Make The Required Remarkable

Just because you have required elements of your business, doesn’t mean they need to be boring. It’s time to get creative, have some fun, and make people sit up, and take notice! Get your customers talking when you MAKE THE REQUIRED, REMARKABLE!

Episode 130 – Innovation Leads to Better Access, Better Opportunities, and Better Laughs

Join us as we discuss making your website available to ALL customers, focusing on the little things to bring out creativity, and a restaurant known for its – Instagram page?!

Accessing, Innovating, and Signing – Oh My!

Referenced in the Show

• Accessibe
• Big Little Breakthroughs: How Small, Everyday Innovations Drive Oversized Results – by Josh Linkner
• Instagram for El Arroyo Restaurant in Austin, Texas

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 130 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.

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

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

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

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

Joey Coleman (00:54):
Join us as we discuss: making your website available to all customers, focusing on the little things to bring out creativity, and a restaurant known for its Instagram page?!

Dan Gingiss (01:08):
Accessing, Innovating, and Signing – oh my!

Joey Coleman (01:12):
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 (01:33):
When I was a head of digital customer experience at discover card, I learned a lot about website accessibility. Now this is the process of making a website accessible by people with various disabilities, including blindness deafness, physical disabilities, or even sensory issues. It was a significant challenge because it required a lot of resources, including people who were intimately knowledgeable with the requirements that are both from the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and something called WCAG, the web content accessibility guidelines. We also had to have people who could test the coding to ensure that it worked on accessories like screen readers. Have you ever worked with a screen reader, Joey?

Joey Coleman (02:18):
You know, Dan and I have, I at least are. I would say I’ve seen one in action and a screen reader is pretty much what it sounds like for those of you that haven’t seen a screen reader. It reads the text, that’s on a screen to the user, but not every website follows a linear path from top to bottom. So it can take some careful work to make sure that the reading is actually accurate.

Dan Gingiss (02:39):
Exactly. If it bounces around the page, it can be really confusing to somebody who is not able to read it. So anyway, I was introduced by a client of mine, to a company called Accessibe – which essentially takes all of the manual work out of coding for accessibility, and instead uses artificial intelligence and literally just a couple of lines of code to make an entire website completely accessible. Now, I’m really excited that we have recording here from Michael Hingson – the chief vision officer for Accessibe. Michael, who is blind, was a user of Accessibe’s technology before he went on to work for the company. Let’s hear from him now,

Michael Hingson (03:22):
Hi, I’m Michael Hingson chief vision officer for accessibility. I first really became aware of and had some interactions with the concept of artificial intelligence. When I was working in the mid 1970s with the national Federation of the blind and Dr. Ray Kurzweil to develop and market the Kurzweil reading machine for the blind, that was a machine that literally could read any printed page and convert what it read to voice. What was interesting about the machine was that the more you read of a document or the more you use the machine, the better it became at reading documents, it actually learned. And that was the AI part. Over the years, I’ve kept up with artificial intelligence and recognize its value and the visionaries who are bringing it into our world. In October of last year, I had occasion to go to a website that had this new program I had never heard of before called Accessibe on it. And what the systems told me when I went to the website, my screen reader, the software I use to understand what is on a website. The screen reader said, put your website browser in screen reader mode by pressing all at one that was intriguing to me. I visited this website many times before, found it to be a little bit too hard to use efficiently, like a lot of websites that were not accessible. But when I pressed all one, suddenly this website became very accessible to me. I was intrigued and began to look into where’d this come from. And I discovered that there was this company called Accessibe that actually created a system that would make websites a lot more usable and functional than they otherwise might have been. And that they weren’t doing it through manual coding, but rather using the whole concept of artificial intelligence to analyze the content of a website and create something that’s called an overlay that would actually interact with my web browser and the web browsers of other persons with disabilities and do things that were necessary to make those websites usable for all of us, for blind people with screen readers, it enhanced the, the whole issue of being able to read menus even to the point of analyzing images within menus and within websites, menus definitely became easier. Shopping carts became easier to use on websites with accessible tables were much more usable. In general, the websites became more accessible because of artificial intelligence. I started investigating the company and found this is a pretty fascinating thing. And as I did more investigating and reached out to the company, suddenly I found myself earlier this year being offered the position of chief vision officer person to help really bring Accessibe into the marketplace of consumers in not only the United States, but the world. And here we are today. The fact of the matter is Accessibe works. It truly makes websites a lot more functional than they otherwise might have been. And the neat thing about Accessibe is it’s very scalable, very easily with just a few lines of coding, one or two, you can take most websites and greatly enhance their usability by me as a blind person and other persons with disabilities. That is really wonderful. Artificial intelligence is with us. It’s going to be with us. And it definitely enhances our lives in so many ways. And for me and other persons with disabilities, Accessibe is a great example of that.

Joey Coleman (07:05):
Wow, that is so cool. Dan, you know, I’ve actually had the opportunity to hear Dr. Kurzweil speak on several occasions and he talks about the Kurzweil reading machine that he created. So it’s interesting to hear kind of the rest of the story and how that actually gets used out in the world. You know, we’ve talked several times on this show about businesses that are purposefully accessible, like it’s part of their drive and their mission. And I’m reminded of our story about Pizzability.

Dan Gingiss (07:32):
Oh, you mean season four, episode 82. Y.

Joey Coleman (07:35):
Yes. I was not sure what season or episode that was, but yes, you are correct. Pizza ability is the pizza restaurant in Denver, Colorado that specifically caters to people with a variety of challenges, uh, sensory deprivation challenges, you know, blindness, uh, a variety of different things. And they also hire folks that also are dealing with a variety of challenges to be part on their staff. And then there’s the Starbucks that’s right near Gallaudet university in Washington, DC.

Dan Gingiss (08:02):
And we talked about them in season two, episode 42.

Joey Coleman (08:06):
Okay. This is getting a little scary rain, man. I mean, Dan, I was going to say, I got skills when it comes to naming episodes, you do have a great episode reference abilities. But anyway, those are some examples of the entire experience being predicated on there. Being customers who are facing a variety of challenges or might have a variety of disabilities. And I want to note that we’re using the word disabilities here in the same spirit that Michael used in his earlier segment that we shared. But what makes this so interesting is that it takes businesses or at least their websites that are not predicated on accessibility and instantly makes them accessible. I’ll bet. You wish you had something like this when you were at Discover don’t you Dan?

Dan Gingiss (08:54):
You bet I do. I’m not joking. When I say it would have literally saved hundreds of hours of coding time, maybe thousands of hours. So how does this product work? Well, you know, a website has accessibly installed when there is a blue circle with a white human outline in the center of it at the bottom right-hand corner of the screen. And if you click on that circle, the first screen that comes up says, choose the right accessibility profile for you. So examples of accessibility profiles include a seizure safe profile, which eliminates flashes and reduces color a vision impaired profile, which enhances the website’s visuals, a cognitive disability profile, an ADHD friendly profile, a screen reader profile for blind users and even a keyboard navigation profile for those that have motor challenges. There’s also content adjustments. So there’s a text magnifier. You can change the letter, spacing there’s color adjustments. One of the things, one of the challenges that we had at discover was that the brand color of orange was very difficult for color blind people to see. So we had to use a darker color orange than our typical brand color in order to meet the specifications and to be viewable by everyone. And it also has orientation adjustments. Like if you want to stop animations, or if you want to mute sounds et cetera. And so I thought this was so cool because it not only saves as I said, these hundreds of hours of coding time, but it also literally makes the site instantly accessible for anyone. And it also doesn’t disturb people who don’t want these features. And I think that’s, what’s so neat about it is that it is totally customizable. One more thing, I’m going to say, Joey, and then I really want to hear your, your reaction is my feeling on, on making a website accessible. Even when I did have to spend hundreds or thousands of, of coding hours, was that generally speaking, an accessible website is a better experience for even the people that don’t need it to be accessible. So I’ll give you an example when you increase the font size, because maybe you have older customers that can’t squint and read a smaller font, it actually makes it more easily readable for everybody, not just older, shorter, right? And so a lot of the changes that you end up having to make, make the experience just cleaner and smoother for everyone involved. Yeah.

Joey Coleman (11:30):
I am absolutely fascinated by this. You know, there was a period of my life where I actually built websites. It’s a long story, but let’s just say, uh, when I was in college, I convinced the computer science program to create an independent study class for eight credit hours where I would teach myself how to code in HTML. And if I built a website, I would get an a, let’s just say eight credits of AA were very useful to my GPA, but having built dozens, if not hundreds, we’re probably North of hundreds at this point of websites for clients and customers. When I had my ad agency, what’s interesting here is you’re right. These are incredibly complex things to factor in. And with all due respect to folks who have a variety of different challenges, when living in kind of the website world, or trying to interact with a website to your point, there are literally dozens of things, if not hundreds of things that you should be taking into consideration for these and some of them counteract with each other, right? So if you’re changing the color for one thing, you’re maybe causing problems in another side. And if you’re, you know, magnifying the text here, maybe you’re creating too much distraction for the people with ADHD. And so there’s a lot of pieces of this puzzle. What I love about this service. And I got to tell you, while you were talking about it while we’re recording, this is true confession time friends. I actually went on the website for Accessibe because I was thinking, which is just Accessibe.com, A C C E S S I B E.com. And I immediately clicked over to their pricing because I thought to myself, I know for a fact, I’ve spent tens of thousands of dollars on coders solving these problems, their standard package for websites under a thousand unique pages, which let’s be candid is probably most organizations. Websites is $490 a year. This, at the time we’re recording this, this is a no-brainer. I can’t believe how complex and comprehensive this offering is yet how inexpensive it is. And it sounds like easy to just install the code on your site. And you’re good to go.

Dan Gingiss (13:32):
I know. And that’s why I love this as well, because it is literally plug and play and it transforms the site into being usable for anyone and everyone. So what’s the takeaway here. First of all, it is not only the law in the United States, but also the right thing to do to make your website accessible to all customers. I mean, after all, we don’t want to turn down anybody who wants to pay us money, right? And so if, if somebody wants to come to our website, we should make sure that it is available for them. But I think this was also, this takes it a step further by a really taking a look at all of the different challenges that people may have while surfing a website and be making it so much easier for companies to install this. And, you know, we didn’t talk a lot about the artificial intelligence part, but that’s really helping in terms of how it adjusts on the fly. If you say, okay, I want the no seizure mode. It, it looks at your website and adjusts it on the fly using AI. It’s really intelligent and really, really impressive. So definitely check out excessively and let’s just keep in mind folks it’s important in every aspect of our business to make sure that we too are accessible for all of our kids.

Joey Coleman (14:58):
We’re excited to give you an overview of an important book you should know about as well as share some of our favorite passages as part of our next Book Report.

Dan Gingiss (15:11):
This week’s book report is by Josh Linkner, he’s an innovation keynote speaker at two time, New York Times bestselling author, and actually was a jazz guitarist before he got into the speaking business. And I know we both know him or have interacted with him. Joey shared the stage as they say in the speaking world.

Joey Coleman (15:30):
Yeah. I had the chance to speak at an event where I got to see Josh talk. Fantastic job, super excited for this book.

Dan Gingiss (15:38):
Yeah. So his newest book is called Big Little Breakthroughs: How small everyday innovations drive oversized results. And it actually just released last week. So literally hot off the presses. Would you even say innovative?

Joey Coleman (15:54):
It is in that regard. Indeed.

Dan Gingiss (15:56):
I couldn’t resist. I’m sorry. Let’s go straight to Mr. Linkner for an overview of the book, Josh.

Josh Linkner (16:04):
Hey Dan, my new book is called big little breakthroughs, how small everyday innovations drive oversized results. And the whole thing is helping everyday people become everyday innovators. You know, the pressure to generate big ideas can feel overwhelming. We know that bold innovations are critical in these disruptive and competitive times, but when it comes to breakthrough thinking, we often present instead of shooting for a $10 billion IPO or a Nobel prize, the best innovators focus instead on big little breakthroughs, small creative acts that unlock massive rewards over time by building a daily habit of creativity, organizations and individuals not only enjoy a high volume of small wins, but the daily practice of micro innovations is the fastest route to discover the massive breakthroughs that all of us seek big little breakthroughs. Isn’t just for propeller head investors, fancy pants, CEOs, or hoodie wearing tech billionaires. Rather. It’s a simple, yet effective method for all of us to cultivate the power of human creativity, focusing on a deliberate approach to daily practice. The system enables people from all backgrounds, training and walks of life to expand their creative skillset and mindset. It essentially helps everyday people and leaders unlock inventive thinking, and they’re able to harness innovation to tackle their toughest challenges and seize their biggest opportunities. Really. It flips the whole premise of innovation upside down, making it accessible and within the grasp of every one of us. And so again, it’s a specific and practical framework on dormant creative capacity and it’s way less risky. It’s less expensive. And it’s within the grasp of each of us to unlock giant results. Over time thing is when we get creative, we can really attack any of the things that we care about the most in life, from our business performance, to our health, to our family and community, even our environment and our educational outcomes. So I really hope that dig a little breakthroughs once again, helps everyday people become everyday innovators.

Dan Gingiss (18:06):
I was really drawn to this book because I talk a lot with clients about focusing on the little things in customer experience and how those little things add up. And I know, you know, this story, Joey, but when I was at discover and I was leading digital customer experience, one of my big success stories. In fact, probably one of the proudest moments of my career was when discover won the JD Power award for customer satisfaction. Your friends at Amex had won it all seven years of this existence. Discover had come in second, all seven years of the existence. And when we finally won it and the 40% of that score came from the website. So I had a pretty big role in this. And, and obviously we did some innovating to do some really cool new things on the website. We also focused a ton on all of the little death by a thousand paper cuts barriers that we were putting in front of customers and we fixed them all. I mean, literally I remember a project that I submitted to it that had a hundred fixes in it. None of them were more than a line or two of code, but when you added them all up, it really made a difference to the experience. So I loved this concept that that can be applied to creativity and innovation as well. That look, we don’t have to cure cancer. That would be awesome if we could, but we can start a little bit smaller than that.

Joey Coleman (19:28):
You know, Dan, I couldn’t agree more. And that was the piece of this that intrigued me. I think so many organizations throw away around words like innovation and creativity. And there are these kind of big amorphous ideas that most employees, most team members struggle to see the practical application. And what I love about Joshua’s book is he talks about the little things, the little innovative moments, the little aspects of creativity that lead to bigger things. You know, it’s really all about kind of spinning up into a culture of creativity, a culture of innovation. And it happens with these little types of moves. You know, interestingly enough, something I’ve been trying to do in the pandemic is because I’m finding myself with a little more time. I’m trying to read more science fiction. And the reason I’m reading more science fiction is to try to get my brain thinking in more creative, innovative ways, making connections that wouldn’t normally make reading business books. One example of like a small little thing I’ve been trying to do to spur that creativity. So let’s go ahead and on that spirit of little creative things you can do, that sets us up nicely for Josh’s favorite passage. So here’s the author – Josh Linkner – sharing his favorite passage from new book

Josh Linkner (20:48):
As the hurried shopkeeper navigated the crowded London sidewalk. His right hand had begun the habitual sequence of flicking his nearly finished cigarette butt onto the cobblestone street. But just before launching the smoldering projectile, a bright yellow object caught his eye clenching his fascinating cigarette. He was drawn to the edge of the sidewalk on builder’s street to discover a glowing yellow container mounted at eye level on an aluminum post in large black letters on the lemon yellow box, a question was posed. Who’s your favorite superhero, Batman or Superman to vote his allegiance to the man of steel, the storekeeper inserted his cigarette butt into the small opening under his hero’s name. He watched his nicotine stain filter fall onto the receptacle behind the glass front and land on top amount of others piling I on one side of the bin, realizing that his hero was in fact in the lead over the caped Crusader, a nearly undetectable smile Rose in the corner of his tightly closed jaw. The merchant rushed off to open his store, barely realizing that he’d broken his morning routine of littering in the crowded streets while each bud is less than an inch long cigarette remnants are the single biggest litter problem in the UK in central London alone, the annual cost to clean up and properly dispose of cigarette butts is over $1.4 million worldwide, worldwide, and estimated 4.5 billion cigarette butts are thrown on the ground each year, releasing harmful toxins and creating a serious hazard for children or wildlife that may ingest them. They are the largest source of Marine litter, outranking, both plastic straws and plastic bags enter Trevon restaurant and environmental activist who used his creativity to help the planet with a dry British wit. He reminds me of a slightly disheveled James Bond who traded in his overprice tuxedo for a pair of faded jeans. He’s the kind of guy you would love to spend a couple hours with in a neighborhood pub savoring his stories as much as the cold pints and warm chips, or as Londoners prefer warm bites and cold chips. He’s neither world famous inventor nor and artistic luminary TRO. And in fact is one of us just like you and me staring down the cigarette litter problem with the intensity of a pistol duel. He knew the problem could be solved, lacking in aristocratic trust fund or benevolent benefactor, trow, and tap into the universal resource that we all share. The great equalizer of human creativity is invention the ballot, bend challenged people to vote with their butts.

Dan Gingiss (23:23):
Oh, such a cool story. I mean, it’s got Batman, Superman, and James Bond in it. So you can’t yeah, you can’t lose. And one of the things I love about this book is that Linkner storytelling is amazing and he really takes you on a journey with him through these stories. Now, speaking of journeys, as we just were Joey, I want to share my favorite passage, which happens to be about a little green frog that took quite a journey back in the 1980s. And I’m talking of course about Frogger from chapter three, the Frogger principle here comes my favorite passage, the frog and Frogger couldn’t rest on his successes for more than a millisecond. He had to keep hopping ahead in order to survive his hostile environment. The quest for forward progress in the midst of in imminent danger is what made the Atari games so compelling, navigating chaos in order to reach a new destination. Frogger contributed to my embarrassing low report card marks in sixth grade, but I learned far more from Frogger than doing long division and Mrs. Morrison’s math class. If you really think about it, we are all playing a giant three-dimensional game of Frogger. Our successes aren’t permanent, but rather a temporary state in the context of unprecedented change and increasingly difficult circumstances. That fleeting moment of success is the equivalent of our Kermit-esque buddy landing on the back of a turtle. It simply can’t be savored indefinitely. Instead we must leap from one success to the next to the next, unless we’re prepared to be swept into the Rapids standing still doesn’t only kill frogs, the comfort and satisfaction of a successful leap, lures, too many smart people into thinking they don’t need to keep on hopping.

Joey Coleman (25:13):
Ooh, that’s sweet. It’s just like poetry don’t need to keep on hopping. I like it. You know, I too was a fan of Froggart. There were probably some other video games that I played more than Frogger, but I like this idea of not only keeping moving and keeping the innovation going in the small hops, leading to big things over time. But I just liked the way that Josh writes, you know, it’s compelling prose that you don’t normally find in a business book, which actually is why I selected the following passage as my favorite passage. Now, this comes from part two of the book, which is called the eight obsessions of everyday innovators and obsession. Number one is fall in love with the problem. And I quote, as his frustrations boiled over Chad price reached the breaking point. His legs were numb from sitting in the warm plastic seat for nearly two hours. Yet there were still 16 people ahead of him on the list. The pale fluorescent lighting was making his eyes water amidst, the angry ups of other customers, impatiently waiting their turns to Rose over the four year old was having yet a, another temper tantrum while the large man who is left sloppily gobbled down a ham and cheese sandwich from the blistering stale air to the lingering smell of overheating, photocopy machines, the soul sucking experience was all he could take. We’ve all had the painful experience of waiting at the dreaded department of motor vehicles consistently ranked as the number one worst customer experience in endless hall of shame reports, even ahead of budget airlines and cable companies, most of us would rather get a root canal than to have to suffer through a visit to the DMV. And Dan, guess what? The story goes on to tell how Chad, are you ready for this decided to open his own DMV, making customer experience a competitive differentiator.

Dan Gingiss (27:05):
Wowzers his own DMV. Like just what I’ve always wanted. I loved that. I loved that story too. And, and, you know, he goes on to detail that literally he was getting people to come from three, four counties over to his DMV because they heard about what a great experience it was. And it just goes to show you, if you can make an, a great experience out of a DMV, you can make a great experience out of your business. No excuse if you’re like, Oh, but you don’t understand Joey and Dan, our industry, it’s not creative. It’s not interesting. We have so much difficulty selling these widgets in a B2B environment, blah, blah, blah. No, if the MV can do it, you can do it too. Absolutely. And I think a lot of B2B companies can be more exciting than they are. There is no law that says that you have to be boring.

Joey Coleman (27:59):
Please stop accepting that B2B equals permission to be boring. It doesn’t exactly. Exactly. So, Hey, everyone pick up a copy of big little breakthroughs, how small everyday innovations drive oversized results by Josh Linkner and start thinking creatively about how the little things can really add up to big change.

