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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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Now displaying: 2018
Oct 23, 2018

John Formica, the “Ex-Disney Guy”, is a highly sought after internationally known speaker and author of the top selling book, “Making the Customer Experience Magical Now! - How to Succeed in Business and Beat Out Your Competition Today”.

 

John has appeared on the NBC Morning Show, ABC, CBS, FOX, Univision, numerous business journals and recently featured in the Virgin Atlantic In-flight Magazine, after completing five successful speaking tours in Australia and being named “Australia’s Best Customer Experience Coach.” John has inspired audiences with over 3,500 keynotes and seminars throughout the United States and all across the globe. 

 

Today, John is the leading authority in the service industry, small business growth and team culture environments. He has successfully coached hundreds of small businesses, cities, tourism communities, healthcare professionals, universities, schools and teams to build customer loyalty for life, attract and keep more customers and create “Whistle While You Work” Team Environments.

 

Questions

 

  • Tell us a little bit about yourself and your journey
  • In your book, you talk about the Disney philosophy of people management. Could you share with us a little bit about the philosophy and purpose.
  • Could you share with us what is Disney’s purpose statement?
  • What are some online resource, tool, website or app that you absolutely cannot live without in your business?
  • We have a lot of listeners who are business owners and managers who feel they have great products and services but sometimes they lack the constantly motivated human capital. The people are just not motivated. Now, if were sitting across the table from that person, that business owner, manager, that CEO, what's the one piece of advice that you would give them to have a successful business.
  • What is the one thing in your life right now that you are really excited about – either something that you’re working on to develop yourself or people?
  • Where can our listeners find you online?
  • What’s one quote or saying that during times of adversity or challenge you revert to this quote to kind of helps you refocus and keep you on the path?

 

Highlights

 

  • John stated that he spent his entire career in the service industries. He managed hotels, resort properties and even assisted living communities and truly believed in that service mentality of really taking care of people and in hospitality field, that's what you do, you take care of the guests and treat them just like there’re family. And he did that for many years with some pretty big companies and then he got a call from the Disney Company to help the Disney organization during their huge expansion in the resort division. And it was a dream come true because there's no better company he thinks as far as hospitality and what they offer. And so, when he got to Disney, they had 4 hotels and a campground but there were 16 brand new hotels on the drawing board and his role was to open up each hotel, hire the staff, develop the staff, training staff, and more importantly, create a Disney Resort experience that would differentiate the Disney hotels from everybody else. And he absolutely loved that because with Disney focuses on we all know is they we provide all of us an incredible experience. So, just imagine in any business regardless of what it is, even if it's a nonprofit organization. Could you imagine if you could go beyond just providing service and create an experience that is memorable that people will talk about, that people become loyal to in any manner, how magical could that be and that's what Disney does, and he gets the honor of traveling around the world, sharing Disney strategy is so that any business could create that same Disney like culture and incredible magical customer experience.

 

Yanique reiterate that he’s doing things that people would want to be doing on a regular basis and having fun while doing it and he’s also creating value in people's lives.

 

John agreed and stated that he loves helping people, he’s a server. He just wants to serve people in whatever we can help them. In his world, it's really helping them as leaders, help them as tools, help them in their business by the result. Changing people's lives and there’s not a noble cause in that.

 

  • John stated that everybody has a product or service and we all do our best to provide a very good product or service, but Walt Disney was an incredible person, an incredible leader and philosophy. You can build and create the most wonderful place in the world, but it takes people to make that dream come true. We know that in in any business, even in the great high-tech world where technology is really taking the place of many people, we are all in the people business and we will remember customers, consumers, we will remember people over a product or service. And so, we have to make sure we focus on the success in training and developing and motivating people. And one of the things that Disney does, Walt Disney created an incredible purpose statement and a purpose statement is not a mission statement because the mission statement is geared towards the company or organization of what they're trying to accomplish, with this purpose statement it's not what, where, how, when or who you’re going to do it to. It's the big purpose statement of why. Why do it, if you think about it, we all should be doing things because we want to not because we have to and if you can create a culture around an organization where people believe in the purpose and they do it because their heart is in it, we all know that they'll do a better job. And so, Disney focuses on that purpose and he shares in his seminars and in his keynotes that we really have to boil down to and make sure people know why, and once we do, now we have a better understanding and vision to where we want to accomplish.

 

  • When asked about Disney’s purpose statement, John stated that it's really simple. It's to make people happy. And you think about it, when he asked that question during his programs, he’ll ask, “What do you think Disney's purpose is?” a lot of people say create memories, entertainment, provide quality, some people even told him to make money. And all those things are great purposes, but they are the result of making people happy because once Disney stops making people happy, you and I are not going to go there, we're not going to buy their products and services and it will not exist. So, the focus is to make people happy. To give an example, it's not a marketing statement, it's not something that you'd find on a commercial or a sign in a park that says we make people happy. It's for the internal customer, in other words, it's the people that work there. So, they truly understand why, and he gave a great example, before you even fill out an application at Disney to work there no matter whether you are applying for a job as a manager, or bus driver, housekeeper, somebody to operator the rides or sell tickets or work in food and beverage, it doesn't make a difference. You watch a video and, in the video, they talk about that if you are lucky enough to work for the organization, the reason why they're going to hire you is to make people happy and you're going to work when other people play. And then they will talk about that you’re going to work weekends and you're going to work holidays and it's not going to be easy what you're doing. And they talk about the structure and some of the high grooming guidelines that they have, the strict guidelines and they’re not trying to scare anybody to apply, what they're trying to make sure you understand that if you work there you have to believe in it because Disney doesn't hire anybody that needs a job. They hire people that believe in what Disney believes in. And you think about it, if we believe in it, our heart’s in it and we’ll do it because we want to not because we have to. Many organizations don't focus so much on that. And like you said, then the employee does what they're told and nothing more. They do it 9:00 am to 5:00 pm but they won't do it 5 minutes after 5:00 pm because they don't understand the “Why” and all the things that we will do, the extra things we'll just do what we do or what was supposed to do but we won’t go extra, we do the extra when our heart’s in it.

 

Yanique stated that in the book it also says our purpose is more important than the job and while you're doing your job, you're always having your radar up, looking for ways to make people happy. For example, taking a picture of a family in front of the castle. Now in a regular organization let's say for example, a supermarket, you pack the grocery bags for the customers or you work at an automotive company that sells cars so you're a sales representative, your purpose statement is clearly going to be different from Disney, but will you also apply that same technique with the purpose being more important than the job.

 

John agreed and gave an example from an auto service repair. Many of them are his clients and many of them are mom and pop establishment so he’s trying to help them to build that culture and if you ask them what their purpose is, their purpose is to fix the car or make sure the car is running properly or make sure all the maintenance is done and make sure they use quality parts and make sure of all those things. And that's not their purpose, that's their job, that's what they do. But in reality, if we boil down to what's the purpose of an auto service repair shop in reality, it's to give him the consumer a peace of mind knowing that the vehicle is safe on the road, it's going to be in working order, it's going to be reliable when he has to get up to go to work in the morning or his kids’ cars are safe, his wife's car is safe. It's that piece of mind he’s getting. So, when you think about it, you have to do the job, you have to mechanically do all those things correctly but when he says to himself, wait a minute, he’s going to make sure that he’s going to double check to make sure those bolts tightened because he know he wants his client to have a peace of mind knowing that they did the right job, they didn't just do it halfway, they didn't just do a quick job, they go in, get this thing turned around, make money and move on to the next one. He wants to give them a peace of mind so when they drive off after getting their car serviced that they feel good, so, every decision is based on did that give someone a peace of mind. And that's the decisions that they make based on that. And it’s the same thing of a grocery store, again, maybe not a piece of mind of course but it's providing a great experience because they can go anywhere in grocery stores but knowing that that person who stacks the groceries in the bag doesn't just throw them in there and says, “Who cares, you need the groceries in a bag, I did it for you,” but takes good care knowing that they provide a great service in the food industry for people, making and sure you continue to think that way. So, everybody believes in it whether you're just a baggar or you're the manager of a grocery store. Everybody's going to do everything they can to make sure that that food is great quality it is not damaged so when they go back they can have that great experience.

 

Yanique stated following up on their point as it relates to the purpose, in the book it also shares that when you’re creating this magical purpose for your company you should get as many people involved in developing this statement, the owners, the managers, the supervisors, the front team, the back-office team. Don't be afraid to also get feedback from your loyal customers, ask each other why it's important, make it clear, short and easy, make it emotional, make it visible and memorable, reward and recognize people when it's carried out and post those accomplishments everywhere and discuss them at meetings and also celebrate successes and have fun. Why do you think it's important to do all these things just to create the magic in the purpose?

 

John stated that your purpose statement has to be an emotional connection between staff, managers, and the people that have carry it out and of course the organization. In many companies like he shared, they kind of lose sight of the why and they focus on all the other things on what, where and what he has seen many businesses small or large is that the CEO and the Presidents and executive team and the board of directors and maybe even the H.R. folks, they’re the ones that create the purpose statement and then all of a sudden it gets introduced to the entire organization and says, “By the way, this is what you're going to do now.” And the staff sitting there going, “What was wrong with the other one that we had?” or “I'm so busy, now there's more things you want me to do.” So, if you get everybody involved, you create the buying, you get everybody's opportunity to express their own thoughts of why they do what they do. It doesn't mean everybody is going to have a perfect answer to all of it but at least people have ownership and then a buy in that I'll do it because I had a part of it, when it's just top down, it's just becomes another thing and the interesting thing about a purpose statement, is that you’d never ever going to achieve it. So, it's not something that, “Okay, we did it. Now what else is next?” Your purpose statement has to be something that you're always going to be striving every single day, day in, week in, month out, year out, 10 to 15 years from now. It's not something you change because you're always striving to achieve it. An example of Disney making people happy. Every single cast member at Disney and there are 75,000 of them that work at the Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida alone, every single one of them know that today when they wake up, before they go to work, they got to say to myself, “Man, today I'm going to make someone happy.” And they're always striving to do that, well guess what, “Tomorrow’s another day, I have to make someone happy again.” And there are people that have been at Disney for the first time, got to make them happy. And there are people who have been at Disney 50 times, got to make them happy too and you’ve got to make kids happy, you’ve got to make adults happy, you're going to make seniors happy, you’ve got to make each other happy. So, it never ends, you're always striving to reach that so when you get everybody excited about it, that's what he wants you to post things, he wants you to talk about it, he wants you to reward and recognize people because then becomes a living thing not something that the flavor of the month or we have a new H.R. director or we have a new CEO, that's their idea of what the vision of the company.

 

  • Yanique stated that it really does tie things in together. To ensuring that you're striving to do it every day, it's also important to ensure you have the right people. And so, one of the things that she has found over the years as a customer service trainer is that she thinks a lot of the customer service issues in organizations apart from the fact that it's highly driven by leadership. She thinks that who you recruit and if you're getting the right person to suit that particular role is very important. And one of the things that really struck her in his book was one of your suggestions is to get out of your office to interview and in it he gives mention to the fact that you should walk the person around, see how they interact with fellow employees and customers, do they have eye contact, do they open up doors, are they willing to stick their hand out and say, “Hi, my name is Susie, I'm applying for a job here.” Do they pick up pieces of paper, do they have energy and enthusiasm? So basically, he’s saying on the first job interview this is some of the strategies that you should employ instead of keeping them in an office and asking them the same monotone questions over and over.

 

John stated that what they’re trying to see if they’re a good fit and the best way to see it is to actually watch it in action rather than when they interview people in an office they say things like, are you energetic? Are you a people person? Do you like working with others? Do you have a lot of enthusiasm and energy? And what are the typical responses, “Yes” So by walking around they actually get to observe them and see are they and he always have this great saying that during an interview that's the best the person is ever going be is during an interview, it goes downhill after that. So, if they're not enthusiastic, if they're not helpful, if they're not friendly, if they're not showing you eye contact, if they're not enthusiastic about the possibility of working for you during that interview, you don’t think it's going to happen once you hire them, do you, of course not. What he tries to do is get people out, some organizations are really small, there's not any place to go, maybe a small office cubicle they’re working in but then get him outside, take them to a coffee shopp or something like that. Now, if you want somebody to punch numbers on the computer and sit in the back office and not talk to anybody, maybe that's not exactly necessary but in the customer service world that we live in where it's all about creating those experiences, you cannot hire somebody to change them into your culture. If you didn’t see it during the hiring process, as you should. He shared a story about his hotels, he used to get his front desk staff involved in the interviewing process. Whenever he was hiring a front desk person or a concierge guest services person, he would walk them around the hotel and do all the things you just suggested seeing how they react and he would take them to the front of the front desk at the hotel on the other side of the desk, not on the guest side but he would take them on the side that the workers are and he would all of a sudden say, “Oh, wait a minute I have to get this question. I'll be right back.” And he would leave them with his front desk clerks and at his front desk clerks would be, “Hey, how are you? You’re looking to work here? What are you doing now?” They would go through a little mini interview, what was interesting about it was he got feedback from them, many of them said, “Oh, this girl Susie, she's awesome. We really like her.” Or other times they would say, “I don't know. George has a personality of a dead fish, I don't think he's going to work.” And he would get feedback from his own team, guess what it created. One, it was great because he got a great perspective but then they had ownership in who we were hiring, and they had ownership of what they felt was a good fit and it was remarkable when you can do those sorts of things because now you're really seeing the person's true colors during that interview.

 

  • When asked about some online resources that he use in his business, John shared that he’s like a sponge so he’s constantly learning, growing from that perspective. He’s a voracious book reader, he’ll listen to podcasts, he’ll explore the internet and webinars, he’s always striving to get better and he may not learn from everything that they say but he’s just looking for one or two great ideas that he can incorporate, that he could share, that he could fine tune to tailor to maybe a client of his that he’s working with or an upcoming speaking engagement. So there have been some great mentors in his life that he says were there physically with me. These are mentors that were his bosses or people that would help him along the way but there were also a lot of authors and people like Stephen Covey is probably one of the most original first person to affect him when he would listen to his C.Ds in a car or he would read The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People or The 8th Habit: From Effectiveness to Greatness by Stephen Covey. He kind of molded him through his career. People like Jack Canfield who wrote all the chicken soup books has a great book, The Success Principles: How to Get From Where You Are to Where You Want to Be and he would highly recommend that to help you through it. He was a big Zig Ziglar fan and Zig Ziglar was the best motivator because he made him laugh and on the things that he would talk about and John would say, “Gosh, that was so funny but had such great merit.” There is John Maxwell who is another one, but he has always thought that through networking, through masterminds, through attending conferences…..again, you can pick up a lot of gold nuggets from people that you wouldn't think were very knowledgeable or maybe you thought they weren’t at the top, but they would just tell you some really good things and he has a lot of respect for people like Yanique and others who are there sharing their ideas. He’s a big sponge from getting it from a lot of different resources not just one.

 

  • John shared that as it relates to motivating people, the first thing he would tell them is to stop motivating people, stop trying to motivate them. He would look him in the eye and he would say, “Your heart is in the right place, but you cannot. I don't care who you are, you can't motivate anybody.” The key is to help create an environment will then motivate themselves. What he means by that is this, leaders always and he gets people all the time who come up to him, “How do I motivate my staff?” “How do I get my people to be so excited like you? I wish I had 10 people like you in my office.” “How do I get people excited?” The key is that's really hard to do but what we have to look at whether you're a manager or a business owner is instead of trying to figure out ways to motivate people, he wants you to think of the reverse strategy and try to figure out making sure there's nothing going on that is demotivating your people because when you demotivate your staff that's when people start to go in the wrong direction and there are so many things that can demotivate a staff member and everybody is demotivated differently. One person might say, “Well that's not a big deal.” Another person might say, “That was the toughest thing I've ever heard, and I don’t want to work for you anymore.” And you’d go, “What's the big deal?” Everybody is motivated differently, and everybody is demotivated differently. He gives an example, growing up in his career, he was a go getter, he wanted to be the best general manager that Hyatt Hotels ever had, and he was driven by trying to do that. What he meant by that was he didn't want anybody to hand it to him, he wanted to earn it but to earn it he went to every single Hyatt Hotel that he worked at and he would speak to their top managers and say, “What do I need to learn? What can you do to teach me so that I can be better prepared on my journey to become a general manager?” And that's what drove him. So, when he had opportunities to learn, when he had a mentor that would sit down once a week, they would have lunch together and that mentor would share the good, the bad and the ugly about John Formica to make John Formica better, those are the things and sent him to seminars or suggested books to read, to him that manager motivated him because he knew that that's what he wanted. And he also worked for organizations where managers say, “You don't need that, we don't send you to training, we don't send you to seminars.” And those are things that you don't need any of that kind of stuff. That means they didn't give him an opportunity to learn and grow, that was demotivating. You could bring balloons on his birthday, you can give him oatmeal raisin cookies every day, you could send him home early, you can give him Starbucks coupons for free coffee, you could do those things, that's good, the intentions are good but that doesn't motivate him. What motivates his giving him the ability to learn and grow and what demotivated him the most, when he had leaders that didn't care about any of that stuff.

