Mythbusters – by Solvvy

Episode 134 – A Clear Path Forward to Better Experiences

Join us as we discuss one of the greatest CEOs of this generation sharing his final thoughts, the common path to uncommon success, and a listener takes on customer reviews — every last one of them.

Earthing, Pathing, and Responding – Oh My!

Referenced in the Show

• Jeff Bezos’ Final Letter to Amazon Shareholders
• The Common Path to Uncommon Success: A Roadmap to Financial Freedom and Fulfillment – by John Lee Dumas
Fuse Lenses

Host Contact Information

Email Dan: Dan@dangingiss.com

Tweet Dan Gingiss: @DGingiss

Email Joey: JoeyC@JoeyColeman.com

DanGingiss.com

JoeyColeman.com

Subscribe to Experience This on Apple Podcasts

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

Episode Transcript

Download a machine-transcribed, barely edited transcript of Episode 134 here or read it below:
(if anything doesn’t make sense or you have any questions about the transcript – just Contact us!)

Joey Coleman (00:03):
Welcome to Experience This!

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

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

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

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

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

Joey Coleman (00:54):
Woo hoo! Join us as we discuss: one of the greatest CEOs of this generation sharing his final thoughts, the common path to uncommon success, and a listener takes on customer reviews – every last one of them.

Dan Gingiss (01:12):
Earthing, Pathing, and Responding! Oh my!

Joey Coleman (01:20):
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 (01:33):
Last month, as is his annual custom since 1997, Amazon CEO, Jeff Bezos sent a letter to shareholders. But this one was his last as CEO, as he’ll be handing over the reigns to Andy Jassy this fall and taking on the role of executive chairman. His last letter – all 4,000 words of it – details a plan for Amazon to become Earth’s Best Employer and Earth’s Safest Place to Work, in addition to its signature promise of being Earth’s Most Customer- Centric Company. It also shines light on Amazon’s Climate Pledge. The letter – which we’ll link to in our show notes at ExperienceThisShow.com – is well worth the read if you want to better understand why Amazon is so good at everything it does. Now, let’s break down some of the pieces. First, some absolutely astounding numbers: Amazon now hires 1.3 million people worldwide, which is up from 614 people in 1997.

Joey Coleman (02:40):
Small bit of growth!

Dan Gingiss (02:42):
It boasts more than 200 million Prime Mmbers. In 1997, it had a 1.5 million total customers. It today has more than 1.9 million small businesses that sell on Amazon and customers have connected more than a hundred million smart home devices to Alexa (I have to spell her, otherwise she’s going to go on while we’re recording!). Perhaps most impressively, Amazon had just gone public at a split adjusted stock price of, are you ready for this? $1.50 per share in 1997. Now, as of this recording, it trades at just above $3,200 per share with a market cap of more than 1.6 trillion (with a T) dollars. In case you’re wondering, I did the math for you, that is a tidy gain of 213,333%.

Joey Coleman (03:39):
Wow. Dan, I was told there would be no math, but I appreciate you doing the math for me. What an amazing story of growth. And what’s fascinating to me is, I for one often take Amazon for granted because it’s become ubiquitous in our lives. I was an early Amazon customer back when pretty much all they had were books. And it’s amazing to see how far they’ve come, which interestingly enough brings us to one of the second points we wanted to share from the letter. And that is, if you want to be successful in business, in life actually, you have to create more than you consume. Your goal should be to create value for everyone you interact with. Any business that doesn’t create value for those it touches, even if it appears successful on the surface, isn’t long for this world. It’s on the way out.

Dan Gingiss (04:31):
I love that. And, and when he talks about creating value, it’s not just about for customers. It’s for employees, it’s about vendors. It’s about the supply chain. It’s about the earth and, and creating value all over the place. And I think that one of the things that’s made Amazon successful is not only do they create this value, but they measure it. And in this letter, he goes into very fine detail about how they measure the value that they have created for each of those entities. Now, Amazon’s also frankly, been in the news lately regarding some allegedly working conditions, failed union votes and some other employee experience issues. And what I love about this letter is that Bezos takes those issues head on. He’s not hiding behind them. He says, quote, “[d]espite what we’ve accomplished, it’s clear to me that we need a better vision for our employees’ success. We’ve always wanted to be Earth’s Most Customer-Centric Company. We won’t change that – it’s what got us here – but I am committing us to, in addition, we’re going to be Earth’s Best Employer and Earth’s Safest Place to Work” unquote. He goes on to say, quote, “[i]f we want to be Earth’s Best Employer, we shouldn’t settle for 94% of employees saying they would recommend Amazon to a friend as a place to work. We have to aim for 100%.”

Joey Coleman (05:52):
You know, I think most organizations would love to have 94% of their employees recommend their place of work to a friend, but the fact that they are committed to aiming for a hundred percent and not resting on their laurels and continuing to push the envelope, I think speaks to the ethos of the organization and clearly what Bezos is hoping will continue as he transitions to being executive chairman and they kind of undergo some new leadership.

Dan Gingiss (06:24):
It also suggests that we’re never actually there at the destination. We can always do better because we’re not going to hit a hundred percent of anything, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t strive to be there. And if we’re at 94%, that’s awesome. We can rest on our laurels or we can try to get better. Even if that means getting to 96% or 97%.

Joey Coleman (06:45):
Yeah. Constant improvement and never being willing to settle. I absolutely love it. You know, there was another section you mentioned earlier, Dan, that, uh, Bezos really addresses some of the main issues of the day head on. And there was another section of the letter that really spoke to something that, not only has been a frequent conversation in many of our segments, this season on Experience This, but it’s actually been something we’ve been talking about since our podcast began. And that’s the impact of experience as it relates to the environment. And I quote, ‘[y]ou don’t have to say that photosynthesis is real, or make the case that gravity is real, or that water boils at a hundred degrees Celsius at sea level. These things are simply true. As is the reality of climate change. We launched the Climate Pledge together with global optimism in September of 2019, because we wanted to help drive this positive revolution. We need to be a part of a growing team of corporations that understands the imperatives and the opportunities of the 21st century. Now less than two years later, 53 companies representing almost every sector of the economy have signed the Climate Pledge. Signatories such as Best Buy, IBM, Infosys, Mercedes-Benz, Microsoft, Siemens, and Verizon have committed to achieve net zero carbon in their worldwide businesses by 2040 – ten years ahead of the Paris agreement.” You know, I absolutely love this. I love the bold commitment. I love the leadership. And I know some of the folks who are listening have really strong, uh, initiatives within your organizations to speak to climate change, I know we’ve talked about it in the past. This needs to be part of your employee and your customer experience. If you don’t start addressing this publicly in your products, in your services, I promise you, your customers are going to not be happy long-term this is a topic that needs to be addressed. And I love that they’re taking such a leading position on it.

Dan Gingiss (08:51):
I have to say one of the things that stuck out to me was that even the list that was shared in this quote, and that’s not obviously the entire list of 53 companies, but even within that smaller list, there’s a number of Amazon competitors. And I love that Amazon is brave enough, brazen enough, whatever you want to call it, dumb enough. I don’t think it’s dumb enough, but maybe to actually sign this thing with its competitors. To say like, look, everybody’s welcome under this tent because the earth is that important. And this is that important of an issue that even as competitors, we’ve all gotta be pedaling in the same direction on this issue. So I thought that was really cool. I’m gonna leave you with one more quote that I thought was more on the inspirational side and this was towards the end of the letter. I think he was getting a little melancholy and here’s what he said. Quote, ‘[w]e all know that distinctiveness originality is valuable. We are all taught to be yourself. What I’m really asking you to do is to embrace and be realistic about how much energy it takes to maintain that distinctiveness. The world wants you to be typical in a thousand ways, it pulls at you. Don’t let it happen. The world will always try to make Amazon more typical. To bring us into equilibrium with our environment. It will take continuous effort, but we can and must be better than that.” unquote. Now, Joey, I’m not going to impress you with my Rain Man skills here, I’m just going to read because there were too many of them. We’ve actually covered Amazon more than any other company on this show – which I think is not terribly surprising, given that it’s a show about customer experience. We’ve talked about Alexa in four different episodes, including our very first segment in our very first episode where we talked about our kids and how they used Alexa. We also referenced Alexa in episode 7, 11, and 91. We talked about the four star store in episode 68, the ghost store in 69, damage to items, uh, in episode 77, the returns process in episode 88, their credit card in episode 96, and their customer service in episode 97. And that all reminds me of an old commercial from when we were growing up from the shampoo company Pantene. And they had that woman in there that would say, “don’t hate me because I’m beautiful.” Do you remember those commercials?

Joey Coleman (11:05):
I do remember those commercials!

Dan Gingiss (11:07):
And I think that applies because honestly there’s a lot of Amazon haters out there and I say, don’t hate Amazon because it’s successful. And don’t try to out Amazon, Amazon. It’s the best at what it does. And I believe it always will be, but we can all learn from what they do well and apply those best practices to our own businesses. And that’s why we talk about Amazon so much is because we can all learn from them and we can all do a little bit better.

Joey Coleman (11:37):
We spend hours and hours, nose deep in books. We believe that everything you read influences the experiences you create. So we’re happy to answer our favorite question, What Are You Reading?

Joey Coleman (11:53):
So, Dan, I, haven’t gotten to ask you this in a while, what are you reading these days?

Dan Gingiss (11:59):
Well Joey, I just finished a fiction book, Ready Player Two, which I gotta say was not nearly as good as the original Ready Player One.

Joey Coleman (12:06):
The sequels are always so tough.

Dan Gingiss (12:07):
Yeah, they are. So I switched over to a business book. I try to go back and forth between fiction and non-fiction and I was introduced to today’s author by Amber Vilhauer, with whom I’m working to launch my own book in September. Now, when I met Amber for the first time, she was just coming off a successful launch of John Lee Dumas’ new book, The Common Path to Uncommon Success: A Roadmap to Financial Freedom and Fulfillment. So I thought to myself, self – I’d like financial freedom and fulfillment. So I decided to check it out now, before we get too far into it, though, we invited the author, John Lee Dumas to give us a synopsis of his new book. Here he is:

John Lee Dumas (12:49):
Hello! This is John Lee Dumas. I am the founder and host of Entrepreneurs on Fire, which is a podcast I launched back in 2012 and have since published over 3000 episodes, interviewing the world’s most successful entrepreneurs and Entrepreneurs on Fire now has generated over a hundred million listens over the past decade and I decided to take those interviews, those thousands and thousands of hours of conversations of learning from the world’s most successful entrepreneurs and put it into my first traditionally published book, The Common Path to Uncommon Success. The Common Path to Uncommon Success is a roadmap – a 17 step roadmap – to financial freedom and fulfillment. I took every single step and the roadmap that I’ve taken to turn Entrepreneurs on Fire into multimillion dollar business, as well as these 17 steps that every successful entrepreneur has utilized in their journey to turn their business, their life, into financial freedom and fulfillment and put it into the 17 chapters that comprise the common path to uncommon success. So if you are looking for your version of uncommon success, if you’re looking for your version of financial freedom and fulfillment, if you want the book that I spent 480 hours writing the 71,000 words, the 273 pages, that is a combination of all of the success of the entrepreneurs that I’ve interviewed over the past decade, comprised down into this 17 step roadmap, then the Common Path to Uncommon Success is for you. I hope you enjoy. There’s also a little bonus chapter by chapter 18. I call it the wealth of knowledge. It’s just the best passages and inspirational moments and motivational sayings that I’ve accrued over the past decade, running entrepreneurs on fire. So that’s is for you to go and dip your ladle into whenever you need to slake your thirst with some inspiration, some motivation and some wisdom from years past. So this is John Lee Dumas. I hope you check out The Common Path to Uncommon Success. I hope you find your version of financial freedom and fulfillment in the 17 step roadmap. May peace be with you.

Joey Coleman (15:15):
Uh, yes, indeed friends. Did you, did you hear that correctly? Dan? Did I get that right? 17 steps.

Dan Gingiss (15:22):
Yeah, that’s kind of what I thought at first too, but what’s cool about this book is how straightforward those steps are. I mean, the steps are, well, let’s just say you don’t have to build a lunar landing module or anything. They’re common as the title suggests, but they’re arranged in an order that makes sense and they’re accompanied by amazing success stories of real “entrepreneurs on fire” as Dumas calls them.

Joey Coleman (15:48):
Well, give us an example, if you would, Dan, of one of these 17 steps.

Dan Gingiss (15:52):
Well, I’m actually gonna start at the beginning, because it’s a very good place to start, and that is step number one, which is: Find Your Big Idea. And actually this is where I found my favorite passage that I wanted to read here. Here we go. “There are two mistakes people make when trying to identify their big idea. Mistake number one: they believe their big idea can be something they are just passionate about. I love muffins! I’ll open a bakery! Mistake number two: they believe their big idea is something they just have expertise in. I know how to code! I will build websites! Your big idea is not either, or. It’s not something you’re passionate about, or something you have expertise in. It’s both. Your big idea needs to be a combination of your passions and your expertise.

Joey Coleman (16:42):
You know, Dan, here we are one step in to the 17 step plan, and I got to say, I’m resonating with this. I’ve had the opportunity to interact with so many new business owners and young folks and old folks alike, starting out in their business journey and making that either or mistake, and let’s be candid, they’re not in business a few years later, or maybe even a few months later because they’re missing a key piece of the puzzle. You know, I think for you and I personally, customer experience really fits that definition for both of us. It’s something we’re hugely passionate about. We’re constantly on the look for new customer experience examples. We’re constantly doing our best to create new customer experience examples. And as a result that plus all of our work experience and our life experience kind of contributes to 20 to 30 to 40 years of perspective and expertise on this, depending on what angle we want to look at. You know, since I’m loving step number one, what are some of the other steps?

Dan Gingiss (17:46):
I’m still stuck on the 40 years – I didn’t know you were that Joey!

Joey Coleman (17:51):
Ha ha – I was talking about you, my friend!

Dan Gingiss (17:52):
You were adding ours together we’re you?! Well, some of the other steps include: Discovering Your Niche, Choosing Your Platform, Creating Content. And one in particular, drew my attention: Finding Your Mentor. Now I’ve personally found that to be very valuable in building my own business. Now Dumas says it’s best to find a mentor who is where you want to be in a year because presumably they can help you more tactically since they’ve just been where you are now.

Joey Coleman (18:23):
You know, Dan, I like that example. I I’m a big believer in the concept of a broad definition of you will of “mentor.” And since we talked a little bit about Greek mythology in the last episode, I’ll make a quick reference here. You know, mentor in Greek mythology was the character who was responsible for educating Odysseus’ son when he went off on his adventures, uh, his son Telemachus. And the thought of someone serving that role of being an educator, being a sage, being a guide, has always really resonated with me and my buddy Ryan Holiday has this interesting perspective on mentors that, your mentor doesn’t need to necessarily know that they’re your mentor. Sure there’s a whole wing of mentor/mentee relationships, where you meet and you kind of work together and they provide advice and guidance and assistance. But I also think there’s an opportunity to connect to mentors who you don’t know, but you admire. You follow their work. You look to their writing. You look to their example to their lives, uh, to the way they live their lives as a way to give you some ideas and maybe some guidance on the path as well.

Dan Gingiss (19:36):
Yeah. One thing I think I would add is that you and I have both tried in our careers to be mentors to others because we have received such great advice from our own mentors. And I would say in corporate America, I spent more time mentoring than I was mentored and, and that was actually one of the things that frustrated me is you get to a certain level in corporate America and they feel like you don’t need any help anymore. And I’m like, no, actually I would like one too. Can I have a mentor?

Joey Coleman (20:04):
Always ooking for more help!

Dan Gingiss (20:06):
Yeah. But I always tried to make sure that I was paying it forward. And I think one of the things I’m proudest of is that in my 20 years in corporate America, I left a lot of people, a lot of team members that looked at me as a mentor because I really tried to, I embrace that role and I tried to, to pass on as much information as I could get. And then when I went off on my own, it was super helpful to me to find a number of mentors that were willing to share their expertise and experience. So John Lee Dumas was kind enough to share his favorite passage of his book as well. So here he is, again, reading from The Common Path to Uncommon Success.

John Lee Dumas (20:44):
Courage doesn’t always roar. “Sometimes courage is a voice at the end of the day saying, ‘I will try again tomorrow’,” Mary Ann Radmacher. We’ve all seen those individuals full of fire and brimstone seemingly overflowing with confidence and courage within months, most have faded into oblivion. On the common path to uncommon success, courage is simply saying I did my best today. I will try again tomorrow. “Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing,” Laurie Buchanan. We make choices every day. Some choose to stay the same, to stay stagnant, to stay put. On the common path to uncommon success we choose to evolve, adjust, and adapt with the world around us. We choose to ask our audience what they need and provide the ever-changing solution. We choose financial freedom and fulfillment. “When one teaches, two learn.” Robert Hindlimb. You have knowledge to share with the world. When you share that knowledge, you are not only teaching others, but you are learning as well. You’re learning how to teach, how to solve the struggles of your students and how to apply your knowledge to impact the world. You’re learning the common path to uncommon success and setting the world on fire. “People do not decide their futures. They decide their habits and their habits decide their futures.” F.M. Alexander. Many people claim they want financial freedom and fulfillment above all else, but their habits don’t reflect their desire. Those who achieve financial freedom and fulfillment first identify the habits that will lead to uncommon success and implement those habits daily. Your daily habits are your building blocks to uncommon success. Identify. Implement. Execute. You got this.”

Dan Gingiss (22:28):
I don’t know about you, Joey, but I can definitely relate to this. In fact, as much as I like working for “the Dan” instead of “the man,” I do find that it can be tough to create and stick to good daily habits. When you know, you’ve got this really laid back boss who kind of lets you do whatever you want any day. And he’s really good looking,

Joey Coleman (22:46):
You know, Dan, you really do have a dashing boss for sure. You know, I agree with this idea of, you know, the daily habits. This is probably, at least for me personally, one of the most difficult parts of being self-employed. You know, we talked about this when we were referencing, The Self-Employed Life that my buddy Jeffrey Shaw wrote, and kind of this idea of what are your daily habits? What are your practices? What are the things you’re doing in your business? And I think this applies to those of us that are self-employed or running our own businesses, but it applies to everybody in their professional life. You know, the days of somebody watching over you, making sure you’re doing exactly what you’re supposed to do, as you get more experience, as you kind of move through an organization, the number of people, double checking your work and watching over you dramatically decreases and we really need to become our own habit setters and our own habit modifiers so that we can continue to advance and have the experiences we’re looking for.

