Catherine M. Mattice is President of consulting and training firm, Civility Partners, and she has been successfully providing programs in workplace bullying and building positive workplaces since 2007. Her clients include Chevron, the American Red Cross, the military, several universities and hospitals, government agencies, small businesses and non-profits. She has been published in a variety of trade magazines and has appeared as an expert in major news outlets including NPR, FOX, NBC, ABC, USA Today, Inc Magazine, Huffington Post, Entrepreneur Magazine, Washington Times, Psychology Today and Bloomberg. Catherine is Past-President of the Association for Talent Development (ATD), San Diego Chapter, and one of the founders (and current president of) the National Workplace Bullying Coalition. In his foreword to her book, Back Off! Your Kick-Ass Guide to Ending Bullying @ Work, Ken Blanchard said it was “The most comprehensive and valuable handbook” on workplace bullying. BACK OFF, and her second book, “Seeking Civility : How Leaders, Managers and HR Can Create a Workplace Free of Bullying”, are both available on Amazon.
Yanique shared that the issue of bullying seems like something that's not affected by a lot of organizations but it really is a widespread issue.
Catherine agreed and stated that they call it the silent epidemic in the U.S.A lot of other countries actually have laws around workplace bullying but America does not. So, it's just as pervasive if not more so than harassment and discrimination because it's really equal opportunity harassment and so there is a lot of it. A lot of people feel bullied at work, in fact research puts that number at around 30 to 50 percent of people have been bullied at some point in their working life.
Yanique stated that it's interesting that Catherine mentioned that it's such a high percentage and asked if she believe that it filtrates out of the education system because a lot of kids are bullied in schools as well.
Catherine stated that she thinks that we are all mean, the society at large is mean, look at TV, it's all full of mean drama. Reality TV is mean, politics they’re mean, we're mean when we’re on the road, we can be uncivil if someone's going too slow or cut us off. We tend to have this propensity to sort of lash out and we live in a high stress environment because we're always on our phones, we always have someplace to be and so she thinks it's harder to be kind and to take a step back and be nice and take a breath and focus on civility. It's easier to let your frustrations get the best of you. And in school certainly bullying happens and there is some research that's found that if you bully as a child you probably bully as an adult. And also, if you're a target as a child you may be a target as an adult.
Yanique asked what if the leader is a bully himself?
Catherine shared that she gets that question a lot. She stated that she honestly hates to give this advice but you have to leave. If the CEO or the leader is a bully, there probably isn't anyway that leaders going to hear anyone out if the leader is told people perceive you as too abrasive. Sometimes an HR professional or maybe someone close to the leader in the C-Suite depending on their relationship can have a conversation with the leader and maybe able to be heard. But in her experience, leaders believe that sort of abrasive aggressive leadership style has worked for them and so they're not going to be interested in changing unless you can really show them the damage they're causing. People can change, she coaches people who are bullies all the time but the CEO or the leader, unless somebody is close enough to that person to have that conversation she would say you may want to consider leaving because the culture is not going to get any better.
Yanique mentioned if the leader is a bully as Catherine said and she recommend that they leave. Do you feel that even though you said you believe people can change but a big part of change means that they have to become self-aware that something needs to change because many of them would be like, “Well the problem isn't me, it’s them.” She has heard that so many times in organizations when employees make complaints and a lot of times that the complaints are being made, they're not willing to accept that sometimes the issue is not necessarily with the other person but sometimes we need to look internally and look at how we could be doing things differently because maybe if we take a different approach you will get a different result.
Yanique mentioned that some companies have core values that their employees don't even believe in.
Catherine agreed and stated that that goes back to it though, she sees this all the time, companies have core values and they're on their website and maybe they're on a sign somewhere in the lunchroom and that's the extent of it, so how can employees believe in those core values when they're not part of their day in and day out life. It's up to the organization to say, “Here are our core values. This is how we want everyone to behave.” And then the organization has to find ways to advertise those core values regularly and ensure that employees know them and live them regularly.
Yanique mentioned that it's like you're basically trying to find new and innovative ways to reinforce and basically have lots of repetition. So, now it becomes a part of their DNA. So, if courtesy is one of your core values, in everything you do you try to effect courtesy that way when you're dealing with external customer it's not something that you're trying to put on, it comes so naturally because it's something that you practice every day anyway.
Yanique stated that she knows exactly what she means in terms of them not seeing the value in it. And as Catherine said, it really boils down to the value system of the individuals that you're dealing with and what they deem of importance.
Yanique reiterate, help them find meaning in what they're doing. Therefore, there must be a direct link between what the company's goals are and what the personal goals of the employee is because if those two things actually have some congruence then both entities actually have a win-win situation.
Catherine agreed and gave an example of that, she was doing some training for a company that kills mosquitoes, that's their business. She was doing some training and on a break, she just sort of asked the trainee sitting next to her, “Tell me more about your business, what you do?” and she said, “Well, we killed mosquitoes. That's about it.” That's all she got. And this other person sitting next to her says, “Is that all you think we're doing here? We are saving this community from West Nile Virus.” He was offended that she thought all they did was kill mosquitoes and so he believes he's saving the community from this horrible disease by killing mosquitoes and killing mosquitoes was a means to the end goal of saving that community. So that's what she’s talking about, help reminding your employees that there's a bigger picture beyond their tasks.
LinkedIn - Catherine Mattice Zundel
Twitter - @CatMattice
Facebook – Catherine Mattice Zundel
Facebook – Civility Partners
Website – www.civilitypartners.com
Yanique reiterated, basically freedom of choice is something that we all have regardless of the situation that we're in. And that's a great privilege. So, we should definitely try to exercise it as much as possible.
Alexander Genov but will be affectionately refer to him as Alex for the purpose of this interview. Alex is an experienced Customer Research Professional who applies his Experimental Social Psychology background and his passion for research, design and innovation to solving important customer and business problems. His professional goal is to help teams create remarkable products and services which make people's lives easier and more enjoyable. Currently, Alex is Leading Customer Research for the Zappos Family of Companies. In previous positions, he was responsible for research and usability of the products and services for companies like Turbo Tax also known as Intuit, State Farm Insurance and the Active Network, he has over 15 years of relevant experience, 5 years of academic research and over 10 years of customer research in the software industry. Alex received his Ph.D. in Experimental Social Psychology from Clark University and his areas of research include defining and measuring emotions, individual differences, usability and consumer segmentation.
Yanique mentioned that we talk about Zappos all the time in workshops and people think about Zappos as the Customer Experience guru in the Retail Market especially in the online space. They basically came in and they transformed how retail business is done online. The fact that they have a 365 day return policy, if you call them somebody is going to answer the phone even when you go on their website, unlike other websites, every single page on their website has their telephone number at the top. So, at the end of the day when somebody has an issue or when a customer has an issue whether it is to make a request or it is to query a product or service that they have already engaged you for a lot of times they want to speak with a live human being and sometimes it's so hard navigating on these organizations websites some of them don’t have a phone number, they have this contact us page where you have to type out your entire request or issue and then wait for somebody from their company to respond to you. So, the fact that Zappos actually makes themselves available by providing a telephone number on all their pages really sets them apart.