 

Yanique agreed and stated that especially if you know what specifically you're looking for as an individual. You knew what your personal purpose was which kind of dovetails back into what we know when we started the interview. The purpose statement that should drive the employees but even as an individual you knew what drove you as a person and so you're looking for characteristics and character traits of leaders that would be able to basically mold and drive that purpose for yourself.

 

John shared that as a manager and a business owner, the best way to find out what’s demotivating your staff is not looking at it as a general statement but it's a one on one. He used to always have one on ones with every single one of his direct reports and they just talked about the good, the bad, the ugly, what is it that they like what he’s doing, what is it that they want him to stop doing and what is it that they want him to continue doing and they talk about it. Sometimes he got some brutal honest input from a co-worker that said, “John you’re try to micromanage us. We can do it, or I can do it.” And he would say, “But you haven't shown me. Every time I've asked you to do it and I let you go, you didn't take it seriously enough or you didn't follow up.” But that was good it made him think, “Okay, am I micromanaging and maybe I shouldn't micromanage.” So then micromanaging was a demotivating thing for this particular staff member or maybe he didn't appreciate them, maybe he thought he said thank you, but he really didn't say thank you one on one, he kind of thanked the whole team. Again, find out one on one what motivates and what demotivates individuals. He loves this statement and knows the familiarity with it, “There's no I in team.” Guess what, teams are made up of a bunch of I’s, individuals, so we have to take care of individuals as well not just looking at the team's perspective.

 

  • John shared that he’s really fired up about a new coaching program that he developed in partner with a writer in Australia. He gets a lot of people where he speaks at events and then people ask him to come in at events and speak, whether it’s training, whether it's leadership or hoping to create a better experience or hiring and all those things. He loves to do that but they know that not everybody has the resources whether it's financially or time to do that, so they put together and it’s not finished yet but we put together their great online coaching program where you will be able to get twelve webinars once a month, you're going to get unlimited access to both himself and his partner to help you not only market, to attract customers that you'll have more customers than you can ever dream of but then he’s going to help you keep the ones you have. It's a great combination because it's going to be able to help the “ma and pa” business owner and those are the ones that we all know need a lot of help, we want them to be successful. They don't have a lot of resources, don’t even have a lot of knowledge, there jumping into their business with good faith hoping that it will work, he wants to do everything he can to help them work. So, he’s really fired up about that but he’s also doing a lot of international work as well. He shared earlier that he just got back from Romania helping their small businesses at an incredible global summit. He thinks his messages can be used in lots of different organizations and he just want to do whatever he can to help.

 

  • John shared listeners can find him at –

www.johnformica.com

 

John shared that you can sign up and get my new training videos for free. You can download them, it's just his way of giving back. They are only about eight minutes long but it's a good understanding of the philosophy of what they talk about. But the neat thing is you get every week a newsletter which is basically a tip to help you create more magic in your business and it could be a leadership tip, it could be a relationship tip, hiring, it could be the customer experience and it's a great way of staying in touch with him and you will have all the contact information as well but you will also have access to his library of other articles that he has posted over 100 articles that you'll be able to use but that's a great way of becoming part of his membership free, it doesn't cost anything. But then you'll get access when they’re ready to roll that out, they will send everybody that information, so if it's something of interest, it will be extremely affordable, and you'll be able to use that. He suggests that's probably the best way to be in contact, all his contact information is on that so if they want to reach out to him for a speaking event or perhaps helping their team, they can just go to his contact page and start that process. But he does a lot of free discovery calls just to see if he’s a good fit and see what if they can do anything they can to help you out.

 

  • John shared that he has a couple of quotes, there is one, it's a Zig Ziglar quote and he thinks this is just a great quote in life as well as in business and he said, “You will get all you want in life, if you help enough other people get what they want.” And in leadership, help your staff achieve the success they want and of course as a leader your success that you want in your career or in business. And he thinks if we just treat people like that, we do whatever we can as givers and serve others in and even just making someone smile today that might not be a big deal, but it could be a big deal to them. It will come around, you don't worry about the results, we all want things instantaneously, we want to be successful right now, it's a journey but it's a great journey that he thinks that if you're a giver like, you'll get the reward.

Links

Mastering Customer Experience and Increasing Your Revenue Online Course

 

 

Oct 4, 2018

Lavois Cruickshank, a simple yet ambitious young man Lavois has the incredible dream of positively impacting and inspiring a nation. The Spanish Town native lives by a philosophy posited by Jared Kintz, “Whether you live to be 50 or 100 makes no difference, if you've made no difference in the world.” and with this as his motivation. Lavois aims to use his abilities, gifts and skills to make a difference. He is currently serving as a Jamaica House Fellow at the Office of the Prime Minister in Kingston, Jamaica. Lavois prides himself in excellence, committing wholeheartedly to any duty or task. With his deep interest in Finance, Economics and Strategic Planning, Lavois pursued a BSc in Economics and Banking & Finance at the University of the West Indies. He also holds an MSc in Financial Economics from the University of Birmingham. With an immense love for tennis and a passion for nation development, Lavois actively serves as a math tutor at his alma mater, Calabar High School in Kingston, Jamaica; as a volunteer with the Jamaica National Foundation as an ambassador of the Governor General’s I Believe Initiative (I.B.I).

 

Just to give a little background to our listeners. Yanique was privileged to have the opportunity to hear Lavois speak in front of an audience of 300 plus last week around this time as we celebrate National Customer Service week, he was invited as a special guest on a panel of people who are probably twice his age, but he really commanded great attention and was able to really wow the people who are listening including herself, hence, why extended this wonderful invitation for him to join us on the Podcast

 Questions

  • Tell us a little bit about yourself and your journey
  • What is your view on customer service and customer experience?
  • As a customer yourself could you give one to three things that you maybe experience whether it be locally or internationally of a business that really made a difference for you?
  • What are some tips that you would recommend to businesses that would help to make experiences effortless for their customers?
  • How do you stay motivated everyday?
  • What if you have employees in your organization who don't have that natural drive that you have. And there are certain goals that you have set for a company, but they are not pulling their weight. They’re not creating that level of culture where your customers are feeling satisfied and so your internal customer culture is not where you want it to be. What advice would you give to a business owner who had that kind of dynamic?
  • What’s the one online resource, tool, websites or app that you absolutely cannot live without in your own business or your own way of operating daily?
  • Could you share with us maybe one or two books that have had the biggest impact on you?
  • What is the one thing in your life right now that you are working on to develop yourself – something that you are really excited about?
  • Where can our listeners find you online?
  • What’s one quote or saying that during times of adversity or challenge you revert to this quote to kind of help you to keep centered and to focus on your path or goal?

 

Highlights

  • Lavois stated that he grew up in a family that encouraged excellence, excellence in the sense that going through school you were required to just do well, it was not an option, it was just mandatory. So, he grew up with two teachers as parents and he grew up with church parents as well, so there’s the balance of the academics and the balance of the school and spiritual part of it as well and so, he had to just focus during school. So, he started off in primary school, Calabar for high school and then it was just a natural transition in tertiary education at UWI. He just always had an interest in finance, he grew up watching TV particularly Owen James’ On a Personal Note and he just thought finance is probably something he wants to get into and then it was about money. So, it was just very interesting. He knew from then that he would want to be working at a bank wearing a jacket suit something of the sort and that was what really motivated him at the time but then growing up in Calabar, he was inspired by his economics teacher who just had so much passion in sharing her knowledge with them. And so, he thinks it was because of her why he chose to do economics at UWI and then he did well at UWI surprisingly. He was not the amazing student in interpreting but because he loved economics so much it became just second nature and he just did well at it and now he’s serving as a Fellow at the Office of the Prime Minister. What they do is that they're pushed into different projects to assist wherever they can. And he’s actually assigned to the National Export Import Bank of Jamaica which is the EXIM Bank working in strategic planning just assisting where he can in the bank achieving its goal.

 

  • Lavois stated that when he got the invitation was when he actually knew that there was even a Customer Service Association existed, so much so a Customer Service Week. He thinks that we are transitioning as an economy from just a manufacturing point of view and we have now transition to services, where are in a service led industry, our economy where services are really taking up a large portion of what we do generally. He finds that as well that service has become almost as a sign, it is what differentiates you because everybody offers pretty much the same goods and services and if you're not able to differentiate yourself in this very competitive market it is difficult for you to survive. So, he thinks service excellence and just the service that you offer is key in the longevity of a business is.

 

  • Lavois stated that he’s a little different, he doesn’t like interaction that much which is a sad case in some senses, but he likes being able to just go in and get what he wants and leave. And so, the easier you make that process for him is the better. So, if there is no hassle in getting what he wants, there's no long lines, if there is no long amount of persons to speak to in getting whatever he wants from you as a company, then it makes it easier for him. He actually remembers studying in the UK and it's not particularly one provider of a service, it's just how easy it is to do anything that you want to in that. If there's something that you want, you can always know that the option is online and that is what he found was the difference between the UK and Jamaica. Everything is so much easier to do because it's online and he find as a young person and especially as a tourist somewhat because he was a student. It would be not have been easy for him to find certain places or to know where to look for certain things, he just had to google it and it made sense because he could just purchase it there online and have it shipped to him. So, he thinks that was what made the difference between Jamaican experience in terms of shopping and a UK experience, everything was just there for him to find online. So, that was one major that has caught him with shopping or purchasing anything.

Yanique stated that one of our guests a couple of months ago wrote a book called The Effortless Experience and it's really been something that she has thought about for a very long time in terms of what customers are looking for and a lot of times not just yourself even other people that she has interviewed are just generally having conversation. People are actually looking for as you said an experience that requires them to put as little effort as possible which is why the online is such a remarkable experience for most people because if you can do the transaction literally at your office desk or while you're sitting in a doctor's office with your kid waiting to see a dentist or while you're sitting in an airport waiting to catch a flight. It makes your life that much easier.

 

  • Lavois stated that it's a little bit difficult particularly because in the locust fair we're not necessarily at that place where we could market online things. We are somewhat behind the world in that particular sense, but it wouldn't hurt for us to still push to get there. He thinks if we can market our things online and allow transactions to happen, he thinks the Prime Minister himself is trying to get us to that place where an economy meaning we're just doing everything digitally and for transactions to be easily done, quicker and that transaction cost being safe and that's us being more efficient. Apart from being online you want to be everywhere, your customers are everywhere, you want to be on all social media networks as well and this links back to the presentation that he did at the Customs Service Association. What it speaks to is us as millennials being your major target markets, we are reaching or spending peaking year and so we're going to be in your faces, we are going to be your customers. And so, what you have to do as a strategy to reach us as millennials is to just be everywhere. Twitter, Instagram, social media, anyone where you can possibly be that you know your market will be, you should be. You can provide a self-service service if there is something that you can implement in your organization that allows that customer to just go in and to come out as quickly as possible, to just get what they want from you and leave he thinks that would be very good to implement. Probably just be personal, understand that each customer’s need is probably different. And so, how you interact with each one of us will make a difference as well. And then answer quickly in case we have any queries are not, just be very quick about it because we are very impatient and as customers we want it and we want it now. So those are probably just one, two, three tips that he could probably offer with any organization that wants to just make it effortless for their customers.

When asked about why he thinks people want things now versus 10 or 15 years ago. Lavois stated that’s just how we are. He thinks that's just the general nature. Instant gratification is what we desire or want something that is just very natural. We get that satisfaction from having it now and the impatient is not something that we can work with. He thinks that technology has definitely helped to propel that desire. Technology has allowed us to access things very quickly than, quicker than we thought possible, initially and because we are now used to technology granting what we desire quickly, it has now become second nature that we just want it because it can happen, it has propelled us to that kind of mindset where it needs to happen, and it needs to happen now. Which can also be a bad thing, but it is a good thing in a sense.  

Yanique agreed that stated that the reality as she say to people generally customer experience is constantly evolving so we're here discussing what customers want now, about five years from now it's probably going to be completely different from what we're discussing. The customer is driving that whole change, back in the day when there was no social media you basically had to just probably complain via writing or state any challenge you have by writing, you really didn't have much power because nobody knows that you wrote the letter but a customer has so much power now with social media, they can blast a company whether they're doing well or they're not doing so well, on any of these platforms and it literally reaches millions of people in seconds.

 

  • When asked about staying motivated, Lavois stated that how grew up and he thinks this is how he ended up in strategy planning because he just always had a plan in his head and he doesn’t know what drove that plan but there was always something in the back of his head saying this is what I want to do next. So, he remembers going to high school or going into UWI, he would simple plan out the courses that he wants to do from that first year, he would know what he wants to do in second year, what he wants to do in third year, what’s he’s going to do after the degree and so there's always a one-year, two-year, five-year plan. But there was something in the back of his head where he sees himself. He sees himself being successful, as himself making some impact in Jamaica locally and probably even the world. He just sees himself doing things and because that in the back of his head, he knows he gets up every day knowing that this is just my next step towards getting where to go. He doesn't think he’s satisfied with where he is, so he believes that this satisfaction somewhat is what drives him. At the same time, he grew up with parents who gave everything they had for their kids. He has seen his father work with entities that he did not like, that he did not enjoy, he endured jobs that he probably wouldn't have wanted to do just because he had children to see through life and so this is a contribution for his parents, he could not take that for granted. So, he knows that there is something for him to do to allow his father and mother to enjoy the life they wanted. At the same time there is so much that we can change and there's so much that we can impact. He feels like work in itself is not necessarily what you bring to the table but how you make people feel and so there’s so much that we can do and that keeps him motivated everyday.

 

  • Lavois stated that he thinks he has probably experienced that before where there's some internally or people internally who don't necessarily have the same drive that you have. And he thinks from his own experience, what you need to do is to understand your own employees first of all because it's not that it might be eluding them it's just that you're probably not bringing the same message across very well. And so, what he encourages people to do is to look internally to see if there's something else that you can do to make that difference. So maybe it's that you just need to find out who that person operates and then do something else out of the ordinary that would probably get the reaction that you want and that kind of energy going forward with the business strategy and if that doesn't work. It's how you interact with them as well, it is that your own enthusiasm about it cannot bring out that same enthusiasm in them, he’s not sure what else can be done but he thinks there is an internal approach that needs to take place first to kind of look at who the person is, how they operate and then try your best to get that same enthusiasm out of them. And he thinks everybody has that side to them and it's just how you unveil it.

 

  • Lavois stated that Whatsapp is a very good tool and it's not only for personal social media vibes, it's also his way of finding out information, this is how you keep current and it's surprising, a lot of people would not even realize that a lot of the information that you hear or find comes from social media platforms. He thinks WhatsApp, Facebook, all of these social media platforms allows us as millennials in a sense or even everybody to kind of keep up to date because the news is always there. And so, us as millennials don't necessarily read newspapers. He has to do it and ensure that he does to keep up. But at the same time the same news that would be translated into print is on social media platforms, so it forces us to kind of be up to date with information. So, he thinks any social media platform is definitely necessary for him.

 

  • Lavois shared that he’s not a fan of reading, he’s not surprisingly. One particular book that has had some impact on him is a book that he actually read a long time ago, it’s called The Purpose Driven Life: What On Earth Am I Here For? by Rick Warren and it's a more spiritual side in terms of reading. It was just him trying to find out what is it that he was here to do, what was his purpose here and what impact he could make. Apart from general reading, he loves reading quotes and inspirational messages and the one that he has put before mentioned in the bio was Jared Kintz and what Jared Kintz said was, “Whether you live to be 50 or 100 makes no difference, if you've made no difference in the world.” And that has hit him so much because he realized if you are just here on earth and I'm not really making any difference then your life really makes no difference because you’re not impacting anybody's life and he feels like we are here and we're here to make so much of a changing in this world that we should just always attempt and aim at that and so if you're not making a difference then what purpose really does your life serve.