Dan Gingiss (23:53):
Agreed. So if you too are self-employed or building a business or have that entrepreneurial spirit check out The Common Path to Uncommon Success by John Lee Dumas. And here’s hoping that you find your own path to success.

Joey Coleman (24:09):
Almost everyone has interacted with chatbots, but all too often, it’s been a bad experience. In MythBusters, presented by Solvvy, we explore a common myth about CX chatbots and see how the right technology can create a positive experience every time.

Dan Gingiss (24:34):
Today’s myth about chatbots? Chatbots are easy to build on your own. You’ve got a few engineers and some smart folks at your company. So it shouldn’t be that hard to build your very own chatbot right? Wrong! This approach, building versus buying, happens more than you’d think. Perhaps it’s because working on chatbots and automation sounds like a cool and interesting project while it might seem like building a bot yourself versus buying it from an established vendor is a way to save yourself a bit of money in the short run – don’t get caught in this trap!

Joey Coleman (25:03):
The reality is it can take months, or even longer, to build a useful chat bot on your own. Building a chat bot is not a trivial or inexpensive project. You’ll need significant engineering resources and you have no guarantees of success when you do finish – if you finish! You may build a chat bot that can’t understand customer questions well or offers incorrect answers. You might even need to bring in expensive outside consultants or experts to rebuild your bot – which only delays things further and greatly increases your cost.

Dan Gingiss (25:38):
The smarter, easier, move is to leave chatbot technology in the hands of the experts who’ve already done years of work like our friends at Solvvy. Rather than taking on the risk of trying to build a chat bot internally, working with a reputable, modern chat bot company will guarantee your customers are delighted, your team is supported, and everyone wins.

Joey Coleman (25:58):
If you’re thinking about building a chat bot yourself, I’d strongly recommend you rethink that and have your team focus on what they’re best at while leaving chat bot creation to the pros.

Dan Gingiss (26:10):
That’s another MythBusted, thanks to our friends and podcast supporters at Solvvy – the NextGen chatbot. Visit them at Solvvy.com – that’s S-O-L-V-V-Y.com.

Joey Coleman (26:25):
You listen to us… now we want to listen to you. By visiting our website and sharing your remarkable customer experiences with us, we can share them with a broader audience. Now sit back and enjoy our Listener Stories.

Dan Gingiss (26:45):
I think people are catching onto the fact that we love Listener Stories because we are getting so many great ones. Oh, they’re fabulous. Love these now today’s story is from Rosina Cavano. Let’s hear what she has to say:

Rosina Cavano (27:01):
Hi, my name is Rosina Calvano and I work for Fuse Lenses in Clearwater, Florida as a customer service director. Over the last few years, we have started to really understand our customers and the fact that they most likely will not reach out to us if there’s an issue with their order. We started measuring our customer satisfaction by how they rated the product, the customer service interaction, and if they would recommend our company to their friends and family. This is called our ACS or “aggregate customer service” score. We are able to see where any issues may be and work on that area. If a customer leaves a negative review or mentions any issues at all, I will reach out to them daily and identify the issue, apologize, provide a resolution in any way I can, and then provide points toward new orders or compensation. Most of the customers are not expecting any response so this is a happy surprise for them. We get a lot of responses where they say there are customers for life just based off of our customer service. Our customer service mission statement is to “actively create a community of raving fans through compassionate service” and with this, we intend on elevating our customer service to the highest it can be. Thank you for allowing me the time to speak and I love your show!

Dan Gingiss (28:15):
Rosina – we love you too and thank you for your awesome contribution and also for the great work that you’re doing for your customers. Now, Rosina shared some additional detail with us in an email that followed her audio contribution. She told us that Fuse Lenses replaces sunglass lenses for all brands and that her main job is to reach out to every customer who has left a review. And she did say that many of those are negative ones, but she reaches out to them to provide a solution. She says that she finds that “most of our customers who had simple issues did not reach out directly because it was too much work” unquote, but they also didn’t expect anything. She then told us quote, “the response I get is amazing and they are so happy. We turn negative experiences into positive ones and create raving fans,” unquote. She also mentioned that she reaches out to the positive reviews and she sends them a surprise just for spreading the word. Her final quote, “focusing on our customers primarily has brought us so much more business.”

Joey Coleman (29:27):
Oh, Dan, I love every piece of Rosina story and you know, the additional context she gave us with the email, you know, where to begin here. It really is about thinking of your reviews and the customer comments that you get as a way to deepen the connection with them, whether those are positive reviews or negative reviews. And this whole idea of, you know, so many customers having simple issues that they don’t reach out directly? Here’s the kicker. Those people then have a negative experience of your brand and may not decide to buy anymore. You know, we actually had an experience just this last week where we bought from a brand that is very well known for its remarkable customer experience. And in typing the address into the e-commerce site that we had never shopped at before, there was a typo in the address. So the package actually got delivered to a house that is like 20 minutes away from where we live. And I said to my wife, you know, she explained this to me and she’s like, ah, I was wondering if we should just eat it or what we should do. Like, you know, it was a small thing. It’s kind of annoying. We’ll figure it out. And I was like, you know, we have to at least give them the chance. A bunch of your customers aren’t going to give you the chance. So if we follow up on the opportunities, I think we have a ton of possibility that we’re able to create with these type of interactions and outreach efforts.

Dan Gingiss (30:55):
Oh, I couldn’t agree more. I mean, you know, usually this phrase is used for something else, but “it’s the silent, but deadly ones that absolutely kill us,” right? These are the customers that leave and never even tell us that they left, that they left or why they left. They just go to the competition because they’re upset about something. I actually appreciate far more, the ones that complain because complainer’s complain when they care, they actually want you to find a solution for them. They want to continue doing business with you. They want to keep paying money to you, but they need your help. And if we look at complaints that way, instead of being afraid of them, then we have so much value to gain because we’re listening to customers, tell us, “Hey, if you would just either stop doing this or start doing something else, my experience would be a whole lot better.” CX folks – they’re basically doing your job for you! They’re telling you what they need in order for a better customer experience to occur. I also really loved two concepts that were in my first book, winning at social customer care, which is a respond to everyone. Every person who leaves a review or a social media comment or a comment on your website, every person deserves a response at least. And number two is also respond to the positive ones. There are so many companies that forget about this, and the reason is very simple in the history of contact centers. Almost no one has ever called the toll free number to say something nice. And when I speak to audiences of customer service agents, I always make a joke about like, when’s the last time you picked up the phone and somebody said, “Hey, I’m just calling to tell you, you did a great job” and they’ll laugh, right? Cause it never happens. But when social media came onto the scene, people started talking about the good experiences that they have as well. And they’re throwing compliments left and right about their favorite brands and so many of those brands ignore them. And it’s such a missed opportunity – let alone it’s a chance of turning a happy customer into a sad one. So I love everything that Rosina is doing as well! Rosina, thank you so much for sending us your Listener Story. We are sending you a copies of our books to say thank you. And that we really appreciate you submitting it. If you’d like to submit your listener story to us, just go to ExperienceThisShow.com, click on the contact link. And there is an opportunity to leave us an audio voicemail. Just record it, send it. Don’t worry if it’s not perfect, that’s totally fine. We’ll make you sound good and we’ll talk about your Listener Story next season on Experience This!

Dan Gingiss (33:26):
My goodness, Joey, another season in the books! Seven seasons, 134 episodes… Who would have ever thunk it?!

Joey Coleman (33:36):
Well, I don’t know that we would have thunk it Dan! You know, when our friend Jay Baer suggested we pair up to do a podcast while we were all hanging out at a happy hour mixer years ago, we honestly had no idea that we’d still be at it today.

Dan Gingiss (33:50):
That is true. And this season was a success in no small part due to the support of our season sponsor – Solvvy – the NextGen Chatbot that also helped us bust a whole bunch of myths about chatbots this season. Thank you, especially to Kahn Ersin, Bob Grohs, and Ron Wilcox.

Joey Coleman (34:10):
Season Seven also would not have happened without the continued support of our house, musician and lawyer, extraordinary, Davin Seamon and the fine folks that keep our online presence sparkling the team at Yoko Co. We also owe a huge debt of gratitude to all of our book report authors for sharing their wisdom, their insights, and their vocal variety with the show.

Dan Gingiss (34:33):
You may not know it, but there are actually two Dans who make this show come to life. Thank you to our incredible sound engineer, Daniel Romeros also known as “Dr. Podcast,” who does all of our post-production work and let’s face it, makes us sound really good.

Joey Coleman (34:49):
And as we say every year, because we truly mean it from the bottom of our hearts, thanks to you, our loyal listener. Whether you shared your personal experience with us as a part of a Listener Story segment; or submitted questions for our newest segment this season, Ask Us ,; whether you shared the show with your friends or you left us a review online, or even just tuned in week after week to listen to the show… we can’t thank you enough. You are taking actions to improve the customer experience in your organization every day and we want you to know that we’re here to support you, to encourage you, to inspire you, and to applaud you every day. YOU are why we do this and your continued support means the world to us.

Dan Gingiss (35:33):
So we’re going to be back in the fall for Season Eight. Look for us right after Labor Day in the United States, that is after the first week in September. And Hey, while you’re enjoying the summer weather and you’re on the beach, or you’re doing whatever it is you do outside, one of the things we’d like you to do is check out our other show, called Experience Points. Now we do this with our friends at Avtex. It is a game show on customer experience. It is an incredible amount of fun. We have amazing contestants – people that you know, and if you follow customer experience, you’ve definitely heard of these folks. You’ve seen them all over the place, but most of all, it is the most fun you can have talking about customer experience, possibly with the exception of listening to Experience This, but it is available in both video form on YouTube, go to AvtexSolution or also in audio on your favorite podcast app, or hey, to make it easy, just go to ExperiencePointsGame.com and check out Joey and Dan, over the summer, you got a bunch of episodes you can catch up on if you really miss us.

Joey Coleman (36:36):
Now, if you really want to be an overachiever and do kind of a variation of summer school, or have an assignment that you can work on over the summer… You know, we debated whether we should mention this, but we were inspired by Rosina’s example in our last Listener Story segment, we’d love it. It would mean the world to us. If, when you’re done listening to this episode, you’ve listened to so many, so many of you have listened to so many and yet we’d love to hear what you think of the show. Leave us a little message on the contact page of, of our website or better yet go and write a review so that your experience with the show can be shared with other potential listeners to the show. Now, the way the algorithms work, if you write reviews, our podcast shows up higher in search results for people looking to learn how to enhance their customer experience, learning how to take their employee experience to the next level, learning how to make hopefully the interactions that we have with businesses, with non-profits, with government entities, better because of commitments to experience. Now we’re going to start something next season where we’re going to share some of our favorite reviews and we had one come in the other day that just made Dan and I so thrilled, and it just energizes us as we get ready to do our recording. So this review came from ampy1000 in the United States.

Dan Gingiss (38:00):
Yeah! Thank you ampy1000!

Joey Coleman (38:03):
Thank you, ampy1000. Love your name and the ampy1000, if you’re listening, message us on the page so we can tell you about some other fun things we’d like to do. Here’s the review:

ampy1000 (38:12):
“Brilliant engaging CX podcast. I’ve been listening to a LOT of CX podcasts recently, and I have to say that the amount of smart, insightful content that I get from Experience This is unrivaled. On top of that, Joey and Dan are exceptionally good storytellers and keep me so engaged I find myself surprised I’ve already listened to the whole episode. 10 out of 10 would recommend for anyone in the CX space.”

Dan Gingiss (38:41):
Ah – fantastic ampy1000! We appreciate you. And as Joey said, reach out to us on the show page – we’d like to send you some special goodies for that awesome review. Hey everyone – Get Ready for Season Eight of the Experience This Show coming to you this September! We’ll have all new customer experience stories to share, recommended books to read, and hopefully more awesome content from you – our listeners. Until then, have a great summer, stay safe, and we’ll see you in the fall for more…

Joey Coleman (39:12):
Experience This!

Joey Coleman (39:19):
Thanks for joining us for another episode of Experience This! You are the best listener ever!

Dan Gingiss (39:25):
And since you listened to the whole show…

Joey Coleman (39:27):
Yay you!

Dan Gingiss (39:29):
We’re curious… Was there a specific part of this episode that you enjoyed the most? If so, it would mean the world to us if you could share it with a coworker, a friend, or someone that just loves listening to podcasts.

Joey Coleman (39:39):
And while you’re in the sharing mood, if you felt inclined to jump over to iTunes, or wherever you find your podcasts and write us a review, we would so appreciate it. And when you do, don’t forget to let us know as we might have a little surprise for you.

Dan Gingiss (39:55):
Thanks again for your time and we’ll see you next week for more.

Joey Coleman (39:58):
Experience.

Dan Gingiss (39:58):
This!

Episode 133 – Forget Their Shoes – Step Into Your Customers’ Headphones

Join us as we discuss creating a workplace that employees and customers love, making your big ideas irresistible, and the power of a protagonist playlist.

Consistency, Connections, and Crescendos – Oh My!

Referenced in the Show

I Love It Here: How Great Leaders Create Organizations Their People Never Want to Leave – by Clint Pulver
Find Your Red Thread: How to Make Your Big Ideas Irresistible – by Tamsen Webster
Perfectly Parvin – by Olivia Abtahi
Perfectly Parvin Protagonist Playlist

Host Contact Information

Email Dan: Dan@dangingiss.com

Tweet Dan Gingiss: @DGingiss

Email Joey: JoeyC@JoeyColeman.com

DanGingiss.com

JoeyColeman.com

Subscribe to Experience This on Apple Podcasts

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

Episode Transcript

Download a machine-transcribed, barely edited transcript of Episode 133 here or read it below:
(if anything doesn’t make sense or you have any questions about the transcript – just Contact us!)

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

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

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

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

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

Joey Coleman (00:48):
Get ready for another episode of the experience, this show!

Dan Gingiss (00:55):
Join us as we discuss creating a workplace and employees and cut love, making your big ideas, irresistible and the power of a protagonist playlist.

Joey Coleman (01:06):
Consistency, Connections, and Crescendos! Oh my!

Joey Coleman (01:16):
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

Joey Coleman (01:29):
I have a riddle for you Dan… What do you get when you combine a drummer, a seasoned expert with the youthful features of someone, at least a decade younger and a commitment to bringing out the best in people.

Dan Gingiss (01:40):
A trophy winning talent show entry?

Joey Coleman (01:46):
Well that’s that may in fact be true. But what I was going for is Clint Pulver. Clint is a professional keynote speaker, musician, pilot, and workforce expert, who in the interest of full disclosure, is also a friend of mine from the speaking circuit. Clint is an amazing human with feature film credits, and appearance on America’s Got Talent, and he even won an Emmy for his short film, “Be a Mr. Jensen.” So he’s really kind of an underachiever in every area of life. But recently he became the author of our featured book report today, a brand new book titled “I Love It Here: How Great Leaders Create oOrganizations Their People Never Want to Leave.” Now I’ve been eagerly anticipating this book for some time. Now we talk regularly on the show about how customer experience and employee experience are two sides of the same coin. And if you enhance the employee experience, you’ll enhance the customer experience. If your customer experience is lacking, I can almost guarantee your employee experience is lacking too, which is why I wanted to feature a book on employee retention, because I know that it will help our listeners with their customer retention as well. Now, before we dive into some of the specific gems in, I love it here. Let’s hear from the author, Clint Pulver, as he gives us an overview of the book.

Clint Pulver (03:08):
For the last five years, I have conducted research as the undercover millennial. Think of it kind of like undercover boss. Have you ever seen the TV show? It’s like that without the makeup I, myself, as the author, MN millennial, I’m a fairly young person, but that gave me the opportunity because of my age to go into organizations undercover as someone who was looking for a job. We have worked with hundreds of organizations and I have interviewed thousands of employees as the “undercover millennial” understanding what works and what doesn’t work in an organization. The magic of this book is that it’s not another leadership book written by a self-proclaimed leadership expert. This is a book that’s written by 10,000 employees who knew when their leaders were getting it right. When I would walk into an organization and say, you know, what’s it like to work here? I’m thinking about applying. They would give me honest feedback – because I wasn’t a survey. The research was not something that was done on a one-on-one management meeting level. This was real. It was authentic. And I believe we’ve captured the most real inauthentic data behind how great leaders were creating organizations that their people never wanted to leave. That’s why we decided to title the book, “I Love It Here.” When I would go undercover in an or into an organization, that was the magic is when an employee would say, “I love it here. I love my job. You should apply.” And the reasons behind that response, the book is about what great leadership looks and feels like to the people that experience it every day. It’s the power of mentorship over management. How do we create experiences and opportunities at work where people don’t just survive, but they can actually thrive. They don’t just love their job, but they love who they are while they’re at their job. That’s what “I Love It Here” talks about and trains leaders on how to become that for their people.

Dan Gingiss (05:16):
So Joey, one thing that I absolutely love about what Clint just said there, you may remember that we featured a book by my friend, Chris Strub, actually, I think he’s been featured a couple of times on this show and I met Chris at a conference and we were sitting in a breakout room and there was a panel that was called “Marketing to Millennials”

Joey Coleman (05:39):
always a good one to get people, to show up with a title like that!

Dan Gingiss (05:42):
Well, being the smart gen X-er that I am, I decided to sit between two millennials. There was a young woman to my left in a and Chris dropped to my right. And I leaned over to Chris during the presentation. And I said, does it strike you as odd that this is a panel entitled marketing to millennials? And yet there are no millennials up on the stage. And he said, yes, that does strike me as odd. And so I already love the fact that Clint is not just, she mentioned another self-proclaimed leadership expert teaching us about millennials, right? He’s a lot more believable.

Joey Coleman (06:21):
He really is. Not only is he a lot more believable given his standing as a millennial, but this is a guy who has he mentioned in the overview, did the homework. I mean, thousands of undercover interviews where he figured out what actually makes organizations tick. Now at the end of the day, this connection between what’s going on with your employees and what’s going on with your customers often gets overlooked. I know it’s something that you and I talk about a lot Dan. We talk about it a lot here on the podcast. But in many organizations, there’s a big disconnect between the employee experience and the customer experience, which is why I wanted to devote some time in our conversation today to the book. Now I know Dan that you had a particular passage from the book that you really enjoyed. If I may be so bold, I think it was your favorite passage. Would you mind sharing that with our listeners?

