Episode 132 – Promise to Make Your Experiences Better

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

Seeing, Guaranteeing, and Personalizing – Oh My!

Referenced in the Show

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

Host Contact Information

Email Dan: Dan@dangingiss.com

Tweet Dan Gingiss: @DGingiss

Email Joey: JoeyC@JoeyColeman.com



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Episode Transcript

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Joey Coleman (01:21):
There are so many great customer experience articles to read, but who has the time?! We summarize them and offer clear takeaways you can implement starting tomorrow. Enjoy this segment of CX Press, where we read the articles so you don’t need to.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Joey Coleman (09:53):
We’re excited to give you an overview of an important book you should know about as well as share some of our favorite passages as part of our next Book Report.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Joey Coleman (31:19):

Dan Gingiss (31:19):