Episode 58 – Include Every Individual in the Customer Experience

Join us as we discuss: cutting edge customer journey mapping, counting the many customer experiences of Tokyo, Japan, and what to do when someone wants to learn more about your company but isn’t quite ready for the sale. 

Individuals, Ichiban, and Interest. Oh my!

[CX Press] The Importance of Mapping Individual Customer Journeys [1:26-9:45]

A recent e-book release by the Sitel Group entitled, “Disrupt the Competition” posits the customer experience is a greater industry disruptor than technology. The e-book include a 5-Step process for building a CX Strategy that harnesses evolving customer behaviors in order to disrupt the competition. A large portion of the recommended strategy focuses on mapping and tracking the customer journey; especially the individual customer journey. In order to do this, the e-book suggests businesses look internally to remove information silos between departments in their organization. This will help the customer to navigate easily through their journey, as well as allow the business a more comprehensive understanding of each individual customer journey.

As customers, we don’t care what department we’re talking to. We don’t care how your company is organized. We’ve never seen an organizational chart – nor do we want to. The problem is that most companies focus their customer experience by that organization chart, which again, is blind to the customer. ~ Dan Gingiss

  • Research by the Economist Intelligence Unit shows that 26.4% of CEOs believe that changing customer behavior is the biggest driver of disruption.
  • The five steps to build a CX strategy to disrupt the competition are:  (1) Build an omni-channel solution, (2) Create unique customer journeys, (3) Erase customer effort, (4) Dive into the data, and (5) Help customers help themselves.
  • Research from Dimension Data finds that 33% of organizations are not able to track their customer journeys at all.

[This Just Happened] How Tokyo Creates A Remarkable Experience Through Attention to Detail [9:59-18:14]

On a recent trip, Joey spent a day in Tokyo (well, it was actually 23 hours but that’s a story for another episode). While there, he noted the attention to detail paid to everything from taxi cars with doors that open automatically, to bathrooms with child seats in the stalls. In Ginza, a high end shopping district, the retail workers were both welcoming and excited to have him as a customer, even before he made a purchase. When he did make a purchase, after explaining that he would be traveling back to the United States of America, the clerks in several different stores took the time to wrap his purchases in clear plastic – instead of wrapping paper – so that his items would make it through Customs easier. What some may see this as going above and beyond, this is actually the normal way of doing business in Tokyo.

When I explained that I was traveling back to the United States they still wrapped everything – but they wrapped it in bubble wrap and clear plastic. It still had presentation value and was aesthetically pleasing, but you could see what was in the package [making negotiating Customs easier]. It was such a little thing but it really stood out. ~ Joey Coleman

  • Many of the small details that stand out and draw attention in Tokyo are driven by technology.
  • Retail stores in Ginza create a welcoming atmosphere for their customers through the attention paid to them by the employees. The best retail establishments create an environment that let’s the customer know they are happy the customer came to the store and they go so far as to celebrate with the customer when a purchase is made.
  • The Ginza district was one of the first to utilize augmented reality apps to attract customers as they pass storefronts with deals and coupons in real time.

[Dissecting the Experience] Including Salespeople in the Customer Experience [18:32-29:45]

Two recent interactions Joey had while researching information for future CX Press segments on the Experience This! Show podcast fell far short of remarkable. In both cases, a sales person contacted Joey after downloading PDF articles published by their company (this happened on two separate occasions). After explaining his interest as a researcher (vs. a customer),  the salespeople “took him off their list” and “closed his account” as a viable sales lead. Companies that expect salespeople to only close deals (instead of cultivating relationships), lose that potential customer, as well as anyone that customer tells about their poor experience.

As organizations, we have a responsibility to train salespeople to build rapport, to not be so “immediate sale” focused that they miss opportunities for the long term sale, and to connect to inbound leads to make sure that they go to the right department. ~ Joey Coleman

  • Customers not interested in purchasing services immediately are often removed from a salesperson’s communication list – missing the chance to building a relationship with a potential future customer.
  • Empowering salespeople to build rapport through acknowledging the reasons for a person’s inquiry into their product or service will make it far more likely the customer will reach out again when they are ready to move forward with a purchase.
  • Connecting non-sales-related inquiries with the right people in an organization can improve the overall impression people have of your company, especially when industry influencers are wanting to know more about your business. A potential customer will share the impression they take away from their interaction with others.

