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

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

Consistency, Connections, and Crescendos – Oh My!

Referenced in the Show

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

Host Contact Information

Email Dan: Dan@dangingiss.com

Tweet Dan Gingiss: @DGingiss

Email Joey: JoeyC@JoeyColeman.com

DanGingiss.com

JoeyColeman.com

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Episode Transcript

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Joey Coleman (01:16):
We’re excited to give you an overview of an important book you should know about as well as share some of our favorite passages as part of our next Book Report

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Joey Coleman (28:00):
We love telling stories and sharing key insights you can implement, or avoid, based on our experiences. Can you believe that This Just Happened?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Joey Coleman (39:38):
Experience!

Dan Gingiss (39:38):
This!