What Are You Reading?

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?

Episode 109 – Enhancing the Experience with Efficiency and Effectiveness

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

Signage, Appointments, and Creators– Oh My!

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

Things We Mentioned in This Segment:

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

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

Things We Mentioned in This Segment:

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

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

Things We Mentioned in This Segment:

• Avtex
• Experience Points

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

Things We Mentioned in This Segment:

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

Host Contact Information

Email Dan: Dan@dangingiss.com

Tweet Dan Gingiss: @DGingiss

Email Joey: JoeyC@JoeyColeman.com

DanGingiss.com

JoeyColeman.com

Subscribe to Experience This on Apple Podcasts

Episode Transcript

Download an unedited transcript of Episode 109 here or read it below:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[SEGMENT INTRO – THIS JUST HAPPENED]
Joey Coleman (01:09):
We love telling stories and sharing key insights you can implement – or avoid – based on our experiences. Can you believe that This Just Happened?!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dan Gingiss (35:37):
We know there are tons of podcasts to listen to, magazines and books to read, reality TV, to watch! We don’t take for granted that you’ve decided to spend some quality time listening to the two of us.

Joey Coleman (35:47):
We hope you enjoyed our discussions. And if you do, we’d love to hear about it. Come on over to ExperienceThisShow.com and let us know what segments you enjoyed, what new segments you’d like to hear. This show is all about experience, and we want you to be part of the Experience This! Show.

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

Joey Coleman (36:08):
Experience

Dan Gingiss (36:08):
This!

Episode 93: Appeal to New Customers by Creating New Experiences

Join us as we discuss using modern tools to showcase classical art, a museum where kids can touch the exhibits, and how to create even more time to serve your customers.

Cezanne, Sand, and Systems – Oh My!

[CX Press] Reach New Customers with New Approaches to Creativity and Social Media

A museum filled with some of the world’s most renown artists – including Monet, Cezanne, and Van Gogh – may not seem like the place to find an Instagram artist – but now you can. The Musée d’Orsay in Paris has a new artist in residence – one whose art was previously found on Instagram. Elizabeth Stamp details this new development in her fascinating article, Paris Musee d’Orsay Hires First Artist in Residence, found in Architectural Digest.

Musee d’Orsay

Stamp shares how the museum is working to connect younger generations to older artists with the assistance of painter, illustrator, and writer Jean-Philippe Delhomme. Dehomme is taking over the museums’ Instagram account once a week and posting as though he is an artist featured at the museum. To see an example of how this works, consider the image below where Dehomme playfully comments as if he was Degas lamenting the fact that the painting is too tall to fit in one picture on Instagram.

For businesses that often feel paralyzed by having old or traditional products, or brands that don’t feel they’re “cool enough to be on the Insta,” this project with the Musee d’Orsay and Jean-Philippe Delhomme shows that anyone and anything can be new again – if you’re willing to experiment and try something different.

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

[This Just Happened] Let Guests Touch the Exhibits

Sometimes, it takes only one remarkable experience to make a place memorable. Other times, it’s unforgettable because of a series of remarkable experiences. Joey and his family were recently in downtown Miami, Florida, when they visited the Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science. Most kids are enamored with science museums, but the Frost Museum set itself apart with three exhibits that Joey’s family won’t soon forget: a water current table, a sand table, and an interactive mangrove placement exhibit.

The sand table (pictured below) allowed visitors to move the sand to create new topographical formations. The map, projected down on the table, changed as the sand was moved to show the differences in topography highlighted by colors representing the new elevation.

The water current table (pictured below) allowed visitors to position barriers, locks, and spillways to observe how objects could speed up or slow down water currents.

These interactive exhibits created an unforgettable experience and made a lasting impression.

Consider This: What can you do to let your client tangibly feel your product? Instead of just one remarkable encounter, is it possible for you to take a step back and look for a way to provide a string of unforgettable experiences?

[What Are You Reading?] Create Organizational Efficiency by Employing Systems and Processes

A voracious reader with a stack of “books to read” that is taller than he is, Joey rarely reads a book twice. Unless it’s one written by his friend Mike Michalowicz. Joey read Mike’s book Clockwork: Design Your Business to Run Itself last year, and recently read it again (it was that good!). Clockwork explores systems and processes that are designed to help streamline your business – and then gives clear guidance on how to implement them into your operations.

The best part is, streamlining your business doesn’t take a ridiculous amount of work to build a bunch of new systems. In fact, it is ridiculously easy when you realize that you already have all the systems. The goal is to simply extract them from where they’re already documented, in your head.

Mike Michalowicz, Author of Clockwork

This book is filled with ideas that will dramatically improve your customer experience using organizational efficiency. Pick up a copy today and make your business run better!

Links We Referenced

Host Contact Information

Email Dan: Dan@dangingiss.com

Tweet Dan Gingiss: @DGingiss

Email Joey: JoeyC@JoeyColeman.com

DanGingiss.com

JoeyColeman.com

Subscribe to Experience This on Apple Podcasts

Episode Transcript

Download a transcript of the entire Episode 93 here or read it below:

Dan Gingiss: Welcome to Experience This.

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

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

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

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

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

Dan Gingiss: Join us as we discuss using modern tools to showcase classical art. A museum where kids can touch the exhibits. And how to create even more time to serve your customers. Cezanne, sand and systems. Oh my.

[CX Press] Instagram Artist in Residence

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

Joey Coleman: Brace yourself Dan, because I’m about to start a conversation that involves social media.

Dan Gingiss: Stop the presses ladies and gentlemen, this is nuts. You must be feeling sick today.

Joey Coleman: Well, things are a little crazy, I’ll admit. But I came across a story that I wanted to feature as a CX Press. The article comes from Architectural Digest and is written by Elizabeth Stamp. It’s titled “Paris’s Musee d’Orsay hires its first Instagram artist in residence” and it tells the story of a new development in an old museum.

Dan Gingiss: Well you’ve got my attention, you had me at Instagram, Joey.

Joey Coleman: I figured as much. Well, for listeners that may not be familiar with the Musee d’Orsay, it’s a museum in Paris, France, housed in a stunning Beaux Arts railway station built between 1898 and 1900. Now interestingly enough, the museum holds mainly French art dating from the same period that the building was built. Including paintings and sculptures, furniture and photos. It also houses the largest collection of impressionist and post-impressionist masterpieces in the world by painters including Monet, Manet, Degas, Renoir, Cezanne, Gauguin, and van Gogh. In short, if you want to see some of the most famous French art from the turn of the last century, the Musee d’Orsay is the place to go, and almost 4 million visitors to the museum have done just that.

Joey Coleman: But now the museum is plunging into the modern era headfirst by hiring its first Instagram artist in residence. Painter, illustrator, writer Jean-Philippe Delhomme is its first Instagram artist in residence. Now, Delhomme is most famous to Americans for his cartoons that have appeared in the New Yorker, GQ and both British and French Vogue.

Dan Gingiss: As part of this project, Delhomme is creating a fictitious Instagram post from a famous artist or cultural figure, which is then shared to the museum’s Instagram followers each Monday throughout 2020. These cartoons imagine famous pieces being posted by their creators with comments and “shares” by other famous people from the era.

Joey Coleman: Now to be clear, these posts aren’t typical Instagram posts. The playfulness, cleverness, intriguing humor is often not in the image, which I think is more the norm for Instagram. Right Dan, or at least that’s what they tell me is happening over on Instagram? But rather, the adventure is in the text below the image. So for example, the artist Degas, famous for some rather tall paintings, and in one of the shares, a sketch of a famous Degas piece is cut off at the bottom, and then caption supposedly from Degas himself saying, “Sorry, I can’t show my long paintings all at once. Please swipe.” Now if you want to see this, you can go to our show notes page at experiencethisshow.com, and we’ve included a couple of the cartoons from their Instagram feed as well as a link to their feed.

Dan Gingiss: Yeah, this is pretty clever. I’ve seen something similar in terms of there’s a number of Twitter, and I presume Instagram accounts, that are faux historical figures as if they were tweeting today.

Joey Coleman: Right.

Dan Gingiss: Right? And so you take somebody like Abraham Lincoln, right? And you give him a Twitter account and what is it that he would say today and how would he say it? And it’s kind of funny because it’s this a crossing of generations, literally hundreds and hundreds of years.

Joey Coleman: Right. Right.

Dan Gingiss: And so, this is interesting because you’re also taking the art piece into it. And so that the Degas example’s really cool and funny and clever. And I think what it probably serves to do frankly, is introduce some of this French art to a new audience. Because, your typical Instagram kid is probably not terribly knowledgeable about French art and this may be a really interesting way to connect with younger, potential patrons and get them interested.

Dan Gingiss: So Delhomme wrote a book last year called Artists’ Instagrams: The Never Seen Instagrams of the Greatest Artists, which imagined a book format in the same way that he is doing for the Musee d’Orsay.

Joey Coleman: Now what I think is interesting is that a book led to a gig as an Instagram influencer. Maybe there’s hope for me yet Dan, what do you think?

Dan Gingiss: Oh, I definitely think you got a face for Instagram, Joe.

Joey Coleman: Yeah, there you go. Thank you. I appreciate that. Well, this initiative is just one way that the Musee d’Orsay is using modern platforms to share its collection. As you mentioned Dan, this whole idea of everything that is old is new again and the playfulness of taking historical figures and bringing them into a modern context. I agree. I think it opens up an entirely new audience to the museum. And I also really liked the fact that you can get pretty deep into the jokes, right? Because depending on who’s commenting, you really need to know the background of these artists to get the humor.

Joey Coleman: For example, in one of the samples that Delhomme has posted already, he has a piece and then he has an artist commenting on the piece. Then he has this random comment from someone else that just says, “I agree.” Well, the person he’s commenting from to say, “I agree,” was a well known French art critic in the time that was notorious for whether he would release his approval of something or not. And so again, the average person reading this, in fact the above-average person reading this, is going to have no idea what the reference is, but they get to go a little deeper and have some fun along the way.

Dan Gingiss: So let me ask you a question. Presumably there are also real live 2020 people commenting on these images as well. So how are they working that in?

Joey Coleman: I think it’s going to be interesting. There definitely are people commenting on the images below. They started doing this at the beginning of the year and so thus far the ones that I’ve seen posted are mostly, occasionally you’ll see somebody that jumps in and plays and kind of comments in that setting. I personally haven’t seen any with a faux artist or faux historian comment, but that’d be a really interesting thing to do. I wonder if any of those accounts will come over and comment on it. But the whole idea behind this initiative is to get a modern platform for sharing an old collection. And in fact, the museum’s head of contemporary programs is quoted in the article as saying, and I quote, “Our strategy aims to go from scholarship to Instagram and involves every part of the museum,” end quote. They’re even featuring discussions of classical works as videos shared on the museum’s Facebook and YouTube pages. So, the museum is really trying to embrace some of these technological tools to not only expose them to a new audience, but I think to increase the overall reach of their work.

Dan Gingiss: Well, and one of the benefits of the internet and social media is that we have more access to educational content than we’ve ever had in the history of humankind. And I think it makes sense that a museum, which is an educational institution, is taking advantage of that. If anything, you wonder what took them so long to get there. I think the Instagram thing is certainly new. But sharing videos on Facebook and YouTube is something I would expect today’s museums to be doing. One, because not everyone can get to Paris to actually see the work. And two because, in order to inspire people to want to come to Paris, you’ve got to teach them about what’s in your collection. And name alone is probably not going to draw them there except for, and maybe Musee d’Orsay could be one of those, but there’s a few museums in the entire world that you just go because it’s the number one tourist destination in the city. But other than that, in order to bring in a new population, you’re going to have to educate them first.

Joey Coleman: I agree Dan. I think what’s interesting here is, we often have a tendency as customer experience folks, to presume that everybody understands the power and the benefit of using these tools and reaching new customers and engaging in a different way. And I think the reality is, and I’m not being critical of the museum world because we see it in the corporate world and governments all the time, long-standing institutions are not super-excited about change. They’re not super-excited about adopting innovative tools or techniques. And so on one hand, yes, I agree with you, some museums have been early adopters in these technologies. What I like is that some of the museums have waited to make sure the technology is going to work, and then got creative about how they implemented it.

Dan Gingiss: Well, the flip side of it is, is that a lot of older institutions mistakenly believe that everybody knows about art. Or that everybody knows about whatever it is that they’re featuring in their museum, because they live in and breathe it every day. We talk about this with our corporate clients all the time is that, you may be involved every day in widgets and know everything about widgets, but that doesn’t mean that your customer or your prospective customer has the same love for widgets or to the same knowledge at all. And again, what I think is really interesting here is that, this is probably the first time that they’re able to expand their reach globally for a single location that’s located in Paris, France, and it can hit Joey Coleman in Boulder, Colorado and leave an impact.

Joey Coleman: Absolutely. Well throughout 2020, Delhomme’s illustrations will feature subjects from specific exhibitions that are happening at the Musee d’Orsay, as well as artists that are in the museum’s permanent collection. And what I love about this is how social media is being used to take specific moments in the present and extend them to a worldwide audience, while also bringing specific pieces of art from the past and sharing them with entirely new demographics in the present and in the years to come. For businesses that often feel paralyzed by having an old or traditional products, or brands that don’t feel they’re cool enough to be on the Insta, this project with the Musee d’Orsay and Jean-Philippe Delhomme shows that anyone and anything can be new again, if you’re willing to experiment and try something different.

Dan Gingiss: I love that you referred cool enough to be on the Insta.

Joey Coleman: Do you like that?

[This Just Happened] Frost Science Museum in Miami

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

Joey Coleman: When you were a kid Dan, did you enjoy going to museums?

Dan Gingiss: Well I did Joey, and part of that comes from living in Chicago where we have amazing museums, and I would say that even though I’m not a kid anymore, I still do it.

Joey Coleman: Fair enough. Well, I must confess that while I enjoyed the learning that would happen when we went to museums, there were certainly some that stood out more than others for both their unique design and their interactive exhibits. And some that come to mind include the Monterey Bay Aquarium, the Chicago Field Museum, and the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry, that I imagine you might’ve visited once or twice when you were a kid.