[Three Takeaways] Questions to Consider for Episode 58 [30:05 – 32:15]

  1. Are you really paying attention to the customer journey? Is current customer behavior still following that path? Have you looked at ways to go beyond personas to customize and personalize your customer’s journey on an individualized basis?
  2. Are you paying attention to the little things? What are you doing to make sure that the little moments with your customers have a big impact on their feelings about you and your brand?
  3. Are your sales people contributing to the customer experience? When someone makes an inquiry on your website or downloads one of your lead-gen tools do your salespeople know how to cultivate a relationship, or do they immediately try to close a deal? How can you work with your sales team to make sure they can either cultivate a conversation long term or seamlessly hand off leads to the right people in your organization that will be able to capitalize on the interest in your brand?

Links We Referenced

Disrupt the Competition e-book by the Sitel Group

Empower CX Event hosted by the Sitel Group in Fort Lauderdale, Florida on April 9 and 10, 2019

Andy Morgan Fitness Website: RippedBody.com

Host Contact Information

Tweet Dan Gingiss: @DGingiss

Email Joey: JoeyC@JoeyColeman.com



Subscribe to Experience This on Apple Podcasts

Episode Transcript

Download a transcript of the entire Episode 58 here or read it below:


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


Dan Gingiss: Get ready for another episode of the Experience This! Show!

Joey Coleman: Join us as we discuss: cutting edge customer journey mapping, counting the many customer experiences of Tokyo, Japan, and what to do when someone wants to learn more about your company but isn’t quite ready for the sale.

Dan Gingiss: Individuals, ichiban, and interest. Oh my!


Joey Coleman: There are so many great customer experience articles to read, but who has tim?. 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.

[CX PRESS: The Importance of Mapping Individual Customer Journeys]

Joey Coleman: Let’s play a game, Dan. I’m going to give you a word and then you have five seconds to say all the things that you associate with that word. Are you game?

Dan Gingiss: I am game.

Joey Coleman: All right let’s do it. The word is: disruption.

Dan Gingiss: Let’s see. Technology, Uber, startups, change, new, Amazon, Apple, Netflix, artificial intelligence, social media, virtual reality-

Joey Coleman: All right, all right that’s five! Well done, well done. There were a bunch of words in there and I thought you might say some of those and, in fact, some of those show up in today’s CX Press segment where we’re going to discuss an e-book called, “Disrupt the Competition,” created by our good friends at the Sitel Group. This free download takes the increasingly popular topic of business disruption and comes at it from a different angle. See, instead of viewing disruption as being all about technology, which ironically enough is the first word that came to mind for you, Dan, Sitel posits that the ultimate disruptor in your industry is the customer experience you create.

Dan Gingiss: Now the e-book starts off by sharing an interesting statistic from a survey of global CEOs conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit. The CEOs identified the biggest drivers of disruption as follows: 29.3% said regulatory changes, 26.4% said changing customer behavior, 21.8% said red tape and bureaucracy, and 21.4% said technology. Now while each of these elements can certainly be disruptive, it’ll come as no surprise to our regular listeners that Joey and I were most interested in the disruption associated with changing customer behavior. While most companies focus on creating disruption via technology, creating customer experience disruption is a much faster and more effective way to shake up your industry.

Joey Coleman: Now let’s just address the pink elephant in the room, right? Customer behavior is changing faster today than at any other time in human history. And that’s very exciting, but it also makes it very challenging. Every industry and every vertical is feeling the change both directly and indirectly as customer expectations are shaping and reshaping the relationships that businesses have with the people that use their products and services. Now the e-book outlines a five step process for building a CX strategy that will disrupt the competition. The five steps are: #1 – Build an omni-channel solution. #2 – Create unique customer journeys. #3 – Erase customer effort. #4 – Dive into the data. And #5 – Help customers help themselves. Now while we could spend an entire show talking about any one of these five steps, for now we’d love to focus on the aspect of unique customer journeys. Customer journeys and the associated task of mapping and tracking those journeys are probably very familiar activities for most customer experience professionals. What is changing, however, is the ability to do this on an individualized basis. Customer by customer.

Dan Gingiss: So those customers are increasingly interacting with businesses across a variety of channels and touch points. But how many businesses are truly paying attention to those interactions on a case by case basis. Sure there are considerations around social media and websites, phone calls, live chats… but are businesses really tracking the journey across the various platforms? As the e-book noted, you can’t claim to know your customers unless you know how they are interacting with your business.

