within the first 100 days of purchase.”

Dan: They clearly read your book, didn’t they, Joey?

Joey: We got to love a good First Hundred Days reference. What can I say?

Dan: Joey’s book talks about the first hundred days. Make sure to check it out and never lose a customer again by Joey Coleman.

Joey: You’re kind, you’re kind. But you know, I really love how they define their limited warranty, as well. Their limited warranty covers any damage to the shell, wheels, handles, zippers, and other functional elements of the luggage. Cracks or breaks in the shell? It’s covered. Wheels, handles, or telescoping handles that break off and are no longer usable? Covered. Zippers that can no longer be opened or closed? Covered. Fabric tears that render front pocket fabric nonfunctional? Covered. In short, they cover the important stuff. If it’s a cosmetic damage to your bag, that’s not covered, but that seems more than fair to me. They also covered the original purchaser and/or the original gift recipient if you decide to give a bag as a gift.

Dan: You’re saying they don’t cover when my shampoo explodes inside?

Joey: Right, but they cover all the things that you would hope a luggage manufacturer would cover. Now, granted, I get it that it might be the airline that throws your bag off the plane and causes your bag to break, but they recognize that they’re making a bag, and they know airlines, and they know that might happen.

Dan: Yeah, and I’m sure the price, by the way, reflects that, that it’s built in.

Joey: It does, but it’s not crazy. I got to tell you, it is on par with what a traveler, a regular traveler or a road warrior or a veteran traveler, is going to pay for a carry on.

Dan: Well, it certainly sounds more than fair, which brings us to a point we’ve discussed in previous episodes about warranties. When it comes to things going wrong with your products or services, the great majority of customers are not looking to take advantage of you. They just want reasonable coverage. So if you’re confident enough to sell your product, you should be confident enough to warranty it. If you’re not, it might be worth heading back into the research and development lab to come up with something that you will stand behind.

Joey: I totally agree, Dan. It’s not that complex. If you’re going to sell it, stand by it. If not, you’d better be ready to never sell for the same customer twice.

Joey: Well, now that I’ve shared a bit about the product, let me tell you about the experience. The confirmation emails about my order were playful and inspiring. Here’s what they said, and I quote, “You’re getting Away,” and the away, by the way, was capitalized, which is the name of the luggage. “Now the skies are open and the road is easy. Below is a summary of your order. We’ll send you an email is your items ship. If you personalize any of your pieces, your order will take a little longer to complete. You can find out more about when it will ship here. Also, if you ordered multiple items, they may ship separately. Our team works fast to get your order to you as quickly as possible, so we’re unable to make any changes now that it’s been placed.”

Dan: Tell me about this personalization. That sounds kind of interesting.

Joey: Oh yeah, sorry, I forgot to mention that earlier. Since many bags look alike, right, especially when it comes to carry on luggage Away allows you to personalize your bag with painted or etched initials, as well as a collection of custom stickers. They realize that the airlines aren’t joking when they say, “Bags may look alike. Make sure you have the right one before exiting the plane.” And since they’ve designed such a good look and classy product, they’d rather handle the personalization and customization themselves instead of leaving customers to their own devices with Sharpie markers and colored ribbons.

Dan: That does dress it down a little bit.

Joey: It does dress it down, just a touch.

Dan: That’s pretty cool. You also mentioned packaging. Tell us about that.

Joey: Yeah, so folks, you need to go to the show notes at experiencethisshow.com so you can see the photos I took. But the packaging is very well thought out from beginning to end. First of all, the suitcase ships in a perfectly-sized midnight blue box with large white lettering that says, “One for the road,” on one side and the bold, “Away” logo on the other side. When you open the box, a message on the interior lid reads, “Now the world is open. You can go anywhere, see everything, go off the grid, out of your comfort zone, or back to your roots. We’ll be with you every step of the way, so get out there and stay open.”

Dan: I love that messaging, because it suggests that they’re more than a product, they’re a relationship with a brand.

Joey: Exactly. And they recognize and acknowledge why people are buying bags. What can we learn from my luggage experience? Well, you need to get the product and the experience right. One without the other just doesn’t work. But when you deliver and even over deliver on both components, you can create raving fans that want to tell your story far and wide while becoming advocates in the process.