 

  • Lavois stated that for his recent birthday, he decided to create a theme for his birthday which was “No fear, no pride, no compromise” and what the theme tried to do was basically to encourage him to go after everything he wants to do. He grew up with a lot of pride in a sense which kind of hindered him from doing a lot of things because he was afraid of what people would say and how they would see him, at the same time that was the fear component, that was the pride component and there was no compromise meaning he would not give up who he was to achieve anything that he wants. He has so many goals but there are so many roads to get there but he doesn’t want to give up who he really is and he’s not going to compromise who he is to get there. So, he’s very excited about the journey, he has executed a few things that he really wanted to do, and he has gotten over the fear of doing them simply because he thought people would see him in a particular light and feels very good to just go after your dreams. So, for this birthday he created that theme, no fear, no pride, no compromise and he’s just trying to accomplish whoever he wants to be in this life.

 

  • Lavois shared listeners can find him at –

Facebook – www.facebook.com/lavois.cruickshank

  

  • Lavois Lavois stated that it is not necessarily a quote, it’s just something I use to refer to when times get really hard because these things happen. It's probably in a quote somewhere, it says “What man has done before, man can do again.” which pretty much speaks to us being able to overcome any particular situation. What he does in his very difficult times is to think about other people who have overcome the same struggle or the same situation and then draw strength from that and it makes it easier almost because it gives us a certain level of courage to kind of still go through with this particular battle that we're having. So, if you're going through something very difficult, if you’re going through something that is very challenging, he would encourage you to think about people who have gone through the same struggle and how they’ve overcome and draw strength from them as well.   

Links

 

Mastering Customer Experience and Increasing Your Revenue Online Course

 

 

 

Sep 18, 2018

Kenneth Burke is the marketing director for text request a B2B text messaging software company in Chattanooga. He runs a boutique marketing agency where he helps many companies of all sizes with their marketing and content strategies. And he's been awarded for work in psychology research and sales.

 

 Questions

 

  • Tell us a little bit about yourself and your journey
  • On the website textrequest.com, and it says text messaging for small businesses, start texting with your current business number and you can reach four times more people and get more leads and increase revenue. Could you explain to us how that really works?
  • In the 3 to 4 years that you said your startup has been in operation, can you tell us some of the industries that predominantly tend to use your service?
  • What are some everyday solutions that you believe can help to improve customer experience in small business?
  • As a consumer yourself, what’s one thing you look for when you shop with a business, what’s your number one thing you’re looking for a business to have?
  • What’s the one online resource, tool, websites or app that you absolutely cannot live without in your own business?
  • What are some of the books that have had the biggest impact on you?
  • We have a lot of listeners who are business owners and managers who feel they have great products and services but somehow, they lack the constantly motivated human capital. If you were sitting across the table from that person, what’s one piece of advice that you would give them to have a successful business.
  • What is the one thing in your life right now that you are really excited about – either something that you’re working on to develop yourself or people?
  • Where can our listeners find you online?
  • What’s one quote or saying that during times of adversity or challenge you revert to this quote to kind of help you to keep centered and to focus on your path or goal?

 

Highlights

  • Kenneth was asked to share his journey and he started by stating that Text Request is a startup. It's about four years old now, three and a half and he got into it because one of his good friends was one of the people who helped to start it. So, Kenneth was at a sales position somewhere else, he was looking to get out of it, just wanting something new and different. And his friend was super excited about this idea and the concept and starting things off and he thought you know what, I want to be a part of that. So, that's how he got here from his previous job. Before that, he has a degree in psychology with a focus on experimental research. And that's how he got here, and he has done some consulting on the side as well.

 

  • Kenneth explained how “Text Request” basically works as he stated that it starts with a basic concept that these days most people are thinking consumers, most people don't answer their phone calls and don't reply to e-mails like they used to. So, depending on what industry you're in and then even within what company rates for phone calls are anywhere from 5% are answered to up to 20%. Twenty percent is definitely the high bar there. And then according to “Constant Contact” the average e-mail open rate is only about 18%, that's not even including responses or click through’s conversion. So, there's clearly room for engagement there and what we found is that most people in their studies and stats to back this up, most people want to text with a business.

 

  • So, what we do at “Text Request”, we give people a platform or a dashboard where they can text back and forth with customers really easily. But the reason it's so successful or why it works so well is because people actually read their text, so 99% of texts are read, the response rate is about 90 seconds on average, so the reach rates four times that or maybe five times that of e-mail and then you're actually going to get engagement and get responses because it's what people want these days.

Yanique stated that it's interesting the way it’s explained because most businesses are also on Social Media. Social Media also has a platform for texting, so Facebook as Facebook Messenger. Instagram has Instagram messaging where you can directly message the business or the person depending on the type of business they are. So, why would they choose this platform versus those platforms that there's already interface of what the business is about, the products and services they have to offer, maybe even read feedback from other people who've interfaced with that particular product or service.

Kenneth stated that in general mobile messaging, any message you get from any platform is huge these days, it's just what people prefer. Facebook Messenger is kind of its own thing; a lot of people use it and it works really well. Text messaging is the basic communications tool and it works really well or meshes. It can work with your Instagram, it can work with your Google business listing and your search ads. And with your website or anywhere else online where you can control phone number. So, that's a big part of it, from the consumer side, they can go to your website search for you online and if they're on a phone they can just click and send you a text pretty quickly. And all of it comes to the same place which is easy for a business to manage. And then a lot of times too a business they're the ones trying to initiate the conversations. So, for them there might be a few dozen or might be several thousand customers or members or volunteers whoever it is that they're trying to keep up with and communicate with and text which is one place to do that's really nice as opposed to going to all of your individual apps to message someone.

 

  • When asked about the industry that predominantly tend to use his service, Kenneth stated that there are a bunch of them. Everyone texts for 100 reasons, so, every business can find a way to text. Staffing is a big one, so staffing agencies have hundreds if not a few thousand employees on their roster so to speak that they're communicating with and trying to fill positions with clients and things like that. So, texting everyone is a lot easier or sending one message to everyone even is a lot easier than individually calling each person on the list and leaving a voicemail etc. Home service companies is another big one, so you think of maid services, cleaning or plumbing, electricians, companies like that - they are always needing to check that the person is going to be home or at their business for them to come by and make sure the doors are unlocked and even that quick scheduling of an appointment. A lot of times it is easier for them because a consumer a lot of times can't answer phone calls during the day while they're at work but they can send a quick text so that ends up working out really well.

 

Yanique stated that is sounds like it’s predominantly more service-based businesses rather than product-based business to which Kenneth agreed. Yanique also shared that in Jamaica where she lives, 74% which was the last statistic of GDP comes from service-based businesses. So, a lot of organizations are not necessarily into new products or manufacturing per say but more the core of their business has to do with providing a service to the consumer. Would you say where you are in the in the part of the United States that you are that maybe most of the businesses are also in that same realm or would you say it's the opposite?

Kenneth stated that it's hard to say. He doesn’t know the stats on it. The people he comes into contact with professionally day to day, week to week - most of them provide some sort of service. They might be accountants or a home service industry or something. Their particular area does have a lot of industry manufacturing but most of the small businesses around here are service based.

  • Kenneth stated a few of the basics a business owner can utilize as everyday solutions to improve their customer experience, a fast and accurate website. Most people are going online to find out who you are, information what are your business hours, what are your reviews. So, making sure that it’s easy for them to find and that all the information is up to date is really important, particularly if you have specific business hours, there’s a lot of times with holidays or things change where there is something inaccurate on your listing and that turns away business. So that's a big one that a lot of people particularly they work with a marketing agency for their listing that they just overlook. Another one he thinks is just talking to your customers. It's simple, it's even obvious. A lot of times businesses and business owners particularly entrepreneurs, they get started and you have this idea of here's who might our customer is and here's what exactly it is that they need. But then you get into it and you find out that people aren’t flocking to my service or my new product as much as we thought they would. Our marketing must be wrong or something or these people must just be dumb but it's usually that there's just the disconnect between what you're providing and what your customers actually want and so, in their experience, having conversations day in and day out with dozens, hundreds, thousands of people helps you to really internalize what they're trying to accomplish and the way they want to go about it. And then you build those relationships and once you have those relationships you begin to empathize with them, you begin to think the same way that they think. And from there the service you offer, the customer service you offer, specific services and the entire experience starts to really come together.

 

  • Kenneth stated that for him, it’s what's going to be easiest usually. There's always so much going on, there's always going to be someone who has a cheaper option, there’s always going to be someone who has a better option. So, for him it's just what's the quick solution I know he’s not going to regret.

Yanique reiterated that as a consumer, he’s looking for something that requires him to exert as little energy as possible but something that won't cost him too much in terms of that it's quick but it's also efficient. Yanique also mentioned that over the years in interviewing different people in different industries across the world for this podcast, she really has found that most consumers nowadays are seeking an effortless experience, they're looking for that organization that can take the effort out of the experience. Because there are so many other competing activities that you have to do on a daily basis. Take the effort out but at the same time ensure that they are achieving the goal that you've set in terms of achieving. So, whether it's buying a shoe or getting your carpet cleaned at home or getting a room painted or getting your website with a web developer, it's efficient. But you have to exert as little energy as possible because this person is just so able to meet your needs in such a very easy and effortless way.

Kenneth agreed and stated that it's the people who make it effortless are the companies who make it effortless are the ones that stand out.

  • Kenneth stated that for the online resource or app that he couldn’t live without in his business, it's hard to say because he uses so many. It's kind of like if one was gone, there would be another one to take its place. He stated that their content management system is the biggest one, so WordPress for a while they just switch to Umbraco. For them that's the biggest thing because they’re always adding pages and changing copy and adding sections to our website and customer profiles, case studies and all these things. So just for him to just be able to jump in and make those changes 18 times a day is really helpful. Aside from that he would say probably the Mozbar Chrome extension. So, that basically it's a browser extension for Chrome where you can click on it while viewing any other website and see what it's domain authority is, how it kind of its backlink profile and some other search engine optimization key metrics which for a lot of what he does is crucial.

 

  • Kenneth shared that it's always hard to pick books because there always so many and whenever you read one thing it tends to build on something else you’ve read. Tim Ferriss' The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich for him was huge. It was it was kind of the first book on entrepreneurship run anything related to life and work that didn't involve just being in a corporate office all day, that he read which for him at the time he read it was really impactful for framing how he wanted to go about his day to day. The book Rest: Why You Get More Done When You Rest by Alex Soojung-Kim Pang was really big for him. In America in particular we have this mindset of like “Oh, you have to hustle, hustle 24/7” if you’re going to give anything, it's kind of, he calls it the “Gary V approach” and so this book is a scientific very well documented account of how the most successful people in history or at least some of them have prioritized rest over the grind. So, some people who are included in it are like Thomas Jefferson and Bill Gates and it talks about whenever you focus on rest and not just like vegging out in front of a TV or getting a lot of sleep although sleep is important, but rest as in doing other activities that stimulate different parts of your brain. So, even in college this was common, people would say, “Every 45 minutes you study, make sure that you spend 15 minutes doing something active.” It's kind of that back and forth of activity switching without trying to multitask. So, that was big and it kind of put some thoughts he had been having and some things he’d experienced before in one book that had all the references, all the resources, all the studies and the big names in it. So, I recommend that to everyone. And then the book Peak: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise by Anders Ericsson. For listeners they don't know, Erickson is the same one who did the research that Malcolm Gladwell ended up coining into the 10,000 hours. He loves the book because it's like a 30-year history of everything this man's done and everyone else in his field has done in just a few hundred pages. But he loves the concept in it that the brain really never stops growing, that it's incredibly elastic and that counter to the current believed your brain is done developing by the time you’re 25. You can keep pushing and keep growing and keep improving in different areas. You can't really teach an old dog new tricks.

 

  • Kenneth stated that the one thing he would say is you can often do more with a few people who are really invested than with a lot of people who aren't. Jim Collins particularly in his book Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap… And Others Don’t talks a lot about the concept of getting the right people on the bus. You need to get the right people on your team and you need to get the wrong people off of your team before you really start driving it. So, if you're in a position where you already have a great product, great service, you kind of have the customer experience over the product market fit. Tie it up and the problem is personality, sometimes you might not need to keep that person but on the other hand there's always more you can do as a leader. So, you need to evaluate how are you compensating them, are you giving them the intangibles that any reasonable person would want such as autonomy to do their job well, trust, listening to their ideas and actually acting on them and trying to encourage engagement as opposed to just saying, “Well, you don't know anything. So, we're gonna pass on you.” There's two sides, you can always be a better leader, you can always do more but at the end of the day you can't make somebody want to get up and help your business grow.

Yanique agreed with that point and stated that it's something that we speak about a lot in their customer service workshops, leadership workshops that attitude is something that comes from within and you can bring in the greatest trainers, the most expensive consultants, the best of the best that the world could ever provide. But at the end of the day if that person is just not wanting to do what you want them to do then you aren't going to get much further.

 

  • Kenneth shared that right now they have a pretty small team and they're really tight knit which is convenient if nothing else. But also, practical and great and all those things. As a startup they just a few months ago hit the milestone of a Million Dollars in annual recurring revenue. And so that's very exciting by itself. But they also have what he thinks is a really good plan in place to at least double that in the next 12 months. So, that's exciting, he’s more intrinsically motivated but that helps him wake up in the morning.

 

  • Kenneth shared listeners can find him at –

Facebook – www.facebook.com/textrequest

Twitter – www.twitter.com/text_request

Twitter – www.twitter.com/BurkeWriter

Instagram – @text.request

Instagram - @kennethburkewriter

 

  • Kenneth shared a quote from William Faulkner, he was actually joking with one of his writing buddies and wrote in a letter and said, “I only write when I'm inspired. Fortunately, I'm inspired every morning at 9 am.” Kenneth loves that because a lot of times he finds that the discipline or the habit is more important than motivation or whatever challenge is going on. If you wake up every day and you say, “Okay, I'm up, here’s what I'm going to do towards my work, my goal, my passion.” It becomes a lot easier to just do the work but to see results over time.

 

   Links

Mastering Customer Experience and Increasing Your Revenue Online Course

 

 

Jun 19, 2018

Joey Coleman helps companies keep their customers. He is an award-winning speaker. He works with organizations around the world ranging from small startups to major brands such as Deloitte, Hyatt Hotels, Zappos and Whirlpool. His first 100 days methodology fuels the remarkable experiences his clients deliver and dramatically improves their profits. His Wall Street Journal number two best-selling book Never Lose a Customer Again: Turn Any Sale into Lifelong Loyalty in 100 Days offers strategies and tactics for turning one-time purchasers into lifelong customers. When he's not speaking to audiences around the globe, Joey enjoys spending time with his amazing wife and two young sons in the mountains of Colorado.

  

Questions

 

  • Tell us a little bit about yourself and your journey
  • Could you shed some light on what you wrote in the book as it relates to the eight phases of customer experience, the assessing, the admitting, the affirming?
  • As it relates to your different trips and travels all over and being a subject matter expert as it relates to customer experience, how do you feel about customer experience on a global level?
  • How do you stay motivated everyday?
  • What are some of the online resources, websites, tool or app that you absolutely cannot live without in your own business?
  • What are some of the books that have had the biggest impact on you?
  • We have a lot of listeners who are business owners and managers who feel they have great products and services but somehow, they lack the constantly motivated human capital. If you were sitting across the table from that person, what’s one piece of advice that you would give them to have a successful business.
  • What is the one thing in your life right now that you are really excited about – either something that you’re working on to develop yourself or people?
  • Where can our listeners find you online?
  • What’s one quote or saying that during times of adversity or challenge you revert to this quote to kind of help you to refocus and just get back on track?

 

Highlights

 

  • Joey stated that he has a really eclectic background which he supposes is the polite way of saying he has done a lot of completely random things that made no sense to the outside world as he was going through it. But now with hindsight looking back there's a common thread. He was a Government International Relations Major in College then went straight to law school where he studied Litigation and National Security Law and International Law. He worked for the CIA, the White House and the Secret Service. He was a Criminal Defense Lawyer. He taught executive education kind of nighttime NBA type courses. He ran a division of a promotional products company. He ran an ad agency for over 15 years and now he’s a full time Professional Speaker. So, he travels around the world giving speeches, leading workshops and consulting with clients to help them keep their customers. The thread that ties all of these crazy different jobs and careers in this life that he has had the blessing of leading together is the fact that in each of the positions he held, the way you excelled was to have a keen understanding of the human condition. Why do people do the things they do and what can we do to make them do the things we'd like them to do? And so that's kind of the common thread and that's really what led him to this world of customer experience. He was running his ad agency and of course they were very focused on helping their clients develop websites and ad campaigns and brand identity kits that were designed to bring customers into the fold. But the more he did this the more he realized that customers were running out the back door as quickly as they brought them in the front door. And he quickly realized that focusing on customer retention was actually a more valuable and more important practice than focusing only on customer acquisition.

