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 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.

Episode 98 – Providing Great Experiences for Your Customers and the Earth

Join us as we discuss mobile phone cases you can bury in your garden, special privileges for those that make green choices, and the shifting expectations of thirsty customers!

Composting, Selecting, and Hydrating – Oh My!

A little disclaimer about this environmental episode of ExperienceThis!

In the last few years here in the United States, for some reason we’ve increasingly decided to make environmental issues into political issues. While we feel that there are certainly political and economic considerations that need to be brought into the conversation about the environment, the environment is something that impacts all of us – regardless of political affiliation. The environment is changing regardless of why we think it’s changing. We believe it’s time to spend less time discussing the why and more time discussing the what. We all live on the same planet and if we’re going to continue to create remarkable experiences, we’re going to need to have a planet to live on!

[Dissecting the Experience] Pela Case – Trendy and Environmentally Conscious Go Together

Consumers care more and more about where their products come from and what the company that creates them believes in. One company that stands out for both its products and its values is Pela Case. Pela offers the world’s first compostable mobile phone case and has created a company committed to creating zero waste with their products. They’re also doing all they can to create a waste free future for all of their customers.

The company sends out a mailer with each case they sell so that customers can easily return their old mobile phone case. Pela then uses the old case in future Pela products or makes sure it is disposed of in an environmentally friendly way. In addition, your new Pela Case arrives with no packaging (those plastic clam shells drive us crazy and always end up leaving the worst cuts!) so it’s one less item of waste and uses less fuel to ship (because the weight of the packaging is less).

Pela Cases are sturdy, well-built, and environmentally conscious. Made from a material called flaxstic (which is a compostable material made of flax shive) the cases are trendy and environmentally conscious at the same time (one of the many reason’s why Joey protects his phone with a Pela case).

When you are done with the case (e.g., if you decide to upgrade to a new cell phone style/design/model), you can throw your old case in a compost bin (if you’re lucky enough to have curbside composting in your community), plant it in your yard, or send it back to Pela as described earlier. Pela also makes a variety of eco-conscious lifestyle products including sunglasses, screen protectors, and AirPods cases.

Many companies have a mission, we’re a mission that happens to have a company.

Matt Bertulli, CEO of Pela Case

Pela combines great products, profitability, great customer service, and environmental conscientiousness. These things are increasingly important to consumers (especially younger generations) and as proof of that growing interest, the Pela website is currently receiving over four million views per month.

Can you find a way to align what’s best for your company, with what’s best for your customers, with what’s best for the environment? As Pela shows – it is possible to accomplish all three goals with the same product.

[Make the Required Remarkable] Every Customer Touchpoint Shows What You Value

On a recent business trip, Joey needed to rent a car and was able to select a Toyota Prius. The next night, as he was looking for parking at an event, he noticed the best spots in the lot were reserved for fuel efficient vehicles.

The more you narrow the types of audiences you serve, the more comfortable you get with celebrating specific types of customers, the more successful your business will be… and the more your customers will start talking about you.

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

There are parking spots for the disabled, parking for expecting moms, and even parking for veterans. These all communicate with customers the priorities of the company in charge of the parking lot.

In fact, every interaction communicates with customers. If you have to pay for plastic bags at the grocery store, you know that the store is trying to reduce their waste. When a city rewards you for creating less trash, you know that they are trying to reduce their waste.

Sometimes, we need to make a statement about who we are trying to attract as customers. More and more often, people are looking for organizations that are doing their part to help the environment. Every touchpoint tells a customer about what you and your company value. Why shouldn’t that communication start in the parking lot?

[This Just Happened] Water at the Hole

It is estimated that Americans use more than 50 billion plastic water bottles a year, and yet only 23 percent of those get recycled! Recently, Joey committed to stop buying single use, plastic bottles of water and instead to use a reusable bottle he could fill while on his travels.

The point of segment isn’t to talk about Joey’s water consumption, but rather to consider two questions every business should constantly monitor:

  1. What happens when your customers shift behavior?
  2. What can you do to cater to these shifting behaviors? 

Customers are increasingly traveling with reusable water bottles – even when just running errands in their local community. More and more water fountains are being retrofitted to incorporate a water bottle filling station – some of which track and promote the number of “bottles saved” by filling up at the station. Delta Airlines partnered with the Atlanta Airport to help keep a the Flint River (which runs under the airport) flowing by restoring 1,000 gallons of water for every bottle filled at the airport. As part of this initiative, they have restored more than 23 million gallons of water!

More people make environmentally conscious decisions when it’s convenient. By putting water bottle refilling stations throughout the airport, it becomes easier for customers to use them. Observe the behaviors of your customers and then look for ways you can meet their shifting needs and desires. If you can work alongside your customers to be more innovative and make positive choices easier, you can improve customer experience and help the environment at the same time.

Links We Referenced

Host Contact Information

Email Dan: Dan@dangingiss.com

Tweet Dan Gingiss: @DGingiss

Email Joey: JoeyC@JoeyColeman.com

DanGingiss.com

JoeyColeman.com

Subscribe to Experience This on Apple Podcasts

Episode Transcript

Download a transcript of the entire Episode 98 here or read it below:

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

Joey Coleman: Get ready for a very special Earth Day episode of the Experience This! Show.

Dan Gingiss: Join us as we discuss cell phone cases you can bury in your garden, special privileges for those that make green choices, and the shifting expectations of thirsty customers.

Joey Coleman: Composting, selecting and hydrating – Oh, my!

[Dissecting the Experience] Pela Case – Trendy and Environmentally Conscious Go Together

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

Joey Coleman: A little disclaimer about this environmental episode of Experience This. For some reason in the last few years here in America, we’ve increasingly decided to make environmental issues into political issues. While Dan and I feel that there are certainly political and economic considerations that need to be brought into the conversation about the environment, the environment is something that impacts all of us regardless of political affiliation. The environment is something that is changing regardless of why we think it’s changing. We believe that it’s time to spend less time discussing the why and more time discussing the what now. The fact that the matter is we all live on the same planet and all of our customers live on the same planet and if we’re going to continue to create remarkable experiences for our customers and remarkable experiences for our employees, we’re going to need to have a planet to live on.

Joey Coleman: Have you ever heard of compostable cell phone cases, Dan?

Dan Gingiss: I can’t say that I have, Joey.

Joey Coleman: I had a feeling that this might be a newer concept for you because frankly, it’s a fairly newer concept for me. And I wanted to talk about it because I was so intrigued by the story of the company that makes these, that I had to purchase one for myself. Now, in the interest of full disclosure, Pela Case are the makers of the world’s first compostable phone cases. The company’s run by three of my friends, Matt Bertulli, Brad Peterson, and Jeremy Lang. And to be clear, they didn’t ask me to talk about their products on the show. In fact, prior to us recording this, they have no idea that I’m going to talk about their products and nor are they sponsors. But my experience with their product was so compelling that I needed to tell our listeners about it.

Dan Gingiss: We talk about in almost every episode that if you create a remarkable experience, you’re going to create people that not just want to talk about you, but need to talk about you to their friends, family, and in this particular case, podcast listeners. So it sounds like that’s what Pela did here.

Joey Coleman: They absolutely did, Dan.

Joey Coleman: So let me set the stage for you. I purchased a new iPhone that was a different size from my previous phone and so I needed a new case. Now it bothered me that while I was able to trade in my old iPhone to Apple for them to resell to a new customer, the change in phone size meant I had to throw out my old cell phone case and get a new one. And I hadn’t had that phone for that long. But as it turns out that wasn’t true.

Joey Coleman: Enter Pela Case. Pela was founded in 2011 by environmental consultant Jeremy Lang after a trip to Hawaii left him shocked to see how much plastic pollution had washed up on the beaches. So Jeremy took action and after much research, trial and error, he created a material called flack stick, a unique blend of plant based bio polymer mixed with flax shive. An annual renewable waste product of the flax oil seed harvest in Canada. Now using this flax stick, Pela created its flax shive phone case, a case that comes in both iPhone and Android model formats. The cool thing about this case, it completely breaks down into carbon water and organic biomass. In short, that means you can put your phone case into the compost or bury it in your garden when you’re finished with it and it will naturally and quickly decompose.

Dan Gingiss: And I’m sitting here with Joey and recording studio and actually looking at his phone case and it’s pretty cool. It looks like it has almost, you know those plantable cards that you get that have the seeds in them and you can grow something. That’s kind of what it looks like except I am guessing this is flax shive.

Joey Coleman: Those are the flax, that’s actually the flax shive that you can see in the case. They’re kind of little flecks of yellow on a black case. Which interestingly enough, if you’ll notice on the case, it has a honeycomb design with bumblebees on it. And this particular case, when you purchase it, they make a donation to support honeybees because they’re a huge part of the ecosystem. And if we could go do a whole segment on honeybees and how the impact that they play-

Dan Gingiss: But I will say just before you move on that it actually looks like a pretty normal case. I’m not sure if you had told me it was biodegradable or compostable that I would have known because it looks like it’s a black case, rubbery in texture. It feels pretty strong so it doesn’t look any different.

Joey Coleman: Yeah, and it’s very strong. It protects the phone. It’s got great grip to it, which I know is something, especially with the new iPhones that feel like you’re holding a wet fish in your hand, they’re so slippery, you want to have a little grip. What I thought was really interesting about this whole setup is that it gave me the opportunity to not only make an environmental choice, but Pela Case did something with the old phone case that was interesting too.

Joey Coleman: They have a program called Pela 360. And this program excepts other company’s plastic phone cases that are then either up cycled into Pela products or properly recycled. So when a customer purchases a Pela Case, they also receive in the package an envelope that allows them to send their used Pela case when they’re done with it or a conventional plastic case back to Pela’s sustainability studio.

Joey Coleman: Now several national retailers are also interested in this program as well and plan to offer Pela 360 in their retail locations later this year.

Dan Gingiss: Mr. Coleman, I have a question. So why would somebody want to mail back their Pela Case if they can just plant it in their garden?

Joey Coleman: For some reason, if somebody might live in a place where they don’t have a garden. They might live in an urban environment where for them to go out and find a shovel and dig something and put it in, that’s a challenge. What’s really cool about the case though, here in Boulder, it’s filled with environmentally aware folks. We have curbside compost, for example, like in the same way that the trash is picked up on the curb every week, every other week the compost is picked up. So when I’m done with my case, I’ll be able to just throw it in the compost and that’s easier.

Joey Coleman: But they’re trying to think through all the reasons why someone wouldn’t make the right choice to eliminate those barriers and to make it very easy to make an environmental choice. What’s crazy to me is the impact that cell phone cases has on the environment. I have to admit, before I purchased my Pela Case, I had no idea how big this problem is. More than 1.5 billion phone cases are discarded every year. The majority of which are made with conventional plastic. And to make matters worse, the plastic recycling system isn’t working as well as it needs to, as less than 5% of all plastic gets recycled, the rest ends up in landfills.