Dan Gingiss: Yeah, I’ve been to both of those many, many times. The Museum of Science and Industry’s one of my favorites in the world and I would add the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago also is incredible.

Joey Coleman: Another great place, I totally agree. And in fact I have some very vivid memories of the coal mine exhibit at the Museum of Science and Industry when I was a kid,.

Dan Gingiss: The Coleman exhibit?

Joey Coleman: That’d be the coal mine and not the Coleman exhibit.

Dan Gingiss: Oh.

Joey Coleman: But yeah, I remember it being so much fun, and I actually had an experience recently with my boys at a museum that left me thinking that they might have these same type of vivid memories in the future, because the museum we went to was so incredible.

Dan Gingiss: Tell me more. Which museum was it?

Joey Coleman: Well, we were actually in downtown Miami, and we went to the Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science. Now, as a general rule, I think most kids enjoy a good science museum, but my boys were completely enamored with the exhibits and particularly the experience of this museum. And in fact, there were three things that they’re still talking about weeks, even months later. The water current table, the sand table, and the interactive mangrove placement exhibit.

Dan Gingiss: Whoa, that’s a whole lot of words there. Let’s start with that sand table. That sounds fun.

Joey Coleman: Yeah, so the sand table was really cool. Let me explain how it worked. We walked into a dark room with a large table in the middle of the room that was covered with sand. A projector above the table beamed down a colorful topographical map, and while many museums feature topographical maps to help educate their visitors, this was an application I’d never seen before. Because the table was low enough that young children could put their hands into the sand, and as they move the sand around the table, building up little mountains and carving out valleys, the colors being projected on the map altered to match the topography of the sand.

Dan Gingiss: Wait, so the map coloring changed as your kids move the sand around?

Joey Coleman: Exactly. Exactly. So they could learn about topography by actually creating topography with their hands and then seeing how the colors shifted. I know it sounds pretty crazy, but I actually found it mesmerizing and in fact, took some photos and filmed the video of the table and action so that our listeners can see what I’m talking about. So just visit the show notes for this episode at experiencethisshow.com and you too will be able to see how moving the sand allowed our kids to build mountains, create valleys, do rivers that went into the ocean, the whole thing. It was really quite impressive.

Dan Gingiss: I’m reminded of one of our favorite episodes back in season one, episode 24, where we talked with Steve Spangler and we had this whole discussion about hands-on science and how it’s so much better than reading from a textbook or watching a boring slideshow or whatever, that when kids can use their hands and actually experience the science happening in real time, they retain it more. But probably more importantly, they enjoy it more and it creates those memories you’re talking about.

Joey Coleman: Absolutely. And here’s the crazy thing. I don’t think those hardwired biological imperatives shift when we get older, right? Humans of all ages, whether you’re a kid or an adult, love to be able to get hands-on. And so when we think about the experiences we’re creating for our customers, what ways are there that we can come up with to actually let them hold the products or hold the experience in that type of interactive way?

Joey Coleman: Well, while the topographical sand table was definitely a cool thing, the mangrove placement exhibit outside was even more captivating to the kids.

Dan Gingiss: And I’m excited about this, because I still don’t even know what a mangrove placement exhibit is.

Joey Coleman: Yeah, and I don’t know if that’s, for what it’s worth, that’s what it’s officially called. But that’s what you did. So let me set the scene for you. There’s an open deck outside that capitalizes on the incredible views of Miami and the harbor, and on this deck you get a feel for how coastal flooding could actually impact these locations. And so they had an exhibit set out that allowed you to move small models of mangrove trees around in a landscape. And then when you press a button, a wave would come in and the mangrove trees would either block or not block the wave from hitting the buildings in the model. And so because you could move the different trees around, it taught you how planting trees in different patterns can actually slow the waves. And then of course the kids bring the tide in, they could see whether their idea or their hypothesis about where they planted the trees worked to stop erosion.

Dan Gingiss: Joey, this reminds me of when I had the opportunity to take a cruise to Alaska. And we hear all about this concept of climate change and how things are altering on the earth. And not until I actually viewed the glaciers, which are broken into pieces and only a fraction of the size they once were, did it really hit home for me. And it’s a different kind of experience, but it goes to the same concept of, you know the old joke, “You had to be there?”

Joey Coleman: Right.

Dan Gingiss: That’s kind of what this is, is that you have to be there to really see it. Otherwise, you’re reading descriptions. And today, everybody’s got a healthy dose of skepticism about what’s true and what’s not and whatever. But when you’re actually doing it and you see the impact, that was an overwhelming experience for me because I certainly had heard about the glaciers receding and breaking up, but when I saw it with my own eyes it was like this holy you-know-what moment that I don’t think I could have accomplished had I not actually seen it.

Joey Coleman: Absolutely. And at the risk of going off on a tangent, science is science. Facts are facts. There’s not a lot of dispute about that. However, I totally agree with you that being able to see it real-time. Being able to put your hands into an exhibit to move mangrove trees around for example, and see waves out in the ocean and think about those waves coming closer to the buildings that are there, and then play that out in a diorama in front of you, definitely got my boys thinking about this in a different way, and frankly, was a much more exciting way to explain these concepts to them then to sit down and say, “Boys, let’s talk about soil erosion and how it’s going to impact land developments,” right? It was definitely an interesting way to learn about this. And this exhibit, as well as the sand table, got me thinking that the more hands-on, the more powerful the experience.

Joey Coleman: In fact, the other exhibit that I mentioned, the water current table, was designed just like you might think the name implies. So a water current is running down this large sloped table with multiple tiers. And by moving barriers or locks in the river, you can adjust the flow and intensity of the current. So my kids ended up soaking wet, but in the process they enjoyed manipulating the water and seeing how it impacted the rest of the exhibit. To be honest, this kept them entertained for over 25 minutes. We actually had to say, “Guys, I know you’re having fun, but there’s the rest of the museum you want to see.”

Dan Gingiss: “Everybody out of the pool,” right?

Joey Coleman: Right. Like, “Everybody out of the pool. We got to go see all the other exhibits that are going on around here.” So I think it’s one of those things where, when we think about designing experiences for our customers, are your experiences so engaging, so interactive, that they lose track of time?

Dan Gingiss: Yeah. And one of the things that I talk about a lot in my keynotes is this idea of being immersive and that the best experiences are ones that you feel in your bones. And the best way to accomplish that, as far as I’m concerned, is to stop looking at individual touch points in your customer journey, and look at the entire thing together. Because, what’s happening at this museum is that, yeah, there’s different touch points in terms of each one of the exhibits, but each one of them is giving you this opportunity to feel it in your bones. And that’s why your kids remember it so much. And frankly, let’s be honest, that’s why you remember it so much, right?

Joey Coleman: Totally.

Dan Gingiss: This isn’t just a kid thing. People, consumers, humans, adults, whatever, are going to remember things that are more immersive in nature, much more than just a singular event like a smile or a thank you note, which are all important aspects, but they’ve got to add up to a bigger whole.

Joey Coleman: I couldn’t agree more, Dan. So folks, when you’re designing the experiences for your brand and your organization, think immersive. Think hands-on. Think colorful. Think, how can I build something that my customers will be so engaged in that they will actually lose track of time? And if you get the chance to head to the Frost Museum of Science and see this in action, don’t miss it. It’s well worth the visit.

[What Are You Reading?] Clockwork by Mike Michalowicz

Joey Coleman: 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: So Joey, I know you spend a lot of time reading and it’s been all of six weeks since I asked you this question, but have you read any good books lately that might be interesting to our audience?

Joey Coleman: Well, I’ve definitely been reading a healthy mix of both fiction books and nonfiction books, Dan. But there’s one book that was high on my list of must-reads for 2020, and interestingly enough, I’d actually already read it before. And I wanted to read it again for two reasons. One, I think I’m actually ready for the message of the book this time. And number two, it’s in alignment with my top business goal for the year.

Dan Gingiss: Well, this is fascinating, especially because you read so many books that you have time to read a book a second time. This must be an important book for that to fall into that category, and I’m also interested in your top business goal. So, do share.

Joey Coleman: Yeah, no, I appreciate that. Well, I first read this book, which is called Clockwork: Design Your Business to Run Itself by Mike Michalowicz last year. Now, I’ve always been impressed by Mike as a speaker, we’ve spoken at the same events many times. And also as a podcast host. He has a great show called Entrepreneurship Elevated, which I’ve actually had the pleasure of both listening to and being a guest on. And I’m really impressed by what a great writer he is. His messaging is super-clear. He has prose, is entertaining, and he packs a ton of value into books that can be consumed very quickly, but should actually be read more than once because they’re so rich with wisdom and actionable advice.

Dan Gingiss: Well, that is pretty high praise from a guy who reads a ton of books, so tell us a little bit more.

Joey Coleman: Well, I feel like it’s well deserved, especially when it comes to Mike and his work. The reason I went through Clockwork a second time, is because I’ve made some adjustments in my business this year to add more systems and processes, and I really want to do that even more. As a customer experience guy, one of my favorite things to do is connect with my customers. Whether it’s audiences that have seen me speak or listeners that have enjoyed our podcast, people that have read my book or clients I’ve worked with one-on-one, keeping in touch with all of these people, frankly gets more and more difficult each year. Because the systems, or frankly lack thereof in my business, combined with my hectic travel schedule, lead me with more things to do and fewer hours in the day, month after month.

Dan Gingiss: I think this is actually a very common issue that entrepreneurs have. I’m experiencing the same thing. Having moved from corporate America to being a solopreneur as well, is that there’s so much attention paid to, well I got to get my message out and I got to market to the masses. And I’ve gotta, for me anyway, post on social media and whatever it is. And it’s really important to remember that, the people who are keeping our business going every day, our existing customers, are the ones that literally put food on our table and literally keep our business running. And we have to keep reminding ourselves that they’re the people that deserve the most of our attention, not the least of our attention.

Joey Coleman: Yeah. And I think most entrepreneurs, or at least I know I’ve been guilty of this, see systems as constraints and not fun. Or, they see systems as a requirement to really scale. And while they say they want to scale, they don’t really want to scale. I’ve been thinking of it differently, that systems give me time. And with that time I can go deeper with the people I want to go deeper with and have a better connection.

Dan Gingiss: And I’m going to bring up one more social media example here, but that’s exactly how my strategy has changed on Twitter over the years, is I actually now preschedule most of my tweets, which are sharing articles or our podcast episodes or what have you. But the reason that I do that is so that the time I do spend on Twitter, I can spend engaging with people. And so my time is spent talking with people, tweeting back and forth, establishing relationships. Whereas what I’ve systematized is the outgoing sharing of content-

Joey Coleman: Just a general post and things like that.

Dan Gingiss: … Yeah. And so I love the concept of being able to do that elsewhere in a business, because I’ve seen it work for me on Twitter.

Joey Coleman: Why I appreciate that. And to be honest, I was a little bit resistant to systems in the beginning. And what I love about Clockwork, is it outlines a very clear directive that you need to allocate your business’s time between doing, deciding, delegating, and designing. Now Mike calls this the 4D Mix, and he notes that getting it in the right proportion is crucial to help your business run yourself. He recommends an ideal mix for a company that is 80% doing, 2% deciding, 8% delegating, and 10% designing.

Dan Gingiss: That is a pretty interesting ratio and I hope you’re going to talk more about it because, both in the companies I’ve worked for, and again, trying to run my own business, I would say those ratios seem quite different from most organizations I know of.

Joey Coleman: Yeah. Totally. To be honest, I’ve run a business for almost 20 years now and I’ve had a very different distribution across those 4Ds. To be honest, the book felt like therapy the first time I read it, and now it’s feeling like a roadmap. I love how Michalowicz doesn’t make you feel judged when you’re reading about all the ways you’ve messed up on your operational behaviors in the past. And in fact, one of the quotes that I highlighted from the book, saw him noting that quote, “Even as I write this, I still have to remind myself to work smarter, not harder,” end quote.

Joey Coleman: The fact that the author shares his struggles with the same things that I’m struggling with, made me realize this is a great person to learn from. And he also offers great encouragement in the book. I particularly enjoyed this passage about systems. “The best part is, streamlining your business doesn’t take a ridiculous amount of work to build a bunch of new systems. In fact, it is ridiculously easy when you realize that you already have all the systems. The goal is to simply extract them from where they’re already documented, in your head.” Now, that really resonated with me and frankly it got underlined and highlighted and rewritten many times because I want that to sink in. This doesn’t have to be a complex process. You just have to write down what you’re doing now, so that you can delegate it or automate it and have it done by someone else.

Dan Gingiss: Yeah, it goes against the grain of the old wisdom, if you want it done right, do it yourself. Right?

Joey Coleman: Right.

Dan Gingiss: Which is pretty much what every entrepreneur thinks, and especially at the beginning it’s required. Because, when you first start off your business, you don’t have the luxury of having systems or staff or other people to delegate to. So the only person you’re delegating to is yourself. Right? So as you grow, that becomes really important. And I would say also from experience of being a manager, that delegating is really important because sometimes you have to let go and you have to let another person thrive and succeed and take care of something so that you can work on on something else.

Dan Gingiss: I’m also reminded as you said this quote about that the author’s in the same place and not showing judgment, is I actually think that is true of what we do here on this podcast, right? Is that, really everybody is in the same place of knowing they have to focus on customer experience, but maybe not knowing exactly how or being in a different place along the the curve. And, hopefully you don’t find us as hosts as judging anybody for not doing stuff. But it’s more about suggestions and ways that have worked for other companies and trying to find that inspiration to then apply to your own business. And so whether it’s systems or experience or marketing or whatever it is, I think it’s equally applicable.

Joey Coleman: Well, I think for what it’s worth, I don’t want to speak out of school here, but I think you’d agree with me, Dan, we’re also on the same boat. We know we could improve on our customer experience. This isn’t a finish line that you’re trying to get to. This is a constantly evolving process. And what I love about this book is that it’s chockfull of suggestions and systems to help businesses of any size, in any industry, increase their organizational efficiency. So whether you’re an entrepreneur, whether you’re working as an intrepreneur, whether you’re just an employee in a large organization, there’s something there for you. So if you’re listening to this and you know you could do better. If you know you could be working smarter instead of harder.

