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Navigating the Customer Experience

Join host Yanique Grant as she takes you on a journey with global entrepreneurs and subject matter experts that can help you to navigate your customer experience. Learn what customers really want and how businesses can understand the psychology of each customer or business that they engage with. We will be looking at technology, leadership, customer service charters and strategies, training and development, complaint management, service recovery and so much more!
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Navigating the Customer Experience
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Now displaying: October, 2016
Oct 25, 2016

Asa Leveaux is fiercely committed to guiding entrepreneurs to achieve result-based transformations; he activates the genius in their minds and in their money, he also trains them to know that they are the answer to someone’s prayers so they can possess an existence that is saturated in apossibilities.

If you are looking for a proven expert who can guide you to address what is blocking you from your true success, to locate where your genius can best be nurtured and how to reside out of the box, you have met the right person. Mr. Leveaux has over a decade of organizational experience working with amazing clients, customers, employees and decision makers while guiding them to achieve remarkable success. His mission and commitments are to take you from your level of bull and give you the tools and resources that will support you on your journey to blissful success.

 

Questions

  • Tell us a little bit about yourselves and your journey
  • What are some of the founding principles that helped you to be successful?
  • How do you feel as a customer in your everyday activities?
  • What are some of the things you help businesses work on to ensure that they can make even more than USD $10,000.00 after they’ve made their first USD $10,000.00 and what are some of the keys things they need to be doing differently than everybody else in their industry and market they are in?
  • From your book, can you share some information you are able to get across and who it is meant to help?
  • How do you stay motivated every day?
  • As an entrepreneur, what are some important considerations for an entrepreneur or online business owner you believe for them to be successful?
  • What is the one online resource, website, tool or app that you absolutely cannot live without in your business?
  • What are some of the books that have had the biggest impact on you?
  • What is one thing in your life right now that you are really excited about – something that you are working on to develop yourself or people?
  • If you were sitting across the table from another business owner and they said to you that they feel they have great products and services but they lack the constantly motivated human capital, what’s the one piece of advice would you give them to have a successful business, specifically as it relates to constantly motivated human capital?
  • Where can our listeners find your information online?
  • What is one quote or saying that you live by or that inspires you in times of adversity?

 

Highlights

  • Asa Leveaux is the founder of Genius Academy; he created the Genius Prescription System, which is a seven step system for aspiring entrepreneurs to make their first USD $10,000.00 in business. And though Genius Academy is the Chief Strategy and Revenue Officer of the Leveaux Group and best selling author, those accolades and achievements just didn’t embody who he was all the time. There was a time that none of those things existed but what did exist was a level of frustration with himself, a level of frustration with no one allowing his cash register to ring as he became an entrepreneur, frustration with his family of not giving him the support that he thought he needed from them, even the frustration of not being able to provide for his little boy who he calls his “son” and his “sun”. Even though he was on state assistance for food, he still allowed him to go to school to second grade without a lunch and that was the last time he allowed himself to do that, he understood that he needed to take action to make that no longer a reality.
  • Asa Leveaux shared that some of the founding principles that have contributed to his success for him is one, understanding that your passion is your problem. What he means by that is we all have a passion, it may be a non-profit which helps battered women, it may be to make sure that children can read in our communities, it may be that we love to make clothes and love fashion and that’s our passion or even fixing cars is something that we know that we are born to do but whatever that passion may be for you, realizing that no one else in the world was given the passion that you have, the way you have it, so because of that don’t insist that support from friends or family should be as high as yours because it’s not their passion, it’s your passion. Don’t create this unreal contract between them as though they need to support you in a way that you support yourself because they have their own passion to work with. That has been the biggest step for him.
  • Asa stated that in his everyday activity as a customer he has come to a point in his life that he doesn’t create expectations for people, so when he enters a store or an atmosphere where he is about to make a transaction, he does his best to enter that space not expecting anyone to be nice to him but stated that’s an internal work he had to do with him being himself. He stated that if he was the person that is over that transactional environment or that retail store, then he is creating that expectation for those individuals that are providing customer service on his behalf to do the necessary things and making sure that those expectations are written down and are clear. So as a customer, doing his best to be mindful and conscious and loving of other people where they are, that’s how he operates. As far as a business person that may have individuals that is responsible for customer service in his organization, that expectation looks like a PWS (Priority Award Statement) and SOP’s as in you will treat the customer this way and being very specific about that to ensure that the customer experience is a good one.
  • Asa Leveaux shared that some things that he ensures that he tells them is that your result statement needs to be visible, clear and consistent. So often individuals are not clear about what they provide for people. If you are in the health care profession and you ensure that people are resilient, that by itself is not enough, he needs to understand that when he exchanges value for value which may look like money for your time, he needs to know what the results are so that he can be very clear of what to expect from you and the result statement has to be there and if the results statement is not there, now he’s a confused buyer and your sales conversation will be longer and harder because you did not set it in stone what it is that you do and how you do it and who you do that for. For instance, he started this interview by stating his name, stated the he ensures aspiring entrepreneurs make their first USD $10,000.00 as a result of creating a Genius Prescription System, he knows who he is meant to serve, he knows how he’s going to serve them and result that they are aiming for, if you don’t have those components, you are wasting your time and theirs.
  • Asa shared that the most recent book that he wrote was a book called “I am Woman Enough: 365 Affirmations for Women”. When he mentions that he wrote that book, he initially gets hit with flack and he understands that because his response to their request of him creating that book was that he was not going to work it, he was complete in his experience of writing books that were affirmation based at that time but women kept asking him for the book. His thing was that he is a man, he is void of ovaries, so that doesn’t make him an expert on being a woman and he was very clear on that. He saw all of the strife that women and men have sent to Steve Harvey, T.D Jakes for writing books catered to women, he didn’t want to be a part of that, he didn’t sign up for that but when a woman stopped him in Texas and said “If you don’t write the book, who will?” He had nothing to come back with, he had no rebuttal and so because of that, he wrote the book, however he had 22 other women to help him in that endeavor. 

Asa stated that I am Woman Enough book lead him to write his third book called “I am Man Enough: 365 Affirmation for Men” and the reason he wrote that because men sometimes, more often than not, get the bad end of the stick as far as blaming the world, so men are responsible for so much bad to the point that they are not seeing anyone taking a role their empowerment, just because you are the majority in certain spaces does not mean you do not need empowerment, just because you have a preconceived notion of power. That is the reason he wrote that book.

There was a time when he was involved with someone in a relationship with someone and they were coming up to their one year anniversary and he wanted to give her something from the heart, not because he was being cheap but because that’s something she valued and it’s important to understand what your partner values, just because the last person liked flowers doesn’t meant the new person likes flowers. He was writing out all the reasons why he loved her and he was placing them in a box to look like a treasure chest and people were passing his office and seeing the project and said I should write a book about that and I said “What do you want me to do? Make all these reasons for her and give it to every woman?” They said exactly and that’s what he did. He created a workbook for couples called “365 Erotic Reasons Why I Love You” He is meeting a need, when your customer is saying they have a potential need; meet the need, that’s called research and development.