Joey Coleman: Now technology enhancements and the shift to digital channels that is happening pretty much in every industry make it easier to catalog individual journeys and recognize individual personas. In the past, the best businesses would identify three to six customer personas and map out their respective customer journeys. Ironically enough, some businesses haven’t even dipped their toe in the water and mapped out a single journey. In fact, research from Dimension Data cited in the e-book notes that 33% of organizations are not able to track their customer journeys. So forget about anticipating the path, these organizations can’t even tell you if their customers are on the path. Now while this is the case with many companies a select few, in fact the best businesses in the world today, are putting in the time, effort, talent, and resources to map individual journeys. What I mean by individual journeys is they’re tracking individual customer behaviors and using that pathing to anticipate which touch points they should put in front of that customer, and where that customer will most likely go next.

Dan Gingiss: Well I think this data is somewhat frightening, especially the one third that are not able to track customer journeys at all. I believe the culprit here is actually how companies are organized, and the fact that large companies are still so siloed. And we’ve talked about this in previous episodes if you remember my example early on in Season 1 of the hotel faucet that there was a new faucet in the sink and I couldn’t fit my iron under it because the people running the iron and the people running the faucets are two different people. And to the customer it’s only one experience, but to the company it’s two different departments. How many times have he called customer service and been told, “Well that’s not my department I have to transfer you to a different department.” As customers we don’t care what department we’re talking to, we don’t care how your company is organized. We’ve never seen an organizational chart nor do we want to. But the problem is that most companies focus their customer experience by that organization chart, which again is blind to the customer. And so I think that’s the starting point. And obviously you have to be able to do this at scale before you can do it on a one to one basis. But certainly when you can get down to that personalized experience is where it’s a real game changer.

Joey Coleman: I agree with you, Dan. What I think is often though used as an excuse is the kind of phrase, “Well how do we do that at scale? It’s impossible to do it at scale.” I would argue, can you even do it for an individual customer? Because the tools, and the techniques, and the mental mindset that you’re going to need to be able to track an individual customer journey needs to be in place before you can do it at scale. I think there are a lot of companies that are just getting started that say, “Oh well we’ll get to this later,” when the reality is they should put the systems and processes in place now. Now I grew up in the heartland. I grew up in Iowa in a farming community. And, let’s be candid silos are amazing on farms. They are horrible in organizations. You don’t want to have silos. And if there was one thing that your organization could focus on in 2019 that would probably have more impact than any other initiative, it’s figuring out what are the silos, what are the barriers that make it difficult for a customer to easily navigate through the journey? And by writing that down, and tracking it, and paying attention to it you’ll get much better at it. If you’re interested in some provocative thoughts on disruption, like the unique customer journeys we just spoke about, head over to Explore.Sitel.com/ExperienceThis and download your own copy of the e-book, “Disrupt the Competition.” You can also make your way to the e-book by going to the Episode 58 show notes at ExperienceThisShow.com.

Dan Gingiss: And don’t forget to come join us for our live podcast recording at Sitel’s Empower CX Event in Fort Lauderdale, Florida on April 9, 10, and 11. We’re taking the Experience This! Show on the road, and we want to have you join us. You can get your free ticket by heading to Explore.Sitel.com/ExperienceThis and we’ll see you in Florida.


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?

[THIS JUST HAPPENED: How Tokyo Creates a Remarkable Experience Through Attention to Detail]

Joey Coleman: I got to do something recently, Dan, that I hadn’t done in 25 years.

Dan Gingiss: Attend a fraternity party?

Joey Coleman: I wasn’t really attending many fraternity parties 25 years ago. Yeah you’re right. It’s been a long, long time since I’ve attended one of those. But what I’m actually referring to is visiting Tokyo, Japan. Have you had the chance to go to Tokyo, Dan?

Dan Gingiss: I have. I have been to the airport multiple times and I’ve exited the airport once and spent a couple of evenings there and loved it. Would love to go back.