Joey Coleman: If you think it’s time to incorporate more systems into your business so you can serve your customers even better and deliver more remarkable experiences, I highly recommend you pick up a copy of Mike Michalowicz’s book, Clockwork: Design Your Business to Run Itself. And while you’re in the mood to check out Mike’s work, pick up a copy of his new book coming out next month called, Fix This Next: Make the Vital Change That Will Level Up Your Business. Now to be honest, I haven’t read it yet, but having read all of Mike’s other books, I’ve got this one pre-ordered already and I’m sure it’s going to be a hit. Just think, with all of your new-found time, thanks to the systems you’re going to be implementing, you’ll have more time to serve your customers and read great books like these.

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

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

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

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

Joey Coleman: Experience …

Dan Gingiss: This.


Episode 88: How to Make Your Customers Go Away

Join us as we discuss how to make your customers go away, the exploding popularity of live chat, and how one retailer offers “returns made easy”… just not the one that advertises it.

Ignoring, Chatting, and Returning – Oh My!

[What Are You Reading?] What Not to Say

The co-founder and Emeritus chairman of Ritz Carlton says that Micah Solomon is his “go-to expert on exceptional customer service and building a customer-focused culture.” In Micah’s new book – Ignore Your Customers and They’ll Go Away. The Simple Playbook for Delivering the Ultimate Customer Service Experience – we learn how that title was earned as Micah details top tips for creating exceptional service.

Micah talks about a system for customer-friendly language. For example, he says instead of saying, “Please hold,” a customer service agent should say, “May I please place you on a brief hold,” because it’s important that customers who are calling know that they have a choice whether to be put on hold or not.

I share the language to use and avoid when talking to customers, how to recruit, hire, onboard, train, and inspire the best employees, the ones that you really want in your customer facing positions. I talk about how to win over complainers and even talk about mystery shopping yourself to discover how your company is actually treating customers.

Micah Solomon, author of “Ignore Your Customers and They’ll Go Away

Micah suggests changing the entire psychology of your customer engagements and then proceeds to provide step-by-step advice for how to do it. Check out Micah’s new book if you’re looking for detailed instructions for creating exceptional service.

[CX Press] Live Chat Benchmark Report 2020

Each year, Comm100 looks at millions of live chat sessions across its platform to identify trends and glean a sense of customer satisfaction across live chat tools. These results are then tallied and presented in a great report.

Looking back at 2019 live chat data for more than 56 million chats worldwide, there were plenty of surprises to be found… plus some not so surprising patterns that continue from previous years.

Jeff Epstein, Vice President of Marketing at Comm100

The report found that chat duration averaged just under 12 minutes, which is 2% longer than a year ago. Nearly 60% of Comm100’s live chat customers use canned messages. Chats per agent per month range from 597 at companies with more than 50 agents to a whopping 2,137 chats per agent per month for companies with 11 to 25 agents. Nearly three-quarters of all live chats in 2019 (or more than 42 million chats) were conducted on mobile devices – a massive increase of 82% over the year before!

[Avtex Engage 2020] Always Be Learning More

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

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

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

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

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

[This Just Happened] Holiday Returns

Dan had several returns to make after the holiday season and thought it was fascinating to observe how different the return policies were at different retailers.

He tested the process of returning an Amazon item at a Kohl’s store. Although the sign at Kohl’s advertised “returns made easy,” he found that the sign promised something different than what he experienced. Dan stood in a return line behind more than 25 people and waited for what felt like an eternity. When he finally got to the front of the line, Dan was told that he could not return both the Kohl’s item and the Amazon item to the same cashier. He actually had to stand in a separate line to return the Amazon item. Doh!

Looking beyond return policies, every business can learn from this interaction:

  1. Don’t promise something will be easy if your process is not easy.
  2. No matter how easy it is, think of ways to make it easier.
  3. If the return is involuntary, meaning the product is defective, damaged, or broken, you should do everything in your power to get a working item in the customer’s hands as soon as possible and make the return or exchange process exceedingly easy.
  4. Make all of your policies customer-centric instead of company-centric.

Links We Referenced

Host Contact Information

Email Dan: Dan@dangingiss.com

Tweet Dan Gingiss: @DGingiss

Email Joey: JoeyC@JoeyColeman.com

DanGingiss.com

JoeyColeman.com

Subscribe to Experience This on Apple Podcasts

Episode Transcript

Download a transcript of the entire Episode 88 here or read it below:

Dan:                             Welcome to Experience This.

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

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

Joey:                            And social media expert, Dan Gingiss, serve as your hosts for a weekly dose of positive customer experience. Don’t hold onto your headphones. It’s time to experience this.

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

Joey:                            Join us as we discuss how to make your customers go away, the exploding popularity of live chat, and how one retailer offers returns made easy, just not the one which advertises it.

Dan:                             Ignoring, chatting, and returning. Oh my.

Joey:                            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:                             I am super excited about today’s book report because I’ve been following this guy’s work for a long time. Micah Solomon is known as the customer service turnaround expert and he works as a customer service and customer experience consultant to some of the best companies in the world. In fact, on the back of his new book is a quote from the co-founder and Emeritus chairman of a little company called Ritz Carlton.

Joey:                            Oh, I’ve heard of them actually.

Dan:                             I thought you might. Who says that Micah is “his go-to expert on exceptional customer service and building a customer-focused culture.” Micah’s new book which just came out is called Ignore Your Customers and They’ll Go Away. The simple playbook for delivering the ultimate customer service experience. We’re thrilled at Micah, recorded some exclusive audio for us.

Joey:                            Oh la la, exclusive audio.

Dan:                             You can only hear it here on the Experience This show folks. Here’s Micah talking about his new book.

Micah Solomon:            Hello, my name is Micah Solomon. I’m the author of a new book called Ignore Your Customers and They’ll Go Away. The simple playbook for delivering the ultimate customer service experience. Let me tell you real briefly who I am, what I do. I’m a customer service turnaround expert, which means I spend my time consulting, speaking and training for a variety of quite fabulous companies across many industries. I help them transform their customer service, their customer experience, their company culture, and ultimately their bottom line results.

Micah Solomon:            I’ve included as much of that experience and insight as I could into my new book because even today, so many companies miss the mark when it comes to delivering exceptional customer service. I provide my readers with a practical step by step guide to crafting a customer service experience and a customer focused culture that can transform the performance and the brand reputation of just about any business, large or small or medium and sustainably improve the bottom line.

Micah Solomon:            I’ve included case studies and stories and interviews that I personally assembled from some of today’s best known, most beloved customer focused companies like Cleveland Clinic, USA Insurance, Ritz Carlton hotel company, Nordstrom, as well as some newer names that are doing fantastic job as well, like Dry Bar and Mod Pizza.

Micah Solomon:            I share the language to use and avoid when talking to customers, how to recruit, hire, onboard, train and inspire the best employees, the ones that you really want in your customer facing positions. I talk about how to win over complainers and even talk about mystery shopping yourself to discover how your company is actually treating customers. I really look forward to sharing this book with you. Thank you.

Joey:                            Ooh, I love me some good exclusive audio, Dan. Thanks for that. Micah. Solomon hints to his readers that the payoff for reading the book will be three fold. Number one, you’ll retain a higher proportion of your existing customers. Number two, you’ll increase per customer spending, and number three, you’ll attract new customers and you’ll do it all in a way that is almost entirely immune to being knocked off by your competitors.

Dan:                             Which is why we say that customer experience is the last true differentiator.

Joey:                            The ultimate differentiator.

Dan:                             So I also like this book because it is actually pretty funny, which I applaud Solomon for it because that in itself is unexpected from a business book. So I want to share my favorite passage and our listeners probably know by now that I love words and language so this part stuck out to me immediately.

Dan:                             Micah talks about a system for customer friendly language. And I’m quoting here, “when I undertake a customer service initiative, I typically develop for my client company a simple system, really just a phrasebook of words and phrases to avoid when interacting with customers. Each one paired with a preferable alternative or alternatives.” And then he goes into a bunch of examples that I want to share with you because I thought they were really interesting.

Dan:                             For example, he says instead of saying, “please hold,” a customer service agent should say, “may I please place you on a brief hold,” because it’s important that customers who are calling know that they have a choice whether to be put on hold or not.

Joey:                            Wait, we have a choice. Like I never feel like I have a choice in those scenarios. Right.

Dan:                             You don’t, but generally speaking, when somebody asks you, “can I put you on hold?” You say, “yes.”

Joey:                            Right. Exactly.

Dan:                             So but it’s interesting, because …

Joey:                            But by making it feel like a choice, we feel better about the fact that we’re being put on hold.

Dan:                             Yes. We’ve changed the whole psychology of the engagement. He then says don’t refer to elderly people as young lady or young man. It is insensitive and particularly insulting. And I have to add that there are two of these that actually really annoy the heck out of me. One of them happened to me just yesterday and I don’t know if this just happens to short bald guys or not. Maybe as a tall, wonderfully haired gentlemen, you don’t get this. But when somebody in a service industry refers to me as boss, I find that incredibly insulting. And unless I’m actually their boss, in which case then, then I’m okay with that.

Joey:                            Then you’re okay being called boss.

Dan:                             And I also don’t like when people refer to groups of adults as kids, you know, like, Hey kids, you know, or whatever. I find that to be insulting as well. And so I get what he’s saying with the elderly. And then the last thing is don’t say are we ready to order now or how are we doing today? If you mean you say you, not we. Don’t talk to adults as if they’re toddlers. So same theme there, but I definitely related to that.

Joey:                            Words matter. I love it. You know, my favorite passage from the book is from a section called the power of wow, and I quote, “a wow experience is when service goes beyond fulfilling basic customer expectations and does so in a creative, unexpected way. By creating a wow experience, you give rise to a story in the mind of your customer. Since humans tend to think and remember in terms of stories, the wow approach is one of the most effective ways to build lasting connections with customers. These wow stories have a good likelihood of living on in memory, encouraging customers to not only return, but to share their memories of the experience with friends, family, and coworkers, and through social media to the world.”

Joey:                            What I love about this quote is it’s so true and we’ve talked about this on the show many, many times. In fact, while Dan and I were riding in an Uber to the recording studio this morning to record this episode, we were talking with our driver and he mentioned that he was a musician and talked about a company called Sweetwater.

Joey:                            Now, Sweetwater sells gear for musicians, instruments, cables, etcetera. And he was relating this story about how he bought a cable, just a simple connector cable, and was shocked when the folks at Sweetwater called him a few days later to make sure that he received it, to check in on how it worked, to make sure everything was good and he’s like, it was just a cable. What I love about that is they created a wow moment by calling when it was unexpected that they would call for something that was really a small purchase. They made a customer for life.

Dan:                             And of course what he told us is now anytime he wants to order any musical equipment or supplies, he goes to Sweetwater.

Joey:                            Exactly. And I imagine, and we actually asked him about this, have you ever told this story before? And he said, well, I’ve told this story a ton to all the musicians I know. Folks, the best word of mouth marketing and advertising that you can buy doesn’t actually cost you money. It just costs you thoughtfulness. You have to pay attention and reach out and create those kinds of wow moments that will get your customers talking.

Joey:                            So interestingly enough, speaking of Sweetwater, before we recorded this segment, we were talking to our amazing sound engineer, Taylor, and he shared with us a unique story about Sweetwater and the fact that they’re famous in the industry with musicians.

Taylor:                          Yeah. It’s almost like a running joke at times of how personalized and how insistent their followup customer services, because not only do they call to follow up after you’ve made a purchase to check on how you liked it, it’s the same person every time. You have one dedicated, I think they call it sales engineer, who’s always the one who calls you.

Taylor:                          So for the last probably decade, anytime I’ve ever bought anything on Sweetwater Sound, I get a call from Fort Wayne, Indiana, and it’s Nick Church from Sweetwater Sound, just checking in Taylor to see how you like that guitar strap you bought. And I’m like, it’s a guitar strap. It’s great. I love it. Nick. Thanks man.

Joey:                            What I love is that Nick has his wicked Aussie accent, but he lives in Indiana. Absolutely. Fantastic. So yeah, when you create these wow moments, people talk about it.

Dan:                             Shout out to you Nick Church.

Joey:                            But enough about my favorite passage. Let’s go to Micah Solomon and his favorite passage from the book.

Micah Solomon:            Unfortunately, the focus and attentiveness that are common when a business has only a few customers tend to slide when the customer roster begins to balloon. Employees stop signing their thank you notes by hand. Managers busy themselves with paperwork in their office hideaways rather than coming out into the open to greet even a long time or a VIP customer, and they’re certainly nowhere to be found if a customer conflict ever erupts and needs smoothing over.

Micah Solomon:            Jackie and Joanne, the quirky, charismatic telephone operators who knew the name and backstory of every customer who called in are edged into retirement and replaced. Although in reality, they’re irreplaceable with low paid rookies or a voice jail system. Is such lowering of standards inevitable? Decidedly not.

Micah Solomon:            If you stubbornly stick to your guns, the mantra you’ll need for this is, if you would have done it for your first customer, you’ll find a way to keep doing it for your 10,000, without rushing, without cutting corners, and without doing anything that would make a customer feel less than fully valued by your business.

Micah Solomon:            Remember, you need to never stop believing in the importance of the individual customer. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking there’s an infinite supply of new customers out there for the taking. If only your marketing and sales departments would do their jobs. Tell yourself instead that not only are customers a limited commodity, there’s actually no such thing as customers in the plural. Rather, there’s just one customer, the one who’s being served right now.

Dan:                             Great stuff, as always, from customer service, turnaround expert Micah Solomon. Get his book on Amazon or wherever books are sold, and if you want to do a solid here at Experience This, use the link in the show notes at www.experiencethisshow.com and I believe we’ll receive an affiliate fee of a what, like 3 cents Joey?

Joey:                            I think it’s two, Dan.

Dan:                             Is that your 2 cents Joey?

Joey:                            Yeah. I’ll keep that 2 cents.

Dan:                             I see what you did there.

Joey:                            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:                             This week’s CX press is actually not an article but a new report out from Comm 100, a digital customer conversation platform. Each year, Comm 100 looks at millions of live chat sessions across its platform to get a sense for customer satisfaction and they tally up the results in a great report that we’ll link to in the show notes at www.experiencethisshow.com.