The first book he created was based on his desire to hire more people that look like him, he was 23 years old with three different businesses and Oklahoma wanted to hire more black people and all of the black people that were showing up to him were usually very young, even younger than him and they didn’t have the necessary skills not just to get in his door but to get in any door. When he talked about this to other entrepreneurs in his community, they were experiencing the same thing. So he wrote a book to help them, the book is entitled “Why I Won’t Hire Black People: Racial Profiling for a Reason”. He stated that when you are writing books, it’s important to research your genre of book, he understood and was very specific, he was going for African Americans in the workplace and he started to look at books that were already doing that so he was reading books like “Black Faces in White Places” or “What It’s Like To Be Me” or “To Be Black In Corporate America.” “What could I do to ensure that people would react, create an emotion in people that would allow them to take action?” In his experience, the real true emotions that will …. are sexual and anger. When you are angry about a book or the content or even the person who wrote it, people tend to take more actions by obtaining more evidence of why they hate the person or why they hate the book, which is why he created it. Another thing he wanted to show them subconsciously is that a lot of times he is hit with “I shouldn’t be judged by what I look like if I am trying to be hired as a black person” and he would say “you are right, however, you are judging my book by its cover by not wanting you to be judged by yours”. It is a lesson within itself. The books are available on Amazon and his website – www.asaleveaux.com

  • Asa Leveaux stated that every day he doesn’t feel like being motivated and sometimes it comes at 7:00 am in the morning and sometimes it doesn’t come until 11:07 pm at night. Asa stated that even with entrepreneurs, sometimes we don’t answer the phone until noon because we haven’t got the motivation yet, sometimes we quit the business three times before noon because things become difficult and we don’t see a way out but in those moments and in those days that he does have a hold on motivation, how it comes is him caring about the individuals who are waiting for him to show up. He knows that he was called for people that are choking on frustration and if he is too concerned about what’s happening or not happening with himself rather than what they are going through, he will remain unmotivated.
  • Asa shared that if you are an online entrepreneur, the first thing he will want you to consider is your domain name. He stated that causes him a high level of anger when he sees a domain name that he knows is not converting anyone. For instance, if you have a book and you are saying that your book is available on Amazon and he asks where can he get it and you say go to Amazon and he asks what is the name of your book and you tell him but he doesn’t see it at all. How does he get there and you tell him that he needs to put in a search for your Amazon, he’s going to be angry, if you tell him to Amazon.com/selfhelp/Jamaica/yourname. He’s going to be angry again. It would be easier to go to a company such as GoDaddy.com and get a domain for your book and create something called a vanity URL which is just you’re pointing where your product is to the point that you want to bring them to. The Woman Enough book that he mentioned earlier, instead of saying go to Amazon and look for Asa Leveaux or look for Woman Enough book, he said go to WomanEnoughBook.com or ManEnoughBook.com and that just takes you to where he wants you to go. Asa stated that you should always direct people where you want them to go and make it easy for them.

Yanique mentioned that she did an interview with Jay Baer Author of “Hug Your Haters” and he said from research, one of the number one things that customers want is speed. The quicker and easier customers can access you online the better because nobody has time to be digging and going through different pages just to find one thing.

Asa mentioned that also with name, everybody’s name does not convert well in a podcast or any other auditory format. For instance, his name is Asa Leveaux, some people don’t know how to spell his last name, Asa is easy but why would he make that his potential customers’ problem of finding that out. Even though he has www.asaleveaux.com, he also has a www.lifewithasa.com. So he rarely says go to asaleveaux.com on auditory format but he will say it on a written but to say it out loud, he would usually say go to lifewithasa.com and they all point to the same website.

  • Asa Leveaux shared that he compartmentalizes his life, meaning when it’s time for business, it’s business and when it’s not, it’s not. So for him, his phone is real so he doesn’t want to be contacted at 11:00 pm at night from anyone unless something is happening or they are going out for drinks. There’s a company call Grasshopper that allows you to receive incoming calls and make outgoing calls through their app, he makes all his calls through the grasshopper app and the thing about it is when he calls, his business number shows up, so if they want to call him back, that’s the number they call him back on.
  • Asa shared that something he did this morning, he was thinking about the customer experience, as he was getting ready for this interview, he started thinking about what it means to “woo your customer” because you want to them to be wooed, you don’t just get married to them all of a sudden, there’s a wooing process that needs to happen. How can he woo them quicker, sooner, faster? Genius Academy has a main platform called the Entrepreneurial Playbook and the Playbook gives you the different plays for your entrepreneurial journey, it’s a monthly subscription. He then thought what can he do to woo his customers? He then created the opportunity for anyone to take advantage of experiencing that for 30 days for USD $1.00. There’s a link for Genius Academy at lifewithasa.com or they can go to www.geniusacademy.co and look for the Entrepreneur Playbook and he also listed the coupon code.

Asa stated that the Entrepreneurial Playbook has different course within it that they get to have access to so for instance, if you want to know how to publish your book, it’s there. If you want to sell your book on Amazon, it’s there and if want to sell period, it’s there. Marketing, how to operate your business, financing and speaking, it’s all there. There are eight courses that you get in the Playbook and you have access to all of them.

  • Asa shared that for him it’s two fold. He stated that if he has people that are working for him, he will ensure that one of his (KPI’s) Key Performance Indicators is that they show up motivated because he may be out putting out a fire (figuratively or literally) and he doesn’t have the capacity in that moment to motivate the person that is handling his customers. However, when they get hired on, they will sign the agreement that these are your Key Performance Indicators and if you do not show up well in these specific ways that are measureable and quantifiable, meaning that you have a positive customer comment cards and you can resolve or de-escalate issues, then you will no longer be an asset. Ensuring that motivation is embedded within the things that are measured to keep someone on the team. The next thing is from a leadership point of view because as a leader, you are responsible for everything that does and does not happen in that business. Because of that you just let people know that you care about them, not necessarily the customer but the person who is caring for the customer because that’s the issue a lot of people don’t get. When you are the manager or even business owner and you keep saying the customer is always right, what are you then saying is that you have no value as the employee. One of the things he learned from Richard Branson is that he doesn’t say, “the customers are always right”, he says, “I value my employees” who are then feeling valued now can give value. If you have a workforce that is happy, they can then give that happiness to someone else but if they are depleted, they have nothing to give.
  • Asa says listeners can find him on:

www.lifewithasa.com

www.asaleveaux.com

Asa Leveaux Facebook

Asa Leveaux Twitter

Asa Leveaux LinkedIn

Asa Leveaux Pinterest

Genius Academy Facebook

Genius Prescription System

 

  • Asa stated a quote that helps him by Albert Einstein “If you can’t explain it to a six year old, you don’t understand it yourself.” He uses that to ensure that he is clear whenever he is talking. He understands that your ego can be wrapped into using words when you are talking about the problems of life, you could talk about the vicissitudes of life but he would rather not go that route because his main goal is not for anyone to see the intelligence but he would rather you understand so that you can spend the money. If you are not clear on what he is talking about, you are confused by it, which actually means someone who doesn’t buy. So if he can’t explain to a six year old and that’s with anything, his business plan, how he’s going to talk to his customers, how he’s pitching a new product or service, if they don’t get it, he needs to go back to the drawing board and start over. He stated that he used his son for awhile but he is now 10 years old so he asks his nieces and nephews if it make sense to them and if they can tell it you as far as what it is that you do, then you are clear now.