Joey Coleman: Nice, nice. I live by rule that it doesn’t count if you don’t leave the airport. So I like that at least on one occasion you had the chance to leave the airport. It’s interesting that I have that criteria since on this particular visit I was on the ground outside of the airport for 22 hours. I had to do a mileage run at the end of the year so I zipped over to Tokyo, stayed with my good buddy the great fitness entrepreneur Andy Morgan, and we’ll link to some of his cool stuff on the show notes at ExperienceThisShow.com cause he’s a super cool guy that you all should know about. But what impressed me the most, and the reason I wanted to talk about the Tokyo experience in this segment, was the dozens upon dozens of examples of great customer experience and little attention to detail. We could take any one of these and spend the entire segment dissecting it but I just want to give a couple of examples and we can chat about them. Number one, getting into the taxi cab at the airport. As I walked up the line, they have the little line obviously to get in the cab, and as I came out the cab was right there, and the driver was standing beside the door, and the door was already open, and each ushered me in, and took my bag, and everything was great. Later when I rode in cabs throughout Tokyo over the course of the next day, every time a cab would pull up the door would open automatically without the driver even getting out of the car. And what I realized is they had a little button under the steering wheel that they could press to automatically open either the left or right side doors to the back seat for the cab, which was such a little thing but created this moment where before you’re even getting in the cab you’re feeling like you matter. You’re feeling like you’re being welcomed in. And of course the cabs were impeccably clean, and the drivers were exceedingly friendly, and everything was wonderful about it. But I just thought that was an interesting little interaction.

Dan Gingiss: Yeah well I mean one of the things that I love about going to Asia is that there are these small things like that that you don’t see in theU.S. And frankly they’re usually enabled by some sort of technology. But also there’s a different customer expectation thereand, particularly in Japan, very, very high standards. And that’s why I think you see a lot of really, really excellent experience examples.

Joey Coleman: I agree. I mean as a general rule and I realize folks these are sweeping stereotypical statements but go visit Tokyo and I think you’ll see what I mean. Incredibly clean city for as enormous of a metropolitan area it is, everything is very well organized, very clean, very clearly labeled. Now it’s compact and there’s a lot going on but it’s- it’s designed to be welcoming. I also thought it was interesting, and I know we’ve talked about this on the show a little bit before and I don’t want to go too in-depth into this, but the bathrooms were an experience in themselves. And what I thought was interesting about the bathroom which I had never seen at a bathroom anywhere else in the world was, affixed to the walls of the bathroom in individual stalls and as you kind of move through the various bathrooms was a little seat that you could put a child in. Almost think of like for folks that haven’t been to Tokyo think of like a highchair that’s bolted to the wall that you can actually put the child in and clip them in. And I just thought this was, yet again, another small attention to detail to recognize that some of the folks that were in a retail establishment or a store might be using the bathroom, and might want to put their kids in a spot where they don’t have to constantly be yelling at their kids, “Don’t touch that, don’t go over there, stay close, stop opening the door, what are you doing?” You know, all the things that any parent is familiar with telling kids in the bathroom how to do. I thought it was a little thing, but it was something that really stood out as being an attentive action by those retail establishments.

Dan Gingiss: Well you know that I like to talk about bathrooms because I think bathrooms have enormous potential for great customer experience and it sounds like this one delivered.

Joey Coleman: It really did. I think the other thing that I really noticed about my time in Tokyo: I decided to spend a few hours in Ginza, which is kind of the high end shopping district. It was right before Christmas and I just wanted to walk around and see the store windows, and what was going on, and maybe do a little bit of a pre-holiday shopping here and there. There were two things that really stood out in kind of the shopping experience. One was the incredible gift wrapping of packages. So any package that you bought was beautifully gift wrapped, and what I thought there was a little nuance. I saw them wrapping other people’s packages but because I was going to fly, and I was going to have to go through customs, with all due respect to our friends at border control they’re not really excited about wrapped packages coming into the country. So when I explained that I was traveling back to the United States they still wrapped everything but they wrapped it in bubble wrap and clear plastic. So it still had presentation value and was aesthetically pleasing but you could see what was in the package. It was such a little thing but it really stood out. The other thing I would say is the idea of presence when present. What I mean by that is the staff was so very focused and attentive on the interactions we were having. Now I’ve had the.. joy is absolutely the wrong word… the pain of visiting many retail establishments where it feels like you are a burden on the staff working there. They are annoyed that you deigned to come into the store and bother them with your presence or asking questions. That was not the case in Tokyo. Everybody was extremely grateful that I was in the store, that I was looking at items, that I was even considering purchasing. And then when I did purchase, it was as if it was time to celebrate with the rest of the store this purchase. And I just thought I thought it was absolutely incredible.