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

Dan Gingiss (28:46):
Today’s myth about chatbots? They don’t keep customer information safe. I think you’ll agree, Joey, that your company and customer data is not only sensitive information. It’s absolutely sacred and they’re trusting you with it. So you might be concerned that putting a chat bot on your website or in your app could potentially expose your users to some level of privacy risk. Is a chat bot and a track and store customer data and not to be paranoid here, but his big brother watching.

Joey Coleman (29:17):
Well, the reality is that the top chat bot platforms are highly secure, but make sure you do your homework because there are some real pretenders out there. Now, in most cases, chat-bots should not require access to personally identifiable information (PII) to provide immediate answers or support for customer questions in cases where information is being accessed or stored in a client dashboard instance, your chat bot platform needs the right security policies, procedures, and safeguards to protect and secure that data. The best chat bot platforms already have the proper security certifications and can redact sensitive information where needed to add another layer of privacy. In other words, the right chat bot platform should have everything you need already in place. So that privacy and security concerns won’t keep you up at night.

Joey Coleman (30:09):
That sounds like a big little breakthrough in chat bot technology. See what I did there? It’s good to know. It’s good to know that at least some of the chat bots out there have made this a high priority.

Joey Coleman (30:21):
And that’s another myth busted thanks to our friends and podcast supporters at Solvvy – the Next Gen chatbot. Learn more about the fantastic folks at Solvvy on their website. Solvvy – S O L V V y.com

Joey Coleman (30:39):
Just because you have required elements of your business doesn’t mean they need to be, Oh, it’s time to get creative, have some fun and make people sit up and take notice. Get your customers talking when you Make the Required Remarkable.

Dan Gingiss (30:56):
Ah, Instagram… The perfect photos with just the right filters, a picture that’s worth a thousand words and at least a dozen hashtags, where are we? Where are we tell our stories? And we feel the pressure to look good all the time. I want to introduce you to a restaurant called El Arroyo. It’s a Tex Mex restaurant in Austin, Texas. Now they serve tacos, burritos, fajitas, and other Mexican fare. But what they’re actually known for is their letter board sign outside of the restaurant. Wait a second. They’re known most for the letter board sign that you see before you even sampled the food. Yeah. And actually, if you go onto Yelp, their average is about 2.5 stars.

Joey Coleman (31:47):
It’s not the greatest reputation in terms of the reviews.

Dan Gingiss (31:51):
And what’s fascinating is almost all the reviews. People either love it or hate it. It is a, it’s like five stars or one star.

Joey Coleman (31:57):
That’s great. That’s what you want. You don’t want people to love you or hate you.

Dan Gingiss (32:01):
I guess. I mean, it definitely appeals to certain people. Now we’re going to go over some of these signs in a second. And again, just so you know what I mean, a letter board sign is one of those lit up signs outside where someone’s literally taking the letters and placing them on one at a time. And you know, they have some funny ones, some snarky ones, what have you, they even have a gift shop full of memorabilia from their signs. So they have an ornament that you can get. They have a poop jokes, toilet paper, they have hand sanitizer with one of their signs on it, candle that you can get. So this is really become their thing. And I want explain before we get into the science, why this is a required remarkable segment. And it’s because a lot of companies feel that social media is a required part of the business. And in many ways it is we, we should be present for our customers, but it doesn’t mean that we have to talk about our products all the time or that we have to try to sell people on stuff. And one of the neatest things about the El Arroyo Instagram page, which by the way, if you want to find it, it is L Aroyo that’s for those that don’t spell Spanish. It’s E L A R R O Y O underscore a T X, which is Austin, Texas. Uh, what’s so interesting is there’s nothing on the Instagram page about their phone. It’s all about signs, right? And by the way, they have 423,000 followers on Instagram. That’s a few more than I have more than me. Yeah. For a restaurant, a Tex Mex restaurant in Austin, Hey, let’s get to the site. Let’s get into some of these.

Joey Coleman (33:43):
These are great. So I got to say there’s one here that I absolutely loved. And it made me, you know, it’s rare when you’re on Instagram to laugh out loud. This is one that I saw it and I just started laughing out loud. Okay. Here’s what it says. “If you say gullible really slow, it sounds like orange.”

Dan Gingiss (34:01):
Wait… Seriously?

Joey Coleman (34:02):
Not at all, but everyone who hears that is going to go “guillable.”

Dan Gingiss (34:11):
I love it. I was one, remember it’s a text next place. It says, what if you pronounced female like tamale, would that be spelled the same? Right? Same. They’ve got the same last four letters. Funky English language.

Joey Coleman (34:29):
Yeah. I love it. You know, there’s also this, you know, talk about news jacking or taking a story that’s in the news and putting it into your branding. I thought this one was good. We really missed the boat on our Suez canal joke.

Dan Gingiss (34:44):
Yes. Yes. One that I particularly thought was memorable. Cause you know, I love bathroom. Humor is a, if you see a toilet in your dream do not use it. It’s pretty good advice. So good.

Joey Coleman (34:57):
And then occasionally they do put things that are semi relevant to the restaurant, right? So one that says nachos are just tacos that don’t have their life together.

Dan Gingiss (35:10):
Exactly. Or I’m just doing my part to conserve water by drinking Margarita’s. Nice. I mean, these go on and on this Instagram page goes on forever and almost all of these. I just, I mean, I just love them. There’s like, there’s no bad ones in there. And so what can we learn from this? Well, first of all, you’ve heard me say on this show and elsewhere many times that I love signage because I think signs, especially outside of a place of business are really the first piece of communication that you’re going to see. It it’s like the experience before the experience. Right? And there is no reason. As we said in the last segment, there is no reason or no law that says your sign has to be boring. And in fact, when your sign is interesting and entertaining, it gets people to stop and come in. Now, what if you don’t have a physical location, that’s okay. You might have a website or a mobile app or some other form of communication in which you can have some fun. And I believe, and we’ve talked about this on the show too, that this extends to every piece of communication, contracts, invoices, welcome letters. Thank you, notes, whatever it is, we can have some fun and show some personality and become the El Arroyo of our business.

Joey Coleman (36:33):
Thanks for joining us for another episode of Experience This! You are the best listener ever!

Dan Gingiss (36:39):
And since you listened to the whole show…

Joey Coleman (36:41):
Yay, you!

Dan Gingiss (36:43):
We’re curious, was there a specific part of this episode that you enjoyed the most? If so, it would mean the world to us if you could share it with a coworker, a friend, or someone that just loves listening to podcasts.

Joey Coleman (36:53):
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 (37:09):
Thanks again for your time. And we’ll see you next week for more.

Joey Coleman (37:11):
Experience!

Dan Gingiss (37:11):
This!

Episode 126 – Predicting Key Elements of Future Customer Experiences

Join us as we discuss the importance of being relevant to your customers, how augmented reality is helping to ease purchase decisions, and how to use data to drive predictive CX.

Expectations, Simplifications, and Permutations – Oh My!

Referenced in the Show

• Coveo Relevance Report 2021: Ecommerce

• Empire Carpet Augmented Reality

• Prediction: The Future of CX – McKinsey Quarterly

Host Contact Information

Email Dan: Dan@dangingiss.com

Tweet Dan Gingiss: @DGingiss

Email Joey: JoeyC@JoeyColeman.com

DanGingiss.com

JoeyColeman.com

Subscribe to Experience This on Apple Podcasts

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

Episode Transcript

Download an unedited transcript of Episode 126 here or read it below:

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.

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

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

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

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

Joey Coleman (00:55):
Join us as we discuss the importance of being relevant to your customers, how augmented reality is helping to ease purchase decisions, and how to use data to drive predictive CX.

Dan Gingiss (01:10):
Expectations, Simplifications, and Permutations – oh, my!

Joey Coleman (01:19):
Surveys, reports, studies, and reviews. There are some great resources that look at consumer behavior to find emerging trends and established patterns. We dig through the data and bring you the key takeaways in this edition of Inside The Numbers.

Dan Gingiss (01:41):
So I wanted to share with our listeners a brand new report out from a company called Coveo, which in full disclosure is a client of mine, but I’m sharing the report because it touches on a concept of customer experience. I don’t think we’ve talked a lot about, and that people generally are not talking enough about, and that is the concept of relevance. And they did a very interesting survey where they talked to nearly 2,000 consumers about their frustrations and challenges across three kinds of digital experiences: e-commerce, customer service, and employee experience. So I wanted to walk through this with you, Joey and our listeners, because I think this is something you tell me, are you getting what I’m trying to say?

Joey Coleman (02:33):
No, I agree. I think it’s interesting. When, when you said we want to talk about something we haven’t really talked about on the show. You’re right. Not only do we not spend a lot of time talking about it on the show, but to be Frank, it’s not a word that I hear come up in a lot of customer experience conversations.

Dan Gingiss (02:48):
Yeah. And what Coveo is trying to convey to people is that it should be the word that comes up in customer experience conversation. So let’s talk about these three experiences: e-commerce, customer service, and employee experience one at a time. Now with e-commerce I thought this was absolutely stunning: 90% of consumers expect online shopping to be equal to, or better than, the in-store experience. So Coveo CEO and chairman Louis Têtu said that it’s the Moore’s Law of digital experience expectations, which I thought was awesome because it’s interesting to put that. Yeah. Yeah. Instead of doubling the computing power defined by the original Moore’s law, he’s talking about the rapid improvement of relevant digital experiences and our demand for them.

Joey Coleman (03:38):
Yeah Dan, you know, in many ways while the percentage is certain – 90%, that’s huge/surprised me – in some ways, it didn’t especially given the dramatic shift to e-commerce that is especially occurred in the last year. And I think the reality is for years e-commerce solutions were presenting themselves as better than the store. It’s more convenient than the store. We have better selection than the store. You don’t have to get dressed up. You don’t have to deal with, you know, a clueless sales associate. You don’t have to be harassed in the store by people saying, can I help you find something? You know, there, there were all these reasons why e-commerce was stacked up as being so much better than the in-store experience. So it’s not entirely surprising to me that it’s supposed to be better. What was interesting is that 50% of customers, in their research, said that they sometimes, or always experienced a problem when shopping online, I got to tell ya, I pretty rarely experience a problem shopping online, but it was a good reminder that, uh, there’s a lot of folks out there that still aren’t doing a lot of e-commerce. In fact, I saw a post on Facebook a few weeks ago from somebody that actually is, uh, you know, is in this town, that small town that I grew up in saying, is it really okay to give my credit card to somebody online, like an online merchant ,to buy something from an online store? And this is in 2021. Now one could look at that and judge it and say, Oh my gosh, where have they been? How have they not purchased anything online up until now? But what I took from it is that they’re still a huge swath of the public that has not done a lot of online transactions.

Dan Gingiss (05:26):
Yeah, for sure. And what I also took away from it is half the people saying they’ve experienced a problem that is not good. I mean, that’s a problem – so alarm bells going off in my head. Now, one of the biggest problems that they’re experiencing is it shoppers just want to find what they’re looking for and this gets back to a discussion that we’ve had now for a couple episodes about user experience and 47% of those surveyed have challenges with website search, 42% say that finding information is the most common problem experienced online, and 43% are having issues with website navigation. People.

Joey Coleman (06:05):
That’s the darn navigation coming back again. We’ve talked about that before!

Dan Gingiss (06:09):
But why are we making it so difficult for customers to find what they’re looking for? It just doesn’t make any sense to me.

Joey Coleman (06:15):
It doesn’t, it doesn’t. I think, you know, the, the last piece of research on the e-commerce side that I thought was interesting in this report was that 43% of consumers said they’d pay more if they could find what they were looking for in just a few clicks. And the number was actually higher with millennials. And I think it speaks back to something. We have talked a lot about on the show, which is speed and convenience. If you’re going to tell me that it’s so much better buying it online, I better be able to find it online faster than I could find it walking around in the store, trying to determine what shelf it’s on.

Dan Gingiss (06:49):
Yeah, I mean, if we’re not shopping online for speed and convenience, then what are we shopping online for?

Joey Coleman (06:56):
Well, you know, there are some other reasons, you know, as far as like social distancing and you know, things like that, but it’s not enough to just be able to do it from the comfort of your own home, wearing your pajamas. Right? You need to be able to actually make the shopping experience faster than going into the store.

Dan Gingiss (07:14):
Absolutely. So let’s talk about customer service, which is another speaker out there who will remain nameless once said is “what happens when customer experience breaks.” That’s one of my favorite definitions of customer service. 73% of customers, according to this study will abandon a brand after three or fewer negative customer service experiences. Now, to be honest, what surprised me about this was that it wasn’t one. Okay.

Joey Coleman (07:42):
Right! Three or fewer… you were thinking the fewer was one!

Dan Gingiss (07:45):
Yeah. I mean three strikes – that’s a lot of strikes for a bad customer service experience, given that you’re not getting to customer service, unless something has already gone wrong with the customer experience. So customer service folks is the time where you have a chance to save the experience. And if things are still going wrong at the service level, you’re not going to keep customers for long.

Joey Coleman (08:08):
Interestingly, two of the top frustrations causing people to abandon a brand are the inability to find information, including contact information for customer service or content on how to use, fix, or maintain a purchase (that was 44% of the respondents) and then 23% of the respondents complained about getting conflicting information from customer service. Friends, when I call customer service, or when I contact customer service, I’m expecting them to know all the answers. And when I get conflicting answers from customer service, well that’s when customer service becomes a customer nightmare!

Dan Gingiss (08:48):
Absolutely. Now here’s something speaking of nightmares that should cause you to lose sleep and have nightmares throughout the night. 44% of consumers will rarely or never complain to a company about a negative customer service experience. Instead, they will just leave.

Joey Coleman (09:12):
The silent ghosters! The silent… you won’t even know! They just peace out. They’re done. They’ve had their Fill.

Dan Gingiss (09:18):
This is what I like to call the leaky bucket, and every company has one. We’re focused on the front door. We’re focused on bringing lots of new people in and increasing sales. And we’re missing the fact that people are walking out the back door while we’re not paying attention. And the nice customers walk out the back door and tell us what we did wrong because at least they give us a chance to fix it for the next guy. But most customers don’t do that. And here are the numbers: 44% are just going to ghost you after a bad experience – something that would keep me up at night, I’ll say,

Joey Coleman (09:50):
Yeah. And what’s crazy is the same research showed that 47% said that they would tell a family member or a friend about that negative experience. So here’s the freight train friends, they don’t tell you what went wrong, but they tell everyone they know what went wrong. This is kind of the double whammy – because not only do you not have the chance to improve it or to resolve the situation or retain that customer by trying to make it right, you don’t even know what happened. But that is the leading conversation they’re having with their network about why they should never do business with you.

Dan Gingiss (10:31):
Absolutely. But to end things on a positive note in this section, 53% of consumers are likely to tell a family member or friend about a positive customer service experience. Now we talked about this in the last episode with your niece, getting to drive the golf cart over the wall, what an amazing positive experience. And of course your brother told everybody about it. And guys that’s what happens when we have positive experiences. We want to tell everybody about it. So I was happy that the numbers here bore that out. That 53% are willing to tell someone about a positive, 47% will say the same thing about a negative experience. That’s both good news and bad news. Let’s move on to employee experiences. It’s just the third part of the study. And this was a little bit different, but I think still really, really interesting because relevance is important to employees also. In particular, when we were hearing before about people being frustrated from a customer service agent, either not knowing the answer, or giving conflicting information, often this is a problem with the training and the information that we provide to our agents. And so relevance is really key there too. Now, speaking of relevance workers reported in this study that they spent two and a half hours of every day searching for the information that they need to do their jobs. That is 12 and a half hours a week times the number of your employees, times whatever you pay them per hour. That is a lot of money being wasted!

Joey Coleman (12:03):
That gasp? Followed by a thud that you heard in the background? Was me falling over at this data! I am blown away. I’m, I’m not surprised, but I’m just shocked that in this day and age, we still aren’t giving employees what they need. And in fact, interestingly enough, with all the information we are giving our employees, a lot of it is irrelevant to their specific job. And in fact, the survey showed that 41% of all information was completely irrelevant to the specific job that employee had. You know, Dan I’m in the process of working on my next book, which is all about employee experience and let me tell you this research is not only supporting the case studies and the data that we have, but it’s just reinforcing that in every business you have your customer experience advocates, those same advocates need to be the employee experience advocates and vice versa. I would love to see everybody who’s in customer experience and customer service come together with everybody in HR and just say, let’s have a kumbaya moment, all of us who hold hands and make this situation better, because it is a nightmare for both the customers and the employees, especially as it’s clear from this study, when it comes to relevance.

Dan Gingiss (13:22):
For sure, I mean, 16% of people said they’re ready to quit because the frustrations around being able to find information to do their job, while nearly half of employees are less engaged in their work and feel less confident in their daily activities because of this.

Joey Coleman (13:38):
Yeah. And last but not least, this is, and we saved this one for last because this one, I think, ties all the other ones together, right? It ties the e-commerce to the customer service to the employee experience. 85% of employees are not completely confident in the information that they share externally. They’re worried that the information is out of date. It’s irrelevant, it’s inaccurate, or they aren’t even sure if they’re allowed to share it. Friends, 85% of employees aren’t sure. And if you don’t think that has a dramatic impact on your customer experience. Oh my goodness. I don’t know what to tell you.

Dan Gingiss (14:21):
All right. Well, if you’d like to see the entire report from Coveo, e’re going to drop the link in our show notes at ExperienceThisShow.com in this episode, and definitely check out this report because it is fascinating. And definitely we’ve got some good ideas now on what we can do to stay relevant to both our customers and our employees.

Joey Coleman (14:45):
Just because you have required elements of your business, doesn’t mean they need to be boring. It’s time to get creative, have some fun, and make people sit up – and take notice! Get your customers talking when you Make the Required Remarkable.

Dan Gingiss (15:04):
Joey, have you ever used AR ()or augmented reality as part of a shopping experience?

Joey Coleman (15:10):
You know, Dan in the interest of full disclosure, I have not, but I’ve thought about it. I’ve seen some of the various AR tools that are available for shopping, but I’m a rookie. I haven’t done it yet.

Dan Gingiss (15:22):
Well, the first time I was exposed to this and I may have told this story before was when I was in Tokyo, visiting the famed Ginza shopping district, and…

Joey Coleman (15:31):
one of the best shopping districts in the world – absolutely amazing place.

Dan Gingiss (15:35):
And I know… This was about 10 years ago, and I remember I was walking with, uh, uh, somebody who was working for a bank and they were showing me this was a pilot. It wasn’t even out to the public yet. And they were walking with their cell phone down the street and with the camera on, and as we were passing by stores, there would be coupons and specials and offers that would pop up from those stores because the phone knew that you were standing in front of XYZ store, XYZ store had so many offers loaded up, and you literally, as you walked down the street, your screen updated with the current offers that were going on at these stores. So really, really cool. I didn’t think a whole lot about it because I hadn’t seen it in any other it really out in the wild and not in the United States in awhile. Until recently, when my fiancée and I were looking for flooring and carpeting in our house. And we contacted empire today as one of the companies that we were getting a quote from, and they have an app where you take a picture of your room, you choose the flooring or the carpeting, and with one press of the button, your picture is transformed so that it now looks like your room with the floor or the carpeting that you’ve chosen. It is amazing. And my fiancée got a little bit addicted to this and sent me maybe a few dozen photos…

Joey Coleman (17:02):
Hypothetically! Hypothetically!

Dan Gingiss (17:02):
She spent hours on this app, testing out different colors, and flooring, and different carpeting, and different, you know, how all these different things worked and it was amazing because it really gave you a sense for, Oh, that’s how the floor is going to go with our windows, or our paint on the wall or, or what have you. And I absolutely loved it.

Joey Coleman (17:26):
Dan, I love this. And I know we’ve talked about this on the show, but years ago I found out that the best selling issue of Architectural Digest magazine every year is their before and after issue, where they show a house before the remodel and all the revisions that have been made and then they show a house after. And the reason scientists will you, that that’s the best issue is because most humans cannot in their mind picture what something is going to fully look like without seeing a rendering, without seeing a picture without seeing an illustration of it. This is why artists in many ways are so rare in our society because they envision what’s going to be on the canvas before they start. The average person can’t do that. And so it is not surprising that this app was such a wonderful tool for your fiancée to be able to use, to kind of see all the different variations, not to mention, Oh my gosh, it’s such an easier way than going to the store and getting swatches, which usually are about the size of a quarter of a dollar bill. Right. You know, it’s like, Hey, we, we didn’t want to give you the full post-it note size. So we made it even smaller and you’re supposed to lay 30 of them out on the floor and take a guess as to what the carpeting will look like in the room. Look, it makes no sense. I love the idea of these types of apps!