Dan:                             This year’s report found that the overall satisfaction rate for live chat was flat at 83%. According to the report, “while customer expectations are as high as ever, unfortunately it seems that service quality is stagnating. The plateau in customer satisfaction from 2018 to 19 should inspire action, not complacency in 2020 as it is still behind the peak achieved in 2015. Since many factors influence customer satisfaction, wait time, resolution time, professionalism, accessibility, product or service issues, staff turnover, etcetera, organizations should be conducting regular audits of the entire customer life cycle to identify what’s getting in the way of progress.”

Dan:                             Comm 100 Vice President of Marketing, Jeff Epstein, was kind enough to record some of his thoughts on this year’s report, including one of the big surprises to surface. Let’s take a listen.

Jeff Epstein:                  Looking back at 2019 live chat data for more than 56 million chats worldwide, there were plenty of surprises to be found plus some not so surprising patterns that continue from previous years. Let’s get to it, starting with the surprises.

Jeff Epstein:                  So are larger organizations really just customer service mills staffed by disengaged and poorly trained agents. It turns out this is a myth of epic proportions. According to our data, customer service teams have 50 or more agents lead the pack with an average customer satisfaction score of 88%, four to six points higher than any other team size, but there’s more to this story. This cohort also had the lowest average number of chats per agent and the highest use of canned messages among all groups. This cohort also had the most people waiting in line to chat, although they made up for it with the third lowest average wait time of just over 40 seconds.

Jeff Epstein:                  Now this tells me that despite the total volume of visitors and chats they’re dealing with, teams of 50 or more agents are totally exploding the myth that the big guys can’t get it right. They clearly have a thing or two they can teach smaller teams about managing check capacity, appropriate use of automation, and keeping wait times reasonable.

Jeff Epstein:                  Speaking of automation, both the use of AI powered chat bots and their effectiveness enjoyed substantial gains in 2019. Our chat bots went from handling about 26% of chats from start to finish to handling more than 68% without the need for human intervention, earning an average satisfaction rate of 87.6%. That’s more than four points higher than the total average rating across the board. I’m personally not surprised, but I’m betting you are.

Jeff Epstein:                  Less of a surprise is the continued growth in mobile chats which accounted for more than 74% of all chats on our system in 2019. Last year, about 50% of chats were mobile devices. I don’t think anyone needs any more evidence that ours is a mobile first smartphone led world, but there it is.

Jeff Epstein:                  And finally, co-browsing works people. With an average CSAT score of 88.7% compared to 83% overall. No surprise, right? Co-browsing is highly personal, highly secure and clearly highly effective at resolving customer queries.

Jeff Epstein:                  There you have it. Some of the surprises and affirmations from Comm 100s 2020 live chat benchmark report. Get the full story and your complete copy at www.comm100.com.

Joey:                            There were definitely some other interesting findings in this year’s live chat study that we wanted to talk about as well. For example, chat duration averaged just under 12 minutes, which is 2% longer than a year ago, so people are spending more time chatting, which is really fascinating when you think about it. Nearly 60% of Comm100s live chat customers use canned messages. Chats per agent per month range from 597 at companies with more than 50 agents to a whopping 2,137 chats per agent per month for companies with 11 to 25 agents. Nearly three quarters of all live chats in 2019 or more than 42 million chats were on mobile devices, a massive increase of 82% over the year before. And those co-browsing sessions that Jeff mentioned, this is where the agent can see the same screen as the customer. Those more than doubled from 2018. The good news for customers is that sessions are much shorter. A third of the time of a standard chat and average satisfaction is higher at nearly 89%.

Dan:                             I also found it interesting that only 2% of chats were proactive, meaning the agent reached out first. Kate Chapman, who you might remember we featured back in episode 34 for her article on blockchain technology is the learning and development manager at Comm100. On proactive chats, she noted, “brands have to strike a delicate balance when it comes to proactive chat invitations. In this case, at issue are the opposing forces of eagerness and helpfulness. Being too proactive can come across as intrusive, but reaching out at just the right moment can save a customer from a frustrating experience.”

Joey:                            I think this is the online equivalent of when you walk into the store and the second your foot crosses the threshold the, you know, store clerk is like, how can I help you? What can I help you find today? Right? Let us breathe a little, let us ease into it, but you also don’t want to go to the other side of the game where you’re standing there looking for someone looking for help. In an online environment, they have the opportunity to jump in and be proactive as well.

Joey:                            We’d also be remiss if we didn’t talk about chat bots and artificial intelligence or AI. Jeff mentioned that chat bots handled 68.9% of their chats from start to finish, up nearly three X from what they did in 2018. They also earned an average satisfaction rate of 87.58% which amazingly is nearly two points higher than the satisfaction rate with human led interactions. Folks, the robots are better at this then the people. Not surprisingly though, unresolved bot chats that get transferred to a human agent scored lower because the customer didn’t get the answer they needed from the bot.

Dan:                             So what can we learn from this report? First off, live chat is a very significant customer service channel that can often be overlooked compared to its legacy cousins, telephone and email or the seemingly sexier social media. This is a channel that is almost universally offered among companies and one that customers appear to really appreciate.

Dan:                             Secondly, the competition is getting better at live chat, which means that if it isn’t already a big focus in your company, it should be. And third, a mobile focus with an appropriate amount of artificial intelligence is absolutely key to success.

Dan:                             As Jeff mentioned, you can go to www.comm100.com. That’s C-O-M-M one zero zero dot com, under the resources tab to download a copy of your report and we’ll include that link in our show notes as well at www.experiencethisshow.com.

Joey:                            Dan, do you remember what you were doing last year on May 6th?

Dan:                             Ah, that’s an easy one. I was a speaker at Avtex Engage 2019.

Joey:                            Awesome! Do you know what our listeners should be doing this year on June 21st?

Dan:                             That’s another easy one, Joey. They should be checking in at the registration desk at Avtex Engage 2020.

Joey:                            Exactly! Now Dan, you and I get a chance to go to a lot of CX conferences, and let’s be candid, often they’re one of two things, either a technology user conference where they just put the word “CX” in the title to make everyone feel better about themselves…

Dan:                             It is trendy!

Joey:                            It is trendy! Or, it’s a whole series of sales pitches for a tech firm or a consulting firm and the call it a customer experience conference to make you feel better about yourself or maybe to make them feel better about themselves, I’m not exactly sure.

Dan:                             I’m not a big fan of the sales pitch from the stage. But no, what I remember about Engage 2019 was that first of all it was in my hometown of Chicago, so that was really fun. They had a great venue, a great stage, and it was a lot of fun. They had a different kind of content because it was really customer experience all of the time. It was everything CX.

Joey:                            I love it! And while this year’s event is not going to be in Chicago, it’s going to be in Orlando, Florida at the fantastic Walt Disneyworld Resort. I mean this is going to be a fantastic experience for everybody there. It’s a great event. Folks, there are so many opportunities for you to attend events, to attend conferences, but so often when you do, you just don’t get the value. We know that you’re going to get the value at this event. Why? Because, Dan’s been there before. So, go to www.avtexengage.com. That’s w-w-w-dot-a-v-t-e-x-engage-dot-com.

Dan:                             Hey, Joey, can I tell them the best part?

Joey:                            Tell them the best part.

Dan:                             If they use the secret code.

Joey:                            The secret code. Shhh… don’t tell anybody.

Dan:                             Don’t tell anybody.

Joey:                            It’s only for listeners of Experience This!

Dan:                             Please, no tweeting.

Joey:                            Don’t worry, I won’t tweet it either.

Dan:                             Use the code: experiencethis10 and you will save 10% off your ticket price. Hope to see you in Orlando, Florida in sunny Walt Disneyworld, in June.

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

Dan:                             So I had several returns to make after the holiday season and I thought it was fascinating to observe how different the return policies were at different retailers. Now two in particular stood out to me, Amazon and Kohl’s. And it’s particularly interesting since as our astute listeners know, Amazon and Kohl’s have partnered up to allow returns of Amazon merchandise at Kohl’s stores.

Dan:                             But today I want to talk about their return process independently, as I had to return both Amazon and Kohl’s items recently.

Joey:                            So wait, let me make sure I understand this. You had items from Amazon to return and you had items from Kohl’s to return and they both allow, well, at least Kohls allows returns from Amazon at their stores.

Dan:                             Yes. It’s a little confusing, but that’s kind of, we’re getting to the point here.

Joey:                            I love it.

Dan:                             So in full disclosure, we don’t usually mention brands that are missing the boat in customer experience, but I can confidently say that I’m a customer of both of these brands and this story is meant to help listeners do better at their own companies.

Joey:                            So Dan, I know Amazon has many different ways to return a product. Sometimes they offer you the ability to print a label at home. Sometimes you can drop it off at a UPS store, but they also offer this ability to return the item directly to a Kohl’s retail store location. The only question is whether they pay for shipping or you do.

Dan:                             Yes, and I’ve always found that a little bit confusing. I think it has something to do with the choice that you make when you explain to them why you’re returning the product. But of course some people have learned you can just change the choice.

Joey:                            You can change the choice and change the impact.

Dan:                             But in any event, in this particular return, I got a new choice. I was able to bring the products to the nearest UPS store, which happens to be about 90 seconds from my house and not have to print a label or even put them in a box.

Joey:                            Wait, so all you had to do is take the item you want to return, go to the UPS store and that’s it. No printing of label, no boxing, no taping, no nothing.

Dan:                             Just handed the item to the nice gentleman at the UPS store. I handed it to him and showed him a QR code that Amazon had sent me on my phone. It was literally the easiest and fastest return I’ve ever made. Probably 15 seconds.

Joey:                            Wow, that’s impressive. Particularly because I was at a UPS store recently and they had a section on the counter that somebody had handwritten Amazon returns where people could drop their boxes off and there were people standing in line waiting to put their returns in those places because it didn’t look like it could be real. It was kind of one of these things where it’s like, well wait, don’t have to hand it in to someone. I just drop it here and then I’m done. And there was a lot of confusion, which now thank you for the insight, Dan, I understand what the confusion was all about.

Dan:                             Well, speaking of confusion, I then drove over to Kohls.

Joey:                            I love it.

Dan:                             And that’s only because of what happened online first. So I bought an item that actually didn’t function. It was defective. It stopped working.

Joey:                            Just broken out of the box?

Dan:                             Well, it worked for about 30 seconds and then like stopped working. Okay. So the thing didn’t work and I wanted to return it. Now I went to the return section on Kohl’s website and I learned that Kohl’s strongly prefers that you return their items to their store, even if you order them online. In fact, they have a strict policy of not paying for return shipping no matter what.

Dan:                             So naturally, I didn’t think that I should be paying for return shipping given that the product wasn’t working. So I picked up and drove to Kohl’s. Now as it turns out, I actually had to return something from Kohl’s and something from Amazon because of course this other Amazon item didn’t get that special UPS treatment. I don’t know why.

Joey:                            Folks, are you tracking along? This is so exciting.

Dan:                             So the first thing I noticed at Kohl’s were signs that said returns made easy.

Joey:                            Oh, you know buddy, I always get nervous. I always get nervous when somebody touts how easy things are that it might not live up to it.

Dan:                             Well, you know from both my keynotes and my book how much I like signs and how they contribute to the customer experience. So needless to say, with a sign like that, my expectations were high, that this would be an easy return experience.

Joey:                            Oh no, he’s setting us up folks. Do you sense the foreshadowing? I can feel it.

Dan:                             Well, maybe I shouldn’t have done this, but I actually took a picture of that sign along with the more than 25 people standing in line waiting to return their items.

Joey:                            Anything but easy. Oh no. And it’s like if they wouldn’t have said easy, it wouldn’t have been that bad of a deal. It wouldn’t have made a photo. It wouldn’t have made it into the show. But because you said slash promised it was going to be easy, not so good.

Dan:                             Exactly. So I finally get to the front of the line. I don’t remember exactly how long it took, but it certainly seemed like an eternity. And then I realized that I could not return both the Kohl’s item and the Amazon item to the same cashier. I actually had to stand in a separate line to return the Amazon item.

Joey:                            Oh my goodness. You know, I was afraid of this. When this, I’ve never, I’ve returned items from Amazon. I’ve returned items from Kohls. I’ve never done both in the same trip and I was getting nervous. I mean, I can somewhat understand because undoubtedly they have different return processing fees and it’s, you know, they’re different brands, but it shouldn’t be the customer’s problem, like the customer shouldn’t feel the impact of those differences.

Dan:                             Exactly. So they did make it my problem and hence we’re talking about it here on the show. So what can we learn from these two experiences, one at the UPS store and one at Kohl’s.

Dan:                             Number one, don’t promise something is easy if your process is not easy.

Joey:                            It’s pretty simple folks. Let’s think about the words we use and choose them wisely.

Dan:                             Number two, no matter how easy it is, think of ways to make it easier. It used to be that you had to wait for a company to send you a return label via snail mail. Then it became easier once companies allowed you to print that label at home. And now Amazon has taken it another step forward by not even requiring a label at all.

Dan:                             Number three. If the return is involuntary, meaning the product is defective or damaged or broken, you should do everything in your power to get a working item in the customer’s hands as soon as possible and make the return or exchange process exceedingly easy. Remember, it’s not the customer’s fault that the item is damaged or not working. It’s a different story from I just don’t like this and want to return it.

Dan:                             And finally, make all of your policies customer-centric instead of company-centric.

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

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

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

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

Joey:                            Experience.

Dan:                             This.


Episode 87: The Extreme Application of Customer Personalization

Join us as we discuss a restaurant that makes meals specifically for you, a magician who wants you in on the trick, and a guide to living in the now, by learning from the past …

Sushi, Secrets, and Stillness – Oh My!

[CX Press] Taking Customer Personalization to the Extreme

How far can the trend towards customer personalization go? The trendspotters at Springwise explore a case of extreme application in their story, “Japanese Restaurant Will Test Your Saliva to Create the Perfect Sushi.”