 

Links

Oct 18, 2016

Paul Brunson is a Mentor, Entrepreneur and Television Host. His goal in life is to help you live your best life in love and professionally. He’s the world’s most influential matchmaker, founded and exited three businesses, hosted two television shows and spent nearly a decade working directly for a billionaire. He’s now here to share many of his experiences by mentoring and coaching thousands of people.

 

Questions

 

  • Tell us a little bit about yourself and your journey
  • What are some things you would recommend to a business owner to build stronger relationships to really come over as being authentic and true in what they are selling?
  • As a small business owner, how do you find your mentor? How do you know that this person is someone you can connect with?
  • What are some of the books that have had the biggest impact on you?
  • What is the one online resource, website, tool or app that you absolutely cannot live without in your business?
  • What is one thing in your life right now that you are really excited about – something that you are working on to develop yourself or people?
  • Where can our listeners find your information online?
  • What is one quote or saying that you live by or that inspires you in times of adversity?

 

Highlights

 

  • Paul Brunson shared that the last 7 years of his career where he left financing and became a Match Maker. It was really interesting as people would ask him “Are you really a match maker, is there such a thing as a Match Maker?” It was a career that he was passionate about and it allowed him to do so many things, so the biography, in terms of hosting television shows and launching other businesses, he was able to do that as a result of becoming a Match Maker. Most recently he has hosted a few television shows, “Love Town: with Oprah Winfrey” and “Preachers of the L.A” where he did the after show. He stated that he is preparing to launch a new show on ABC Primetime which is his own show where he is Executive Producing, he also launched a Match Making Agency and he also launched several other projects that he is proud of and so he stays really busy. He stated that for his entire life, he joked about doing many things and often times we all say that we hustle and have 3 or 4 jobs but what he most recently discovered over the last year and a half is a book called “The One Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results” by Gary Keller that really changed his life. If we want to be good at things in life, we can do multiple things and be good but if you want to be great, it requires a singleness of purpose and that is what he is trying, get focused and divest out of all of his projects and just really focus on one.
  • Yanique stated that it is important that whatever you are doing, you put 100% of yourself in it. She was reading a book that says, “You can’t effectively do things 100% at the same time,” in other words, if you are watching the television and reading a book, you are following the gist of the movie and you’re reading the book but you’re not doing both activities at 100% because it is just not humanly possible.
  • Paul agreed with the phrase and stated that on top of that there’s a switching cost that not a lot of us realize, so you’re watching the television and at the same time you think you are working and responding to an email, technically you can’t do both at the same time so you’re only doing one but what you’re really doing is you’re going from the television to the email and when you go to the email there’s a switching cost, your mind now has to re calibrate to the email and because it is re calibrating that’s a cost and energy involved and so it re calibrates to the email then you go back to the television and has to re calibrate back to the television so there’s a cost and time allocated to that. It just goes to show that there is really no such thing as multitasking.
  • Paul stated that for business owners to build stronger relationships they have to start with themselves, they have to start with a true examination of who they are. You can’t begin to outline what your mission is, your brand position mission statement is, you can’t come up with your marketing concepts, you can’t do any of that until you are first not only deciding of who you are but also be comfortable with who you are. There are a lot of small business owners attempt to replicate what they see other people in their industry doing and you can’t do that; you have to grasp your uniqueness. Paul Brunson says he always says your uniqueness is where your power is, that’s what differentiates you and you want to embrace that. First, know who you are and the second is to understand that effective marketing is about content marketing and a key component to content marketing is relevant, value added, consistent information so you want to always be making sure that the content you are distributing is not just relevant to you but it ties you with your customers and the experiences that your customers are going through. You want it to be value added and essentially moving them forward towards whatever they’re goal is, so if you’re helping someone get close to their goal, you are a value add to them. Consistence is tricky because if you’re leveraging Social Media, you have to be extraordinarily active and consistent in your content and not just daily content. We’re at a point now where you need multiple pieces of content to be distributed on a daily basis. So to really engage the customers for them to really know authentically who you are, doing some soul searching, you have to know who you are and you have to embrace that and you have to articulate that or convey that through consistent value added content.
  • Yanique made reference to a video Paul Brunson posted on his Facebook Page with his mentee about “How do you know who you really are?” Paul stated that the importance of knowing who you are is critical because ultimately if you’re a small business owner or micro business owner, people are not necessarily buying you, they are buying your brand and your brand is never what you say it is, it is what everyone else says it is and so the trick is you have to figure out how do you break through the noise. He stated that he has a memorable brand and the trick to that memorable brand is being unique and a lot of people said, “Paul how can I be unique?” There are a lot of people that look like me or maybe from Jamaica but the bottom line is that every single person on this planet, everyone listening to this show, there is no one that has ever walked this earth that has had the same set of experiences like you’ve had and if you really think about that, it’s powerful because what it shows is that you have a unique perspective on life and so the key is how do you translate that unique perspective to your brand. Part of identifying and being comfortable with all of your uniqueness is in identifying that you truly do love yourself and connecting with yourself. People define self love in many different ways but he always looks at it as if you think about your optimal life in all the different facets of your life, think about your career….what’s the best career you can imagine, how much money are you making? What kind of flexibility do you have? What’s your title? Think about the best romantic relationship you could ever have, think about best spiritual relationship you could ever have, think about all those aspects of life and after you have identified the best of the best, then you ask yourself one simple question. That is simply, “Do I feel like I can reach that? Do I feel like I can get there?” Not to say there won’t be hurdles or challenges along the way or maybe you feel like you can get there but you are 20 years from it, that’s fine but the big question is “Do you feel like you can get there?” If you don’t feel like you can’t get there, if you don’t feel like it’s possible, that means you don’t feel like you can ever become your optimal self and that means you have a problem with self love. Self love is really each aspect of your life, all those categories, business, social, health, romantic and then collectively saying in all of these categories “I feel like I can become my best self” that is self love. High self esteem is just simply saying in each one of those categories “I can get there” so there’s a big difference in self esteem and self love but ultimately that’s what self love is.
  • Paul agreed that in connecting with your mentor, it’s hard to put something on paper and match 2 people together. “Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead” by Sheryl Sandberg COO of Facebook wrote this book and in it she wrote something that really moved him was that, “If you have to ask someone to be your mentor, it’s too late” in other words, you can’t someone to be a real mentor to you, it jus t happens. We know that nothing just happens, so you have to put the work in, so what is the work. He stated that he wrote a blog post specifically about this, about how he was able to acquire certain mentors and that he believes that what Sheryl said was absolutely right. He never had to outright ask, the first thing is you have to make yourself mentor material. “Are you mentor material?” That’s the first question, whenever there is a problem; the first place you want to point the finger is inward and ask, “What can I do to change the situation?” Are you mentor material? Are you someone that someone else would want to give advice to? Are you someone that someone else would want to surround themselves with? Are you someone that exhibiting that you are ambitious? Are you mentor material? That is the first step. The second step is to then identify the people that you would love to be mentored by and that in itself takes time because a lot of people will select possible mentors based on awards or accolades that they’ve acquired but that’s not how you select a mentor, you select someone that shares your values and you select someone that you personally witness walks their talk, that’s really what you want to do. It’s not a long distant relationship, this isn’t someone that you’ve just observed on social media but this is someone that’s in your life somehow, somehow connected that you know that they actually walk their talk. The third part is then you add value to that person continuously over a long period of time. Paul then gave us a scenario, as he was mentor material, super ambitious, wanted to learn, the second part was that his mentor was his boss so he had a personal experience with him and was able to see how he was delivering on what he was talking about, he was walking his talk. The third part is that after he stopped working for him in about 2004, he then continued to add value to him even though he stopped working for him. He lives in Turkey and he would visit the United States of America, he would continue to help him, helped to arrange meetings, when he launched a new business in the United States and ask him to sit on the Board and help launch those programs, he wasn’t being compensated, he continued to add value to him over the years and how he found out that he was his mentor, Paul posted on Instagram about 3 years ago a story “2o Habits I Learned Working for Two Billionaires” and the second part of the article he said “And he continues to be a mentor to me to this today.” And he read that post and reposted, he was really proud of it and even had it translated into Turkish, at the end he said that he didn’t realize that Paul Brunson looked at him in that way and thanked him. In other words, at no point did he ask him, when you have a true mentoring relationship, you will just realize at a certain point that that’s your mentor and not only will you realize as your mentee but your mentor will realize that and that’s the most effective mentor relationship.
  • Paul shared that he is a reader and he is traveling now and the books that he has with him is a oldy but a goody, “Selling the Invisible: A Field Guide to Modern Marketing” by Harry Beckwith which is one of the modern marketing books, “The One Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results” by Gary Keller, a book he read in the last few years that changed his life, he just finished a book call “Contagious: Why Things Catch On” by Jonah Berger which is great for people focusing on their personal brand because it’s about how words spread and ideas spread especially in the day and age of social media. Another book is “Crush It!: Why NOW Is the Time to Cash In on Your Passion” by Gary Vaynerchuk that had a big impact on him. Some of the classics too that have been very helpful is “The Art of War” by Sun Tzu and his favorite is Sun Tzu and Sun Pin who was his grandson. It’s really fascinating because Paul has witnessed how over the years even in business school his teachers would reference Art of War all the time and in actuality, that book is probably one of the most influential books not just on war strategy but business strategy that was ever written. A wild card book that influence business is a book that was written about Abraham Lincoln but what’s fascinating about the study of Abraham Lincoln is that it is a very refreshing read, any of his biographies because what it does is that it illustrates how if you feel like you are too old, his story will help to sway you differently, if you don’t think you’re smart enough, his story will sway you differently, if you don’t feel like you’re connected enough, if you don’t feel like you’re in the right social class, or you came from the right family, his story will help to sway you differently, here is someone who came from meager beginnings with no connections and was one of the oldest elected president at the time he was elected and he rose to greatness and stands as one of the most influential presidents in US history and there is a lot of inspiration that can be pulled from his story.
  • Paul stated that the app that he cannot live without in his business is Instagram as it is allowing him to connect to a degree that he was not able to connect with people before. He stated that over that last 10 days, he has received 2 speaking offers specifically from Instagram. He was able to build a rapport with certain people via Instagram and it’s one of those platforms that when it first came out he didn’t think it was going to be effective for him but it has really turned into something that’s special. He shares the he can’t live without it right now, it is one of the first apps he opens in the morning and one of the last one he closes at night.
  • Paul stated that he is that there is so much that he is excited for but he just started a daily video blog, it doesn’t have a title, it’s a daily video blog that allows him every day to speak to his community about a subject that he believe is important to him and typically he talking about business or relationships and it’s something that he’s really excited about because he has a Primetime television show and so many people come and say “Paul, I want to be on TV, I can’t believe it, this is wonderful.” But when he pushes them and he asks why do you want to be on TV, typically he would get the response that they want to help people, he would say “if you want to help people, do it now, don’t wait/” He stated that he has fallen victim to that as he is hosting a show in the US called “Our World” and it’s a weekly show that covers news impacting African Americans so in particular around business, entertainment and Arts but it’s not on the major networks and he remembers saying, “I love doing this show, I hope it’s picked up on a larger network” and he said to himself, why doesn’t he continue doing it himself because ultimately it’s not about popularity, it’s about the influence. He reiterated that he is most excited about the daily video blog and can’t stop thinking about the different things he’s wants to do with it.
  • Paul stated that he has committed to 100 episodes, so every day from Monday to Friday he is committed to that. He wants to show that given all the things that he is doing in his life that he can still drop a quality video blog every day and he can do it, many people should be able to do it and he also want to be able to point back and show what has resulted because of the deployment of it and even on metrics alone and not that number of followers is critical, since he has started doing frequent videos, not only has his audience increased, but more important to him is that it has become more homogenise and with it becoming more homogenise, the fastest growing demographic of his audience is Jamaican, it is the number Jamaica followers has dramatically increased and also Nigeria, they are out pacing the United States and he is planning on sharing all of that at the end of the 100 video to show what has been the result.
  • Paul says listeners can find him on:

Paul Brunson Website

Paul Brunson Facebook

Paul Brunson Twitter

Paul Brunson Instagram

Paul Brunson YouTube

Paul Brunson LinkedIn

 

  • Paul stated that he has a lot but one that is very simple when you see a Nike sign you think of “Just do it” he thinks of that quote whenever he has an idea and he is thinking if he should or shouldn’t, he always says “Just do it”

 

Links

Oct 11, 2016

Stephanie Calahan is the Business Vision Catalyst who is known for the fast transformation that she facilitates with her clients through working at the intersection of heart and head. She works with busy, purpose-driven entrepreneurs to own their brilliance, leverage their business and get their message out with power, ease and joy so they can make a powerfully positive difference in the world, exponentially up their level profits, shift their mindsets towards possibility and take a no-excuses approach to boldly creating a highly successful and meaningful business built around who they are. With her unique combination of right brained and left brained thinking, intuitive incite, passion, results based coaching, powerful questioning and strategic systemizing magic. In record time, her clients dance with joy as their visions become reality in their business. After risking personal health and happiness as a high achieving executive and former jet-lagged consultant in corporate America, Stephanie vowed not only to create a life of real freedom for herself and her family but also to teach fellow entrepreneurs how to do the same.

Questions

  • Tell us a little bit about yourself and your journey
  • How do you feel about customer service as a business owner on a global level and do you think there’s room for improvement?
  •  What are some everyday solutions that you believe can help improve customer experience?
  • How do you stay motivated everyday?
  • What are some important considerations for an entrepreneur or an online business owner would need to take into account in order to be successful?
  • What is one online resource, website, tool or app you cannot live without in your business?
  • What are some of the books that have had the biggest impact on you?
  • If you were sitting across the table from another business owner and they said to you that they feel they have great products and services but lack the consistently motivated human capital, what advice would you give that person to have a successful business?
  • What is one thing that is going on in your life right now that you are really excited about – something that you are either working on to develop yourself or your people?
  • Where can our listeners find you online?
  • What is one quote or saying that you live by or that inspires you in times of adversity?