 

Yanique agreed that his background is eclectic as it is sure to form great stories when he’s speaking to these different people throughout the world being able to draw on different experiences from different industries. Because it kind of pulls it together because at the end of the day even though he has worked in so many different areas we're still human beings regardless of where we're from or what we do.

 

Joey mentioned that he is a big believer that regardless of whether you see yourself in a B to B (Business to Business) or a B to C (Business to Customer) or a B to G (Business to Government) environment, whether you're an entrepreneur or a business owner or an employee no matter where you fall in kind of the different things you do as part of your job or career, you're interacting with other human beings and the better we can understand the journey that our fellow humans are on and meet them where they're at the more we will be able to achieve the goals that we have for our business or for our life or for our growth.

 

Yanique mentioned that she was lucky enough to be one of the persons that Joey sent an advanced copy of his book to Never Lose A Customer Again and she has been reading it and it's been so amazing because it feeds her soul because this is all that she cares about. She’s passionate about customer experience and customer service and there's some valid points that he has in it.

 

  • Joey stated that in the book he outlined his way of thinking or kind of the way he has developed in coordination with his clients of thinking about the customer journey and he believes there are eight potential phases that your customers have the ability to go through if you're willing to hold their hand and help them navigate them. All eight phases start with the letter A. He spent enough time working in Washington D.C. and Government not to give an acronym that he was expecting people to remember so he made it easy. The goal is to get your customers to give you straight A's on your report card. All of the phases start with the letter A. The first one is Assess, this is Phase 1. This is when a prospect is considering whether or not they want to do business with you. In common parlance we call this marketing and sales. Then we go to Phase 2 Admit, this is day one of the first hundred days of the customer relationship in the admit phase, the prospect acknowledges that they have a problem or a need that they believe you can help. And so, they transition from being a prospect to being a customer almost as quickly as that happens, they enter Phase 3, the Affirm phase. In common parlance this is buyer's remorse. This is where the customer begins to doubt the decision that they just made. And your job as the business is to counteract those negative and doubtful emotions by reinforcing the wisdom and the benefit of their purchase decision. We then come to Phase 4 Activate. This is the first major experience the customer has with your brand after the sale. So, if you sell a product this could be the unboxing experience or when they get the product home. If you sell a service this could be the kickoff meeting or the first time you start to deliver on the service. He calls it Activate because he thinks it's important to energize the relationship when you formally start working together and are really set the tone for what the interactions and the relationship are going to be going forward. So, we're halfway through the eight phases. Then we come to Phase 5, this is where most businesses start to fall off the rails a little bit. See most businesses deliver the product or service and then they're kind of done and they miss the opportunity in phase 5 to Acclimate the customer to doing business with you. Most businesses have sold their product hundreds, thousands maybe even millions of times. But to a new customer it's the first time they've ever had an interaction with you, so you need to hold their hand and get them familiar with your way of doing business. After that we come to Phase 6 Accomplish, this is when the customer achieves the goal that they had when they originally decided to do business with you. Every customer before they make a purchase decision or when they make a purchase decision has a goal in mind of what they're hoping to accomplish. If as the business, we don't track that and measure whether we're making progress towards succeeding at achieving that goal and then celebrate with the customer when they accomplish that goal we miss the opportunity to validate the original purchase decision. And if you don't successfully acknowledge the accomplished phase you can't get to the last two phases. Okay so the last two phases are Phase 7 Adopt, this is when the customer becomes loyal to you and your brand. They're only going to do business with you, they will happily buy whatever you create. They've definitely become a big supporter of yours. And then last but not least we reach Phase 8, the Advocate phase. This is one that adopting customer becomes a raving fan referring their friends and colleagues to you. So, these are the eight phases that a customer as he said has the potential to go through regardless of what business you're in, regardless of whether your product or service - domestic or international, small, medium or large. All human beings have the potential to go through these phases. It's just a question of whether as organizations we want to help them do it.

 

Yanique mentioned that she liked the fact that Joey noticed this straight A’s theme. She thinks it's so important to recognize that they cannot become evangelists or advocates of our business unless they've gone through some process. She stated that people think that people are going to walk and speak great things about our organization just because we've sold them an item once or we've sold them an item twice. And it's so much more than that, there's a process that goes through that will convert that person from just feeling like, “Okay, I just did business with an okay company” versus “I just did business with a great company and I need to tell everybody else and I want my friends to shop from them and I want my family members to shop from there.”

 

Joey stated that all too often he thinks we ask for those referrals too early in the process immediately. For a while it was very popular especially in e-commerce settings when you bought something online for after you went through the checkout cart, they would hit you with a pop-up screen that said, “Who else do you know that would be interested in our product or service?” And they wanted you to enter an e-mail and he’s thinking to himself, “I haven't even received the product or service that I signed up for and you already want me to be sharing it with other people.” It's way too soon. It's kind of like being on a date with someone and you go on a first date and before the waiter takes your order for what you want for dinner your date says, “So, I'd like to meet your mom and dad.” It's too fast it's going to make me anxious I don't want to order then. It’s too early in the relationship. He doesn’t think you should be asking for referrals until the customer has accomplished their goal. That phase 6 level where they achieve the goal they originally had when they decided to do business with you. He thinks after that is when you start to ask for referrals and additional business because they have proven that their investment has had a nice return.

 

  • Joey mentioned that one of the things that Yanique probably had learned from some of their exchanges back and forth before scheduling this conversation, he has a tendency to be pretty direct pretty blunt in his feelings and his beliefs which sometimes can get him into trouble but that's the way it goes. He believes it’s a general rule the bar for customer experience on the planet is lying on the ground. He thinks that most businesses do very little to pay attention to customer experience. He’s in this space as well as Yanique and he knows the people that are in this space we work very hard at it. But he thinks globally, it is not nearly given the priority that it needs to be given. He thinks more often than not customer service gets attention, but customer experience doesn't. And he sees a distinction between those two phrases. He defines customer service as something that is more reactive, solving the customers problem, helping them to navigate using your product or service, whereas customer experience he thinks is proactive, it's all the perceptions that your customer has based on all the touch points and interactions they have with you. So, he thinks most companies that are doing anything are just kind of in triage reactionary state. A customer service state as opposed to thinking more holistically, how can we create the most remarkable interaction possible that is going to catch our customers off guard, is going to surprise and delight them and is going to leave them wanting more.

 

Yanique agreed and stated that it's definitely more of a proactive approach as it relates to customer service and of course customer experiences taking everything into account, more of a holistic approach and not just from a face to face point of view but just every possible touchpoint or channel that the customer could possibly have an interaction with you.

 

  • When asked how he stays motivated, Joey stated that he loves what he does. It's pretty easy. Being on stage is such a pleasure and such a delight. He takes very seriously his role and responsibility to educate an audience, to entertain an audience, to keep them engaged. He just absolutely loves it so every day he’s on stage is fantastic and the days he’s not on stage, he’s preparing for the days that he will be on stage. So, it's just absolutely incredible. He also really connects to the message that he’s trying to promote which is we need to care more about each other as human beings. Our businesses have a responsibility to not only take care of our customers but to take care of our employees and those two things have a tendency to feed upon themselves. The better experience you create for your employees, the better experience they can create for your customers, the better experience you create for your customer, the better experience it creates for your employees. It's just a nice little loop that feeds on itself.

 

Yanique agreed and stated that internal customer service is very important. The health of your organization not just the health of the employees but how they feel about the business is so critical. One of the things that we say in workshops or she’ll ask the participants if their company sells a particular product or service, I always ask them if they're actually a user, do they actually consume this product or service because that to me is a key indication if they believe in the company that they work for.

 

Joey agreed and mentioned that it's shocking how rare it is. In his experience he asks a very similar question and he’s always amazed at how few of the employees use the product or service and what he’s even more amazed by is that the businesses don't make it easy for their employees to use the product or service. For example, because he travels a lot, he finds himself in restaurants often and one of the things he always like to ask the waiter or waitress when he’s in a restaurant getting ready to order is, what are the two or three things on the menu that are your favorites, what do you like here, what do you recommend or what are the best things. And it never ceases to amaze him how it's very clear the way they describe things that they haven't actually tasted the dish they're recommending. If he ran a restaurant he would have it set up so that every employee in their first month on the job sampled every single dish we serve. And then they had a context and then about every three or four months he’d run them through that cycle again. And he’d give them the chance to try the specials and to try the regular items and to develop kind of their own palate as it related to the menu. It's not just restaurants, this can apply in every business on the planet, “Are your employees actually users of your product or service and customers of your business?” And if they are, what are you learning from them and creating opportunities for them to speak more intelligently about what you offer.

 

One of the interesting things is we ask our employees to create remarkable customer experiences but many of our employees have never had a remarkable customer experience. He explained that he was at an event recently doing a workshop for a company and the CEO told him, “I want to have first class service. I want to have Ritz Carlton service. I want to have white glove service and create those type of experiences for our customers.” He said, “Okay.” So they got the whole company together and he said, Here's the deal, how many of you have heard the CEO talk about the importance of a Ritz Carlton first class, white glove experience?” and every hand in the room went up, he said great. Let me ask you a few questions. Number one, “How many of you have ever flown first class?” and the CEO proudly raised his hand and the CFO raised their hand and no one else in the room raised their hand. And I said, “Okay, how many of you have ever spent the night at a Ritz Carlton?” and the CEO proudly raised his hand, the CFO put his hand down and still none of the other people in the room had their hands up and then I said, “Okay, one last question. How many of you have ever eaten a meal that was delivered by waiters wearing white gloves?” And no one put their hand up. And he turned to the CEO and said, “It's really difficult to expect our employees to deliver a world class customer experience when they've never had a world class customer experience.” So, if there were one piece of advice that he would give to business owners listening it would be make sure that your employees have a context and a framework for the type of experience you're asking them to provide for your customers.

 

  • Joey stated that he is probably one of the least online connected individuals that has ever been on Yanique’s podcast. He uses online resources but they're not very complex, he doesn’t have a huge presence on Social Media and he doesn’t use a lot of different tools but one that he does uses, and he finds to be incredibly effective and has helped his business dramatically is a tool and a service called Mixmax. Mixmax is a scheduling tool, it's kind of an add on that you can connect to your Gmail account or your e-mail account that allows you to click on a little link and offer available appointment times when scheduling, that has made my life so much easier because then when people get that email I can say I’m available at these three or four times. When they click on that time link it automatically books it on his calendar and if he gave the same time as a potential slot to two people when they click on it, it will tell them that that slot is no longer available and offer one of the other ones. It just has taken the 17 e-mails back and forth to do scheduling and really reduced it dramatically and I actually like Mixmax better than some of the other calendaring services because some of the other ones it gives you access to the person's calendar and you can see a bunch of things but you kind of have to figure out where to insert yourself. Whereas this one he feels like proactively says I care enough about you, the person he’s sending the e-mail to say, “I've allocated these particular windows of availability, which one works for you?” and they can focus in on it a little bit more than looking through all of the available times on the calendar.

 

  • When asked about the books that have had the biggest impact, Joey mentioned that this is a really challenging but fantastic question because for context, he’s in the process of moving right now and so he just recently packed up their books and they have north of 5000 books in their house. He loves books, he has read a ton of books, he loves being surrounded by books. There are so many books that have had a tremendous impact on him. He thinks back to some of the first business books he read which included Harvey Mackay's Beware the Naked Man Who Offers You the Shirt. Dig Your Well Before You're Thirsty by Harvey Mackay, Dale Carnegie's book How to Win Friends and Influence People. Tons of the writings of Tony Robbins Awaken the Giant Within and just lots of books that he read kind of back in the day when he first was starting. Then there's a bunch of business books that he read kind of as my thoughts around customer experience were evolving. His good buddy Shep Hyken has written a number of fantastic books on customer experience as well as Scott McCain and Jay Baer and mutual friend Dan Gingis. A number of folks that are kind of write more specifically in the customer experience space. He also tried to read fiction from with some regularity because he thinks if we're really looking at the human condition reading fiction helps us to understand people as well. So, he reads everything from science fiction to fantasy to kind of pleasure reading, fiction in the kind of espionage and spy novel space so he tries to read across a really wide swath of genres and topics.

 

  • When asked about advice he would give a business owner who lack the constantly motivated human capital. Joey stated that this goes back to that story he told right the best way to motivate your employees is to make sure that they're having an incredible experience. As the business owner, the manager, the executive, your employees are your primary customers. You need to be taking care of them, you need to be holding their hand to navigate them through the 8 phases, you need to be making sure that they're having a remarkable experience when they come to work. And so, he thinks if there was a question around, he thinks there are a lot of business owners that say, “Well our employees just don't get it, they're not motivated, they don't come with the kind of excitement that I need them to come to work.” He usually would ask those type of executives or owners. “Are you excited about the fact that those employees come to work? Do you let them know that, do you show them that in your words and in your actions and in your behaviors?” and usually by the time he gets to that level of questioning they're like, “Well, maybe not as much as I could.” and I'm like great, so there's a huge opportunity for us to improve the employee experience.

 

Yanique reiterate by saying that the gap that exists why there's constantly motivates human capital is the leadership influence that drives that whole engagement. So, recruitment is critical because you have to hire the right people. But after hiring them, there are things that you need to do to sustain their interest in what they're doing everyday so that they can be motivated.

 

Joey agreed and stated that you need to sustain your interest. He thinks part of the challenge we have in HR is that it's run like many businesses are run with their external customers. We spend all this time courting, marketing and selling, filling the funnel trying to convince someone to come work for us, trying to get them in the door and then they start, and they show up for their first day on the job and we don't have a desk for them. They don't know what they're supposed to be doing, they don't know anyone to go to lunch with or maybe if we do an onboarding program it's a day or two and then we kind of leave them to fend for themselves. We need to hold our employees’ hands, especially through the first 100 days of the employee relationship. What are we doing to make sure that they're achieving the goal they had when they came to work. Lots of times we don't even ask our employees, “What's your goal? Is your goal to get a cheque? Is your goal to grow a career? Is your goal to explore something new that you haven't thought about before? Is your goal to put to work the things you studied in school and have that be compensated for what you learned?” Every employee has different motivations and by the way those motivations change, they evolve over time. And so, what did motivate them to take the job in the first place six months in might not be the motivation anymore. Employers and managers need to have a finger on the pulse as to what's going on with their employees and that's how you get motivated employees.

 

  • Joey stated that there are two things that he’s really excited about right now. One more professional and one more personal. On the professional side, he’s thankful and appreciative of the tremendous support for the launch of the book, when we’re recording this, the book has been out for about 2 months now. They had great success as not only during the launch but since then. He continued to get wonderful feedbacks and reviews on Amazon from people and people sharing how they have been able to put the principles that are outlined in the book into practice in their own business and they are already seeing huge results, so, that’s been super exciting, the book culminates and kind of represents, he would say 20 years of his professional career but it’s really more 45 years of his entire life/career because it’s all the different things that he has been involved with and all the things that he has learned about human beings and trying to put that down on the paper as a way and hopefully provides some value to other people that helps them understand themselves and their customers and their employees better, so that’s been really exciting. On a personal note, in a few days of recording this episode, he will be moving from his home in Evergreen, Colorado which is high in the Rocky Mountains about an hour west of Denver. I'm moving up the state and down the mountain a little bit to Boulder, Colorado where they’ll be a little bit closer to civilization and the wonderful things. Their neighbors will be humans as opposed to bears and mountain lions. They'll will have the chance to kind of have a new chapter and a new experience for him and his wife and their two young boys, so excited about that. Moves that he thinks are a great opportunity to recommit and rejuvenate and set new habits and new practices and so he’s really excited about what this transition offers for his family and their personal lives but also for him and his professional life.