Dan Gingiss: Yeah I think I mean those are terrific examples and I went to Ginza as well. In fact I remember taking a picture of a gigantic “G” because my last name is Gingiss. And it also is the first letter of Ginza and there was a gigantic “G” on one of the buildings. But yeah one of the things I remember on that street was, and this was years ago before anybody had heard of this stuff, was there was a bank that was testing out a augmented reality app where you could literally walk down the street of Ginza and as you passed stores on your left and right there would be deals and coupons that would show up on your phone for those stores to try to attract you to come in which I thought was absolutely amazing at the time. It is still pretty amazing. But you know this was, I don’t know, 8 or 9 years ago. But yeah like I said before I think that one of the big differences is that there is a higher expectation of good service, and good experience, and I think that’s why you see some of the things. In the U.S. it’s pretty rare for a retailer, or any retailer, you know to feel like it’s time to celebrate after you make a purchase, right? We’re happy if they just say thank you.

Joey Coleman: Right? I’m happy if they just take the money sometimes. It’s like, “no really let me buy this.” Hop off your cell phone, or Facebook, or whatever you’re doing, and take my money so I can move on with the other activities in my day.

Dan Gingiss: Exactly.

Joey Coleman: Yeah. So we’ve talked about the customer experience of a country before, most recently in Episode 51 which was all about London. Tokyo seems to be all about attention to detail. And I thought it was an incredible experience. We look forward to returning very soon and I’ll close by saying, “Arigatou gozaimasu, Tokyo.” Thanks for the fun.


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.

[DISSECTING THE EXPERIENCE: Including Salespeople in the Customer Experience]

Dan Gingiss: Because the Experience This! Show is focused on customer experience, many people presume that we’re only concerned about what happens after the sale.

Joey Coleman: And while we certainly think that post sale customer experience is hugely important, we also believe that what happens before the sale is critical. In fact, I personally believe that the sales experience is often a great preview of what the customer experience is going to be like. Which is why I want to vent a little in this segment, and in the process hopefully help increase our listeners’ sales.

Dan Gingiss: Fasten your seatbelts folks! This is about to be a vintage venting Joey session.

Joey Coleman: All right so here’s the deal. I have a tendency to spend time on the internet downloading white papers, bonus PDFs, etc. for my own learning as well as for potential content for our CX Press segments that we do here on the show.

Dan Gingiss: Where we read the articles so you don’t have to!

Joey Coleman: That is correct. So in the last few weeks as we were leading up to the Season 3 launch of the podcast I signed up for a crazy amount of PDF downloads from a number of different companies, including a fairly large player in the call center space, and another very large player in the CRM space. What I’d like to do is share the exchanges I had with each company individually, and then talk about what we can learn collectively from these experiences. Now it’s useful to note that the emails I received from each of these big companies came to my inbox in less than 30 minutes after I received the download. And yes I’ve changed the names of the companies and their white papers to, in this case, protect the guilty. So example number one. Here’s the email exchange I had with a company I’m going to refer to as Big CRM Co.

Dan Gingiss: Now if I could just interrupt you for a second, I love this nickname of Big CRM Co. It’s like we’re going to talk about a hotel and we’re going to call it “Shyatt” but we’re not. I’ll tell you what brand it is.

Joey Coleman: There’s a lot of different CRM companies out there, okay? There are some super small ones. I’m highlighting that it’s a bigger one only because, generally, we think that the bigger folks get the more they should be able to pay attention to this stuff. But that’s not always the case. All right. So this is an e-mail exchange with Big CRM Co.

Joey Coleman: Hi Joey. I’m your initial point of contact here at Big CRM Co. and noticed that you looked into some of our online content. My role is to learn a little more about what you’re looking to get out of a tool, like our Big CRM Tool, and to align you with the best resources for a successful evaluation if it makes sense to. Do you have five minutes to speak either today or sometime later this week? Sally.

Dan Gingiss: Okay. First of all, five minutes? Not happening.

Joey Coleman: Yeah, never going to happen and today? Today!? I mean I haven’t even read the PDF! It’s like me showing up and saying, Hey I might be interested some day in going on a date,” and in less than 30 minutes you’re saying, “hey let’s get together for five minutes and see if this is a match made in heaven!”