Sushi Singularity – a new restaurant opening in Tokyo in 2020 – plans to use biometrics and 3D printers to create bespoke meals for every diner based on the individual diner’s personal health needs. After you make a reservation, the restaurant sends a collection kit in the mail to get samples of your saliva, feces, and urine. They then analyze these specimens to create a custom meal just for you – based on you personalized health ID.

3D printed sushi expands the possibilities of what your meal “looks like”

There are so many advances being made in personalized health, biome data, 3D printing, and hyper-personalization that I could envision a world in the very near future where people would think it’s odd to have food that wasn’t 100% customized for their personal DNA!

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

Sushi Singularity marries two trends in customer experience and innovation: 3D printing and personalization. And it does this in a very creative, albeit complex way. With this new standard for customer personalization, what will your customers expect when they interact with your business in 2020 and beyond?

Sushi Singularity – a futuristic take on sushi “just for you” (opening in 2020)

[Dissecting the Experience] A Magician Offers “Secrets” for Creating a Captivating Experience

When it comes to intriguing and captivating an audience, businesses around the world would be wise to study the spectacle created by two-time Olivier Award winner and world-famous mentalist Derren Brown in his show “Secret.”

The show (which regrettably is now closed) explored the stories and beliefs that guide our lives and did so in a magical, mesmerized fashion with three key takeaways for organizations:

  • The Show Begins “Before” the Show Begins – what are you doing to entice, engage, and entertain your audience (customers) before you deliver the product or service they specifically purchased?
  • Use Language to Keep Your Customers Engaged and Focused – an ongoing story, anchored with call backs helps customers maintain a state of wonder and concentration during your “performance.”
  • Enroll Your Customers in Something Special – what are you doing to let customers participate with you in a way that is so special that they must tell their friends all about it?

You don’t need to be a magician to create magic. You don’t need to be a mentalist to figure out what your customers are really thinking and then play with that information. All you need to do is learn from Derren Brown and his show “Secret” as it leaves clues for creating breathtaking interactions that will leave your customers raving to their friends and family.

[Avtex Engage 2020] Always Be Learning More

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

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

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

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

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

[What Are You Reading?] When Modern Life Feels Overwhelming, Turn to the Wisdom of Ancient Masters

In a world that increasingly assaults our senses with emails, text messages, commercials, tweets, and dozens of other forms of communication, more and more people are seeking relief. A sense of peace and calm can be found in the pages of Ryan Holiday’s third book in his Stoic trilogy: Stillness is the Key

Buddhism. Stoicism. Epicureanism. Christianity. Hinduism. It’s all but impossible to find a philosophical school or religion that does NOT venerate this inner peace – this stillness – as the highest good and as the key to elite performance and a happy life. And when basically all the wisdom of the ancient world agrees on something, only a fool would decline to listen.

from Stillness is the Key by Ryan Holiday

If you want some reading that is not specifically related to customer experience, but will help you experience life in a happier, more peaceful way, check out Ryan Holiday’s fantastic book Stillness is the Key.

Links We Referenced

Host Contact Information

Email Dan: Dan@dangingiss.com

Tweet Dan Gingiss: @DGingiss

Email Joey: JoeyC@JoeyColeman.com

DanGingiss.com

JoeyColeman.com

Subscribe to Experience This on Apple Podcasts

Episode Transcript

Download a transcript of the entire Episode 87 here or read it below:

Dan Gingiss: Welcome to Experience This!

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

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

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

Dan Gingiss: So hold onto your headphones it’s time to Experience This!.

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

Dan Gingiss: Join us as we discuss a restaurant that makes meals specifically for you, a magician who wants you in on the trick, and a guide to living in the now by learning from the past.

Joey Coleman: Sushi, secrets, and stillness. Oh my!

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

Joey Coleman: Welcome back to Season Five of the Experience This! Show. For those of our loyal listeners coming back for more, thanks for continuing to spend some time with us. For those of you that may be new to the Experience This! Show hold onto your hats cause we have a fantastic season for you, and we’re going to start it off with an interesting story that I came across.

Joey Coleman: Dan, I have a question. Have you ever heard about a restaurant and before it even opened or anyone you knew visited, you knew that you wanted to go there?

Dan Gingiss: Well, hey Joey, I’m excited to be back with you for season five and no, I have not heard of such a restaurant.

Joey Coleman: Well I had that experience recently when I was reading about a new restaurant opening soon in Tokyo and I wanted to share this CXPRESS article from a newsletter published by the team at Springwise. Springwise tracks interesting trends and the latest innovations and they shared a story titled, Japanese Restaurant Will Test Your Saliva to Create the Perfect Sushi.

Dan Gingiss: Now things are starting to make more sense. But wait, did you say saliva?

Joey Coleman: Yes, indeed, I did say saliva. So let me explain a bit. There is a new restaurant opening in Tokyo this year called Sushi Singularity. They plan to use biometrics and 3D printers to create bespoke meals for every diner based on the individual diner’s personal health needs.

Dan Gingiss: Wow. Now that is taking personalization to a new level.

Joey Coleman: Right? That’s what I thought and that’s why I was so interested in this. The restaurant’s a project by Japan based Open Meals and they plan to tailor the meal to your health. How will they do this, you might ask? When you make a reservation, you must do it at least two weeks before you want to dine at the restaurant. The restaurant will then send you a collection kit in the mail to get samples of your saliva, feces, and urine.

Dan Gingiss: Oh wait, hold on.

Joey Coleman: I figured I might throw him a curve ball with that one, ladies and gentlemen.

Dan Gingiss: Whoa, hold on. Now, you had me there and sushi. I was hungry for a little while, but now I think I’ve lost my appetite.

Joey Coleman: Yeah, no, I hear you, but bear with me. So once sushi singularity has your samples, so to speak, they will work with health technology companies to evaluate them and turn the results into a personalized health ID for each diner. This data then gets fed in devices like a CNC, or a computer numerical control machine, and a 3D printer, which will then custom create the sushi on a diner by diner basis. Nutrients will be added in based on the individual needs of each diner.

Dan Gingiss: Wait, time out. A 3D printer’s making my sushi?

Joey Coleman: Yeah, exactly. I know it sounds a little crazy, but just as I continue to tell about the story, I think you’re going to be as excited about this place as I am.

Dan Gingiss: So far, I’m not buying a ticket to Tokyo, but okay, if my health ID shows that, say I’m low on, I don’t know, magnesium, they would potentially put some into my salmon nigiri?

Joey Coleman: Well, yes, although since they’re going to be 3D printing the sushi one piece at a time, they won’t be inserting it into the salmon. Instead, they will build a piece of salmon nigiri that has all the flavor and the texture characteristics of salmon, without using an actual fish. And because they are 3D printing these pieces of sushi, they aren’t limited by the size, shape or colors of traditional fish.

Joey Coleman: In fact, one of their plan menu items, the dashi soup universe, is a cube shaped soup fashioned out of seaweed particles, or alginic acid, and white crystal and salt calcium lactate. Now I realize this is easier seen than explained, so if you go to our show notes at experiencethisshow.com, we’ve linked to a great promo video produced by Sushi Singularity that shows the entire sushi printing process and when you see the various shapes there’ll be able to print that diners will then eat. I think you’ll be as interested to see how this is all going to work as I am.

Dan Gingiss: You’re making a big assumption that diners are going to eat it first of all.

Joey Coleman: Here’s the thing, people are looking for unique experiences. We talk about this on the show all the time, and let’s be candid, if you’re in Tokyo, there are many sushi restaurants, so how do you stand out as a sushi restaurant in Tokyo? Well, one of ways, and I hate to give this away in the show, you print a piece of sushi that looks like an ancient Japanese temple that has all the tastes and characteristics of a piece of sushi, but it looks like you’re eating a little model of a building.

Dan Gingiss: But it isn’t actually fish.

Joey Coleman: But it is fish to your body. Hence the biometrics. When you eat fish, you’re not eating the piece of salmon saying, I’m thinking of the salmon swimming in the stream. No. Instead you’re enjoying the taste of the salmon. So if they get the flavor profiles that works, this is not that different than the move towards things like the impossible burger and burgers that aren’t actually made with meat, but they taste like that. This is just a variation on that same theme.

Dan Gingiss: What I think is interesting about this, and it’s mentioned in the article, is that Sushi Singularity is marrying two different trends, 3D printing and personalization. It’s clearly doing it in a very creative and complex way. And if that wasn’t enough, the video that we’re going to share on the show notes also shows how biometrics and fingerprint identification can be used to identify patrons when they enter the restaurant and produce custom menus and messages when they sit down and touch the table in front of them.

Joey Coleman: Now, let’s be candid. I get that this is a crazy concept, but I also felt myself thinking that this probably wouldn’t seem crazy if we were talking about this in the year 2030, or 10 years from now. There are so many advances being made in personalized health, biome data, 3D printing, and hyper personalization, that I can envision a world where in the very near future where people would think it’s odd to have food that isn’t a 100% customized to their personal DNA.

Dan Gingiss: Well, I know this isn’t an agree to disagree segment, joey.

Joey Coleman: But it’s turning into that. I can feel it.

Dan Gingiss: People also were saying 15 years ago when I was at a credit card company that credit cards were dead because we were going to only be using exclusively digital wallets and we’re not even close to that 15 years later, so I don’t think this is becoming a 100%. I don’t think this is a thing in 2030. It’s interesting in the sense that, and where I see the applications, are understanding your body and what your body needs and how your body’s needs are different from the next person’s needs and being able to influence what you eat because of that. Maybe you do need additional magnesium in your day, whereas your neighbor doesn’t because his magnesium is just fine. I think that’s really, really interesting.

Dan Gingiss: Where you lost me, and where I observed our audio engineer Taylor throwing up a little bit in his mouth over there, was this idea that we’re using this technology to create something that isn’t real, that is made up product coming out of a printer. I.

Dan Gingiss: Even the meatless burgers are produced in a similar way to burgers. They’re not printed out of an HP printer. That’s the part where you lost me, because I just… That does not sound appetizing.

Joey Coleman: All right. Fair enough. But here’s the deal. First of all, there are a number of restaurants around the world that 3D print food today. A number of restaurants that already do that. Some of the top chefs on the planet are experimenting with this because you can get taste profiles and flavors and combinations that you can’t find in “the real world.”

Joey Coleman: Number two, how many friends have you had, because I know I’ve had many, who because of a diet, or some type of dietary sensitivity, or a cleanse that they’re on, can’t get food at the restaurant that meets the requirements of what their health requires? This solves that problem.

Joey Coleman: Because imagine being in a situation where instead of just going to the pizza place to have a pizza and it’s like, wait, I’m gluten free, dairy free, I can’t order the pizza, instead of having them have to make the gluten free dairy free pizza, they can 3D print exactly what you want and make it look just like a pizza.

Joey Coleman: Now, here’s the thing I’d be willing to bet that if they 3D printed a piece of sushi at Sushi Singularity that looked exactly like a salmon nigiri piece, and gave you that to taste alongside a regular slice of salmon on a bed of rice, you would be hard pressed to tell the difference.

Dan Gingiss: Careful where you’re going here. That’s absolutely untrue, because I’ve tasted these fake burgers and they taste like I’m licking the floor of a forest.

Joey Coleman: Today. Today they taste like that because the technology is new. What’s it going to be like in three years? In five years? Not to mention, by the way, how much of the food that we currently consume is not actually food.

Dan Gingiss: That’s a fair point.

Joey Coleman: So if we’re going to get up on our high horses about, well, I only eat food that’s actual food, then suddenly 75% of American’s diets just got eliminated.

Dan Gingiss: Please give me my Doritos back, Joey.

Joey Coleman: Yeah, exactly.

Dan Gingiss: That’s my bag.

Joey Coleman: But look, it’s shaped like a triangle, like a wedge of cheese. They made it look like that so you would think it was cheese. That is the variation on the theme of Sushi Singularity.

Joey Coleman: Look, here’s the deal. Short of making a reservation and traveling to Tokyo for some personalized 3D printed sushi, which it’s clear Dan isn’t going to do anytime soon, how can you apply this story to your own business? This is what we’d like to do on Experience This! We like to tell you stories of interesting, unique things that are happening, but we want to help you translate that into your world as a listener. What can you apply?

Joey Coleman: In some ways the application is easier or harder based on your product or service offering, but what I like about this story is it forces us to dramatically expand our minds about what is going to be possible in the near future with wearables, data tracking, aggregative collection of biometrics, inexpensive 3D printing, and an increased expectation for hyper-personalization amongst the majority of customers.

Joey Coleman: It’s just a matter of time before your customers, regardless of your business or industry, are expecting this type of custom treatment in their interactions with you.

Joey Coleman: Now, while you wait to allow the technology to pair more specifically with your offerings, what are you going to do to shift your mindset about what you can do for your customers and how far you can take the interactions to make them feel special?

Joey Coleman: The time of giving your customers a standard menu and asking them to just point out what they want is fading quickly and the real masters are going to be the ones who can attract customers with offerings that are a 100% unique to them and therefore leaves the customer feeling 100% special and appreciated.

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

Joey Coleman: Have you ever been to a magic show, Dan?

Dan Gingiss: Oh, yes, I have been to many and in fact, both of my kids were really into magic for a number of years, did some at home, and were always begging to go to shows. And so we’ve gone to a number of them and had a great time.

Joey Coleman: I love it. Well, as is often the case in our life experience as friends, I feel like I’m having a very similar experience. My kids are a little bit younger than your kids and we’re going through that phase right now. I’ve always had an interest in magic, but I have a six year old son who is a budding magician, so I’ve spent more time in the last year watching magic videos, working on magic tricks with my son, purchasing magic books, and going to magic shows, than ever before in the past.

Dan Gingiss: But I remember that you recently went to a show by yourself.

Joey Coleman: Correct. I was in New York City a few months ago and I got the chance to see two time Olivier Award Winner, Derren Brown, stun the crowd with a unique blend of mind reading, persuasion, and illusion.

Dan Gingiss: Is that the guy that’s got a special on Netflix?

Joey Coleman: He actually has several and they’re pretty fascinating explorations of human nature, persuasion, messaging, experience, although I want to clarify it, they’re a bit intense, so you probably want to watch them by yourself without the kids before you decide whether you want the kids to watch them too. But these explorations of human nature and experience are the things we talk about on this show every week, which is why I wanted to go see Derren Brown live on stage. And it’s not surprising to me that he lived up to the legend and then some.