Yanique mentioned that if businesses looked at their companies like that, “I'm just an airline” or “I'm a customer service company that just happens to be in the airline business transporting people from one location to the next for all different reasons, weddings, business, vacation.” And they realize that their focus is on service because without these customers we have no business. I think it would really change the mindset and propel, it would be like a paradigm shift in how we as customers experience business.
Alex agreed and stated that it will help to have some competition, some industries are more much more like monopolies right. And they have less choice than there is much less pressure to not be customer centric in general. One question in the outline about what business owners can think of and what's going to make them successful - it's very simple, it's just focus on the customer and of course you have to have your business plan and you have to have your operations to be excellent. You cannot be focusing on the customer and giving away free product and you know you're going to be in business for maybe 3 days, you will have very happy customers but very short-lived success. You need to have your financials work but beyond, he loves Zappos because it's a company that's focused on purpose before profit. And it’s a very subtle but very important difference, if you say that you’re in there for the profit then you’ll be making all those decisions that ultimately end up hurting customers. If you are saying that you’re here for that purpose then but also make sure that you are making profit. Ultimately, if you're making customers happy they will be loyal customers and they will be telling others about your business. Alex stated that another thing that sets them apart is that they don't do a traditional advertising. They don't pour billions into TV ads for example, but people know about Zappos from word of mouth, from things that they do that benefit the community. And they have a very strong Social Media Presence. So that's another lesson for entrepreneurs and for business folks. Focus on the customer, focus on the community, do good things for the community and for the customer and then you're going to have those customers that are not only customers but they're going to be your ambassadors they are going to spread the word about you. So, it's going to be saving a lot of money on advertising essentially and marketing.
LinkedIn - @alexgenov
Jeff Toister Show Notes
Jeff Toister helps customer service teams unlock their hidden potential. He is the best-selling author of The Service Culture Handbook: A Step-by-Step Guide To Getting Your Employees Obsessed with Customer Service. More than 140,000 people on six (6) continents has taken his video base training courses on LinkedIn Learning aka Lynda.com. Jeff’s 15 training videos on LinkedIn Learning include Customer Service Foundations and Leading a Customer Centric Culture.
Jeff was named one of the top 30 customer service professionals in the world by Global Gurus. He was also named one of the top 50 Thought Leaders to Follow on Twitter by the International Customer Management Institute. Feedspot has named his Inside Customer Service Blog one of the Top 50 customer service blogs on the planet.
Jeff holds a Certified Professional in Learning and Performance (CPLP) certification from The Association for Talent Development.
Yanique stated that she finds it interesting that it was a not so positive experience that propelled you into this because as a consultant that many times when a customer becomes loyal to business, if you track back the root cause, it’s usually a dissatisfied customer who dealt with an employee who was able to turn the situation around and just because of how it was handled, now every time they come back to that business they only want to deal with that particular employee, they’ll even wait sometimes if they’re on vacation to come back from vacation to transact business with that company and it all came out of a negative experience.
Jeff mentioned the “Peak-End Rule” (Psychology Term), he stated that it explains what Yanique said is true. It’s about customer perception or perception in general that we tend to not notice things that are normal. We tend to notice things that are different than normal and what really stands out is the thing that is most different and so the bad experience if you kind of think of that as the heartbeat of customer service, the bad experience is kind of like this really bad deviation from our normal experience and then a really good correction, really good fix is a huge difference. So, it stands out because it’s such a leap from a horrible experience to this great experience, it becomes imprinted in our memories and that’s the peak part, if it’s the last experience we had with that organization or that person, that really gets imprinted in our memories. So, the Peak End Rule kind of explains why that big gap, it’s so true when we recover from a bad experience, that’s what really sticks in our customers’ mind.
Yanique agreed that he tries to look at a very practical, operational way that any business, even if it’s a small business with just 5 employees would be able to extract that information and run with it in their own company.
Jeff stated that even a team because one of the biggest questions he gets is that people say, “I read the book but I’m not the CEO and I don’t even think my CEO cares too much about service, she says it important but I know she really cares about the budget.” And that’s fine, you can still use the book. He has examples in there with specific teams or departments, so whatever the size, whether you’re the CEO or you’re just leading the small team within a bigger company, the goals and the ideas that you can use these tools to create a service culture in whatever you control.
Yanique agreed and stated that in her process of dealing with some businesses this week, she called a company that deals with cooking gas and their office is not located in the city, it’s located on the outskirts of the city so it’s a 20-minute drive and she asked them if didn’t have any other mode of payment because she told the sales representative before they came that she will be paying by card and she specifically requested that the gentleman coming brings the card machine. He comes and he didn’t bring the card machine and of course he now informs her that she needs to drive all the way to the location to make the payment. So, she called them and said, “Can the payment be taken over the phone?” “Oh no, we just changed out our card machines and that’s not possible anymore.” Yanique called and ask them, “Do you expect me to drive 20 minutes outside the city just to get to you to make a payment for a service that you provided, I think you really need to talk to your finance department and think about a more customer friendly way to accept payments from your customers.” And it’s interesting because they were voted one of the best customer service organization in their industry and that left a bad experience. Even when the guys came, the service was good but then the payment part is a part of the service as well.
Jeff agreed and stated that whenever that happens, he always wonder why does it happen and is it that the person doesn’t want to do their job, sometimes but often it’s that they are put in that position or no one shared with that driver that Yanique had had that communication or that driver was specifically told, “We’re not doing cards so this is what you have to tell people.” Those employees are often put in a bad position where they almost can’t win.
Yanique agreed that with the point that even though they’re not focusing on culture, every organization has a culture but is it the culture that they really want and so if you don’t have intentionally activities, whether it be meetings, conversations, group outings, strategies built around what you’re trying to achieve, then the culture will emerge on its own. And so, you’d have a culture you don’t want all because there was no intentional act but not because you didn’t put any attention there doesn’t mean it’s not formed.
Jeff mentioned that often when you don’t put the intention there, it goes in the direction you really don’t want it to go.
Yanique mention that the take away from this interview is culture is not something that just doesn’t happen, it happens even without your intentional behavior behind it, it’s going to manifest and this is why you really have to intentionally work towards the culture you want. It’s like eating because we have to eat every day but if we don’t intentionally make an effort to eat healthy then we’ll eat anything and of course the body will just consume whatever you put inside of it and if you’re consuming negative thing then it will lead to disease and chronic illnesses versus taking an intentional approach towards eating, ensuring you do your meal preps, you exercise 3 to 4 times a week, you’re getting 8 to 9 hours of sleep per night, those are things that are intentional activities you schedule into your life to ensure it’s done every single day.
Yanique stated that it’s interesting because she does workshops for organizations and a lot of questions that she hears from employees is that sometimes you can’t do what you love because you have bills to pay but then, if you have that kind of mindset which goes back into your attitude. Is it your motivation that affects your attitude or your attitude that affects your motivation?
In reference to Yanique’s question if motivation affects attitude or attitude affects motivation. Jeff stated that he is a big sports fan, so the team that’s winning, are they because they are motivator or are they motivated because they are winning. He thinks success breathes that and those two go together. Doing well, we feel good, we’re motivated and if we’re not doing well we feel bad with a bad attitude, we feel demotivated. There’s a concept called, “Learned Helplessness” that a lot of employees’ experience. What it is that over time they feel like they failed trying so they just stop trying. It gets really bad is a lot of times they stay in the same job, not every job is right for every person and so they’ll stay in the job or maybe they have those bills to pay and they don’t feel like they have another good option and so they kind of give up but they keep coming to work everyday and that makes it so much worst because it’s defeating.