Dan Gingiss: Yeah, and this is clearly a problem. I’ve been a big recycler my whole life, but even I have grown fatigued over the years as you find out that companies don’t know what to do with all of the recycling that we’re generating, and China no longer wants to take our recycling. There’s been stories of entire townships that have taken recycling and it’s all landed in the landfill anyway. And so it’s a huge problem and it’s a problem that a lot of companies are trying to address in different ways. I’ve used straws and silverware and coffee cups that are compostable or at a very least recyclable. But now coming up on biodegradable.

Dan Gingiss: I think it’s really interesting when it works. There are other times where I’ve had paper straws over a plastic straw and I find myself sucking on paper shards. And so the product itself doesn’t work very well. And I think that’s why I made the comment about your case is that we can’t forget, especially as experienced people, that the products we create still have to work.

Joey Coleman: It still has to work.

Dan Gingiss: It can’t just be environmentally friendly.

Joey Coleman: Just like any [inaudible 00:09:47] to sit down at the game is the product has to work.

Joey Coleman: And Dan, you’re so spot on. Increasingly more and more companies are looking at how can every facet of their business be environmentally aware. And it’s one of the things that I love about Pela because their commitment to the environment truly cuts into every interaction they have with you. The inset mailer that I received with my new phone case, which you can see some photos of on our show notes page for this episode at Experiencethisshow.com reads as follows, “Welcome to the Pela family. Thank you for helping us keep the planet clean and healthy. You’ll notice that your Pela case did not come with a package. We decided to eliminate this step to further reduce unnecessary waste. With the money we save on our packaging, we can donate even more funds to clean ocean initiatives around the world.” When I read this, I absolutely loved it.

Joey Coleman: I mean everywhere you look, people are paying more attention to use and reuse and the disposal of the things that are used. And it’s not just consumers that are interested in this. Okay. A few months ago, Marcy Venture Partners, co founded by American rapper Jay-Z, invested $5 million in Pela Case.

Dan Gingiss: Wait, wait, wait. Is this our first Jay-Z reference?

Joey Coleman: This is our first Jay-Z reference, I think. Definitely this season, maybe ever. And it’s not surprising to me that pillowcase case is catching the attention of consumers and investors alike, given the significant environmental improvements they’re making. So here are a couple of stats about this one little company. 25 employees, and what they’ve been able to do in terms of their environmental impact. Pela Case prevented 147,180 pounds of plastic from entering the waste stream. They protected 14,890 feet of coastline with the Surf Rider Foundation. Over 530,000 people have switched to using compostable phone cases, and the company has grown 3,509% in the past five years, and averages four million visitors to their website per month.

Joey Coleman: We talked in an earlier episode about the Musee d’Orsay in Paris. They’ve had four million visitors to their museum since they opened. This website’s getting four million visitors per month.

Dan Gingiss: So the learning here for our listeners is that environmentally concerned companies are drawing the attention of consumers. Consumers are seeking them out. And so it is one of these things that if you’re not thinking about, you really should be because especially with younger generations, but I think starting with our generation, Joey, with Gen X and younger, this is a hot topic. And people are choosing to do business with companies that are at least paying attention to this and trying to be environmentally conscious.

Joey Coleman: They are. And what’s great is when you start to pay attention to this a little bit in your company, it naturally takes on a life of its own. I mean, Pela started by making cell phone cases. They now make biodegradable sunglasses because that’s another thing that people often buy. They buy a new pair every season or every other season and what do they do with the old pairs? Well lots of times they end up in the trash. So Pela has made biodegradable sunglasses that work fantastically and are incredibly beautiful from an aesthetics point of view.

Joey Coleman: In fact, I was speaking with the CEO, Matt Bertulli not too long ago, and he said something to me in passing. “Joey, many companies have a mission. We’re a mission that happens to have a company.” And it’s absolutely inspiring to me what the folks at Pela are doing to make the world a better place. They’re designing beautiful products, they’re growing their business, they’re taking great care of both their customers and their employees. And in fact, Bertulli said, “Since day one, we’ve been focused on the most sustainable options when making our products, making products more easily accessible to our customers and lowering our carbon footprint are high priorities for us. The mobile phone industry is a great example of where quite a bit can be done to create better, more environmentally friendly products. Put simply, as a consumer, you can protect your phone and the planet. There doesn’t need to be a compromise.”

Dan Gingiss: I love that part about they’re not needing to be a compromise because what it means is there’s still profitability that can be had and they’re still satisfied customers that can be had, et cetera. So if you’re interested in learning more about Pela case, and of course, as Joey said, they’re not a sponsor. We don’t get anything for you going to this site. We’re just sharing it as a courtesy. It’s P-E-L-A-C-A-S-E.com to look at their phone cases or their biodegradable sunglasses. And again, the takeaway for you is think about what you can do to align what’s right for your business, what’s right for your customers and what’s right for the planet. It’s the earth day trifecta.

[Required Remarkable] Green Parking Spaces

Speaker 1: Just because you have required elements of your business doesn’t mean they need to be boring. It’s time to get creative, have some fun and make people sit up and take notice. Get your customers talking when you make the required remarkable.

Joey Coleman: Have you ever been rewarded for the car you choose to drive, Dan?

Dan Gingiss: Rewarded how? I don’t think so. But why do you ask?

Joey Coleman: Well, recently I had an experience where I got special treatment for choosing a specific rental car, something that had never happened to me before. So here’s what happened. I flew to Washington DC for a series of meetings and speaking events and as such, decided to rent a car because most of my engagements were happening outside the city in Virginia and Maryland. DC has got a great public transportation system but I knew I was going to have to be going here, there and every there. So I rented a car. And as I went to the car rental place, I was thinking about Pela case and I was thinking about my increased effort to try to be more environmentally conscious. And so I decided to rent a Prius.

Dan Gingiss: That’s cool. I’m not even sure I’ve ever been offered the chance to rent a Prius, but I probably would take them up on the offer if it was there.

Joey Coleman: Yeah. And it was comparably priced to the other rental cars. And of course in the back of my head I was thinking, “Well, I’ll help the environment. Plus I won’t have to pay for as much gas when I go back to the airport. So this’ll be a net win for everybody involved.” And then I headed out for a series of meetings. The day of meetings culminated with an event and dinner near the HEC warehouse in Ivy city, which is an up and coming part of Northeast Washington DC. And when I pulled into the parking garage and started to look for a spot, my eye caught something I’d never seen before. The very best parking spots in the garage, the ones that were closest to the stairs and elevators were painted green and reserved for low emitting fuel efficient vehicles.

Dan Gingiss: I love that. That’s a great reward for driving green. Although I have to tell you where my mind goes here. The only downside is it requires the non efficient cars to drive farther.

Joey Coleman: Fair enough. Fair enough. True, true. But I imagine it also creates a scenario where the non efficient car drivers see that and whether consciously or subconsciously they’re reminded that the choice they made there could be a benefit for making a different choice. So it was also interesting that it was painted next to the elevators. So I took the stairs, not the elevator, but that was the setup. And here’s what I thought. I made a decision the day before on what car to rent and now I was getting special treatment for picking the environmentally friendly choice.

Joey Coleman: If you want to see what these parking spots look like, by the way, go to our show notes at Experiencethisshow.com and you can see some photos that I took. But what I found impressive is that almost every business with a physical location has some type of parking option for their customers that are visiting. And yet how many businesses have made the time to think about making this required component, I.e Parking spaces for your visitors into something remarkable.

Dan Gingiss: Yeah, I’m reminded of some other parking options. I mean obviously handicapped parking has been around for a long time and I would put that as a required part of your business because it tends to be regulated and mandated. But now there’s some places that have special parking for expectant mothers or for veterans or for other things. And again, I’m somewhat split. I love the idea in concept. I think it is great for an expected mother, for example, not to have to walk quite as far. I’m also on the flip side, sometimes confused slash perturbed when I’m driving around in a parking spot and there’s so many allocated to different things. I literally can’t figure out which spot I’m supposed to park in.

Dan Gingiss: There was one recently where I could see the word veterans, but there was like four sentences of copy on there that I think had something to do with how you prove you’re a veteran with an ID card or whatever. And I’m like, “I don’t know what this is but I’m going to go find a different spot.” Because it just was sort of too confusing. So I think it’s something to watch out for but I think it rewarding for the green choice is a great way to get more people to choose green.

Joey Coleman: Right, I agree. And as with all initiatives you might adopt around making a required element of your business more remarkable, the goal is to make it remarkable, not complicated. And so I think there is definitely something to pay attention to there. What surprised me or kind of it reinforced for me maybe, is that every business has the opportunity to think about the environment in a different way and think about how their business footprint could contribute to making the environment better.

Joey Coleman: I also think it’s the case that there isn’t a business on the planet that doesn’t have at least a percentage of their customers, and that percentage may differ depending on the industry that you’re in, that aren’t increasingly committed to environmental causes. So I think you get the opportunity to build affinity with certain segments of the customers you serve by showing that you too are paying attention to this stuff.

Dan Gingiss: Yeah, and to give another example, my local grocery store not only rewards you for bringing your own grocery bags, the reusable grocery bags. I think they knock off like, I don’t know, ten cents per bag on your order, but they also have a monthly drawing for a gift card to the grocery store that you can only enter if you brought reusable bags. It’s a similar concept where they’re not pushing it.

Dan Gingiss: And I’ll be honest with you, much to my dismay, I’d say 90% of the people, maybe 95% of the people still choose the plastic bags. I mean, I wonder how much of an impact it’s making. But that said, when I put my name and phone number into the drawing box, the drawing box is full. So that means some people are making the choice to bring their own bags.

Joey Coleman: Absolutely. So one tip and two stories. The tip, whenever I don’t take the plastic bag, like even if the gas station, you decided to grab a candy bar before a long road trip and they say, “Would you like a bag?” I always say, “No thanks. I’ll do my bit to help the environment.” I actually say that with the thought being that slowly but surely, the more we can work this into our conversations, the better it is for all of it. Two quick stories.

Joey Coleman: One, in Switzerland, not too long ago, they decided to start charging for garbage pickup by the pound. So they installed scales in all of the garbage trucks that would drive around and pick up people’s garbage. And they weighed your garbage and your bill for garbage collection was based on how much garbage you handed in. This was an effort to make the country more responsible about waste. In 60 days it dropped 90%.

Dan Gingiss: Wow.

Joey Coleman: 90%.

Dan Gingiss: Because people are just stashing it in their basement?