Dan Gingiss (18:48):
Yeah, it was great. And so, as we were enjoying this app, I did a little research because I knew I wanted to talk about it on the show. And I wanted to see are there other companies that are using this? And I was actually somewhat surprised to find out that there are a lot of companies now, what I had heard about before, but then went and looked at it on their website was Warby Parker – which of course we’ve talked about on this show, sells glasses. And of course you can try on glasses, virtually, take pictures, share with your friends, ask how people, you know, how they think you look. And I think that’s a great use case. Joey, why don’t we go back and forth and share some other ideas?

Joey Coleman (19:28):
You know, there’s a number of ones that do this, you know, kind of building off your empire today, experience, I know IKEA, and Home Depot, and Wayfair, and Target all have variations on a theme here where you can place individual pieces of furniture in your room, or in the example of Home Depot, you can put refrigerators or chandeliers, or various things, and actually see what it’s going to look like in the room by looking through your phone.

Dan Gingiss (19:53):
Yeah. And there’s other companies that do this Brilliant Earth is a company that does this with engagement rings, as it turns out that you can, that you can try on, but there’s a few that have started to take this to a different level that I think are really, really cool. Now, one that I wanted to talk about was Nike.

Joey Coleman (20:13):
I had a feeling you were going to talk about this. This is really fascinating technology.

Dan Gingiss (20:16):
Yeah. So Nike has something called Nike Fit. And what happens is you take a picture of your feet. And the first thing the app does is it calculates your exact shoe size based on the photo of your foot. And then it allows you to choose a shoe, place it on your foot and you’re placing the exact size shoe onto your foot, which is incredible.

Joey Coleman (20:39):
Absolutely incredible. Yeah. And from, from head to toe, as one might say. Sephora has a virtual digital artist that allows you to put makeup on and see exactly what you’re going to look like with the makeup properly applied in whatever shades and colors and styles you want. Literally, we’re going to be able to dress ourselves – from head to toe – using these type of augmented reality solutions.

Dan Gingiss (21:03):
And in fact, there are already contactless dressing rooms, which of course were invented before the pandemic, but probably became a little bit more popular during the pandemic where you actually don’t have to try on the clothes because you just stand in front of a camera and the clothes, basically the clothes try on you – which is an interesting way of looking at in concept. But probably the coolest example that I found was one from Lowe’s and they introduced something called the Holo-room Test Drive. Now this allows you Joey, to pick up a power tool, say, for example, you want it to test out a chainsaw. It allows you to put on a virtual reality headset and use the tool in a safe virtual space, because we don’t want to just hand Joey a tool, a chainsaw and see…

Joey Coleman (21:55):
As somebody who grew up in the country, I know how to run a chainsaw. I’ve run a chainsaw plenty of times. However, I do understand that desire. If you haven’t run a chainsaw, it can be a pretty scary thing. I mean, they made a horror movie about a chainsaw situation, gone awry in Texas. And..

Dan Gingiss (22:16):
True story – I bought a chain saw once and I returned it because when I took it out of the box, I was afraid to use it! So I can relate to that!

Joey Coleman (22:22):
This is the perfect app for you. I love it. The Holo-Room Test Drive from Lowe’s. Absolutely brilliant.

Dan Gingiss (22:30):
So what can we learn from this? Augmented reality/virtual reality are here and they’re here to stay and a lot of brands are using them. They’re trying them out. They’re letting customers try before they buy experience things virtually. And especially if we learned anything in 2020, we have learned that “virtual reality” became our reality is an important part of the buying experience. And these things aren’t going to go away. When people can return to stores, they’re still going to be there because online shopping and e-commerce continues to grow every single year. And the more that we can do to provide our customers and prospective customers with the opportunity to feel good about their purchase before they plunk down money, the better chance we’re going to get of gaining their business.

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

Dan Gingiss (23:47):
Today’s myth about chatbots? Chatbots are ugly. Now that’s quite a statement – so let me explain Joey. A lot of the chatbots on the market look like a generic text exchange you’d have on your mobile phone. They’re not unique or visually appealing in any way. And even if you wanted to change them, they’re not easy to customize. Furthermore, traditional chatbots aren’t particularly well-designed. For instance, have you ever had a chat bot shoehorn, several paragraphs of text into a tiny text bubble? Overall, an ugly chat bot experience will turn off customers and tarnish your brand.

Joey Coleman (24:27):
Now the reality is Dan that next gen chat bots are designed to delight and can be configured to be on brand. There’s no more excuse for having an ugly chat bot, modern chat bots allow you to easily choose colors, fonts, and icons for a better customer experience that feels like an extension of your website or your app. And instead of dumping, a bunch of links or robotic paragraphs of text into a tiny chat bubble, next gen chat bots use their real estate well. They cleanly and concisely display the actual answer a customer’s looking for versus dumping just paragraphs of text into the conversation. If the customer needs an image, or a video, or a link, all of that can be displayed cleanly in a way that’s elegant and representative of the brand that you want to be in the marketplace.

Dan Gingiss (25:18):
So look – poorly designed generic chatbots are going to soon be a thing of the past. Thank goodness we’ve taken care of it in websites and mobile apps. So chat bots are next. Another great example of how chat bot technology is the best it’s ever been.

Joey Coleman (25:35):
And that’s another MythBusted – thanks to our friends at Solvvy, the Next Gen Chatbot.

Joey Coleman (25:44):
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 (26:03):
Today’s CX Press comes to us from our friends at McKinsey and the McKinsey Quarterly, where they offer up Prediction: The Future of CX. And I thought this was a fascinating piece because it broke out into a couple of parts. The first was talking about how so many companies rely on surveys to get customer data. Now, you and I have talked about this before, Joey, I like to think of customer data in two different buckets: We have the voice of the customer (or VOC), and we have the actions of the customer (or AOC) and smart companies put both of these data points together because let’s face it, what customers say is not always what customers do.

Joey Coleman (26:49):
Wait?! They don’t always do what they say Dan?

Dan Gingiss (26:52):
That is true. That is true.

Joey Coleman (26:55):
Shocking. Shocking.

Dan Gingiss (26:55):
You learn something new every day. So McKinsey found four flaws with today’s survey based customer experience measurement systems, which I thought were pretty interesting. The first was that only 7% of the customer voice is shared with CX leaders. 7%. So what that means is that if all you’re doing is surveying, you’re only getting us a tiny sliver of the actual voice of the customer.

Joey Coleman (27:23):
They also found that only 13% of CX leaders are confident that their organization can take action on CX issues in near real time. So even if you know what you’re supposed to do, there’s this kind of reactive disconnect where the leaders aren’t confident that they can actually take action.

Dan Gingiss (27:43):
Right? And only 16% of CX leaders think that surveys allow them to address the root causes of performance, which of course is that action that they need to take. And finally, only 4% of CX leaders believe that their CX measurement system enables them to calculate a decision’s return on investment. 4%?! That’s like, none!

Joey Coleman (28:04):
Yeah. That’s, that’s, that’s a rounding error.

Dan Gingiss (28:07):
Exactly. So Mackenzie asks and I’m quoting “[w]hy use the survey to ask customers about their experiences when data about customer interactions can be used to predict both satisfaction and the likelihood that a customer will remain loyal, or bolt, or even increase their business.” And their conclusion is that predictive customer insight is the future, instead of survey mechanisms. So they gave three different examples, which I’d like to walk through. The first was a leading credit card company and having worked at a leading credit card company, I have no idea if this is the one I worked for, but I don’t think so…

Joey Coleman (28:43):
We’re not sure, but it could be, but we’re not sure…

Dan Gingiss (28:45):
All we know is it’s, it’s a leading credit card company wanted to adopt a more omni-channel strategy and boost its performance in digital channels. It focused on building a CX data and analytics stack to systematically identify, improve, and track the factors, influencing customer satisfaction and business performance across 13 priority customer journeys. The team used the analytics platform to focus its investments and operational efforts on the journeys and specific moments that made a difference for customers. And it ultimately reduced its interaction and operational costs by 10 to 25% as a result of the CX and digital transformation.

Joey Coleman (29:24):
You know, Dan, one of McKinsey’s second examples that they used is one that I had never heard of in any capacity, but it makes perfect sense. There was a US healthcare payer that built a journey lake to determine how to improve its customer care. So the journey lake synced 4 billion records across nine systems, spanning marketing, operations, sales, digital, and internet of things. And the resulting holistic customer view enabled the organization to identify operational break points or thresholds where patients often ask to speak with a supervisor or move to another channel to resolve their issue. And then they could proactively reach out to patients through the website and emails and outbound calls to settle the problem. So this was that idea of really using big data to make, take big actions.

Dan Gingiss (30:17):
I love it and, and journey lake by the way, is sort of a play on what is often referred to as a data Lake, which is basically taking all of your data and it sort of feels like it’s just a giant lake because it’s coming from all, all sorts of different places. Uh, finally, a leading airline built a machine learning system that was based on 1500 customer operations and financial variables to measure both satisfaction and predicted revenue for it’s more than 100 million customers. The system allowed the airline to identify and prioritize those customers whose relationships were most at risk because of a delay or cancellation and offer them personalized compensation to save the relationship and reduce customer defection on high priority routes. A combined team of 12 to 15 data scientists, CX experts, and external partners work together for three months to build the system and lead this first application – which resulted in an 800% uplift in satisfaction and a 60% reduction in churn for priority customers. Now, I know you like talking about airlines. What do you think about that one?

Joey Coleman (31:27):
Airlines? That’s pretty crazy. I got to admit the 800% uplift. I was like, Oh my gosh, how bad were we in the hole that we could handle an 800% uplift?

Dan Gingiss (31:36):
How could it have been a leading airline if that was the case?

Joey Coleman (31:37):
But hey, what are we doing? What I really loved was the personalized compensation. We have reached a point where if your business isn’t looking to create customer experience on an individualized, personalized, customized basis, you’re, you’re falling behind. That’s all there is to it. I don’t care how big your company is. We’ve really got to shift our mindset to recognize that when it comes to remarkable experiences, it’s not enough to develop one experience and presume that it’s a one size fits all. We need to be ready to use the data, to make the predictions, and to be nimble enough, and agile enough, to customize those interactions on an individual by individual basis.

Dan Gingiss (32:29):
Yeah. And you know, a parallel example that I could offer and, you know, feel free to use this in your new book. Joey, is that, when you have a whole bunch of employees at a company, they all like recognition, but people like recognition in different ways. Some people want to be called up in front of the whole company and have everybody applied and clap and give an owner award. And for some people that is absolutely mortifying.

Joey Coleman (32:54):
It’s the worst thing you could do.

Dan Gingiss (32:55):
Right. And other people are more motivated by money, or just a pat on the back, or a little gift, or something like that.

Joey Coleman (33:02):
Or time off! Some people will just take it. It’s like, you don’t have to pay me more, but can I leave an hour earlier next week? Yes, that was all they need.

Dan Gingiss (33:09):
I was always amazed at how much “jeans days” were an incentive to people.

Joey Coleman (33:14):
Yeah – jeans days! It was killer. When I was growing up, I went to a Catholic school where we had a uniform and we used to charge for jeans day, sometimes as a fundraiser. And Oh my gosh, every kid was all in, you know, and it was like a dollar or $5. It was, you know, a fairly inconsequential sum to get everybody to participate. But we would have, you know, 99, 99.5% participation across the student body.

Dan Gingiss (33:40):
Man, I’d like to meet that poor kid that’s still showed up in his uniform that day.

Joey Coleman (33:45):
There was always, uh, the ability to, to like gift it if you felt somebody wasn’t in a position to do it, or you know, that we would plan, try to plan ahead for those things. But yeah, it’s, it’s amazing what little things can really move the dial when it comes to engagement and satisfaction and delight.

Dan Gingiss (34:01):
Yeah, with employees, with customers, with students, whoever it is. So finally McKinsey explained four ways to turn data into insight and action. Number one: work on changing mindsets. And I’m quoting here “[w]hen asked about the biggest challenge with the current system. One chief experience officer responded people, associate CX with marketing, not technology that is changing as more and more companies take up predictive analytics. And it’s up to customer experience leaders to help encourage the change in perception.”

Joey Coleman (34:33):
Number two: break down silos and build cross-functional teams. You know, Dan always teases me as a farm kid that my go-to saying is that silos make perfect sense on the farm and they are a nightmare in your organization. I can’t believe we’re still having this conversation about breaking down silos, but it’s because there are too many of them. We need to be more cross-functional. We need to share data and share, uh, predictions and share, uh, analysis across the various divisions in our organization.

Dan Gingiss (35:03):
And remember your customers don’t care how your company is organized. Only you care about that and your executives care, but the customers don’t and frankly, they shouldn’t have to care. Number three: start with a core journey data set and build to improve accuracy. I think this is a great idea. Sometimes you just need a small win, find one part of the journey that you can focus on gathering the correct data to provide a better experience. And then when you see how it works, you share that you gain the buy in and you start working on the tougher journeys.

Joey Coleman (35:34):
Last but not least, number four: focus first on the use cases that drive quick value. You know, this seems obvious, but the number of times I’ve been in a conversation with an organization where they identify three things they want to work on and they pick the absolute hardest one that it’s going to take months, if not years, to establish ROI on I’m like folks, let’s get some momentum, let’s get some quick value so that we build excitement for these types of initiatives.

Dan Gingiss (36:02):
For sure. So this, like all of our CX Press articles, will be linked to in our show notes at ExperienceThisShow.com

Joey Coleman (36:11):
Thanks for joining us for another episode of Experience This! You are the best listener ever!

Dan Gingiss (36:22):
And since you listened to the whole show…

Joey Coleman (36:24):
Yay you!

Dan Gingiss (36:26):
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 (36:37):
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 (36:51):
Thanks again for your time and we’ll see you next week for more…

Joey Coleman (36:55):
Experience!

Dan Gingiss (36:56):
This!

Episode 124 – A Daily Dose of Personalized Experience

Join us as we discuss a new way to take your vitamins, how government regulations affect businesses, and creating intentional friction in e-commerce.

Caring, Legislating, and Preventing– Oh My!

Referenced in the Show

• Care/of – personalized daily vitamins – receive 50% off your first order using Dan’s affiliate link: https://takecareof.com/invites/dgyygc

• Facebook Encourages Regulation

• “Friction in e-commerce: Sometimes it’s a good thing.” – by Branwell Moffatt on The Future of Customer Engagement & Experience

• Season 5, Episode 101 – Agree to Disagree: The Benefits and Costs of More Convenience (discussing Privacy)

• Season 2, Episode 42 – Required Remarkable: Assembling Target Furniture

Host Contact Information

Email Dan: Dan@dangingiss.com

Tweet Dan Gingiss: @DGingiss

Email Joey: JoeyC@JoeyColeman.com

DanGingiss.com

JoeyColeman.com

Subscribe to Experience This on Apple Podcasts

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

Episode Transcript

Download an unedited transcript of Episode 124 here or read it below:

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.

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

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

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

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

Joey Coleman (00:55):
Join us as we discuss a new way to take your vitamins, how government regulations affect businesses, and creating intentional friction in e-commerce.

Dan Gingiss (01:08):
Caring, Legislating, and Preventing – oh my!

Joey Coleman (01:16):
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 (01:33):
You know, Joey, I think it was the great Hulk Hogan that said, “Say your prayers and take your vitamins!” If I recall…

Joey Coleman (01:40):
I cannot believe we just started this segment with a Hulk Hogan quote. For those paying attention at home, that is your second Hulk Hogan reference this season because you also referenced it in the LEGO episode I did about the Iron Man Hulk Buster costume.

Dan Gingiss (01:57):
I did, I’m going to use it as an Easter egg for the rest of the season… Look out for more Hulk references! The Hulkster always told us to take our vitamins and I Joey, having a new way of taking vitamins. And I wanted to share with you because I actually acted on it based on a recommendation from a friend – my friend, Sarah Grace McCandless – and of course think about that people that’s word of mouth marketing. That is what’s happening right there!

Joey Coleman (02:25):
You bought something! Positive review led to positive new customer acquisition.

Dan Gingiss (02:31):
Yes. Based on a great experience of somebody else and we will put a link by the way to “Care Of” – this is a vitamin company they are at “takecareof.com” and we have a link in the show notes. And when you get to their website, it says, you know, your body, we know the science let’s work together. And the first thing that happens, yeah. The first thing that happens is it asks you to take a survey and it asks these questions that are not particularly hard, but they ask you heart health and brain and memory function, things about your hair, skin and bones, your health goals, and even things like stress, and whether you believe in things like Eastern medicine and you know, natural supplements. The whole thing took less than five minutes and the result was a list of vitamins and supplements, and a package that included a 30 day supply tailored specifically to me.

Joey Coleman (03:29):
So let me get this right? You take this quick survey, you tell them what’s going on with your body, what you need, what you don’t need, et cetera, et cetera, what you believe, what you don’t believe, and in less than five minutes, you’re getting some hyper-personalized vitamins, vitamins made just for you?

Dan Gingiss (03:45):
Indeed. That is True, Joey. But the experience does not stop there. So first of all, I’m going to share my results with you – And I don’t think we’re breaking any any HIPAA laws here, Cause it’s mine…

Joey Coleman (03:56):
HIPPA alert, HIPPA alert. It’s your stuff. You can say whatever you want!

Dan Gingiss (04:00):
It’s my own, so I guess you give up your right to privacy when you share it with everyone. So here’s what the system told me, according to my answers, that I should be taking. The first thing was ashwagandha, which I had to look up, and that was because that was for my brain and it was because, and I quote, “you told us you have trouble concentrating sometimes” Yeah, exactly. I guess…

Joey Coleman (04:24):
Ashwagandha gonna need some of that!

Dan Gingiss (04:27):
Yeah, here we come. Uh, then I was a, suggested some [inaudible] for my heart because I told them that I had slightly elevated cholesterol. Uh, also some garlic for my heart and then, uh, calcium, because I love this one. It said, “you told us you live in the North and rarely eat dairy.” That is true. Ladies and gentlemen, we live in the North and rarely eat dairy. And then some American ginseng for a little stress relief.

Joey Coleman (04:56):
I didn’t know there was such a thing as American ginseng, but okay, great.

Dan Gingiss (05:00):
There is. And I got this thing. So those are all, uh, vitamins in there, either capsules or little, you know, swallowable pills. But then I also got something that was called the pocket. Protector was just, that was kind of a funny name. And it’s a blend of lactobacillus rhamnosus GG and Bifidobacterium lactis BL-04, which obviously you know…

Joey Coleman (05:23):
Did it come with a pronunciation guide cause I’m feeling like it must have. You’re doing a great job on this! I have no, I’d like to buy a vowel, yeah – I’m not sure what’s going on there.

Dan Gingiss (05:33):
Those happened to be two strains of probiotics that help support the body’s immune system, because it’s specifically asked in this day and age about whether you were around anyone that might be immunocompromised or whether you were, you know, in any particular reason, wanting to, uh, to boost your immunity and who doesn’t these days. So now I want to tell you about the experience of receiving the vitamin. So I said, hit me. I ordered it up and I get this box. Now it comes in a bright red box, which really stands out in the mail and it has very clever messages on it. I don’t want to ruin them, but you know that I love clever language and witty language.

Joey Coleman (06:09):
I do know that you love clever. Are we going to include some photos on the website? Do we have some of those or are they the kind of messages that well I’m asking, because I don’t know that we should reveal too much. Like if…

Dan Gingiss (06:21):
I think we can. Yeah, it’s fine. It’s fine. So you open it up. And the first thing that you see is a guidebook and right on the cover, it says “Made for Dan” almost like, Oh wow, nice.

Joey Coleman (06:31):
Simple personalization. All they did was use his name and before you opened any further than the guidebook, my gut instinct is the endorphins are flowing. You’re feeling good about what’s going on cause this was made for you!

Dan Gingiss (06:46):
Yeah. And, and not surprisingly in this guide book were all of the vitamins that I had selected along with their supplement facts, which is like the nutritional info chart that you see on food, if similar ones for supplements. And as it is now, when I learned that they have clever nicknames for each one of these. So my ashwagandha pill is called the Chill Pill because focus and cognitive function, the garlic is called the Vampire Slayer, and the American ginseng is called the “Study Buddy,” because it supports memory and focus. Now here’s where it really gets cool. You get this dispenser box, this beautiful dispenser box that has daily pill packets in it. And you pull out a packet. Now, each packet is made from a hundred percent compostable material. They have

Joey Coleman (07:35):
Ooo I like it! Environmentally friendly, paying attention, I love it!