Twitter - @toister (www.twitter.com/toister)
Customer Service Tip of the Week – www.toistersolutions.com/tips
Insider Customer Service Blog – www.toistersolutions.com/blog
Yanique mentioned that in most of her workshops towards the end of the session, she always explains to the participants that the customer is always right literally is not a true statement because there are times when the customer is wrong but what we should be guided by is the principle that as employees, we are not here to prove the customer wrong, we are here to help them, they are wrong but we are not here say, “Hey Mr. Customer, you’re wrong and we are going to punish you.” But more like, “It’s okay, let’s work back to how we can undo what’s happened and find a solution so that you can leave here feeling good, let’s make this right.”
Yanique Grant Show Notes
This episode with Yanique Grant will be speaking about customer experience and convenience as it relates to customer experience. Over the last few months I have been doing a lot of workshops locally and I have been advising the participants and the organizations that "CONVENIENCE" is the next big thing in Customer Experience and those organizations that really recognize it are definitely setting themselves apart and making themselves or creating that competitive advantage for themselves.
The most valuable commodity in the world is "Time" and if you are in business, competing on price is just not enough; you have to find a way to set yourself apart from the competition. Many will argue that convenience is apart of customer service or the customer experience and I will definitely agree with that but it is becoming so important that I am willing to tell you that it is definitely a sole competitive differentiator.
Let’s think about convenience and what it really means, convenience is the option that you give the customer to get more than one item or to have more than one channel by which they can communicate with you. Let’s take for example Amazon, Amazon has created a market place where you can basically lay in your bed, you can be in the airport using your phone, you can be sitting in a parking lot using your tablet and order anything you could possibly think of, you can place an order for a DVD you can place an order for a phone, you can place an order for a book, Amazon is right there at the tip of your fingers, you can even buy a part for your motor vehicle on Amazon, it’s just that simple, it’s just that easy. They’ve found a way to really set themselves apart as it relates to convenience, they broke out of the low price and big selection game with convenience and they‘ve even made it so much easier, they created the Amazon Prime programme that gets the merchandise shipped to you without shipping charges in 2 days or less and it works! I am an Amazon prime customer and it’s like magic!!! They’ve created the Dash Button that allows you to purchase merchandise with the simple push of a button, they wanted to eliminate steps, as many steps as possible from the time a customer is thinking about purchasing a product until that product is delivered. They are also setting up distributing centers throughout major cities that can get merchandise to you in 2 hours or less, speed and simplicity is exactly what it is about.
To take is a step further there is Uber, Uber managed to create a system where you can just have this app on your phone, you can pay for where you want to be transported to right there through the app and you can see that motor vehicle or driver coming from whatever point to come and pick you up. I was on vacation in Chicago in August of this year with my daughter and we were taking an Uber and my friend purchased the Uber for us from his office, which was maybe 5 or 10 minutes up the road from us and he was able see the car on the road and advise us exactly when to go downstairs to the front desk and the vehicle will be right there. We were able to know that it was a white vehicle, a Toyota Corolla and the guy’s name is Dennis, I was like, “Wow, this is amazing.” So convenience is the next big thing in customer experience, it makes things so much easier.
I was also visiting some friends for my daughter’s friends birthday over the weekend and of course there was no coffee and I am a big coffee drinking and when I went to the supermarket, which is located at the entrance of the complex, upon completing my purchase and leaving the store, the gentleman walked me outside with the cart and preceded to take the things and put them in my vehicle for her which I was very grateful for and I told him thanks. He went further to say, “The next time that time you would like to make a purchase, you could just go online or you could email us your items and we will just deliver it for you and you can pay for it when we come to deliver it, just so easy and convenient you don’t even have to come out of your bed.” Those were his exact words and I was like, “This is amazing.” It doesn’t matter how small your business is, it doesn’t matter how large your business is, look at Amazon, they are serving millions and probably billions of people globally, so you could be serving 10 people, you could be serving a 100 people, you could be serving a billion people, convenience is the next big thing in customer experience and if you con figure out a way in your business to make your services more convenient for your customers, you’re definitely creating a competitive advantage.
Another big organization that I would like to mention here in Jamaica is First Global Bank (FGB) and they have this amazing machine call the Video Teller Machine, it’s the first of its kind in Jamaica as far as I knows, it’s the only bank in Jamaica that offers this service. This Video Teller Machine opens way before the bank opens like at 7:00 am and they close pretty much after the bank closes, you can do a lot of transactions at the Video Teller Machine and it’s not like an ATM machine, you can do cash deposits, you can do can cash withdrawals, you can make cheque deposits, you can do cheque encashment for their (FGB) cheques, you can do denomination exchanges, you can do credit card payments, you can do fund transfers and it’s basically a machine and you’re speaking to the Teller, you pick the phone up, you have the option of seeing the Teller or you have the option of not seeing the Teller and you tell them what you need to do and you insert your payment or whatever transaction you need to do through that slip section and you get your receipt, it’s amazing and you don’t have to join the main line because many times you enter the bank the main line has a good amount of people and you kind of want to do a quick transaction, there’s no need for you to have an extensive interaction with someone and so the Video Teller Machine has really been an amazing convenient experience, so I have to big up First Global Bank for really being the innovator and the trend setter in that department in the banking industry in Jamaica. You have to think in terms of “How can I make life easier for my customers? What do my customers want?” If you start thinking in that frame of mind, she guarantee that you’re going to be at least 5 to 10 steps ahead of the game and in this global competitive marketplace that we’re all operating in, convenience is the one thing that is going to set you apart from your competition.
Thank you so much for joining me by just taking some time to listen on customer experience and innovative convenience. I also want to state basically and quote you some basic statistics just to let you know how important convenience is. There was a survey that was conducted by LPSOS and in that survey they found that 80% of the respondents stated that new payment methods such as prepaid cards, electronic transfers and even mobile devices have made the buying process easier, this is forcing businesses in the B2C (Business to Customer) market and B2B (Business to Business) market sectors to look at their point of sale technology for potential improvements to meet customer expectations especially as ecommerce continues to grow in popularity.
Again, Amazon is a great example of ecommerce, look at Netflix, Netflix is definitely another great innovation in terms of people used to rent DVDs and now with Netflix you just pay this very minimal fee per month and you have at the tip of your fingers....TV shows, you have different genres of movies and all of this you can access through your tablet, you can access through your phone, you can access through your smart TV or your computer. So convenience is really the driving force that customers are looking for, so my challenge to you is to go back into your organizations and maybe do a mini survey and find out what kind of convenience your customers are looking for, better yet you could even ask your customer facing employees to pay attention to things that customers ask for the most and try and find unique ways to embed or to introduce these things as a natural part of doing business with your organization, if you take this mind set and if you take this approach, you’re definitely going to see a difference in your sales because convenience will cause people to do business with you over another organization all because it’s so much easier, because time is the greatest commodity in this life that we are operating in and it’s the most valuable commodity.