Dan Gingiss (07:14):
I will but I’m going to warn you Joey, it’s a little bit longer than most of the passages that I share, but I think that the juice will be worth the squeeze.

Joey Coleman (07:21):
Ooo – I like it!

Dan Gingiss (07:22):
I like it. All right. All right, here we go. And I quote, “Organizations can create a culture of ownership by giving employees the autonomy to help clients in whatever ways seem appropriate. One of the better examples of this was done by Rob Farrell, a successful dental surgeon and a fantastic leader. Rob has always strived to be in tune with the concerns and needs of his organization and the people involved. He’s created a culture in his office in which all of his employees have the freedom to provide imaginative and caring customer service in the hopes of creating a greater experience for his customers. One of the ways he facilitated this was by setting up a cash box in what she keeps money, gift cards, candy, and other miscellaneous items. This box and its contents are available to everyone on his staff to use for whatever purpose they feel is necessary to serve their customers and make them feel taken care of. On one occasion, a woman came into the dental clinic who had been suffering for years with periodontal infections and was slowly losing her teeth. She had expressed several times the ongoing blow. This was having to herself esteem and how it made it hard to smile or even wish to smile. It had also caused some complications that had restricted her from eating any type of solid food for over 20 years. “I would give anything to be able to eat corn on the cob again,” she said at one of her initial appointments, after several visits, which included getting implants, the woman started showing up to her appointments with a smile on her face – one that grew bigger and bigger each time as she proudly showed off her teeth and her healing gums. On the way out of her last dental appointment, one of Rob’s employees stopped her at the door and graciously handed her a bag. Inside the bag were 12 fresh ears of corn. The woman began to weep at the gesture. Not only was her mouth almost fully healed. She also couldn’t believe that her dental surgeons assistants had listened and then remembered something that seemed like such a small passing comment. Yes, it had been small, but it had so much value to her. And this assistant had noticed that she hugged the young employee in each of the staff members and went back to hug Rob, before she left the office for the final time, “I’ll tell everyone about you,” she cried as she left. And she has. It’s important to note that this young employee did not perform this gesture for a better review, from a satisfied customer, or to get the word out about their dental office. She did it because her employer had enabled her to take ownership and make decisions about what it took to care deeply for their patients. When the woman came back to hug Rob, he was unaware that his employee had taken money from the cash box and slipped out for 15 minutes to buy some corn for his patient. He was also unaware that his staff had heard the patient speak of her love for corn, but he didn’t need to. His employees knew they were empowered to serve and care for their clients. In whatever ways they felt would make a difference.

Joey Coleman (10:07):
Oh my goodness, you selected the passage that includes dental surgery and corn on the cob?! I absolutely love it. That juice was definitely worth the squeeze. Thankfully it was not corn juice that we’re drinking there, but I love every bit about that story. You know, so many organizations are trying to create remarkable customer experiences by detailing scripts or creating these kinds of, “well if X happens, then do Y” scenarios. And what we really need to do is recognize, and I think Clint outlines this so beautifully in that example is figure out more ways to give our employees autonomy, to trust them, to create the kind of remarkable experiences that we know they can create and to empower them with time with resources, you know, with a box of cash, whatever it may be to go above and beyond. You know, if anything, I think what we’ve learned over the course of the last year and a half is that our past thoughts about employee work policies and procedures need to be revisited and need to be reconsidered. And because of that, it will probably come as no surprise that my favorite passage from the book is all about the importance of re-imagining the definition of workplace flexibility. As Clint writes, and I quote, “The days of working a strict nine to five schedule five days a week are quickly fading away with the disruption of COVID-19. Many teams were forced into remote environments and normal work schedules disappeared completely – an event that highlighted both how much workplaces need to be prepared for the unexpected and how much it turns out we can flex when we need to. Employees are now looking for and needing more flexibility to meet the various demands, both inside and outside the workplace. Our research has shown that significant leaders who value and understand that employees have a life outside of their work, are consistently cherished and appreciated by their workforce. Instead of enforcing a strict schedule, according to past ideals and expectations, let your people dictate their own schedules. Give them ownership of their time. Certainly there are deadlines to be met and parameters that need to be maintained, meetings to be attended, appointments to be kept, communications that need to happen… but if employees can meet, and perhaps exceed, your expectations for performance and collaboration, while varying their schedules, that flexibility can go a long way in retaining their loyalty.

Dan Gingiss (12:44):
You know, it’s interesting because Clint points out that some of this flexibility emerged out of the COVID-19 pandemic, but he’s absolutely right that even when we returned back to work this flexibility, we’ve sort of all gotten used to it. And everything that I’ve read has said that people are more, not less productive while they’ve been working from home with a little bit more flexibility when somebody isn’t clocking them in and out every day. And yeah, they may have to stop to walk the dog or feed the crying baby or whatever it is, but that people are actually working longer hours. They’re also working the hours that they would have spent commuting back and forth. So I think we’ve gotten used to having flexibility and that is going to need to continue in the post-COVID era. And obviously the thing that will remain the same is that by staying flexible and keeping our employees happy, they’re better equipped to keep our customers happy. You know Joey, it’s the little things done consistently over time that I think really contribute to a remarkable customer or employee experience. Now, when we asked Clint to share his favorite passage from the book, he connected the importance of consistency to the day-to-day behavior of leaders. Here’s Clint sharing his favorite passage from the book:

Clint Pulver (14:02):
The greatest part about your role in leadership is that it matters. The hardest part is that it matters every day. The best things in life are often brought about by small means consistently applied over time. Mentorship and leadership are no different. A mentor manager simply creates little individual moments, day-by-day, that changed the lives of those they lead in associate with in big ways and small. Creating an environment where the thought I love it here extends past the workplace and into the larger world is the opportunity you get every day. You get to see the opportunities, not just the problems. To give your people a chance to grow and to flourish, not only in your business, but in their larger lives as well. What privilege and an honor to use your position to create relationships and foster personal development that will last a lifetime. I’ve said it before, and I will say it here one last time. It’s not about being the best in the world, it’s about being the best for the world.

Joey Coleman (15:11):
“It’s not about being the best in the world. It’s about being the best for the world.” Oh man, I love that phrase. I love this book and I think you’re going to love it too. So make sure to pick up a copy of, “I Love It Here: How Great Leaders Create Organizations Their People Never Want to Leave” by Clint Pulver – or if you’re one of the first five people to message us via the Contact Page at ExperienceThisShow.com, we’ll send you a copy as our way of saying thank you for listening to Experience This. And we hope you love it here too! And if you follow Clint’s advice, we can promise that your employees and your customers will be saying, “I love it here” even more in the future.

Joey Coleman (15:53):
We spend hours and hours, nose deep in books. We believe that everything you read influences the experiences you create. So we’re happy to answer our favorite question: What Are You Reading?

Joey Coleman (16:09):
Do you remember learning about the story of Theseus and the Minotaur when you were in school Dan?

Dan Gingiss (16:18):
Um, let me… No. No I don’t.

Joey Coleman (16:21):
I love it. Everybody who’s listening just started to say, oh wait, there’s something wrong with the recording. What’s happening. It’s dragging off… Well, here’s the deal. It’s completely understandable if you don’t remember this story. I absolutely loved mythology as a kid. And so this story really resonated with me. Briefly, for those of you that may remember, Theseus finds himself needing to go into a labyrinth – basically an underground maze. And in the maze is this monster – a Minotaur. And he’s got to go in and slay the monster. And Theseus takes two tools into the cave with him or into the labyrinth maze to complete this quest: (1) a sword to slay the Minotaur and (2) a ball of thread so that as he goes through the labyrinth maze, he can unwind the thread behind him so that after he meets the Minotaur and hopefully defeats the Minotaur, he’ll be able to get his way back out of the maze. Well, this idea of using a throughline thread to connect every piece of a story is part of what drew me to the book. I just finished reading by the incredible Tamsen Webster. The book is called, “Find Your Red Thread: Make Your Big Ideas Irresistible.” And before I share a little bit more about why I decided to read this book and how useful it’s been to my work already, I thought it’d be a good idea to let the author Tamsen Webster, who incidentally is a dear friend of mine, given an overview of the book in her own words:

Tamsen Webster (17:56):
“Find Your Red Thread: Make Your Big Ideas Irresistible” is about what the subtitle says – how to make your big ideas irresistible. So let me start with what a big idea is in my mind, a big idea is any answer to a question that people haven’t been able to answer for themselves yet, which means a big idea can be actually huge on a global scale, or it can be actually huge on an individual scale because to the person who hasn’t been able to answer that question yet, yet your idea and its new different answer could in fact be world changing to them. So in the book, you’ll learn how to identify who your idea is really for who that person is. That can be best served by it. How to position your idea where it’ll be most effective as that answer to an important question and how to find that question. It’s also going teach you how to break your idea into its component parts, to improve your and your audience’s understanding of it. So that happens and the reason why I include that is that’s where the irresistible part comes in. When we hear new information, we process it as a story. Between every question and answer between every problem and solution lies a story. So this book shows you how to break your idea into those parts and strengthen those parts. So they not only create a story that your audience will tell themselves, but it’s going to be strong enough for you to build on. It’s also going to show you how to articulate those individual parts as key concepts that create and differentiate your message. And then two really important things: how to craft a 62nd minimum viable case for your idea, how to summarize it really quickly for people. And then finally, how to reduce that into a single irresistible sentence. What I like to call the through lineof your message or your minimum viable message. Whatever you take away from the book. I hope it’s your path to finding a way to get your big idea out in the world.

Dan Gingiss (19:55):
I love that phrase that Tamsen uses “between every question and answer, between every problem and solution, lies a story.” All too often, I think businesses tell a story in their marketing materials, but then quit telling stories the longer a customer is in a relationship with them. And we know that people respond to storytelling. In fact, when we read the reviews of this podcast, Joey people love the stories that we tell. And that’s why this podcast has been so popular with our listeners. Storytelling is a device that is not just reserved for marketers, but absolutely can be used throughout the experience as well.

Joey Coleman (20:36):
It’s so true, Dan and storytelling while fun for our listeners is also fun for you and me, and I think that’s the great thing about remarkable stories. It becomes an for the person who is hearing the story, but it can also be an experience for the person telling the story. Now, you know, Dan, I’ve known Tamsen for many years now and I’ve always marveled at her comprehensive knowledge and her expertise. But one thing that people really struggle with when they have a big idea. And let me tell you Tamsen has a bunch of big ideas is how to convince an audience to take action on those big ideas and change their behaviors. My favorite passage in the book occurs when Tamsen breaks down a clear process for getting your audience or your customers to do the things that you want them to do. And I quote, “[]there are three things in particular that your audience needs to understand and agree with before they’ll act on your change. What are they? First – that it’s possible to achieve the goal with the change you recommend. So you need to give your audience examples. They need to read, see, or hear stories and testimonials of your product, your service, or your ideas, helping others achieve the goal your audience also wants. Second – your audience needs to believe that it’s possible for them. You need to map the experiences of others on to your audience and their specific situation. This is where hands-on demonstrations of your idea come in handy. Even something as simple as asking them to imagine where in their life, the idea could work. Third – your audience needs to believe that the actions are worth it. Whenever you’re asking someone to change their thinking or behavior, you’re literally asking them to rewire their brains, to tell themselves a new and different story. If you’re talking to a prospective customer, you’re also asking them to part with some of their money. So they need to feel that the benefit of the change outweighs the risks or costs of it. Those risks and costs can be in effort, money, time, or even reputation. Your audience needs enough detail to determine that risk/word equation for themselves.

Dan Gingiss (22:48):
You know Joey, we talk about customer journey mapping on experience this all the time and Tamsen’s pson’s three-step process that she outlined in that passage you read is something every business should consider even if you believe you’ve already covered it. Do your customers believe that it’s possible to achieve their goals using the change you’re recommending? Do customers believe that it’s specifically possible for them? And finally, do they believe that the actions you’re asking them to take are worth it? Three powerful questions to consider for sure. Now, Joey, since you shared your favorite passage, I think we should also hear from Thompson, the author and her favorite passage…

Tamsen Webster (23:27):
The great British statesman, Winston Churchill, once said that we must learn to be equally good at what is short and sharp and what is long and tough. Most of us can eventually convey the power and possibility of our ideas given enough time. But you rarely have that kind of time. Even if you do, most people would be very happy for you to take less of it. We’ve already talked about why using story and story structure is the best way to speed things up. It uploads the code of your idea street into the story processors of your audience’s brain, because their brains don’t have to do the work of finding the story they’d be looking for. Anyway, you save a ton of time. That’s one benefit of using the form of a story, but another important function of a story is that it’s how we humans make conclusions about cause and effect. When X happens and creates Y result, story is the explanation our brains create to establish the relationship between the two professional storytellers know this concept. Well, in fact, a common refrain among novelists, playwrights and screenwriters is that a story is an argument. It’s a case for an idea. It’s the writer’s explanation of why things happened the way they do. The story is an argument concept is so deeply embedded that by simply finding the story of an idea or building one from scratch, you’re simultaneously building a case for it.

Joey Coleman (24:57):
Use story and structure to upload the code of your ideas straight into the story processors of your audience’s brain. Wow! I love that! Such a beautiful way to articulate the overall impact and power of story and how you can use story to take your business, to take your experiences to the next level. Such great advice. Friends – if you want to read a book that shows you the blueprint for navigating the mazes of your customer’s minds, in a way that will help you achieve your goals without getting lost, you must pick up a copy of Tamsen Webster’s powerful book, “Find Your Red Thread: Make Your Big Ideas Irresistible” – available at your favorite bookseller right now!

Joey Coleman (25:43):
Almost everyone has interacted with chatbots, but all too often, it’s been a bad experience. In MythBusters, presented by Solvvy, we explore a common myth about CX chatbots and see how the right technology can create a positive experience every time.

Joey Coleman (26:07):
Today’s myth about chatbots? Chatbots are only for large enterprises. You might think that all chatbots require massive investments of time, and money, and resources, and that this makes them far more appropriate for a big established enterprise company. If your support team isn’t huge, does it make sense to even consider implementing a chat bot?

Dan Gingiss (26:31):
Oh, it absolutely does Joey! Chatbots can be effective for companies of all sizes in all industries. Next gen chatbots can help any company from fast-growing startups to mid sized scale, their support by immediately handling a significant percentage of customer questions that don’t require a phone call, email or support agent. If you’re experiencing rapid growth, if you expect it soon, or if you navigate seasonal peaks, a chat bot can help your team provide consistently great customer experiences throughout all the ups and downs of demand.

Joey Coleman (27:04):
In terms of the investment. Next gen chat bots don’t require you to have a team of engineers and bot experts in-house. Intelligent chat bots, train themselves on your help content, and pass customer tickets, and continuously learn on their own. The top chatbots will deploy fast (think weeks not months), return your upfront investment quickly, and save you lots more money over time.

Dan Gingiss (27:32):
I’m sensing a common thread here Joey – chatbots can keep you out of the red – regardless of the size of your business – and that will get everyone on your team saying, “I love it here” even more!

Joey Coleman (27:44):
And that’s another Myth Busted thanks to our friends and podcasts supporters at Solvvy, the next gen chat bot. You can find them@solvvy.com. That’s S-O-L-V-V-Y.com.

Joey Coleman (28:00):
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 (28:13):
How much YA literature do you read Dan?

Dan Gingiss (28:17):
Ah, I think you’re trying to get me with that YA acronym. No, no, I get it. It’s “young adult” and even though I haven’t been a young adult in a long time, but not as long as you, I, I definitely do read some of those books: the Harry Potter series, Hunger Games, Divergent… for sure. I’m all in.

Joey Coleman (28:39):
Well, I had a feeling and interestingly enough, my wife Berit reads, writes, and edits YA novels so I may have a little more exposure to this genre than most. Well, the reason I bring this up is because I’m on the email newsletter for an up and coming YA writer, Olivia Abtahi. Now in full disclosure, I had the pleasure of working with Olivia on a few occasions when she was a freelance copywriter back in the day and when I found out she was writing a novel, I was intrigued. Now I recently received an issue of her e-newsletter and realized there was an entire aspect of why a fiction that I had never heard of the protagonist playlist.

Dan Gingiss (29:20):
Wait, the protagonist playlist?! I definitely have never heard of that. I am intrigued as well.

Joey Coleman (29:27):
I am definitely not only intrigued, but curious how many times you and I can say protagonist playlist without stumbling over the words. Well, anyway, I asked Olivia to tell me more about this idea of a protagonist playlist and why she decided to create one for her upcoming novel. She described the situation as follows.

Olivia Abtahi (29:49):
So in a movie you have a soundtrack, right? And I feel like for a book you need something similar to help set the mood and tone. So for “Perfectly Parvin” – my novel coming out in May – you know, it’s with a 14 year old protagonist, I kind of want to put myself in her shoes. So I had some really kind of fun bubblegum pop tracks in there that not only helped me see the world through her eyes, but in my mind, I think those might be the songs that she’s listening to. So when she’s upset, what’s the song in that kind of wheelhouse that she would be listening to. What about when she’s happy or when you know, her crush texts her back? Like what is the song that she’s going to dance around to in her bedroom? So it really helps me just kind of center myself in the character. And another benefit is that when I’m working on different projects, if I am switching between, you know, an 18 year old protagonists to a 14 year old protagonist, you know, I have a playlist already queued up, that’s going to help put me in that world even if, you know, I only have 20 minutes of break between those different works.

Dan Gingiss (30:56):
Well, this is pretty fascinating. I mean, I love the idea of getting into her shoes. That’s obviously a CX concept and obviously in a music is sort of the great equalizer. It’s, it’s something that brings us all together. So I think it’s an interesting challenge that brands might have where they’re trying to approach different customer segments and music is a way that potentially can bring those different segments together or at least help us understand them better.

Joey Coleman (31:29):
Yeah, that’s what I was thinking is that if you almost thought of a different soundtrack for the different customer segments, that you served that in a similar way, that Olivia talks about centering in on the character, by listening to the kind of music the character would listen to, if that would give us that same type of ability to connect with the audiences and the customer segments that we serve. I do think that a playlist would create a much clearer understanding, especially for a customer base that you might not be a part of. And in fact, Olivia expanded on that particular point as well.