Dan Gingiss (07:38):
They have really neat quotes on them. Or sometimes it’s a challenge or, or a fact, uh, they say, “Hi Dan,”

Joey Coleman (07:46):
To make sure I understand, their are messages on the individual pill packs that you’re pulling out every day?

Dan Gingiss (07:50):
Yes. And every message starts with “Hi Dan,” and then it has either a quote, a fact or a challenge. And so for example, one of the facts was that historically peanuts have been used as one of the ingredients in dynamite.

Joey Coleman (08:03):
Oh, nice. Nice.

Dan Gingiss (08:05):
See, you learned something new today too, didn’t you?

Joey Coleman (08:06):
I did learn that new, ironically enough, uh, having my grandparents’ farm when I was growing up, had dynamite on the farm and they kept it in a tin shed next to the house where we would actually go out and watch the dynamite sweat! But I didn’t know that dynamite had peanuts in it. So yeah, that’s an interesting newfound fact.

Dan Gingiss (08:24):
Well, and then there was also a quote from a famous philosopher and it said, uh, “you can’t be that kid standing at the top of the water slide, overthinking it. You have to go down the chute.” And of course that famous philosopher is actress and comedian Tina Fey. So that gave me a little bit of a laugh, but this whole presentation is so amazing and it sits on my desk. And every day I open up my pill pack, I take my vitamins. I bring the empty pack over to the compost machine after reading the quote or whatever it is, and I feel like I’m taking exactly what I need for Dan. Not for anybody else.

Joey Coleman (09:05):
I love it. And this feels like such a better experience across the board. Not the least of which is the pre- personalized experience like the one you just described of going and buying, you know, the bottle of multivitamins hat it presumes that every human that buys this bottle needs the exact same mix of the same things. And you never know exactly what’s in it or, you know, is it fresh? Is it old? Is it new? Is it for you? Is it not for you, et cetera? This one is…

Dan Gingiss (09:37):
I buy the ones that we should have, the one for men, so it must be right.

Joey Coleman (09:41):
That’s nice. Yeah, exactly. No, I love this. And I think it speaks to this trend that we’ve talked about on the show before, where healthcare is something that every human needs and with all due respect to our friends and colleagues that work in healthcare, this system is just fundamentally broken right now. We, there are so many of opportunities to improve and enhance the experience. There’s a lot of room for growth there and a lot of opportunity for us to improve.

Dan Gingiss (10:07):
You’re so right, Joey, I mean healthcare itself has to be personalized. All of our bodies are different. We react to different things. We might be long or short, certain nutrients, et cetera. And so I think this plays on a number of themes. Obviously personalization is one of them. And we’ve talked about that a lot on the show, but health and wellbeing is such a hot topic right now, especially with people at home and not being able to exercise as much as maybe we used to. And just generally being more stressed and uncomfortable. Uh, and also this idea of brand connection, which we’ve talked about to look, these vitamins are not as cheap as the multivitamins for men that I buy at the drug store.

Joey Coleman (10:49):
Dan – I was going to ask, can you give us a ballpark idea? Because I’m sure people are listening. They’re like, wow. And you know, and lots of times the thought is, well, if it’s going to be this amazing experience it probably means it’s going to be a luxury pricing. But it sounds like while it’s more than maybe the typical vitamins you would buy at the drug store, it’s not like crazy, insane, expensive – would I be correct in assuming?

Dan Gingiss (11:09):
All in – including shipping – it was maybe 39 bucks for a 30 day supply. So, and that had five different vitamins as well as the pocket protector, the immune system stuff. So yeah, I didn’t think it was too bad. It’s more than I would normally spend, but I really loved, and frankly, I’m still taking the multivitamin because the multivitamin doesn’t have any of those things in it. It doesn’t have the ashwagandha, it doesn’t have ginseng in it. So I’ve actually added. But again, I felt like, you know, I feel like the company knows me and I’ve gone back in by the way and adjusted some of my answers to play around with it a little bit. And so for example, the first time I’d asked me, I’ll obviously I I’ll the joke before you do, but when it asked me about hair,

Joey Coleman (11:55):
Do you need some hair? I was gonna say, does ginseng help with hair growth? What’s going on here?

Dan Gingiss (11:59):
Yeah, but I, you know, like I went in and like retook the skin and nails part. I was like, Oh, well, what happens if I say that I, you know, am interested in nail strength or whatever. And I just wanted to see how the things change.

Joey Coleman (12:11):
Do you get, do you get different answers then? And did they send you different stuff?

Dan Gingiss (12:14):
You do – and you can, at any point retake the survey, or sometimes they ask in this particular case, they asked me the next time I logged on, they said, Hey, would you like to take an additional couple of questions about, about nails and skin? And I said, sure, why not? And so then it recommended two more. I haven’t ordered those yet, but the whole point is personalization, connection with a brand, and health and wellbeing – these are all themes that are really hot. And I think they’ve done a great job putting the whole package together and really making me feel like I’m doing something good for me. And so I highly recommend it. Thank you to Sarah Grace McCandless for recommending it to me. And I’ll recommend it to our listeners as well. And again, we’ll put a link in the shownotes!

Joey Coleman (13:00):
Just because you have required elements of your business doesn’t mean they need to be boring! It’s time to get creative, have some fun, and make people sit up and take notice. Get your customers talking when you Make the Required Remarkable.

Dan Gingiss (13:20):
You know, Joey, I still read the newspaper – like an actual paper newspaper.

Joey Coleman (13:27):
Dad? What’s a newspaper?

Dan Gingiss (13:30):
Exactly. I feel like, I feel like I’ve heard that question before.

Joey Coleman (13:34):
You’re a bit old school… I understand that I actually read a printed newspaper as well. I read the Sunday, New York Times every week, but not, I think you read daily, don’t you?

Dan Gingiss (13:43):
I read, I get a, uh, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Sunday subscription to the Chicago Tribune. And I don’t know why they do that.

Joey Coleman (13:53):
I know this segment isn’t about that, I presume it’s not about the Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday. It must have to do in the Cubs play? I don’t know. It’s something like that.

Dan Gingiss (14:03):
If it was actually when the Cubs play, I’ll probably go to seven days a week because then I want to read it even more. Anyway, it kind of comes from the fact that when I was in college, I was an editor of the college paper, the Daily Pennsylvania, and I’m now on the board of directors so I still, I believe in journalism, I believe in newspapers, yes. Any event, it was somewhat surprising to me to come across a full page printed advertisement from Facebook. And it stood out to me, not because it was from Facebook, but because it had an actual size image or maybe a little bit bigger of, are you ready for this? A floppy disk.

Joey Coleman (14:40):
Wow. Now that is a blast from the past Dan. I have not thought about a floppy disc in a very, very long time. Now let me clarify here. It was an ad for Facebook, with a floppy disk, but was Facebook even around at the time that there were floppy that like I remember using floppy disc and I remember getting onto Facebook. I don’t remember if those two things overlapped in any way, shape or form.

Dan Gingiss (15:04):
Well, it’s a good question. Facebook actually launched in 2004 and by that time, floppy discs were really already on their way out. And this was a picture if you’ll recall, because I know you, you and I are roughly the same age, certainly if I’m a little older and wiser, but this was the three and a half inch one, the hard floppy desk, which I sound a bit of an oxymoron, but the hard one versus those old bendable ones you remember that were bigger.

Joey Coleman (15:30):
Right, right.

Dan Gingiss (15:30):
And anyway, the headline of the ad read and I’m quoting the last time comprehensive internet regulations were passed. This is how files were shared. And the aunt goes on to say, it’s been 25 years since comprehensive internet regulations were passed. It’s time for an update. We support updated internet regulations to set clear guidelines for addressing today’s toughest challenges, learn more at: about.fb.com/regulations. So of course, since I thought this was really fascinating, I had to go to that website.

Joey Coleman (16:04):
So you thought to yourself, “Hmm… Fascinating PR move Facebook! Let’s see what’s going on on this landing page.

Dan Gingiss (16:11):
Exactly. So I went there and it says on the website, “We continue to take critical steps to improve and secure our platforms. Facebook is not waiting for regulation. We’re continuing to make progress on key issues. We’ve tripled our security and safety teams to more than 35,000 people and built new privacy tools. We’re also working with tech peers to make it easier for people to move their data between platforms securely.” And then it says that “Facebook is interested in promoting more legislation around a few topics.” Now let me stop there for a minute. They want more regulation. Now you used to work in government, Joey…

Joey Coleman (16:48):
I did – and I’m a recovering attorney as well. Uh, so here’s the thing, there’s a part of me that reads this and says, wow, okay, nice. I like that. They’re promoting for some regulation because the internet is the wild West. And while I didn’t know that the last time we had comprehensive internet regulation, the floppy disc was the King of file transfer I do now. But I’d be lying if I didn’t say Dan, that a part of me feels like this is a little bit of a “don’t break us up. Don’t break us up. We’d love to be in favor of new rules and new laws” that it’s a little bit of a, a logistical legal strategy. Move here to act like they’re for these things, because we know for anybody that’s been paying attention to what’s going on in the justice department, in the antitrust lawsuit. So it’s maybe just me of all the people listening, but we know there’s this pending case coming against Facebook that’s, I would posit, there’s a better than 50% chance, likelihood that they’re getting broken up in the next two and a half years.

Dan Gingiss (17:50):
Well, I’m glad you asked this joy because as we like to do here on the show, I reached out to Mark Zuckerberg to give us audio. Yeah. And listeners, he said, no, so we’re not going to have any audio from Mark, but I see, I hear what you’re saying Joey. And here’s what I thought about this. So I came from the healthcare industry and the financial services industry, both are, which are two of the most highly regulated industries in the United States. And over a period of time, I started to adapt some of my own philosophies about regulation. And in fact, in particular HIPAA, which we mentioned in the last segment, which is the privacy laws in the United States around healthcare information, HIPAA also has not been updated since the advent of social media or at least since 2004, when Facebook came aboard. And I know this because when I worked in healthcare, I read the entire HIPAA law.

Joey Coleman (18:46):
Such a good overachiever.

Dan Gingiss (18:47):
I know. Well, you know, I’m, I’m a recovering wanna-be-attorney. So in that way, but what’s fascinating is that here we have one of the most major pieces of legislation in our country on privacy. And it, there is no reference to social media. And so you think, well, gosh, all these years later, maybe somebody should update the darn thing and explain what that means. And I had a real case when I worked at Humana, where we had this situation where somebody left us this really long post on Facebook, talking all about her daughter’s illness and how we had rejected her claim. Now it turned out that the rejection of the claim made perfect sense because the doctor had actually prescribed the wrong thing. And so the claim was properly rejected and he just needed to re-prescribe it. Well, the lawyers initially did not want us to say anything, not even to acknowledge with any sort of response and, you know…

Joey Coleman (19:41):
’cause it was on social media. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Right.

Dan Gingiss (19:45):
And you know how that made me feel?

Joey Coleman (19:46):
Yeah. The lawyers basically took the standard move of, let’s avoid any likelihood of the appearance of impropriety by even commenting on this, and you being somebody who puts customer experience far above legal requirements, obviously you want to play within the bounds, but you’re going to try to, over-index on taking care of the customer. You’re like, no, we need to respond to this!

Dan Gingiss (20:07):
Well. But also it didn’t make logical sense to me because I figured, Hey, if somebody is going to come to social media and tell the world that they have XYZ disease, what privacy are we protecting anymore? They’ve already, they’ve waited. Right. And so what’s, you know, and so how could you hold a company responsible then it’s not, they didn’t share the data in any event. The philosophy that I came up with in both industries is that I actually think most government regulation has the right idea in mind, the right ideas to protect the customer and to make sure that the little guy isn’t taken advantage of by big companies. Now from a CX perspective, I find that most of this regulation, when you just boil it down to what are they trying to achieve, it actually makes good sense from a customer experience perspective, right? We don’t want to screw over our customers either so inadvertently or on purpose. And so the concept is there, it’s usually where it usually falls apart is in the execution, is that, that then we’ll have, uh, you know, the government telling us how to protect people’s privacy. And, and I want to get into politics here, but I’m a believer that business can figure that out in a more innovative way. In any event, I think it’s smart to Facebook, whether it’s a PR play or not to get out in front of legislation before it happens, because then they at least have a chance to impact it and to have their voice included in it. I think they probably resigned themselves to the fact that we’re going to have new legislation at some point breakup or no breakup. And so, Hey, we might as well be part of the solution. And for that, I, maybe I’m giving them some benefit of the doubt, but I think that smart, I’d like to see the healthcare industry push for an update to HIPAA, to include social media. It’s something that’s missing. It should be there. And I, if I were still in the healthcare industry, I’d want to help write that.

Joey Coleman (21:58):
I think that makes, I think that makes perfect sense Dan. What I will say is that what is fascinating to me and let’s, let’s narrow the scope of this conversation. If we could briefly just to the concept of privacy, cause we’ve talked about it in the context of HIPAA, let’s look at it in a context of two of the biggest, three of the biggest texts, tech players in the space, Facebook, Google, and Apple. All three have remarkably different beliefs, actions, policies, attitudes around privacy. And depending on where you personally fall on the privacy meter, you are necessarily drawn towards the behavior of one or the others accordingly because their corporate beliefs or viewpoint or perspective aligns with your personal viewpoint or perspective. I happen to think that what Apple is doing about really saying, look, we are, we’re going to go toe to toe with Google and with Facebook, and we are going to be champions of protecting your privacy. There are some people that, that is going to actually decrease the experience because it’s not going to make things as convenient. You’re not going to be able to be fed ads based on, you know, certain data that these tools were collecting. But I do think that it’s carving out a space in the customer experience where they will attract a certain type of customer. And so I agree with you. I think what we’re seeing is that the companies are leading the charge on these legal issues and the behaviors they’re taking, because let’s be candid, the legislators are just woefully behind and, and I come from a family of politicians and lawyers, I say that respectfully, but you can’t see senators grilling Mark Zuckerberg on Capitol Hill in a hearing saying, but wait a second, how do you make money without saying, “okay, Boomer.

Dan Gingiss (23:55):
Do your homework.

Joey Coleman (23:56):
as the kids would say, I wouldn’t say that, but you know, go, go do your homework. Like you have to understand how this technology works a little bit, if you’re going to be asked to write laws about it.

Dan Gingiss (24:07):
Right. And, and I, Oh, I wonder in the healthcare space, you know, how many people in healthcare are helping to write healthcare laws, right? Because if you just have politicians writing healthcare laws, you’re gonna run into problems. Anyway, you might remember by the way for, uh, uh, listeners of longtime listeners to the show back in Episode 101, you and I had an agreed to disagree segment on privacy versus convenience. So listen to that. And that was an interesting conversation. Anyway, back to Facebook. So the items that they called out were combating for an election interference, certainly an important one, protecting people’s privacy and data, enabling safe and easy data portability between platforms and then supporting thoughtful changes.

Joey Coleman (24:51):
Aww – that’s an artful term!

Dan Gingiss (24:51):
And this is definitely the PR part that is the Communications Decency Act. And that is the section that specifically eliminates Facebook and other tech companies from being responsible for the content on their site. So Joey…

Joey Coleman (25:05):
It’s their get out of jail free card. Let’s be honest. That section was written by tech companies as a blanket, get out of jail free card. We’re not responsible. Now, should they be a hundred percent responsible for stuff on their side? I don’t think so, but should they be a hundred percent not liable? No, that doesn’t work either. We got to find some middle ground on this.

Dan Gingiss (25:24):
And frankly we have the technology to do it, right. They have technology that can, I can look at posts and identify things. And they actually listed a couple of topics with the illegalities that they think would be reasonable to add to such a policy. So I think the summary here was look, I was stopped in my tracks because I’m reading a printed newspaper, I see a printed full page ad from Facebook that is talking about additional regulation. Now yes, they may be doing it to make the politicians happy. But I did think that it was well thought out and I would encourage companies that are in regulated industries ’cause man, I spent more than half of my career there and it can be a bear get involved in the creation of these regulations. Talk to your Congressman and your senators and be part of the conversation because oftentimes companies act like regulation is something that happens to them. And I do think if Facebook is smart, they’re not going to wait for regulation to happen to them – they’re going to contribute to it and try to at least make it in such a way that they can work with it.

Joey Coleman (26:33):
Almost everyone has interacted with chatbots, but all too often, it’s been a bad experience. In MythBusters presented by Solvvy, we explore a common myth about CX chatbots and see how the right technology can create a positive experience every time.

Dan Gingiss (26:57):
Today’s myth about chatbots, they can’t help you with urgent issues. Joey, have you ever been stuck with a chat bot when you had a more serious issue that needed human support? The worst thing is being stuck with a robot on the phone or website with no good way to get to that real person, especially when you need an answer – Now! I’ve even tried to hunt down a customer service number, which of course is often a challenge for some companies. And one time the chat bot wouldn’t even stop after the human joined the conversation.

Joey Coleman (27:29):
I love it. Now you’re having a conversation with the chat bot and the human and you’re loving both of them!. Well, the reality is modern chat bots can seamlessly get you to a support agent when you need one intelligent chat. Bots can understand when your issue is urgent or it requires agent support and will quickly route you to the right place in those specific cases. Similarly, requesting to speak to an agent hands you directly to a real person – ensuring you don’t waste time, looking around for a phone number or sending an email to support or pounding on the “O” repeatedly in the hope that if you push it harder, it will get you to an agent faster.

Dan Gingiss (28:06):
Well, I’m not sure we should have shared this secret to super fast customer supposed support Joey, but I have to say, if I knew I could get to a human at any time, I’d probably be a little more patient with the old chat bot.

Joey Coleman (28:18):
That’s another Myth Busted – thanks to our friends at Solvvy, the Next Gen Chatbot.

Joey Coleman (28:27):
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 (28:45):
This week’s CX press is by Branwell Moffatt on the Future of Customer Engagement and Experience website, which is managed by SAP CX – which in full disclosure is a client of mine, but that’s not why I’m sharing the article. And in fact, they don’t even know that I’m doing it. The article is entitled “Friction in e-commerce – sometimes it’s a good thing.”

Joey Coleman (29:08):
Now wait a second, Dan, we’ve talked about this on the show many times. Isn’t friction, usually a bad thing when it comes to customer experience?

Dan Gingiss (29:16):
Yes, of course it is. Which is why I thought the article was so interesting as Moffatt writes and I’m quoting convention tells us to remove as much friction as we possibly can, but there, but is there such a thing as having too little friction, can we go too far and actually damage our customer experience by making it too easy for them unquote. Now he points to Ikea the iconic furniture retailer that sells high quality pieces that the buyer has to assemble themselves. I’m quoting again. He says, “you’d expect the main advantage that this gives Ikea is a lower cost of sale, which can then be passed on to customers. However, the very fact that customers have to invest more time and effort into the collecting and building of the furniture causes them to place a higher value on it.” Unquote, now this psychological phenomenon actually has a name and it was coined in 2011 by researchers from Harvard, Gail, and Duke. It’s known as the “Ikea Effect.”

Joey Coleman (30:14):
Oh my gosh, I love it. Here’s the crazy thing, Dan, we just moved a few months ago and for the, let me count that, uh, one, two, three, four, five, six time I moved a dozen Billy bookcases from IKEA. Now I guarantee you when IKEA made this less than a hundred dollar bookcase, they did not think I was going to take it from Virginia to DC, to Colorado, to three different locations in Colorado, and back to Iowa. But I did. And I totally get that idea of being connected to the furniture in a different way, because you built it. And something like the Billy bookcase super easy to build, they have other bookcases, not so easy to build. Uh, and, and that’s kind of the adventure. Whenever you buy something new from IKEA, are you getting the easy to build one of the more difficult to build one, but I, uh, I resonate with this idea that even though there’s some frictions, uh, of building it, it does create more connection because I built this darn thing, I’m going to take care of it and get the optimal use out of it. Before you move on to another, giving it up so fast, that’s giving it up. I said, yeah, I spent a good amount of time on this. The Kallax, by the way, is the one that is just a killer. If you see the Kallax five by five cube, go get a PhD in furniture building, it’ll be easier.

Dan Gingiss (31:42):
Well, we actually talked about this way back in Season 2, Episode 42, when I bought some furniture from Target. And I expressed that and I still express it. I do not enjoy putting together furniture, but that Target’s directions made it really fine and easy. But I started thinking about some other examples. Well, first of all, actually, there were other examples in the article. And then I, I thought of some additional ones. He mentioned growing your own vegetables in the garden right there. They taste better because you grow them.

Joey Coleman (32:11):
Ironically enough Dan, you may recall, we talked about earlier this season about the, uh, special lettuce grower I got from my wife. We actually ate the lettuce from it the other night, the first time we harvested the lettuce that we grew in the basement. And I got to tell you, we asked around the table, the family and everybody was like, this tasted really good. And I, we talked about the fact that does it taste better because we know that we grew it as opposed to buying it at the store.