Highlights

  • Stephanie started by stating that she worked a little over a decade consulting for Fortune Fifty/ Fortune One Hundred clients and leading a team of 250 to 300 people. She stated that there was a lot of activity and stress involved with that world of work. When she started working there, she thought she was going to retire from where she started as she was a true blue employee that really believed in the work that she was doing and was going to continue that until her retirement. Into her experience with that career, the company went from a privately held LLC to a publicly traded company, and when they made that shift in corporate organization, there was a drastic shift in the corporate culture, there was a drastic shift in the treatment of their clients, there was a drastic shift in the treatment of their employees and that no longer matched who she was. The company moved from being people-focused to being bottom-line focused. A lot of the things they did in support of their clients as well as a lot of things that they had done culturally in support of their own associates were disappearing. She was being asked a lot of times to do different things on many occasions that was right on her ethical borders so much so that there were days late into that experience where she was getting physically ill at work because the people that Stephanie reported to were just asking her to do things that were not right for a myriad of reasons, they weren’t illegal but they were just not right. Fortunately, her husband who is very supportive had a conversation and they decided that it was time for her to walk away, it took her about 2 years to be brave enough to talk to her husband but she was nervous because that meant she was walking away from a high 6 figure income and they decided that it was the absolute right choice and she did that and decided to start Calahan Solutions rather than getting another job. When she went to decide what she was going to do within Calahan Solutions, she looked at the work that she did that she wanted to bring with her, the parts of that corporate experience she wanted to bring with her that were positive, the things that she enjoyed doing, the things that she was good at doing. She looked at her peer reviews and reviews from the leadership team that she reported to and looked at the things she did really well and just combined all of that into a business. Her business has morphed and changed quite a bit over the years because one of the things that she didn’t let go of was over working, she was a workaholic and almost worked herself to death. In 2009 she was told she would not see 2010 because she was so ill and so in the course of getting well, she had to rethink her business and that rethinking of her business and how she wanted to deliver services allowed her to become fully her and not hold back because there was this workaholic part of her and there was a part of her that thinks that people are not interested in that aspect of her and so she blocked a lot of who she was too. While that health experience was a scary one, she was actually really grateful because it brought her to where she is today. It has also allowed her to recognize that life is really short and if it’s going to be short, if we aren’t guaranteed tomorrow, then she needs to be the best she can be everyday and so it has given her motivation to really go for those things in her business that are important rather than letting fear hold her back.
  • Stephanie shared that Customer Service/Client Service is one of the most integral parts of what she does. The work that she does, all the way from the conversations that she is having now, the blog post that she writes, the interactions that she has with her clients, the interactions that she has with her prospects are all about service. The work that she does is transformational and if people don’t feel well cared for, they can’t take part in that transformation in a really significant way and then the work that they do is the same thing. The more you can think about the experiences that you are providing whether it is through the conversations that you are having, whether it is through the on-boarding processes that you have when you have new clients but even if you have products that you sell in a store, products that you sell online, think all the way through that experience to make sure that it’s something that’s going to be really positive and enjoyable for the people that are doing business with you.
  • Stephanie shared that one solution she thinks can apply to a lot of people listening is to think through the experience your customers are having when they are interacting with you online and that can be a lot of different things. Stephanie shared an experience that she had (a bad customer experience), that she also wrote a blog post about it. She stated that there was someone she was following online that she really respected and she decided to purchase a product online from this person, she made the purchase on a Friday night and all of a sudden she got 7 different receipts for that same purchase and the purchase was not a low price purchase. Her credit card got impacted by over US $4,000.00 from that one purchase because it wasn’t a US $4,000.00 purchase; it was 7 different purchases of the exact same product. She then franticly started making phone calls to the company trying to get a hold of anybody because that wasn’t her intent to spend that amount of money and she didn’t want to buy 7 versions of the digital product. After 4 hours of calling different numbers, she eventually got someone who had absolutely nothing to do with her purchase, she told the person that she needed their help to escalate the problem, she needed the money to be put back on her card immediately. With all said and done, everything got resolved but it was 4 hours of her time in panic, stress and also unnecessary because if when they had put the product up on their shopping cart they had ensured someone to test it and actually pretend to make a purchase, they would have seen what happens from the customers’ perspective. Stephanie Calahan further stated just because you have stuff set up correctly in the first place for product A doesn’t mean that product B is going to be set up correctly. Test every single one of them, look at the landing pages you’re going to have, look at the thank you pages you’re going to have, look at the emails going out, look at the impact it has on a credit card and what the credit card receipts have because the more smooth you can make that process, the happier a customer you are going to have.

Stephanie advised in her own business - she has a few family members that are not that technically inclined that she would ask to run through the process for her and she will refund it right away. Just for them to go through it and let her know if there is anything confusing or if the process was clunky in any way and give her that feedback. She stated that there are a lot of big corporations; the amazons of the world who have teams of people that they call usability testing but smaller businesses don’t have teams of people to do usability testing but you can do something really simple like that which doesn’t take a lot of time that can really save your reputation and relationships by investing in time to do that.

  • In reference to the question of recommendations that Stephanie has for a company that has a physical storefront with items for sale (brick and mortar). The solution she suggests is to be present. In our world of ever changing attention spans where we could have an iPad going, the cash register going, our phone ringing and someone at the counter, just pay attention. Whoever you are interacting with whether it’s on the phone or at the counter, give them your full attention for the time frame that you’re having an interaction with them and let them know they are important to you because they are, they are your customers. Give them the respect that they deserve as they are doing an exchange with you, whether it’s asking a question or making a purchase. Some people look at customer service only from the perspective as people that are giving you money and that they become the customer when they have made a purchase from you. However, the truth is they are your customer the minute they’re in your sphere of influence because the conversations and relationships that you build with people even before they have made a purchase influence how they feel about you.
  • After asking Stephanie Calahan how she stays motivated everyday - she believes in having a big Why? Simon Sinek has a TED talk video on YouTube Start With Why. It’s about getting that piece that’s deep inside of you that you tap into that allows you to do all the things that you absolutely adore about your business and to also do the things that you are less excited about. She stated that her “Why” ties back to her personal experiences. She mentioned that in 2009 she was really ill almost lost her life and the reason she is here today is because a really good friend introduced her to a holistic health coach that helped her figure out the complex mess that she was in and helped her so that she could be here today. She realized that after she got well and learned more about his business, that there is no way she would have found him if she hadn’t been personally introduced to him by a friend and there are so many different world changers that are out there and he would not consider himself a world changer but he changed her world because she’s here today because of the work she did with him. She stated that there are so many world changers like him that are so amazing like him but people don’t know they exist. So her “Why” is to help change the world in a very positive way by helping those world changers get found and be aligned with clients and do what they do best.
  • Stephanie stated one of the most important things that entrepreneurs and businesses should take in account is to build a business that is in alignment with who you really are. There are a lot of people that build businesses based off of what one guru or another says and it’s like trying to fit a square peg into a round hole and it doesn’t work and then they’re always pushing rather than letting the beauty of life and the beauty of their ideal clients find them and just flow. She shared that the first thing she would suggest a business owner do is look at what they have going on in their life right now and identify those spots that are really feeling off and get honest about it and adjust. The more you can build a business aligned around who you are then the more comfortable you are and not comfortable in a bad way as she is a believer in stepping out of your comfort zone, “comfortable” meaning it matches who you are from an energy level, from a spiritual level, from a business strategy level and from a learning and personality values level. The more your business is in alignment with who you are and the less you’re pushing, the more energy you have to be focused on somebody else namely your customers or your clients. When you have a business model that is always making you stressed, you don’t have the mental capacity to be thinking of other people in the same way as you do when you are truly joyous about the work you do.