Dan Gingiss: So tell us about this show while I go onto Netflix and make sure that I add it to my list.

Joey Coleman: Nice. So the show was called Derren Brown: Secret, and while it had an extended run at the fabled Cort Theatre in New York, it’s actually no longer open. The show explored the stories and beliefs that guide our lives and did so in a magical, mesmerizing fashion.

Joey Coleman: There are a few things about the show that I found particularly useful to think about in the context of customer experience. First of all, the show began before the show began. So while we’re waiting in line to enter the theater, and then again while sitting in the seats waiting for the show to start, staff members gave the audience the chance to participate in a number of activities. Audience members could have their pictures taken. They were given the opportunity to fill out secret forms. There were multiple ways the audience engaged with the show that would actually come back later when the performance began.

Joey Coleman: So for example, during the show, Derren Brown took the photos that people had taken before the show and used them to select people based on their photo alone to come up on the stage and participate in the act. He told them things about themselves that there was no way he could have known.

Joey Coleman: Now as a mentalist, it seemed like some of this could have been based on observation and commonalities in the human condition. But that being said, he also seemed to be reading people in real time and the impact as an audience member watching all of this play out was quite impressive.

Dan Gingiss: I love the idea idea of starting the show before the show and I can already see the connection back to our show and the businesses that we’re talking to. Because often when businesses think about their customer journey, they begin when the customer first steps foot in their store, or when they first get to the website, or first call, instead of considering that the show for them actually starts well before that.

Dan Gingiss: The part of the journey where the customer is working their way toward you may not be as obvious as it was in the theater setting because it might be something that they’re doing off on their own, such as going to Google and searching something, for example. But if we’re willing to look at it, there are a number of ways to engage our customers before they even get to us.

Joey Coleman: Absolutely. So for example, when you purchase a ticket to a theater performance, I think the general presumption is that the show will start when the curtain goes up. In this instance, it was a real change from the usual expectation. The show began before I was even in the theater, let alone in my seat.

Joey Coleman: And if that wasn’t enough, this effort to actively engage the audience continued in each and every interaction and “trick” that was performed. In fact, when looking for volunteers for the different stage activities, Brown would throw Frisbees into the audience, including the highest balconies in the theater, and then ask the people who caught them to come down on and be participants. So this not only created a great bit of emotional theater, and as a speaker I found it a fascinating way to get volunteers, but it also helped reinforce the belief the audience had that every participant in the show was a random audience member. Something which I must confess, I’m still not sure about months later and is a big part of magic tricks.

Dan Gingiss: Well, and my mind always goes to, and I’m sorry for being a macabre person here, but my mind always goes to that guy in the front row of the top balcony that’s going to dive for the Frisbee and fall over. So to me it sounds dangerous, but again, it could be scripted, it could be in some way staged, and so it sounds like in any event that this show had many, many layers to it, which of course any good customer experience does as well.

Joey Coleman: Absolutely, and that brings us to our second takeaway, that throughout the performance, Brown kept using language and callbacks to keep the audience focused.

Dan Gingiss: For listeners that may not be familiar with the phrase callback, it’s a term that’s very common in the world of comedy to describe a joke that refers to one previously told in the set. Basically you tell the joke once and then later in the show, the later the better, when you tell the joke again, it usually gets a much bigger laugh. This is because the person leading the show, whether it’s comedian, or magician, or even your random keynote speaker, makes the audience feel a sense of familiarity with the subject material and the person leading the show. It’s a great way to create rapport with an audience.

Joey Coleman: Exactly. So Brown did a great job during the show of using callbacks to get the audience on the same page and each time he did, it strengthened his connection with the audience. Not only did the entire show build to the finale, which he kept referencing throughout the show, but there were several times where he would actually say, now, watch over here because something is going to happen. And then a few minutes later he would say, did you see it?

Joey Coleman: And because the audience had been distracted by other things he was doing, they completely missed the thing that he had pointed out before that happened right in front of their eyes. He then encouraged them to watch that same place and promised it would happen again. And once again, a ton of people missed it the second time around.

Dan Gingiss: Never underestimate the stupidity of your audience.

Joey Coleman: Well, humans are fascinating is the way I like to say it, Dan, but I hear you. It made me think about customer experience and how it can be designed to repeat in a way that feels new and interesting and exciting. See all too often a repeat customer will have the same product or service experience with a brand. And I think most brands usually miss the chance to spice it up every once in a while.

Dan Gingiss: So can you tell our listeners what happened during intermission? Because you mentioned this to me after you saw the show and I thought it was really interesting.

Joey Coleman: I did too, Dan. During intermission, once again, the free time that was not officially part of the show, was used to continue the journey and create more experiential touchpoints. Ushers at the back of the stage had more secret forms that could be filled out in case you arrived at the theater late and missed the show antics.

Joey Coleman: In addition, audience members were invited to come onstage and select their favorite animal from a long list of animals and then later this seemingly random activity was featured in the big finale in a way that it seemed as if the audience had selected the outcome of the entire show. It was pretty amazing.

Dan Gingiss: How did that part work?

Joey Coleman: Well, incredibly well. It kept the audience on an emotional high during intermission. It also allowed them to catch a breather if they wanted. I was reminded of how often organizations barrage their customers with communication when sometimes giving the customer the chance to come up for air actually serves your longterm goals even better than continuing to stay in close communication with them.

Dan Gingiss: Fair enough. But I meant how did the intermission work when it came to the second half the show?

Joey Coleman: Oh, well, I’m not exactly sure. And I also feel compelled to keep the secret, which wasn’t just the name of the show. You see throughout the show, Derren Brown kept enrolling the audience in the big secret, making us promise again and again that we wouldn’t reveal too much to other people that hadn’t seen the show and thereby ruin it for them, which not only had the desired effect of making people feel like they were special and part of the in crowd, but months later, even after the show was closed, I still don’t want to reveal too much and give anything away.

Dan Gingiss: Even though the show isn’t running anymore.

Joey Coleman: Yeah. Even though the show isn’t running anymore. Which brings me to my final observation. When you create connection with your customers and make them feel like they’re part of something special, they will, A, actively go out and recruit people to attend. In fact, that night I told an entire table of friends that lived in New York to make sure they went to see this show. And, B, the customers will protect the special aspects of your experience so that new customers can live it firsthand.

Joey Coleman: Throughout the show, Brown kept imploring us not to tell anyone the secret because it would ruin it for them, and by getting the customers to sign on to this commitment, he made sure we maintained a high level of interest, which almost guaranteed that people wouldn’t ruin the show for other prospective customers by telling them too much.

Dan Gingiss: I think there’s a really interesting opportunity here for our listeners to think about their own businesses. How are you enrolling advocates? How are you using mystery and intrigue to layer meaning and emotion into your various customer touch points? How can a sense of mystery, or intrigue, or even playfulness be incorporated into your customer journey?

Joey Coleman: Friends. You don’t need to be a magician to create magic. You don’t need to be a mentalist to figure out what your customers are really thinking and then play with that information. What you do have the opportunity to do is begin the show before it officially begins. Use callbacks to key phrases and moments in the customer journey to build rapport and connection with your customers. And figure out ways to enroll your customers in something special so they want to tell all of their friends about it, without giving away too many of your secrets.

Dan Gingiss: One are the biggest challenges that customer experience folks have at their organizations is convincing their colleagues, and boss, that CX is important. We often hear from our clients that while they believe in the value of creating remarkable customer experiences, their leadership team needs more convincing. If this sounds like your company keep listening.

Joey Coleman: Our partners at Avtex are hosting Engaged 2020 this summer in Orlando, Florida. They’re bringing an outstanding lineup of customer experience experts and thought leaders to offer insight about creating remarkable customer experiences and share the real economic impact that CX has on your bottom line.

Dan Gingiss: Now if that isn’t enough to convince you to come down to Florida and bring your boss with you, did we mention that the event is being hosted at Disney World?

Joey Coleman: Disney World.

Dan Gingiss: If you’re listening to this show, you know that the team at Disney is absolutely world-class at creating experiences that keep their customers coming back again and again. You also know that both Dan and Joey are huge Disney fans.

Dan Gingiss: At Engage 2020 you’ll get the unique chance to pull back the curtain on the Disney World experience through a series of special surprises right in the park.

Joey Coleman: As you think about where to spend your training and development dollars in the year to come, Engage 2020, which again is happening June 21st through 24th, needs to be on your calendar and we’re happy to share a special code just for listeners of Experience This! that will save you 10% off your ticket price. Just use the secret code experiencethis10.

Dan Gingiss: To learn more about the event, the agenda, and what you can expect at Engage 2020, visit www.avtexengage, that’s A-V-T-E-X engage.com, and we’ll see you at Engage 2020 this June.

Joey Coleman: 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: Joey, it’s been a while since I’ve had a chance to ask you what you’re reading beyond the books that are written about customer experience and customer service.

Joey Coleman: Well, it has been awhile, Dan, and to be honest, I’ve been reading a lot of books that probably would be defined as pure business, but I read a book at the end of last year that ended up being my most favorite book of 2019 and I’ve actually gone back and reread it since. It was that good.

Dan Gingiss: Wow. Tell me more. This sounds like a good one that I need to add to my own bookshelf.

Joey Coleman: You definitely should. So the book is called Stillness Is the Key, and in the interest of full disclosure, it’s by my good friend, the modern day philosopher, thinker, and writer Ryan Holiday. So to set the stage a bit, Stillness Is the Key, is the third book in Holiday’s trilogy about stoic philosophy.

Dan Gingiss: Stoic, philosophy. Let’s be careful here, Joey. This is not something that’s sounds like people are going to get excited about, after all it’s stoic.

Joey Coleman: Okay, I see what you did there. But, and you’re right, stoic philosophy doesn’t usually get folks super excited. But having read Holiday’s first two books in the trilogy, The Obstacle Is the Way, and Ego Is the Enemy, I was ready and waiting to see how he would bring everything together in this final book. And he didn’t disappoint.

Joey Coleman: So the book is divided into three parts, the mind, the spirit, and the body. And in each part of the book, Holiday offers a series of maxims and advice backed by diligent research into stories that you think you know, but you really don’t know the whole story.

Dan Gingiss: So how about you give us an example?

Joey Coleman: Okay, so in college and law school, I spent a good amount of time studying the American Presidency. And from the time I was very little, I was always fond of John F. Kennedy. I’ve studied his Presidency in classes. I’ve written papers about it. I’ve given speeches about it. I’ve listened to lectures about it. I’ve read numerous biographies. I know a fair amount of about JFK. I don’t think of myself as an expert on his Presidency, but I’ve spent enough time with it that I felt pretty comfortable that I knew most of the story.

Joey Coleman: But one of Kennedy’s most significant moments in his Presidency was the Cuban Missile Crisis, and in Stillness Is the Key, I got to see an entirely new side of the story.

Joey Coleman: So the book shares how Kennedy spent the entire crisis trying to get everyone around him, his advisors, the other elected officials, the military, the intelligence community to slow down so they could really think about the problem that was in front of them.

Joey Coleman: Now, all too often, especially in 2020, I think that situations and problems and crisis are coming at us so fast that rarely do we take the time to pump the brakes and think. We usually get locked into our initial impressions or go with our gut without making time to slow down and consider the situation all the way through.

Joey Coleman: During the crisis, Kennedy became fixated with insisting that people think about why the Russians did this. “What is the advantage they’re trying to get?” he would ask his advisors, with real interest.

Joey Coleman: He took his time and eventually ordered a blockade, which interestingly enough embodied one of his favorite expressions and I’m quoting from the book now, it used time as a tool. It gave both sides a chance to examine the stakes of the crisis and offered Khrushchev the opportunity to reevaluate his impression of Kennedy’s supposed weakness. In some, by taking the time and being still, Kennedy was able to slow things down and avert a potential nuclear war.

Dan Gingiss: Well, I find this really interesting if you bring it to today’s society and culture, that everybody always seems to be running, running, running. We’re using devices. We’ve got phone calls and emails and tweets to respond to. We’re going from meeting to meeting, to meeting, to meeting. Just getting home and sitting down on the couch after a long day is the new luxury, because we’ve spent the whole day moving.

Dan Gingiss: And so conceptually I think that slowing down makes a ton of sense and I’ve found that even taking, for example, a few minutes before bed to read a book, which is something I don’t do nearly as often as I should, just helps to remove the stress and get me to think a little bit more clearly. So I think conceptually this makes a lot of sense.

Joey Coleman: Exactly. And that was definitely the takeaway that I had from the book, is that there is so much rushing, why aren’t we slowing down?

Joey Coleman: Now I realize that the Kennedy story I shared is pretty dramatic, but rest assured that the entire book is filled with these types of fascinating behind the scenes stories of situations that you think you know about, but really there’s more to the story.

Joey Coleman: For example, he details what happened behind the scenes with the fall from grace when Tiger Woods personal and professional life imploded for all of us to see. He talks about Napoleon’s habits for opening and responding to mail. Shaw, Green’s batting slump with the Los Angeles Dodgers. And Fred Rogers, or Mr. Rogers as most of us know him as, ability to write programs for children that still resonate with today’s attention deficit kids.

Joey Coleman: Now, there’s so many times that we find ourselves faced with a challenge that we immediately jump in to solve or we go into triage mode. A customer complaints about a situation. A marketing campaign doesn’t produce the numbers we thought it would. A new competitor enters the marketplace. Instead of slowing down to truly evaluate the situation, we jump into action and we justify this behavior by citing our speed to answer, or our call resolution time, instead of taking the extra minutes, or hours, or, days to truly understand the situation and then decide what to do next.

Dan Gingiss: I’m going to be a tiny bit vulnerable here with you, Joey.

Joey Coleman: I like it.

Dan Gingiss: What I find is that in my professional life I’m able to do this. I’m able to advise a company, for example, don’t freak out that nobody’s responded to your social media message yet. It takes time, and relax, and let’s check it again in a week, and let’s not jump to conclusions.