Dan Gingiss (32:37):
Yeah, for sure. For sure. And the article also mentioned the great brand build the bear, which is the store that lets you assemble your own Teddy bear, which in theory should be less expensive because they don’t have to pay for the labor, but it’s actually more expensive because you’re paying for the experience. So he says Moffatt writes, “by adding friction to the purchase process, these companies have managed to increase the perceived value of their products while also reducing their costs.”

Joey Coleman (33:04):
You know, it’s interesting, Dan, I understand the way that friction is being used here, but I, I’m not exactly sure that it’s the best word because I get what they’re, you know, friction is so regularly associated with an impediment or a slowing and yes, this is arguably a slowing, but when you’re enhancing the experience by slowing, like they do at build a bear, you’re actually increasing the experience. So I guess it’s the point that is being made. If you’re not going to make it uber-convenient, make sure that everything that takes time in your customer journey is a remarkable experience

Dan Gingiss (33:42):
Is worth the time, right? Because the issue with Build-A-Bear is it’s not about, I mean, it is a great experience, but it’s that they can charge more for that, right? Is that a, is that an already assembled teddy bear, which is a whole lot easier and faster and more convenient costs significantly less than one that you have to build yourself. Now I was starting to think of some other, uh, products. I, I was thinking over the holidays, I almost bought my son this, but you know, you see in the catalogs, those like those puzzles that you lock a a hundred dollar bill or a $50 bill in, and they can’t get to the money until they solve the puzzle. Right. It was dry. But man, when you get that money, you’re going to really feel.

Joey Coleman (34:21):
a different level of appreciation cause he had to work for it. Yeah. I get that. You know, I’m also thinking of things like cooking classes, right? Where you maybe go to a cooking class. I did one years ago where we learned how to make our own sushi. And that was awesome. And I feel like it was some of the best sushi I ever had. It probably wasn’t the best sushi I’ve ever had, but because I felt invested in the creation of it, I think it changed my, the taste profile or at least my experience of the taste profile.

Dan Gingiss (34:49):
Absolutely. So here’s the takeaway for our listeners. Even if you have a product or service that can’t be assembled by your customer, still try to look for ways to make it their own, right? It could be as simple as using their name on your website when they log in and then asking them if they want to change it to a nickname or a spouse’s name or something else right? Now you’ve made the product their own. So every time they log in, it feels like it’s something that they were invested in. So understanding that you may not be selling, you may not be a furniture seller that sells, made to build furniture. There are ways in lots of different companies to allow your customers to invest in the experience. And what we found from this article is that that ultimately pays off in a willingness to spend more.

Joey Coleman (35:46):
Thanks for joining us for another episode of Experience This! You are the best listener ever!

Dan Gingiss (35:52):
And since you listened to the whole show,

Joey Coleman (35:54):
Yay, you!

Dan Gingiss (35:55):
we’re curious, was there a specific part of this episode that you enjoyed the most? If so, it would mean the world to us if you could share it with a coworker, a friend, or someone that just loves listening to podcasts.

Joey Coleman (36:06):
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 (36:21):
Thanks again for your time. And we’ll see you next week for more,

Joey Coleman (36:24):
Experience.

Dan Gingiss (36:24):
This!

Episode 123 – Precision Produces Enhanced Experiences

Join us as we discuss an advertisement with extra special details, cutting edge research on the power of online reviews, and a creative way to get customers to follow your directions.

Skiing, Reviewing, and Cooking – Oh My!

Referenced in the Show

Check out the ad Joey saw from Stellar Equipment that showed the model’s name and size!

Host Contact Information

Email Dan: Dan@dangingiss.com

Tweet Dan Gingiss: @DGingiss

Email Joey: JoeyC@JoeyColeman.com

DanGingiss.com

JoeyColeman.com

Subscribe to Experience This on Apple Podcasts

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

Episode Transcript

Download an unedited transcript of Episode 123 here or read it below:

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.

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

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

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

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

Dan Gingiss (00:54):
Join us as we discuss: an advertisement with extra special details, cutting edge research on the power of online reviews, and a creative way to get customers to follow your directions.

Joey Coleman (01:07):
Skiing, Reviewing, and Cooking… Oh my!

Joey Coleman (01:14):
Just because you have required elements of your business doesn’t mean they need to be boring. It’s time to get creative, have some fun, and make people sit up and take notice! Get your customers talking when you make the Required Remarkable!

Joey Coleman (01:34):
I have a question for you, Dan… When is the last time that you saw an advertisement and thought, “now, I haven’t seen that before!”

Dan Gingiss (01:41):
It’s probably like every time my 13 year old daughter finds something like the perfect pineapple corer or the avocado saver, or…

Joey Coleman (01:53):
Those slicers are lovely savers – a separate conversation.

Dan Gingiss (01:56):
Those items that only work for one thing…

Joey Coleman (01:59):
Fair enough, yeah, fair enough. I appreciate that. Well, I had an experience the other day where I got an email with an ad for something that in some ways I’d never seen before, but I had wished that I had seen many, many times, but first of all, before I explain the ad, let me give you a little backstory. So about two years ago, I stumbled across an ad on Facebook for a company called Stellar Equipment. Stellar creates high performance outdoor equipment using the best materials and factories in the world. Their specialty is ski wear jackets, pants, shells, layers. They offer entire technical outerwear systems (that’s their words – or ski outfits like you and I might say) that allow for optimal performance on the mountain while staying warm and looking good. Now they sell online and in two showrooms, one in Sweden and one in Switzerland now to be clear, Dan, I am not an amazing skier by any stretch of the imagination, but I do enjoy it. And after a decade or so of using my old ski pants and jacket, I thought it was time to invest in some upgraded ski wear. So in early 2020, about a year ago, I decided to purchase their signature system. And as a result, I started receiving their e-newsletter, which brings me to the advertisement that I referenced earlier. So if you go to our show notes page had ExperiencedThisShow.com you can see the images I’m about to describe, and we’ll include a link to the stellar website as well. So stellar sent this ad, announcing their new padded pants and shirts. This is basically a mid-layer, which is a fancy way of saying it goes over your long underwear and under your ski jacket, right? A mid-layer. And they describe the outfit as follows quote, “Using dermisaxNX from Japanese innovators Toray, this three layer shell is lightweight and stretchable while completely waterproof, completely windproof, and extremely breathable. In fact, you’ll have a hard time finding any shell material that can compete with its comfort and performance.

Dan Gingiss (04:00):
Joey windproof and breathable sounds sexy, right?

Joey Coleman (04:04):
So fun.

Dan Gingiss (04:05):
Well, it sounds pretty cool, but uh, why exactly did this ad stand out so much?

Joey Coleman (04:11):
Well, the ad stood out, not because of the copy, which was great, but because of the picture accompanying the copy now in the photograph, it showed a male model standing in a ski lodge, wearing the padded shirt and pants that were being advertised. But here’s where it got interesting super-imposed on the image was the following message. Cody is 184 centimeters and 78 kilograms or six foot one and 172 pounds wearing size L. In all my years, Dan of looking at ads where models were wearing clothing. I had never seen an ad calling the model by name and sharing their height and weight. So when I was looking at it, I could say, huh, he’s six one, I’m six, two. He weighs 172 pounds. I weigh a little more than 172 pounds. I would probably want size large. And I didn’t have to look at a sizing chart. I didn’t have to order both sizes and have them both shipped here and try and both on and decide which one fit and, you know, do the customer convenient, but environmentally unconvenient, send one back. I knew from the ad exactly what I was supposed to order if I wanted to order these clothes. So

Dan Gingiss (05:29):
I think that’s really neat. I also like the personalization of knowing his name, that it’s a real person. I think that was kind of clever. Now I want to ask you and, uh, and, and folks joy doesn’t know I’m going to ask him this question, but was your response so positive because he was so close to your size? Or, I mean, what if he was five foot, six and 320 pounds? Would you have been like, Ooh, so cool that they shared his height and weight or was it just that it happened to be close you?

Joey Coleman (05:58):
That’s a great question that I hate. I’m not exactly sure. I think it was relevant and not relevant. Here’s what I mean by that on one hand, I’m in that unique spot, especially when you think about European sizing where like in America, often I end up sizing towards the large size, maybe the extra large size that usually is height dependent in Europe though. It’s kind of a weird thing because as a general rule, Europeans maybe skew different sizes and shapes then most folks from the United States. So given that it’s a European country, I appreciated not only that they broke down and did me the courtesy of giving it to us in English instead of just in metric. But the fact that I could look at it and go six one six, two, Oh, that’s pretty close, large. I can see that, you know, there’s a little bit of extra length in the leg. That’ll probably be fine with another inch. So I think it was really useful that he was my size. What was interesting though, is if you go to the website, they also have a picture of a female model wearing their women’s version. And that version identifies the model as Emma being 169 centimeters and 56 kilograms or five foot seven, 123 pounds wearing size S – small. So again, they’re giving you some guidance visually in terms of the body shape and answering questions about the product fit that I think is going to help a prospective buyer realize not only how the outfit might look on them, which I think is lots of times what we think of when we look at a model, but also what’s it going to drape like, what’s it going to fit like?

Dan Gingiss (07:34):
Yeah, I think it’s really interesting and if I, if I could make a suggestion of even sort of where you would take it next would be to have the customer, have the ability to put in their own height and weight and to adjust the so-called model. Hey, maybe we’ll get little, Lil Miquela to be our model.

Joey Coleman (07:51):
I love that. Shout out to a previous episode, Dan love it.

Dan Gingiss (07:55):
Uh, but we could, you know, you basically, you could see a real live model that was your shape, shape and size because I think it’s great. I think it even, you know, I’m thinking to myself, okay, I’m not anywhere near six one. And so I think I probably could tell from looking at this guy that I would be a medium, but am I sure. And so I think it would be fascinating to be able to just put in your, you know, your own height and weight and get the picture or the model. But I think this is a really interesting start and I, I think it’s, I’m glad you called it out. I think it’s cool.

Joey Coleman (08:28):
Yeah. I’m excited. Cause I felt like it was a step in the right direction. I can not think of an ad that I have ever seen that called the model by name or gave their height and weight. Now sometimes you can look at it and you can make a guess, but let’s be candid – most of the models and clothing ads have bodies that the average person looking at the ad wishes that they had, you know, it’s like, hi, we’re selling this scarf with our six pack abs. And you’re like, what did the abs have to do with the scarf? Nothing. But what it does, what this ad from Stellar did is it, let me see, okay. I could see myself in these clothes and I could have a better idea of what I was going to, uh, look like wearing the clothes. You know, it’s interesting, I’m reminded of an ad. I created years ago when I was running my ad agency for a company called SMO, they were a heating oil and propane company in Southern Maryland and they did this huge rebrand and as part of the rebrand, we redesigned truck wraps for all of their vehicles. They had hundreds of vehicles and we did custom designs for the left side of the vehicle and the right side of the vehicle. So they were all different. And then we put a series of phone numbers on the different sides of the trucks, so that we could start to get an idea of which ad led to the most inbound calls, you know, kind of like split testing in a digital world but in the physical world with these trucks driving around the community, we had funny ads. We had poignant ads, but here’s the thing. The ad that drew the most phone calls was a picture of a dog in a bathtub with a line that said, “Don’t worry, we’ll keep the water warm” because they’re home heating oil and propane company, but here’s the thing, Dan, it, the phone rang off the hook like five to one for that ad. But everybody who called in wanted to know what the dog’s name was. Now, interestingly enough, the dog’s name was stock photo.com dog. You know, I mean, it was just, there was no name and we didn’t do a photo shoot. We bought a picture of a dog in a tub, but it opened my eyes in that moment to the fact that when we can personalize the advertisements, people connect at a much more emotional way, connect in a much more emotional way in a much deeper fashion.

Dan Gingiss (10:40):
Yeah. It’s like, we’ve talked about a number of products on this show where when you receive the package in the mail, it says it was packed by this person. And you know, you may not know that person, but at least you see it’s another human being or they sign their name or something like that. I’ve definitely liked the personalization. I think it’s a great ad. I love it.

Joey Coleman (11:00):
So what can we learn from this, forgive the pun, stellar ad from the team at Stellar. Like what I did there Dan? So if you want to introduce a new product to your customers, don’t just focus on the sales language and imagery. Personalize the conversation by telling us the name of the model. Let us see how the product is going to work for us by telling us about the environment where the images were taken, the models, using the product, how they’re interacting with the product. The more your communications can humanize your products and services, the more the humans you’re advertising to will want your products and services.

Joey Coleman (11:40):
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 (11:59):
You’ve had the opportunity to speak for the fine folks at Podium – didn’t you, at some point in the past?

Dan Gingiss (12:05):
I did and in fact, I’m still doing so – they are a client of mine now and, uh, really liked those guys. I like working with them…

Joey Coleman (12:12):
They are fantastic folks. I had the pleasure of speaking to the Podium team as well last year. Uh, but to be clear, the story that we’re about to talk about is not a sponsored segment. In fact, Podium has no idea. We’re recording this conversation right now. Dan, you had no idea before we started recording tonight that we were going to be recording about this, but I had the chance to read their brand new 2021 State of Reviews Report. And to be honest, it was so full of actionable insights and just really eye opening observations that I wanted to share it with our listeners. Now, for context, if you haven’t heard of podium before podium is a fast growing software company that specializes in customer interactions. Now they call their solution, the “ultimate messaging platform,” because it allows for multi-channel communications to funnel into a single location. So you can text with your customers, connect with your website traffic, request and comment on reviews, collect payments. You can do so much more all in one software solution. Now I came to know of podium for their expertise in helping local businesses do more, to get reviews and then use those reviews to grow their business, which is why I was so curious about their findings in the 2021 State of Reviews Report.

Dan Gingiss (13:28):
Yeah, it’s obviously a fascinating and sometimes terrifying part of running a business, right? Is this whole thing around reviews. When do you ask for them, how do you ask for them? What do you do about them? Do you respond some sites? Don’t let you respond at all. What if they’re anonymous? What if people are complaining about you? These are things that keep small business owners up at night so it’s a very important topic.

Joey Coleman (13:55):
Absolutely. And you know, it’s interesting because I think it’s one of those topics, Dan, that everyone knows it’s important, but it’s kind of hard to know where to dive in, but there are so many moving parts to this, and that’s why I loved this report. So the 2021 State of Reviews rReport starts out with the following observation, which I found pretty profound, quote “Reviews have never been so important or influential. In the wake of COVID-19 the information they provide and customer experience they paint are closely and regularly analyzed by consumers. In our digital marketplace reviews are the first link to connecting with your business and the first deciding factor in moving to a competitor. To stay competitive businesses must proactively remove any obstacles that prevent customers from leaving reviews.” Now, the report goes on to share the findings of a survey that they did in October of 2020, across a US audience that included 1,543 consumers (aged 18 to 99, in all regions of the country) 455 small business owners or managers, and 378 enterprise business leaders in businesses with a local presence. Now let’s talk about a few of the interesting statistics that we found in the review. Dan, do you want to share one that you liked?

Dan Gingiss (15:15):
Sure. Well, the top characteristics that consumers say are most important when choosing a local business: Location is number one at 61%, Price or Promotions at 55%. And then we get into some interesting pieces: Personal recommendations at 50%, and Reviews at 41%.

Joey Coleman (15:36):
You know, I thought that one was really interesting, Dan, because when we think of a local business location, location, location, right, that’s pretty obvious price. Hello, die. Everybody knows about that personal recommendations. If you can get word of mouth, of course, but coming in, in the strong fourth place with double digit 41% reviews, I was somewhat surprised to see it that high in the list. But I wasn’t surprised when I learned the next statistic, which was 65% of consumers have read a review of some product or service in the last week. And 85% have read a review in the last month. People are reading reviews like crazy left and right, and that’s contributing to their buying decisions.

Dan Gingiss (16:22):
It makes sense. And 58% of consumers are willing to travel further and pay more to patronize a business with higher reviews. And this actually happened the other night was my daughter’s 13th birthday. She asked for sushi and she found, online, a new sushi place that we hadn’t been to. That was frankly, a little bit farther away than normal, but it got terrific reviews. And that’s why we tried it. And guess what? We loved it and we’re going to go back.

Joey Coleman (16:47):
I love it. I love it. Now here’s the question, Dan, have you written a review?

Dan Gingiss (16:52):
Great question. I have not. I probably should.

Joey Coleman (16:55):
Okay. If you haven’t because it illustrates the point. Here’s the crazy thing. 81% of consumers leave a review four times a year or less. So the majority of people, if they are going to do a review are going to do no more than four in a year, which means super reviewers are really rare. 20% of people say they have never left a review, in any capacity, for any product or service. Now I know from our conversations, you’ve left plenty of reviews over the years. But what I think was interesting about this statistic is what can we do to get people who like you had a great experience to actually write about the fact that you went further than you normally would, that you went for a special occasion, right? That you were doing this effort to go above and beyond because you wanted to try a new place and how it really paid off because of the reviews.

Dan Gingiss (17:47):
Well, and just to stay on that story, I’ll tell you exactly how they should have done it. They, I called in the order. So they had my name and phone number. And when I went to pick it up, I told them it was my first time being there. And she asked me where I lived and she said, Oh, you drove a little ways to get here. I said, yeah, they, all they had to do was call me half an hour later and say, Hey, how was your dinner? And ask me to write a review. And I, boom, I would have done it immediately.

Joey Coleman (18:10):
Or my gut instinct is you gave them your cell phone number. They could have even texted. You could have texted them interestingly enough – and this is a plug for our friends at Podium. I guess they have a texting solution that allows you to solve for that problem. But this kind of illustrates the point you were making earlier that we’ve got to know when to ask for the reviews and we have to actually do the ask. It’s not enough just to have a great product. We need to remind people that we made a promise of a great product we delivered on that product. And part of the payment that they can give back to us is to write a review.

Dan Gingiss (18:44):
Yeah. And one of the things I learned in corporate America was find that place where, you know, you make your customers happy and that’s when you ask them. So when I worked at discover, what we realized was the moment they were happiest with us was when customers redeemed their rewards, because it was like getting free money and who doesn’t like free money. So we learned that that was the moment to ask for a review because they thought they thought we were awesome. Right? And so we didn’t put on the website, leave us a review in 70 different places. We put it in the places where we knew that they were in, that customers were in a good mood and really happy with us. Right. And it worked, it, it it’s, you know, if you hit them at the right time, especially local businesses. And I think so many people now we feel for local businesses, we want to support them. And if a review helps you do have to make the because it’s not that I meant to not leave a review of this place. I just never thought about it.

Joey Coleman (19:39):
Right. And you got caught up with other things you had ordered dinner. I presume you were driving all the way back home to then sit down and have sushi dinner with the family. So what’s interesting is the report actually speaks to this. They noted that after having a good experience with a local business, consumers are 12% more likely to leave a review if they saw a sign asking them to in the business establishment, and 36% more likely if they receive an email invite to leave a review. Now, I’m not sure if there was anything in the research that talked about getting a text message to leave a review, but I bet that’s even higher, especially in like a takeout scenario like this, where if I could just click, Hey, I’ll give you five stars. Boom, they’ve got the review, which led to another interesting stat that was in the reports, which is 86% of consumers require at least a three-star average rating in order to even consider engaging with your business with 3.4 being the average star rating required. So if your business doesn’t have 3.4 stars out of five, they’re not even going to consider you. You’ve got to get that up in the four and five range.

Dan Gingiss (20:46):
Yeah. Would say personally, mine, my limit is usually a four.

Joey Coleman (20:51):
You have a higher threshold for awesomeness.

Dan Gingiss (20:53):
Exactly – or for pain – I don’t know. I know there are another related statistic here, which you and I have talked about before is that 68% of consumers agree or somewhat agree that they don’t trust a high review rating unless there’s also a high quality of reviews. And we’ve talked about this. I think I mentioned in a previous episode, how happy I was to get my first three star review on Amazon for my book, because everything up until then had been five stars. And it isn’t believable. I mean, even though they were all real people don’t believe that any product or services is exactly five stars. And so that one, three star review brought me down to like, uh, you know, whatever it is at 4.8, 4.9 and now it’s realistic.