 

  • Joey shared listeners can find him at –

Twitter - @thejoeycoleman

www.joeycoleman.com  

 

  • Khashf Joey shared that it's both an interesting and a timely question because as you might imagine with the travel schedule he keeps being on the road about two and a half weeks out of the month and just getting back from a trip about a week ago. He was on the road for about three weeks, his family got sick while they were on the road, so he had to reschedule the recording and that's just never fun to have a sick family especially when you're not at home. That makes it even worse and then they get home and they’re moving in two days. So, his quote would be from the incomparable quote master Winston Churchill who said, “When you're going through hell keep going.” That's kind of what he’s been trying to do as of late and he doesn’t want to be overly dramatic, his life is very blessed and he feels very fortunate but there's been a lot of stress lately with the travel and the move and kind of the craziness of the book launch and a number of things and so his goal has been just to keep putting one foot in front of the other, trusting that this will all eventually work out beautifully.

 

Joey also mentioned that the Nike tagline “Just Do It” is probably if not the best one of the best taglines in the world. He’s not a big fan of taglines because most taglines are watered down platitudes that could easily be given to any company, you could take the tagline and apply it to another company without anyone missing a beat. But he always points to Nike's Just Do it as one of the best out there.

Yanique agreed and stated that it can be applicable to any industry or any area, even in kids going to school who are trying to advance themselves athletically or academically, just let them know that at the end of the day the only thing that's holding you back is your own fear. So “Just Do It.”

   

Links

 

Mastering Customer Experience and Increasing Your Revenue Online Course

 

 

Mar 20, 2018

David Durham is a mindset and self-mastery business coach, speaker, author and trainer. Before coaching David had the opportunity to build a six-figure business his first year in real estate at the very young age of 20, he is also the author of his first book, “You Must: World-Class Principles for Success” which he is so excited to launch in March. David now helps other self-employed entrepreneurs between the ages of 30 and 50 who have been in business for less than five years to build a thriving business by helping them step out of self-sabotage and step into their success.

 

Questions

 

  • Tell us a little bit about yourself and your journey
  • What are some of the top three suggestions or tools that you provide to your business owners or entrepreneurs to ensure that they maintain that level of self-mastery and emotional intelligence so they can lead a team that is all so positive minded?
  • We have a lot of small to medium sized business owners that listen to this show across the world in different countries and many of them have to do their own sales. You know they have to pick up the phone and they have to make sales calls. And as you said when they get rejected sometimes they do attach it to their identity. How do you get rid of that fear before you actually take the telephone up and call someone to tell them about a product or service that you have to offer to them? And of course, to pitch it in a way that it comes up as being authentic in terms of your product or service adding value to their life and providing them with useful benefits. But also in a way that you are able to utilize the skills that you are best suited for, to marry what you are offering with what their business has to offer to their customers.
  • Apart from taking a different perspective, are there external stimuli that you could probably expose yourself to that will help you to change your mindset or at least maintain somewhat of a positive mindset throughout the course of your day?
  • What are some of the books that you’ve read recently or maybe in the past that has really helped to grow and develop you as an individual and make you a better person?
  • What is one online resource, website, tool or app that you absolutely cannot live without in your business?
  • What is the 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 you online?
  • What is one quote or saying that you live by or that inspires you in times of adversity?

Highlights

 

  • David stated that emotional intelligence and a business is huge, especially for entrepreneurs, self-employed entrepreneurs that have been in business for less than five years. One day you're on top of the world you're ready to conquer everything and then like three days later you're questioning all the moves you've made in the past six months and is this the right choice. It's going through the ups and downs that are extremely hard and emotional intelligence which essentially boils down to your mindset and how self-mastered you are is how resilient can you be when you're facing adversity. People are doubting you and telling you, “You can't do it.” Which he has so many stories around that and just struggling. How are you to persevere through that. Because he believes everyone typically knows what they need to do to get the business where they want to go. Yet many times they're just in their own head and they're in their own way and if they could get out of their own way and out of their head then they could have the success. So, when it comes to mindset and self-mastery, it's about being resilient and being able to face anything with a positive perspective that empowering rather than a perspective in their business that's disempowering and has actually holding them back.

 

  • David stated that this is an amazing question because it's like being a leader in how you lead by example for anyone that works for you which then directly correlates to customer service and the one of the first things he teaches and a certified coach almost finishing the certification of what they teach is seven levels of perspective and when you understand these levels of perspective then you can actually decide how you want to show up each moment, every day you can understand which perspective helps you and how, some of them help you in this situation and other perspectives on the seven levels help you in something else and so one of the tools that he teaches which is going to be hard to get in just on this call. But it's the seven levels of perspective so no matter what happens to you, you can adopt a perspective that's actually going to empower you and help you move forward. So, what that looks like as a leader is when you're implementing the seven levels of perspective, naturally everyone following you, everyone that's looking up to you and you are leading by example sees that and they respect that and then they can grow from that themselves. When it comes to mind and self-mastery, when it comes to the way you think number one's perspective, that's what's going to keep you going and two is how do you overcome fear that’s huge, just fear in general, fear of rejection, fear of failure, feel fear of the unknown and so how do you overcome that. And that's a huge step getting in your business. So, self-employed entrepreneurs that have been in business for less than five years and many times fear rejection, they fear failure and here's where it boils down to. The reason why these fears are there is because they're attaching their identities to results. And so, whether they do great then that means they're great and if they don't that means they don't, so when they fail they take it to mean that their failure. And so, when you feel like a failure then naturally and the thoughts going through your head is “I'm not good enough” when I'm not good enough shows up for you then you're naturally going to feel disempowered, you're going to feel bad about yourself and when you have the thoughts of I'm not good enough. You don't feel good enough then who in their right mind is going to want to take action. Then they let fear overrun them, they let fear overrun their business and now they wonder why it's so hard to take massive action, they wonder why they are procrastinating so much but it's because of that. So, when you can start shifting that perspective it all ties together because you shift the perspective then you start having different thoughts, thoughts that are empowering with those thoughts that you have, you have different emotions. So, now you have a different perspective, different thoughts, different emotions, naturally you are going to take different action because thoughts and emotions equal action. That's a really encompassing of like coaching because many times like his clients would come to him and it's with these stories but all they really need to do is shift the way they're thinking ask themselves better questions and quit identifying with their results as to who they are. Being able to stand in their own skin and say, “I am enough as I am no matter what happens in my organization, no matter what happens my identity isn't attached to this outcome, my identity isn't attached to the failures and it's also not attached to the winds. It just is and I'm enough as I am.” which really allows one to adopt the right perspective an empowering perspective to move forward.

 

  • David stated that everyone listening right now, wants to be able to make those sales calls and prospect and come from a place that's genuine and not feel salesy, like they can make the calls and know that “I'm only here to help, I don't want to feel salesy.” A lot of people don't want to make those calls because they have that fear of rejection and the fear of “What are they going to think about me and if I call people that know me, what are they going to think, they going to think I'm selling them.” how do you overcome that. First thing first, you've got to be 100 percent confident in what you do, your product or your service. Reason being if you are 100 percent for example as a coach, “I knows I can help transform businesses. I know I can help them get out of the way double or triple their income. I have created the results multiple times.” So, when you are 100 percent confident in that then when you reach out in prospect to these people you know, people you don't, whatever it might be, you come from a place of contribution, you come from a place of, “This is what it can do for you. I want to help you because I'm so confident in what I have and I'm so confident that it would help you. It would actually be more an ethical for me to not reach out.” When you can get to a point like that in your business where you can genuinely come from contribution things will start changing because now you're making the calls when you're on the call. Another huge obstacle business owners have is overcoming objections when they say I want to think about it so many business owners say, “Great, when would you like me to call you back?” Rather than digging in, “Well, what is it you want to think about, its financials. Great, tell me more about the financials. Is there anything else other than the financials?” X Y and Z digging into it. Because if you are to come from a place of contribution and you do truly believe in your product and service then you should have no problem overcoming any objection in realizing that an objection is just a request for more information. So, when you're hunting that you're actually coming from a place of, “I just want to help you understand more of how this product or service can best suit you.” And from a customer service standpoint they go hand in hand because you're doing what's best for them. Now on the flip side how do you overcome the fear of making the calls. How do you actually do it? And the first thing first is realize you attach your identities to your outcomes, realize wow OK now I see that when I get hung up on told no hundreds of times, I'm attaching that to me, no one wants to talk to me. When you can just start making that distinction then you can start changing it. Here's a fun story, when he hopped into real estate his first year, he was 19 years old in the business, he got told by everybody that there's thousands of other agents, “What makes you any different, you're not old enough, who's going to trust you with the sale of their house and so much more.” And so, he would literally call over 700 people every single day. He would talk to over 100 people every single day. He got told no, he got told you’re a low life, you're a bottom feeder. Go get a real job and get cussed at. He’d get hung up on every single day and then he would go on the appointments that he did create for the first few months, he lost the client so he felt terrible about myself. All he’s getting is rejected, all he’s getting told is no. “Oh my gosh, what in the world.” So, he kept pursuing that to overcome the fear of calling and the fear of reaching out as realizing one, they're getting hung up on, what are three perspectives that he could adopt that mean nothing about him, 1) They could have just gotten into a car crash, 2) Their dog just died. 3) They're going through a divorce. 4) He interrupted them during dinner. 5) They are sick. Great, he just created five reasons of why they hung up on him, didn't answer whatever that meant nothing to do with him. So, if you can do that in business rather than saying they didn't answer so they clearly don't want to talk, they didn't call me back, so they clearly don't want to talk. They hung up on me. They clearly are not interested. I've called them four times they haven't responded. Rather than taking it to mean they don't want to talk to me, they don't want my product, they don't want my service, maybe I'm not good enough, thinking “Wow, well they could be really busy in their business, they could be going through some really tough times and haven't had a chance to come around.” You have a choice to adopt other perspectives.

 

Yanique then stated that's a very good perspective to look at. So, it's kind of like you're projecting that clearly just as how your life has challenges and obstacles and hurdles that you have to overcome every day, they're are human too and they probably have their own obstacles, hurdles and challenges and maybe their obstacles and hurdles are way surpassing what you are actually going through. So that's why you weren't able to get in touch, so then you don't take it personally and absorb all of the negative energy that you're getting from the nos.

 

David also mention that in realizing that you're making assumptions and you’re making interpretations, you're assuming that it's about you in your interpreting them not calling to mean something about you. That assumption, interpretation has just as much validity as saying they got in a car accident has nothing to do with you. It has just as much validity of saying I might have caught them in between work or when they were at dinner. You don't know the real answer, so which perspective are you willing to adopt that's actually going to help you move forward in a positive light. And to add to that really quick, David mentioned that he called one of these prospects, he called her over 26 times in less than 3 months, that's a lot of phone calls and she never called him back, she never texted him back, she never got back to him via e-mail and one day she called him, “Hey David, I need you to come list my property. I'm so sorry I haven't gotten back to you, things have been crazy on my end. I've been going through so much but I appreciate your follow up.” That goes to show we can't assume and interpret it to mean things about us.

 

Yanique mentioned how puts a nice spin on it. In all the years that she has been doing customer service training on workshops with customers, one of the challenges or one of the comments that she has gotten from participants in workshops is when the customers come at them so angrily, they're disrespectful. As David mentioned a lot of it. They told you you're a bottom feeder, you were worth less, you should go find a different job. So, in a customer facing environment the customers are going to tell you a lot of things if their product or service isn't working and if you are not responding to them in a way that they expect you to respond, they're going to actually start attacking you. And a lot of the employees take that attack as a personal attack. Her approach with them is don't take it personally because a lot of times these customers don't know you personally and they're really hurting because of the issue they're having, maybe before they came to your business place they had a bad argument with their kid or are with their boss or maybe someone bad drove them on the road. So, they're frustrated, they're angry, so they come into your business place already with a negative mindset.

 

Yanique then asked why is it that as human beings when people start to say things to us that we don't want to hear we assumed the negative and not the positive.

 

David stated he’s not a scientist to say well this is why according to X, Y, and Z. He stated that there are studies to show how strong, it's easier to be negative than it is positive. We are human beings, we jumped to the worst-case scenario many times we may make it to believe something about us we take it personally. Everyone listening that is facing that struggle, it's not your fault. It's being human, it's not your fault. And now it's your responsibility to choose to not take it personally, it's your responsibility to realize, “Wow, the assumption is that I'm making is that it's about me when in reality well why could they be acting this way. Maybe they got cut off when they were driving to work and then the coffee spilled on them when they got their car. They stub to their toe on the curb, they rolled into the office five minutes late, got yelled at then called you, maybe that happened.” So, it comes back to what interpretation, what assumption, what story in perspective are you going to decide to roll but realize it's totally human nature to get upset to take it personally. And now it's your responsibility to change that.

 

  • In order to change or maintain your mindset positive throughout the course of the day, David mention that you have to take note of the conversations that you're participating in. It's the people that are around. So, even if you're at work, if you're a business owner typically you can kind of choose who you're around and if you're employee maybe you don't. But you can choose the conversations that you engage with. There's that quote that he finds very interesting is that “Small minded people talk about other people; average minds talk about events and brilliant minds talk about ideas.” And it just comes down to like what kind of conversations are you having. Because most people are talking about other people and they're talking about events and they're complaining and they're being negative. If you're around those conversations then you can't adopt that different perspective. You can, it's going to be really difficult too. Yet if you just start controlling who you put yourself around and what conversations you're engaging in then things can really shift for you, the conversations that you are having could really change your life, they can become much more empowering, you’re going to start putting yourself around more positive people. So, every time you're engaged in a conversation ask yourself, “Is this a conversation worth having, is this moving me forward in any kind of way or is this gossip, is this negativity, is this complaining?” And that little awareness that you have can significantly make a difference.

 

Yanique then reiterate, so matters not where you are in the organization whether you are the employee or you're the boss. Think about who you're speaking to and what kind of conversations you're having. There's a quote that says, “You are a combination of the five people that you spend the most time with.”

 

David agreed 120% and said that elevating your peer group is huge, it's consistently have to edit it if you want to take your business to the next level. Look who you are around, you’re the average of the five people you’re on the most. Yanique mention if you're going to move forward you clearly need to look at who your circle of influence is and try to position yourself where people who can actually help you move forward mentally, spiritually, and emotionall

 

  • David mention that there's so many different types of books and so many different kinds of genres. So, he actually got three that he’s going to share that he thinks made a really significant impact for him. One of them is The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy. It's huge, it has played a big role in his life and he kind of knows it like the back of his head and it's implemented now in his life and in his business. The second book is something that's really going to help someone show up emotionally in a great way every single day. This correlates to customer service because it's a sense of controlling how you feel and how you think so and so when someone's yelling at you, how are you going to give them the best customer experience. So, this book's Awaken the Giant Within: How to Take Immediate Control of Your Mental, Emotional, Physical and Financial Destiny by Tony Robbins huge book. It is a long book but it is a powerful, powerful book. It's something you definitely want to read. And then the third book is The 10x Rule: The Only Difference Between Success and Failure by Grant Cardone. He stands by that book because things really do take ten times the amount of work that we expect. You want to raise your level of customer service to a high level, it's going to take more work than you think, you might need a 10 x action plan that you have. You want to build that business so you can have more business and still give them the same experience, you're typically going after 10x your efforts and so he goes into depth about that in that book.

   

  • David stated that the beauty of his business, he keeps it very simplistic. Like all these crazy apps, all these crazy tools, he doesn’t use that. So, to answer the question, there isn't one. What he would say that helps him deliver the highest level of customer service, to be able to engage with his clients and his tribe and things like that to give them a great experience would be their customer relationship management system that I use which is Ontraport, it’s one of his favorite ones just from marketing being able to engage with them. That's my favorite but as far as like a tool, website, app, I keep his Google Docs everything centralized in one place.

 

  • David shared that something that he’s pumped about is his first book. You Must: World-Class Principles for Success. It will launch in March and he’s just thrilled to get this out to the world. Got his final round of editing complete, getting his author copy and it's going to be released to the world in just a couple of short weeks.

  

  • David shared listeners can find him at –

www.davidwdurham.com

Facebook – david.durham

Instagram - davidwdurham

www.therocketentrepreneur.com

   

  • David shared that he has many quotes and he can give a couple. One of them is, “I am enough as I am.” in all transparency he thinks no matter what level of business you get to talk to millionaires that sometimes they wake up and they feel like they're not good enough and so no matter what happens in life, no matter what happens in your business, you are enough as you are. And the second one is, he really looks how far he has come and never how far he has to go. Being an entrepreneur we're also hungry, we are business owners, we have these huge visions and as we grow the vision just keep getting bigger and bigger and bigger and bigger. And sometimes we forget how far we've come. And we only look at how far we have to go. One of those reminders is he always look how far he has come and never how far he has to go.