If you can figure out a way to save your customers time while ensuring that they’re still being provided with the best quality service in the most easy and convenient way, you’ll be surprised to know how your bottom line would tremendously increase because you’re making things so much easier for them. Customers like to know that they’re doing business with an organization and that the organization has taken the hassle out of doing business with them. If you have to go somewhere and you have to figure out what to do, where to go, how to get this done, why is it so complicated, why is it taking so much time, why do I have to follow up with them much, it’s so frustrating at times, you’re going to look for an alternative that’s going to cause you little or no stress, so the aim of an organization is to find unique ways to reduce the stress and basically improve on the convenience, improve on the hassle free experience, ensure that when the customer has finished completing the transaction they feel like it was so easy they could do it over and over and over again because it literally takes nothing out of them to complete the transaction, that’s the mind set you need to be in, Convenience is the next "BIG" thing in customer service.
What are you doing in your business to create convenience?
Sheree Martin, is an experienced Executive with a strong result oriented focus. She has spent the last 15 years driving strategies geared towards increasing business value, known as an inspiring and strategic leader with the proven ability to establish effective teams. She has a track record of achievements in the areas of business strategy, marketing, risk management, organizational transformation and corporate innovation. After a distinguished career at The National Commercial Bank Group, Sheree decided to join The Jamaica Public Service Company Ltd. in January 2014. She was appointed to the Executive team to lead human resources, government and regulatory affairs, revenue management, customer service and communications. The company recorded significant improvements in its survey ratings, employee engagement and customer satisfaction while she headed those portfolios. During her time overseeing HR, Sheree placed an expanded focus on leadership development by spearheading a new high potential programme called JPS iLead, which exposed select employees over a 12 month period to advanced leadership competences, knowledge building, executive mentoring and targeted on the job training. Recognizing the intrinsic value of productive and well-rounded employees, Sheree also introduced the first company wide corporate wellness programme at The Jamaica Public Service. The programme, which started in 2015, has been a contributing factor to improve staff moral and reduce health care cost.
Yanique stated that you control and at the end of the day you have a choice as to what it is that you’re going to feed your mind with. In any situation, you’re not forced to go according to what’s happening around you, you can choose what it is that you want your mind to be thinking about, what you want to expose yourself to and with the age of technology, it’s right at the finger tips either through your phone or your computer. You can feed your mind with any content you choose to feed it with, whether you want to watch news everyday and hear about people being killed and the world is coming to an end and is just terrible or you want to focus on the fact that there are a lot of opportunities and positive things are still happening despite the crime and violence that exists.
Sheree agreed and stated that we need to shout that from every rooftop in Jamaica and across the world because it is that sense of empowerment that we need people to start embracing. She believes in a collective consciousness and when you have societies, towns and cities caught into a mindset of lack, a mindset of doom and gloom, it does reflect on what that city, town, and country can eventually achieve and how they continue to evolve. So we need to start telling people that they do have a choice.
Twitter - @SherMart
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LinkedIn – sheree-martin
Before Jeffrey became the founder of Select ‘n’ Start on a mission to help make Jamaica, and the world a better place, he was and still is many other things. He is a Businessman, Entrepreneur, Martial Artist, Toastmaster, and Game Changer are just a few of the titles held by Mr. Azan. He possesses over 18 years of experience in the retail industry having been raised in his family’s business, Azan’s. Upon completion of his Bachelors in Business Management at Boston University, he stepped into a top tier management role as a Director for Azan’s and served in that position for 6 years. In his own right he has also been a franchise owner in Organo Gold, and Amway, a café owner under the brand Café Moments, a consultant on the Brand Profit team, General Manager of the brand solution company, It’s Pixel Perfect, and the organizer of the live music show, A Moment of Jazz. Jeffrey currently spends the majority of his time working through his passion for the development of others in an effort to see a better Jamaica and a better world. He does this by providing motivational keynote speeches, group skill training, and one-on-one coaching. He founded the self-development brand, Select ‘n’ Start back in 2013, with a vision of it becoming the number one personal development brand to be birthed out of the Caribbean. The brand has taken to titling its coaches and speakers as “Game Changers” which is a title Jeffrey holds proudly. His motto is a simple one, “Change your game, Change your life.”
Yanique stated that what she took most away from all of what Jeffrey said was that we’re all emotional beings regardless of where we are from, regardless of our background and at the end of the day, if we all look at each other as people with the same level of feelings and emotions that the customer would have, that the employee would have, that the employer would and employ that level of understanding to really see where the other person is coming from, treat them with the same level of courtesy and respect that you would treat anyone else, the quality of our relationships would improve which by default would improve customer experience.
Jeffrey stated that in Select ‘n’ Start, what they tell people they provide is motivation, inspiration and personal development and at the very root of it all, that is what it is. He stated that he cannot serve you if he’s not willing to connect with you and what you’ll recognize as humans is that we’ve grown this very disgusted outlook of a sales person because we feel like a con is coming and yet the greatest sales people in the world are some of the best humans he has ever come across. They take the time to build that relationship and in building a relationship, he has had a customer who bought nothing when they came to buy, they took 3 hours of his time and he genuinely thought it was wasted, the next time they came to the store, they came with their entire community and they only wanted to deal with him and that happened because they had a connection, he asked about the family, he asked about the home, he wasn’t just providing a product but he wanted to really understand what he needed and in understanding what he needed, he could make suggestions, in fact, there was a particular item that they had in the store at the time but based on the situation that he was in and he explained and he told him where he could get it cheaper and he couldn’t believe that he was sending him out of the store and because of that one comment in trying to help another human, he brought the whole community and he said, “What ever the prices are in here, this is where you should shop.”
Yanique shared that she did business with a company recently and the sales representative took the same approach. He said, “We don’t have that item at the moment but I know that this particular organization has it.” And he took up the phone and called them and sent her to someone specifically after calling and telling them to expect her and she thought that was really awesome because it wasn’t a branch of their business, it was a completely different company, their competition and he was willing to ensure that she got served, even if it meant her going to the competitor and she really appreciated that and she would go back again because of that experience.