Joey Coleman: I think it’s because people looked at it and they said, “Oh my God, if I have to pay for it, I don’t want to do this.” A lot of jurisdictions have moved, the second story, have moved to you have to pay for the plastic bags. The more you have to pay, the more it will condition the behavior. When it’s you have to pay five cents for the plastic bag, well there’s not as much of an incentive. When you have to pay $5 for the plastic bag, it changes the conversation.

Dan Gingiss: Yeah. In the town that my parents live in, you have to buy stickers for every garbage bag and you have to pay per garbage bag but recycling is free. So it does give you that incentive.

Joey Coleman: I love it. I love it. So how can all of this apply to your business? Well, let’s ask a couple of questions. Are there extra little perks you can give to your favorite customers? Can you treat customers better that align with your mission, vision, and values? Can you use design and positioning to court customers that fit a specific demographic you’re trying to attract?

Joey Coleman: All too often, companies are afraid to do something special for one type of customer at the risk of alienating another type of customer. But the best companies realize that it is as important to know what you’re against as what you stand for. The more you narrow the types of audiences you serve, or at the very least, the more comfortable you get with celebrating specific types of customers, the more successful your business will be and the more your customers will start talking about you. When is the last time someone remarked about the parking spaces in the garage or a parking lot next to your building? Every interaction is a chance to stand out. Every touchpoint offers the chance to do something special. Every required element of your business can be made into something remarkable.

[This Just Happened] Water at the Hole

Speaker 1: We love telling stories and sharing key insights you can implement or avoid based on our experiences. Can you believe that this just happened?

Joey Coleman: I noticed something while traveling in the past few months that I think represents an interesting conversation about how brands and companies are responding to changes in customer expectations and behaviors. And I was hoping to illustrate this point by talking about water.

Dan Gingiss: Water?

Joey Coleman: Yes, water. So allow me to explain. In the past when I travel for work, water was something that I didn’t really think that much about, at least consciously. I drink water in route to the airport and then throw out my plastic water bottle when I got to security because you’re not allowed to take it through security. I then go through security and on the other side I had purchased another plastic bottle of water. I then drink that bottle of water before getting on the plane. And then once on the plane I’d ask for water, which the flight attendant would pour out of a plastic water bottle into a plastic cup.

Joey Coleman: I then get off the plane and head to my hotel. Usually to discover that the hotel had provided several plastic bottles of water in my room, some of which are complimentary, others of which required me to pay an arm and leg to purchase.

Dan Gingiss: That is a lot of water and many plastic bottles. So I will, as a PSA to our listeners, let you know that you can take through an empty plastic bottle.

Joey Coleman: Yes, you can.

Dan Gingiss: If you’ve already drunk the water.

Joey Coleman: Yes, you can. But you have to drink all the water real quick and then take it through and then where do you fill it? Which actually brings me to the point that I wanted to make in our conversation today. But before I get to that, let’s talk about how big this problem is. Okay, first of all, buying all that extra water, it’s like $5 to $10 a bottle, right? So it’s expensive, but what’s worse than that is the impact it has on the earth of having that much plastic being only used once.

Joey Coleman: It’s estimated that Americans use over 50 billion plastic bottles of water per year and only 23% of those get recycled. In Lake Michigan alone, an equivalent of 100 Olympic size pools full of plastic bottles get dumped into the Lake every year.

Dan Gingiss: That’s my lake you’re talking about.

Joey Coleman: Your backyard. Over 100 Olympic size pools filled with plastic bottles. That’s how many plastic bottles get dumped in each year.

Dan Gingiss: And Joey, I don’t want to get you riled up here. And we did say at the beginning of the show that we weren’t going to get political or talk about the why of climate change. But I do think this particular issue is fascinating because when you and I were growing up, there was no such thing as bottled water.

Joey Coleman: It didn’t exist.

Dan Gingiss: So in one generation, humans have created this problem. That’s a fact.

Joey Coleman: 100%.

Dan Gingiss: You can’t argue that. It’s not about science, that’s a fact. We created this problem.

Joey Coleman: And I’ll go one step further, corporations have played a huge part in creating that problem because corporations have messaged out, “Well, the water in your tap, oh, it’s not as purified and isn’t electrolyte filled and as wonderful as this water.” When the reality is if we actually test the water, the stuff you’re drinking out of the plastic bottles, in most jurisdictions now, not in Flint, Michigan, oh my God, fix that problem, but in most jurisdictions, the water out of your tap is healthier and better for you than the water in the plastic bottle that you’re buying at the grocery store.

Joey Coleman: So I thought this was ridiculous. I wanted to stay hydrated, but I realized the impact I was having. So I set a goal in 2019 to try to make it through the year without purchasing a single plastic bottle of water. And the way I did that is I took one of those metal water bottles that I’d received, this swag at an event I had spoken at. I clipped it to my backpack and as I set out on my various trips. I started looking for water fountains where I could refill my reusable water bottle instead of stores selling single use plastic water bottles.

Dan Gingiss: And now that we’re in 2020, how did you do on your goal?

Joey Coleman: Well, to be honest, I did fairly well, especially considering my prior behavior. And I think it’s important when we think about environmental initiatives that improvement is better than perfection. So across 2019 I purchased less than ten plastic bottles of water during my travel, which when I think back to the fact that prior to that in 2018, I might’ve purchased ten in a single trip. That felt like really good progress.

Joey Coleman: And each time I did purchase one I felt a pang of frustration and made sure that I properly recycled that bottle. So at least I was doing a little bit better. But to be honest, this segment really isn’t about my personal water consumption or sustainability goals. It’s about finding what you’re looking for and having someone make it easier for you to find it.

Dan Gingiss: So what did you figure out through this experiment?

Joey Coleman: Well, I learned several things, but there are two significant things that I wanted to share and discuss in this segment. Number one, what happens in your space when customers shift their behaviors? And number two, what can brands do to cater to these shifting behaviors? So first of all, let’s talk about what happens in your space.

Joey Coleman: I’ve noticed that in the last few years, more and more water fountains that are located in public spaces and particularly airports are being retrofitted to include filling stations where it’s easy to fill a reusable water bottle. Now these filling stations even display a counter that shows how many disposable plastic water bottles have been saved by you using the water fountain instead of purchasing the water. And as I travel around, I regularly see filling stations touting over 300,000 bottles saved. Now I don’t know exactly, I’ve seen the counters rollover, it’s based on the amount of water they do. So I have to believe that these numbers are fairly accurate. And in fact, the Atlanta airport recently partnered with Delta Airlines to help keep a local river flowing. And they pledged to restore 1000 gallons of water for every water bottle filled at one of the fountains in the airport.

Joey Coleman: To date, they’ve restored 23.3 million gallons of water based on the behavior of Delta customers and people flying through Atlanta.

Dan Gingiss: Which I love because obviously in Atlanta it’s mostly Delta customers.

Joey Coleman: Well, that’s true. So it’s a nice little co-branding opportunity for them.

Dan Gingiss: But I’d also say the next step in that, because I’ve seen these filling stations too, they’re at my home airport of O’Hare and there’s actually a lot of them if you don’t have to walk very far to get one, et cetera. I think the next step though is that the stores in the airports have to stop selling plastic bottles and only sell reusable bottles. And then you will have an ecosystem that continues to work.

Joey Coleman: Right. And what we’ve learned about humans, and we talked a little bit about this with the garbage bags, while we all want to make the right choice, sometimes the convenience of the bad choice is just too overwhelming for us to make the change.

Dan Gingiss: But think about that pang that you said about buying a plastic bottle. What if the pang instead was having to pay $19.95 for a reusable bottle, which is going to annoy a lot of people, but it actually might change the behavior because they sure don’t want to do that the next time they come to the airport.

Joey Coleman: Absolutely. And I think the crazy thing about reusable bottles, and I don’t know if you’ve had this experience, you’ve got to find the one that works for you. Like for me, because I carry a backpack when I go, I wanted a bottle that I could clip to a carabiner on the outside of my backpack so I didn’t get water on my computer. And finding a bottle that would fit the Caribbean or that looks pseudo professional on my backpack was something important. So it’s almost like we have an opportunity to think about the aesthetics and the packaging of these solutions as well when we’re designing these types of products.

Dan Gingiss: Which ironically has been going on in the backpack industry now for a while, right?

Joey Coleman: Correct.

Dan Gingiss: Because now backpacks are not just for school children anymore. I use one as well. They’re very stylish, they’re meant for business people to carry around laptops and other type stuff. So there’s no reason why this space couldn’t go in that direction.

Joey Coleman: It’s also become acceptable to wear both straps or the backpack instead of having to go visit a chiropractor every day. But I digress.

Joey Coleman: The second thing I noticed around the water is that certain brands are changing their behaviors to cater to their customer’s desires. So I stayed at two hotels last year, one in Miami and one in Baltimore, that had large water coolers in the lobby where they encouraged guests to fill their reusable water bottles before heading out for the day or heading to their room for the night. There were no complimentary bottles of water in the guest room. And the staff went out of their way to point out that the water was available. In addition to a hotel in Miami that we spoke about back in episode 70, the one hotel has a filtered water spigot in the guest room. So there’s the sink where you can wash your hands and brush your teeth. But next to it was a separate filtered water that said for your drinking pleasure. So they actually built that into the hotel room experience, which made finding my water very, very easy.

Dan Gingiss: And it’s interesting you mentioned that because I’ve been meaning to tell you this, Joey. I’ve been staying at the same hotel in one particular city that I continue to visit a consultant client at. And what’s happened is every day, I try to usually refuse the housekeeping, but sometimes you can’t. And when the housekeeping comes every day, not only do they make up the bed and replace the towels, but they’re now replacing all of the soap. So I’ve opened up a bar of soap, I’ve used it once to wash my hands and they’re giving me a brand new bar of soap. And not only that, but there’s always the sign that says, “Hang up your towel if you want to reuse your towel.” So I’ll do that and they take the towel anyway. So when I was checking out the last time, they said, “Is everything okay with your stay?” I said, “Actually, no. I have a complaint and-

Joey Coleman: And I’ve got to say I love that you couched it as a complaint because if you would’ve said, “I have a suggestion,” it probably wouldn’t have done it. It doesn’t alert the mind to the average front desk employee the way a complaint does. But you obviously did it in a professional and respectful manner.

Dan Gingiss: Oh, yeah. I said, “Look, I don’t think that you need to be taking my soap every day. The bars are designed to be a certain size to last for a few days in a hotel. That’s exactly their purpose.” And what’s interesting is this person immediately told me that it was a policy of the parent company, which I know not to be true because I stay at these hotels all the time and I’ve never seen it happen.