Olivia Abtahi (32:05):
I feel like kind of piggybacking off my first answer, a playlist can, for example, if you’re a parent and you are thinking of buying perfectly parodying for your daughter, let’s say there’s a track in the playlist that, you know, your daughter loves. I think that helps the parent know, oh, okay. Like this is in my kid’s world. If you’re just, you know, a fan of young adult in general and you’re like me and you’re addicted to Spotify, it’s just really fun to say, oh my gosh, like this girl is into Billie Eilish as well, like, I love that singer! Or there might be a moment in the book where, you know, you can think to yourself, oh yeah, that song makes sense. For example, there is a deportation scene in my book, spoiler alert, and I do have a song by the sweatshop boys called [inaudible], which is a song about being brown and Muslim in this country and being deported. And it’s like, that is like the perfect song for that scene in the book. So if you’re a reader or, you know, a subscriber to my newsletter, I got to send the playlist out and share it with people. And while there’s tons of fun, bubblegum pop dance music in there, there’s also like some raw scenes. So it was great to be able to have kind of this crescendo of emotion throughout the playlist. That can be like a good taster for the book.

Joey Coleman (33:22):
I absolutely love this idea of pairing music to specific emotions. In fact, I found myself wondering what it would be like to pair specific songs or styles of music, to the different phases of your customer journey. What parts of the journey might be the fun, bubblegum, pop dance moments. What parts of your customer journey are more intense? Maybe more melancholy? More raw? Where did the emotions crescendo so many things to consider when we pair music to the specific touch points of our customer journeys?

Dan Gingiss (33:55):
Yeah, I mean, it’s interesting because when I learned about customer journey mapping, I learned that one of the things you’re supposed to do is sort of observe and write in the customer emotion that’s going on during that part of the journey. So frustration or happiness or joy or anger or whatever it is, because then that helps you address that part of the experience. I’m also reminded, uh, back in Episode 107 – when we talked about the founders of Barefoot Wines and how they created those really cool audio books for, for business books that have music behind it, right? And it’s like, you don’t really think of a business book having music behind it, but then when you heard this dramatic music, it was like, oh wow. I’m like really into this story now. And I was also thinking about Episode 86 when we heard from the romance novelist, Allie Plighter and how she literally gets into the shoes of her protagonists, if you will, in her novels and her romance novels and goes out and remember she experienced bull riding and all this other things. And I think that understanding what the character’s music preferences are really gives a lot more depth to them. And similarly, as we’re developing our avatars or our, our segmentations, uh, personas, if you will, of our customers knowing the kind of music they listened to really tells you a lot about them.

Joey Coleman (35:34):
It really does Dan! And I think this concept could be particularly effective when we’re trying to connect with our younger customers. I know we talked about millennials earlier and how so many of the folks who are kind of running marketing departments are leading a lot of these customer experience initiatives might find themselves in a different demographic than the audience they serve. And Olivia explains her thoughts on why this idea of a protagonist playlist shows up more commonly in young adult literature, but maybe it’s not as common in other genres, and I think it potentially gives us a springboard to think about applying this concept into a business context. Let’s listen to Olivia, explain how this whole idea of the protagonist playlists comes together in young adult literature.

Olivia Abtahi (36:23):
That said a lot of why authors didn’t have a music streaming growing up. You know, we had maybe Napster if we were tech savvy, but we had to go to tower records like everyone else. And I think now today’s generation. I mean, I can just go on TikTok. You know, it’s like a music based social media platform. If I go on Instagram, there’s reels with the artist and the song tag in the top, I think it’s a fairly popular wire technique because this next generation just has so much more music surrounding them. It’s just prevalent. Like, I mean, from their phone to their social media, to just, you know, their everyday life in a way that I don’t think it existed for older generations. So I think it’s prevalent for this John rhe more so than anything because you’re writing for a generation of kids where music is just so integral to their everyday life.

Dan Gingiss (37:15):
I’m going to play Rain Man one more time and refer you back to the very first. He just can’t help himself friends. I love it. I love it. The very first episode of this season, season seven episode one 19, you talked about octopus energy and the personalized hold music that was set to the, I think it was your, your age 14 year?

Joey Coleman (37:36):
Yes, yes. Your “coming of age year.”

Dan Gingiss (37:37):
Yeah. We talked about how, you know, we all have this soundtrack of our lives that that kind of defines us. And so, and that’s different. It’s different music. You know, the soundtrack of our parents’ generation is very different than the soundtrack of our generation and for sure that is different than our kids’ generation, which I don’t even know what the heck they’re listening to. Kids these days!

Joey Coleman (38:00):
Oh, I love it. I love it. It’s so true. It’s so true. So what does the playlist of a protagonist in the book “Perfectly Parvin” have to do with your business? Well, it’s a creative way for you to think about getting into your customer’s shoes or maybe their headphones in order to better relate to their life, their journey and their connection to the experiences your striving to create. Now, if you enjoyed this segment and found it inspiring, you can visit our show notes at ExperienceThisShow.com, where we have a link to the protagonist Spotify playlist. And if you really want to show the love, go grab a copy of “Perfectly Parvin” by Olivia Abtahi – that’s, Olivia Abtahi – A-B-T-A-H-I – so you can experiment with connecting to people outside of your usual demographic in a deep and meaningful way.

Joey Coleman (38:59):
Thanks for joining us for another episode of Experience This! You are the best listener ever!

Dan Gingiss (39:05):
And since you listened to the whole show…

Joey Coleman (39:07):
Yay, you!

Dan Gingiss (39:09):
We’re curious: was there a specific part of this episode that you enjoyed the most? If so, it would mean the world to us if you could share it with a coworker, a friend, or someone that just loves listening to podcasts.

Joey Coleman (39:19):
And while you’re in the sharing mood, if you felt inclined to jump over to iTunes or wherever you find your podcasts, and write us a review, we would so appreciate it! And when you do, don’t forget to let us know as we might have a little surprise for you.

Dan Gingiss (39:35):
Thanks again for your time and we’ll see you next week for more…

Joey Coleman (39:38):
Experience!

Dan Gingiss (39:38):
This!

Episode 132 – Promise to Make Your Experiences Better

Join us as we discuss a new app that helps you see even if you can’t, why making and keeping your promises is key to a successful experience, and why dumping generic language may bring you closer to your customers.

Seeing, Guaranteeing, and Personalizing – Oh My!

Referenced in the Show

Starbucks offers Aira, creating accessible experience for blind and low vision customers
• The Guaranteed Customer Experience: How to Win Customers by Keeping Your Promises – by Jeff Toister

Host Contact Information

Email Dan: Dan@dangingiss.com

Tweet Dan Gingiss: @DGingiss

Email Joey: JoeyC@JoeyColeman.com

DanGingiss.com

JoeyColeman.com

Subscribe to Experience This on Apple Podcasts

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

Episode Transcript

Download a machine-transcribed, barely edited transcript of Episode 132 here or read it below:
(if anything doesn’t make sense or you have any questions about the transcript – just Contact us!)

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

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

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

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

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

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

Joey Coleman (00:55):
Join us as we discuss: a new app that helps you see even if you can’t, why making and keeping your promises is key to a successful experience, and why dumping generic language may bring you closer to your customers.

Dan Gingiss (01:11):
Seeing, guaranteeing, and personalizing – Oh My!

Joey Coleman (01:21):
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 (01:39):
This week’s CX Press is titled, “Starbucks Offers Aira, Creating Accessible Experience for Blind and Low Vision Customers,” and it’s from Starbucks.com. You know – that that really high end media outlet?

Joey Coleman (01:54):
That regular, that regular website you go to for all your breaking CX news, starbucks.com.

Dan Gingiss (02:00):
Exactly. Well, we actually just talked about accessibility recently in episode one 30 with the Accessibe software. And we also featured the Starbucks DC signing store in Episode 42 of Season Two. That’s the one…

Joey Coleman (02:15):
The one by Gallaudet.

Dan Gingiss (02:16):
Yeah, exactly. Now the coffee giant is partnering with San Diego based Aira technology corporation to connect blind and low vision people to trained visual interpreters who provide instant access to visual information through a third party smartphone app. Now the article tells the story of Susan Mazrui, now 58, who lost her vision at age 17, due to multiple sclerosis. If she could talk to her teenage self, the article details, she would say, quote, “you’d be amazed at what technology can do,” unquote. Mazrui says the app allows her to quote, “be every other customer” unquote. Now we’re going to play the audio portion of a video that is embedded with this article. And I must admit I got a little emotional watching it. You’ll note that the voice over also includes additional details from the video so that blind and low vision people can better understand what’s going on.

Voiceover Narrator (03:21):
Text appears over black at Starbucks. We want everyone to feel included and welcome including people who are blind and low vision. As a woman walks with a service dog, the distance to Starbucks decreases. You’ve entered an Aira Access Network. TEXT Upon entering an IRA access network. IRA explorers can tap a button on their phone and connect to a trained IRA agent on their phones. Hands tap a blue circular logo with a white a in the center. Now calling an Aira agent, thank you for calling Aira. How can I help you? Somewhere around here there should be a Starbucks. I’m just going to get you to help me find it. Let’s go to Starbucks. Um, and I need help getting to the front door and ordering and the doors should be on your left. And about 20 feet is this Starbucks. Social distancing is easy tonight. You’re the only customer in the store. There is a separation stickers on the floor and there is a brief summary sheet. Do you know if there’s anything new or seasonal on the menu? The pink drink it’s described as our crisp strawberry refreshers beverage and then Emily, where if the pickup counter? Is turn left and the drink is in the center. If you meet your hand at home, enjoying your pink drink and they will talk to you soon, thank you. This is my first car with IRA. This is a really cool! TEXT Aira agents available 24 hours a day who can see what they see this unlocks a world that is not always accessible for all people. IRA offers a more accessible Starbucks experience for blind and low vision customers. Sealed Starbucks bags, rest on a counter and a customer scans their phone at the checkout. The smiling Aira agent takes off her headset. As the woman, she guided passes, the glowing Starbucks sign logos appear on a white background, Aira and Starbucks.

Joey Coleman (05:39):
Dan, I gotta tell you, I was getting a little choked up watching that as well. And you know, part of the reason why is I think this Aira technology does such a great job of addressing a problem that, you know, frankly, I haven’t experienced personally, but when I watched the video and I listened to that audio clip, I realize how many people don’t have an experience that frankly I take for granted. And I’m not, I’m not proud of that. I’m sorry to admit that. So bluntly, but I love this idea that we’re starting to figure out ways to use technology, to level the playing field when it comes to our customers’ experiences.

Dan Gingiss (06:21):
I totally agree. And I thought the same thing, Joey, that we take vision for granted. There’s no question. And I’m sure, uh, even though I don’t know, Susan Mazuri probably did too until she was 17 and she lost her vision. And that’s when you realize how much you take it for granted, because it’s just there every day. And I, to me, again, just being honest, this kind of introduced a new idea for me of what it’s like to be blind or low vision and how you might be walking down the street without anybody to help you or without a service animal or just by yourself and how difficult that could be to even, you know, you, you, you heard in the video just to find the front door of the restaurant to get into it. It is a challenge. And so what I loved about this is it’s using existing technology. We’ve all used FaceTime, we’ve all used zoom. So we know what it’s like to dial up on the phone and have somebody answer on the other end to be able to see them. And now this person is literally the eyes for the person that needs it and can point them in the right direction and read menus for them and all this stuff. It’s brilliant in its simplicity. But it also, really, to me, it brought me closer to sort of the issue at hand, which is wow, that must’ve been really, really tough without this app. So Starbucks first tested the Aira service in seven us cities early this year, including by the way that DC signing store. Now it’s proven to be helpful for customers navigating the protocols and physical changes implemented in stores during COVID-19 as well, such as social distancing and you heard a little reference to that in the audio. Next up, Starbucks will offer new large print and braille menus in all us and Canada stores by this summer.

Joey Coleman (08:17):
Emily McKinnon, a Starbucks program manager focused on implementing inclusive store designs said this quote, “[w]e’re trying to keep accessibility in mind with every project it’s exciting work. And we have found that integrating inclusive design early into our processes can lead us to new innovation that benefits a wider range of customers. When you design with diversity in mind, it creates a better experience for everyone.” You know, Dan, I loved this quote because we’ve reached the point where every business should be doing this. Every business should be thinking about accessibility with every product, with ever with every service offering. Because when you do that, you inherently make the experience better. Not only for those customers, but for every customer, because you’re bringing more thoughtfulness, more consideration, more specificity to your rollouts and to the things you’re trying to design.

Dan Gingiss (09:19):
I completely agree. And I mentioned something similar in that piece we did on excessively. That was also my experience at discover. When I was involved with designing website enhancements, the more we focused on being accessible, the more we improve the digital experience for all of our customers. So no matter what business you’re in, besides being the right thing to do, most of us can’t afford to turn away any customers. And by designing with inclusivity in mind, we make the customer journey better for everyone.

Joey Coleman (09:53):
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 (10:05):
Today’s book report segment is about “The Guaranteed Customer Experience: How to Win Customers by Keeping Your Promises” by our friend, Jeff Toister. You may remember way back in Season One, Episode 14, that we covered his previous book, the service culture handbook let’s have the author, Jeff Toister introduce his book to our audience.

Jeff Toister (10:28):
I shouldn’t have to convince you about the value of customer experience. If you’re listening to this, you already understand the value, the challenge that you face and customer experience leaders everywhere grapple with every day. How do we consistently deliver a great customer experience in my new book, the guaranteed customer experience. I walk you through a step-by-step guide where you can do just that you can promise your customers an amazing experience and then deliver on that promise. Every time the model works by using a very familiar guarantee, but we’ve modernized it for customer experience. And if you break down a guarantee, there’s only three key parts. Step one, make a promise. Now this is a promise that has value to a customer. It addresses a problem that they’re trying to solve a guarantee by definition is a promise that provides assurance. So this promise should assure customers that she will take care of their needs. And that promise is what brings customers in step two, take action. It’s not enough to say that you’ll provide that great experience. You have to deliver it. That means having the systems, products and processes to keep your promise each and every time. But step three that’s recovery, because try as you might, there will be times when you, for whatever reason are unable to keep your promises and in those situations, trust can be broken. And that’s why you need a recovery plan to restore confidence and restore your customer’s trust that the next time around you will take care of them. And using that framework of a guarantee, you can win and retain more customers than your competition.

Dan Gingiss (12:23):
Now, I think this idea of making and keeping promises is really interesting because of how I view customer experience. And as you know, I was a 20 year marketer in corporate America, I tend to look at CX through a marketing lens. And I think that what’s interesting is that in recent years, marketing departments have really taken on the role of promising the customer experience to prospects and then having to make sure that the rest of the company can actually deliver on those promises.

Joey Coleman (12:54):
Yeah. And that’s not an easy task, you know, I’m reminded Dan of that famous tagline for Geico insurance, 15 minutes can save you 15%. I mean, that’s essentially two promises in one, you’ve got the fact that the application will only take 15 minutes and that the company can save you 15% off, whatever you’re currently paying to another insurance provider.

Dan Gingiss (13:15):
Exactly. And though most companies’ taglines may not be that direct in their promises, their marketing is often subtly suggesting what the customer experience will be like if you decide to do business with them.

Joey Coleman (13:27):
Hey Dan, do you mind if I share my favorite passage from Jeff’s book?

Dan Gingiss (13:31):
Of course my buddy, go ahead.

Joey Coleman (13:33):
Alrighty. Well, in a chapter called, The Power of a Promise, in a section called How Promises Help Employees, we have the following – and I quote, “[a] promise, can break down corporate silos and create tremendous clarity for employees. It can help them see beyond the individual tasks, they have to complete and understand the bigger picture. Employees and customer focused companies know the promises, their companies make the customers, and they know the role they play in upholding those promises.” endquote. Now, Dan, I’m guessing you think that I love this quote because of the reference to silos and it’s like a farm joke reference thing. You know, my [inaudible], I have, you know, folks (laughing).

Dan Gingiss (14:24):
All right, moving on! If you don’t know what we’re talking about, listen to like ten other episodes.

Joey Coleman (14:28):
Exactly. You know, the thing I love about this is, more and more folks in the customer experience space. And Jeff has understood this for many years. We’re recognizing that employee experience and customer experience are two sides of the same coin. And if you want to deliver a remarkable customer experience, you have to have your employees experiencing remarkable experiences themselves. And one to give a remarkable experience to your employees is to be crystal clear that they know what the promise is that’s being made externally and the role they play in delivering or upholding that promise. Now what’s interesting to me is that we also had the opportunity to talk to Jeff Toister and get his favorite passage from the book. And it’s an example of what happens when promises are broken. Here’s Jeff telling his favorite passage from the book.

Jeff Toister (15:22):
Chelsea Howell was experiencing a string of bad luck. First, she was laid off from her job a short while later, she was involved in a minor traffic accident that damaged your car and insurance claim covered the repairs. But a few days after getting her car back, she noticed a tire pressure warning light. Sure enough, one of the tires was leaking air, which made her worry about the cost of getting it fixed. “I didn’t have a lot of disposable income to replace a tire,” said Howell. She brought her car back to the shop that had done the accident repair, hoping the tire could be fixed as part of the insurance claim, but the mechanic refused to help her insisting that the tire had nothing to do with the accident. It was frustrating, said Howell, you’re an auto repair shop. Couldn’t you just take a look. It felt like all they cared about was dollars and cents. That’s when she remembered a previous positive experience with a tire shop called discount tire, a repair technician examined the tire when she got to the store and was able to patch it and reset the warning light in just a few minutes. The best part was there was no charge for the service. It was a relief said, Howell, why didn’t I just go there first after losing my job and getting into an accident, this was one less thing I had to worry about.

Dan Gingiss (16:45):
You know, I love this passage and it’s funny because I too picked a passage about a broken promise. So let me get to mine. And here’s the quote, “[i]n late 2009, Domino’s pizza offered at Mia culpa in a new advertising campaign. One video produced by the company, shared blunt feedback from customer focus, groups and surveys. Where’s the love asked one customer featured in the video. There doesn’t feel like there’s much love in Domino’s pizza. Another customer said Domino’s pizza crust to me is like cardboard CEO, Patrick Doyle directly addressed the feedback in that same video. You can either use negative comments to get you down, or you can use them to excite you and energize your process of making a better pizza. We did the latter. Now I loved this because as a Stewart listeners may know, and you may remember Joey, I am a former employee of Domino’s pizza.