Jeffrey shared that some characteristics that a person would need to truly serve. He stated that Select ‘n’ Start provide customer service training and he developed the customer service program when he had the café, so he ran the café with a partner of his for about 1 ½ years and when they got into it he was coming from the retail background and he has never done anything other than retail at the time and his partner said to him, “You’re great with people, you should train the team.” He did have a clue of what he was about to do, he knew how to sell, he knew the intrinsic knowledge but he never taught sales and what came to him through that is that the root of sales is relationships and people. He recognized that if somebody’s going to be a fantastic sales person, a great customer service person, the key of that is just to be a better person. If you’re a better person, if you have done all that you can do to keep your life in check and put it on a path of improvement, naturally you’re going to be more pleasant, naturally you’re going to want to serve more, naturally you’re going to be willing to engage with another person because you have taken care of your own problems you can now help another. You can never help another if at the forefront of your mind you’re thinking, “How is this going to benefit me.” And so what they came up with is what they call, “The Select ‘n’ Start Core” and these are things that anybody can apply and if you can work on these things and fall back on them, some people have taken it as their ethical and moral compass in life as somebody has called and told him that, is that by utilizing these things, it’s not a one size fits all but it’s a guideline to say, “Am I improving, am I getting better?” and if they do that, then everything else starts to fall into place. What those five principles are, the first one is “Real Recognizes Real”, open up yourself, be honest, he’s not telling you to go out and tell everybody your story but don’t put on a show either, people only like a show when they know they’re going to a show. Nobody likes a show spontaneously in a store, so be yourself and what will happen is, in being yourself people naturally open up to you. One of the great ways he does a motivational speech is that he shares his pain and in sharing his pain and his genuine belief, other people come and share theirs. The next logic is that “You Can Learn Anything From Anything at Anytime”, a lot of people think education is only in the book but education is around us in all sorts of interactions and stories and sharing’s and observations and if your going to be a great customer service representative then that’s what you need to do, you need to be a great observer, “What can I learn?”, you’re serving a elderly person and you’re realizing that they can’t keep up with you, get them a chair, if you’re just aware of that observation and that observation comes with the desire to learn, you’ll know that they need a chair because they can’t keep up with the pace you’re moving at. If it’s a mother with a child, he has had mothers handing him their children on a first meet basis because he engaged and he recognized and the child would even reach and the child reaches because that realness, they know it’s not a show, children are way more intuitive than we give them credit for. So by just having the desire to learn, we develop the skill of observation and if we develop the skill of observation, we’ll naturally know what to do in a situation. The third one is, “You Can Never Be Kind Enough to Somebody for Them Not to Hurt You”, so you can give the best customer service to somebody, you can take all day and sell them a $1.00 at the end of the day and anybody who’s in customer service and sales know that that’s the most frustrating sale and that person can still come back and say you gave poor service. No matter how kind you are to somebody you can never be kind enough for them not to hurt you but the flip side of the coin is that it should never stop you from being kind. In that sense, don’t worry about what the other person is going to do, don’t do it to get their reaction, don’t do it for the consequence to come from them, do it because you know you should do it and because it’s right, you don’t need a manager to tell you that but what happens is that you have 2 bad sales experiences for the day and your manager is upset with you so guess what, “I’m not serving anybody else for the day because it’s going to lead to a problem.” But the fact is that those people, no matter how good you are to them they have no reason to be kind to you. If they chose to be kind, they’ll be kind but you have that choice as well and so he always says, “You can never be kind enough for somebody not to hurt you but that shouldn’t stop you from being kind.” The last 2 points is, “Level Up”, always seek ways of improving yourself, people hate being pushed, people love being pulled, so if you stand on top of something as the expert, as the champion, people want you to pull them up, nobody wants you to be underneath them or behind them pushing them forward, so if you’re going to really serve somebody, you need to be a champion in the particular industry, you need to pull that person up to your level of understanding and expertize and anything you say, they’ll follow. Jeffrey shared that the last thing is, “Always Share What Is Uniquely Yours”, all of us have gone through life with particular stories and troubles and challenges but those stories, troubles and challenges have built a certain perspective that only we have, that only each individual has their perspective, you could have a twin and your twin can be totally different from you, same mother, same father, same school, same opportunities, same education and yet you’re 2 totally different people because of one little change, one little biochemistry and those changes create unique perspectives and it’s in unique perspectives we create unique connections, so you must always be ready to share what’s uniquely yours which goes full circle back to "Real Recognizes Real."
Jeffrey stated that once he acknowledged that...that was his calling, he has never not been able to take a step no matter how poorly, demotivated, no matter how much in the hole he is, his finances at some points are abysmal, you look at the books and go, “Jeez, how am I going to get out of this one?” and all it really is, is a challenge to say how bad do you really want it and what happens is a lot of us are pursuing goals and motivation that we don’t really want, we are not answering our true calling and the thing is, if we answer our true calling, we’re happier, we’re going to find other people interesting in it and if we do it long enough, you’ll become experts in it and people will pay for our expertize, it has been proven time and time again as abstract and as cliché as it sounds, it is not easy, if it was easy and Eric Thomas says this all the time, “If it was easy, everybody would do it.” So he’s not going to jump up and say it’s easy but he is going to say, everybody can do it, it’s can you dig into that grit to push through the challenges because life is going to consistently ask you, “How bad do you want it?" And that’s what gets him going in the morning; it’s that inspirational thought that he searched 17 years actively looking for, unfortunately many people haven’t even spent half an hour looking for it.
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Daniel Edwards is the CEO of Total One-Eighty Image Consulting, a business initiative and service tailored for the motivated, modern male professionals, which Mr. Edwards created to productively combine his three (3) passions - personal development, psychology and fashion. A trained public speaker and presenter, Mr. Edwards recently launched his series of Total One-Eighty workshops, the first being through corporate client Sagicor Life Insurance Jamaica Limited to further his holistic approach to image consultancy and personal development. With over two decades of successful experience in the sales industry, Mr. Edwards is also currently a Senior Sales Executive at Caribbean Assurance Brokers Limited. Prior to this, he was a Financial Advisor at Sagicor Life Jamaica Limited where among other things his achievements included being seated at the international acclaimed, “Million Dollar Round Table." During his time at Sagicor, Mr. Edwards also created, ran and marketed his High Street Clothing brand. An experienced performer and lover of nature, Mr. Edwards is also a proponent and practitioner of meditation and diverse self-improvement practices.
Yanique added that you want them to connect with someone who looks like them so that they can see that this possibility exists.
Yanique asked Daniel if he believes that most or all employees based on his experience are motivated financially, does motivation comes from something else as well?
Daniel Edwards shared that it is a combination; feeling like you have a vested interest doesn’t necessarily only translate to more money. Apart of the business, you’re invaluable and that your input will leave an indelible mark in the company. And if you have a system where your staff is rewarded base on merit, then they will work a little harder too, so one person is a superstar and one person is just slumming it and everybody is getting the same paycheck, after awhile the guy who is the superstar is going to take it down a few notches because there is no incentive for working so hard. There’s a motivational speaker called Max Moyan who said, “If you’re doing just enough not to loose your job, your boss is going to pay you just enough to keep it.” Also, empower your employees, put them on a plan immediately, and create a situation where they are aware of this is where they are beginning but 5 years where they should be, you should be empowering them to be on a trajectory towards success and you get a next set, it’s not a static situation.
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Carlos Villares was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico; he lives in Miami, Florida since 1994. He is an International University Graduate and has 10 years work experience for The General Electric Company in the area if sales and financials services. He is co-founder of Gustazos.com, Daily Deal site in 5 countries. They represent Global Sales and Business Development Executives and they manage over 50 sales people on these markets with gross sales surpassing USD$26 Million as of 2016.
Carlos mentioned that he worked for General Electric for 10 years and when he was hired into General Electric, Jack Welch was still the CEO. He stated that many people talk about Steve Jobs and Ben Olsen and some other CEOs, his all time favorite CEO is Jack Welch and he loves his philosophy. Carlos is a Six Sigma Green Belt, he should have become a black belt but Gustazos lured him away but he applies a lot of what he learned at General Electric (GE) in Gustazos. He manages the sales teams in Gustazos in the 5 markets they have a presence in and he’s in charge of opening new markets but a lot of what he learned in General Electric with Jack Welch is a lot of what he applies today.
Yanique mentioned that that’s the most important question every company asks, "Would you recommend this organization to a family member or friend?" and the reality is that if we have a bad experience we are probably not going to want our friends and family to have that same experience so we are going to tell them don’t go there.