Stephanie also stated that one of her programs is called “Money, Mindset and Magnetism”, the clients that align and sign up to be a part of that program are typically having challenges with their sales in one way or another and what she finds is the case with every single private client that comes into that program is that initially they are more focused on themselves, they are not selfish people but they are more focused on themselves than on the people that they are meant to serve, so their sales conversations just implode. They don’t work as well as they could and there’s so many things when we are solid within who we are and our mindset is clean and confident then we are in a different mental space to be able to truly think about the person on the other side of the counter, on the other side of the phone, over Skype, over Google Hangout, whichever way you connect with your ideal customer or client that it allows you to think from their perspective and get much more creative with how you can make their experience a positive one. When customers | clients | patients have a more positive experience, they’re more likely to continue to want to work with you.

  • When asked what is the one app, website, resource or tool that she absolutely cannot live without in her business - Stephanie shared that she adores Infusionsoft (https://www.infusionsoft.com) which is an all in one marketing tool that allows you to make your customer experience very personalized and build relationships with the people you are interacting with rather than it being transaction based. There are different components and there is one component called “Customer Relationship Management Section” and that’s where you can gather all kinds of information about your clients and customers and give yourself good information in order to interact with them. If you do online sales or brick and mortar sales then this tool will allow you to identify who signed up for what giveaway you have, who purchases a product and it allows you to have a more intelligent conversation with them. If you are in a business where it is more one on one interaction, it allows you to note the important things you learned about those people that you are working with. She calls it her memory in a box, she can go back to that person’s record anytime and know what they talked about, what they are interested in and it helps her refresh her memory so that she can treat the people that she is working with, with great respect and honor. She further stated it is more than a CRM as there is also an Auto Responder portion where you can do newsletters, you can do automated communication based off of the types of interactions the customers and clients are having with you or your site. There’s a Shopping Cart portion, there’s a number of different elements that can be used to allow you to know what your customer is interested in and then be able to serve them with that.

Stephanie mentioned that the tool – Infusionsoft (https://www.infusionsoft.com) was built specifically for small businesses and they have customers that are in service coaching industries but they have people that run all kinds of different brick and mortar stores whether it’s retail stores and they have customers all over the globe doing all different types of businesses but it specifically for the small business.

Stephanie mentioned that she has been doing business with them (Infusionsoft) for a number of years and like a lot of businesses, they have some growing pains, at one point they were getting customers so fast that their customer service wasn’t so good for a while but they addressed that. They recognized where their growing pains were starting to cause them problems and they made adjustments. So Stephanie suggests as another tip - as your business grows, the way that you interact with your customers will need to change and so be open for that and look at those spots where maybe things are falling through the cracks that didn’t use to fall through the cracks and those are customer improvement opportunities too.

  • Stephanie shared that when she thinks about Customer Service, one book that is really fantastic is “Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap…And Others Don’t” by Jim Collins. You can be a good company and make a lot of money or you can be a great company that makes a lot of money and makes an impact too. In Jim’s book, he did a study of a number of different organizations just understanding why were some companies merely really good and others great and what did the great ones have in common? And one of those things that all the great ones have in common was really good customer service.

Stephanie mentioned that when she framed her business, she had to decide if she wanted to be mass numbers or did she want to be high touch and by high touch, she means how well did she know the people she was working with and how involved did she get with them in relation to the work they are doing together. Stephanie Calahan decided that high touch was really where she wanted to sit in that coaching space and so she has a unique rule that she wants to be able to love her customers unconditionally in order to work with them because when you can accept your customers and clients unconditionally in the coaching space, then you have the ability to really help empower them to make fantastic changes in the direction they want to go in their business so customer service is one of the ways that she is able to do that.

She also stated that another great book is “Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions” by Guy Kawasaki which is about relationships and talking about how you engage with your community, with your tribe, and with your audience. She also mentioned “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion” by Robert Cialdini which is a different form of engagement but understanding how the words that you use impact the people you are working with so to make sure that you’re conscious about that and how you interact with people.

  • Yanique asked Stephanie…..we have a lot of listeners who are business owners and managers who feel they have great products and services but they lack the constantly motivated Human Capital.  If you were sitting across the table from that person, what’s the one piece of advice that you would give them to have a successful business? Stephanie Calahan shared that one advice that she would give is if you are lacking the human capital, systemize. There are so many different technologies out there that allow you to be fantastic at what you do. She then gave an example, when she first started her business; she was going back and forth in email with people anytime she wanted to schedule anything and she could have a lot of people going back and forth with at any given point trying to schedule a conversation on the phone or face to face and sometimes she dropped the ball because she would miss an email or her phone wouldn’t sync to her computer. That is a relationship gap when you don’t reply when you should and so one way that she automated that piece of it was to set up an online availability calendar that syncs with her calendar that is outlining when she’s available for different types of conversations. Let’s say she meets someone on a Facebook group and goes back and forth on messenger. Now, if she wants to schedule a conversation, she can say go to this URL and pick any time that works for you, you can trust that any time that’s on that calendar that shows available that she is also available and it eliminates that back and forth, it eliminates that unproductive time and allows her to have more time for the important things of the conversation and there is a lot of different things you can do within your business to automate different administrative functions and different operational functions so that you are freeing up more time to do the things that you really love to do.

When you talk about those businesses that don’t have a lot of human capital, there are some things where people interaction is critical and there are some things like scheduling a meeting that is really administrative and the technology is there that makes it so easy and so streamlined that it is a happier customer experience than the aggravation of all the back and forth. So it ultimately ends up being a better customer experience by automating that piece and frees you up to have more time to be able to do those pieces that are more important face to face or voice to voice.

  • One thing that is going on in Stephanie’s life right now that she is working on to develop herself and her people – she stated that the thing she has been working on for the last couple of months that she is the most excited about is something that came from a love of wanting to combine the concerns of people who are Podcast hosts, Radio Show hosts and the concerns of people that are guest on these shows. She is writing a book right now that is called Guest Appearance Gold: Sky Rocket Your Reach, Grow Your Influence and Attract Great Clients by Leveraging Your Guest Appearances and Expert Interviews and she was hearing from hosts that they have all of these guests on their shows and they don’t do anything to help promote the show, they just come on and do their thing and then they get off and that’s a frustration from the hosts perspective. She was also hearing from the guest expert side of going on these shows that it isn’t really doing a whole lot for their business and that’s largely because there’s this whole piece in the middle that’s missing that wasn’t being leveraged by the guest experts and so she has written that book and it started out as a simple check list and after 60 pages, she said it’s not really a simple check list anymore because she was giving a lot of why’s behind different things that people could do and so her intention when the book is done is to give it away because she would like more people to be able to really get the biggest return on investment and in this case it is a time investment that will benefit hosts of shows as well as benefit the people that are experts on those shows.