Dan: To tell our loyal podcast listeners that the quality of customer experience is important would be pretty much preaching to the choir. But my guess is that not everyone in your organization is singing in the same choir, if you know what I mean.

Joey: So true. We often hear from our clients that while they believe in the value of creating remarkable customer experiences, there’s at least one person in the leadership team, if not more, that needs convincing. Now, if this sounds like one of the challenges you are struggling with, ta-da, we have a solution for you.

Dan: Our partners and friends at AVTEX are hosting engage 2020 this summer in sunny Orlando Florida. During this three day immersive learning event, customer experience experts and thought leaders are going to offer their insight about designing and orchestrating remarkable customer experiences while also sharing evidence that these types of initiatives actually move the bottom line in your business, I.E., they can convince the doubters in your organization.

Joey: Exactly. I mean, at the end of the day, often it helps to have someone else convince your boss that your ideas are worth pursuing, and with sessions on journey mapping, and experience design, customer data trends, and contact center interactions, each session at Engage will provide ideas of things that you can immediately put into action to drive your experience activities forward. Oh, and by the way, your boss will become a believer, too.

Dan: I’m not sure if we mentioned this, but Orlando Florida is also home to a little place called Disney World, and as luck would have it, this event is being hosted at Disney World. Now, if you listen to this show, you know customer experience and you know that Disney is one of the best in the business. Joey and I both love Disney World so much. We’ve talked about it on this show. It is going to be really, really exciting to have an event right there in the heart of customer experience.

Joey: Well, not only that, Dan, but at Engage 2020, you’ll get the unique opportunity to pull back the curtain on the Disney World experience. Not only will you get to learn from the masters, but there’s going to be a series of special surprises, and I don’t want to give these away because it would ruin it, but you’re going to get the chance to experience the magic of the Magic Kingdom in person in a way that you’ve probably never experienced before.

Dan: As you are budgeting your training and development dollars this year, consider Engage 2020, which is happening June 21st through the 24th. We know that these educational dollars are not always unlimited, so we are here to help you save money, because if you use a special code just for Experience This listeners, you’ll save 10% off of your ticket. Instead of paying $500, you’ll pay only 450 when you use the code ExperienceThis10.

Joey: And you see, folks, we even did the math for you, because that’s our rule here at Experience This. We understand that no one likes to do math, so we’ll do the math for you. To learn more about the event, the agenda, what you can expect at engage 2020, visit www.AVTEXengage.com. That’s www A-V-T-E-X, AVTEX, engage.com. Make sure to get your tickets before they’re gone and we’ll hope to see you at the Walt Disney World Swan Hotel and Resort for AVTEX’s incredible event, Engage 2020.

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

Dan: As our loyal listeners will recall, in season three, we had the great fortune of partnering with the amazing folks at the Cytel Group. Not only did we regularly feature their fantastic customer experience content on the show, but the season culminated with a live episode at their Empower CX event.

Joey: We had so much fun working with Cytel that when they came to us with a special project for 2020, we were both flattered and thrilled to participate.

Dan: That special project is a new podcast called Empower CX Now.

Joey: And we’re the cohosts.

Dan: Now, to be clear, we’ll still be bringing you the Experience This show every Tuesday, but now you can get a double dose of Joey and Dan, as well as all things customer experience by listening to Empower CX Now.

Joey: Now, to give you a taste or at least a sound of what’s happening over at Empower CX Now, we have a special crossover segment for you. This segment is the one time that the same content will appear on both shows. In this segment of Experience This, we’ll be talking about a crazy night in Miami where I lost my car. Okay? And you can hear this same segment on the next episode of Empower CX Now, which is dropping in just two days.

Dan: Which, if you’re listening to this later, is on a Thursday, Experience This launches on Tuesdays, and Power CX Now will launch on Thursdays. If you can’t get enough of customer experience and you’re interested in adding another podcast to your playlist, we hope you’ll subscribe to Empower CX Now. That’s not a command, although you can do it right now, that’s the name of the show, Empower CX Now.