Joey Coleman: I think the opportunity then is to ask for the manager, speak to the manager directly, especially since it’s a place you go to regularly. And if not, write the letter to corporate saying, “This manager, this location quoted me this is your policy. I’ve stayed at other places where it’s not.” Like we get the opportunity potentially to become activist.

Joey Coleman: So friends, loyal listeners, please don’t get caught up in the specifics of the water that we talked about during this segment, but rather see this as an analogy that you can apply to your business. How is your business adapting to the shifting behaviors of your customers? Your customers likely use their cell phones all day, every. Do you have free chargers available in your lobby or waiting room? Your customers probably love to be online. Do you have open WiFi for people to use when they’re in your space or waiting to meet you? And some of your customers are likely looking to fill up their reusable water bottles.

Joey Coleman: Are you there to help them meet their needs and in the process, show them that you’re ready to cater to their future needs as they may arise. Go grab a glass of water and talk to your colleagues about ways to do this in your business. You’ll surely come up with some great customer experience enhancements and you’ll get hydrated in the process.

Speaker 1: Wow. Thanks for joining us for another episode of Experience This.

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

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

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

Episode 94: The COVID-19 Experience

Thanks for joining us for a special episode of the Experience This! Show podcast.

Depending on when you first became aware of the novel coronavirus COVID-19 and its impact on individuals, businesses, and society at large, chances are better than not that you’re now 100% aware of this pandemic situation.

We felt like this new, unprecedented situation called for a special episode. COVID-19 is already having significant impacts on customer and employee experience around the world and we can’t begin to imagine the longterm effects of this pandemic on all aspects of business going forward.

This is a serious topic, with serious implications, that we don’t fully understand just yet given the speed in which this virus has spread around the globe and the fact that scientists worldwide are working around the clock to understand. Our comments and discussions are based on the best information we have at the time of this recording – March 21, 2020.

For the first time in human history, everyone – regardless of age, gender, race, nationality, culture, creed, or socio-economic standing – is dealing with the same issues at the same time. While the world is filled with uncertainty, one thing remains clear today – as it has always been: people who take care of their customers and employees during a crisis will have customers and employees when things get better (which in time, they certainly will).

[Say What?] Communication in Times of Crisis

Everyone is communicating with their customers about COVID-19 right now – but most of the communications feel the same as they outline extra precautions being taken, enhanced cleaning protocols, and the like. While these communications certainly have a place, they aren’t as effective as they could be.

Some organizations are communicating with their customers in unique ways:

What can you do to make your communications during the COVID-19 pandemic more actionable and meaningful to your customers?

  1. Don’t Just “Check the Box” in Communicating with Customers – It’s not enough to send an email that says “we’re thinking of you.” Do more than the minimum required.
  2. Project Calm and Confidence – Let your customers know what you’re doing for them and make suggestions as to how they can take action to help themselves as well.
  3. Identify Opportunities to Provide Real Value in Context with Your Brand Offerings – You have expertise to share to help your customers navigate this situation. Don’t sell, but make every attempt to provide value based on your skills, knowledge, or expertise.

[Required Remarkable] Relaxing Policies & Procedures

Every business needs policies and procedures to function. That being said, policies and procedures are not meant for times of pandemic. What we’re seeing now is that the most forward thinking, customer-centric businesses are already adjusting and revising their policies to show that they are conscious of the dramatic impact COVID-19 is having on all of their customers. Examples of great changes in policies and procedures include:

What can you do to make your policies and procedures more conscious of the COVID-19 pandemic?

  1. Review All of Your Policies and Procedures NOW to Come Up with COVID-19 Conscious Versions – Focus on doing the right thing for your customers and employees.
  2. Be Empathetic – Brands endear themselves to customers and employees based on how the behave in times of crisis. What you do now will be remembered later.
  3. Put People Over Profits – Make the hard decisions to consistently put people (customers, employees, vendors, etc.) over profits. They won’t forget it.
  4. Trust Your Gut – You actually know exactly what to do – even if it feels difficult or challenging. Remember that EVERY business on the planet is dealing with COVID-19 right now. You’re not alone.

[Dissecting the Experience] Helping Your Employees

In the best of times, happy customers equals happy employees. The inverse (happy customers equals happy employees) stands true as well. These maxims apply during times of crises too.

As more companies come to grip with the realities of COVID-19, many companies are stepping forward to help their employees. By being flexible and doing all they can to make sure employees feel safe and taken care of, organizations are making it easier for their employees to keep taking care of their customers. Some employee-centric activies include:

  • Do not require anyone to come into work who doesn’t absolutely need to be there physically.
  • Practice social distancing religiously and make sure employees are equipped with proper protection (e.g., sanitizer, gloves, masks, etc.)
  • Be flexible in allowing employees to take care of their families during this stressful time – especially those with children who are suddenly home from school due to school closures around the country.

What can you do to make sure your employees are taken care of during the COVID-19 pandemic?

  1. Happy Employees = Happy Customers – Don’t forget to take great care of the people that serve your customer.
  2. Front-Line Employees Represent Your Brand Now and Always – Make sure that the people who have the most contact with your customers have everything they need (professionally and personally) to deliver the customer experience you desire.
  3. You Will Need Your Employees in the Future – Just as you are going to need your customers after the COVID-19 crisis passes, you will also need your employees! This is the time to engender pride in and loyalty to the organization.

[This Just Happened] The Experience when You’re the Customer

The COVID-19 crisis is impacting everyone. While many businesses are thinking about their customers and their employees, one category of people your business interacts with that are being hit hard by this virus are your suppliers.

Every business has suppliers, vendors, and merchants that provide critical products and services in order to keep the business running. Every individual has providers and merchants that deliver personal services they want, need, and/or appreciate. During this trying time, what are you doing to take care of your suppliers/providers so that they are still in business after the crisis ends?

Lots of businesses will struggle and close – especially small and local businesses – you can do your part to help them survive by following a four step process:

  1. Make a List of Your Key Suppliers – Both in your personal and professional life.
  2. Reach Out and Discuss the Situation – Address the elephant in the room that is the COVID-19 crisis and talk openly and honestly about your desire to continue to do business with your suppliers/providers during and after the pandemic.
  3. Get Creative – Purchase gift cards, pre-book appointments, pay for services that can’t be rendered during this time but are important to you so that the people delivering these to you are still in business when things start to return to normal.
  4. Thank Them – Customer service workers and account mangers are doing all they can to help in these trying times. In difficult circumstances, a kind word to an overwhelmed customer service representative doesn’t just help advance your position, but it’s the right thing to do.

[CX Press] Using Company Resources to Help

Every business has unique skills that can help their customers during the COVID-19 crisis. The most creative companies have identified ways to provide valuable resources to their customers and prospects alike – without worrying about monetizing every interaction. Some of the more generous COVID-19 “offers” include:

  • Loom (video recording and sharing service) – made Loom Pro free for teachers and students at K-12 schools, universities, and educational institutions.
  • LinkedIn – made sixteen of its learning courses free – highlighting courses that provide tips on how to stay productive, how to build relationships when you’re not face-to-face, and how to use virtual meeting tools.
  • Comcast, Charter, Verizon, Google, T-Mobile and Sprint have signed a pledge to keep Americans internet-connected for the next 60 days – even if people cannot afford to pay.
  • Even more generous offers from businesses can be found in this “running tally” from the team at JUST Capital here.

Some additional resources that we found to be extremely useful in their “positive” tone include:

10 Positive Updates on the COVID-19 Outbreaks From Around the World – by McKinley Corbley on Good News Network

The FutureLoop Pandemic Special Edition – by Peter Diamandis

What can you do to make sure your products, services, and expertise more easily available to people that can benefit from it during the COVID-19 pandemic?

  1. Remember Your Unique Abilities – Companies have the unique ability to provide resources to dramatical help their communities of customers and prospects.
  2. Find a Way to Give Back, Even in a Small Way – Every little contribution helps when people are struggling at a global level.
  3. Make Time to Appreciate the Positives – Now more than ever it’s important to not get caught up in the negative news and instead look for positive stories of customer delight, employees going above and beyond, and organizations working together to help everyone navigate the COVID-19 crisis.

[Season 5 Sponsors] Thank You Avtex!

We want to thank our wonderful sponsor for Season 5 of the Experience This! Show – our good friends at Avtex.

Avtex’s knowledge and experience in orchestration allows them to help you leverage the people, processes, and technology you need to implement your plan. You can learn more about the great team at Avtex by visiting their website at www.avtex.com

Thank you for joining us in this unprecedented podcast episode of Experience This! Our normal episodes (all recorded prior to the COVID-19 pandemic) will return next week.

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 94 here or read it below:

Joey Coleman: Welcome to Experience This.

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

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

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

Joey Coleman: So hold on to your headphones it’s time to Experience This. Welcome to a special episode of Experience This. Depending on when you first became aware of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, and its impact on individuals, businesses, and society at large, chances are better than not that you’re now 100% aware of this pandemic situation.

Dan Gingiss: After fielding Dozens of emails, calls, and text messages from listeners of the Experience This show, our clients and past audience members, Joey and I thought it was important to deviate from our regularly scheduled programming, and do a special episode all about COVID-19 and its impact on customer experience.

Joey Coleman: Friends, this is a serious topic with serious implications that we don’t fully understand just yet given the speed at which this virus has spread around the globe, and the fact that scientists worldwide are working around the clock to understand what’s happening. Our comments and discussions are based on the best information we have at the time of this recording, on Saturday, March 21st 2020.

Dan Gingiss: Our goal in the episode, as in every episode of the Experience This show, is to discuss customer experience from a positive light. Telling the positive customer experience stories as a way of inspiring and encouraging our listeners to think deeper, wider, and more expansively about the role of customer experience in their organizations.

Joey Coleman: For the first time in human history, everyone, regardless of your age, your gender, your race, your nationality, your culture, your creed, your socio-economic standing, everyone on the planet is dealing with the exact same issue at the exact same time. Even if you’re in a place where the coronavirus COVID-19 hasn’t spread as much as some of the other places in the world, you’re still reading about it in the news, you’re seeing it on TV, you’re seeing posts about it on social media. The good news is, we’re all in this together. And as we’ve said many times on this show, the businesses that take care of their customers now will have customers when things get better, because the businesses that show empathy, that show care, that put customer experience as a primary focus will succeed.

Dan Gingiss: Now this episode is going to run longer than our usual episodes as we have a lot to cover. Instead of three segments, we’re actually going to bring you five different segments in this podcast. We want to thank our loyal sponsor Avtex for their continued support of season five, including this special episode. What does it take to shift the standard from meeting the bare minimum of customer needs to over-delivering at every touchpoint? It’s about being able to plan exceptional experiences and set those plans in motion. And that’s exactly what our friends at Avtex do? Visit them at www.avtex.com.