Joey Coleman (21:35):
Absolutely. You know, it’s so funny. Dan years ago, a friend of mine had written a book and he had asked me to do a review and I knew how reviews worked. And I went on Amazon to see, and he had like twenty 5 star reviews. So I decided to write a four star review and I wrote the review and I made the lack of the fifth star. I called out why I wasn’t giving it a fifth star. And it was some benign reason like, Oh, I wish there would have been three more chapters. You know, something that anybody who is actually reading a review, it’d be like, Oh, just get over yourself. Give them the five stars. But when my friend, when we talked about it, he’s like, Oh, why didn’t you give me the four star? I was like, I give you the four star to help you. I’m not hurting you with the forced arm actually helping you. So I do think that it’s one of those things where we don’t want to always strive for just the five star reviews. Interestingly enough, one of the things that they also found in the study is that how you comment on reviews like negative reviews is really important. So there’s an encouragement there for any business that has reviews comment on the reviews. If at all possible. Now I get in some formats, you can’t do that. And in some platforms where reviews are left, but if you get the chance to actually comment, thank them for the review, acknowledged the review. If something has gone wrong, explain why it went wrong. Don’t get defensive, but either just genuinely apologize or point out some additional facts that might’ve been left out of the review, your customers and your prospects who have never done business with you are less crazy than the people who write one-star reviews and they will read through and become advocates for you.

Dan Gingiss (23:15):
Absolutely. And this is why we to ask for reviews of the ExperienceThisShow at the end of every episode. And here’s what we know from our friends at podium, even though we’ve been asking only a small percentage of listeners actually write reviews. So we want to make that easier for you.

Joey Coleman (23:32):
So we came across this interesting new service called love the podcast. Okay? So you have to participate. All you have to do is visit LoveThePodcast.com/ExperienceThis. And what it will do is it will identify what platform you’re on, either Apple or Android, and it will give you an easy way to leave a review for our show in the platform that best suits your needs. I know lots of times we talk about leaving a review on iTunes. This will, with some technology, figure out the best places for you to leave reviews. And if you do leave a review, please make sure to let us know so we can appreciate your review and all sorts of fun and creative ways.

Joey Coleman (24:15):
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 (24:40):
Today’s myth about chatbots? Chatbots are glorified search engines. Allow me to explain. Straightforward questions should have straightforward answers correct? So why is it that so many chatbots respond to straightforward, basic customer questions by providing a list of helpful links or perhaps a massive article that takes 10 minutes to scroll through, just to find the one piece of information that you actually need. I’m not sure about you, Dan, but when this happens, I wind up asking to talk to an agent or I submit a support ticket. So I don’t have to waste my time with the chat bot.

Dan Gingiss (25:16):
Yeah, I hear you Joey, but while there’s a myth that chatbots are glorified search engines, the reality is that intelligent chatbots provide specific answers and use images, videos, and even interactive tools to provide customers with great support. For example, let’s say a product you purchased, isn’t working the way you hoped you bought some ski pants for example, and they don’t fit! If you visited a company’s online help center, an intelligent chat bot is able to ask short questions to help narrow down your problem and effectively troubleshoot the issue instead of displaying a bunch of random links or just copy of the manual that came with the product, which you probably have anyway, the chat bot shares the specific instructions or videos that you need to resolve the problem with a next gen chat bot. Common questions do have straightforward answers.

Joey Coleman (26:05):
That sounds like such a better customer experience. It’s about time that the technology provided straightforward answers to straightforward questions. We’ll learn more about advances in chat bots and support automation throughout the season.

Dan Gingiss (26:20):
And that’s another myth busted – thanks to our friends at Solvvy, the Next Gen Chatbot.

Joey Coleman (26:27):
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 (26:41):
As our loyal listeners probably remember, when it comes to the co-hosts of the Experience This Show, Dan is by far the better of the two of us when it comes to things like pinball, Chicago Cubs fandom, Twitter, and cooking.

Dan Gingiss (26:56):
Oh, well, hey, thanks man, pat me on the back! I really appreciate all the fine compliments. Uh, you’re definitely better when it comes to hair. I would say definitely a better singer. I would say for sure.

Joey Coleman (27:11):
No, no, not!

Dan Gingiss (27:11):
A better LEGO builder absolutely. Uh, but hey, I’m glad you called out cooking because I do love cooking and I am proud to say that I cook for my kids multiple times a week, usually at least four times a week and I have so much fun doing it. Now I’ve got them involved in it too.

Joey Coleman (27:28):
And you cook for teenagers and they eat what you cook, which is pretty impressive Dan! It shows that you

Dan Gingiss (27:33):
They do eat a lot of what I cook!

Joey Coleman (27:34):
They eat a lot of what you cook. I love it! So here’s the thing, I’ve got to confess, as we start out a new year, I’ve been considering some enhancements in my personal life. And one of those areas is to potentially improve my culinary skills. So I actually helped to make dinner tonight before we recorded this episode.

Dan Gingiss (27:54):
Really? Now I know your wife Berit is quite a good cook, so what was on the menu tonight?

Joey Coleman (27:59):
Yes. Berit is definitely the better cook in the family. She is normally the one providing all of the meals, which I so greatly appreciate. But tonight I thought I would start with pasta in boiling water.

Dan Gingiss (28:10):
Wow Joey! You’re like next stop, Top Chef right?

Joey Coleman (28:17):
And I can feel it coming well, no, I let’s be candid folks. We got to start somewhere. Right. But I have a question for you, Dan. How do you know when the spaghetti is ready?

Dan Gingiss (28:28):
The spaghetti is ready? Uh, well, uh, you know, usually I asked my friend a L E X a to set a timer for me, but if I forget, I kind of have to do the old, like tasted, burned my hand on the hot pasta if it’s too crunchy, put it back in. Okay.

Joey Coleman (28:44):
All right. So either the timer or the taste method, I also know this, throw it against the wall method. I’ve heard about, I’ve heard about the cut it in half method, which some people swear by, some people think that ruins the entire meal, but I tonight actually had some additional help in the kitchen that went beyond any of these techniques. I had some help from the fine folks at Barilla.

Dan Gingiss (29:09):
Barilla, like the Italian pasta company?

Joey Coleman (29:12):
Yes. And they helped me with music.

Dan Gingiss (29:17):
Music? I’m not sure I understand.

Joey Coleman (29:20):
Well, here’s the thing… A few weeks ago, a series of custom playlist appeared on Spotify. So let me play you a little sample:

Barilla Narrator (29:27):
[Italian well wishes…] [Inaudible].

Dan Gingiss (29:39):
Wow. Well, I didn’t really understand that, but I think the speaker was speaking Italian. What was being said there?

Joey Coleman (29:48):
Yeah – I have no idea. I agree. It was Italian and I don’t know what the speaker was saying, but here’s what I do know is that that clip came from the Mixtape Spaghetti playlist.

Dan Gingiss (29:59):
Of course it did!

Joey Coleman (29:59):
Play last mix tape spaghetti, right? This playlist is nine minutes and three seconds long. And if you start playing the playlist, when you add the spaghetti to the boiling water, when the last song ends on the playlist, you know, it’s time to remove the spaghetti and it will be cooked perfectly.

Dan Gingiss (30:18):
Nine minutes and three seconds.

Joey Coleman (30:20):
And three second!

Dan Gingiss (30:21):
I’ve never waited that three seconds.

Joey Coleman (30:27):
And there you go.

Dan Gingiss (30:28):
I love that. That is a kind of a fun way to it’s better than just a timer, tick, tick ticking, or, or the silence that you hear when you ask for a timer on your phone or your A-L-E-X-A. That was fun!

Joey Coleman (30:40):
Absolutely. And let’s be candid if you’re into pastas other than spaghetti, don’t worry. Barilla’s got you covered. In addition to Mixtape Spaghetti, you can listen to the Boom Bap Fusili, the Pleasant Melancholy Penne, the Moody Day Linguine, Top Hits Spaghetti, Best Song Penne, Timeless Emotion Fusili, and Simply Classics Linguini. All of those have their own playlist in short, there’s a musical playlist for pretty much every variety of pasta you might hope to cook.

Dan Gingiss (31:13):
I love that. And I, I would assume that sometimes you have to cook different pastas for different lengths. So I assume that

Joey Coleman (31:19):
Play this role different way.

Dan Gingiss (31:22):
Cool. It kind of reminds me, uh, you know, somewhat recently we were talking about, uh, the LEGO white noise music that you played for me.

Joey Coleman (31:30):
Uh, yes Dan, that would be Episode 121.

Dan Gingiss (31:34):
Aay! Look at you!

Joey Coleman (31:39):
Yeah, two episodes ago – this is not a huge stretch friends, but yeah, this whole idea of products that are going to be in people’s homes, providing a soundtrack for the product. So what can we learn from the creative folks at Barilla? Well, part of the customer experience is what happens when a customer is using your product or service and you’re not in the room with them to make sure it goes well. For years, companies have printed recommended cook times on the box of pasta that sometimes are read and followed, but most times aren’t by creating a Spotify playlist, Barilla is bringing some fun and entertainment to the kitchen. They know you might be listening to music while you cook. So why not let the music be part of the cooking experience. Now Dan and I realize you may not be in the business of making pasta and the playlist may not enhance your customer’s experience, but it does beg the question: what can you do to help your customer succeed when using your product or service? And how can you be creative in a way that lets them comply your instructions, even when you’re not in the room and thus get the full benefit of choosing to do business with you. Bon Appetito!

Joey Coleman (32:48):
Thanks for joining us for another episode of Experience This! You are the best listener ever!

Dan Gingiss (32:58):
And since you listened to the whole show…

Joey Coleman (33:01):
Yay you!

Dan Gingiss (33:02):
We’re curious… Was there a specific part of this episode that you enjoyed the most? If so, it would mean the world to us if you could share it with a coworker, a friend, or someone that just loves listening to podcasts.

Joey Coleman (33:12):
And while you’re in the sharing mood, if you felt inclined to jump over to iTunes – or wherever you find your podcasts – and write us a review, we would so appreciate it. And when you do, don’t forget to let us know as we might have a little surprise for you.

Dan Gingiss (33:28):
Thanks again for your time and we’ll see you next week for more.

Joey Coleman (33:31):
Experience

Dan Gingiss (33:33):
This!

Episode 119 – Using the Power of Nostalgia to Build Customer Connection

Join us as we discuss why your branding may spoil the experience, how to use nostalgia in unexpected ways, and what your culture says about your customer experience.

Packaging, Listening, and Interviewing – Oh My!

Host Contact Information

Email Dan: Dan@dangingiss.com

Tweet Dan Gingiss: @DGingiss

Email Joey: JoeyC@JoeyColeman.com

DanGingiss.com

JoeyColeman.com

Subscribe to Experience This on Apple Podcasts

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

Episode Transcript

Download an unedited transcript of Episode 119 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 (00:54):
Join us as we discuss: why your branding may spoil the experience, how to use nostalgia in unexpected ways, and what your culture says about your customer experience.

Joey Coleman (01:07):
Packaging, Listening, and Interviewing – Oh my!

Joey Coleman (01:13):
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):
Welcome back to Season Seven. Woo! We are so excited to be here with you. You know, who would have thunk back when we started out with Episode 1 that we would be coming to you in Episode 119 seven seasons later?! We are so pumped and excited for this season. We’ve got some new segments, we’ve got plenty of new stories, some new features for you to get more involved with the show. Woo! Lot to cover, but we’re going to get to that… Before we get started though, Dan, how was your holiday break brother?

Dan Gingiss (01:59):
Well, thanks for asking Joey and great to hear your voice again. It’s been a while since I’ve heard that melodic voice and great holiday season, as you may or may not know my birthday is on Christmas as well. So all the fun we had a great time and, you know, during the break, you and I also got to chat with our brand new partner for this season, Solvvy – The Next Generation Chatbot… And I’m really excited about this because I’ll be honest, I started off as a skeptic on chatbots and having talked with Solvvy, I’m now much more excited about chat bots because I understand them better and I understand what they can and can’t do. And that’s some of what we’re going to share with you, the audience during the season. And I think what will be a really cool segment,

Joey Coleman (02:49):
Absolutely super excited for these Solvvy conversations. You know, my holiday was a lot of fun as well. We’re settling in here in our new house in Iowa, which I’ll honest is a bit snow year and a good bit colder than it wasn’t Colorado, but we had a great Christmas with less people than usual. Like I’m sure with a lot of our listeners had that same experience. Yay, thanks COVID! But still had a lovely time. Although I must confess Dan, I had a bit of a customer experience snafu and I wanted to start things off on the show talking about it today.

Dan Gingiss (03:22):
Oh boy. So not everything was a holly jolly Christmas.

Joey Coleman (03:26):
No, no, it was not. And uh, to be honest, this is something we’ve talked about before on the show, but this time, this scenario showed up in a different way. So let me explain my incredible wife, Berit loves gifts and presents. If you were to look at the book, The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman and put her through the test, which we’ve done many a times, both. She and I have taken that test. She scores 12 out of 12 on gifts and presents. So I tried to surprise her with gifts and presents whenever I get the chance. And she’s very health conscious and we’re here in the Midwest now, and we’ve talked about farming and we have a family farm and I decided to order her an indoor lettuce farm. So it’s basically a vertical garden with grow lights that lets you grow more produce at home, which is better for the environment. It helps keep our family healthy too. And I was super excited about this gift and really wanted to surprise her because she loves surprises, especially when it comes to Christmas, but I’d never ordered for this company before and kind of didn’t know what to expect, but I signed up to receive the delivery alerts so I could make sure to sneak the box into the house. Cause I knew it was going to be a big box before she saw it.

Dan Gingiss (04:41):
Oh, I think I know where this is going,

Joey Coleman (04:44):
Dan. I think you may be correct. Well, here’s the scoop. So we’re coming up towards Christmas. We’re about two weeks out. I receive a message that the package was scheduled to be delivered on a Friday. I’m feeling good. We’re going to have plenty of time to wrap for Christmas, but on Wednesday morning, keep in mind. It’s supposed to be delivered on Friday. I come out to the kitchen to find Berit with kind of a guilty look on her face. Let me guess she had seen the present. Dan, not only had she seen the present, but the company who shall remain nameless here because it’s not really there. Now it’s debatable as to whether they’re to blame for this, but I just hope people will think differently after listening this segment – the company had written their name in huge letters all over all three of the large boxes and it was painfully obvious that this was a home-based lettuce growing kit, given the branding.

Dan Gingiss (05:42):
I have to laugh twice. I think I’ve laughed. Actually. Number one is I I’m still back at the whole concept of a lettuce farm, which I think is outstanding. But if you asked me, “Hey Dan, take a guess what we’re going to talk about in the first episode of 2021 it’s not what it’s not going to be. What I came up with

Joey Coleman (05:59):
And knowing you’re a big produce guy, Dan, I got to say you can grow more than lettuce. Okay. But let’s just say lettuce was the intention, the brand, there were some challenges.

Dan Gingiss (06:10):
All right, got you. Yep. And the other thing though that I was laughing about was you actually had the opposite experience a few years ago, I believe with a LEGO box.

Joey Coleman (06:19):
Yes, exactly. I regularly order from Lego and they go out of their way to ship their boxes blind – that is they ship them without any branding or labeling. Even the return address is impossible to decipher because they know that their products are often given as gifts.

Dan Gingiss (06:37):
I think that was Episode 56 of Season Three.

Joey Coleman (06:42):
Our loyal listeners will continue to be impressed with your rain man, esque knowledge of our back catalog of episodes. Dan, I guarantee. But yes, the fact that LEGO shipped the boxes blind way back in season three. And by the way, they still do it today because LEGO was another package that arrived at our house this Christmas and was a big hit. It shows that LEGO has thought through the trade-offs between promoting their brand and ruining the surprise when the package is delivered. Something that I wish this in-house, indoor, vertical farm would have done.

Dan Gingiss (07:16):
You know, I think this is interesting because I’m not so sure that the branding on the boxes does a whole lot. I mean, if you think about it, depending on the community that you live in, it might be sitting at someone’s doorstep that, you know, if you have any length of a driveway at all, you can’t see from the street. And so unless you’re trying to convince the mailman or mailwoman to, to purchase from your company, like, I don’t think this is one of these cases where millions of people are seeing it. Now

Joey Coleman (07:45):
It’s all about getting ups and FedEx drivers to buy more of your product!

Dan Gingiss (07:49):
It could be, I mean, I’m thinking two things, one, obviously the ubiquitous Amazon box, which you see a thousand times a day and almost any neighborhood, you know, that might be an exception. But I also, I wonder whether you know this, Joey, do you know that for years you were not allowed to have any branding on anything on any box shipped through the postal service. And that actually has changed. I have a feeling that Amazon ended up changing that, but for a while, if you, even, if you tried to reuse the box, for example, you had to cover up all the branding because the advertising wasn’t allowed.

Joey Coleman (08:22):
Well, I don’t exactly remember that whether it was allowed or not, I’ll defer to your expertise on this Dan. But I do agree with you that there’s kind of this healthy mix. And I know for example, Apple intentionally doesn’t say Apple on the box because they don’t want people stealing the boxes. Right? So I, and I also get that there’s this fine line between if your packaging also shows up in a retail environment, you might want to have a boxed in a certain way because it’s going to sit in a store and be visible. And it kind of almost becomes an in-store advertisement. But this company to my knowledge only sells online. And I just, I, you know, I’ll admit I was a little bit bummed that the surprise was given up. Not because of me, but because of the packaging of the box. So what could this company have done differently? Well, I’m not saying that branding, your packaging is bad. In fact, when done properly, it’s a great way to market and promote your offerings. However, if you think there is a chance that someone might purchase your product as a gift, especially around the holiday season, it would be a great experience to let purchasers choose their delivery packaging. Or if that’s too logistically complicated, at least let them know that the package will be arriving with lots of external branding so they can prepare themselves accordingly. You don’t want to be the brand that ruined Christmas. And there is nothing worse than creating a bad brand experience before the customers even opened the box.

Joey Coleman (09:57):
Just because you have required elements of your business doesn’t mean they need to be, Oh, it’s time to get creative, have some fun and make people sit up and take notice. Get your customers talking when you Make The Required Remarkable.

Joey Coleman (10:17):
I saw an interesting post on Medium recently from Tom Whitwell called “52 things I learned in 2020.” Tom is a managing consultant at Flux in London. And he shared a fascinating list of learnings, including one in particular that stood out to me. Number three on his list, “the hold music you hear when you phone Octopus Energy is personalized to your customer account. It’s a number one record from the year you were 14.

Dan Gingiss (10:44):
Well, first of all, octopus energy could be the best name of any energy company I’ve ever heard.

Joey Coleman (10:49):
It’s an awesome name!

Dan Gingiss (10:50):
but I love the concept of personalized hold music. I mean, we did talk about hold music way back in Season One, Episode 6, when we talked about that one impressed even me, ladies, I’m going to double down and say that we also talked about hold music on our other show, Experience Points – the game show – and Scott McCain was our guests that day. And, uh, we, we showed a couple of different, uh, hold music, examples, but nothing personalized to the year that you were 14 years old.

Joey Coleman (11:22):
This one feels really special. So when I first saw this, I had to learn more. So I checked out the octopus energy website and found some cheeky messaging. And I say cheeky, because they’re over in London that matched their creative hold music. Now this is how their about us page reads on the website. And I quote, “We’re doing energy better for you and for the environment. The energy industry in Britain is ruled by a handful of complacent, dinosaurs, peddling, fossil fuels, pricing, trickery, and poor customer service. In 2016, octopus entered the market to disrupt the status quo with energy that’s good for the planet, good for your wallet, and honestly, good for your soul. Since then, we’ve been picking up 30,000 customers a month on average, and now supply energy to 1.5 million UK homes and counting. To this day, 92% of our customers rate us as “five stars excellent” on Trustpilot. And we’re the only supplier to be recommended by consumer champion, which year after year, after a year, after a year.

Dan Gingiss (12:30):
Okay. Now I get the octopus joke because dinosaurs!

Joey Coleman (12:35):
There’s a lot of fun and games going on.

Dan Gingiss (12:39):
It’s outstanding! Gosh, where to start. You know, also I just love communication. I love words and how we talk to customers. And I do believe that every chance we have to communicate with customers in any channel is an opportunity to create an experience. That’s why we have this whole segment called Required Remarkable because so much of our communication is required and we don’t have to just make it boring. We can make it really interesting. And it seems like a, as they’re saying that what they’re doing is working because their customers love them. And let’s recall people, this is an energy company.

Joey Coleman (13:16):
Yeah. That’s the thing. This is an energy company and 92% of their customers rate them as five stars. Like we could just stop right there. I got to tell you, Dan, I wanted to become a customer of Octopus Energy and figure out how to make that happen – even though they’re based in the UK, because I was so intrigued by this! Well, and then I tracked down this specific page on their website that talks about their hold music and I quote, shut up and hold me at octopus energy, everything we make starts with the customer. So what does that mean for hold music? Well, if we have your birth date on file, we’ll play the song. That was number one when you were 14 years old. Keen to know what your octopus jam is? Just select your birth year below and we’ll let you know, and then you can type in your birth year and it tells you what the song would be. And I love this and think it’s a beautiful example of creating a required remarkable strategy that takes advantage of a nostalgia trend play.