Joey Coleman (17:44):
You are! I do remember at one point didn’t you deliver a pizza to the man, the myth, the legend – Michael Jordan?

Dan Gingiss (17:50):
I sure did!

Joey Coleman (17:51):
On more than one occasion actually, as I recall…

Dan Gingiss (17:53):
I went to his house twice, but only, but he answered only once. Okay. And, uh, but yes, I worked at Domino’s for, I don’t know, four, maybe three, four years. And then I come back over college breaks and work for a few weeks. So I, I really loved that role, loved the job. And I will tell you, first of all, the pizza, now, if you haven’t had Domino’s pizza in a long time, it is way better than you remember it.

Joey Coleman (18:18):
It’s way better! I had Domino’s for the first time in probably years, a few weeks ago. And it was, I actually have true confession here, I double-checked. I was like, is this really Domino’s? Cause like it was on my wife was kind enough to already put it on the plate. Uh, my brother had brought pizza over to the house from Domino’s and I was like, is this really Domino’s or you guys kind of pull on my leg. It was actually quite tasty.

Dan Gingiss (18:42):
Yeah. It’s definitely, it’s definitely much better than it was. And I, and what I love about this is that the brand figured out that there was a core problem with its product and it wasn’t afraid to face it. It wasn’t afraid to look it in the eye and say, how are we going to fix this? And you know, Domino’s has been an incredibly successful company since 2009 in no, in no small part due to the fact that the CEO was willing to get out there. And as Jeff said, offer a mea culpa. So I absolutely loved that example. There are plenty more where that came from in “The Guaranteed Customer Experience: How to Win Customers by Keeping Your Promises.” Check it out. It’s by our friend, Jeff Toister. We promise that you’ll love it.

Joey Coleman (19:34):
Almost everyone has interacted with chatbots, but all too often, it’s been a bad experience. In MythBusters, presented by Solvvy, we explore a common myth about CX chatbots and see how the right technology can create a positive experience every time.

Dan Gingiss (19:58):
Today’s myth about chatbots? Chatbots are expensive, not worth the investment. There are lots of chat bots and automation solutions on the market today that are offered at a wide variety of price points. You might initially think that some of the leading chat bot companies on the market are a bit too expensive and not worth the upfront investment. You might even be considering building a bot yourself versus buying from an established vendor as a way to save a bit in the short run.

Joey Coleman (20:24):
Now, the reality is that the right next gen chat bot is a great investment with fast ROI. A next gen chat bot can be deployed in days and start delivering strong results from day one. Now, while the cost might be a bit higher up front, the speed at which it can be rolled out and the effectiveness of the support provided, mean you start immediately and can see positive ROI in just a couple of months. By contrast, less expensive bots and those “do it yourself” efforts require engineering resources and possibly even outside consultants to implement, which adds up quickly. Once you’ve launched a next gen chat bot, you won’t require much maintenance at all. Unlike legacy chat-bots that need constant monitoring and updates and often a dedicated resource to manage all of this.

Dan Gingiss (21:16):
Ah – it’s the classic case of spending a little more upfront, Joey, to get lots more value down the road and not have to break any promises to customers.

Joey Coleman (21:28):
I see what you did there, Dan! Well, that’s another MythBusted, thanks to our friends and podcast supporters at Solvvy – the NextGen chatbot. Learn more about them at Solvvy.com – that’s S-O-L-V-V-Y.com.

Joey Coleman (21:46):
Have you ever found yourself saying, I wonder what Dan and Joey would think about this situation? Well, guess what? Now you can know! Just tag us on social or message us through our website with a customer experience scenario, a question, or anything else you’re curious about, and you’ll get to hear our answers when you Ask Us Anything!

Dan Gingiss (22:12):
We introduced a new segment this season called Ask Us Anything and it’s so great that people have been asking,

Joey Coleman (22:20):
Right? They ask, we answer. That’s how it goes, Dan, right?

Dan Gingiss (22:23):
Ah ha yep! Our friend Marcus Sheridan would be very proud of you for saying that Joey. So we recently received some feedback on a recent segment, as well as a question from listener Lisa Sedlak. She commented on the segment that we did on the clothing models at Stellar Equipment.

Joey Coleman (22:40):
Ah yes, that’s the one where they showed the sizing and the heights of the models and name them as well.

Dan Gingiss (22:46):
Indeed. That’s the one. Let’s hear what Lisa had to say about that as well as the question she had for Ask Us Anything.

Lisa Sedlak (22:55):
Hi, Dan and Joey, I was laughing during episode one 23, where Joey talked about the stellar equipment ad or the model’s name and size were shown to women’s retailers Modcloth and Torrid have been doing this for years. On Modcloth’s website, they show the model, her size and height, but they also show the clothing on thinner and larger women. For us larger folks, this is very helpful. They also encourage customers to share photo reviews with their sizes. Even though ModCloth can be pricey, I shopped there because I can see from the images how the item will look on me before buying and because of this, I have yet to return any items to Modcloth or Torrid. Now for a question, have y’all ever covered the use of personalizing responses to customers in a regulated industry? Like in finance, I have been debating with others about the importance of using “you” in a response to a customer instead of using the generic “user” for customer. Thanks a lot guys, Lisa from Blacksburg.

Dan Gingiss (24:05):
So Joey, we have indeed touched on personalization before, but Lisa’s question is quite specific. Do you have any thoughts?

Joey Coleman (24:14):
Oh, my friend. Do I have any thoughts?

Dan Gingiss (24:17):
It was a loaded question I know…

Joey Coleman (24:18):
And I, and I think this is going to be an interesting one because you come at this from your experiences and I’ll let you share kind of the background and kind of how you come to this perspective. I come at this from the perspective of a lawyer or at least a recovering lawyer. And…

Dan Gingiss (24:36):
and, and you were, you worked in government too.

Joey Coleman (24:38):
I did work in government – so I understand the regulation part, and here’s the thing. And I say this respectfully to my friends, my colleagues, all those people working in regulated industries – ,all too often in my experience, that is an excuse for poor customer experience. I’m sorry if we, uh, Oh, we’ve got these rules and these regulations, I get it, but that doesn’t mean you can’t personalize the communication. Now here’s the thing. Different people define the word personalization in different ways. It doesn’t necessarily mean using their name. It doesn’t necessarily mean talking specifically about their scenario, but what we can do is bring a certain piece of levity, or a certain feeling of familiarity, or connection to our communications in a way that makes them feel hyper-personalized and still in compliance with any regulations that may be involved in our communications.

Dan Gingiss (25:35):
So I think you’re spot on. And as you know, I worked in financial services for 14 years. And so I’m all too familiar with all of the regulations and the privacy rules and all this stuff. And you’re absolutely right that companies hide behind the regulations as a excuse for delivering subpar experiences. But I want to actually dissect Lisa’s question a little bit further because she did specifically mention using the word you. So I want to look at this from a grammar perspective because I’m a little bit of a grammar nerd.

Joey Coleman (26:08):
Uh, yes. Dan and I hear the Apple hasn’t fallen that far from the tree on this one. Has it?

Dan Gingiss (26:13):
Uh, no, actually it doesn’t. And uh, for those of you that don’t know, Joey is of course talking about my father who, bless his heart, has listened to every single episode of experience this, but always, and I mean, always lets me know if either one of us makes a grammatical error.

Joey Coleman (26:29):
And let’s be honest, Mr. Gingiss it’s usually me. Dan is usually the one going, yeah, you’re going to want to do a retake on that cause you just flubbed up the grammar and the good news is as if I didn’t have enough grammatical love from my Dan, I get it from my amazing wife Berit, who is also, I refer to her sometimes as Madame Grammarian, like the Madame Librarian. Yeah, no, I could do much better with the language, but I’ll let you get back to the grammar Dan.

Dan Gingiss (26:55):
Yeah. Well, but first of all, your wife and my father are going to tell you that what you should have said is it is usually I [inaudible],

Joey Coleman (27:06):
That was nicely done. That was nicely done. Good catch!

Dan Gingiss (27:09):
That was not scripted people!

Joey Coleman (27:11):
That was my plan to see if I could catch Dan and he caught me good job Dan!

Dan Gingiss (27:15):
Anyway, let’s get back to some grammar here. So she mentions the word you and you is of course a pronoun, which by definition is going to be more personal than a generic noun like customer or user or client. So that’s the grammar part, grammar lesson over. But I think in addition to that, we have to realize that customers themselves don’t think of themselves as users or clients. But if I say, Hey you!

Joey Coleman (27:41):
Yeah, Dan?

Dan Gingiss (27:42):
Thank you my friend for proving my point. You see folks when you work together, as long as Joey and I have you start to finish.

Joey Coleman (27:50):
each other’s sandwiches?!

Dan Gingiss (27:52):
Uh, something like that Joey, something like that. Personalizing down to the customer’s name is obviously a step ahead of you, in my opinion, and even better is allowing the customer to tell you what they want to be called. For example, I may apply for a credit card with the name Daniel, because it’s my legal name, but I’d much preferred if the online account center referred to me is Dan. I think you can relate C Joseph Coleman?

Joey Coleman (28:19):
Uh, yes I can. And for those of you that don’t know, that is my full legal name Dan was giving, or at least a good portion of my full legal name since it’s C Joseph Coleman the third. You know, one point that I’d like to share here, one story I’d like to share, is this type of personalization, this type of paying attention to what your customers want to be called can have direct impact on your bottom line. I’m going to roll the clock back to when I am applying to law schools. So I’m in my senior year of college. I applied to 13 law schools around the country and thankfully I got a number of acceptance letters, not all of them, but several and so I had some decisions to make. And the thing that sealed the deal that made me attend George Washington University Law School in Washington, DC is the acceptance letter said, “Dear Joey.” Now what you, our listeners know is that I go by Joey. But at that point in my life, I was going by Joey but on these types of forms, you had to fill out your full legal name, which is Charles Joseph Coleman, the third and many of the other acceptance letters said, “Dear Charles.” But the applications also had an area where you could put preferred nickname. And I always wrote in Joey GW was one of the only schools that referred to me by my preferred name. That’s why I went there. And while we don’t want to get too specific necessarily because it might make me sick, uh, talking about the cost of attending a top law school for three years, that had a direct bottom line implication on their acceptance rate and my willingness to go there because they called me by my name.

Dan Gingiss (29:59):
Folks, if you’re going to have a section on your application, that’s his preferred name? You might as well use it. We’ll fill it in, right? I mean just a little hint. Well, Lisa, thank you so much for your feedback and for your question, we’re going to send you out some signed copies of our books as a thank you and if you have a question you’d like answered in the next, ask us anything segment, just go to www.ExperienceThisShow.com, click on Contact, and leave us a voice message like Lisa did. And we will tell your story and answer your question on a future episode.

Joey Coleman (30:40):
Thanks for joining us for another episode of Experience This! You are the best listener ever.

Dan Gingiss (30:46):
And since you listened to the whole show…

Joey Coleman (30:48):
Yay, you!

Dan Gingiss (30:50):
We’re curious, was there a specific part of this episode that you enjoyed the most? If so, it would mean the world to us. If you could share it with a coworker, a friend, or someone that just loves listening to podcasts.

Joey Coleman (31:00):
And while you’re in the sharing mood, if you felt inclined to jump over to iTunes or wherever you find your podcasts and write us a review, we would so appreciate it. And when you do, don’t forget to let us know as we might have a little surprise for you.

Dan Gingiss (31:16):
Thanks again for your time and we’ll see you next week for more,

Joey Coleman (31:19):
Experience!

Dan Gingiss (31:19):
This!

Episode 131 – The Time is Right for Better Customer Experiences

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

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

Referenced in the Show

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

Host Contact Information

Email Dan: Dan@dangingiss.com

Tweet Dan Gingiss: @DGingiss

Email Joey: JoeyC@JoeyColeman.com

DanGingiss.com

JoeyColeman.com

Subscribe to Experience This on Apple Podcasts

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

Episode Transcript

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Joey Coleman (01:14):
we love telling stories and sharing key insights you can implement or avoid based on our experiences. Can you believe that this just happened?!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Joey Coleman (12:38):
Yes.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dan Gingiss (35:38):
Clubhouse?

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

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

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

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

Dan Gingiss (38:26):
No!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Joey Coleman (41:22):
Experience.

Dan Gingiss (41:22):
This!

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

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

Accessing, Innovating, and Signing – Oh My!

Referenced in the Show

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

Host Contact Information

Email Dan: Dan@dangingiss.com

Tweet Dan Gingiss: @DGingiss

Email Joey: JoeyC@JoeyColeman.com

DanGingiss.com

JoeyColeman.com

Subscribe to Experience This on Apple Podcasts

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

Episode Transcript

Download a machine-transcribed, barely edited transcript of Episode 130 here or read it below:
(if anything doesn’t make sense or you have any questions about the transcript – just Contact us!)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Joey Coleman (01:12):
Sometimes a remarkable experience deserves deeper investigation. We dive into the nitty gritty of customer interactions and dissect how, and why, they happen. Join us while we’re Dissecting the Experience.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dan Gingiss (34:01):
Wait… Seriously?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Joey Coleman (36:53):
And while you’re in the sharing mood, if you felt inclined to jump over to iTunes or wherever you find your podcasts and write us a review, we would so appreciate it. And when you do, don’t forget to let us know as we might have a little surprise for you.

Dan Gingiss (37:09):
Thanks again for your time. And we’ll see you next week for more.

Joey Coleman (37:11):
Experience!

Dan Gingiss (37:11):
This!

Episode 129 – Video Energizing or Video Fatigue?

Join us as we discuss enticing your customers to come back after COVID, videos that capture your brand spirit, and managing camera fatigue in a video-based business environment.

Flying, Speedriding, and Zooming – Oh My!

Referenced in the Show

• Delta Airlines Entices Flyers with Enhanced Rewards

• MUST WATCH: Speedriding Through An Alpine Resort – From Avoriaz With Love – by Red Bull

• Citi Creates ‘Zoom-Free Fridays’ to Combat Pandemic Fatigue – by Anna Schaverien in the New York Times

Host Contact Information

Email Dan: Dan@dangingiss.com

Tweet Dan Gingiss: @DGingiss

Email Joey: JoeyC@JoeyColeman.com

DanGingiss.com

JoeyColeman.com

Subscribe to Experience This on Apple Podcasts

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

Episode Transcript

Download an unedited transcript of Episode 129 here or read it below:

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

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

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

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

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

Joey Coleman (00:48):
Get ready, for another episode of the Experience This Show.

Dan Gingiss (00:53):
Join us as we discuss enticing your customers to come back after COVID videos that capture your brand spirit and managing camera fatigue in a video-based business environment.

Joey Coleman (01:08):
Flying, Speedriding, and Zooming – oh my!

Joey Coleman (01:15):
With a pandemic sweeping the globe, and shifting the way organizations interact with their customers, many of the old ways of operating just don’t work anymore. As we all navigate a COVID-19 world, it’s time to Redesign the Experience.

Joey Coleman (01:34):
It’s been a long time Dan, but it’s time to talk about flying again.

Dan Gingiss (01:40):
Ahhhh, I’ve been waiting for this. Have you been on a plane?

Joey Coleman (01:42):
I actually have not, but I’m starting to think about it a lot more and will likely be on a plane sometime in the not too distant future. Vaccines are up. COVID infections are down. Events are starting to happen again. It’s exciting. And what I wanted to talk about is all of the businesses that have seen their loyal customers, who while staying loyal, just haven’t been doing as much business in the last year.

Dan Gingiss (02:08):
Oh, you mean like our friends at the airlines?

Joey Coleman (02:10):
Yes indeed, like the airlines. And as anyone who listens to Experience This knows…

Dan Gingiss (02:16):
Wait a minute! I think I know what you’re going to say. You like Delta don’t you?!

Joey Coleman (02:19):
No, I don’t like Delta, Dan. I love Delta! I love flying on Delta for a host of reasons, but because of changes in the event industry over the last year, I haven’t needed to fly to any of the conferences or events that I normally would to give speeches at. I’ve been doing all my presentations remotely as have you. And now, as businesses are starting to think about hosting in-person events and conferences this summer, and especially into the fall, I’m getting a lot of inquiries for these upcoming events, which means naturally I’m thinking about flying again. Now that being said, you know, who else was thinking about me flying again, Dan?

Dan Gingiss (02:56):
Uh, your wife, your kids. I don’t know? Who?

Joey Coleman (03:01):
You are. Correct. All of those people are, but I’m talking specifically about the fantastic folks at Delta airlines. The reason I know they’re thinking about this is because I received an email this week outlining some fantastic new bonuses that they have to entice fliers to come back now as noted by Dwight James, who is the Senior Vice President of Customer Engagement and Loyalty and the CEO of Delta Vacations, and I quote, “[o]ur customers, supported us through the most difficult year in our history. And as we welcome them back, we want to help their travel count for even more. We sincerely appreciate how much our customers value their status and these industry leading offers will ensure Medallion Members can continue to enjoy those benefits for flights now, and in the future.” Now the message went on to detail, a series of new enhancements to the Delta loyalty program, including earning up to 75% more miles towards your medallion status on nearly every Delta flight, earning miles toward your medallion status with award travel (this is a first ever in the airline industry – normally if you use your miles to get a free ticket, you don’t get to get miles for that free ticket. Now they’re actually going to let you accrue miles on your award tickets) and all of these bonuses will be “credited to customer’s accounts for a seamless experience.”

Dan Gingiss (04:31):
American Airlines… I hope you’re listening because you’re going to be next I suspect! But Hey, I mean, I love it. I’m a, I’m a rewards guy spent a lot of time in loyalty marketing and you know, those are fantastic. They’re rich, uh, which basically means I hate to break your bubble, they’re probably going to be temporary, but I think it’s a great time for temporary richness, if you will, because you know, people are – even frequent flyers like us are still hesitant to go back to flying. We probably won’t go back to as much flying as we were doing at, you know, at least for a while, maybe ever. And so the airlines have some work to do to get people back in their seats. And I think as usual Delta seems to be leading the way in terms of enticing people.