Dan Gingiss: How’s breakfast this morning sound? I mean it’s just ridiculous.

Joey Coleman: All right. So I admit I got this e-mail and I was feeling a little frosty. But I tried to be professional and I responded.

Joey Coleman: Sally, thanks for your message. I’m very familiar with your product as many of my clients use Big CRM Tool. I did download, “Super Duper White Paper,” because I speak on customer service and customer experience and was interested to learn more about your company’s thoughts on these topics. However, at this time, I don’t have any needs for your business services. Thanks for reaching out. Joey.

Joey Coleman: To which Sally responded: Joey. Thank you for your quick response. I will go ahead and close your account out. Let me know if you are evaluating in the future. Thank you. (SMILEY FACE) My best, Sally.

Dan Gingiss: Well you see now, where shall we begin? You see Sally…

Joey Coleman: You need to vent too, don’t you? You can see where this is going.

Dan Gingiss: Yeah I think maybe you should have named Sally, “Sally the Salesperson,” because Sally has one role, and it is to make a sale, and once you shared with her that you were not interested in helping her make a sale she no longer has any use for you. Now what she clearly missed was that there was still an opportunity to establish a relationship with you. You’re a speaker, and an author, and an influencer, and you specifically said that you were looking for stuff to talk about and so you know if I were Sally, I might have at least at the minimum have pointed you to our PR department or marketing department and said” Hey why don’t you talk to these folks. They’ve got more stuff they could share with you,” or what have you. But has said what she is doing very kindly is she is closing out your account.

Joey Coleman: Absolutely. And what about the sentence where I say, “I’m familiar with your product as many of my clients use it.” Why not even throw in a sentence that says, “Hey Joey. I hope your clients are as thrilled with our product as hopefully you are with the White Paper you downloaded,” right? A single sentence that would have just done something other than, “oh you’re not interested in marrying me. Peace out. No more dating, no more discussion, no more nothing. Crazy. Missed opportunity. Which brings me to example number two. Now for example number two I want to share an email exchange I had with a company I’ll be referring to as Call Center Tech, which it’s important to note came after I downloaded a White Paper that was actually called, now I’m going to give you the name of the White Paper, “State of the Customer Experience.” Now that’s the actual name because it’s relevant to the story and really doesn’t identify the company in any meaningful way. So the first email. I go, I download the State of the Customer Experience Report, or White Paper, and very quickly get an email as follows.

Joey Coleman: Joey, Is moving away from your legacy call center to a cloud contact center right for you? When it comes to the contact center and the cloud, it’s not a one size fits all world. Choice and flexibility are king. Different options await at each turn, making the decision of what, and who, to use for a cloud solution difficult. Gain insight and guidance as you replace or improve your existing contact center architecture in this White Paper (and then link me to another White Paper), signed Gary.

Dan Gingiss: Ugh.

Joey Coleman: Oh no no no no, it gets better. To which I replied: Gary, thanks for your message but to be 100% honest I’m not sure why you think I have a legacy call center. I did download your State of the Customer Experience White Paper because I speak on customer service and customer experience and was interested to learn more about Call Center Tech’s thoughts. However, at this time, I don’t have any needs for your business services. Have a great weekend. Joey.

Joey Coleman: Now Gary didn’t reply. He didn’t reply to that email. But about 30 days later, I got a random email one day from: you guessed it, Gary. And the email just said: Hi Joey, thanks for your interest in Call Center Tech. Please let me know how I can help. Thanks, Gary. Now Gary clearly didn’t remember the conversation we had less than 30 days before with the same email with the same rep.

Dan Gingiss: You know why he didn’t remember? Because he was using Big CRM Co!

Joey Colemane and Dan Gingiss: [Lots of laughter]

Joey Coleman: Wow. Wow I see how you brought it all together. All right so Gary sent me this email. Now at this point I’m just like, I’m a little irritated but I was like I’m going to give this guy a second chance. I’m going to give him a second bite at the apple. So I replied to that email and I said: Gary, thanks for your email. I speak on the topic of customer experience (JoeyColeman.com) and specifically customer retention through remarkable customer experiences. I’m always looking for interesting data to feature in my speeches, hence my checking out your work. In that regard I’m more of an evangelist than a prospective customer. Hope that helps. Joey. Meanwhile I’m saying, “Hint, hint, hint. This is what I could be.” To which Gary responds in less than five minutes: Thanks, Joey. I’ll take you off my list. Have a great day. Gary. These are actual, verbatim copies of what was said. I am not editing this to make it more dramatic. I am not changing anything that was said. I got this and I thought to myself, “Oh. My. Goodness.”