Dan Gingiss: In my personal life, I’m not as good at that and I often jump into problem solving mode, or so I’ve been told, when somebody comes to me with a problem that they’re having, and sometimes as it pertains to me, it happens to be the women in my life often just want to talk and have somebody to talk to and somebody to listen, not to solve a problem. And I’ve even worked this little dealy out where I’m like if you can tell me ahead of time that you just want me to listen, then I’ll zip it and I won’t jump into problem solving mode.

Joey Coleman: Yeah, I love it. A not uncommon experience in many couples and many relationships between men and women around the world. We could do a whole segment and episode, in fact we could do a whole season, on this topic alone. And what I think it illustrates is that we are so compelled to take action as opposed to savoring things.

Joey Coleman: And one of the things I actually tried to do when I was reading the book was saver it. Not only did I find myself slowing down consciously to enjoy Holiday’s prose, but I found myself limiting my reading time so that I could draw out the number of days that I would spend reading the book, as opposed to I got to get to the end of the book because I want the next book to read.

Dan Gingiss: So you weren’t binge reading, in other words?

Joey Coleman: I wasn’t binge reading. Exactly. And in an age where it seems like we’re encouraged to consume as much content as possible, as often as possible, it was a real treat to seek stillness in my own reading and savor this book.

Joey Coleman: In fact, Holiday quotes Blaise Pascal as saying, “All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone.”

Dan Gingiss: Is that Pascal, the French mathematician?

Joey Coleman: Exactly. And here’s the interesting thing, pascal was encouraging us to be still in 1654. How much easier do you think it was for him to be still almost 400 years ago?

Dan Gingiss: Children put your rocks down and pay attention.

Joey Coleman: Exactly. He didn’t have all the distractions that we have today and yet it was an issue back then. In fact, Holiday notes that if the quiet moments are the best moments, and if so many wise and virtuous people have sung their praises, why are they so rare? Well, the answer is that while we may naturally possess stillness, accessing it is not easy.

Joey Coleman: In Stillness Is the Key, not only does Holiday present the reasons for this type of approach to life, but he offers a roadmap of tips and techniques and behaviors that are designed to help his readers achieve the elusive stillness.

Joey Coleman: I think my feelings about this book can probably best be summed up by something Ryan holiday writes in the preface of the book, “Buddhism, Stoicism, Epicureanism, Christianity, Hinduism. It’s all but impossible to find a philosophical school or religion that does not venerate this inner peace, this stillness, as the highest good and the key to elite performance and a happy life. And when basically all the wisdom of the ancient world agrees on something, only a fool decline to listen.”

Joey Coleman: Do yourself a favor, friends, go purchase a copy of Ryan Holiday’s book, Stillness Is the Key. You won’t be disappointed and it might just change the way you look at the world and the experiences you’re creating.

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

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

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

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

Joey Coleman: Experience.

Dan Gingiss: This!


Episode 86: Discover How to Deliver a Truly Great Customer Experience

Join us as we discuss why customer satisfaction and profit might be at odds, a romance novelist who immerses herself in her characters, and how LEGO builds customer loyalty.

Dollars, Damsels, and Dumbledore – Oh My!

[CX Press] Customer Satisfaction vs. Profit

How do you measure a satisfied customer? How do you measure your success? Mary Drummond explores this in her latest article, Which is your CX Priority: Satisfied Customer or Profit?

Customer experience cannot stand on its own. Studies have shown that reducing customer defection can increase profits dramatically. This tells us that profits increase as customer loyalty increases.

It was about being able to tie customer experience, tie the experiences of the customers, what drives their decision to actually give money to your organization, find the experiences that matter and be able to focus and metrify those so that corporations can make decisions based on numbers that actually tie into the bottom line.

Mary Drummond, CMO of Worthix

Ultimately, the truth is you have to have both customer satisfaction and profit to succeed. The two will go hand in hand. When you create a great experience, build loyalty, and life-long customers, you also build a profitable organization.

[What Are You Reading] Immerse Yourself in the Experience

Romance novels may seem an odd addition to a customer experience podcast. However, one novelist Allie Pleiter, knows how to truly deliver a great customer experience. Dan met Allie at a national speaker event, and she told him that she often puts herself in the shoes of her customer. She wants to experience what she’s asking her readers to experience.

I go out of my way to make sure that that experience is as rich and engrossing and enthralling as possible. Now, for me, that means that I need to do whatever I can to actually experience what I want my reader to experience. That’s not only a good customer experiences, it’s also a lot of fun for me.

Allie Pleiter, Author, Speaker, and Coach

Allie understands the basic tenant of customer experience. She immerses herself in her character’s journey, which allows her to write more vivid imagery of what they are experiences, which actually provides a better experience for her readers. On average, Allie publishes four novels a year, and has sold over 1.4 million copies. So, we can say with some certainty, that putting yourself in your customer’s shoes is definitely a wise decision to provide a great customer experience.

[Start the Conversation] Avtex: Make an Effective Journey Map Today

Most customer experience experts are familiar with journey mapping. Journey maps can give you the information you need to truly understand your customer. However, many still fail to create truly effective journey maps that will actually improve experience design or experience improvements.

Here are four tips to help you with your journey mapping:

  1. Focus on one journey at a time. It’s important to chart individual journeys rather than attempt to create a map of all potential paths simultaneously.
  2. Identify customer personas who are most likely to engage in the journey to be mapped. 
  3. Use all available data sources to create depth and detail around the journey.
  4. Involve multiple departments to gain various perspectives during the journey mapping process.

As we walk into 2020, we want to challenge you to take a careful look at your own journey map. Things are constantly evolving and changing, and your company is too. Take a look at the journey map you are building and get ready for the new year!

Start the conversation with this question: Have we taken steps to truly understand the path our customers take to interact with our brand?

To continue the conversation, go to: experienceconversations.com.

[This Just Happened] Why Giving your Employees Freedom can Lead to the Best Customer Experience

Sometimes, a customer service experience actually stands out for a good reason. When two loves collide – LEGO and Harry Potter – a little connection and personalization set this experience apart from all the others. This interaction between Liam, a Lego customer, and Ronald, a customer service agent, was found by Dan on LinkedIn.

If Ronald had been forced to stick to one script, this amazing interaction never would have happened. Instead, Ronald immediately created a connection with his client, and resolved the issue seamlessly, with care and empathy. The takeaway is simple: lock in a customer for life by creating connection. Look for a commonality and draw on that. It may not be Hogwarts, but you will find something.

Links We Referenced

Host Contact Information

Email Dan: Dan@dangingiss.com

Tweet Dan Gingiss: @DGingiss

Email Joey: JoeyC@JoeyColeman.com

DanGingiss.com

JoeyColeman.com

Subscribe to Experience This on Apple Podcasts

Episode Transcript

Download a transcript of the entire Episode 86 here or read it below:

Dan Gingiss: Welcome to Experience This.

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

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

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

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

Joey Coleman: Get ready for the final episode of season four of the Experience This! Show. 

Dan Gingiss: Join us as we discuss why customer satisfaction and profit might be at odds, a romance novelist who immerses herself in her characters, and how Lego builds, get it, builds customer loyalty.

Joey Coleman: Dollar, damsels and Dumbledore. Oh, my. 

[CX Press] Customer Satisfaction vs. Profit

Joey Coleman:  There’s 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: Back in season two, episode 50, we shared an article by my good friend, Mary Drummond, the CMO of Worthix, a survey company that helps companies determine their actual worth to customers. Mary is a brilliant and prolific writer, so I thought it was high time we featured another one of her articles. Today’s is called Which is Your CX Priority, Satisfied Customers or Profit?

Joey Coleman: Oh, that’s tough. I can only choose one?

Dan Gingiss: Well, that’s what the article’s about actually. Mary laments that so many companies are having difficulty measuring the true value of customer experience, which of course makes it harder to secure resources for management, which then negatively affects the customer experience. Let’s hear from Mary directly. 

Mary Drummond: I spent a lot of time speaking to CX practitioners to executives inside corporations and to thought leaders on customer experience. One thing that seemed to be kind of an across the board message was that if that at some point executives and shareholders don’t start seeing profit in customer experience, then they’re going to start shutting down projects. That is probably the worst case scenario for our field, especially because we understand the value of customer experience. We understand the value of putting the customer first. 

What we need to be able to do is find a correlation with those numbers that can be shown to the decision makers in our organizations so we can prove that customer experience is profitable. I mean, it’s great to look at things from a holistic approach and try to see the big picture, but that big picture somehow has to tie into numbers or else it’s going to be useless for the people who have to base their decisions on these metrics. Right? 

So, I think that it wasn’t about how profits are more important than customers, especially because customers are what bring profit in the first place. It was more about being able to tie customer experience, tie the experiences of the customers what drives their decision to actually give money to your organization, find the experiences that matter and be able to focus and metrify those so that corporations can make decisions based on numbers that actually tie into the bottom line. So, that’s my point with this article. I hope you all give it a read, because it’s a really important message.

Dan Gingiss: Mary goes on to say that, “If companies want to maintain and increase profits with customers buying and re-buying their products and services, what they need to provide is an overall experience in which the benefits, both rational and emotional, outweigh the costs, both price and effort or time. 

Joey Coleman: Well, that sounds about right. But what’s the catch, Dan?

Dan Gingiss: Well, Mary goes on to say that the success of your CX projects hinges on profitability. Why? Because it’s pretty difficult to get corporate buy-in for a project that won’t increase financial results. “This is a numbers game,” she says, “So, if you want to get your board excited, you’ll need to demonstrate the profit potential of designing and implementing experiences that positively impact customer’s decisions.” I think what she’s saying here is that you can’t just do CX to do CX.

Joey Coleman: Well, I totally agree with that, Dan. I think what’s interesting is lots of times the customer experience conversation gets framed as, “Well, you just hug it with the customers, and everything’s touchy feely and we’ll all be happy.” What’s interesting is that type of messaging certainly works for a lot of people who work in customer experience, but it doesn’t work for the bean counters. It doesn’t work for the financial folks in the organization that are like, “Well, what’s the value of a hug?”

I’m a big fan of some incredible research out of Harvard Business School and Stanford Business School that notes that just a five percent reduction in customer defection leads to a 25 to 100% increase in profits. So, lots of times the key benefit of customer experience is customer retention. If we can keep more of our customers, our profits go up. Why? Because most businesses are already operating at a profit. So, the incremental dollars that are spent by a customer who’s been there for a long time are more profitable than the first dollars they spent because we’ve already recouped the acquisition costs. So, I do think there is a clear financial bottom line profits reason for focusing on customer experience. It’s just about how we frame it in our conversations within our organizations. 

Dan Gingiss: I’m going to give you another example that will make the bean counters happy, which was some research done by Watermark Consulting. Now, what they did was they looked at the Forrester Customer Experience Index, which comes out every year and ranks companies based on their customer experience scores. Watermark took a look at the public companies on the list and they compared the return in the stock market over 11 years of the leaders in customer experience to the laggards in customer experience.

Now, what was amazing was that not only did the leaders steadily and handily out perform the S&P 500 but they performed almost 3X what the laggards did. So, the laggards were also laggards in the stock market. The leaders were also leaders in the stock market, and the leaders performed way better multiple times than the laggards. There is a connection here. The companies that were rising to the top of Forrester’s Customer Experience Index were also performing the best on Wall Street.

Joey Coleman: I love it because not only were they performing better than those who decided not to focus on customer experience or who had poor customer experiences, but if I understood the research right, they were performing better than the S&P 500 in general, which by the way, to be on the S&P 500 means that your business is doing well. As a general rule, those are the companies that are picked to be put into that 500 company basket. So, the fact that they were over-indexing on that group as well to me indicates that their dollars and cents really come together when it comes to focusing on customer experience.

Dan Gingiss: So, I think to summarize Mary’s article, it isn’t really a choice between satisfaction or profit. You have to invest in the CX experiences that create both, that make customers happy and satisfied and therefore willing to spend more money with you. So, the takeaway is that just like any other corporate initiative, you can’t expect to get resources and executive buy-in without demonstrating clear results. So, make sure you have the analytics in place to track the actual impact of any customer experience initiative. 

[What Are You Reading] Romance Novels!

Joey Coleman: 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: Joey, are you a fan of the romance novel genre?

Joey Coleman: Well, you know, that’s an interesting question, Dan. Fan is probably too big of a word. I have read some romance novels, because I try to read across a lot of different genres. I wouldn’t necessarily say I’m an avid regular reader. 

Dan Gingiss: Well, I think after this segment you might become a bigger fan of one particular romance novelist. 

Joey Coleman: Ooh-la-la. Tell me more. You have my attention, Dan. 

Dan Gingiss: Well, her name is Allie Pleiter. She’s the best-selling author of more than 40 books. 

Joey Coleman: Wow, that’s a lot. Dan and I have each written one book, and we know how much goes into writing one book. 40 books, good for you, Allie. That’s a lot.

Dan Gingiss: Yeah. She is releasing an average of four novels per year. She has sold more than 1.4 million books around the world. Now, I had the pleasure of meeting Allie recently at The National Speakers Association Influence Event where you and I were both roomies as I remember.

Joey Coleman: Yes. We’re not just co-hosts on the podcast. Occasionally when we’re at the same event, we get to be roomies. 

Dan Gingiss: As it turns out, she’s from my home state of Illinois. So, we met at an Illinois NSA Chapter dinner because she’s also a professional speaker and productivity coach. Anyway, I wouldn’t normally have included a discussion of a bunch of romance novels on our podcast, but Allie told me something really interesting about her writing method. You know how we often talk about putting yourself in the shoes of your customer?

Joey Coleman: Yeah. I mean, it’s basically one of the most repeated tenets of customer experience theory. 

Dan Gingiss: Well, Allie puts herself in the shoes of her fictional character. 

Joey Coleman: Wait a second. How does she do that?

Dan Gingiss: I think we should let her tell us in her own words.

Allie Pleiter: My primary customer experience is what a reader experiences when he or she reads one of my novels. I go out of my way to make sure that that experience is as rich and engrossing and enthralling as possible. Now, for me, that means that I need to do whatever I can to actually experience what I want my reader to experience. That’s not only a good customer experiences, it’s also a lot of fun for me. I’ve had a lot of tremendously fun adventures doing it.