Joey Coleman (05:21):
You know, Dan, I feel the same way. And I think the interesting thing about this outreach is it’s coming at a time where a lot of frequent flyers like you like me are just really starting to seriously think about this. Like to be honest, last summer, you couldn’t have paid me to get on an airplane. And that’s not a criticism of any of the airplanes I love flying. It’s just, it didn’t make sense with the pandemic. But now as things start to change now, as people start to consider it, what I think is fantastic about the timing of this message is that as I’m starting to think about, they’re in my inbox saying, Hey, by the way, when you’re ready, no pressure, but when you’re ready, we’re going to do some amazing things for you. Now what’s interesting is this all comes on the heels of the things Delta did last year to make the experience better for the frequent flyers – including being the first airline to extend 2020 flyer status into 2021, and the only airline to offer rollover status miles, which are kind of known as MQMS in Delta airlines, speak to give customers a headstart on their 2022 status.

Dan Gingiss (06:31):
So you’re saying that miles you earned before the pandemic in 2020 are counting now?

Joey Coleman (06:39):
Not only are they counting for my status, now they are actually rolling over and counting towards my next status. What Delta did is they said, look, the pandemic has changed everything, whatever status you have in 2020, we’re automatically giving you that status in 2021, regardless of how you fly in 2020. Oh. And by the way, if you do happen to fly in 2020 or 2021, any extra miles that you’ve accrued across those two years will kick into your status for 2022. So they are doing these amazing things to really reward people for doing the behavior they want, which is getting on airplanes. They also made a bunch of other improvements to their upgrade certificates. They made the more rewarding and easier to use. Their companion tickets – so any companion tickets that were going to expire in 2020, they extended to 2021. And they just announced that all of those are being extended out to 2022. So all these companions tickets that I had, that I would’ve been frustrated that I wasn’t able to use because we weren’t flying. They’re like, man, don’t worry about it. You have till the middle of 20, 22 to use those as well as extending other deadlines around using your benefits. So they could take into account that delays in people’s travel plans that have happened over the last year.

Dan Gingiss (07:55):
Yeah. Well, and basically we talk about knowing your customer and we’ve talked about that at no time in the past, and hopefully the future, will there ever have been more clarity about understanding what your customers are going through because everybody went through the same thing at the same time. And so I think Delta is smart in the sense that, you know, they understand they got to get people back on planes. They understand that customers like you, who are the, I dunno, what are you the triple diamond deleted, double, double dare, whatever status is. I mean, these are the people they really need back and their most loyal customers. And you know, they’re what I like about these examples is they’re very timely right there. They understand what frequent travelers who pay attention to this stuff MQMS and miles and, you know, qualifying dollars and all this sort of stuff that they understand what you’re thinking about. And the fact that, Oh man, I traveled for three months in 2020, and I was well on my way. And then I lost them all. And, and they’re addressing that almost before. It becomes a frustration, which I think is great.

Joey Coleman (09:05):
I couldn’t agree more, Dan. And here’s the interesting thing and why I wanted to talk about this. This doesn’t just apply to the airlines. Every business on the planet over the last year that had any type of in-person interaction with their customers – whether you had a retail store, whether you had an event venue that people came to hotels, airlines, other forms of a mass transportation gathering places, you name it, movie theaters, anywhere where people came to visit, they’re now going to start thinking about going there again – but people are going to be anxious. And they’re going to be anxious for good reason. We’re not judging the anxiousness that people have. And a lot of business owners are like, ah, already come, come visit our store. We need the business. We want you back. Everything’s clean, everything’s safe. We’re good to go. The moral, that story here is we are going beyond the medical realities and now we’re starting to dip into the psychological realities of our customer base. And so I think what Delta is doing is really leading the way by to your point, being rich with what they’re offering and going above and beyond, you know, they, you notice they don’t say that these are going to be the rules forever. They’re just saying, Hey, for the, basically the second half of 2021, we’re going to do a bunch of things that will excite you to get back on planes. So what’s the moral of the story here. Let your customers know that you’re ready to welcome them back to in-person interactions. Welcome them on their schedule. Not your schedule. Consider some gracious enticements to get them to come back sooner rather than later, or at least to feel well provided for when they do come back. You don’t need to make these changes permanently, but take some steps now to kind of juice things up and make it exciting for them so that they come back extend any deadlines that you have friends pandemics. Aren’t the time for policies. I said this on the show a year ago, as we entered the challenging COVID era. And here we are a year later, and guess what? This same message holds true. Pandemics aren’t the time for policies. So switch your policies to be even more customer centric and more customer focused than they were before. And if you do all these things, your customers will come back in the weeks and months to come.

Joey Coleman (11:27):
We love telling stories and sharing key insights you can implement or avoid based on our experiences. Can you believe that This Just Happened?

Joey Coleman (11:41):
You know, Dan, last week I saw a video online and then within about 36 hours, I’d say no, fewer than 10 of my friends emailed a link to this video. Now I know if I were to ask you to guess what this video is about, I would be opening myself to all kinds of ridicule and jokes that you might have. So let me just say this…

Dan Gingiss (12:03):
Who me?

Joey Coleman (12:03):
Surprise, surprise! Let me just say this. The video was of something called ski riding. Now I had never seen ski riding before ski riding is what happens evidently based on this video, when you put on a pair of skis and you’re wearing a paraglider, which is like a controllable parachute that you can inflate from the ground as opposed to jumping out of an airplane. So this is, think of a combination of paragliding, i.e. parachuting, through a mountain ski town, while you’re also wearing skis, doing stunts and tricks.

Dan Gingiss (12:44):
This sounds like a X Games sport or something like that…

Joey Coleman (12:47):
It does sound like an X Game sport, which is probably not surprising then that the sponsor of this video was actually red bull. Oh, red bull. Yeah. Well, they’ve had some interesting stunts in the past they have, and this is kind of the newest piece. So what I’d like to do ladies and gentlemen, I know this is an audio based show. So it’s going to be little weird to talk about a video without you having seen the video. So what I’d like you to do is press pause, go to the shownotes at ExperienceThisShow.com and at the very top, you’re going to see a big link to the Red Bull ski riding video. And I want you to watch the video. Now, if you happen to be driving or working out right now, and you’re not going to do it, I’m going to play for you the first minute of the video with some narration, but please I’ve never implored with such a emphasis. Go watch this video. It is insane. Just even what you’re about to witness the feet of human extreme sports nature that is captured in this video, that alone is we’re seeing not to mention what we’re going to talk about. All right? So here’s the deal. When you go to the video, here’s what you’ll see.

Joey Coleman (14:04):
You hear the wind blowing through your air. As the skier comes over, does a loop. He’s flying through the air. There’s a drone behind him tracking down the mountain as he goes to over trees. And now he’s cutting between two buildings. That sound, you just heard that one, and that one, that’s him actually running into the sides of buildings with his skis. Now here that like the laser sound, that’s his skis on the metal that is the chairlift, not actually on the chairs, but on the metal cables, connecting the chairs. This is insane. He’s parachuting down. He just almost hit some birds. And now off the railing and he’s going off the snow with the top of buildings. Now, his feet are actually on the ground. The first time he’s grabbing the parachute and he’s bundling it up into a ball in front of him. Now he’s tucking down and he’s going faster and faster. Oh my goodness. He just went through an igloo, jumped out of the other side, do a flip he’s firing off. Oh my God, she’s got a can of Red Bull. He’s drinking red bull. He just threw it in the recycling bin. Now he’s, reinflating the parachute you skiing around. Okay. Oh my goodness. We could go on. I have given you a minute and six seconds of this video that is over two minutes long. It is crazy. It’s crazy to see this now, why would I want to tell you about a video? Because the video captured so much excitement, so much spirit for the brand and showed me things that I didn’t even think was possible. And as a result, I wanted to talk about what I had seen. Now. Here’s the crazy thing. Who is the video for stopping to remember the beginning of this conversation? When Dan said, Oh, it sounds like an X games type of thing. And I told you the brand, we’ve only mentioned the brand once, but I’d be willing to bet you remember who it was. Dan, who is the brand?

Dan Gingiss (15:59):
I’m going to go with red bull for 200.

Joey Coleman (16:04):
That would be red bull.

Dan Gingiss (16:05):
So Dan, are you a red bull drinker? What do you know about red bull? I am not a red bull drinker. I tasted it once. It is, let’s just say not for me. And, uh, but I, I associate it with extreme sports with, with people that are outdoor Z, you know, doing all these sports, I kind of like to keep my feet on the ground. And so I kinda, I, I associated with people who are more willing to have their feet off the ground. Let’s put it that way.

Joey Coleman (16:33):
A little crazy, a little adventurous. And here’s the reason I wanted to talk about this. Red Bull has made an aspirational video. Even if you never have any intention, Dan, of putting skis on and attaching yourself to a parachute and speedriding through an Alpine town that appears abandoned in the video, doing flips in the air, bouncing off buildings, sliding down the cables of a chairlift at a ski resort, you can appreciate what you saw. And I think the takeaway that I had as it relates to customer experience is we talk so often about the features and the benefits of our products. You know, this is the very elements of our products. You know, here are the components of our service. Here’s what it’s going to do for your business. And we don’t as often talk about the aspirational aspects of our products and our services, what type of people use our products and services? What type of people do our customers become because of our products and services. And if we think back to commercials, you may have seen in the past from Red Bull, they drank it in these little wings appear and they kind of float off the characters. The whole idea is that red bull takes you to a different level of the human experience that you didn’t think was possible.

Dan Gingiss (17:58):
Yeah, it’s very brand, right. I mean, I remember the viral video around the guy that was jumping out of the, what was it, a rocket ship, any, uh, he jumped out of it with

Joey Coleman (18:09):
Exactly. Yeah. They basically put them up in a balloon into space and he jumped out and fell all the way back down to earth.

Dan Gingiss (18:17):
It definitely has an element of crazy to it, but that’s the brand. And I think that today, I always talk about something slightly different, but I, I talk about being witty and being humorous and those are two different things and that there’s only certain brands and I think of brands like Taco Bell or Wendy’s that kind of have permission to be humorous. And unfortunately, most of us don’t work for Taco Bell or Wendy’s, it’s our brand probably doesn’t have that permission.

Joey Coleman (18:44):
And then why do you think they have permission? Because I think that’s an interesting way to put it. I have an idea of why they have permission. Why do you think they have permission to be that way?

Dan Gingiss (18:54):
Well, first of all, I think their target audience is, is fairly specifically at a younger, a younger type of person, a millennial and younger, uh, who appreciates that kind of a humor. And I think over time, actually, I think they’ve built that permission and built the reputation over time of being humorous, funny brands, much as Red Bull has built this reputation of being, you know, an extreme sports, loving, daredevil type brand, which again, your listeners listening your brand probably isn’t that, but that’s okay because your brand is probably something else is really what I’m saying.

Joey Coleman (19:34):
Agreed. And I think when you say, you know, they have permission to do that. I think part of the reason I agree with you wholeheartedly, that they built that equity over time with their target markets and what their customers, that that’s kind of the edginess or that’s the aspect of their brand spirit. But I also think they made a decision to go in and just be who they were. To just show up fully without any apology for what their brand was. We’ve all come to appreciate the brand of Wendy’s on social media. We’ve all come to appreciate the extreme nature of Red Bull, whether it’s in their videos, whether it’s in their sponsorships, the crazy stunts they do, you know, kind of the feature film-type level production that they create. And I think the conversation that I’d love our listeners to have is to meet with your teams and talk about what is the aspirational version of our brand. When people use our products, when people use our services, what does it allow them to be? And really extend that out beyond just the benefits to speak more to this type of person uses our product. You know, Dan, you, and it is often back and forth about Apple vs. PC, right? And I am a 100% Apple guy. Through and through. I know you use a lot of Apple products as well, but I think Apple has basically created a brand that people take pride in being an Apple person, because Apple is owning the brand and the aesthetic of their videos, the aesthetic of their ads, the messaging of their communications, all align with that brand in the same way that red bulls aligned with their brand with this crazy skiing video. So what do we do from here? I’m not suggesting that you take your CEO, strap them into a parachute, put some skis on them and throw them down the side of a mountain. Okay. What I am suggesting is that you think of creative ways to capture your brand spirit. As much as you create advertising and things that are designed to promote your brand and promote your service, I would love it. If you would start to consider creating aspirational communications – things that capture your brand spirit, promote that and let people know who they can be when they experience your brand.

Joey Coleman (21:56):
Almost everyone has interacted with chatbots but all too often, it’s been a bad experience. In MythBusters – presented by Solvvy – we explore a common myth about CX chatbots and see how the right technology can create a positive experience every time.

Joey Coleman (22:20):
Today’s myth about chatbots? Chatbots, can’t drive revenue for your business. At this point, CX and support leaders probably understand that an intelligent chat bot and automation platform can help deliver huge savings and productivity improvements. A next gen chat bot instantly resolves 50% plus of customer issues before support tickets are needed and frees up agents to handle the most challenging issues.

Dan Gingiss (22:48):
But can a chat bot actually drive additional revenue for your business? Why? Yes, it can. With the next gen chatbot companies now have a powerful tool to help would be customers quickly find what they’re looking for, enabling better and faster purchases. Chatbots handle product or service questions for shoppers and provide intelligent recommendations based on the chat or other contextual clues. Your customers will love not having to hunt around a website to find what they need. And some chatbots let you drop items right into a shopping cart or buy directly that’s instant chat bot revenue.

Joey Coleman (23:24):
For your current customers or subscribers, how cool would it be if your support chat bot was able to help them add additional software licenses, right? When they ask or help them upgrade from a free meme account to a paid account.

Dan Gingiss (23:39):
Or help them take advantage of an extended deadline and a companion certificate on Delta Airlines to get you to book your flight?!

Joey Coleman (23:45):
Exactly. If your team handles these sorts of critical transactions, you know, they can often result in phone calls that take up a ton of agent time. And the intelligent chat bot means faster transactions for your customers, lower agent involvement, and you guessed it more revenue from your team.

Dan Gingiss (24:05):
And that’s another myth busted, thanks to our friends and podcast supporters at Solvvy – the NextGen chatbot. Find them at Solvvy.com. That’s S-O-L-V-V-Y.com.

Joey Coleman (24:21):
There are so many great customer experience articles to read, but who has the time?! We summarize them and offer clear takeaways you can implement starting tomorrow. Enjoy this segment of CX Press – where we read the articles so you don’t need to!

Joey Coleman (24:39):
Dan, I have a question for you. What is the greatest number of zoom calls you’ve done in a single day?

Dan Gingiss (24:47):
Oh boy. Well, I wouldn’t call it great by any stretch of imagination, but I’d say probably in the neighborhood of eight or nine is maybe my tops.

Joey Coleman (24:55):
Wow, wow. Yeah. I’m not sure what my record count number is for the number of calls. But the other day I got on my first Zoom call at 6:45 AM and I didn’t get off my last Zoom call of the day until 10:00 PM. And I had a total of 60 minutes throughout the day in frankly, 10 to 20 minute chunks, when I wasn’t on Zoom. And to be honest, that’s why today’s CX press story written by Anna Schaverien – who’s a reporter for the New York Times who covers news from her home base in London – resonated so much with me. The article is titled, “Citi creates Zoom-free Fridays to Combat Pandemic Fatigue,” and it details plans that the bank has to create one day each week, when workers can avoid being on camera for internal calls.

Dan Gingiss (25:45):
For a minute there, I thought you were talking about like an entire city, but you’re talking about the bank.

Joey Coleman (25:49):
Yes. Citi banks, Citi Group – they’re mostly known for Citibank.

Dan Gingiss (25:53):
Indeed, well, I love this idea. And in fact, because of a LinkedIn post recently from, uh, our mutual friend, Dorie Clark, I actually have started blocking Fridays off of my calendar for similar reasons is that you just sometimes need a day to get work done. And you know, one of the biggest reasons I left corporate America was I hated the meetings. I just didn’t like going back to back to back to back to all these meetings. And I always found that there were certain colleagues, who will remain nameless, that it’s like the meetings were what made them feel important.

Joey Coleman (26:28):
Meeings about meetings?!

Dan Gingiss (26:32):
Well, if they weren’t in the meeting, they didn’t feel like they were included. And so they were always, well, you know, invite me to the meeting. And I was like, don’t invite me to the meeting because when I’m in meetings, I’m not getting work done. And I think that’s what guessing this article kind of gets at is, man we could spend all day on Zoom, but are you actually being productive?

Joey Coleman (26:50):
A couple of things. And you’re, you’re spot on Dan and I to applaud our mutual friend, Dorie Clark friends, listeners, if you’re not familiar with Dorie and her fantastic books, her courses on LinkedIn Learning, her blog posts, her articles that she writes, she’s absolutely incredible! And you’re right. I think over the last year what’s happened is people have gotten comfortable with rolling out of bed, into a virtual meeting or spending all day. As I like to think of it sometime dressed very nicely on top with sweat pants on the bottom and this whole proliferation of video calls, whether that’s with our prospects, with our customers, even with our coworkers and our colleagues has just become exhausting. And that’s why Citi group decided to start this new end of week tradition. So going forward, they’re going to have zoom free Fridays. Now the bank’s new chief executive Jane Frazier announced this plan in a memo sent to employees: “Recognizing that workers have spent inordinate amounts of time of the past 12 months, staring at video calls, Citi is now encouraging its employees to take a step back from Zoom and other video conferencing platforms for one day every week.

Dan Gingiss (27:58):
You know, it’s funny. I just have to interrupt you for a second because I’ve been thinking about this, that Zoom is becoming one of those brands that is also a verb – like Google, or Xerox.

Joey Coleman (28:13):
Exactly. Yeah. It’s the most… prior to this, Google was the big one in our society that, uh, a brand name that it become a verb, and I agree with you in the last year, Zoom has become a verb.

Dan Gingiss (28:24):
And, and so we should say, just given that this is talking about Zoom-free Fridays, that obviously this is not a knock on Zoom. It’s really video conferencing free Fridays, but that’s a little harder to say.

Joey Coleman (28:34):
Absolutely. And I will say zoom, I think is probably a case study for the business that is handled the pandemic the best. Can you think of any other business, maybe like online grocery store delivery that has seen the huge growth that Zoom has seen over the course of the last year. And as much as we might be experiencing Zoom fatigue, they’ve done a remarkable job delivering a consistent, fantastic experience.