Stephanie stated that what is interesting about when you go on shows; it’s a two way customer service experience because the host is the customer of the guest but the guest is also the customer of the host, when you’re really working together then you can get amazing exposure for the conversation you had together which benefits everybody.

Links

 

Oct 4, 2016

Adam Toperek is an internationally recognized Customer Service Expert, Key Note Speaker, and Workshop Leader. He is the Author of “Be Your Customers’ Hero: Real-World Tips & Techniques for the Service Front Lines” as well as the founder of Customers that Stick Blog. When he is not speaking or delivering high energy Customer Service Key Notes or Workshops, he can be found co-hosting the “Crack the Customer Code Podcast” and writing extensively on customer experience. Adam has an MBA and a Certificate in Customer Experience; he is also a Net Promoter Certified Associate.

 

Questions

  • What is your Zodiac Sign?
  • Would you say being people oriented, outgoing and very sociable are true characteristics of your personality?
  • Tell us a little bit about yourself and your journey
  • On a global level, do you think there has been any improvement in customer experience or do you think it is getting worse?
  • How do you get people to develop a culture of service, a mindset where everything is in alignment with the customers in mind?
  • Have you found that sometimes empathy is lacking in terms of the organizations’ connection with their customers and do you think it’s driven by how people are brought up so they are not able to connect with the customer when they are venting?
  • In your book, you speak about 7 service triggers; can you share a little about that and explain what that means?
  • Do you think it’s important for the entire organization to be exposed to emotional intelligence so that they can be better able to manage their own emotions?
  • From a customer experience perspective, what are some considerations for entrepreneurs online to consider as it relates to customer experience and having a successful business?
  • What are your thoughts on training and does it have a different connotation in the mind?
  • How do you stay motivated everyday?
  • What is the one online resource, website, tool or app you cannot live without in your business?
  • Can you share what are some of that books that have had the biggest impact on you?
  • What is one thing in your life right now that you are really excited about – something that you are working on to develop yourself or your people?
  • Where can our listeners find your information?
  • What is one quote or saying that you live by or that inspires you in times of adversity?

 

Highlights

 

  • Adam shared that his sign is Sagittarius which is the early part of December. One unique fact about a Sagittarius is that they are extremely out going, and they are very people oriented and very sociable. Adam stated that he was not sure of the characteristics of a Sagittarius but that he believes those are definitely true of a person who is very good at customer experience and customer service.
  • Adam stated that he is a 3rd generation entrepreneur, so business is in his blood. His grandfather owned a main street shoe store, his father started a wholesale business in the back of his mother’s retail children’s clothing store, so he grew up around business and doing sale tags and that has always been a part of who he is. As he opened his own businesses and went further along in his career, he eventually owned his retail business and got involved in franchising, one of the things he found was that in your own business, you could be the Chief Operating Officer, Chief Marketing Officer, Chief Plumbing Officer; you’re everything but the part he always gravitated towards was customer experience and customer interaction. And the more he interacted with his customers, he realized how important the idea of customer experience was. Over time he started talking about it and then writing about it publicly on blogs, it then developed a following, it developed into a book, then into speaking and into key notes. But what he finds fascinating is that the journey that lead him there comes from having to be face to face with customers and having to work with employees that are face to face with customers and seeing the challenges and the struggles they had to deliver good customer experiences even when they wanted to.
  • Adam stated that globally, expectations have changed; they are different from what they use to be and customers understand what good customer service is supposed to look like and then he also thinks customers sometimes have unrealistic expectations based on viral stories of customer service and that the customer is always right. These days customer service is the biggest source of competitive advantage for almost any organization. If you are not competing on experience, and you are in a competitive industry, you are in trouble.

Adam shared that to get business owners to focus on customer experience and develop their team members to translate that experience they deliver to the customers on a face to face basis, over the telephone or on social media, can only start with the numbers; there are many statistics that tends to open eyes. If you can use an organization’s own numbers that is helpful, you could use their survey data their ranking or their NPS. He stated 85% of customers are willing to pay more for a superior customer experience, your retention equals profit. There are 3 different studies that show acquiring a new customer is anywhere from 5-10 times more expensive than retaining an existing one, yet most people put their time and energy into marketing instead of retention and customer experience efforts. Customer experience also affects moral and how their culture and employees feel and how they interact. Customer experience permeates the entire organization and you have to start with the numbers and the economic argument especially persons in the C-Suite, business owners or people higher up in their organization, they tend to be run by numbers.

  • Adam shared that one of the things is that you’ve got to do is walk the talk as a leader. If you don’t have a customer centric culture, if you’re not leading from the top, if what they see from you as a leader is that customers are numbers and customers aren’t people then they are not going to treat them like people. There is nothing you can do for employees if you don’t first start doing yourself. You have to help people understand that they are dealing with human beings and that what they do matters. Adam stated that he has a chapter in his book, “Be Your Customers’ Hero” called “Everybody’s Rushed, Everybody’s Stressed”, because nowadays nobody has enough time and those are our customers, they don’t want to be hassled, they want to have easy experiences. A lot of the time employees will say this is just another retail job and this doesn’t mean anything and this doesn’t matter and the thing is to have a purpose and a mission to make them understand that purpose and mission centers around making peoples day better whether you are selling t-shirts, selling medicine or online software, whatever the services are around that, you are making a difference in peoples’ lives, you are impacting peoples’ lives. When you help them connect and if you help them understand the human on the other side of the phone, desk or email; that is one of the first steps in getting them to have a customer centric attitude and to act on it.
  • Adam stated that there are a lot of factors at work like organizational and upbringing. He shared that one of the things he often teaches is that we are not biologically designed to be good at customer service. That is one of the reasons he focuses on training and why training is important. We have all of these things referred to as Cognitive Biases, there is negativity bias, human beings tend to look for negative information over positive information, we tend to give more weight and power to negative information instead of positive information and that makes sense, the brain’s job is to keep us alive. We have defense mechanisms, so when someone yells or screams at us, it is not natural for us to go, “Thank you for telling me sir, how can I help you better?” It is not a natural reaction, you have to train yourself to depersonalize, you have to train yourself to look at the other persons perspective not what they’re saying about you, not how you’re feeling. It is easy to empathize with somebody who is not being negative or who is not attacking you or your organization and it comes from caring and anybody that is built for caring or has been trained that the customer is important can find that empathy. It still is a trainable skill and it is still something you need to filter for because not every person should be in a customer facing role, there are some people that simply just should not have customer facing jobs but assuming that you have the right team, you have the right people on the bus, you can train empathy for easy situations but then you have to really train for them to not only empathize but depersonalize and to be able to be calm when the storm is coming and the communication skills and the techniques you need to help take that situation and move it down the road to a positive resolution.
  • Adam stated that what is really interesting about the service triggers is that they are a preventative tool. When you talk about customer service, everybody wants to solve the problem that they already have, “How do I deal with a difficult customer? How do I this?” The service triggers are designed to create fewer problems to deal with, so the idea of the trigger is based on our psychological mechanism and we all have those triggers that could have been from when a song comes on the radio and you start to feel emotional, you look back and say that was the song your grandmother used to sing to you when you were little because that’s a trigger for you. We all have these personal triggers whether they be positive or negative and there are certain triggers throughout the population that are service triggers that are hot buttons for people in customer service situations where they tend to get really upset. Adam identified (7) triggers and not everybody has them equally and not everybody has them but when you’re looking at it at an organizational level, what you do, is try to approach it by “How could we prevent these from being pulled?” The first two triggers are “Being ignored” and “Being abandoned.” You’ve walked into a restaurant and watched the hostess walk back and forth and not even make eye contact. Being abandoned, they say they can’t handle that for you and will have the manager call you back tomorrow and what happens tomorrow? Nobody calls you, and what happens when you call them? You’ve been abandoned; you’ve been left on hold for 30 minutes. And these are triggers, so this happens at a restaurant and it’s your favorite restaurant, you might say it was a bad night, a new hostess and you’ll give them a break. But if you go in a second time and the hostess ignores you, you’re not going to wait 3 minutes, you’re going to wait 30 seconds and what happens is that we have these triggers that we carry from organization to organization cause once you’ve been sent from department to department, and wasted hours trying to get answers to your questions, you can get quick on the trigger. So if you ever experience this in your customer experience life, the customer gets an employee and they are saying “I have to send you to a different department or have my manager call you” and they say “What’s the manager’s name? What time will they call? Who do I call if I don’t hear from them?” and then they start going through a list of things. That’s a trigger, they know they have been burned before, they’ve been shuffled (another trigger), they’ve been abandoned. So what we do is look at the customer journey, we look at each touch point in the journey, particularly the major ones and say, “How could a customer feel ignored here? Are they not greeted in time? Is the phone not picked up fast enough? How could a customer feel abandoned?” And when you go through all seven (7) service triggers, if you can prevent these seven service triggers, you can revolutionize your customer experience by starting there.
  • Adam shared that emotional intelligence has a frame work with it. It has to have the idea of being in touch with who you are and not only who you are but how you relate to customers. Adam Toporek in his book, stated that the first 3 sections are really about mindset because that’s how important it is. The first section is about the mindset of the customer service representative: how do we feel.