Dan Gingiss (14:14):
Do go on Joey – say more about that…

Joey Coleman (14:17):
Well, I think, you know, as you mentioned earlier, Dan, we talk about this idea that there are required elements of your business, that you have the chance to make remarkable yet most businesses don’t do that. We’ve also talked about in previous episodes, uh, this whole idea of a nostalgia play, especially for folks who are over 30 and as you get older, the numbers that desire for nostalgia increases even more that if you can reach back and grab something from the past and bring it to the present, it gives us warm, fuzzy feelings inside. And I don’t know about you, but at about 14 music really started to play a different role in my life than it had before. And this idea of anchoring into some key songs that were right at that transitional period in life, I think is a great way to take customers of any age and bring them back to some really positive feelings around music.

Dan Gingiss (15:13):
Agreed and nostalgia, I think always plays it’s, it’s personalized in and of itself. We obviously all feel nostalgic about different things, but music is something that brings people together and, you know, the 14, I’m sure some report told them that 14 was the ideal year, but I think you’re right, that you know, that somewhere in your teenage years is where you really start connecting with music. And, and you remember those, those songs and, you know, Joey, I couldn’t help, but notice that you and I have the same birth year. We do. We do. I’m born at the beginning of the year. You’re a little youngster, you’re born more towards the end of the year, but I think it’d be, uh, I wonder if any of our listeners could guess given that you and I were born in 1973, what the number one song was when we were 14?

Mystery Singer (16:05):
Never gonna give you up, never gonna let you down, never gonna run around and desert you!

Joey Coleman (16:14):
Oh goodness. How about that? Who would have thought that two jokers like us would get to have the number one song when we were 14, be the song that is infamous on the internet?!

Dan Gingiss (16:25):
Fantastic. Love it. And it certainly that that song gets me home in every time and singing out loud. So I, I think it would work if I were waiting on, hold on. I also love the fact that I just want to go back to the fact that you said the website started with “Shut up and hold me!” And you know, I mean, I said before about the “I’m On Hold” song, my first experience ever with that song, I literally felt like I didn’t want the conference call to start because I wanted to hear the end of the song and think about how different that is from the feeling you normally have when you’re on hold. And so, yeah, obviously ideally, no one would be on hold ever. But given that, that does seem to be a fact of life playing a song that, you know, the person’s going to be rocking out to is a great idea.

Joey Coleman (17:15):
Absolutely. You know, friends auditing your customer touchpoints and looking for ways to enhance them is always a good idea, but it seems particularly timely at the beginning of a new year. You can get some fast wins. You can instill a sense of creativity and really start things off on the right foot or the right note as one might decide. So take some inspiration from the fine folks at Octopus Energy and go find ways to make the required elements of your business more remarkable.

Joey Coleman (17:50):
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 (18:17):
Today’s myth about chatbots? Chatbots aren’t smart. Have you ever had the chance to ask a chat bot, something that you think is a very simple question and you get a response like I don’t understand or try asking again, that’s my chatbot robot voice, by the way, this is not only frustrating, but it leaves me feeling like I’m wasting my time. And as a result, I ended up desperately seeking a human.

Dan Gingiss (18:42):
Now while there is a myth that chatbots aren’t smart. The reality is that modern chatbots are intelligent. Chatbots are now using N L P – an abbreviation for natural language processing, which also allows a chat bot to interpret a customer question along with the intent behind it, regardless of how it’s expressed in a chat.

Joey Coleman (19:05):
For example, you might not have received a package that you were expecting, maybe something special you ordered for Christmas. If you were to type in, I haven’t received my package yet, or even more specifically, my indoor lettuce farm is missing modern chatbots like Solvvy interpret the intention you have to track or locate your package. The chatbot then guides the customer to the right place to do this. Fast resolution, a happy customer, no support ticket necessary!

Dan Gingiss (19:34):
Now that sounds like a much better customer experience. It is about time that the technology started to understand what I want. Even if I don’t say it as clearly as I could. We’ll learn more about advances in chat bot and support automation throughout the season.

Joey Coleman (19:50):
That’s another myth busted. Thanks to our friends at Solvvy – the NextGen chatbot.

Joey Coleman (20:00):
Have you ever found yourself saying, “I wonder what Dan and Joey would think about this situation?” Well, guess what? Now you can know, just tag us on social or message us through our website with a customer experience, scenario, a question or anything else you’re curious about, and you’ll get to hear our answers. When you Ask Us Anything.

Joey Coleman (20:27):
We are super excited to introduce a brand new segment this season here in season seven, doing things, new friends called ask us anything.

Dan Gingiss (20:37):
Similar to the famous, ask me anything – or AMA – that started on Reddit in the ask us anything segment of our show. Listeners submit a scenario, question, or topic for Joey and me to discuss, but the topics will all be customer experience related.

Joey Coleman (20:54):
Now, part of the credit for this segment goes to Tony Amante Schepers – the Director of Operations, Customer Success, and Customer Experience at OYO USA. Tony recently wrote an article on LinkedIn about the importance of sharing your company culture as part of your interview process. And he tagged Dan and me to get our thoughts on the subject. Now let’s be honest. Tony’s a great guy. We appreciate him and tagging us always good to tag Dan. First on the socialist friends, he’s the social media expert gets stuff out there on the socials for Dan, if you want to tag me as well, that’s fine too. But long story short, we saw the article and we thought this would be a fun way to have a new segment on the show.

Dan Gingiss (21:36):
Agreed. So it worked Tony! Let’s give you a brief overview of his article. It was called “Four steps to sharing company culture during the interview process and why you need to.” In the article, Tony shares research that the number one reason, someone stays with an employer is culture. And the number one reason, someone leaves an employer is culture. He goes on to define company culture as quote the day-to-day way things get done, how coworkers communicate with each other, how they communicate to the client, how often leadership mingles with, and if they listen to those lower on the totem pole, the frequency in which wins are shared and celebrated company-wide. And the way in which losses are treated as learning moments, not slaps on the hand,” unquote.

Joey Coleman (22:26):
Tony notes that while there is certainly a lot of churn in the marketplace, when it comes to employment right now, quote, “What will keep an employee present once the pandemic and lockdown ends is the employer valuing the hire from day one.” And by “day one,” what Tony means is from the start of the interview process, he believes that quote it’s vital to show how company culture operates, how a business communicates internally to accomplish daily tasks.

Dan Gingiss (22:55):
Tony outlines the four steps to sharing company culture as follows: (1) Get an internal pulse check by surveying employees about how they rate internal communication and then sharing that broadly across the organization and with new hires. (2) Try out new modes of communication videos, social media, et cetera, show the world, the business and the faces behind it.

Joey Coleman (23:20):
Number three, conduct a culture fit interview, giving job candidates, a brief personality test to see if their approach to problem solving will be a good fit for your company culture. And number four, share how teams talk be transparent in the interview process about how employees use things like Slack, Microsoft Teams, email voicemails, happy hours, all hands meetings, et cetera. So now that laid the foundation of Tony’s hypothesis, that culture really matters and that you should show that as part of the interview process, what do you think about this Dan?

Dan Gingiss (23:56):
I love the idea because the culture is one of the things that’s really hard to suss out as an interviewee, right? If you think about it, you’re going in, you’re talking to people, their job is essentially to say nice things about the company. And so if you’re doing your research, you’re probably looking at sites like glass door, or you’re calling somebody who used to work there, or what have you to get the real scoop because the front that companies put on is, you know, might as well be put out by the PR department with no offense to PR departments, because it is always so positive. Right? And then you get there and it’s like, Oh, well, you know, you didn’t tell me this part. I’ll give you a real life example from my career Joey. I know, you know, this one is I signed on to be the head of global social media at McDonald’s and it was not until my first day of work that I learned that in McDonald’s culture, the United States is not part of global. That might’ve been something…

Joey Coleman (24:58):
Such a mind opening experience!

Dan Gingiss (25:00):
Yeah. I mean, I, it might’ve been something that would have been cool to discuss in the interview. It never came up. I didn’t know that the company was divided into domestic and global and that global meant everything, but the U S but man, that was a real eye opener on day one. And I think that, you know, the cultural things, like, I mean, he mentioned Slack. For example, I was at a company, a late stage startup was my first ever exposure to Slack. I fell in love with it. I loved it. My emails were much, I got much fewer emails during the day. It was a great way to communicate. But man, if you’ve never used it before, that might be something that’s scary or

Joey Coleman (25:42):
Or if you have you used it like I have and you didn’t like it… If I found out after I got on the job, that it was a Slack shop that everybody was using Slack, no offense to the great team at Slack and what they’ve built. I would not be super happy about that because it’s like, Oh, on top of fitting in, I need to fit in, in the way that you’re fitting in with the technology tools. And that was the one I really liked. You know, I liked all the examples that Tony gave, but that one in particular I thought was a great way to give people exposure. Like maybe let them see, not only that you use Slack, but what are some of the chats? What are the things that people are saying? I think channels is the phrase that they use in Slack, you know, invite them to your happy hour, invite your interviewees, to come to your happy hour and see are these the kinds of people we want to hang out with.

Dan Gingiss (26:32):
So, by the way, we have a very, the old segment we have not used in a really long time. It might even be in retirement. We’re going to have to pull it out. It’s called “Agree to Disagree!”

Joey Coleman (26:43):
Aww – bringing us back!

Dan Gingiss (26:43):
We’re going to have one about Slack, Joey, because I love Slack. I love it. Yeah. And I think we should have that conversation. So that’ll be a future episode. Thank you, Tony. You are just continuing to contribute to our show. But you’re right. The happy hours, the meetings, even what people, how, how people dress. What’s appropriate and not in terms of, you know, a lot in startup culture, there’s things like ping pong tables and, and snacks and all that sort of thing. And you get used to some of that stuff, but then it’s also, you know, you switched to a more traditional company and that stuff all goes away or things like open seating that’s become that, that pre COVID was becoming so popular. That is something personally that I never particularly enjoyed. I always liked having my own space where I can put a picture frame and you know, my coffee mug and stuff like that. And, and having to just show up and pick a cube every day was very unnerving to me. So I do think those are all things that are very relevant to culture. And then obviously what’s not being said here is that when employees are happy, when they like the culture, when they enjoy going to work every day, that then gets projected onto the customers and customers can see when employees like where they’re working. I mean, I always like to give the example of when you walk into a fast food restaurant and a, and that person behind the counter, it looks like you’re interrupting their otherwise pleasant day by wanting to place an order.

Joey Coleman (28:12):
Yeah – “sorry for interrupting you!”

Dan Gingiss (28:15):
Yeah. That gives you a good sense for what it’s like to work at that company.

Joey Coleman (28:18):
Absolutely. And I think the parallel, some people might be listening to this saying, well, wait a second guys, how does this connect to customer experience? Well, and as we talk about a lot on the show customer experience and employee experience are two sides of the same coin. I think when you think about the culture of your organization, that absolutely spills into your customer interactions, and you want to make sure that a new employee is going to get the fit. They’re going to want to understand how you communicate. I mean, go back to the earlier conversation we had in this episode about Octopus Energy. If you’re a buttoned up straight laced, you know, traditional, conservative, corporate business person, you’re probably not going to fit in well at a place like Octopus Energy. That’s my guess, just based on the language they use on their website. So I think at the end of the day, there’s a real opportunity to preview what it’s going to be like to be an employee as much as possible. Because if we can get folks to understand before they start the job, what the job is really going to be like, there’s a much higher likelihood that it’s going to be successful for everyone, not only the employee, but for the folks that are inviting this new employee in.

Dan Gingiss (29:33):
If you’d like to submit a question, a topic, or a theory about customer experience that you’d like us to discuss as part of our next, ask us anything segment it’s pretty easy. You could just tag us on social media like Tony did or visit ExperienceThisShow.com, go to the contact page and send us a little message with your question. And Hey Tony, we’re going to send you a package of surprise and delight for asking our first question and well, we might do it for the second, third, fourth, fifth, and 20th questions too. We look forward to answering more of your questions throughout this season.

Joey Coleman (30:11):
Thanks for joining us for another episode of Experience This! You are the best listener ever!

Dan Gingiss (30:17):
And since you listened to the whole show…

Joey Coleman (30:19):
Yay you!

Dan Gingiss (30:21):
We’re curious… Was there a specific part of this episode that you enjoyed the most? If so, it would mean the world to us if you could share it with a coworker, a friend, or someone that just loves listening to podcasts!

Joey Coleman (30:31):
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 (30:47):
Thanks again for your time and we’ll see you next week for more…

Joey Coleman (30:49):
Experience!

Dan Gingiss (30:51):
This!

Episode 110 – Creating Moving Experiences for People Who Are Moving

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

Canceling, Filing, and Updating – Oh My!

[Dissecting the Experience] The Xcellent Xfinity Xperience

Things We Mentioned in This Segment:

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

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

Things We Mentioned in This Segment:

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

• U-Haul
Joe Maddon – Manager, Chicago Cubs

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

Things We Mentioned in This Segment:

• Avtex
• Experience Points

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

Things We Mentioned in This Segment:

• Magazine Subscriptions
• USPS Address Update

Host Contact Information

Email Dan: Dan@dangingiss.com

Tweet Dan Gingiss: @DGingiss

Email Joey: JoeyC@JoeyColeman.com

DanGingiss.com

JoeyColeman.com

Subscribe to Experience This on Apple Podcasts

Episode Transcript

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dan Gingiss (33:23):
We know there are tons of podcasts to listen to, magazines and books to read, reality TV to watch. We don’t take for granted that you’ve decided to spend some quality time listening to the two of us.

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

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

Joey Coleman (33:54):
Experience.

Dan Gingiss (33:54):
This!

Episode 108 – From Analog to Augmented – Creating Experiences Everywhere

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

Payments, Pokemon, and Planning – Oh My!

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

Things We Mentioned in This Segment:

• IVR – Interactive Voice Response

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

Things We Mentioned in This Segment:

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

[Partnership with Avtex] Experience Points: Think Fast!

Avtex
• Experience Points

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

Things We Mentioned in This Segment:



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

Host Contact Information

Email Dan: Dan@dangingiss.com

Tweet Dan Gingiss: @DGingiss

Email Joey: JoeyC@JoeyColeman.com

DanGingiss.com

JoeyColeman.com

Subscribe to Experience This on Apple Podcasts

Episode Transcript

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Joey Coleman (05:48):
Correct!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dan Gingiss (23:51): Actually…

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

Dan Gingiss (24:00):
Actually…

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

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

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

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

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

[PARTNERSHIP WITH AVTEX] Think Fast!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dan Gingiss (28:23):
I’m ready!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dan Gingiss (28:54):
78%.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Joey Coleman (41:32):
Experience.

Dan Gingiss (41:32):
This!

Episode 107 – The “Behind the Scenes” Elements and People that Make for a Remarkable Experience

Join us as we discuss the story behind the story of America’s biggest winery, CX heroes who remain behind-the-scenes, and a lifetime warranty that over-delivered.

Wines, Horns, and Suitcases – Oh My!

[Make the Required Remarkable] Your Brand Spirit Should Be Evident in Everything You Do

Things We Mentioned in This Segment:

Barefoot Wines – Making Things Beautiful Rockets Your Business Forward
The Barefoot Spirit: How Hardship, Hustle, and Heart Built America’s #1 Wine Brand – by Bonnie Harvey and Michael Houlihan
• The Shadow
• Ed Asner
** Note: audio clip from “The Barefoot Spirit” used with permission.

[CX Press] The People Behind the Scenes “Make” The Customer Experience

Things We Mentioned in This Segment:

The goal-horn operator. The ‘Split the Pot’ seller. The Zamboni driver. Meet 8 behind-the-scenes people who make things go during Blackhawks games at the United Center – by Jimmy Greenfield of The Chicago Tribune

[Partnership with Avtex] Experience Points: What Happened?

Avtex
• Experience Points

[This Just Happened] Kenneth Cole’s Luggage Secret? Avoid Customer “Baggage” with a Strong Warranty

Things We Mentioned in This Segment:

• Kenneth Cole Luggage
Episode 89 – Travel Away with New Luggage
• Away Bags
• Episode 4 – Dissecting the Lands End Experience
• Episode 77 – How to Turn a Negative Experience into a Lifelong Customer

Host Contact Information

Email Dan: Dan@dangingiss.com

Tweet Dan Gingiss: @DGingiss

Email Joey: JoeyC@JoeyColeman.com

DanGingiss.com

JoeyColeman.com

Subscribe to Experience This on Apple Podcasts

Episode Transcript

Download an automated (non-corrected) transcript of Episode 107 or read it below:

[SHOW INTRO]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cabos, Cameos, and Canadian – Oh My!

[Required Remarkable] The Experience Before the Experience Matters Too

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[CX Press] Talk Like a Legend Today

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

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

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

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

[Book Report] Think. Do. Say.

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

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

Ron Tite, author of Think. Do. Say.

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

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

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

Links We Referenced

Host Contact Information

Email Dan: Dan@dangingiss.com

Tweet Dan Gingiss: @DGingiss

Email Joey: JoeyC@JoeyColeman.com

DanGingiss.com

JoeyColeman.com

Subscribe to Experience This on Apple Podcasts

Episode Transcript

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

Dan Gingiss: Welcome to Experience This.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Joey Coleman: Fair enough. Fair enough.

Dan Gingiss: Not that often.

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

Dan Gingiss: I have a question.

Joey Coleman: Yes.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dan Gingiss: Dang.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Joey Coleman: Nice, nice. I like it.

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

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

[CX Press] Talk Like a Legend

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Joey Coleman: Okay.

Dan Gingiss: So I get it.

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

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

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

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

Joey Coleman: Oh, sure.

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

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

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

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

[Book Report] Think, Do, Say

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Joey Coleman: Experience!

Dan Gingiss: This!


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

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

100 Episodes – Oh My!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1 . Steve Spangler Science (Episode 24) Our first ever “double-length” episode, we brought the experience home to our children when we introduced them to Steve Spangler’s incredible science kits. Bringing science experiments into the house not only creates remarkable experiences for young learners, but it turns them into raving fans of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) when they get back to the classroom.

To create a truly remarkable customer experience, you must go deep with your customers. When you design every single aspect of an interaction as part of one cohesive experience, the impact is noticeable, significant, and long-lasting.

[Avtex Webinar] The 4 Phases to Managing CX Through Crisis

As we are all now aware, global pandemics, natural disasters, and other unforeseen events can wreak havoc on business plans. There isn’t a business that hasn’t dealt with this in the last two months as the result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Which is why our friends at Avtex (gracious sponsors of Season 5 of the Experience This! Show) are planning to share their Responding to Crisis with CX model in a FREE webinar on May 5, 2020 at 1:00pm EDT/ 12:00pm CDT.

To register for this webinar and receive a free copy of their white paper: “A Four-Phased Approach to Delivering Effective Customer Experience During a Crisis” go to: experienceconversations.com

[Required Remarkable] The Best of “Make the Required Remarkable”

Every business has dozens of required elements – but few put in the extra effort to make those required elements remarkable. By paying attention to the expected interactions and making them remarkable, patrons will realize that your commitment to customer experience runs deep. Let’s count down the Top 5 experiences of “Make the Required Remarkable”:

5. Birthday Wishes (Episode 66) What makes for a disappointing birthday? When someone that claims to care about you, and knows your birthday, doesn’t do anything to acknowledge your special day. Too many companies ask for your birthday information and then do nothing with it. Our one wish as we blow out our birthday candles? That brands start to acknowledge memorable milestones for their customers.

4. Women Wins $10K for Reading Fine Print (Episode 73) Sometimes, reading the fine print pays off. That was certainly the case for one woman who took advantage of some playful fine print in a disclaimer and won $10,000 in the process!

3. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter (Episode 41) How do you bring a magical movie to life in the real world? Create an immersive experience like the one at Universal Studios and transport your customers into another realm that will captivate, inspire, and excite them – not to mention getting them to tell everyone they know about their experience.

2. “I’m on Hold” Music (Episode 6) What if the hold music people listened to while waiting to speak with you was designed to be part of the experience? That’s what we’re talking about when we say evaluate every customer touchpoint that you’re required to have and look for ways to make it remarkable!

1 . Your Customers are Cheating on You (Episode 1) For our very first segment of our very first episode, we turned to the Godfather of Customer Service – our good friend Shep Hyken and his belief (that we agree with!) that your competition is every other company with which your customers do business.

Thank You for Listening!

We’d certainly be remiss if we didn’t take this time to thank all of our loyal listeners who have stuck by us for 100 episodes.! Without you, there literally wouldn’t be a podcast. So thank you, from the bottom of our hearts, for allowing us to take up some of your valuable time each week and for letting us do something we love doing. Here’s to the next 100 episodes!