Dan Gingiss (29:00):
Yeah, absolutely. And there’s, I know some great people that work there. It’s a terrific company. So Frazier who’s the CEO of Citi group said in this article and I’m quoting “[t]he blurring of lines between home and work and the relentlessness of the pandemic Workday have taken a toll on our wellbeing. After listening to colleagues around the world, it became apparent. We need to combat the Zoom fatigue that many of us feel” end quote. The memo went on to note that going forward, no one at the company would have to turn their video on for any internal meetings on Fridays. External meetings with clients and regulators that need to happen via Zoom still will happen that way, even if it’s on a Friday.

Joey Coleman (29:39):
Yeah. So they’re still going to have video. They’re still going to, you know, use that as a tool. They just want to be more conscious about it. Now what’s interesting is this all too common phrase of zoom fatigue that we’ve heard about has led to some recent research from Stanford university that they talked about in the article and the research was trying to figure out why video calls feel so draining and in a peer reviewed article that was published in the journal Technology Mind and Behavior, professor Jeremy Bailenson, who’s the founding director of the Stanford Virtual Human Interaction Lab detailed several reasons why video calls can be so much more exhausting than in-person conversations, including: number one, the excessive eye contact involved in video calls. Number two, the unnatural situation of seeing ourselves on screen while we’re doing a video call and number three, having to stay in the same fixed spot during the call.

Dan Gingiss (30:34):
And I don’t know if this is the same study or not Joey, but I was listening to NPR today. And I heard about a study that also said that one of the after effects of spending so much time on video conferencing is that it is causing people to get too tired while they’re driving afterwards. And it’s causing so much fatigue that the people are now advising that if you’ve spent a lot of time in video conferencing, that you take a break, that you get your blood pumping before you get behind the wheel of a car.

Joey Coleman (31:07):
Oh wow. This looks like those “do not operate heavy machinery” warning signs, right?

Dan Gingiss (31:12):
Yeah. It’s, it’s really, really interesting. So this research also noted that because we have to put in more effort to make an interpret nonverbal communications video calls are more tiring. I think this might be the same research because that’s what this NPR story said as well. So Professor Bailenson said, quote, “[i]f you want to show someone that you’re agreeing with them, you have to do an exaggerated nod or put your thumb up. That adds cognitive load as you’re using mental calories in order to communicate” unquote. In fact, a key mistake that companies made when setting up work from home conditions last year was to treat zoom calls as the equivalent of face to face meetings, without considering that additional mental burden placed on workers and the downtime need to process what was said between the calls.

Joey Coleman (31:59):
So true, Dan, you know, at the end of the day, I’m not anti-video call. And I don’t think this article in this research is either what I do think we need to consider is giving ourselves and our colleagues and our co-workers permission not to do video calls, permission, to take more breaks, permission to set up Zoom-free days where we do no Zoom calls. I would argue that we should also have meeting free days where we have no meetings whatsoever so that we can have more time to actually be productive and get work done. And I’ll tell you one little tip in closing that I found has been incredibly effective. When somebody wants to set a schedule, a call, I’ve actually been starting to suggest that we do a walking call and the way the walk-in call works is instead of doing Zoom, why don’t we call each other on our cell phones and agree to walk around the block? It’s the socially distanced, you know, pandemic acceptable way to get a little exercise, to break some of that Zoom fatigue and to address that kind of pandemic video weight that we’ve all been experiencing. So as the pandemic begins to ebb, as we think about getting back to our offices, as we think about more in-person meetings, I encourage you to manage your own schedule and your habits more and make sure that you’re not causing your own fatigue.

Joey Coleman (33:20):
Thanks for joining us for another episode of Experience This! You are the best listener ever!

Dan Gingiss (33:31):
And since you listened to the whole show…

Joey Coleman (33:33):
Yay you!

Dan Gingiss (33:35):
We’re curious… Was there a specific part of this episode that you enjoyed the most? If so, it would mean the world to us if you could share it with a coworker, a friend, or someone that just loves listening to podcasts,

Joey Coleman (33:46):
And while you’re in the sharing mood, if you felt inclined to jump over to iTunes – or wherever you find your podcasts – and write us a review, we would so appreciate it. And when you do, don’t forget to let us know as we might have a little surprise for you.

Dan Gingiss (34:00):
Thanks again for your time and we’ll see you next week for more.

Joey Coleman (34:04):
Experience!

Dan Gingiss (34:05):
This!

Episode 127 – Secret Messages Create Special Connections

Join us as we discuss a secret message for an interstellar audience, making products that consumers actually want, and warning customers about bad things before they even realize it.

Code Breaking, Custom Creating, and Fraud Alerting – Oh My!

Referenced in the Show

• “NASA Sent a Secret Message to Mars. Meet the People Who Decoded It.” – by Kenneth Chang in the New York Times

• Pinduoduo’s Consumer-To-Manufacturer (C2M) Offerings

• American Express

Host Contact Information

Email Dan: Dan@dangingiss.com

Tweet Dan Gingiss: @DGingiss

Email Joey: JoeyC@JoeyColeman.com

DanGingiss.com

JoeyColeman.com

Subscribe to Experience This on Apple Podcasts

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

Episode Transcript

Download an unedited transcript of Episode 127 here or read it below:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dan Gingiss (00:54):
Join us as we discuss: a secret message for an interstellar audience, making products that consumers actually want, and warning customers about bad things before they even realize it.

Joey Coleman (01:09):
Code Breaking, Custom Creating, and Fraud Alerting – Oh my!

Joey Coleman (01:18):
There are so many great customer experience articles to read, but who has the time?! We summarize them and offer clear takeaways you can implement starting tomorrow. Enjoy this segment of CX Press, where we read the articles, so you don’t need to!

Joey Coleman (01:36):
Happy belated Easter, everyone.

Dan Gingiss (01:38):
And may none of you run into me in the store getting half off chocolate eggs.

Joey Coleman (01:46):
I love it. I did not know you had a chocolate egg addiction. That’s something new learned here in season seven of the Experience This Show!

Dan Gingiss (01:53):
Well, you know, I try to make sure that I don’t tell you everything about me, Joey – so you’re always learning.

Joey Coleman (01:59):
I like it. I like it. Well, given that it is the Easter season, I thought we could talk in today’s segment about Easter eggs.

Dan Gingiss (02:08):
Well, I think we might be hard pressed or hard-boiled pressed to do a whole segment on Easter eggs.

Joey Coleman (02:15):
Oh my goodness. Oh my goodness. Well, I agree, Dan, if we were talking about hard boiling eggs and dieing them different colors, yes. But what I’m talking about is the concept of Easter eggs that comes from video games and in that context, an Easter egg is a phrase that’s used to describe a message or an image or a feature that’s hidden in a video game of film or other usually electronic medium. Now, interestingly enough, this term was first used way back in 1979 by Steven Wright, who was then the director of software development in the Atari Consumer Division, to describe a hidden message in an Atari video game. But this concept of an Easter egg recently made international headlines again, based on something happened on Mars.

Dan Gingiss (03:01):
Wait, so now we’re talking about Easter eggs and Martians?!

Joey Coleman (03:04):
Exactly! Today’s CX Press story comes to us from an article by Kenneth Chang in the New York Times, titled “NASA Sent a Secret Message to Mars. Meet the People Who Decoded It.” Now a few weeks ago, NASA’s Perseverance Rover fell through the Martian atmosphere and while it was descending, a video camera on the spacecraft captured the deployment of the rover’s parachute. The parachute was decorated with splotches of a reddish orange and white. And during the subsequent news conference, Alan Chen, the engineer in charge of the landing system noted that his team hoped to inspire others. And I quote, “[S]ometimes we leave messages in our work for others defined for that purpose. So we invite you all to give it a shot and show your work.” Now this sparked Codebreakers around the world to take a closer look at the seemingly random pattern of perseverance is parachute trading insights on Twitter and informs on Reddit. A number of people eventually figured out the message.

Dan Gingiss (04:07):
What, what did it say?

Joey Coleman (04:08):
Well before I share what it said, Dan, I think it’s important to share how all of this came to be. Dr. Ian Clark works for NASA and was in charge of developing the Perseverance parachute.

Dan Gingiss (04:21):
Say that 10 times fast!

Joey Coleman (04:23):
Right? I’m pretty proud that I’ve said it twice in this segment without stumbling. Well, anyways, it turns out NASA is previous Rover called Curiosity used a similar parachute system when it landed on Mars back in 2012, but a failure of a prototype parachute for future missions left the engineers wanting to improve on the design. And while watching video of testing of one of the new parachutes for perseverance, Dr. Clark noticed that the checkerboard pattern of the canopy made it difficult to track how individual portions of the parachute, unfurled and inflated and he realized that a more visually distinct pattern would help them assess things more accurately while providing an opportunity to quote, “have a little fun with it.” So he asked the deputy project manager for the mission for permission to be creative and have some fun. And thankfully his manager said, “okay, just make sure it’s appropriate and couldn’t be misinterpreted.”

Dan Gingiss (05:23):
Okay, obviously guys, Joey’s going to hold out on this. What did it say question for a little bit longer, but I do think that what I’m supposed to jump in and say here is man, wouldn’t it be great if we all worked at companies where we were allowed to be creative and have some fun, because that brings out the passion in people that brings out a better work atmosphere. We love talking about how employee experience can affect the customer experience. And so I already liked this story because they’re like working on some really like serious, expensive stuff here. And yet they’re allowed to have fun and be creative.

Joey Coleman (05:58):
Dan, I couldn’t agree more. It’s that balance between doing important work, but having a good time while you’re doing it well, as it turns out, I want to reveal here what it actually said. The code on the parachute was binary. Now this is something that’s very familiar to. Computer engineers, it’s zeros and ones. There were 320 pieces of fabric with each orange section of the parachute referenced a number one and each white section referencing the number zero. And when the code was translated, it left an inspiring message on the inner rings of the parachute: Dare Mighty Things.

Dan Gingiss (06:34):
Dare Mighty things. I have to tell you if I were going to guess that I wouldn’t have guessed it, but it is pretty awesome.

Joey Coleman (06:44):
It’s pretty cool. When you think about it. And interestingly enough, there’s a little more background to this message. Dare Mighty Things” is a credo that’s often used at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California and it comes from a speech that Teddy Roosevelt gave years ago. And I quote, “[F]ar better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.”

Dan Gingiss (07:18):
Well, may we never have to take rank with poor spirits again is what I say.

Joey Coleman (07:24):
Not to mention, this is a presidential speech. Are you moved?! We just, we don’t have presidential rhetoric like that, but I digress.

Dan Gingiss (07:30):
No, that’s true. That’s definitely true. So I’m wondering how long did this actually take for people to decipher the parachute code?

Joey Coleman (07:40):
Well, it actually only took about two hours, which to me seemed pretty fast. You know, I know about another hidden code. That’s on a sculpture inside CIA headquarters at Langley, Virginia, that code breakers have been working on since 1990, when the sculpture was revealed and they’ve only decoded three of the four parts over the last 30 years. But what’s interesting is the parachute code wasn’t the only hidden element in the Perseverance Rover.

Dan Gingiss (08:11):
Ah ha! No it wasn’t. And I particularly enjoyed the series of drawings that represented the five rovers. NASA has sent to Mars from the small soldier in 1997 to perseverance. Now it looks like one of those family car stickers you may have seen with the stick figures of parents and kids and maybe a pet on it. The Mars Rover version has stick figures of the various rovers in a kind of family car sticker design. There are also three small chips with the names of 10.9 million people stencilled on them. Part of NASA efforts for the public to participate in its robotic missions. Interestingly enough, the project manager we mentioned earlier, Matt Wallace, who gave the okay to do something fun with the parachute? He recently shared that there are more Surprises to come saying, quote, there’s some things on the front of the vehicle that we’ll have a chance to see once we deploy the robot arm. So who knows how many more surprises we’re in for?!

Joey Coleman (09:09):
I love every piece of this story. Dan. I love the playfulness. I love the creativity. I love the hidden messages. And the reason I wanted to talk about this on the show today is because so many businesses miss the opportunity to embed Easter eggs in the interactions that they have with their customers, whether you’re a product based business or a service-based business, this idea of putting little hidden messages that your customers can come across is something that I think a lot more businesses need to be paying attention to.

Dan Gingiss (09:42):
Yeah, I agree. And this doesn’t have to be very hard. We’ve talked before on the show about messages that appear on shipping boxes and sometimes they’re like underneath the flap. So you only see them when you go to take it apart to recycle it. And that doesn’t cost anything because you’re printing something on the box anyway. And so as long as you’re printing on the same side, it’s not going to cost you any more to add some, some type on there. I think there’s also places I remember a ways back and I’m sorry that my rain man abilities must be failing me. But, uh, we talked about the insurance company that, uh, that had the $10,000 reward buried in the, in the

Joey Coleman (10:23):
Terms and Conditions?

Dan Gingiss (10:26):
I mean, obviously that got them a lot of press and it was such a cool story. So I think there are plenty of places that we can do this. Wait a minute, wait a minute. It’s coming to me.

Joey Coleman (10:39):
It’s coming to you isn’t it? I’m going to guess on this one Dan, was it Season One?

Dan Gingiss (10:43):
No, that’s where I started to look too. But it’s not.

Joey Coleman (10:47):
I think it was season one, maybe not, but it was in a, it was in a “Say Anything” wasn’t it?

Dan Gingiss (10:52):
It was a, I think you should just stop guessing it was a…

Joey Coleman (10:58):
Normally I don’t play the game.

Dan Gingiss (11:00):
We don’t have a segment called “Say Anything” – that’s that’s a 1980s movie. Um, we have a segment called “Say What,” but it wasn’t that either, uh, it was in episode 73, season four, Required Remarkable, woman wins $10,000 for reading the fine print anyway, uh, enough of that shenanigans. Uh, but yeah, this is, look, there’s no law that says that your company has to be boring. It’s not written anywhere. It’s not in your credo or your value or mission statement. The lawyers don’t say that you have to be boring, and yet so many companies decide to be boring. And that’s why when I talk about, you know, my favorite word is witty in talking about how to create remarkable experiences, because witty to me, it’s not about telling jokes or being funny because humor can be dangerous. It’s just about thinking about how we use language and trying to come up with a more clever, fun, personable human way of saying something, or in this case of maybe hiding a little wink, wink that not everybody’s going to get, but man, when they get it, they’re just going to love you because they’re going to feel like they’re part of a special club.

Joey Coleman (12:07):
Absolutely. So friends, how can you apply the same level of playfulness and creativity? And one might even go so bold as to say Curiosity that the NASA team did? Well first and foremost, let your loyal fans interact with your products and services, not just use them, explore ways for them to have a relationship with your products and services that goes beyond just the typical use case, create some unscheduled or found moments of surprise and delight. I think a lot of brands think about, Oh, what are going to be our surprise and delight moments. But with Easter eggs, you can kind of bury those surprise and delight moments and your customer will find them on their own schedule and it will feel more authentic that way. It will feel more random that way. It will feel more unique that way. And last but not least, let’s just have some fun. I mean, it’s not rocket science!

Dan Gingiss (13:02):
I see what you did there Joey!

Joey Coleman (13:06):
With a pandemic sweeping the globe and shifting the way organizations interact with their customers, many of the old ways of operating just don’t work anymore. As we all navigate a COVID-19 world, it’s time to Redesign the Experience.

Joey Coleman (13:27):
Hey, Dan, let’s play a game I like to call “Name that Acronym!”

Dan Gingiss (13:33):
It’s “Name that Acronym” folks!

Joey Coleman (13:36):
Yes. Well, in the last segment we talked about NASA and so I was thinking…

Dan Gingiss (13:40):
National Aeronautics and Space Administration?

Joey Coleman (13:43):
Oh, very good. You’re ready already. I like it. I like it. Well now let’s see what other acronyms we know. And let’s maybe go with some acronyms that are a little more business oriented. All right, Dan, are you ready?

Dan Gingiss (13:56):
I am ready.

Joey Coleman (13:59):
All right. B2B?

Dan Gingiss (14:01):
Business to business.

Joey Coleman (14:03):
B2C?

Dan Gingiss (14:04):
Business to consumer.

Joey Coleman (14:05):
C2M?

Dan Gingiss (14:08):
Consumer to Marshmallow?

Joey Coleman (14:11):
I like the creativity of that, but that’s not exactly what I was going for to be honest. And this was a new one for me until very recently. It stands for consumer to manufacturer and this is a newly emerging approach to production. That’s getting a lot of attention in China, especially as we kind of navigate through the pandemic. Now there are several versions of C to M, but in essence, C to M is pairing big data. That’s gathered by a tech platform with artificial intelligence in order to identify the latest consumer shopping trends. And then with this insight manufacturers make products directly for consumers, cutting out all of the intermediaries with more direct insights about customer demand. There’s less need to create excess inventory buffers, which improves margins and reduces waste.

Dan Gingiss (15:06):
Now I’m all for getting rid of them middle man, cause they rarely add a whole lot of value. But what you’re saying here sounds like we’re listening to customers and developing products based on their use cases or what they’re saying or doing. I mean, can you give me an example of maybe a Chinese C to M business?

Joey Coleman (15:26):
I can and what I would say Dan is, yes we are. But what’s unique about C2M is these tech platforms are taking it to the next level. It’s not about the brand listening to what their customers are saying. And then creating new products, it’s giant social media platforms or e-commerce platforms tracking search behaviors and buying behaviors, extrapolating that data. And then using AI to partner with manufacturing firms to go straight to production. So you might’ve heard of the Chinese company Alibaba before.

Dan Gingiss (16:02):
Of course China’s biggest e-commerce platform.

Joey Coleman (16:06):
Exactly. So Alibaba clearly has all of the big data they need. They also have a thriving SITA em business unit. Now earlier in the pandemic, the CTM team at Alibaba noticed a sharp rise in demand for alcohol based car, cleaning supplies, things people want to use in order to stop the spread of COVID infections. Now Alibaba approached Otis, which is a company that makes car cleaning products who ironically enough at the time was really struggling with their sales. And Alibaba suggested that Otis create a line of portable sanitizing sprays instead of car cleaning products. They had all the ability to put, you know, to kind of create the, the spray bottles. If you will. They had all the ability to create the solvents that would go inside those, but they kind of suggested that based on what they were seeing in the marketplace, they should create something that was a portable sanitizing spray. So the team had Otis takes this data. It takes this suggestion and within three days rolls out a new product. Now, normally it takes them over three months to create a new product. What’s interesting is because Alibaba does so much e-commerce they had partnered customers were able to pre-order this spray before they even started manufacturing. So think of it as like Kickstarter, but without the Kickstarter platform and more than 200,000 bottles of portable sanitizing spray were sold in the first 24 hours,

Dan Gingiss (17:40):
That’s it huh? Just 200,000?