Everybody not only needs to come to grips with themselves and their own triggers and their own cognitive biases and their own ways of approaching customers and customer experience but also how they interact with each other, with their team, all of that mixes together to kind of create the perfect culture. Those are the things you strive for in creating a culture that is mixed with empathy across and throughout the organization and by looking inside yourself.

  • Adam shared that the first thing to do is to map your customer journey because small businesses never do that, solo entrepreneurs and consultants rarely ever sit down and say, “What is my customer’s journey?” “Where do people come in, what marketing are they seeing?” “Where are they finding me, my twitter, my blog, this podcast?” And then what happens “What expectations am I setting? What is my response time? What is the next thing that happens?” You then look at the journey and look at what you think it is now and what you want it to be, what do you want your customers to experience? What do you want your response time to be? And how often do you want to monitor your channels? How do you want to communicate with your customers? Where do you want your business to live, is it on Skype, on email? If you look at your journey and go through from beginning to end, every piece of your brand that a customer or prospective customer can touch and then you take the approach of looking at each touch point and saying, “How can I make this touch point great? How can I make sure I don’t mess it up?” Adam stated that one of the concepts he teaches is that he breaks up the touch points and pressure points because there is not enough time if you try to focus on everything, nothing is going to get done, he says we all say everything is important in customer experience and it is. You have to start with the big rocks, you look at the pressure points, what are the 3-5 big moments when you interact with the customer and it may be to close the sale, when they sign up for your programme, when they buy your speech, when they buy your product or when there is a customer service issue, look at those big pressure points first. Get those as tight and prefect and then work on as many touch points as you can.
  • Adam stated that he agrees with the concept of development rather than training as there have been a lot of bad training and there have been a lot of training when people sit in a class for a day or a half day or 3 days and then everything went back to normal but what is particularly harmful is when you have training and you don’t have the culture to support what they learn in the training. He stated that if a company brings him in and he gets the team jazzed up and ready to help customers and they have the skills and they are feeling more confident now on how to handle difficult customers, providing them with communication tricks, helping them to work on their mindset and then they go back to a culture where there is nothing but just rules and policies and managers that are yelling about numbers and nobody seemingly cares about customers, then you wasted your money because it won’t be effective.

Being customer centric and wanting to help the customers has to be in the DNA of the organization. And that resistance to training is because it is not part of the whole package, it’s just like “customer service is down, let’s get a trainer.” They are really not getting the whole suite and to fit a square peg into round hole – just will not work.

  • When asked how he stays motivated every single day - Adam shared that he just does as he has always been doing….staying goal oriented; he looks at his goals regularly. One of the things he does is try to stay healthy and fit as it makes all the difference. He has a treadmill desk, so staying healthy helps the mechanics of the internal motivation and also he loves what he does, he trains and teaches and he has always enjoyed teaching and he likes helping people solve problems and teaching people new things. When he can teach somebody how to deal with customer service, it’s not easy but some of what they are dealing with is easy and he can help, so it is really rewarding and that’s the biggest thing to teach people and to help people make their lives better and be more successful in their jobs.
  • One tool, website, resource or app that Adam shared he cannot live without because of all his travelling is TripIt. Trip It manages all his trips and he said it is insanely cool, so you get your email from your airline, you get your email from your hotel, just forward it to TripIt and it puts it in an itinerary with all of your codes and your confirmation numbers and the phone numbers and it puts everything in order, so it will do your flights, the hotel check in, then the flight and your hotel check out, it puts in the rental car. It also does alerts if your flights are running late, so instead of signing up with each different airline, you just send everything to TripIt and it alerts you. This app is available on App Store and Google Play Store.
  • When asked what are some books that have had the greatest impact on him - Adam shared “How To Win Friends & Influence People” by Dale Carnegie this book is about how you interact with people, how to treat people and how you communicate with people. Another book Adam shared that has had the greatest impact is called “Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World” by Cal Newport and his thesis is essential. Today one of the greatest things you can do if you are in a knowledge field, is take time to do deep work, to really focus on getting rid of the noise. The author really dives deeply into the idea and shows people how they have done it and different modules for doing it, that idea of really having focus time to work on projects and to think and create great things. He stated that it is a valuable book for him because it is what he believes in intuitively.
  • When asked what is one thing he is working on to develop himself or his people that he is really excited about - Adam shared that he is hitting a long-term goal as it is something that he always wanted to do but it never made the cut which is to create an online training because it is truly the future and it’s getting more virtual everyday and he is launching his first online customer service training course coming out the first week of September and he has a couple other concepts that he’s working on, so hopefully there will be 2 or 3 online training courses out by the end of 2016. The first one being released is based on the 7 service triggers.
  • Adam says listeners can find him online on any of the below links:

Customers That Stick Website

Adam Toporek Twitter

Adam Toporek LinkedIn

 

  • Adam shared his quote that he refers to in times of adversity and challenges and really contributes to his very own success - “Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.”

 

  • The other is a poem called “If” by Rudyard Kipling.

 

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