Joey: And now, without further ado, here’s the story of my missing car in Miami, courtesy of our friends at the Cytel Group and their new podcast, Empower CX Now.

Joey: We had an interesting experience happen last night. Dan and I are in Miami recording our Empower CX Now show episodes, and we haven’t to park the car in the parking lot at this kind of fantastic high-end shopping center mall set up, where I have to admit when we went in, knowing where the car is parked felt like it was going to be confusing. Okay? Just the nature and the structure of the parking garage upon parking the car, it was like, “This might be hard to remember where we parked.”

Dan: We should know that that’s true for me of any parking lot.

Joey: Fair enough. Fair enough. And so, coming back from dinner, I happened to notice that there was this giant screen next to the little kiosk where you would insert your parking ticket, and the screen said something to the effect of, “Forget where you parked your car?”

Dan: Always.

Joey: Always, always. Every single time. It’s a touch screen. And so, upon touching the screen, it said type in as many letters of the license plate as you remember, which I was not informed that there was going to be a test on our ability to remember the license plate. But thankfully when you think about a rental car, often they put the license plate on the key, and so we were able to type in part of the license plate. What was interesting is it shifted to a searching screen and then it popped up a photo of the car in the parking lot and said, “Is this your car?” Then when you clicked on it, it then proceeded to draw a map and show you where you are now and where the car is parked.

Joey: Now, this was fascinating for a number of reasons. Number one, yes folks, Big Brother is watching you at all times. Number two, the fact that they adopted a technology that allows them with a video camera to snap a photo and then do recognition in the photo of the text and convert that so that you can search by licensed plate, there was a lot of innovation going on here.

Dan: Well, a first thing that I just want to point out for our listeners here is, and what I love about this story is, when there are two customer experience dudes just walking through a parking lot and there’s a touch screen that says, “Lost your car?” Like, of course we’re going to go hit the touchscreen, right?

Joey: It’s like children in a candy store, let’s be honest. We get super excited about this stuff.

Dan: Exactly. I’m glad that you did, because this is fascinating. I love it because I am legitimately someone who suffers from poor directions. I’ll park the car and especially if I go to one of those big amusement parks where you’re one of 30,000 cars, about halfway walking from the car to the park, I’ll be like, “Uh oh, I forgot to write down where I parked.” This is a very useful piece of technology for me. But I also love that it’s proactive in the sense that it got to you before you needed it, right? It wasn’t, “Oh crud, I lost my car. Now what do I do?” It got to you ahead of that moment so you could have the comfort knowing that having parked in this lot that you weren’t going to lose your car.

Joey: Well, and what I can decide, Dan, is this is a bit of a chicken versus egg conversation, right? Pulling into the garage, it felt like one of those confusing garages. I’m left wondering, did they install the help you find your car cameras and kiosk technology because it was a confusing garage or is it that-

Dan: Let’s just make it confusing.

Joey: Yeah, or is it let’s design this technology, if we can make it work in this confusing garage, it’ll work everywhere. I’m not exactly sure. We didn’t have the opportunity to figure out the name of the company who’s actually developed this technology. But I think what this speaks to from a disruption point of view is when you look at any industry, and I mean literally any industry on the planet, there are opportunities for disruption. I mean, I doubt a lot of boardrooms and conference meetings right now there are conversations being held about how do we disrupt parking lots, right? You would think it’s not really a sexy on-the-edge industry, and yet, here’s the technology solution that is doing just that.

Dan: Yeah, and I think that is a great message is that it can be done in any industry. I often get questions, I know you do too, Joey, after we speak, or if we’re consulting, “Well, does this apply to my company? I’m a B2B, or I’m in this industry, or I’m a small company, or what have you.”

Joey: Little do they know these are fighting words for Dan and I.