Dan Gingiss: It’s shocking how often people use 38 words to describe something, when two would do the trick. We are looking at you lawyers and accountants, words matter. And there is no excuse for trying to hide what you mean. We explore words And messaging in this next iteration of, say what!

Dan Gingiss: In 2018, when the European Union’s general data protection regulation, better known as GDPR went into effect, email inboxes were flooded with privacy policy updates. Now they’re inundated with urgent announcements about coronavirus measures from every company that has our email address on file. Most of these, including those from the major US airlines, say almost exactly the same thing. But some have taken the opportunity to stand out in a time of crisis. And these are the ones we can learn from and be inspired by.

Joey Coleman: In the first few weeks as the pandemic started to spread around the world, many airlines sent out email messages saying, guess what, we’re going to clean the planes even more than we’ve cleaned them in the past, and explained the materials they were using and how they were going to be making sure that it was safe to fly.

Joey Coleman: My favorite airline, Delta, which as loyal listeners of the show know, I fly all the time, sent an email that said, “Not only are we going to do additional cleaning on the plane, but here’s a video describing it.” And in the video, the head of customer experience at Delta described their usual cleaning process as well as their augmented cleaning process. And they actually showed people using a special, almost like fogging machine, that they had used that would disinfect the planes, and then wiping down the seats, and how they were doing this on every turn. And I got to be honest, as somebody who was already committed to delta and loyalty Delta, when I saw this video, I thought, wow, they really do care about me as a person and are going above and beyond the cleaning they normally do. And it left me feeling excited to fly again.

Dan Gingiss: And I want to share a contrasting story about this Joey is that after all the airlines had shared those emails about the cleaning process, I was waiting to take a flight that was late. And anybody who has been in business school and has done the Harvard business case on Southwest Airlines, knows that it takes an airline, at a minimum, 30 minutes to clean a plane under good circumstances. They can’t do it faster than that. And so this plane is late, it arrives late, the passengers exit the plane, and immediately they start the boarding process [crosstalk 00:06:23] environment. Yes, what happened to your enhanced cleaning process? Like, only if we’re not late, right. And so I did feel like, hey, if you’re going to tell people that you are spending the extra time, please take the extra time to do it.

Dan Gingiss: So another thing that I really liked, I saw two different emails from two different organizations having to do with food, one was Domino’s Pizza, and one was our friends at Imperfect Produce that we have talked about on a previous episode. Both of them sent emails talking about contact-less delivery, and that’s this idea that you don’t even have to interact with a delivery person, if you’re practicing social distancing, which we all should be doing.

Dan Gingiss: And so the way that works is the delivery people are gloved up, so they’re not actually touching your product. They don’t even touch your doorbell. They simply leave the item at your door and then you receive a text message that it’s there waiting for you. You don’t have to sign anything, you don’t have to exchange any pleasantries. And so this concept of contact-less delivery, I thought was really interesting just because it adheres to the situation at hand, which is, we got to stay away from each other even if we’re continuing to buy things and have things delivered.

Joey Coleman: I agree, Dan. And what impressed me, to be honest, is how quickly, at least with Domino’s, because I got that email, how quickly they built that opportunity or that option into the App. I mean, this was before cities we’re talking about stay in shelter orders, it’s before the lockdown had really started, it’s like they were anticipating the need for this. And I think wherever a brand can provide a little bit of insight into, hey, we imagine our customers are thinking about this, and so are we, that stands them in good standing in terms of their reputation.

Joey Coleman: I also got an interesting email from Enterprise Rent-A-Car, and now some other companies have done it as well, but I got it from Enterprise first, that said, they were lowering the age minimum for renting a car. It used to be that you had to be 25 to rent a car, Enterprise came along and said, “We’re going to lower the rent a car age to 18.” And they explained in the email that the reason they were doing this is because so many colleges and universities around the country were closing and kids needed to get home with their stuff, and flights were becoming harder to get. And I just thought this was a great example of a customer centric message in this time where a lot of the emails were more about, hey, here’s how you can use these tools that we’ve already had, whereas Enterprise was saying, hey, we’re making some changes to acknowledge the realities of this pandemic situation.

Dan Gingiss: And what I love about that is that those college students are going to be loyal to Enterprise for years to come just as I was in college.

Joey Coleman: 100%, yes.

Dan Gingiss: Yes. I mean, when I was in college, Enterprise was one of the only companies that would rent to college students, and that’s kept me loyal all these years because it was the first company that I ever rented a car from. So, these are-

Joey Coleman: So forgive me Dan. What I loved about it too is I don’t have college aged children and I’m well past college age myself. But when I got this email, I’m not kidding you, I shared it with a couple of my friends who I knew had kids that were in college and had started to lament, oh my gosh, if their school closes, how are we going to get them home? I was able to forward this on and share it with some people.

Dan Gingiss: Yes, it’s awesome. Which is exactly as marketers what we want to happen.

Joey Coleman: Right, exactly. Word of mouth actually happened because it was a remarkable change in policy that we wanted to spread the word on.

Dan Gingiss: Exactly. So another message that resonated with me was from Charles Schwab. Now I’ve been a Charles Schwab customer since I graduated from college many years ago. And-

Joey Coleman: [inaudible 00:10:17] Folks when he rented that car.

Dan Gingiss: Exactly. And what I loved about it was that they didn’t talk to me about cleaning their offices, they didn’t talk to me about visiting the CDC website like everybody else did. They talked to me about what Schwab could do to help me now. And I want to read the introductory paragraph because the other thing that they did so well, was they showed empathy to the situation that all investors are in with what’s going on in the stock market.

Dan Gingiss: It says, “To our valued clients. At Schwab, we have a deep and abiding belief in seeing the world through clients eyes. That simple, powerful idea helps us stay focused on what’s most important, living up to The trust you place in us every day. With so much uncertainty in the financial markets and concerns about COVID-19, investing for the future may seem more complicated than ever. Please know that every one of us at Schwab is committed to helping you meet your long term investing goals. I also want to remind you of the resources available to you.”

Dan Gingiss: And then they list expert perspectives, which is their analysis and commentary, service options, and one to one guidance, so they’re actually offering the ability to meet with somebody to review your portfolio and determine next steps in such a turbulent market. And this letter was signed by the President and CEO, Walt Bettinger. I thought this was really cool because it was actionable. It wasn’t the same old that everybody was telling us, it was something that I could actually do. And it made me feel much better than I already was, which I had been positive on Schwab obviously for a long time, but it made me more confident in my choice.

Dan Gingiss: The other letter that I received that really stuck out to me was from a recent conference that I spoke at Catersource. And Catersource is the largest catering industry association in the country. And they also sent out a letter that I thought was so empathetic and offered real help, that it really, to me, stood out as a great example that other brands could emulate. And here’s how their letter started. “Dear Colleague, this will not be the type of traditional letter that you have been seeing transmitted from businesses across the globe. This is a letter to, for, and about you. We see you. We share your pain for the losses and massive disruption you have incurred over the past week, and we’ll continue to incur as social distancing and closing mandates continue. We understand the despair and anger you must be feeling, the distressing business decisions you have to make that were not in your strategy for 2020. This is also a letter about how Catersource can help you.”

Dan Gingiss: Again, like the Schwab letter, it combined genuine empathy with real solutions and real help at a difficult time.

Joey Coleman: I love it. So we have three key takeaways from this conversation. Number one, don’t just check the box in communicating with your customers, okay. Don’t send the same email that everybody else is sending. Think about what you can do differently, how your tone can be different, how your focus can be different, how you can actually change the conversation.

Joey Coleman: Number two, project calm and confidence. Never in the history of corporate communications, has there been a greater need for letting your customers know that you are paying attention, that you are thinking strategically, and you are doing everything in your power to be there for them.

Joey Coleman: And number three, identify opportunities to provide real value in context with your brand. Sending someone to the CDC website, while a fantastic and useful resource, if that’s not associated with your brand activities, you don’t need to include that in your messages. Instead, give clear action steps, things that you are an expert in, things that you would recommend your customers be doing at this challenging time. By doing that, they will remember you when the pandemic subsides.

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: Every business needs policies and procedures in order to function. That being said, policies and procedures are not meant for times of pandemic. What we’re seeing now is that the most forward thinking, customer-centric businesses are already adjusting and revising their existing policies and procedures to show that they’re conscious of the dramatic impact COVID-19 is having on all of their customers.

Joey Coleman: For example, we talked earlier in the last segment about Delta Airlines. Now, I fly Delta a lot. In fact, last year, I logged over 160,000 miles on that individual airline. What happened when the COVID-19 crisis started to hit is that Delta came out, and many airlines did, saying, “We will give you a one year credit for any flight that you need to cancel. If you need to change the flight, there will be no change fees. And we’re going to waive any of the type of associated fees we’ve previously had on changes in ticket price, change fees, cancellation fees, etc, and you’ll just have this running credit.”

Joey Coleman: Now, as somebody who flies Delta a lot, that was fantastic because, as you might imagine, at the time this all started to hit, I had many, many Delta flights booked in the future. Frankly, to the tune of 10s of thousands of dollars, which under a traditional policy, I would have lost. Thanks to Delta being more aware, I now have a credit that will allow me, when we all start flying again, to be able to buy those tickets with dollars I’ve already spent.

Joey Coleman: This made me love and appreciate Delta even more. It actually endeared me to the brand because of the way they had changed their policy to acknowledge the impact it was having on me personally as a flyer, even though we also know it was having an impact on them as people aren’t buying tickets and aren’t flying, that means that they’re actually struggling with money. But the good news is because they’re giving me the credit, they don’t have to refund the money, so they get to keep some of that cash and defer when they need to deliver on the service to me until later when it becomes easier to fly.

Dan Gingiss: Yes. And American did something very similar and I appreciated it as well because I had a bunch of flights booked too. And obviously the airline industry is in a lot of trouble right now and it’s likely going to be the beneficiary of a government bailout. But ultimately, we are going to all start flying again, it’s going to happen at some point. And this is the moment where airlines and other companies can either retain their customer loyalty or they can aggravate their customers and send them to the competition. And I think both Delta and American have done a really nice job of retaining that loyalty.

Dan Gingiss: One thing that stuck out to me, Joey, I’m just wondering if you had thought of this as well, is that a lot of these fees that are being reversed and canceled, they didn’t exist 10 years ago. Remember, it [crosstalk 00:17:52] took the airline industry almost collapsing to start creating all these ridiculous nuisance fees, and I wonder whether the long term aspect of this may be, hopefully fingers crossed, that they start rethinking these ridiculous fees. My favorite one is now the one where it costs you money to redeem your miles.