Carlos stated that bad news travels faster than good news and they have a team in place internally that is constantly monitoring Social Media, their phone lines and he could go out on a limb and say that they address 100% of the cases, they do their best to make everyone happy and they feel like they do a pretty good job because the customer at the end says you know what, things may not have worked out because you’re going to have trouble, when you’re in business, you’re going to meet challenges and there’s going to be moments when clients are going to complain and that’s going to happen regardless of how hard you work, the question is how do you manage that situation, you can make it right, if you make it right, you’re gaining a client for life, so it’s not about the bad things that happen, it’s how you address those bad things and one of the things that he tries to convey to the team is make sure the customer is happy.
Carlos mentioned employees and that sometimes they hire people from college, sometimes they hire people that just moved to that country and you see them grow and you see them improve their financial situation and things get better, they are able to afford better school for their kids, buy a new car, move into a new house, so those 3 components are very important to him and those are what drives him and keeps him motivated and waking up every morning and engaging with everything that they have going on.
Carlos stated that he is giving the Navigating the Customer Experience audience a gift, if you go to Guztazos.com/gimme5, they are going to give you USD 5.00 in credit for the purchase of anything you want on Gustazos.
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John DiJulius Show Notes
John DiJulius is an international consultant and best selling author of 3 customer service books, his latest book; The Customer Service Revolution instantly hit number 1 on Amazon. John works with world-class companies like The Ritz-Carlton, Lexus, Starbucks, Nordstrom, Nestle¢, Marriott Hotels, PwC, Cheese Cake Factory, Progressive Insurance, Harley-Davidson, Chick-fil-A and many more. John isn’t just talking about it, he lives it. As a very successful entrepreneur of 2 businesses, John Robert’s Spa, a chain of upscale Cleveland locations has been repeatedly named 1 of the top 20 salons in America and The DiJulius Group, a consulting firm focused on changing the world by creating a customer service revolution. John will demonstrate how we can make our customer service our single biggest competitive advantage and make price irrelevant.
Yanique agreed and stated that it’s interesting that he said how you can increase on their service DNA and asked if he believes that if the person doesn’t have the right attitude, that training can bring them to the level that you want to bring them to or is it something that comes in terms of their innate abilities that comes naturally in terms of how they relate to other people?
John stated that he believes that the vast majority of people out there you can change, he doesn’t believe it’s innate for the reasons he just explain, we were growing up and eating at fast foods restaurants and we didn’t have world class experiences so we don’t know what it is like to deliver and our family life, depending on what we were taught, you’re not going to find people who are taught that it’s just a few. He stated that he loves asking this one question to his audiences when he first started, “If you’re going to build a world class customer experience company, what is more important: a) the training and culture you bring your new employees into? Or b) the hiring?” In a little bit a way, it’s a trick question because the answer is both, you can’t have one without the other but he always say, if you’ve got to give 51% to one or the other, it’s training and culture. Disney did not find 50,000 employees born to serve, there is not 5,000 people walking the earth born to serve but they converted them and one of the quotes that Disney has about their new employees is they say, “We don’t put our new employees in Disney, we put Disney in our new employees.” Every one should put that quote with their company name, put your company in your people and make them proud and make them understand it.
Shep Hyken Show Notes
Shep Hyken is a Customer Service and Experience expert and Cheap Amazement Officer of Shepard Presentations. He is the New York Times best selling author and has been inducted in the National Speakers Association Hall of Fame for Lifetime Achievement in the speaking profession. Shep works with companies and organizations who wants to build loyal relationships with their customers and employees. His articles has been read in hundreds of publications and he is the author of 5 books, he is also the creator of The Customer Focus, a customer service training programme which helps clients develop a customer service culture and loyalty mind set.
Winning Accounts vs. Winning Relationships with Yanique Grant – Episode 047
Thank you, thank you, thank you so much – this episode is very special episode for me. It is very near and dear to my heart! Approximately one (1) year ago, I started this podcast – Navigating the Customer Experience and one year later – we are at over 5,000 downloads, being listened to in over 70 countries worldwide with 46 episodes and counting. I am so happy to know that this podcast has really done so well that we have persons listening to us from all different parts of the world in over 70 countries worldwide – that is just amazing! We focus primarily on Customer Experience, Leadership, Business Development, How to Win the Customers, Service Recovery, Social Media Customer Care. We have touched on so many topics in the last twelve (12) months and it has just been a wonderful experience and to know that I am here today to proudly report to you that we are being listened to again in over 70 countries by over 5,000 people is just a really proud moment for me! I really wanted to express my deepest gratitude to all our listeners out there and even those future listeners who will be hearing this episode when it is aired.
Today I would like to focus on Winning Accounts vs. Winning Relationships - Winning an account is a great accomplishment and is usually celebrated by the boss and the team as this means more business and more money. Just as any other accomplishment achieved requires maintenance and consistency so does maintaining a consistent relationship with that account holder.
Every business works extremely hard to acquire new customers. In order to acquire the business, your first step would be to make initial contact with the customer either through email, phone or face to face. After initial contact you now have the customer’s attention, they may purchase your service or product based on their needs.
Let’s take a look at a few examples:
Scenario 1 - a newly opened print supplies business opens and they contact you to tell you about their products and services and also how competitive their prices are. You advise them that you already have someone that supplies you with toners and stationery for your office and you decline their offer. They call back one month later and remind you of their services and products because they would really like to stay front and centre in your mind in order to “win your account.” Six months pass and every month they call you to share the same information. One day they even show up at your office with sample products and a free giveaway bag. After one year of courting you – you eventually start purchasing items from them. However, the difference in behaviour is they no longer call and check up to see if you need supplies and months pass sometimes before you even remember that they still exist.
Scenario 2 – an automotive company has sales representatives who prospect at different events and one day while attending a business luncheon you were approached by one and you were intrigued by the cars they sold and also the features and benefits of these vehicles. The sales representative calls you weekly as they know you really want to change your vehicle. They contact the bank and have the relationship manager at the bank call you, they also contact the insurance company and arrange for everything. Over 6 months have passed and you have encountered other automotive sales representatives but the original one that you met stands out in your mind as they always followed up no matter what. Therefore, when you were ready to make the purchase – you automatically called the representative who contacted you consistently. You finally receive your new vehicle and the representative called you a day after the delivery of your car and also a week after. However, one year has passed and you have never heard back from that representative.
In all the above scenarios – we must recognize that winning the customers’ account is very important, however, building strong relationships is much more important. Customers do not want to be treated as transactions instead they would like to be treated as people. All customers want value added services.
My challenge to you is think of your business offering and look at how you can offer value-added service to your customers…..
Statistics have shown that people don’t remember what you did but they do remember how you made them feel. How do your customers feel after doing business with you – are your customers your biggest fans? Do they speak highly of your company? Do your team members feel proud to work at your company? When they wear their branded shirts with your company logo and go in public areas do they feel proud to represent your brand and company?
If the answer to any of these questions is NO! Your company specifically your leaders need to look at why the team may feel this way and also why the customers feel this way because as we stated before human beings usually remember how you made them feel!