 

Yanique mention that it's like you're reviewing all of your accomplishments so you can be proud of yourself and give yourself a pat on the back and some level of recognition versus, I have so far to go and you're beating yourself up for not maybe meeting a deadline or doing something within a specific period of time but rather focusing on the things that you have done well and that you have accomplished so that it can propel you to move forward.

 

Links

 

Mastering Customer Experience and Increasing Your Revenue Online Course

 

 

Feb 27, 2018

Highlights

 

This episode Yanique Grant is going to talk about how do you strengthen a business that is struggling and how does customer service play the role in that business. You have a business and whether it’s an online or a brick and mortar business where you have customers physically coming into your location, at the end of the day you have customers. Let’s say your business is one in which it was really doing well, there was a time when every month sales was booming, there was not enough hands to cover the amount of business that was coming in and for some reason, things start to struggle, there are many different reasons why your business will start to struggle, however, Yanique thinks that before you decide how you’re going to approach fixing this challenge or moving forward as it relates to getting your business from struggling to getting things right, one of the main things as a business owner that you really should do is review what worked well when things were good, so it’s always a great place to start. Look at your sales and marketing initiatives when your business was good, how are you retaining and servicing your existing customers, how are you attracting new customers, was your product adding value at a time when it was needed most, has the market needs changed since then, if it has, what have you done to adapt and adjust your own product offerings? Look at your team, did you have key team players that are no longer there, have you been working with your team to ensure that they are fully equipped with product knowledge, so we know in the sales cycle product knowledge is the first step but there are many other things that create that or build that relationship with the customer and because it’s so expensive to acquire a new customer and it’s much cheaper a customer that has done business with you already, it’s important to recognize, “What did we do well, what were the key indicators that would have identified that this relationship went well, the customer got value out of the experience, how can I repeat that so that the customer will come back again?” If a once successful business is struggling, it’s almost always a people related issue, not financing, not capital, it’s always an employee issue, a management issue or even the owners, somewhere along the way something broke, now there’s a disconnect between the owner’s concept and what people did that with that concept, the problem maybe entitlement, complacency, laziness or even ego, eventually between the reality of the market place and the company’s ability to act within that reality something fractured until it was too late, so always start with the people because it’s always about the people. As the business owner, you should always be reviewing what works well and what does not, auditing your best practices and making sure that they are aligned with your goals and of course ensuring your clients are satisfied and will return again, it’s just so important.

 

Customer service is so important in a business, whether you’re a small business, a medium business or a large business, your customer can make or break your business. From the owner to the employee that is the first point of contact, everyone should be operating with the customer first in mind. The customer service landscape is constantly changing and now a day’s customers are very informed because of this age of information, right now whether you have tablet or a phone or you have a computer, the information is right at the tip of your fingers. Everyone in the business needs to have clear understanding of the customer lifetime value, the CLV and what it means to lose one customer, how much money are you throwing away when the customer never returns and tells 50 or more people which will influence their decisions for future purchases. The reality is if there is no customer, there’s simply no business, even if it’s an online business or a face to face business, you need the customer for the business to operate, you need somebody to buy your product, you need somebody to buy your service. The experience that the customer has is critical for the revival of any business, so if you’re struggling and you’re not focusing on customer service, you’re not focusing on the experience, you’re just focus on collecting the money and you’re not focusing on whether or not what the customer is getting is actually what they want then you’re actually creating more problems for the business. Customers want to be business with companies that make it easy, they all desire an effortless experience, so as a struggling business, one of your most important matrix should be customer service and some simple reasons why you should pay keen attention this includes: 1) Customer retention is far less expensive than customer acquisition, on average it cost approximately 5 times more to attract a new customer to your business than it cost to retain an existing customer. 2) Existing customers are more likely to buy from you than new customers, the probability of selling to new customer hovers in the range 5% to 20%, whereas selling to an existing customer resides in the range of 60% to 70%. 3) Excellent customer service improves public persona and strengthens your brand; the reputation and strength of your brand is highly dependent on a high level of customer service. 4) Word of mouth advertising is the best kind of advertising that money can’t buy. So, you want your customers to be selling your business, the reality is to get a 30 second advertisement during primetime is extremely expensive, to put a full-page advertisement in your local newspaper is as expensive as TV if not more and so if your customers can leave and they can tell 5 people about the great experience they’ve had and how your product is amazing, if it’s a hotel, “Oh my goodness, I would go back again.” If it’s a phone, “It’s amazing, it’s really good, the battery last long, the service is good when I call the manufacturer, they’re very receptive, they answer my questions, they are able to fix my issue in short frame of time.” If it’s your web developer or your web hosting provider, if your website goes down or if there is any issue you can call them, they answer the phone, you get live person, it’s not a situation where you can only speak on web chat which is so frustrating because you have to be typing out everything that you’re experiencing and you’re not actually physically speaking with a live person in a voice call, all of these things contribute to the customer’s experience. So, you cannot buy word of mouth advertising, the kind that can have a monumental effect on a business because it’s priceless, people are considerably more likely to listen to advise of a friend than they are to heed the guidance from some online reviewer and advertisement that you paid for. 5) Great customer service will open doors for new partnerships and other opportunities, treating your customers like gold is infectious it opens the door for new partnerships especially when other businesses see just how well you take care of your existing customers, you’re setting the mark, you’re being the innovator and people are going to want to emulate you and follow what you’re doing. It says a lot about a company and what they value when they care deeply about their customers and not just their external customers but also their internal customers, their employees. It’s something that you rarely find in businesses these days but it most certainly paves the way for powerful partnerships, collaborations and other opportunities. So, these are some basic things that you can do if you’re a struggling business and you’re really trying to revamp and re-engage and come back out into the market place and bring your business to a level where it can survive. Customer service is not for the faint of heart, it requires a lot of energy, it requires a lot of engagement and it requires you to be authentic and genuine. The customer can sense if you’re just there to collect money or if you’re really there to be there partner so that you can help them grow and you can look for opportunities to give them suggestions, you look for opportunities to save them money, you look for opportunities to make them money, it’s a partnership, they help you, you help them, it’s not a one way giving activity, it’s a 2-way street where people give and people receive equally and we just have to be focused on that. Your business can be revived and customer service plays and integral role in strengthening your business if it is struggling. One of the things that Yanique wants to challenge you from this episode is, we’re just moving into the end of the first quarter of 2018, think about the customers you’ve serviced since the year as started, have you added value to that experience? will they come back and buy again? why will they come back and buy again? and would you consider yourself to be a market leader in your industry, one that innovates, one that creates an effortless experience, ask yourself these questions, really think about when you were doing well, what you were doing well, is that you had a team member on board that was there that’s no longer there, can you invest more in the teams members that exist in your organization currently, what can you do differently to create that experience that will cause your customers to leave and say good things about you and come back again because service is the back bone for the survival of any business, especially a business that is struggling.          

 

Mastering Customer Experience and Increasing Your Revenue Online Course

 

 

Feb 23, 2018

Highlights

 

This episode was inspired by a recent TV interview that Yanique Grant completed. Yanique will be speaking about the growing power of the consumer which important in customer service. In the interview, one of the main things that the interviewer asked her was, “The conscious customer, why is the customer so conscious and how is that the consumer holds the power in this whole buying process of customer service?” The customer holds the power in the market place probably for the first time and it’s all because of the internet, consumers are very well informed before they do business or they buy from you, they engage in extensive research from your website, to your social media pages where products and services are available for them to get a temperature of what it’s like to be your customer and how the product may or may not work. They’re going to ask questions from their friends, their family members and of course the feedback they get from those persons will determine whether or not they will continue to do business with you or if they’ll even become a customer for you. It is so important to ensure that the experience that the customer has with you is one which is positive and that the reputation that your brand has in the market place is one that is positive. Consumers are so aware and conscious of trends, for example in the health care industry, many businesses such as restaurants and even fast foods chains have had to modify their menus and have an option that has less calories or is gluten free or promote eco friendliness and protecting the environment because consumers are looking for businesses that are aligned with the things that they value the most. It’s also important for the brands and the companies to ensure that they are very transparent in their interactions and their activities, according to a Deloitte study, “The way how the shift has occurred is consumers prefer to pull information rather than have business push it to them.” so consumers and very conscious these days, they’re aware of what’s happening and as the business you have to be aware of this and be very knowledgeable. One of the challenges business face, is how are they going to close the gap when they are dealing with millions of individual expectations, so the business needs to invest in developing capabilities to integrate and track every individual journey and offer a targeted response in real time if they want to continue to grow revenues and profits while also improving customer satisfaction. Consumers have always had the ability to vote with their feet and their wallets, they can walk in to your business and spend lots of money and they can walk out of your business and spend money elsewhere. While the digital revolution has handed the additional power to the consumer, including more information and more choices, we are now in the information age, you can basically google, research anything on your own, there’s no need for you to try to figure out, “How am I going to know about this organization or this individual?” because the information is right there at your fingertips and it’s also a very good point or indication if you’re researching someone and you’re not able to find any information on them because that also gives you clues as to how recognized they are and what is their credibility in this particular field, the consumer has way more choice but consumers have found ways of dealing with this choice issue and many now use tools such as social media or price comparison websites to perfect their choice and exert their power, so the ability of consumers to distribute information using a variety of networks, digital media devices and platforms not only lets them connect with their peers, it also helps to enrich the information shared.

 

There are so many ways that you can share the information for the consumer to know what’s going on in your business, there are the social media pages, there’s Twitter, there is Facebook, there is Instagram, there is your website, you can have a blog, there is a lot of ways you can get information out there so that you can be more accessible to the consumer. Customers are very concerned about what their family and friends say, and according to Deloitte study, it shows that for the majority of consumers, families and friends consumer reviews and independent experts are the most trusted sources of information, only around 1 in 10 customers find product and manufacturers or service providers to be their most trusted source, so there is no doubt that the consumer has become a professional shopper, their confidence has grown along with a better awareness of their rights. The consumer’s ability to exercise this power has also reduced their perceived level of risk and with consumers increasingly knowing where to get the information they need, more preferred to pull information rather than have the business push that information to them. This is just to broaden your mind and open your scope in terms of how you think about your business, why the consumer has so much power and really think about how you can empower your employees so that they can handle situations, they can provide good, quality information to your customers, they can create value in the life of your customers, because the more value you create, is the more loyal customers you’ll have. People like to know when they’re doing business with you, it’s an effortless experience but in addition to it being an effortless experience, it is also one that is adding value to their business or life depending on whatever service or product you provide for them. Yanique wanted to take the time and share some of the highlights that we really got out of the whole experience and overview of the conscious consumer and consumer’s power and if you’d like to learn more about this particular study that Deloitte did and also gain some understanding of why the consumer has so much power and why you need to equip your team members with has much knowledge and power so that they can serve your customers better and that you can have more business and create greater loyalty and have a better brand image in your market and just dominate.  

 

Mastering Customer Experience and Increasing Your Revenue Online Course 

 

Deloitte Study – The Growing Power of Consumers

Jan 16, 2018

Joshua March is the founder and CEO of Conversocial a cloud solution that enables businesses to deliver customer service over Social Media at a large-scale. Conversocial is used in the contact centers of hundreds of major retailers, banks, telcos and other brands to enable them to manage the high volumes of complaints and questions they're receiving through social networks like Facebook and Twitter, including Google, Hertz, Tesco, Barclaycard, Hyatt hotels and many more. 

Questions

  • Tell us a little bit about yourself and your journey
  • Your company caters more to organizations that are serving customers on a large scale, can the service also be provided to persons who are not serving customers on a large scale?
  • What are some of the things based on the line of business that you are in that you see coming into play in the near future in terms of customer service and what do you see coming as things that we need to prepare ourselves for more as businesses?
  • Is there a formula that exits out there to measure effort?
  • How do you stay motivated every day?
  • What is 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 the 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 you online?
  • What is one quote or saying that you live by or that inspires you in times of adversity?

Highlights

  • Joshua stated that he has been working in the social media space for many years. His previous company was called iPlatform and they were one of the first ever companies building applications on top of Facebook for brands back in 2007/2008, the early days and while he was really excited about the use of the app platforms which you may remember back then like Farmville and stuff like that. He was really excited about how those platforms could be used by brands to engage with their customers. What he pretty quickly realized was that the really, really big change that was happening wasn’t in just how people were communicating and that there was this big shift going on which pretty much happened now but it's continuing to happen away from other types of digital communication and into Social Media and mobile messaging primarily on And the he included mobile messaging within the Social Media, Facebook Messenger, Twitter DM, now What’s App, coming up We Chat, so it's not just the public, it's the private side as well. He really saw that as the future of how everyone individually would be communicating with each other and he really believed that as these channels became the dominant communication channels then that would change how businesses had to communicate with their customers too and it would be really important to customer service and that suddenly happened. The start of that was really people turning to the public side of Social Media to kind of escalate complaints about a business and get a response. And while that still goes on it's actually transitioned now to be much more about businesses just investing into the private side, private messaging with these channels. The preferred customer service channels and that's all the reasons for that. A - It's much better from a consumer side, it's so effortless and easy for someone to pull out their phone and message your brand, it means that you get really high customer satisfaction if you promote it as a service channel and from a business perspective it's great to get that customer satisfaction but it's also a great efficient channel, you can manage these digital messaging channels and in an asynchronous way that’s highly efficient from an agent workflow perspective. And with the launch of the bot platform is much easier to automate and so it's just become this channel that is really much better than anything else out there from a cost perspective and customer satisfaction perspective.

 

  • Joshua stated that the background to that was that they’ve been going 5/6 years now and their (Conversocial) software is from real customer service software, they spend a lot of time building a real case management system into the ability to have automated routing and workflows dashboards where you can see exactly what your agents are doing. Now all of those kinds of functionality become really useful as soon as you have a team of agents. Now if you go back 3, 4, 5 years ago, the volume of people who were coming through and complaining through Social Media and mobile messaging was only really a couple of percent of all of your inbound volume. And what that meant was that for a small, medium sized businesses, it was it really wasn't a lot of volume and it was something that probably just some agents or have a couple of agents maybe they're just doing that on the side. But if you're a big business even 2% it's still a lot. And so, the big businesses even in those early days were still setting up 10, 20, 30 full time agents to do customer service through Social Media and mobile messaging. And they are really kind of catering to that audience. Now today it's actually starting to shift a bit because as you start really promoting, if you stop promoting like message us as your main customer service channel or if you're using the new Facebook Messenger customer champ plugin which allows you to actually paddle Web chat on your site using Facebook Messenger. They have customers who are doing that and Facebook Messenger is now responsible for 44% of all of that service volume including phone Nino and so once the volume start getting that high which they do if you're promoting it, even if you have a much smaller team of agents you're still going to need multiple agents just handling social messaging. And then a platform like Conversocial becomes extremely valuable. So, you still need to have a team but the companies that need a team of that size for social messaging becoming smaller and smaller as the volumes keep getting bigger and bigger.

Yanique mentioned that his business caters to the type of customer that needs the information now. Gone are the days when you'd write a letter and submit it to the organization through the mail and a couple of weeks or months later you get back our response plans. The clients that we're dealing with nowadays there’re in the now age.

Joshua agreed and stated that we live in an in the moment world where people are expecting almost real-time response to everything. And if you're going to take days to respond, they're probably just going to phone you at that point, people need an answer or they'll just go to a competitor, that's the reality. But on the flip side, one of the great things about digital messaging and asynchronous messaging as opposed to traditional web chat is that it's more like texting a friend and texting a friend it's pretty much real time that they're responding in 5 minutes. And if there is occasionally a message it takes a little bit longer and some are shorter and that's fine. And the traditional web chat world that doesn't work because the web chat world is like sitting there with the chat box open when waiting for a response and so you have to have current agents online responding within seconds. But with an asynchronous messaging you can even out those bums most a lot more easily and you can have a smaller number of agents handling a much larger number of customers as a result. Because as soon as you respond that pops up as a notification on their phone, they don't have to be sitting there paying attention all the time. So, it's very convenient for both the customers and for customer service agents. 