Dan Gingiss: So you’ve earned all these miles and now you want to use them to buy a ticket, and that’ll be $75 each way to use your miles. I mean, whatever accountant came up with that idea, I’m sure it made billions of dollars for the airlines, but it is so customer un-centric, it is so anti-loyalty literally, because the whole idea of earning miles is that you’ve been loyal, and now all of a sudden we’re going to basically punish you to use those miles. I’m hoping that it causes some of the airlines to rethink some of these and maybe never bring them back.

Joey Coleman: I think you bring up a great point, Dan, and it’s really the case that this entire COVID-19 crisis, while incredibly stressful, while incredibly challenging and with huge costs both monetary, the cost of lives, I mean that the impacts of this are going to be felt for many, many years to come, right. Even once we’re on the other side of the pandemic, there will have been things that have happened that will be difficult for anybody to overcome.

Joey Coleman: What I do hope is that organizations, and hopefully the folks listening to our show, are looking and saying, in this downtime, in this period where business isn’t as usual, let’s actually look at everything. Let’s look at everything we’re doing and come at it from a lens of saying, I understand we were doing this in the past, but do we need to do it going forward? Is it the right choice? Is that the customer centric choice? Is it the way that we want to operate as a business? I think there’s a real opportunity here.

Dan Gingiss: I absolutely agree. And as we both have said recently, there is no more important time than right this second to be focusing on customer experience, because even if you don’t have customers right now because you’ve had to temporarily shut down your business, when things go back to normal, the question is going to be, are the customers going to come back or are they going to go somewhere else? And what you do right now is going to have such a big impact on that.

Dan Gingiss: Joey, we both have different utility companies, because we live in different states, and I believe we both have monopolies you Xcel Energy and me ComEd in terms of electricity, and I always love looking at utilities, especially monopolies, and how they act because customer experience, you could make an argument, they don’t need to focus on that, because we don’t have a choice in where we [crosstalk 00:20:39] get our electricity.

Joey Coleman: Yes. And we want electricity so therefore, you have who you have.

Dan Gingiss: Yes, but both of our utility companies, I think, did something very similar, while it didn’t necessarily benefit you or me specifically, I think we both felt really good about it. Which was, that they announced that they would not cancel anybody’s electricity for lack of payment. And that basically they guaranteed that all customers were going to have their electricity remain on during this crisis. And for people that were having trouble paying, they would work out a payment plan and basically allow you to punt it down the road and not worry about losing electricity on top of all the other worries that you have right now.

Joey Coleman: Hugely important and hugely valuable. And most utility companies have a rule that they can’t cut the power during the winter, especially in colder environments like you live in Chicago, and like I have here in Colorado. But the fact that the utility companies, at least it appears, I’m not sure about this, but it appears like they acted before there was legislation saying they couldn’t cut. To me, to your point, left me feeling better about my energy company. I was like, wow.

Joey Coleman: And God forbid I do end up in a situation where I couldn’t pay for my electric bill, I’m really excited to know that I’m taken care of. I thought that was a great example of when you’re messaging to your customers, even if the message doesn’t specifically affect them, like the Enterprise email about lowering the rental car age that we talked about in the last segment, it still has a lifting effect because it allows your customers to know that you’re thinking about them, even if the things you’re doing don’t actually impact them personally.

Joey Coleman: Speaking of things that I think are unexpected and delightful communications, I had a week long stay planned at the MGM Hotel in Las Vegas that was actually supposed to happen this past week, and the hotel had to close down because of COVID-19. What I thought was really interesting is I got an email from them at about 2:00 AM, the night before we were technically supposed to be checking in. Now we had already decided we weren’t going on our trip. But the email said, “Because we’re closing the hotel down for the next month, we are refunding everyone’s deposits who has a reservation at our hotel.”

Joey Coleman: Now the MGM has 6,000 rooms, right, this is an enormous hotel. But the email went on to say, you don’t have to do anything. You don’t have to call in and tell us you’re canceling, you don’t have to call in and tell us you’re affected, give us some time, and they kind of implied in the next 24 hours, and we will reverse back and refund to all of your cards the cancellation. I thought this was a great example of a company saying, hey, we’re going to do something, but good news is, we’re taking care of it, you don’t have to ask, you don’t have to worry about it, it’s coming back your way.

Dan Gingiss: Yes, I love that. And while not as proactive, I had a great experience. I had a hotel booked for three nights at the Mohegan Sun Pocono in Pennsylvania. And this was a three night prepaid non-refundable rate. And I called up and said, hey, I had to cancel my trip. I actually said, I’m going to move it because I will be back, is it okay if I move it? And they said, “We’re just going to give you a refund. It’s fine, no questions asked.”

Dan Gingiss: And I’ll admit, I was a little surprised because it would have been so easy for them to hide behind their policy and say, I’m sorry, but you bought a non-refundable rate too bad for you. But they were very, very amenable and they, I think, have ensured that the next time I go there, and I go there a lot because I have a consulting client there, that I’m going to stay there. And so again, short term loss, because they lost some money from me, long term gain because they gained my loyalty.

Joey Coleman: So, what do we need to do in these crazy times? Number one, look at your policies and procedures now. Don’t wait. Get into them right now and come up with COVID-19 conscious versions. Versions of your policies and procedures that acknowledge the realities of the world today, and put your customers first.

Joey Coleman: Number two, be empathetic. Brands can really endear themselves based on how they behave in times of crisis. This is definitely a time of crisis, and the more empathy you can show towards the position your customers are in, the more likely your customers will be to stick with you through this crisis, and be back as loyal customers once things start to return to normal.

Joey Coleman: Number three, put people over profits. I understand as a business owner, that is easier said than done. But it is more important now than in any other time in your business’s history. We need to focus on our customers and our employees and doing the right thing for them, even if it means our profit margins are going to go down.

Joey Coleman: Now, employees listening, there’s going to need to be some assistance from the employees as well. But the employers have the opportunity to lead the charge. And last but not least, trust your gut. Remember that every business on the planet is in this same situation right now. It’s not Just you, it’s not just your industry, it’s not just the businesses in your town, every business on the planet is dealing with these challenges. There’s more time for empathy and grace for all of us if we just recognize that we’re all in this together, trust our guts, and do the right thing.

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: We’re now going to turn our attention to employees. Just as taking care of your customers in a time of stress and crisis is critical, it’s also important to focus on your employees, because similar to the best of times, happy employees equal happy customers. And unfortunately, the inverse is also true. So it’s very important to make sure that your employees remain healthy, safe, and confident.

Dan Gingiss: Now, there are a lot of places in the country, including my home state of Illinois, that already have shelters in place requirements, so people are working from home. There are other places in the country where people are still going into work, either because they are essential employees in essential businesses, or because their companies unfortunately have not yet made a decision to ask people to stay home.

Dan Gingiss: This is such a critical time to show employees that you care about them and that you understand that they are the engine behind your business. And oftentimes, they’re the front lines of your business that are talking to customers. Imagine asking an employee to talk to a customer and try to comfort them and make them feel safe when they don’t feel comforted or safe themselves. So the first thing is, please do not require anyone to come into work who doesn’t absolutely have to. The good news is, we live in an era where remote working has become popular anyway, Joey and I have worked from our homes for a while. Many people have worked from home for a long time and know how to do it. And we have the technological resources to do it.

Joey Coleman: Think about the definition of the word essential as well. I’ve been in some conversations in the last week where I heard employers talking about certain employees as being essential, and when I press them on it, they actually just decided that they wanted that employee to keep working, the functions that they needed that employee to do was not essential that they be performed at the office. They could have been performed by home. So I think there’s a real opportunity here because you’re employees are smart people too. If you’ve tagged them as essential, and they don’t feel that it’s essential, they may not feel comfortable speaking up because they want to keep their job. And I think there’s an opportunity for all managers and employers to really think about what is the true definition of essential in a pandemic crisis.

Dan Gingiss: Yes. Totally makes sense. I mean, unfortunately, not every employee is essential, even though they may think they are, or in the best of times, maybe they are. But right now essential employees is generally going to be a smaller list. Now, if employees must work in person in the office, it’s absolutely critical that you practice social distancing religiously. And that they have the proper protection, such as gloves, masks, sanitizer, etc, so that coming into work is literally not risking their lives, right.

Dan Gingiss: I mean, we all joke about how we spend more time at work than sometimes we spend at home or with our families, but work is important it is not worth risking our lives for. And so it is really important that if you are going to require people to come in, that they feel safe and that they feel protected.

Dan Gingiss: Another thing that I think is really important that sometimes we lose sight of even in the best of times, is that employees have families, and families are stressed during this time as well, especially those of us who have kids that are suddenly home from school, and bored, and we’re trying to keep them entertained while also keeping our jobs and working, and that causes even more stress. So just as we often talk about stepping into the shoes of your customer, it’s so important to step into the shoes of your employees and really understand what they’re going through right now.

Joey Coleman: Absolutely. And I think we need to be thinking as employers, how are we going to handle an employee becoming sick? What are you doing to think ahead now for the employees who actually are essential? Is there an opportunity to cross-train? Is there an opportunity to do some scenario modeling where if that person who’s the linchpin in your business, either is personally sick, or has a spouse, or a significant other, or a child, or a parent that is sick, what are you going to do to hopefully be able to continue keep functioning using other people on your team? Most experts will tell you that it is better to have these conversations and think through these things before you’re in the thick of it, instead of waiting to try to troubleshoot these type of problems once you’re waist deep in the issue.

Dan Gingiss: Exactly. So, let’s look at some examples of companies that we think are doing the right thing by their employees, and hopefully, you can be inspired in your business to consider similar measures. So the first that I wanted to bring up was Facebook, which immediately came out and announced that it was giving $1,000 to every employee in order to help them. And obviously they have a lot of employees. And if you think about it, $1,000 doesn’t sound like a ton of money, except this is also what the US government is considering sending to everybody, right? So, if the US government sending $1,000, and now my employer is matching it, again, it’s a gesture of goodwill that I think gains loyalty from employees over time.

Joey Coleman: Well, and I think $1,000 actually, for the majority of Americans is a huge amount of money because most research shows that the typical family, when faced with an unexpected $400 expense, would not be able to weather that challenge. And so most families are facing a lot more than a $400 change in expense right now, not only in terms of costs, but in terms of where their income lies.

Joey Coleman: It’s interesting, a lot of the sports teams that are not able to have their events anymore, given the crowd rules etcetera, have created some interesting solutions as well, both in Major League Baseball, the NBA, the NHL, a number of owners have stepped forward, notably Mark Cuban, to say, we’re going to pay the salaries of all of the people who normally work in our basketball arena. So there’s an opportunity here for businesses of all sizes to step forward.

Joey Coleman: I know a couple of CEOs who have decided that they’re not taking any pay for the next three months to be able to pay their employees for the next three months, so that they don’t have to lay people off or fire them. So there’s a lot of opportunities to get creative.