Host Contact Information

Email Dan: Dan@dangingiss.com

Tweet Dan Gingiss: @DGingiss

Email Joey: JoeyC@JoeyColeman.com

DanGingiss.com

JoeyColeman.com

Subscribe to Experience This on Apple Podcasts

Episode Transcript

Download a transcript of the entire Episode 100 here or read it below:

Joey Coleman: Welcome to Experience This, where you’ll find inspiring examples of customer experience, great stories of customer service and tips on how to make your customers love you even more. Always upbeat and definitely entertaining customer attention expert, Joey Coleman and social media expert Dan Gingiss serve as your hosts for a weekly dose of positive customer experience. So hold onto your headphones. It’s time to experience this.

Dan Gingiss: Get ready for a special 100th episode of the Experience This show.

Joey Coleman: Woohoo. Join us as we look back on some of our favorite customer experience stories in three of our most popular segments, counting down to the best of the best.

Dan Gingiss: Episodes and episodes and episodes.

Joey Coleman: And episodes and episodes and episodes.

Dan Gingiss: And more episodes. Oh my.

The Best of ‘This Just Happened’

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

Dan Gingiss: Welcome everyone to episode 100 of the Experience This show. I’m not going to lie, Joey. I think this is a pretty momentous occasion.

Joey Coleman: I’m not going to lie, Dan, I didn’t know if we’d make it. No, I’m just kidding. I knew we’d make it. But I too think this is kind of a fun marker, not only for us, but more importantly for our listeners. I mean at the end of the day, most podcasts don’t make it to 100 episodes. And who would have thunk way back when when our mutual friend Jay Baer was hosting a little gathering and you and I were standing next to each other talking and he came up and said, “Hey, I think you guys should do a podcast together,” that we’d be here in season five, 100 episodes later?

Dan Gingiss: Yeah. But if we had known better back then and not recorded 40 episodes in season one.

Joey Coleman: Season one is really long. We would be much deeper in five seasons if we would have broken this up.

Dan Gingiss: We’d be at least in season seven. But anyway, that aside, we thought we’d do something a little bit different and a little bit special for our 100th episode. See, when we first started this podcast, we wanted to make it a unique listening experience, which is why one of our first decisions was to not make it an interview show like so many other business podcasts.

Joey Coleman: And that’s nothing against interview show, folks. Some of our favorite other podcasts are interview shows. It’s just we wanted to try something completely new, which ironically enough, hasn’t stopped a plethora of PR agents reaching out to pitch us on interviewing the CEOs of companies, even though we don’t do interviews. But I digress.

Dan Gingiss: Exactly. Well, the whole idea was is we felt like if we were going to teach people how to create remarkable experiences, we needed to make sure that we were creating a remarkable listening experience for our show. And to do that, we wanted to do something different. So we settled on three main segments per episode. And to make it even more interesting, we created nine different segment types. And we eventually added two more after that so that you never know quite what you’re going to get from each episode. Now when people ask me about the podcast and they haven’t listened to us, I liken it to the Price Is Right, except sadly without Bob Barker.

Joey Coleman: Dan Gingiss, come on down.

Dan Gingiss: Thank you Johnny. I’ll bid $1. In any event, after more than 300 individual segments, we thought we’d celebrate this week by looking back at some of our favorites for three of our most frequent segment categories. And the first one is This Just Happened. Believe it or not, we’ve had 65 This Just Happened stories over the years. So picking the top ones was quite challenging. These segments were created for us to share personal experiences and also brand experiences that we hear about from friends, family, and in social media. After all, remarkable experiences are the ones that are most often shared in the first place. So let’s count down the top five.

Joey Coleman: Number five is Empower CX. Episode 65, the only time we’ve done an episode completely live, but maybe not the last time. There might be some interesting things in the work, people. At the end of the day, a live experience was absolutely incredible for us, and the audience seemed to enjoy it as well. In fact, we enjoyed working with our friends at Sitel so much that we created a second podcast with them where Dan and I are the host called Empower CX Now.

Dan Gingiss: Number four is kids talking to Alexa, which came in our very first episode, episode one. And that was so much fun in particular because I mentioned during that segment that one of the things my kids, much younger at the time, liked to do was to ask Alexa to play the poop song, which is a real song. As it turns out, I believe because of a Google alert, the writer of the poop song found out that we referenced his song and he emailed me, thanking me for the reference and telling me that he actually holds the Guinness Book Of World Records for the most songs written. He’s written 65,000 songs, including a whole bunch, I’m not making this up, about poop, puke and pee.

Joey Coleman: Wow. Here in the hundredth episode, we decide to digress into the unprofessional side. But nonetheless…

Dan Gingiss: Well I can tell you my kids that day thought that dad was a true hero because the guy who wrote the poop song was emailing him.

Joey Coleman: I absolutely love it. So number three was episode 18, the story of Take On Me. Now, you may be familiar with that classic ’80s tune Take On Me by Aha. Well, what had happened is they had recorded at a private concert an acoustic version that was not only as poignant and as catchy as the original one, but was in many ways haunting and marked a nostalgic time for all of us that had grown up listening to the song and the original version to hear it as a quiet, more acoustic version years later. Oh, my kids still request that song be played because it’s such a great version of the song.

Dan Gingiss: Yeah, it was awesome. And it was hard to believe that you could take what was almost a perfect ’80s song and even try to improve upon it, dare to improve upon it. But they did a great job. Number two, and this is one that I repeat quite often in my keynote speeches because I just love it, is the Stephen Curry basketball shoes story. This is where NBA all star, Stephen Curry, received a handwritten note from a girl named Riley who was very upset because she couldn’t find his shoes in girl sizes. Now she had done her homework. She knew that Stephen had daughters and was a big proponent of women’s sports and pointed this out in the letter, and asked for him to please make the shoes available in girl sizes. Stephen Curry, NBA all star, busy millionaire, on the court and off the court, entrepreneur, he took the time to write a handwritten note back to Riley.

Dan Gingiss: Not only telling her that he was correcting the oversight with the manufacturer, offering her the newest pair of his Curry shoes right off of the assembly line. But finally saying that in advance of International Women’s Day, he wanted Riley to help him design a brand new girl’s shoe, which she got to do. And there’s this awesome picture that was put out by Under Armor showing Riley holding her shoe, which she autographed for Stephen Curry. It was a wonderful story and the message there was if Stephen Curry can respond to his fans with a handwritten letter, can’t you do the same for your customers?

Joey Coleman: Oh, I love it. I love it. I love it. The power of the handwritten note, which brings us to number one, the top episode of This Just Happened over the last hundred episodes, five seasons is none other than chewy.com, the only company to appear twice on our This Just Happened list. Well we first talked about their amazing personal customer service in episode 17 after three different acquaintances of ours brought the company to our attention within the same week, folks. Okay. This happened within the same week. And I remember your friend Mike after losing his cat, Homey, completely stunned to receive a bouquet of flowers and a sympathy card from this amazing company. We talked about how important it is to treat customers well even on the way out. After all, Mike by definition was no longer a customer at the time. But of course when Mike got another cat, you can guess where he went back to purchasing food and supplies. Yes. That would be chewy.com. And then in episode 50, you shared what you thought was the greatest customer service email ever.

Dan Gingiss: Oh yeah. That one was to our listener, Mari Anhel, and I’ll never forget her cat Roma, and she had left a negative review on Chewy’s site about a particular brand of cat litter, not a Chewy brand, and she left a negative review because she wanted to warn other long haired cat owners that this particular litter did not work well for her cat. Chewy saw the review, proactively sent out an email saying, “We’re so sorry that you had a bad experience with this litter. We’ve gone ahead and refunded your money.” Please note that Mari Anhel never asked for a refund.

Dan Gingiss: The customer service agent then took the time to share four other litters and links to purchasing those that she thought might work better for her long haired cat, mentioned the cat by name and offered to put a picture of the cat up in their offices. I absolutely love this letter, and one of the things that I thought was amazing about it was despite how personalized it was, I truly believe that most of it was templated so that it is repeatable and scalable in their business, which again means you can do the same thing.

Joey Coleman: So is there one takeaway that you think people should have from listening to all of these This Just Happened segments Dan?

Dan Gingiss: I do, and we’ve said it many times on the show in different ways. The bar for customer experience is very, very low, and you don’t need to high jump over it. You just need to do a little bit better to stand out, make something ordinary into extraordinary, step over that low bar. You don’t have to worry about jumping. And then when you create that extraordinary experience, we’ll talk about it on our show.

The Best of ‘Dissecting The Experience’

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

Dan Gingiss: Now continuing on in our 100th episode, we’re going to now look at Dissecting The Experience. We’ve had 54 Dissecting The Experience segments since we began the show. And we looked back at all of them to select our favorites. Now with Dissecting The Experience, we wanted to take a deeper dive into some experiences to really get at what makes them remarkable, and often it’s more than one thing. So without further ado, let’s count down the top five.

Joey Coleman: Number five is a fantastic restaurant with a great mission in Denver, Colorado called Pizzability. I had the opportunity to go to Pizzability and see how their entire restaurant experience is designed to be accessible, accessible to the different types of customers that they have, whether that’s utensils that were easier to hold, menus that you didn’t have to read, the ability to mark things by sight and by pointing as opposed to needing to speak. The entire experience was designed to be remarkable, frankly for an audience and a customer demographic who usually is struggling with the way things have been designed. It was a beautiful example of how you can make the experiences you create accessible to all of your customers, not just some of them.

Dan Gingiss: Number four is Imperfect Produce, which we covered in episode 57. This is one of my favorite companies based in San Francisco, and they help farmers by rescuing fruit and vegetables that would otherwise go to the landfill simply because they aren’t as pretty as the produce that supermarkets and grocery stores demand. Sometimes they’re too big, sometimes they’re too small, sometimes they have a little bit of a dent, but they all taste perfectly good and there’s no need to waste them. So Imperfect boxes them up and ships them out as a subscription service that is so flexible. You get to pick exactly what you want in your box every week. I enjoy being a customer.

Dan Gingiss: And one of the things that keeps me there is they help to track the impact that I, Dan Gingiss, have had on the environment by participating in this service. The amount of produce, now over 500 pounds for me, that would have gone to the landfill, the amount of water and CO2 that’s saved from farmers not having to replant every year. And they all do it with a lot of wit and humor in their marketing, ranging from their billboard ads, which have a picture of dancing dates and saying, “We’ll help you get more dates,” to the messages on their box that include helpful information about storing fruits and vegetables but also things that make you smile, to some of the special goodies and surprises that they’ll insert in the box when you least expect it. It’s a terrific experience and very deserving of number four on our list.

Joey Coleman: Number three is the fantastic sports team, the Savannah Bananas. Back in episode 71, I shared an experience that my family and I had visiting the Savannah Bananas baseball team. Run by our good friends, Jesse and Emily Cole, the Savannah Bananas is not really a baseball team. Yeah, they play baseball, but it’s basically a party where a baseball game breaks out. They do amazing things like having a child hit the first pitch so that they run the bases and make sure they’re all working, which my oldest son got to do. Then they have another kid in the audience say, “Play ball,” to start the game, which my other son got to do. I got to throw in the first pitch, which of course was a banana, not a baseball. There were fireworks, there were promotions, there were stunts, there were games. And in the background, there was a baseball game that was played. Folks, if you get the chance to spend any time in the Southern East coast of the United States, find your way to a Savannah Bananas baseball game for a remarkable audience experience.

Dan Gingiss: Number two on the list is website navigation, a segment that we did in episode 48. And the reason why this went so high on the list for me was that it was something that I really, really learned from, even though I spent over three years managing website design and development for a Fortune 300 company. You see, what this piece of research found was that B2B companies, especially in the SAS space, which is software as a service space, almost all of them have the exact same navigation on their website. And this design agency was trying to get one of their clients to have different navigation, and the client was resisting because they wanted to be like all of their competitors. So this agency went out and did a big survey, and what they found was absolutely stunning. Customers had no idea where to find things on the website because the navigation that was being used had similar words like services and products and programs and other things where people couldn’t tell the difference between them.

Dan Gingiss: And so when asked, where do you think you would find this on the website? They had no idea. And that was a stunner for me and something that I really learned from and took to some consulting clients and to other companies that I know to use as advice. And that to me is really why we’re here, Joey, is to learn things and not just teach them to others, but to learn them ourselves. And that’s why I loved that segment.

Joey Coleman: Such a great segment, which brings us to the number one segment of Dissecting The Experience across 100 episodes of the Experience This show. Ladies and gentlemen, let me take you back to season one episode 24 when we had a double segment talking about Steve Spangler Science. Steve Spangler Science is a company that offers science kits that you can order to do experiments in your home. We did a box opening with each of our kids. We audio recorded this so that you could hear the oohs and the ahs as the kids got to experiment with science and learn in the process while also having fun.

Joey Coleman: We then paired this with An I Love It, Can’t Stand It segment about the things that are great and not so great about school. And we got the same kids who had played with the Steve Spangler Science kit to actually tell us about their experience of school and education. When it comes to being lifelong learners, I think we have a tendency as we become adults to focus more on books and podcasts and going to conferences instead of more kinesthetic learning experiences like doing experiments, blowing things up, making snow in your house, the crazy things you can do with Steve Spangler Science kits. So there you have it, ladies and gentlemen, the top five examples of Dissecting The Experience. Dan, what do you think is the main takeaway from the segments? How can we dissect the takeaway?

Dan Gingiss: Dissect the dissection, if you will. Well, in order to create a truly remarkable customer experience, you have to go beyond just the surface, which is exactly why we called the segment Dissecting The Experience in the first place. All of these great examples showcase companies that are thinking about every single aspect of the experience as one cohesive thing, not as individual disconnected experiences created by siloed organizational charts. I think when you look at all of these examples plus a lot of the others that we’ve shared in this show, that’s really the key thing that we want people to remember is that when your organization is siloed, you might be able to improve one piece of the experience. But these are companies that have taken a look at everything from their marketing and advertising to their packaging, to their actual product or service to their customer service, to their social media. I could go on and on and on. And it all fits together into a cohesive experience. And if you want us to include your company in a future Dissecting The Experience, that’s what you’re going to have to do.

The Best of ‘Required Remarkable’

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

Dan Gingiss: So wrapping up our special 100th episode, we’re now going to talk about our Required Remarkable segment. But before we get into it, we do have to point out that we’ve had 75 CX Press segments, the most of any segment, but we chose not to create a top five list of those because they don’t really feel as rankable, if that makes sense. But we are going to look at Required Remarkable even though we’ve only done 15 of these segments because, and I think I can speak for you here, Joey, we both believe that these are the kinds of examples that companies absolutely must be paying attention to.

Joey Coleman: Absolutely Dan. And they may not always be the sexiest examples, although let’s be candid, the five we’re about to remind you about actually are, but that doesn’t make them any less important. See, the required things in your business are the things that you and your customers are taking for granted. And if you can make those things remarkable, that’s the way to catch them off guard. That’s the way to get people talking about your business, your brand, your services and your products. So let’s get into our top five examples of required remarkable experiences starting with number five.

Joey Coleman: From episode 66, birthday wishes. Folks, this is such an obvious thing for any company to do. So many companies ask you or record the information of what is your birthday, and then don’t do anything to acknowledge you on your birthday. As we get older, people don’t acknowledge our birthdays as much anymore. When you’re a kid and you have a birthday, you throw a party, invite over all of your friends. There’s pin the tail on the donkey. There’s pinatas, there’s cake, there’s cookies, there’s presents. There’s all kinds of hi-jinks and excitement. When you have your 46th birthday or your 53rd birthday, or even your 28th birthday or 34th birthday, these aren’t as memorable. There’s an opportunity for the businesses who know your birthday to stand out by acknowledging your special day.

Dan Gingiss: Number four on the list, woman wins $10,000 for reading the fine print.

Joey Coleman: As a lawyer, I loved this one. This was so good.

Dan Gingiss: This was episode 73 last season, and it was a story of a woman who actually sat down and read the fine print at her insurance company, and figured out by reading all of the disclosures that she had to do a certain thing, complete a certain task, to win $10,000. And the idea here was clear. The company knew that very few people read the fine print, and they wanted to see if even one person could do it. And this woman happened to be the lucky winner. But I loved it because it not only exposed a problem in the experience of fine print, which is that it’s almost intentional that people not read it, which is problematic because if you talk to the lawyers, they want people to read it.

Dan Gingiss: In fact, they assume people read it. And that’s what they’re allowed to do according to the law. As long as we put the fine print in front of customers, we can assume that we’ve done our part. But what we like to teach on this show is that there’s always an opportunity for creativity. There’s always an opportunity to bring marketing or design people in to make the required parts of your business more interesting and more fun. This insurance company did it by hiding a little Easter egg in the fine print, in the form of a $10,000 sweepstakes, and I am so proud of this woman for winning it,

Joey Coleman: Which brings us to number three. Number three takes us back to the very beginning of season two, episode 41, when we had the opportunity to go to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios. It was as if we were in the movie. Everywhere we walked, the streets felt like the streets of Diagon Alley. Hogwarts was up on the hill. You had this experience that you were almost in the movie, even though you were in the amusement park. Characters walking around. There were singing frogs. There were magicians in robes. There were kids waving wands all over and creating opportunities for the buildings to come to life based on the interactivity of the spells that the children were casting. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter looked at all the details that are required in any operation and decided how can we make these details, these required elements more remarkable? From the food to the signage, to the design and architecture, to the various phrases that their staff used when they interacted with us, there were a stack of required elements that became truly remarkable.

Dan Gingiss: One of my favorite photographs of my kids is my son with a butterbeer mustache from the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, and it’s just perfect. Number two on the list, one of our favorites is the I’m On Hold Music in episode six, season one. This is a fantastic example, maybe the quintessential example, of taking the required part of your business and making it remarkable. A conference call system decided that rather than put people on hold and have them listening to, I don’t know, a beep or elevator music or complete silence or your call is very important to us, they had somebody commission a song about waiting on hold. And I urge you to Google I’m on hold music, you’ll get to a YouTube video that is absolutely amazing. And the reason it was so remarkable is it literally changed the concept of waiting on hold. Usually when you’re on hold, you can’t wait for the person to join the call. In this case, when I heard this song, I didn’t want them to join the call because I wanted to hear the rest of the song.

Joey Coleman: It’s funny, Dan, that you picked this one. Just last week I was on a conference call with a new client that was booking me to a keynote speech at their annual meeting. And while I was waiting for them to log in, I heard the chorus I’m on hold, and I immediately was teleported back to our experience. So yeah. What a great example. Which brings us to the number one Required Remarkable segment of the first 100 episodes of Experience This. And that would be, yes, episode number one, the segment, your customers are cheating on you. Folks, this is the very first segment of the very first episode of Experience This. And I think that’s interesting for two reasons.

Joey Coleman: Number one, it represents the core foundation of what this show stands for. And here 100 episodes later, five seasons later, it is as pertinent today as it was then. Based on an article written by our mutual friend Shep Hyken, a legend in the customer service and customer experience space. The takeaway was that your competition has changed to become every other company your customer does business with. See, it used to be that your competitors were who your customers were comparing you to. Now your customers are comparing you to the best experience they’ve ever had. Cirque de Soleil, Tesla, Walt Disney, Netflix, Amazon, Emirates Air, all the amazing brands in the world that are creating remarkable experiences and taking these required elements and making them remarkable, that’s who you’re being compared to. So what are you doing to stand out?

Dan Gingiss: And I think it’s really important to note here that this applies just as much to B2B or business to business companies as it does to B2C or business to consumer companies. Because your customers in a B2B space are consumers. You are not selling to a building just because you sell to a business. You’re selling to a buyer who’s a human being, who has had consumer experiences at the brands that Joey just listed. And believe it or not, you’re being compared to them as well. So you may not think it, you may think if you’re in the B2B space that you’re being compared to other B2B purchases, but you’re actually being compared to every other experience with every other brand that your buyer has had.

Joey Coleman: Folks, the reason why I love this segment type so much, the Required Remarkable segment, is because this is the low hanging fruit in every single organization. If you are listening to this podcast, there are required elements of your business, hold music, email signature lines, contracts, proposals, the way you conduct your in person meetings, the way you deliver your deliverables. Your business is rife with opportunities to take required elements and make them remarkable.

Dan Gingiss: We’d certainly be remiss if we did take this time to thank you, all of our loyal listeners who have stuck by us for 100 episodes. Without you, there literally would not be a podcast. So thank you from the bottom of our hearts for allowing us to take some of your valuable time each week and for letting us do something that we love doing. So here’s to the next 100 episodes.

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

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

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

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

Joey Coleman: Experience…

Dan Gingiss: This.