Dan: Exactly. And so, yes, it does apply to your company. It applies because there is something going on in your company right now that is being done because it’s always been done that way, or because the legal department says that you needed to do it that way, or because your competitors do it that way. That presents an opportunity to think differently. I loved always asking the question, I really loved asking the blue sky questions about, well, what if? When I worked at a credit card company, what if we lived in a world where there was no plastic cards? Well, guess what? 15 years later, we’re in a world where a lot of people don’t use plastic cards like they used to because you can use your phone and other devices, so asking those questions of what if, what if no one ever lost their car in a parking lot again? It’s a wonderful world.

Joey: A wonderful world. I also love this idea, speaking of the questions to ask, what about just simply asking the question, how could our customer become frustrated in this moment and just opening it up? I’m sure when they were building the mall, the bulk of the thought went to who are the anchor tenants going to be, who is the architect that’s going to design it, how are we going to get foot traffic moving around to the various stores, et cetera?

Dan: Why the hell are we building a mall in 2020?

Joey: There’s a lot of questions that might be going on here, but I also wonder if there was a conscious question of what happens if somebody loses their car in the parking lot? I think the moral of the story here, folks, is in every business, you have the opportunity, should you choose to accept, to sit down and ask yourself some of these disruptive questions, to sit down and consider how might you make the experience more convenient for your customers? How can you eliminate friction for your customers? Where might the disruption in your industry be coming from that you haven’t thought of yet? I seriously doubt parking companies are sitting there going, “Well, what if somebody comes along and figures out a better way to find the car?” Right? So, what are the ways that you as an organization are being creative and opening yourselves up to different lines of thinking and different considerations?

Dan: Joey, I’m going to put you on the spot here.

Joey: Oh, here we go.

Dan: This is unscripted and he doesn’t know this question is coming.

Joey: Great.

Dan: What would you say to somebody that says, “Okay, great, this is really cool, but does it get any new customers to park in the lot?”

Joey: What I love … Okay, he just wanted to get me riled up, folks. Okay, here’s the thing. It may not get more customers to park in the lot, but what it will do is get customers to talk about their parking experience. Okay? We had this experience last night. We’re now sharing this on an episode of Empower CX Now. Ironically enough, we’re also sharing it on an episode of the Experience This show. We thought this story was so interesting that we’re sharing it across two podcasts at the same time. Why? Not because it’s about parking, but because an experience was created that got the attention of two customer experience guys. It left us thinking, why did they do this, how did they do this, when did they do this, and what impact will it have?

Dan: And boy, was it cool.

Joey: And boy, was it cool. What’s fascinating to me is so often in the world of customer experience, the conversation comes down to by those who aren’t involved in customer experience. Well, what’s the ROI of caring about our customers? Well, you know what I can tell you is the ROI of not caring about your customers. Okay? That is very clear. They leave. They quit doing business with you and you don’t get to have a business anymore. When we think of the core essence of disruption, 99 times out of 100, the disruptive players in any industry come to the table with an ethos of, “We’re going to care more than the competition. We’re going to care more than the legacy players. We’re going to do this smarter, we’re going to do it faster, we’re going to do it better. We’re going to put more stock in what our customer’s experience of our product than everybody else in the landscape who’s playing.” I think that’s the opportunity for a disruptor.

Dan: So, a challenge to the audience, or audiences, as it may be, find a place in your experience where there is currently a pain point or potential customer barrier, and knock it down. Get rid of it. In this particular parking lot, there is no longer the pain point of forgetting where you parked your car. I’ve, again, done that enough times that I know how painful that can be. There is something in your business that you can do right now to remove a similar pain point for your customers.

Joey: Where do you start this conversation? Well, our great friends at Cytel have put together a fantastic PDF for you to download for free that talks all about disruption. How should you be thinking about disruption? What are some prompting questions to start the conversation within your own organization about disruption, some examples of companies that are disrupting the industries that they’re playing in. We’ve got to get ourselves thinking differently. It’s not enough to say, “Well, we’ve always done it this way,” or, “Well, our competitors are only doing this.” No, we need to look broader. We need to consider more possibilities and opportunities. And this disruptor PDF that’s I tell is put together is absolutely a fantastic way to do that. How do you get it, you might ask? Go to empowercxnow.com. That’s empowercxnow.com and download this PDF so that you too can become a disruptor.

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

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

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

Joey: Experience

Dan: This!