Dan Gingiss: And I love that example because so often, when bad things happen to good employees, the first thing that employees look to is the top executives, right. So when there’s layoffs, for example, and then you see that your top executive is making $50 million a year and gets another $100 million in stock options. And you’re like, well boy, if he had given up two or three of those millions of dollars, maybe we could have saved a lot of jobs. And so I think this is one of those things where if you’re able to do it, you really can gain so much loyalty from your employees versus the opposite, which again, can be anger and distrust of the company.

Dan Gingiss: I know Disney and universal have done similar things for their employees because as we all know, those parks are closed indefinitely and there’s a ton of people that work to keep those open, and whether they’re cast members, or people operating the food stations, or the ride stations, tons of employees and they’re really working hard to keep those people as well.

Dan Gingiss: Another example that I really liked was Starbucks, which decided to extend its mental health benefits for store employees. And I think why this is important is Starbucks is one of the places that is staying open and therefore is requiring baristas to come in and make coffees even though people can’t dine in and they can only take out, they’re still bringing in their employees. And obviously, this causes stress. And Starbucks acknowledged that and is now offering mental health benefits for free to their employees, which I think was an excellent move.

Joey Coleman: Folks, this is a huge one, I don’t care what business you’re in, if you are not taking time to consider the mental health of your employees right now, there is a big problem. So many people are uncertain. So many people are afraid. In fact, it’s rising to the level that there’s so much fear and uncertainty, I think it’s something that most people aren’t even talking about. I mean, to be completely blunt and transparent, before Dan and I started recording today, we just checked in on how each other are doing and what’s going on, because this is a stressful time for everyone.

Joey Coleman: This is an opportunity for you to look to your friends, look to your co-workers, look to your boss, as well as the people that report to you and check in on everybody’s mental and emotional state and how they’re doing. Business shouldn’t just be about, are we operating? And are we operating at efficiencies? And are people getting paid and are our employees getting paid, are our customers placing orders, etc? We should spend some time thinking about the mental and emotional health of the people we interact with too. And my hope is, while this is certainly a terribly challenging and difficult time, that more businesses will look to the opportunity in this time to say, how can we press reset, a reset that we’ve known that we’ve needed to do for a long time, and actually think a little bit more about what our employees are going through?

Dan Gingiss: So here are some takeaways from this segment. As always, happy employees equal happy customers. It is never more important than right now to focus on our employees and keeping them happy, healthy, and safe, so that they can focus on our customers and keeping them happy, healthy, and safe. Also, your frontline employees are representing your brand right now, as they always are. But in a time of crisis, if they’re stressed out, if they’re feeling beaten down, if they’re feeling under-appreciated or unappreciated, how is it that you think they’re going to project to your customers?

Dan Gingiss: So especially with frontline employees, right now, customer service agents, retail employees that need to continue working, people that are engaging with customers, these are the ones that we’ve got to focus on and keep in a good state and a positive state so that they then transmit that to customers. And finally, just as you’re going to need your customers after this crisis passes, you’re also going to need your employees. This is the time to engender pride in and loyalty to your organization.

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? The COVID-19 crisis is impacting everyone you interact with. And what we’ve already discussed how it’s impacting your customers and impacting your employees, we wanted to talk about a third category of people that your business interacts with that are being hit hard by this virus, your suppliers.

Joey Coleman: Everybody in their business life and in their personal life has folks that look out for you, people that you patronize. Whether that’s your chiropractor, the hairdresser you go to, or a business setting, the person who cleans your business office, who maybe helps support your IT infrastructure, whatever it may be, people that come to your office, or to your home, or you go to their office or to their home to take advantage of their services. And in this time where business is grinding to a halt, and more and more people are being encouraged to not only stay home and work, but to stay home and not travel outside of their homes, your suppliers are increasingly in jeopardy.

Joey Coleman: And so one of the things we want to address is the fact that in many businesses, the suppliers you interact with are actually small businesses or freelancers. People who don’t necessarily have the cash reserves that some of the larger brands we referred to earlier in the show do. And so the question becomes, what are you doing and what can you do to look after the people of which you are a customer?

Joey Coleman: So, for example, in a business setting, if you have somebody that comes to clean your office but your office isn’t going to be operating anymore from your office, what can you do to support them during this time when their revenues are going to be down? I know a lot of entrepreneurs I know have agreed to prepay for some of the cleaning that’s going to have to happen in the future, even though it’s not happening right now.

Joey Coleman: What are you doing to look at creative ways to reallocate resources? For example, I have an assistant who helps me scheduling with flights, and coordinating hotels, and logistics for my travel. Needless to say, I don’t anticipate traveling for the next month at least and potentially two or three or more. I’ve decided to have her work on other things that are important to my business, that are not necessarily related to my travel, but yet allows me to keep her on the payroll.

Dan Gingiss: Yes, I’ve done something similar with my virtual assistant who was hired to really help me reach out to prospects and make them aware of my speaking capabilities, and the fact that I’m available for keynotes, and that sort of thing. And and right now, selling that is not a great idea because events are being canceled and people are not necessarily thinking in that direction. So I’ve been cross training him on some of the marketing that I’ve been doing for my business, my newsletter and some of the stuff that I do with taking audio and video and transcribing it into texts to make blog posts, and some of my social sharing and scheduled posts and all that sort of thing, and I’m really trying to cross train him so that he can continue to help, he can continue to be employed, and then I can continue moving my business along.

Dan Gingiss: And these are hard decisions to make, because let’s face it, Joey, just like so many others out there, you and I don’t know what’s going to happen to our business in the next few months or even years, or how long it is going to affect us. And so the initial instinct is to just hoard your money and don’t spend a dime. And I’m actually trying on a couple of different places to spend money right now, to invest in my business’s future, and to build some foundational stuff, because I do believe, as my grandmother always used to say, “This too shall pass.” And whenever it does pass, I want to be in a good position to pick up where I left off and maybe even be in a stronger spot than I was when this first started.

Joey Coleman: Absolutely, Dan. And I think your grandmother had wise advice and it’s something that pretty much everybody’s agreeing, that there will come a time that this is not as big of a pandemic situation as it is right now, right. We’ve got ways to go before we get there, but it will get better. What are we doing now to make sure that the businesses that serve us, and the suppliers, and the vendors that we have relationships with continue to be in business? And this doesn’t just hit the business side of it, it hits the personal side. So, for example, my wife and I, and my two boys, obviously we get haircuts, right. So one of the things we did is we went to-

Dan Gingiss: Hey, that’s not too obvious for some of us, Joey.

Joey Coleman: Fair enough. This is the difference between Dan and I folks. Dan takes care of all of his own hair trimming, I have a professional work on mine. Although some people who’ve seen me on stage or seen pictures of me might agree whether it’s that professional or not. But the moral of the story here is, hair salons are closed down. So we reached out to some of the folks that provide us with services, whether that’s massage, or chiropractic care, or hairdressers and offered to pre-buy haircuts in the future, pre-buy adjustments and massages in the future.

Joey Coleman: And the idea behind this was, yes, there’s a little bit of a hit from us from a point of view of expending money, but you can put that on a credit card and ride it for a month or two, and if that’s the thing that helps your favorite hairdresser, or your favorite massage therapist, or your favorite chiropractor, whatever Freelancer or small business you do business with, navigate through this crisis, not only have you ensured that you’ll be well taken afterwards, because they’ll still be there, but here’s what I can promise you, they’re not going to forget that you’ve stood by them during this time. They’re not going to forget the generosity that you extended to them. Now I’m not saying that’s why you should do it, but it certainly is a nice ancillary benefit if you’re in doubt about whether or not you should.

Dan Gingiss: For sure. And I think the smart companies, by the way, are showing that appreciation right now. So, there is a sushi restaurant in my hometown that obviously is suffering quite a bit. And a lot of residents have been recommending this sushi restaurant, obviously now just pickup and delivery. And what’s happening is when you order they are offering a discount for pickup, which is funny because that’s the only way you can order right now is pickup. And secondly, they are including a gift certificate with your order for a future order. So they’re basically already now saying … So as a customer, I feel good because I’m supporting a local restaurant that is clearly struggling. I can’t go sit in the restaurant, but I can still order out from it. And they’re showing that thankfulness back to me saying, hey, we really value you, thanks for supporting us during this difficult time. And that’s what the letter, there was a little handwritten note with the gift certificate, that’s what it said.

Dan Gingiss: And so, you feel good about that, right, because you feel good that you’re supporting a local business, and you feel good that they feel good, and that they’re willing to thank you for it.

Joey Coleman: Folks, during this pandemic, there are going to be a lot of businesses that will struggle and close, especially small and local businesses. You can do your part to help by following this four step process. Number one, determine who your key suppliers are, both personally and professionally.

Joey Coleman: Number two, reach out to them and discuss the status of the relationship. Any outstanding shipments, or supplies, or projects that maybe need to be put on pause, the payment terms. Have a conversation. Don’t wait for them to call you. This is not a conversation anybody is excited to have, but lean into it sooner rather than later.

Joey Coleman: Number three, get creative. Offer to pre-pay via gift cards, or pre-booked appointments, or pre-packaged, or even pay for services that aren’t rendered. If you’ve got somebody that’s been loyal to you for many, many years, and your business or your personal financial standing is in a place where you can afford to pay them for a month or two, even if they don’t deliver on the service, the investment you are making into that relationship long term, will far outweigh the dollar outlay today.

Joey Coleman: And last but not least, thank the workers that are doing their best in these new circumstances. For example, the person who carries out the groceries to the car when you’ve ordered online, the person who when you call to cancel a service or to get a refund is answering the phone and doing their best to process. A kind word right now not only helps everyone get through the day, but it’s an investment in those businesses being around tomorrow.

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

Dan Gingiss: So we wanted to end this episode on a positive note. And rather than a traditional CX press segment where we just go through a single article, we wanted to share with you that we’ve seen lots of articles out there of positive things happening amidst this outbreak and pandemic.

Joey Coleman: Yes, folks, it’s not all doom gloom in the news. Don’t just get caught up in the stories that are about the terrible things that are happening. Look for the more positive stories too.

Dan Gingiss: And as it turns out, companies of all sizes often have resources that can help others in the community during a time of crisis. It might be money, or supplies, or facilities, or even just expertise. And we wanted to share some companies that we’ve seen that are doing just that. So Loom, a video recording and sharing service, has made their Loom Pro Edition free for teachers and students at K through 12 schools, universities, and educational institutions. As we all know, many students now are being forced to learn remotely. And loom is a service that can be used for that, and so they’re just putting their service out there for educational institutions.