Dan Gingiss: Yeah. And you know I’ve been in this world. I’ve been in the B2B sales world and it is unfortunate because it is so driven into these salespeople that it is just about one thing and one thing only: it’s reeling in that fish. And if you’re not reeling in a fish, then you’re not doing it right. And the problem is, is that the way to reel the fish is to establish a relationship with them. And in none of these e-mails is anybody trying to establish any relationship with you, even though, and really the tip off is the second you say you’re not a potential customer they don’t spend any time with you. And I think that’s a big mistake because you work with customers and potential customers. You speak to current customers and potential customers. And as I like to talk about every part, every interaction you have with a company is part of the customer experience. And so your interactions with these companies have now probably changed your opinion of them. So when somebody comes to you and says, “What do you think about Big CRM Co?” You now are going to answer differently.

Joey Coleman: What’s fascinating is that you had to put in that disclaimer of probably. It has absolutely changed my opinion, and left me thinking I don’t want any of my clients working with these folks. So listen moral of the story: your salespeople are often the first experience that a prospective customer is going to have with your brand. And ss organizations, we have a responsibility to train salespeople to build rapport, to not be so immediate sale focus that they miss opportunities for the long term sale, and to connect to inbound leads to make sure that they go to the right department. Because if it’s a hot lead, they want to buy the system right now, great! Close it salesperson! But we should be able to put them into some type of an ongoing communication stream so that we can continue to nurture that relationship. Now had my e-mails been sent to the marketing team for example I have a feeling that the subsequent conversations would have been very different, and instead of anonymizing two names of brands that just aren’t getting it in the presale experience, we might be talking specifically about how amazingly they handled the situation and what a remarkable experience they created. Folks there’s lots of opportunity out there. Make sure your salespeople get all of it. Not just the sales leads.


Joey Coleman: We’ve talked you’ve listened. Now it’s time to act. There are many things you could do to take what you’ve learned in this episode and implement it. But at times, that can feel overwhelming. Instead, why not just focus on three takeaways?

[THREE TAKEAWAYS: Questions to Consider for Episode 58]

Joey Coleman: Takeaway #1 – Are you really paying attention to the customer journey? You may have mapped the journey in the past, but is the current customer behavior still following that path? Have you looked at ways to go beyond personas to customize and personalize your customer’s journey on an individualized basis? The companies that are disrupting the marketplace today and have the stamina to go the distance across the next decade are the ones that consider and track touch points on a customer by customer basis. You can’t claim to really know your customers unless you are keenly aware of every step in their personal journey with your organization.

Dan Gingiss: Takeaway #2 – Are you paying attention to the little things? All too often brands focus on the big elements of their customer experience while missing the opportunity to pay attention to the little things. Tokyo, and in particular the shopping district of Ginza, offers remarkable interaction after a remarkable interaction: with taxicab doors opening automatically, gifts for travelers being wrapped in see-through paper, and personal interactions feeling present and appreciated. What are you doing to make sure that the little moments with your customers have a big impact on their feelings about you and your brand?

Joey Coleman: Takeaway #3 – Are your sales people contributing to the customer experience? When someone makes an inquiry on your website or downloads one of your lead-gen tools do your salespeople know how to cultivate a relationship, or do they immediately try to close a deal? Pacing matters. Relationships matter. Listening matters. Sales teams need to realize they are part of the overall customer experience, and the pre customer experience may be the most important part of the journey. Because if you don’t get that experience right, the prospect will never give you a chance. How can you work with your sales team to make sure they can either cultivate a conversation long term or seamlessly hand off leads to the right people in your organization that will be able to capitalize on the interest in your brand?

Dan Gingiss: And those are the three takeaways for this episode.

Joey Coleman: Don’t forget to head over to ExperienceThisShow.com Episode 58 and download your very own Take It to the Team worksheet so that you can more easily facilitate conversations with your colleagues about the customer experiences we discussed in this episode.

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 & Dan Gingiss: Experience This!