I have talked to a circus and gone up onto a trapeze to get an idea of what that feels like. I’ve learned to work a ten foot bull whip, because I needed a character who used a whip as one of his weapons. That was an amazing experience. I’ve had a world-class barista show me how to work one of the most expensive and intricate coffee machines, espresso machines to show me what that was like and what it felt like to work that machinery or to wield that whip. One of my favorites recently was I was working on a book that involved a bison ranch. I had the opportunity to spend a couple of days on the bison ranch, and they staged a bison stampeded for me so that I got to feel like what it was like to be in the middle of a hundred 2,000 pound animals coming at you.

Not only is that fun for me, and I think it shows up in the work in the fun that I’m having and the adventure that I’m not only going on but I’m pulling my reader on, but I think it makes for really vivid descriptions. It has a chance to bring a reader along with me and create a really visceral, emotional, wonderful experience for them as they read one of my books. That’s certainly what I hope happens, and I certainly have a tremendous amount of fun while I do it. 

Dan Gingiss: Isn’t that absolutely awesome? 

Joey Coleman: I love it. I love how she is flawlessly executing an important tenent of customer experience by replicating the experiences from a fictional world in the real world, at least if that makes sense.

Dan Gingiss: Yeah. My head’s exploding a little bit, but yes it does. I mean, she’s not just going to write about a character that performs on a trapeze. She’s going to actually get on that trapeze herself. It’s got to make her a better writer, because frankly I don’t expect that many of her readers have been on a trapeze. There might be readers that could figure out that her description is not entirely accurate. For example, I would imagine you being a recovering lawyer that you probably can identify some things in lawyers in fictional text that may not be really accurate.

Joey Coleman: Oh my gosh, Dan, all the time. All the time. In fact, there are many legal movies and TV shows that I just refuse to watch because they get it so, so wrong. Same thing with watching shows about the intelligence community or espionage. I’m looking at it going, “Yeah, that’s not at all how it works.” The authors that are really good at writing about certain scenarios, like John Grisham is a well known and quality writer in the legal space or Tom Clancy was a well known writer in the espionage space. 

One of the things that made their fans such rabid fans is because they got the details right, the little things that no one would know. I remember years ago reading a Tom Clancy novel when I was working at the Central Intelligence Agency, and it was talking about fighting for a parking space. It was like this throwaway paragraph about fighting for a parking space at headquarters. I was reading this while I was on my to work knowing that there was going to be a search for a parking space. So, the fact that he knew this little nuance said, “Oh, this guy’s writing directly to me.

Dan Gingiss: Yeah. I mean, one of my favorite authors of all time was Pat Conroy, may he rest in peace. He spent much of his life in Charleston and wrote about Charleston with that same level of detail that literally put you there with him smelling the smells and seeing the sights. I think that’s what made him such a good writer. 

In the genre that Allie writes about, she’s got all sorts of different characters doing all sorts of different things. That has resulted in her having all sort of really cool experiences by trying to experience them in advance of her characters.

Joey Coleman: Well, talk about creating a career for yourself that is based on experience. Not only has she clearly had a successful career as a writer and as a coach and an advisor, but she’s had a really fun career doing all these things that she writes about. 

Dan Gingiss: Absolutely. Check out Allie at AlliePleiter.com. That’s www.A-L-L-I-E-P-L-E-I-T-E-R.com and her books including her newest one released in October on Amazon. We will include links on our show notes at www.ExperienceThisShow.com if you missed any of those. We are sure that you too will fall in love with romance novels.

[Start the Conversation] Avtex: Journey Mapping

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

This week’s start the conversation topic is journey mapping. In order to deliver quality experiences, it’s important to fully understand the paths that your customers take when interacting with your business. Creating customer journey maps based on real accurate data from real customers can help you visualize the steps that your customers must take to research your brand, seek assistance or information, and resolve issues and make purchases. 

While many CX leaders are familiar with or actively engaged in the journey mapping process, many fail to create the truly effective customer journey maps necessary to enable experience improvements or experience design. 

Dan Gingiss: When creating a journey map, be sure to, one, focus on one journey at a time. It’s important to chart individual journeys rather than attempting to create a map of all potential paths simultaneously. Two, identify customer personas who are most likely to engage in the journey to be mapped. Three, use all data available to create depth and detail around the journey. Four, involve multiple departments to gain various perspectives during the journey mapping process.

Joey Coleman: Dan, we’re here at the end of the year and thinking about 2020 to come, and I’m going to make a pretty bold statement. I don’t think there is a listener to our show whose business couldn’t benefit from going back and either re-looking at the journey maps they’ve already made or creating new ones, because what I’ve found, and I do a lot of journey mapping with my client, is that one of two things has happened. Either number one, the maps they made were made a long time ago and there’s a whole lot of new inputs and new interactions that aren’t showing up anywhere on the map that are affecting the journey dramatically. Or number two, they’ve actually never done a mapping process.

When we get them in the room to do the mapping process, I have yet to find a single employee at any company that can detail every interaction that happens in the journey. So, if you’re going to do journey mapping, make sure you have stakeholders from all the different departments so that you can actually track and record against every interaction that they have in the lifetime of the customer journey.

Dan Gingiss: I too have done a lot of journey maps both in my previous jobs and with clients now as a consultant. One thing that I find is it’s really important to also include the customer’s emotion at each stop of the journey, because that’s going to help you identify the places you need to work on. If the emotion is, for example, frustration, that might be one that you want to pay attention to. 

Now for this week’s question about journey mapping. Have we taken steps to truly understand the path our customers take to interact with our brand? We encourage you to start the conversation within your own organization and then continue it with our friends at Avtex at ExperienceConversations.com. That website again is ExperienceConversations.com.

[This Just Happened] Lego Customer Service

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

Dan Gingiss: Joey, we know from a couple of episodes last season that you and your family are big Lego fans. Tell me, do you also like Harry Potter?

Joey Coleman: You know, it’s interesting, Dan. The Venn diagram I think between Lego fans and Harry Potter fans is pretty much entirely overlapping. So, yes, we are 100% Harry Potter fans. In fact, I’ve got a six year old and a three and a half year old. My six year old, he went to school this year for first grade and he came home the first day and he started telling us this story about a cat that could turn into a person and how they were sitting around class listening to this story about wizards and magic. My wife and I were a little bit disappointed, because it dawned on us that the school was introducing him to Harry Potter. It’s great. We love the school. They’re doing an amazing job-

Dan Gingiss: Even before you could, you mean.

Joey Coleman: But even before we could introduce him to Harry Potter, because we weren’t sure it’s that … It’s kind of like when you introduced your kids to Star Wars, it was while Wendy introduced them to Harry Potter. In short, yes, we are huge Harry Potter fans.

Dan Gingiss: All right. Well, you’re going to love this story then, because it is about both Lego and Harry Potter. I want to stipulate that I found this example on social media, LinkedIn as it turns out. It involves a web chat discussion between Liam, a Lego customer, and Ronald, a Lego customer service agent. 

It starts with Liam saying, “I’m looking for replacement building instructions for Hogwarts Castle. Please can you help? Thanks, Liam.” The customer service agent, Ronald, responds and says, “Hi, Liam. How are you doing today? Thanks for getting in touch. Did Harry perhaps discard his invisibility cloak a bit carelessly, or did a jar of pumpkin juice spill over the building instructions?” Liam answers,” Haha, not quite. The cleaners at my father-in-law’s nursing home used an expelliarmus spell on book one and it found its way into the bin. I understand how we can download them, but I was hoping to get a replacement sent out if possible, please. It’s just book one. We have books two to four still.”

Ronald answers, “Oh, no. Sadly I’m only a muggle and won’t be able to use a spell to make a new building instruction booklet magically appear on your doorstep in an instant, but I’m happy to send you a new book out from our warehouse in Demark. It will arrive within five to ten days. We have book one in stock. Can you please confirm your full name and address including postal code, email address and phone number? I’ll then setup a free of charge order for the new book straightaway.” Liam then answers, “I heard the flying car was out of order and that the owls are currently on strike. Snail mail will be absolutely fine. Thanks so much for your help. Muggles are definitely underrated. Here are my details.”

Ronald answers, “Brilliant. I’ll set everything up and you’ll receive a notification from our house elves in the warehouse as soon as they’ve dispatched the new book to your Lego Hogwarts Castle set, and it will be complete again. Is there perhaps anything else I can assist you with today, Liam?” Liam says, “No. That is all. Thank you. You have been amazing. The best conversation I’ve had all year.” Now, is that not one of the best customer service interactions you’ve ever seen?

Joey Coleman: I love it. I love it, love it, love it. When you have fans, and let’s be candid, ideally we’re striving for all of our customers to be fans, and you share a common affinity, which is very obvious here because the Lego customer is asking for the instructions for the Hogwarts Castle. So, we already know by default that there’s some appreciation of Harry Potter. The fact that the customer service rep also has an appreciation of Harry Potter, it allows the interaction to go to a completely different level. 

I love the personalization. I love the playfulness and the humor. It was almost like it seemed at one point they were trying to, I don’t want to say one-up each other on their knowledge, but there was definitely some references to less common elements of the Harry Potter genre. So, I thought it was really great how they interacted back and forth. Just made for, as I think the customer finally said at the end, a fantastic conversation.

Dan Gingiss: Yeah. What I loved about it was that clearly Ronald, the agent, has the freedom to talk to customers in the way that he wants to. That allows him to express his own individuality, his own personality and his own fandom of Harry Potter. For someone else, it might be a Star Wars Lego that evokes that same kind of conversation. 

I think too often companies are so concerned about scripting customer service agents and making sure they stay to the script that they wouldn’t allow someone like Ronald to have fun with a customer like he got to do with Liam. 

Joey Coleman: Yeah. The reality is scripts in a customer service or customer service representative setting are usually designed to make sure that the right messaging happens when the reality is, everything we see in this example from Lego is the right messaging. It’s warm. It’s fun. It’s playful. It’s connective. These are the type of interactions you would hope that all of your customer service reps are having with all of your customers.

Dan Gingiss: Again, people may ask, “Well, I can’t possibly do this at my business, because I don’t have anything related to Harry Potter.” We would encourage you to look at your business, and more importantly listen to your customers, and find an opportunity to connect with them on a level that may have nothing to do with your business.

I mean, here, yes, it is a Hogwarts Castle, but truly they’re connecting on their love of Harry Potter not necessarily on their love of Lego, which is the business. That’s why I think it’s so great. So, you too could have somebody call in and you may find out they’re a coffee fan or you may find out that they’re a sports fan of a certain team. Let your agents talk to them about that and establish that human relationship. 

Joey Coleman: Well, and Dan, to kind of end up our season four, let me give some positive words about social media. One of the cool things about social media is you can use it as an investigatory tool. You can investigate your customers by going on their social media profiles, many of which are wide open, and seeing what they’re actually interested in. It never ceases to amaze me when I get the opportunity to connect on a passion I have with one of my clients.

I found out recently that one of my good friends and clients from Australia also loves drinking root beer. So, now every time we connect, it’s kind of a fun root beer interaction. How did I find that out? Not by talking to him about it. It could’ve come up that way, but I happened to see a post that he did about enjoying a root beer one night. I thought, “Huh, here’s a guy that likes something that I like.” So, I would posit that there are all sorts of points of commonality that you have with your customers if you’re willing to look in the same way that Ronald did from Lego. 

Dan Gingiss: The takeaway here is, let your employees have fun with customers when appropriate. If Ronald was forced to stick to a script or follow precise rules for answering customers, he never would have created, quote, the best conversation I’ve had all year, unquote, with Liam. Take it from Lego, this is how you lock in a customer for life. 

As we reach the end of the calendar year 2019, we also come to the end of season four of the Experience This! Show. 

Joey Coleman: Season four would not have happened without the support of many incredible people, including-

Dan Gingiss: Our partners at SAP Customer Experience, especially Federique Demonte Faginto, Margo Hilagmen and Jennifer Vandazand. Our friends at Yoko Co. who continue to maintain and update our website, including Stacy, Max and Chris. And the fantastic team at Avtex, especially Marshall Salisbury, Kurt Schroeder, Beth Ingbritzen and Andy Balgord who helped us start the conversation each week.

Joey Coleman: Our production team including Aaron Lasko and audio engineer superb Taylor Marvin from the incomparable Coupe Studios in Boulder, Colorado, Whitney, our virtual assistant and keeper of the show notes, and my law school roommate, Davin Sieman, who continues to serve as the composer of all of our show music. 

Dan Gingiss: Last, but certainly not least, to you, our loyal listeners. We could not keep doing the Experience This! Show if you didn’t show up every week on iTunes or Spotify or Stitcher or wherever you’re listening today and listen to us two goofballs talk about experience. 

Joey Coleman: Thanks for a wonderful season four. We hope you have a fantastic start to 2020. We’ll see you for season five of the Experience This! Show.

Wow. Thanks for joining us for another episode of Experience This!

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

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

Dan Gingiss: Thanks again for your time. We’ll see you next week for more-

Joey Coleman: Experience-

Dan Gingiss: This!

Episode 49: The Value of Analog Experiences in a Digital World

Join us as we discuss: the live experience that tore apart the art world, the employee side of the experiential coin, and the power of birthday cards to drive annual renewals.   

The Banksy, The Employee, and The Birthday! Oh my!

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Episode 31: How Virtual Reality Will Impact Customer Experience

[The future of virtual reality in the customer experience, the effects of fiction coming to life on the big screen, and how the future is (or isn’t) all about VR.

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Episode 25: Why Anticipating Your Customer’s Needs Makes All the Difference

Why technology is never as easy as it should be, how a commuter train line is anticipating your needs with a simple piece of paper, and one man’s journey across all 50 states.

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Episode 23: Why The First 100 Days Are Key to Creating Lifelong Customers

How getting The First 100 Days® right can create lifelong customers, a unique day on the ocean you’ll never forget, and the difference between a good salesperson and a great salesperson.

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Episode 15: How to Cultivate Powerful Customer Relationships with Honesty

Why you shouldn’t be afraid to publicly admit your mistakes, how Netflix brought fun to its required communications, and how you can harness the power of positive feedback.

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