Joey Coleman: Yes. And LinkedIn has decided to take 16 of its learning courses and make them free. Now these are courses that you used to have to pay for, but now they’re available to anyone and they provide tips on how to stay productive, how to build relationships when you’re not face to face, how to use virtual meeting tools, and how to balance family and work dynamics in a healthy way, which increasingly, as more people find themselves working from home with their children and their families, these are valuable tips and suggestions to help people navigate this new time.

Dan Gingiss: We talked in the last segment about how local restaurants are really struggling. So Uber Eats and DoorDash have both waived commission fees for independent restaurant partners to promote people supporting their local restaurants.

Joey Coleman: A good buddy of mine, Philip McKernan, an amazing coach and inspiring individual decided to make his books available for free. He decided to make his online courses available for free. And he launched a new virtual training program where each week he’s doing motivational check-in sessions that help people explore how do they navigate this new COVID-19 world. I think what’s great about this is there’s literally no business on the planet that can’t get creative about how they’re providing value, not only to their customers, but just to the public in large and their general broader community.

Dan Gingiss: I definitely agree. And one way to look at it is to focus on keeping things as normal as possible during a time when it’s anything but. And we’ve seen a lot of public companies stopping their stock buybacks, for example, and the reason for that is to make sure that they remain solvent and able to help their customers during an outbreak. I think we’ve also seen lots of companies, we talked about utilities in the first segment, but we’ve also seen all the cable companies, and telecommunications companies, and Google have made pledges to keep the internet going and alive for all Americans, even if people can’t afford to pay.

Dan Gingiss: Again, on a local level, for a smaller company, which a lot of our listeners run, think about how you can help even just your local community, it might just be the little town or suburb that you live in. What can you do to give back to your community because people are going to remember that when this passes?

Joey Coleman: Or the person in your neighborhood. Folks, this literally is a time to think as, in some ways, as small as possible. Think about the people who live on your street who are maybe immunocompromised or elderly, that you could leave a little note with your cell phone number that says, if you need somebody to go to the grocery store for you or to the pharmacists to pick things up for you, call my number and I can go out and do that. Now, again, we still want to encourage people to practice social distancing, to only go out if you absolutely need to, to maintain a significant physical distance at least three feet, closer to six if you can, away from anybody that you interact with, but there’s an opportunity to provide value to people beyond the groups who normally provide value to.

Dan Gingiss: Joey, the suburb I live in, somebody set up a Facebook group that was specifically for doing just that, for helping others and I’ve been asked to join it now by about 18 of my friends. And it’s a great way [crosstalk 00:52:42] Social media guy, Dan, I mean, come on. Well, it’s a great way to spread the word about being able to help the elderly or people who are immunocompromised during this time. So I love that.

Joey Coleman: I was just talking to my little brother earlier today, he lives in Springfield, Illinois, and at the time we’re recording this it’s not long after St. Patrick’s Day and they had a message go out in their neighborhood that said, if you want to participate, put some shamrocks on the windows, that way, when families are out walking around, because we want to encourage people to continue to exercise and continue to get outside, just stay away from other people when you do it, right. But they said, “Set it up so that your kids on a walk through the neighborhood at night can count the number of shamrocks.” And I thought, what a creative way to allow neighbors to connect with each other in a way that keeps folks healthy and abides by the idea of physical distancing, but still allows people to have some type of interaction with their community.

Dan Gingiss: I love it. Now if you want more inspiration, we recommend an article by Just Capital that is entitled Capitalism Meets Coronavirus, How Companies are Responding. And of course we’ll include the link in our show notes at www.experiencethisshow.com. But we’ve also created a shortened Bit.ly link that you can use if that’s what you prefer. And it is Bit.ly, which is B-I-T-.-L-Y /ET for Experience This, responses. And the E, the T, and the R in responses are all capitalized. So it’s Bit.ly/ETResponses, and that’ll get you to that Just Capital article.

Dan Gingiss: Now, we wanted to provide you with a couple of bonus articles as well to spread the Good News [inaudible 00:54:28], because hey, we got nothing but time here. And hopefully, you’ve got some time to listen. So, an article that I happened upon that I really liked is from an organization that I had actually never heard of, which is called the Good News Network. And I can tell you, I’m going to be following their stuff for now because I’m really tired of all the bad news. But this is an article called 10 Positive Updates on the COVID-19 Outbreaks from Around The World. And it was written by McKinley Cobly of the Good News Network, and this will also be shared our show notes, and there is also a Bit.ly link which is, Bit.ly/ETGoodNews, and again, ET, the G in good, and the N in news are capitalized.

Dan Gingiss: And some of the examples that they shared in this article are that US researchers have delivered the first COVID-19 vaccine to volunteers, human volunteers in an experimental test program. Also amidst national shortages of hand sanitizers, there are several alcohol distilleries around the country that have begun using their facilities to make their own sanitation products and sell them. And some of them are selling a lot of them. And finally, air pollution plummets in cities with high rates of quarantine. So, we’re excited to present to you a little bit later this season, a special environmental episode of Experience This, but I thought this was some good news too, that we were seeing positive environmental effects by people staying home.

Joey Coleman: Absolutely. And to conclude out our CX press episode of Good News that you can subscribe to or find, I’ve been a big fan of Dr. Peter Diamandis and his work for many years now. Peter is the chairman and CEO of the X Prize Foundation, which leads the world in designing and launching these large incentive prizes to drive radical breakthroughs. So you might have heard of the X Prize. He also is an original founder of Singularity University, which is all about teaching people about exponential technologies.

Joey Coleman: And over the last two years, he’s built a machine learning algorithm that scrapes the world’s news and science journals and social feeds every day to understand how exponential technologies are impacting specific topics and industries. And he calls it, Future Loop. He sent out an email just two days ago about a new offering that they have. And I’m quoting from the email, “Future Loop Pandemic Special Edition, is a daily comprehensive update on the impact of exponential technologies like AI, robotics, drones, cellular medicine, CRISPR, networks and sensors, all about the COVID-19 pandemic. If you participate Future Loop will update you every day on the latest breakthroughs in detection, prevention, and cure of COVID-19. Now, this product is still in beta, but it’s powerful, high quality info and it’s free. Your mindset is your most important tool during the pandemic. Making sure you’re consuming the right information is critical to maintaining that mindset. Future loop offers data driven optimism.”

Joey Coleman: I just loved that. Data driven optimism. There’s a tool out there that you can subscribe to for free, that will deliver positive news that acknowledges the craziness that is the COVID-19 pandemic, but provides a glimmer of hope. So you can find this at our show notes at experiencethisshow.com, you can also, as Dan mentioned, if you want to check out the Bit.ly link, it’s Bit.ly/ETF, that’s Experience This and the F is the beginning of the word Future Loop, where future and loop are both capitalized. But again, if you didn’t have a chance to write that down or you don’t want to go, just go to experiencethisshow.com you’ll be able to find the show notes for this episode and you’ll be all set to get some data driven optimism in your inbox while you’re working from home in the coming days and weeks.

Dan Gingiss: So the takeaways of this multi-article CX press segment, number one, companies have the unique ability to provide resources to help the community. It may not be money, it could just be expertise. It doesn’t necessarily have to cost you anything, but you do have resources and think about how you can give back. Number two, find some way, even in a small way, to give back to your customers or to your community and show them how much you appreciate them in this difficult time and they will appreciate you back.

Dan Gingiss: And finally, number three, take some time to think about positive things and to read about positive things. It can be very easy in a time of crisis to get down, to get depressed, to get angry, and it’s nice to see that there are a lot of positive things happening in the world right now. Unfortunately, with the media situation that we find ourselves in, in the United States, it’s hard to find those things, and so we hope by giving you some of these resources, you can stay in tune with some of the positives going on in the world now.

Dan Gingiss: Thanks so much for listening to this special episode of the Experience This show. We will return to our regular schedule next Tuesday and have episodes ready for you through the first week of June. Please note that the rest of the episodes in season five have been pre-recorded before the COVID-19 pandemic. If you liked this episode, please do us a favor and tell your friends and colleagues. Our entire back catalog of more than 90 episodes is available on iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify, Google Play, Amazon Alexa, or your favorite podcast App.

Joey Coleman: And a special thanks to our wonderful friends Avtex. Avtex has been a fantastic sponsor of the show this season. We so appreciate their support and their continued involvement in helping bring Experience This to your ears every week. What we love about Avtex is that their approach brings together transformation and orchestration, which means they help you to define the areas of CX that need to be improved, and then create a roadmap for improving them. Avtex knowledge and experience in orchestration allows them to help you leverage the people, processes, and technology you need to implement your plan. You can learn more about the great folks at Avtex by visiting their website at www.avtex. That’s A-V-T-E-X.com.

Dan Gingiss: And finally, we are here for you our loyal listeners during this difficult time. If you have a question about how to respond to COVID-19 with a customer experience lens, don’t hesitate to reach out to us directly. Joey’s email is JoeyC@JoeyColeman.com. And my email is Dan@DanGingiss.com. Thanks again for listening and we’ll see you next week on The Experience This show. Wow, thanks for joining us for another episode of Experience This. We know there are tons of podcasts to listen to, magazines and books to read, reality TV to watch, we don’t take for granted that you’ve decided to spend some quality time listening to the two of us.

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

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

Joey Coleman: … This.


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

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

Engaging, Squinting, and Interacting… Oh My!

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

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

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

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

Joey Coleman, co-host of ExperienceThis! Show podcast

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

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

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

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

Dan Gingiss, co-host of ExperienceThis! Show podcast

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

[Start the Conversation] Avtex: Dealing with Negative Reviews

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

John DiJulius, author of The Relationship Economy

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

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

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

Links We Referenced

Host Contact Information

Tweet Dan Gingiss: @DGingiss

Email Joey: JoeyC@JoeyColeman.com

DanGingiss.com

JoeyColeman.com

Subscribe to Experience This on Apple Podcasts

Episode Transcript

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

Joey Coleman: Welcome to Experience This.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dan Gingiss: You are not correct on either.

Joey Coleman: What?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dan Gingiss: You mean like plain English?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[Start the Conversation] Avtex: Dealing with Negative Reviews

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Joey Coleman: Experience.

Dan Gingiss: This.

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

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

Bananas, Baseball, and Yellow Tuxedos — Oh My!

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

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

LEGO, Leverage, and Lobbies. Oh my!

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Episode 68 – The Rewards of Taking Risks to Promote Inclusivity

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

Choosing, Perusing, and Browsing. Oh my!

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

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

Gargoyles, Rings, and Birthdays. Oh my!

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Episode 56 – How to Turn Customers Into Champions of Your Brand

Join us as we discuss: what customers have to say about customer experience, how packaging can be designed for specific situations, and how one pizza brand saved New Year’s Eve. 

Surveys, Situations, and Saviors. Oh my!

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