Tips for Building Relationships
Tema Frank is a best-selling author, international speaker, teacher and business consultant. Tema Frank has over three decades’ experience in marketing strategy, usability testing, and customer experience improvement. In 2001 she launched Web Mystery Shoppers Inc., the world’s first company to do “omnichannel” customer experience testing. Using social media techniques before “social media” existed, she recruited a panel of 75,000 mystery shoppers worldwide. In doing all of this, Tema was able to test all of the customer service channels that organizations would experience such as: live chat, telephone, social media and in-store. Tema is also a fellow podcaster and she started podcasting in 2012, she is our podcast senior and her podcast is called Frank Reactions Podcast on Customer Experience, a definitely must listen.
Yanique stated that it’s one of the things that motivated her to start this podcast because she is a customer experience trainer and she goes into organizations and helps them to work with their leaders, work with all of their team members so that they can all get an understanding that customer experience is everyone’s responsibility not just the customer facing employees because for some reason, IT and Accounts seem to think that because they are not directly interfacing with the customers it’s not their responsibility.
Yanique stated that she believes that out of every negative situation there is always something positive that can come from it. So Tema sharing her story and seeing how she has been able to rise above the obstacles and she is able to let people know that at the end of the day you do have some employees who genuinely want to come and do a great job, they are not into slacking off and just sitting around and not doing anything, so that’s important.
Tema shared that the thing is, if employees are just slacking off and not doing anything is usually because you have failed to motivate them with that promise. You’re not treating them right; you’re not inspiring them. Tema stated that money is necessary so that you can survive but paying somebody more won’t get them to be more customer friendly. She stated that one of the biggest solutions that entrepreneurs could use to motivate their employees is involving them into decisions making, instead of imposing decisions from above, try to get decisions to often flow from below, so the people who are closet to your customers in some ways have the best knowledge about what’s going on in your organization and a lot of employee unhappiness is because they feel they are not heard and they do in fact know better than some of their bosses but the bosses won’t listen and don’t care about what they think. So you want to involve people at all levels and from all departments in decision-making and in strategizing about how we can make things better for the customer. Earlier Yanique mentioned that often IT and Accounts don’t think that customers have anything to do with them and one thing to over come that is to get those people on departmental teams and let them start hearing the customer. Her first major business with Web Mystery Shoppers, the reason she created that company which was in the early days of eCommerce and websites and she found that their was a marketing department, sometimes a completely separate eCommerce unit and then the IT people, they all depended on each other but they were set up as completely separate units and weren’t even speaking the same language and what she did with that business is that she would have anywhere from 30 to 300 people from their target market who gave detailed feedback about, “This is what’s frustrating us about your website” and when she was able to go back to all these units and show them that it was a way to bring all these people together and realise that they did have a common objective.
Yanique stated that on Tema’s website is that there is a free book that you offer 85 Tips for User Friendly Website and one of the things she found is that when she is looking for guests for her show and she’ll probably source them through Amazon if they wrote a book that really inspired her and thinks it would be good to hear their message and Amazon probably has their profile with information about the author and it usually should have a link to their website or some of the authors has their email address listed right there, what she found very frustrating as a customer herself is that most websites for some reason have a contact us form where they control how they contact you versus giving her the opportunity for you to provide their email address so that she can reach out to them because when she sends that contact us form and it says send, she is not guaranteed that somebody is going to receive that in an inbox and respond to her in a reasonable time. Tema shared that is part of what is driving people onto Social media to complain as if you provided me with better service in quieter means whether it’s making yourself easily accessible to customers through phone or through email and dealt with that better then people would not go and complain about you so much in public.
This episode with Yanique Grant will spend some time speaking about business culture, a little bit about leadership and also customer experience. According to the business dictionary online, business culture is the module or style of business operations within a company, the culture determines how different level of staff communicate with one another as well as how employees deal with clients and customers, culture is very important.
As a Customer Experience Strategist and a Coach in customer experience and in the experience that she as garnered over the last 8-10 years, many companies have asked her, “Yanique, how can we improve our customer experience? What do you think is the main reason why customer experience is so poor?” and her number 1 reason is always the leadership, “Are you walking the talk? Are you showing behaviors and attitudes that your employees can emulate? D you have systems in place that reward employees for great behavior, for great interaction with your customers?” Many of the great brands globally believe that customer experience is the backbone of their business and it’s the number one differentiator because no business has a monopoly in what they’re doing in terms of the product or service they offer, it’s guaranteed that somebody else out there that sells a book or somebody else out there that’s a health coach or somebody else out there that is repairing a car but what is going differentiate the experience is the quality of the experience, the things that happing in the experience, when things go wrong how does that individual recover the experience with the customer and that’s why culture is very important to your business growth and your business development.
Yanique stated that she will share some basic things that she believes should be incorporated if you are clearly serious about your business and you want to improve on your culture. Throughout her career as a leader, managers have developed culture management systems around 5 key points and they are:
The right vision and unique ways to constantly reinforce why we do what we do and it goes back to walking the talk. As the leader in the organization, you need to know what kind of culture you want demonstrated in your organization and find unique ways to constantly reinforce it so that people can see it everyday, it’s similar to parenting. You hire all these people and they may have the right attitude and the necessary competencies to complete the job on a daily basis but they all socialize differently, coming from different backgrounds, having different life experiences and now they are all working together towards a common vision and goal but they are not going to be able to miraculously come on day 1 or day 3 or day 10 or day 50 and just know exactly what to do and this is why as a leader it is important to constantly reinforce what it is that they are doing, why they are doing what they are doing and how is it going to benefit them. Yanique stated that she is a big supporter of leaders in an organization who have a vested interest in the development of their employees, so if your business is going to grow and your bottom line has increased immensely and your shareholders are very happy, your employees should actually see an improvement in the quality of their lives as well because if the business grows, the employees should be growing as well not just professionally but they should also be growing in a way that they can advance their life. Point number 2 is simple focus systems like focus scorecards to align key managers, so you need some level of assessment and measurement because people will do as they feel like doing and it’s very important to have a structure in place where people are measured and assessed consistently. Reward systems that drive the right behavior is number 3 because it’s so important for people to know that when they do something right, they are commended for it, they are rewarded for it. Reward doesn’t mean you have to give them money because many people are not driven by money, it could be that the team gets a weekend away or maybe they get a book or a gift certificate so you have to take time a leader to get to know your team members and figure out what it is that they like and what they don’t like because everyone isn’t motivated by money. Effective coaching tools that help associate and live the values and help associate to get the results, so coaching is very important because all of these people are new to this experience of a corporate culture and customer experience and having that mindset where everything that you do is driven by the customer in mind first. Coaching is very important to that process because if that’s not how the individual naturally thinks or naturally processes information, they are going to need help in terms of guiding them coaching them in that direction. Point number 5 is constant process improvement; now quality customer experience is about doing it right the first time, every time and so consistency is key. Customers can be unforgiving at times so you can have a customer who has been your customer for 20 years and the one time you mess up, they just blow the roof and you simply say to yourself, “I’ve been doing business with you for 19 plus years, we’ve done it right the first time, every time and this one time, can’t you just cut us some slack?” Unfortunately, some customers don’t give you that opportunity and that’s why constant process improvement will help to drive consistency of those interactions and behaviors with your team members and customers so it will minimize