Joey Coleman (17:41):
That’s it! Just a brand new product launch with over 200,000 items sold in the first day, a brand new product that this company had never made before. Do you think that made the folks at Otis had a little bit happy? I imagine it did!

Dan Gingiss (17:54):
Especially with those struggling sales that were no longer. I mean, this is interesting. I would say I’m reminded of the fact that in the early months of the pandemic, there were many companies that started making things that they weren’t normally making because they had the supplies to do that. We talked here about some alcohol companies making hand sanitizer. We know that some car companies were making respirators and all that sort of thing. So let’s talk a little bit more about how this is similar or different.

Joey Coleman (18:24):
Well, I think you’re spot on we’ve we’ve seen other companies do that, but like let’s take example of the alcohol company that made hand sanitizer. They had to go out into the marketplace. First of all, they had to figure out how to do that. They had to create new bottles, new packaging, retool their systems internally, retrain their workers internally to create this. And then they had to go to their alcohol customers and say, Hey, I know you’re used to buying alcohol from us, but maybe you might like to buy hand sanitizer from us. It was a little bit of a leap. If not, a pretty significant leap…

Dan Gingiss (19:00):
Not as tasty for sure.

Joey Coleman (19:01):
Not as tasty a leap. And again, their marketplace that they were selling to was their existing customer base. Now counterbalance that against what Alibaba is doing. They already have everybody on the platform shopping they’re used to coming shopping. And so imagine taking an analogy here instead of the distillery selling sanitizer at their closed down, you know, custom craft brew shop or distillery locations instead, imagine walking into the mall and seeing this you’re expecting to see different types of products. So the reality is the more options that consumers have for where to shop and the more information they have at their fingertips about what to buy, the more these manufacturers are going to need to adapt to the products they’re creating.

Dan Gingiss (19:48):
Well, another example of how deeper connection with customers can lead to new products can be seen in the actions of the global spirits company Bacardi during the pandemic lockdowns Bacardi has hosted live streamed whiskey tastings on Amazon, introduced espresso martini cocktail kits for at-home mixologists, and gain the attention of single malt whiskey influencers with an Aberfeldy scotch dubbed, wait for it. The Loch Down, “loch” L-O-C-H.

Joey Coleman (20:18):
L-O-C-H as in the Scottish lake. I like it. I like it. The Loch Down. My son’s name is Lochlan – I need to put him on lockdown more often. I like this. What I love about these stories in these examples is we’re seeing a lot of companies around the world start to experiment with this, but in China, this is something that’s been going strong for a few years now. Now granted, the marketplace is different. E-commerce is different of the influence is different, but I saw a story about a company in China called Pinduoduo.

Dan Gingiss (20:53):
Time out! Now I’m going to have to interrupt you there. Best company name in the history of Experience This: Pinduoduo?

Joey Coleman (21:02):
Pinduoduo. It’s a pretty good name, right? It’s pretty fun. It’s pretty fun. Pinduoduo. I think I’m saying, hopefully I’m saying that right. The transliteration may not be spot on, but what pin duo duo did is they recognized that high-end robot vacuum cleaners kind of think like a Roomba or something like that, were selling in China for about 3000 Yuan. That’s about $500 us, which made them affordable to many of China’s richest citizens, but out of budget for a lot of their consumers. So they took this data, proving that there was a strong demand and then directly worked with the manufacturer to produce a much cheaper version. And then they shared their after sales data in order to help the manufacturer improve the product. Now, again, what I think is fascinating about this is these are the platforms taking a lead on this behavior. This is not the existing brands, the existing companies. These are the platforms, figuring out a way to use all of this data and all this insight they have by combining the data with AI, to then turn around and develop direct relationships to the manufacturers that they can then loop back around and have a direct relationship back to the consumer.

Dan Gingiss (22:22):
So you’re kind of saying, this is like if Facebook decided to sell staplers?

Joey Coleman (22:27):
Exactly. If they realized that everybody was posting about staplers and everybody was talking about staplers. I mean, it’s a variation on a theme on what Amazon does with Amazon Basics, where Amazon looks and sees which products are selling the best. But this is actually doing a little more of a sophisticated kind of sentiment analysis for some social media platforms and things like that, where they’re actually tracking the trends and the interest level. And then pairing that in. And what I also like, which Pinduoduo is doing is this loop that comes back in after the sale. Because right now a company that let’s say manufacturers, a product they’ve got to have the, as you talk about all the time, Dan, their customer experience listening going on, and they’re kind of listening to voice of the customer and they’re doing surveys, and they’re trying to see what’s being said about their brand on social, but this to me is an entirely different level of the platform providing that data back to the manufacturer. It just seems like a really fast moving change of how it’s going. And while this is certainly popular in China, we haven’t seen it as much in Europe and in the United States yet, but I think it’s just a matter of time.

Dan Gingiss (23:38):
Well, and it is always great to look at other countries to see what’s hot and what’s going on because trends often cross the globe. And we’ve talked about that before with VR (virtual reality) and how I had seen some of it in Japan years ago before I ever saw it in the United States. So I think it’s worthy to look at this and I do think it’s very interesting that almost any company, essentially, if it has an audience and data can work with a manufacturer to become a product creator. And I think that’s the takeaway is that no matter what business you’re in, it doesn’t mean that you have to expand only to ancillary businesses that are related to what you do today, that there might be something out there that using the data that you have, you can come up with something that is not so expected from your company.

Joey Coleman (24:33):
Dan, I totally agree. I think the reality is if we fast forward out, certainly 10 years, maybe five years, every product business should also have a service component to it. And every service business should also have a product component to it. And where I see this convergence with big data, I was listening to a presentation the other day from Peter Diamandis who is the author of the book, Abundance and the book, Bold. He’s also the founder of the X prize. And Peter said there are going to be two types of businesses at the end of this decade, businesses that are AI powered and businesses that are bankrupt. And so I think at the end of the day, the reason we wanted to share this segment is how are you thinking about incorporating AI into your business today? Because I promise you, your competitors are already thinking about this and many of them are already starting to do it.

Joey Coleman (25:33):
Almost everyone has interacted with chatbots, but all too often, it’s been a bad experience. In MythBusters, presented by Solvvy, we explore a common myth about CX chatbots and see how the right technology can create a positive experience, every time.

Joey Coleman (25:57):
It’s myth about chatbots, chatbots have bad analytics and lack insights. You probably think of chatbots as a customer communication tool and rightfully so, and as customer obsessed leaders know there is gold to be mined from customer interactions. Unfortunately, when it comes to capturing analytics and servicing actionable customer insights, most legacy chatbots fall woefully short.

Dan Gingiss (26:25):
Interestingly enough, the past is not the future. The best next gen chatbots include analytics and provide valuable insights into your customers and your support operations. For example, an X gen chat bot includes dashboards that do a lot of the heavy lifting for your team in seconds can see the types and frequency of questions that are being asked by customers and how the volumes are trending over time. You can also see how often your chat bot is successful in resolving different types of questions.

Joey Coleman (26:54):
Now, how does this help? Well, as a support leader the chat bot actually helps you identify customer pain points and prioritize the most impactful customer issues. First, furthermore, next gen chatbots, make it simple to drill down into specific conversations, to get more details about why an issue is occurring. This helps you better determine how to address the issue, whether that’s making changes to your help content or working with product and design teams to make fundamental improvements in your offerings.

Dan Gingiss (27:26):
Like using data and feedback to make improvements to a new lower end robot vacuum cleaner in China?

Joey Coleman (27:31):
Exactly. And that’s another Myth Busted, thanks to our friends and podcast supporters at Solvvy – the Next Gen Chatbot.

Joey Coleman (27:40):
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 (27:56):
I got an interesting little text message the other day, Dan, that I wanted to tell you about… I’m on a call and a text message comes across my phone that says the following: “AMEX Fraud Alert. Did you just attempt a $15 and 23 cent charge on your card? Ending two, three, one, one, one at tropical smoothie cafe reply one, if yes, two to call Amex.” Now this was a little surprising to me. So I finished the call and I checked in with my amazing wife. And the reason I checked in with my wife is because ironically enough, tropical smoothie cafe is a place that we like to order from, from time to time. And I thought that maybe my credit card had been saved on her account or something. And she had placed an order while I was on the phone.

Dan Gingiss (28:42):
And then I assume the next question would be, why didn’t you bring me one?

Joey Coleman (28:46):
But I did look at the amount and I was like, “Oh, this might mean she ordered one for me too.” But we also have two boys and I’m looking at it going, there’s no way we got four smoothies for $15. So this is not seeming to be the right setup. Long story short, she had not placed the order. So what did I do? I texted to back to the thread, I then got a reply that said, please call 1-800, it gave me a long number or the number on the back of your card. Now, as I mentioned, Dan, I was kind of going about my work day when this happened. And while I was concerned about this potential fraud, I was kind of in the middle of juggling, a lot of other things. And so as I was trying to kind of piece a few things together and kind of wrap up a couple other things, so I could make this call, my phone rang and it was the number that I have saved in my phone from Amex. So when I didn’t call within like 15 minutes of texting, they called me. Long story short. We have a long conversation. They say, is there any chance you used your card in Dallas, Texas this morning? I said, no, I did not travel to Dallas just to get Tropical Smoothie, although don’t get me wrong. I would go a long distance to get a Bahama Mama, Tropical Smoothie, moral of the story I did not. And they said, I’m guessing you might not have made these other charges. And lo and behold, someone had put my card information onto a card and they were going all around in Dallas, wiping it, trying to make lots of purchases.

Dan Gingiss (30:14):
You know, I hate when that happens, and coming from the credit card industry, it is a fascinating business, this fraud business, because it is very difficult to siphon out. The fraudsters are not always obvious in their actions. I remember for example, when I was down in Columbia, I was able to run my card at a Colombian coffee shop. But as soon as I spent $20 on some cufflinks at a jewelry store that got declined because basically the combination of jewelry store plus Columbia sent it.

Joey Coleman (30:51):
They were not liking it.

Dan Gingiss (30:53):
No – they didn’t like that. And, uh, but it’s really interesting because that happened to be a false positive or false negative. I don’t know whatever, but it wasn’t,

Joey Coleman (31:00):
You just wanted the cufflinks!

Dan Gingiss (31:04):
But you know, this reminds me also, I had a similar situation recently with another credit card company where I got a fraud alert and it turns out that somebody had set up an account at FedEx in Memphis and was shipping lots of packages using my card. And this was.

Joey Coleman (31:24):
Sorry about that Dan!

Dan Gingiss (31:26):
So this was pretty ingenious because since they had set up the account, it was basically like a recurring payment. And so the credit card company did what they should have, which is they shut down the card and they issued me another card. But a week later I got another fraud alert from FedEx in Memphis. And I’m like, wait a second. But you just changed my number.

Joey Coleman (31:47):
You already disabled this!

Dan Gingiss (31:47):
Yeah, and I just updated like 79 websites with my new number and all that sort of stuff. And so I called a guy and this is where you’re working at a credit card company has some advantages because I said, you know, I think what’s going on here is this is a recurring payment, which means, uh, one of the things that credit card companies have done to help consumers is that if you have fraud on your card and you need a new number, they’ll call, you know, they’ll tell your, your cable company, And your utilities and all that so that you don’t have to go change the number, they do that for you. Well, the problem is when somebody is fraudulent lately signing up for a recurring payment, then they also tell that person…

Joey Coleman (32:29):
FedEx, Hey, guess what? Don’t worry about it. Let the charges roll.

Dan Gingiss (32:32):
Exactly. So I got a third card and that card then had fraud on it. So when I went to the fourth card in less than a month, and I said, look, I’m kind of done with this. I said to them, I know what’s wrong. Please shut off the recurring payment and then issue me a new card. And they did. And it worked now the moral of the story there is you shouldn’t have to work at a credit card company to be able to explain to the credit card company what they need to do to stop this. Uh, but I think where you were going was this texting alert thing is pretty cool. It’s in real time, it’s a great way to very quickly, either verify or deny a charge. I’ve had it happen where I’ve been in a store it’s been declined. And the second after the cashier says, your card is declined. I get the text, I hit. Yes. And then the card goes through and I always feel good about that because it means the credit card company is looking out for me versus feeling embarrassed that my card got declined, but I don’t know maybe others don’t.

Joey Coleman (33:32):
No, I think you’re spot on Dan. And that’s the main reason I wanted to talk about this is the power that comes from anticipating customer headaches. To your point about the FedEx story. No customer has to, wants to, have to call back again and again and again, when something is going wrong, right? Fraud on your credit card is not the usual thing you like to see. It’s a problem. And you start to get worked up about it. You want to solve the problem. They want to solve the problem, et cetera. But what I love about what American Express did here is they anticipated the problem and made me feel like they were doing me a favor by checking in. The reality is in most jurisdictions, there are very specific laws about how much liability you can get when a credit card is fraudulently used. And in most places, it’s usually about $50. You probably know the specific numbers in the specific jurisdictions, but on average, it’s about $50. So the reality is checking in on these fraud charges helps the credit card company more than it helps me. Because my liability is capped at $50. They have to pay all the rest. If these charges get run up in a significant way multiple times, but this idea of making it feel like they’re looking out for me or anticipating my problem makes me feel like they’re doing me a favor when the reality is, they’re kind of doing themselves a favor. So what can we learn from this story? I think where possible we want to be looking at what are the potential headaches that a customer has from using our product naturally? It’s natural that I would go to tropical smoothie and swipe my credit card and use it. So what are the consequences of that potentially while someone might get my credit card and use it fraudulently, what can they do anticipate the problem that I’m going to have and jump ahead to solve it. So how much of your time, fellow listeners of the Experience This Show, are you spending anticipating the problems that your customers might have in order to deliver a remarkable experience and remove that problem before they’re even aware of it?

Joey Coleman (35:43):
Thanks for joining us for another episode of Experience This! You are the best listener ever!

Dan Gingiss (35:54):
And since you listened to the whole show,

Joey Coleman (35:56):
Yay you!

Dan Gingiss (35:57):
We’re curious – was there a specific part of this episode that you enjoyed the most? If so, it would mean the world to us if you could share it with a coworker, a friend, or someone that just loves listening to podcasts.

Joey Coleman (36:08):
And while you’re in the sharing mood, if you felt inclined to jump over to iTunes, or wherever you find your podcasts and write us a review, we would so appreciate it. And when you do, don’t forget to let us know as we might have a little surprise for you.

Dan Gingiss (36:23):
Thanks again for your time and we’ll see you next week for more

Joey Coleman (36:26):
Experience!

Dan Gingiss (36:28):
This!

Episode 126 – Predicting Key Elements of Future Customer Experiences

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

Expectations, Simplifications, and Permutations – Oh My!

Referenced in the Show

• Coveo Relevance Report 2021: Ecommerce

• Empire Carpet Augmented Reality

• Prediction: The Future of CX – McKinsey Quarterly

Host Contact Information

Email Dan: Dan@dangingiss.com

Tweet Dan Gingiss: @DGingiss

Email Joey: JoeyC@JoeyColeman.com

DanGingiss.com

JoeyColeman.com

Subscribe to Experience This on Apple Podcasts

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

Episode Transcript

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Joey Coleman (25:44):
There are so many great customer experience articles to read, but who has the time?! We summarize them and offer clear takeaways you can implement starting tomorrow. Enjoy this segment of CX Press – where we read the articles so you don’t need to!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Joey Coleman (36:24):
Yay you!

Dan Gingiss (36:26):
were curious – was there a specific part of this episode that you enjoyed the most? If so, it would mean the world to us if you could share it with a coworker, a friend, or someone that just loves listening to podcasts.

Joey Coleman (36:37):
And while you’re in the sharing mood, if you felt inclined to jump over to iTunes, or wherever you find your podcasts, and write us a review, we would so appreciate it. And when you do, don’t forget to let us know as we might have a little surprise for you.

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

Joey Coleman (36:55):
Experience!

Dan Gingiss (36:56):
This!

Episode 125 – An Experience to Remember

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

Summons, Suits, and Surprises – Oh My!

Referenced in the Show

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

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

• Shimkat Motors – Fort Dodge, Iowa

Host Contact Information

Email Dan: Dan@dangingiss.com

Tweet Dan Gingiss: @DGingiss

Email Joey: JoeyC@JoeyColeman.com

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Episode Transcript

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Joey Coleman (26:28):
We love telling stories and sharing key insights you can implement, or avoid, based on our experiences. Can you believe that This Just Happened?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Joey Coleman (37:29):
Yay you!

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

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

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

Joey Coleman (38:00):
Experience

Dan Gingiss (38:00):
This!

Episode 124 – A Daily Dose of Personalized Experience

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

Caring, Legislating, and Preventing– Oh My!

Referenced in the Show

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

• Facebook Encourages Regulation

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

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

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

Host Contact Information

Email Dan: Dan@dangingiss.com

Tweet Dan Gingiss: @DGingiss

Email Joey: JoeyC@JoeyColeman.com

DanGingiss.com

JoeyColeman.com

Subscribe to Experience This on Apple Podcasts

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

Episode Transcript

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Joey Coleman (01:16):
Sometimes a remarkable experience deserves deeper investigation. We dive into the nitty gritty of customer interactions and dissect how, and why, they happen. Join us while we’re Dissecting the Experience.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Joey Coleman (28:27):
There are so many great customer experience articles to read, but who has the time! We summarize them and offer clear takeaways you can implement starting tomorrow. Enjoy this segment of CX Press, where we read the articles so you don’t need to!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Joey Coleman (36:06):
And while you’re in the sharing mood, if you felt inclined to jump over to iTunes or wherever you find your podcasts and write us a review, we would so appreciate it. And when you do, don’t forget to let us know as we might have a little surprise for you.

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

Joey Coleman (36:24):
Experience.

Dan Gingiss (36:24):
This!