  • Joshua stated that messaging is really what's growing, it’s going to dominate the industry and depending where you are, there are different messaging platforms. Now the one that's very exciting from people in many areas of the world especially Europe, U.K, South America is WhatsApp. WhatsApp is just such a dominant messaging platform that has completely replaced SMS in many parts of the world via internet. They're just starting to experiment with business accounts and the word on the street is that some point this year probably early this year. They're going to be releasing business tools and releasing an API which allows platforms like theirs to help their customers manage them. And he thinks that as soon as that happens it's going to become a huge, huge business to consumer channel. He thinks a lot of businesses are desperate for it, a lot of clients, customers would love it, it’s super convenient. People are using all the time already, so, he thinks that's going to release load this year. There is one which is very interesting, probably not going to explode in the same way because they're going to be much more careful and constrained about how they release it is Apple Business Chat, so this is Apple's business chat solution built on top of IMessages. Apple's nesting system is completely integrated with text messaging, so it’s used on iPhone and it goes blue and that's with IMessaging and getting more capabilities so that they're enabling brands to have business accounts. And what's exciting about this, there are two main exciting things. One is security, they're very well-known for privacy and security similar to WhatsApp in that regard. The other thing is discoverability and this is where they're going to really have a very interesting advantage over other messaging platforms. And there are two parts to it, one is in maps. So, if you are in apple maps looking at a local restaurant or a coffee shop there will be a button that says message them and you'll be able to just message them straight away and be like, “Hey, I want to order this or I want to order that” tightly integrated with Apple Pay, you could pay seamlessly and then go pick it up or they deliver it. And that could actually act as a kind of intermediary problem like the kind of post mates and stuff like, where at the moment of sitting in between and potentially this can make it super easy to go straight to a restaurant. And that's one area of discoverability and the maps the other area is with Siri the voice system. And this is where it gets really cool especially for big brands. We will acquire hotels, if you want to like message them saying you want to extend your stay for the night, how do you do that today, you have to look them up. You could message them on Facebook if you know about that and you have the app, you could DM them on Twitter there is always things that they're promoting in interesting ways but with business chat you’ll just be able to say, “Hey Siri, message Hyatt tell them I want to stay another night.” It's done, no app needed. Nothing else. It just like sends that message and Hyatt can respond over text, you can even pay using Apple Pay on your phone if you wanted. That's a pretty cool and like seamlessly integrated experience and will potentially bring voice assistance into like how people are into engaging with businesses for the first time. Apple is going to be very careful in how they roll that out and the brands they work with, they want to make sure they create really nice experiences. He thinks there's some really exciting stuff with that and could be pretty meaningful.

Yanique mentioned that a big part of what she heard in a lot of what Joshua said was convenience. She thinks convenience is definitely one of the key differentiators that businesses who are disrupting the whole customer experience platform, they're really killing it in that area and making life more convenient for their customers because that to her is just a very convenient.

Joshua stated that there is a huge amount of data which talks about the benefits for this, his favorite book on this subject is The Effortless Experience : Conquering the New Battleground for Customer Loyalty by Matthew Dixon, Nicholas Toman and Rick Delisi of CEB, who is now part of Gartner and it's a book that’s given to lot of a lot of his clients and Effortless Experience costly had a huge amount of data from years like large studies and it shows that the most important thing that affects customer loyalty after a service interaction is the effort that they have to put in to getting their true result. When someone has a problem or a complaint or an issue, they just want that issue to be solved as soon as possible, as easily as possible and it's very hard to increase their loyalty following any service interaction even if you really go crazy go above and beyond. They had an issue and you solved it great, they're not going to be ecstatic, maybe they'll be a little bit happier, what happens in the majority of cases, is that their loyalty is reduced and the data shows that if you do anything that makes it harder for them to get their issue solved; it has a massive negative impact on loyalty. If you make them jump through any hoops to speaks with an agent that they have to repeat themselves, they have to tell one person one thing and then they have to speak to someone else and tell them the same thing again. Anything like that which is just annoying and hassle or puts a delay, puts them on hold has a really, really negative impact. And so, if you can just reduce that effort, then you could have a massive impact on Customer Loyalty. He thinks this is the core of what makes social messaging so powerful is that it’s just so effortless. He spent the last year writing a book as well which is going to be coming out this quarter which he’s excited about and it's going to be called “Message Me”, it's all about the future of customer service and looks at the impact of messaging and he talks a lot about effortless experience in that book because he thinks that in many ways they kind of figured out the foundation and they could have asked this question, “How do you make it effortless?” And he doesn’t think that technology was really there at the time when they wrote book to actually implement it. But he thinks that with messaging, we finally do have the technology to implement a service channel which really can be completely effortless for consumers and that's super exciting.

Yanique stated that one of the things that she’s most amazed about as it relates to customer experience as well is regardless of where you are from in the world or however you are socialized, whether you're from Europe, North America, South America or the Caribbean, at the end of the day because we're all human beings, we're all yearning for that connection we're all yearning for some basic needs to be met. As Joshua said, she agreed that if you have to put in less effort you are more likely to go along with that particular service provider because they make life much easier for you. You have so many hurdles to jump over on a daily basis, whereas, if you're running a business, you're a family maker, you have a husband to take care of or a wife, kids up and down, just so many things pulling in all different directions. So, if you can do business with an organization that is looking out for you in that aspect and they're pulling you in less directions and they make it super easy kind of like Amazon, you can sit down in the convenience of your own home and basically order whatever you'd like to order and it's delivered to you, you don't have to go into the store and stress yourself out walking up and do figuring out which aisle it is in. Everything can be purchased with the click of a button, it really does definitely drive you to be loyal to that organization because you look back on those experiences and that's what would make you continue doing business with them.

Joshua agreed and stated that it’s important and he thinks not enough businesses really pay attention to it today. People are used to the point of looking at measuring customer satisfaction and empty apps. I actually love to see more and more businesses measuring customer satisfaction and NPS but he would actually love to see more and more businesses people measuring effort and measure how convenient, how effortless was it for them to get help, he thinks that would be really impactful for a lot of businesses.

 

  • Joshua stated that in measuring effort, there isn't a standard kind of well-known way in the same way that you have NPS for example. There's a great case study from one of their customers British Telecom, telecoms company in the UK where they took this pretty seriously and they created what they call a Net Easy Score and very simple, they just asked people after service interaction, “How do you find that experience? How hard or easy was it to resolve the experience?” and it was just three answers. It was easy to resolve, it was it was difficult or it was kind of mutual. So, super simple question and they rolled that out across all of their service channels and they started tracking customer retention and the retention of the customers who'd reported that they had an easy service experience versus the customers that said they had a hard service experience and they found a huge difference. They found the customers who'd had a hard service experience were difficult to resolve their issue was 40% more likely to churn over the next three months, 40% more likely which is a huge number. So, they made a massive impact on whether those customers would stay as customers or not and when they actually looked at the different kind of Net Easy Score as they call it for different channels they found that social media and messaging and webchat that were the easiest channels by a long way, they were easier than phone by 4 to 1 and they were easier than email and cell service by 2 to 1. So, a huge impact for online business from understanding that and these are pretty simple way of asking a question.

Yanique asked if this question is asked after every interaction with their business or is it a question that they ask maybe on a yearly basis based on the customers who are their clients. 

Joshua stated that they did the actual, so, before they started working with them so he doesn’t know exactly how they do it. The way that they help their clients do surveys today through social and messaging is that your after-service interaction has been closed and resolved, then they send out an automatic survey inside the messaging thread from the Facebook Messenger or Twitter that ask them whatever question they want to have set up. So, it's after every service interaction, he thinks that's the best way to get that kind of data.

Yanique agreed and mentioned that people do remember the experience that they have had within the first 24 hours and then after that if it's not super great or really bad, they really don't remember the details. So, that question should be asked after each interaction.

Joshua mention that they see that the faster you get out after the issue has been resolved, the higher the response rate.

 

  • Joshua stated that he is a pretty highly motivated person in general. His overall motivation is really about the stuff that they want to achieve as a business. And when he set out starting the business, he had this kind of very clear vision, he was like, “There's a reason that everyone is switching to these channels from a consumer perspective.” That's because it's a better channel, it's more efficient, it's easier, it's more convenient, it’s on everyone's phone, the way the messaging organizes communication which is by people instead of subjects is more natural, this is just a better way of communicating. And he really believed and still believe that if companies switch to these forms of communication then it's better for them and better for the customers. And they kind of set out their vision and they set out this clear mission of saying, “Yes, we want to really build the next generation of customer service software.” It's all focused around these new channels which they really believe are better. He gets a huge amount of motivation from seeing them and make that vision become a reality. Every company that they sign up has a customer who then starts more actively promoting these channels and increasing the volume of service issues that’s dealing with messaging instead of phone and email. All of that really gets him excited. He loves to see that continuing success and performance and the things that they’re achieving as a business. He’s kind of prepared to do whatever it takes to help them make that vision become a reality, he doesn’t really think too much about specifically what he enjoys doing during the day or not, it's really just about what he needs to do in order to help them be successful and that's what really gets him excited.

 

  • Joshua stated that the app that we cannot live without would have to be Twitter. They have to use lots of different technology in the business, they love of using different technology. Twitter has this incredible network and he uses it a lot personally, tied to it for the news these days. But they use it huge amount for business as well, they connect with a lot of their customers on there, we connect to a lot of influences, a lot of thought leaders, they do a lot of thought leadership and share a lot of thought leadership through it. So, it's just added such value to his life and to the business.

 

Yanique mentioned that reading Sci-Fi is a very unusual genre of books to read but she can see where Joshua is coming from with it because it kind of opens your mind to the impossible and that's where we're heading.

Joshua agreed and stated that if you're interested in customer service, the future of customer service, you should read his book “Message Me” which is going to be coming out pretty soon which he mentioned earlier as well.

 

  • Joshua stated that something that he’s excited about right now, the book Message Me was the kind of his main passion project over the last year. He really wanted to kind of get down on paper two things, both his thoughts as to what businesses need to be doing today to really benefit from messaging, benefit from automation, how they really need to structure customer service teams, how to train agents how to promote these things in the right way. But then also, his vision for how messaging and automation intelligence are really going to change customer service in the years ahead. So that's been a big labor of love actually he just went to the printers a few days ago. So, he’s pretty excited about that, so that's a really big one. Outside of that, he’s also a big fan of personal development, he’s been getting more and more into meditation over the last year and in a few weeks, he’s actually about to go do his first Meditation Retreat where he’ll be on a silent meditation retreat for 10 days. So, he’s excited about that and slightly nervous.

 

  • Joshua shared listeners can find him at –

Twitter - @joshuamarch

www.conversocial.com

Twitter - @conversocial

LinkedIn - Joshua March

   

  • Joshua shared that a quote that comes to mind is the quote from Winston Churchill, “When going through hell, keep going” he really loves that quote, the key for any entrepreneur but is really true for anyone trying to achieve anything big in life is really persistence and grit, whatever you do and whatever you try to do and the bigger the thing you trying to do, the more ambitious it is, the harder it’s going to be. The more road blocks you’re going to face, the more mistakes you’re going to make and failures you’re going to have, every single person no matter how successful has those failures, in fact, the more successful you are, the more failures you’ve had and the key throughout all of it is to never give up and to keep going, pick yourself up, learn from your mistakes, keep evolving and that’s really the only thing that will get you anywhere in life.

Links

 

The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers by Ben Horowitz

Jan 9, 2018

Dan's 20-year career has consistently focused on delighting customers, spanning multiple disciplines including Social Media, Customer Service, Marketing, and Digital Customer Experience. Dan is the author of the new book, Winning at Social Customer Care: How Top Brands Create Engaging Experiences on Social Media, which is available on Amazon. He also co-hosts the Experience This! podcast, a weekly look at what’s working – and not working! – in the world of customer experience. Previously, Dan hosted the Focus on Customer Service Podcast, where he interviewed nearly four dozen brands which are renowned for outstanding customer service in Social Media, garnering tips and best practices. The podcast was named one of "The 50 Best Customer Retention Podcasts to Help You Attract, Engage and Retain Customers" by NGDATA. A frequent conference speaker, at conferences such as: Social Media Marketing World, Social Shake-Up, Corporate Social Media Summit, The Customer Service Summit, The Secret Service Summit, and more, Dan has also been named to several notable industry lists, including:

 

  • "The 30 Most Influential People in Social Customer Service" by Conversocial
  • "The Top 15 NPS & Customer Service Thought Leaders to Follow in 2017" by CustomerGauge

 

Dan has also been responsible for Social Media, digital marketing, and customer experience at several Fortune 300 brands, including being the Senior Director of Global Social Media at McDonald’s Corporation, Head of Digital Marketing at Humana and Head of Digital Customer Experience and Social Media at Discover. He played a key role in Discover winning its first J.D. Power Award for “Highest in Customer Satisfaction.” Dan also holds a B.A. in Psychology and Communications from the University of Pennsylvania, and he has an M.B.A. in Marketing and Strategy from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. He resides in Chicago with his family and is an avid Cubs fan.

 

Questions

 

  • Tell us a little bit about yourself and your journey
  • What are some tips for an organization who is now embarking on using social media as a part of their marketing tool or their marketing strategy?
  • What are some of the main things you have noticed over the years as being in customer care on social media? Why do you think people tend to flock to social media?
  • How do you stay motivated every day?
  • What is 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 the 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 you online?
  • What is one quote or saying that you live by or that inspires you in times of adversity?

 

Highlights

 

  • Dan Gingiss has been a marketer for more than 20 years and the role that really pushed him into customer experience was at Discover Card. He was recruited into a role in the digital team and asked to lead Digital Customer Experience and it was interesting to him because the guy that recruited him there who is the Chief Digital Officer noticed something about him or was able to verbalize something about him that he had not actually figured out about himself yet and he said that the reason why he wanted him to lead this with very little digital experience on his resume was that he had a unique ability to always be wearing the customer hat in almost every meeting he was in. And so, as he thought about that he was like, “Yeah, that actually is me.” He loves to put myself into the customer's shoes and try to be the customer so that he knows what it is that he’d like to see or what he’d like to experience and that helps him to design better experiences so that was a really fun role for him because his team was leading the website and eventually the mobile app. And just to give an idea, Discover which is not even one of the biggest Credit Cards in the U.S. gets almost 50 million logins a month on their website. So, it is the key way that customers engage with their Credit Card company. And so, there's so many opportunities to improve and develop new experiences as they do that. So that was his role. It also got him into Social Media and in Social Media as a marketer, the thing that interested him the most was that it's the first and only Marketing Channel where people can actually talk back to you. So, every other Marketing Channel the brand gets to have a megaphone and kind of shout its message at people and people either have to listen or perhaps they can turn off or change the channel. But this is the first channel where people can talk back to and that was immediately fascinating to him because he knew that companies that engage with their customers were going to be differentiated and that in itself was a way to improve the customer experience. So, that's kind of how he got into this and from there it's just been something that he has been fascinated by. He has written about it, he has been podcasting about it, and it continues to be a topic that he thinks is absolutely critical for virtually every business out there.

 

Yanique mentioned that the whole platform of customer experience over the years clearly has changed as indicated in the introduction where Dan said before traditionally marketers would be using a megaphone and kind of shouting their messages to the customer. A big part of customer experience now especially with Social Media is that the customer now has a platform by which they can express their voice and so testimonials have become such an integral role in terms of customers making decisions. It's no longer what you say the brand is but it's not what your customers say the experience and the brand experience is like.

 

Dan agreed and stated that we all expect that when we go to a business's website, that website is going to tell us great things about the business because it's speaking, so we're used to that. And that's a good first step to figure out what it is we're getting ourselves into but with almost any product or service the very next step is to figure out what other people are saying and whether that's a ratings and reviews site or it's looking up the company on Facebook or on Twitter. These are really important steps in the buying journey. And so, the extent to which companies can ensure that as prospects go through that buying journey they're hearing good things about their company or if they're hearing complaints that they're seeing a company that cares enough to listen to those complaints and respond to them. That's becoming really critical and he thinks the companies that are figuring it out are the ones that are getting more business because people are taking into consideration besides price and product, they're taking into consideration the willingness of the company to engage with me if I have a problem as a as a big part of the decision.

 

  • Dan stated that when social started that's exactly what brands did is they said, “Hey, this is another way for us to shout our message at the masses.” It's a cheap way for us to do that especially back in the day before it became mostly a paid channel. And he thinks that they quickly figured out that this was a different kind of channel and that customers were not going to stand around for just hearing marketing messages. If you think about it, what's amazing about Social Media is that all the power has shifted from the company to the customer, the customer at any time can unfollow a company or just not pay attention to it anymore. And as we all know when we look at our streams and Facebook and Twitter we're seeing a lot of content. So, it's very easy for us to just scroll past it if it's something we're not interested in but he does think that more and more customers as they're evaluating companies they want to do business with are looking at their social presence to make sure that it isn't just marketing and to make sure that when people do bring questions or complaints to their attention that that company is engaging back. It is a new world in which consumers want to have a relationship with companies and that relationship is two way and it involves being able to have a conversation with the brand. When I want to and where I want to. And so, looking on the Twitter feed or the Facebook feed to make sure that a company is willing to do that as he said he believe is becoming more and more part of the decision-making process.

 

Yanique mentioned that one of the things that her customers sometimes ask her and as an expert in Social Media Customer Care, she would love to hear his feedback on it. Typically, what do you think is the global standard or do you think it should be a standard based on the industry that you are in if you post complained or comment on someone's social media page. What is a standard time within which they should get back in touch with you. Is it immediately? And when we say immediately, what do we define that as, 24 hours, an hour, 30 minutes?

 

Dan stated that the time to get in touch with a customer after a complaint or comment was posted does differ slightly by industry. He would say that best in class is 15 minutes or less. He doesn’t think that people expect instant yet unless they're on a channel like a live chat. But he thinks 15 minutes or less is considered best in class. Now there are some caveats to that. If you are an international airline that operates 24 hours a day you know the expectation is that you are available 24 hours and that you're responding quickly because your customers might be stranded in an airport having just missed a flight and they cannot wait for a response. If you are a mom and pop retail store that has one location that's open from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm every day, there's probably not as much expectation that you are responding 24/7. And into that kind of a company he would advise that as long as you are upfront with your customers about when you're available and you set expectations properly it's absolutely fine for you not to be available all the time. The challenge is that more and more consumers are evaluating every company they do business with in comparison to every other company they do business with. If you are a restaurant, you're not necessarily being compared to another restaurant, you're being compared to Amazon or Sprint or Comcast or whatever company. I just had a really great experience with on social media and who answered my question in 15 minutes or less. So that's the challenge is that you don't get to say, “Well. I'm just a small restaurant.” And so, my customers’ expectations aren't as high because unfortunately you're being compared to all those other companies. Now the good news is those other companies are also being compared to you. So, when he goes into a restaurant and he has a really nice waiter or waitress and the food is delicious and the overall atmosphere and experience are fantastic, the next day when he walks into the Sprint store or some other place, he is comparing that experience to what he just had at the restaurant. So, he thinks that the short answer to the question is, he has always tried it at the companies he has been at to aim for 15 minutes or less, that is best in class across all industries but certainly depending on the size of your company, the size of your customer base and your hours of operation. There's flexibility there.

 

  • Dan stated he has an easy equation that he has in his book and for those of who don't like math don't worry you're not going to be overwhelmed. The equation is that expectations plus emotions equals a willingness to share. When companies exceed customer expectations we make them happy. And unfortunately, today they're still surprised at that because companies don't exceed expectations very often and when we have a great experience we are more than willing as customers to share that publicly because it is still a unique thing to have a great experience. When companies only meet expectations or barely meet expectations, you created a motion that's really blahhh, nothing and an okay experience, there's no reason to share that. Why would anybody want to tell their friends about an OK experience. But when companies miss expectations we make customers sad or worse angry. And unfortunately, there's a very high willingness to share there as well. So, his advice to companies is to make sure that your positive experiences outweigh your negative experiences and you will have more positive sentiment on Social Media than negative because your fans will be louder, your lovers will be louder than your haters. And that's hard to do because especially as your business gets bigger you are going to make mistakes, you are going to miss customer expectations. But even then, you have such an opportunity in a public space like Social Media to show that you care, to show that you have empathy and to make it right. There's countless occasions where he has seen companies turn negative detractors into positive advocates just because they are responsive and willing to help.

 

Yanique stated that Dan mentioned one very important word that she thinks is critical to achieving customer experience and building loyalty. And that's empathy. And asked if he could just share with us what are his views on empathy and why is it even necessary in our customer service environment regardless of the industry that you're in?

 

Dan stated that it goes back to what he was describing before is the ability to step into the customer's shoes. He thinks that very often companies create products and services and even worse processes that they haven't actually as consumers gone through themselves. So, they make a lot of sense to the company but as a consumer you're stuck going through a process that is difficult or time consuming or doesn't make sense. And when you have a complaint, what you want is somebody to listen to you and to believe your complaint and to be willing to help and all of that kind of gets wrapped up into empathy and the best customer service agents are the ones that are able to step into a customer's shoes, understand that they're frustrated and be willing to try to help them. When people ask him what kind of people you look for in Social Customer Care. He always says you want to look for the customer service qualities first among which empathy is one of the top things to look for because you can teach almost anybody how to do Social Media. It's very difficult to teach empathy and it's very difficult to teach someone to be great at customer service, to want to solve customer problems, to be willing to listen, to be willing to remain objective and not get emotional when a customer is upset. These are things that are really tough to teach and they're kind of innate in people. But when you find those people that are good at that you can teach them Twitter and Facebook, that's pretty easy. He believes that empathy is one of those things that customers are looking for when they're frustrated and when they find it, it eases their frustration and again can make them actually turn the negative experience into a positive one.

 

Yanique reiterated by saying you take the same approach that you would take to employ someone that you are putting face to face in front of your customer with the right attitude. And then you can teach them the technical skills but that same characteristic that you're looking for in that individual that's who you're going to put in front of your Social Media as well.

 

Dan agreed stated that when you've got people answering in Social Media they are the face of your brand. The other thing he advise for social agents in particular is to make sure that they're good writers which is something that you don't need necessarily in a phone agent but when you see companies responding to customers and there are spelling and grammar errors that's a reflection on the company and so the people that you select for this really important role, they've got to be good writers, they have to be able to show empathy and patience and caring and a willingness to solve problems because all of that is reflective of your brand.

 

Yanique stated that the book actually covers a lot of the areas that Dan speaks to. She is encouraging listeners that are going to have the opportunity to listen to this podcast. This book was actually written by Dan and Jay Baer wrote the foreword to the book. Jay Baer was a past guest on our podcast couple months back so you can always archive one of those podcast episodes and listen to Jay. But it's important and just wanted to emphasize to our listeners that this is an awesome book. It focuses on a lot of areas and questions that Dan may not be able to fully answer in this podcast, he's only touching on little areas but he goes deeper in the actual book Winning at Social Customer Care. So, she would encourage all of you and have the opportunity to listen to this episode to head on over to Amazon and purchase this book because this could be your winning tool for 2018.

 

  • Dan stated that he stays motivated because he thinks that customer experience is still in its infancy. He thinks we've been talking about it now for a couple of years as being important and you see all the surveys that say that CEOs and CMOs know that it's a key thing to focus on. But he still thinks we're not quite at the point where customer experience is going and thinks that it will be the last true differentiator among brands. Think that the industries that compete on price find out very quickly that that's a very tough way to make money. And we know that most products and services can be copied in some way. And so, the real distinction that companies have is the way they treat their customers and that is very difficult to copy because it is made up usually of human interactions. And so, he has talked before about hiring the right people and having the right front line, that's very difficult to copy and that's what motivates him because he looks around and his podcast is all about great experiences that he and his co-host have had with different companies or that their listeners have had with different companies but it is amazing just waking up every day and living your life and interacting with brands. It is amazing how few of those there still are, as often as we've been talking about customer experience and Yanique has this great podcast and other people are talking about it, it is amazing still how many companies don't get it or aren't executing on it. So, to him that just means opportunity and he thinks that a day is coming where all companies are going to have to prioritize it and that will be exciting because as customers, that is going to make our lives a lot easier.

 

Yanique mentioned that it's interesting that Dan said that because we are all customers regardless of the businesses that we interface with or the lives that we lead but a lot of the challenges that we face in life that contribute to our stress level being high which leads to chronic illnesses. It really boils down to the interactions and the relationships that we have with people and a lot of it boils down to the services experiences that we have, how we treat each other, how we respond to each other. If more organizations could make an effort to understand how important this is to their business it would actually improve the quality of life not just in the business but generally how we relate to each other in the world, it would improve the world overall.

 

Dan agreed and said that Jay Baer was on a previous podcast and Jay wrote a terrific book called Hug Your Haters: How to Embrace Complaints and Keep Your Customers by Jay Baer and one of the key takeaways there that he loves is that people who complain about your company, complain because they care. The ones we need to be worried about are the ones that have already picked up and moved to our competition. But the ones that are complaining actually care about our brand and want us to be better. And again, there's a sort of a human nature to that that if we're just willing to listen and hear out a customer that has a complaint more often than not we're going to realize that that complaints are valid and that that customer might actually be suggesting ways for our experience to be even better. And as long as we're open minded about that we shouldn't be afraid of complaints, in fact we should welcome them because it's feedback and feedbacks a gift whether you are a company or an individual, getting honest feedback is a real gift. It's what we do with it that matters and he totally agrees, if we had fewer bad experiences with companies we'd probably all be happier as a population.

 

  • Dan shared a tool that he cannot live without and stated that he’s going to probably choose the obvious one and go with Twitter and the reason is as much as Twitter has struggled as a public company, he thinks that Twitter is still the place to listen to what your customers are saying about both you and your competition and companies that are not paying attention on Twitter to the conversation about your industry, about your company or your competitors are just missing so much rich data that can help you improve your business. He thinks he’s two angles and both of which he talks about in the book. One is identifying the pain points that your customers are having with you and fixing them. It's one thing to respond within 15 minutes and help that individual customer but you need to take it to the next level and actually fix the underlying problem so that you don't have repeat complaints that actually will end up saving you money because your customer service expenses will go down. The other thing though is that there's so much opportunity to grow your business with new products and new innovations that are suggested by your customers. One of his favorite examples is the company Otterbox which makes cases for mobile phones and just from listening on Twitter they figured out that a lot of their customers were bringing their phones into the shower of all places in order to listen to music and this was a use case that they had not considered previously. So, they took this information and the data and they brought it back to their R and D (Research and Development) team and they ended up creating their first ever waterproof case which turned out to be one of their best sellers. And that doesn't happen if they're not listening to the conversation on Twitter so to him that is the absolute must have. If you're not paying attention get onto Twitter, you don't even have to tweet if you don't want to. You just have to create some lists, follow some people and listen to what's going on to what the conversation is about and you will learn a ton.

 

Yanique mentioned that she is an Otterbox user, she didn't know they had a water proof case, that's awesome. Listening as Dan said is so important and it's not just about going on Twitter and hearing information or looking at what's there but actually using that information, providing it to the people in the business that can actually do something with that information. So, it's good that they listened, they took it back and the team actually did something by creating a product that customers actually wanted because a lot of times in a business your customers are telling you what they want, it's just if you're really listening to what they want or are you just giving them what you think they want.

 

  • Dan shared a few of the books that have had a big impact on him and stated he would go with two of them. And one of them is going to bring back his friend Jay Baer, Hug Your Haters: How to Embrace Complaints and Keep Your Customers by Jay Baer was a book that he thinks was a real turning point because Jay for most of his career had been a marketing expert. In fact, Youtility: Why Smart Marketing Is About Help Not Hype by Jay Baer his earlier book is also one of his favorite books and he shifted over to the customer service realm and Dan looked at Hug Your Haters as and Jay actually sort of wrote this in the foreword to his book is that Hug Your Haters really outlines the why of why it is that we have to engage with customers in Social Media and in all other channels and then his book tried to be a follow on to kind of say here's the how into the social media space specifically but he thinks Hug Your Haters is an absolute must read. He's got great examples from lots of different companies in there. And then another book that he’s a huge fan of is called They Ask You Answer: A Revolutionary Approach to Inbound Sales, Content Marketing, and Today’s Digital Consumer by Marcus Sheridan who is a wonderful guy. Marcus is the single best speaker he has ever seen in public at a conference and his book really talks to making sure that your company is the source of the best information about your product, service, industry anywhere on the planet. And he tells a wonderful story about his own company which was a swimming pool installation company and how he turned his website into the number one swimming pool website in the world in terms of people asking questions about installing swimming pools into their backyards and his company is just this little company on the East Coast of the U.S. It doesn't even service the world but it has become the go to resource and that book is really important because it shows the overlap between marketing and customer service and he thinks that there is a huge overlap there. He talks a lot about the sales process and how having all of this information will draw in prospects but it also can be used for servicing perspective because the more we can get our customers to self-serve with great content the less they have to call us and frankly create expense in a call center. And so, he thinks that book is a terrific one as well that he would highly recommend.

 

Yanique mentioned that she liked the fact that he linked marketing and customer experience because she thinks there is a lot of organizations that have these departments and the departments aren’t even speaking to each other so they’re collecting, doing their own thing but they are operating in silos and she’s not sure if marketing has recognized that what they’re doing connects directly to what the customer is experiencing and of course whatever it is that the customer is experiencing needs to filter back into what marketing is doing on their end to ensure that they’re actually meeting the customers’ needs, that’s powerful and that’s like a BFO (Blinding Flash of the Obvious) that a lot of organizations that light bulb has not gone off in their business as yet for them to recognize that those departments really should be working in tandem with each other.

 

Dan agreed and stated that how many of us has gone on to a website and have been greeted with an obnoxious pop up ad from the marketing department, the problem is those ads tends to work which is why companies do it but they work at the expense of annoying the 90% of customers that don’t click on it and that’s frustrating and marketers have to be way more aware of the overall customer experience and their contribution to the customer experience than they are today and he believes that silo busting is going to continue to be a theme in 2018 with companies, the ones that are figuring out to get silos integrated with each other instead of separate are going make great strides towards improving the entire customer journey.

 

  • Dan stated that right now he is thinking about what’s next for him and his career and looking at whether he wants to continue speaking and writing and kind of making a go at it independently or whether he wants to continue working at big companies. He sort of had this rare combination over the last few years because most of the folks that are speaking in podcasting and writing books are doing it independently or they run their own consultancies versus working for big brands. He has been trying to do both for a while and he’s really trying to think inward now and figure out what makes him happiest and what he wants to do next, that’s probably what’s on his mind right now and as we turn into 2018 and he’s excited for whatever lies in the future.

 

  • Dan shared listeners can find him at –

Twitter – @dgingiss

LinkedIn - @dangingiss

    www.winningatsocial.com

   

  • Dan shared that a quote he leans one that he talks about in the book. When he was introduced it was mentioned that he is an avid Cubs fan and the manager of the Chicago Cubs name’s Joe Madden and Joe has all of these great sayings and great quotes that are meant to be about baseball but Dan actually thinks that when Joe retires from baseball, he’s going to become a business consultant because almost everything he teaches his players is very applicable to business. His favorite one of his is, “Do simple better.” He loves that because it in itself is very simple, it’s three words. When he’s talking about baseball, he’s talking about making sure that you always run out a play or the simple ground battle or the short stop that those are not the ones you make errors on. But in real life and business it’s such a good mantra to live by because so many companies make things overly complicated for customers and if you can figure out how to do simple better, generally you’re going to get to a much better outcome for both the customer and the business. When he struggles at work with some sort of complexity or the legal department wants this or government regulation wants this or the PR department is asking for something, again, it’s about putting that customer hat on and saying, “What’s the simplest route for our customer? How do we make it as simple as possible and do simple better?” There are some great examples in the book and elsewhere about this. One quick one that he gives which is one of his favorites and talks about in the book about this company that does conference calls servicing and we’ve all been on conference calls where we’re waiting on hold and we listen to this awful music and this one particular company hired a guy who actually now works for Facebook to record a song with his guitar called “I’m on hold” and he would encourage listeners to go to YouTube and look it up by Alex Cornell, this song is absolutely amazing and as you’re listening this song, it’s just this nice guy strumming a guitar, and you find yourself realizing you don’t want the person on the other line to actually join the call because you want to listen to the music instead and that is doing simple better, that’s taking a very simple experience of waiting on hold and making it memorable and remarkable instead of either annoying or unremarkable. He thinks that when companies can find opportunities to do that at every step of the journey, you really make things much better for your customers and you can really change the whole perception of dealing with you as a company.

 

Yanique agreed and stated that even though it’s just three basic words, it’s not so much the words but it’s the meaning and the purpose that’s in the depth of those words that you really should extrapolate and try to inject into the DNA of your employees so that they can really function from that mindset because you’re right, sometimes things are very simple and we find the most complicated and complex routes to frustrate the poor customers who kind of want to get in and out in the shortest possible time whether it be online, face to face, over the phone, “It’s just a simple question I want answered” and somehow it’s just a very discombobulate way that the organization has put in place for this. If we could really start with that in mind, do simple better, it will definitely improve the quality of all of our lives.   

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