the errors and risks that may come about in creating problems with your customers. It is so important to ensure that you have a good business culture. Leadership is critical to cultural development and has much as many leaders may want to shy away from the opportunity or responsibility of cultural development; it is very much apart of your daily interactions, most leaders should have a scoring that they are assess on by the board of an organization in terms of whether or not the culture of the organization has improved, because culture is not just the HR department’s responsibility, HR is just one small function of culture in a business and it’s very important for the leader to recognize that you drive HR processes and the department, you drive the marketing, you drive the accounts, you drive the culture because the culture is the interaction of the people with each other and as a result of that their interaction with your external customers. Yanique stated that one thing that she strongly believes as it relates to culture, culture can often be mistakenly thought of has a vague concept, like the nice to things but it’s not just the nice to things, it’s the things that drive the behavior and interaction and if it’s not driven correctly, it can lead to you having a lot of service issues and service issues can cause a lot of money especially if you’re losing customers. In customer experience no business wants a customer never to come back, they want their customers to repeat their business over and over again so that you have customer lifetime value and you can listen back to many of the previous episodes where they have had guests who came on who are experts in the customer lifetime value calculation and the importance of ensuring that you retain your existing customers because it costs so much to get a new customer. You want to focus on critical que behaviors in your organization so that you can change the existing behaviors, you won’t be able to change everyone but the aim is to try and do as much as possible to get some form of improvement within the organization. If you culture is wrong, it can make or break your organization very easily, so you want to make sure that your leaders in your organization understand the importance of culture. We hope that persons who are listening to this podcast understand that the employee in an organization is really driven by the behavior and attitudes that your leaders demonstrate and they watch you every single day even when you think they are not watching, they are watching, they are forming an impression and they are forming a perception, they observe how you interact with the customers, they observe how you interact with the employees. If you get upset with an employee because they did something to satisfy a customer’s need, it is going to drive fear into other employees who have observe because now they are not going to feel as confident to step out on the limb and satisfy a customer’s need because they observed you reprimanding Bill last week for dealing with a customer’s issue and in Bill’s mind, Bill was able to satisfied that customer’s need and the customer left happy but in the bosses mind, he should have not taken that decision on his own and with that in mind, Tom who observed what happened is not going to take that action on their own next and if you’re no there then that delays the whole service experience. Service recovery is the backbone of customer experience and it’s most effective at the first point of contact, if you customers recognize that you’re not taking their business seriously then they are going to move their business to somewhere that that company values their business and appreciate their business. It is so important as the leader to really recognize what requires improvement and understand your role in that entire process. We are at the beginning of second quarter in 2017, for those of you listening to this podcast; Yanique is going to encourage you to think about your own business, whether you’re the business owner, whether you’re the business leader, whether you’re a manager in the organization and even if you’re an employee, you can contribute as well. If your business is not the type of business that your customers are walking up and down everyday speaking positive things about your business or people are not clambering to become employees of your business because you have such an amazing culture then there is opportunity for improvement within your business. If your answer to any of these questions, made you sit down and think and say, “hmm, maybe we could improve in this area or maybe we could improve in that area.” Yanique is challenging you to make that improvement by the end of this month. It is so important to focus on what needs to be improved and then take the steps to improve them, everything can’t be done overnight and culture is not something that changes within a month or within 3 months, it takes time. We encourage you whether you work with an external consultant and bring them in as a subject expert to help you business grow on a consistent basis or if you chose to do it on your own internally, whatever your strategy is you have to make an effort to do something. Sitting down and doing nothing is not going to achieve the results that you want to get and because your customers are the reason why you are in business, you have to ensure that you empower your employees, equip them with the necessary tools and tools don’t always mean the system that they are using or the procedures they need to follow but tools also mean the interpersonal skills that they require in order to feel confident and empowered to deal with your customers. We challenge you to do something differently than what you’re doing now so that you can improve on your business and improve on business culture. What kind of culture do you want to have, do you want when people call your business name in public the positive thoughts or the positive sayings that come about are, “Yes, that company is really great, their employees are very friendly, they are knowledgeable, they operate with speed, my deliveries or my orders are always on time, they can answer any question that I ask, they are very efficient, they are very responsible, they are reliable.” Those are adjectives that can only come about if your culture is one that has values that support the things that people are saying. We challenge you as a owner, a leader, a manager, as an employee to go back into your organizations and look for opportunities that you can change one thing that can contribute to a positive culture in your business.
As Founder and CEO of Mattson Enterprise, Inc. Glenn oversees an elite team of practice development consultants who provide solutions to agency leaders and salespeople facing the challenges of achieving extraordinary success in highly competitive and overcrowded markets. Glenn is an extremely sought after keynote speaker, a gifted and respected platform trainer, coach, advisor and author. He stated, “My business is helping my clients transform their business into a more efficient, productive and profitable one” Glenn’s background is that he helps his clients build a successful business comes from successfully building and selling his first business while he was still an undergraduate student. Glenn was so effective at generating new revenues for his business that it dominated the marketplace and was later sold for a multiple of annual revenues. After college, Glenn joined the Sandler Training organization. His early career was nothing to brag about. He made mistakes. Some costly. But, using the same systems he uses with his clients today, he became the #1 Sandler associate both nationally and internationally. His personal success was a difficult, deliberate, and demanding journey. One of Glenn’s philosophy is, “I believe once you are crystal clear on WHY you want something, finding HOW to do it won’t be far behind. Being successful isn’t difficult. Thinking and acting successful, IS!”
Glenn stated that we all have experience bad customer service. He stated that most people want attention, we want value, we want to have respect in a lot of ways, we want resolutions when something goes wrong, we want you to fix it but we also want to make sure that you follow up. When he looks at his own experiences with service, everyone makes mistakes and that’s understandable, it how you handle the mistakes that are critical. Glenn shared an experience he had, there was service issue that he had with a client where he was the customer and someone was going through it and instead of just flat out saying, “we made a mistake, I apologize, this was what he can do to fix it” it was more of the questions they were asking was trying to make it seem like he made a mistake and what was happening is that they were reducing his level of respect, so more times than not, that’s usually what gets us is that respect, that integrity, it’s the “I did what you told me to do and it didn’t work” “I got that, I understand it, let’s just fix it, let’s not try to figure out why, I’m the one to blame when it came out this way” that piece was probably the one that left the biggest taste in his mouth which is they didn’t accept responsibility.
Yanique shared that she had a similar experience when she went to a hotel for an All You Can Eat Pizza Night, it was extremely disorganized because they had a book launch before and they didn’t advice the persons who where coming for the All You Can Eat Pizza Night that they was a launch before and so these events were merged together and so those persons who didn’t know of the launch came famish and completely ready to engage in pizza and the waitress they got, she was extremely courteous, friendly, she really came down to there level, spoke with them candidly. It felt like she was a friend at the end of the evening, she knew her name. She told her if she came back to the hotel, she would definitely come back and deal with her again, it really boils down to the feeling, the connection she gave to them, she’s not sure if everyone at the location had the same experience but she certainly left feeling much better than she when she just arrived.
Glenn stated that most people want to be better but most have never been trained on how to be better.
Yanique agreed and stated that she had an experience in a supermarket and her girlfriend was there with her and she was by the fruits and vegetable section and there was a young man packing out sweet peppers in the fridge, he referred to her in a very informal term, she can’t recall what he said and she said to him, “you really shouldn’t refer to your customers like that, you should say to them excuse me miss or sir or madam” and he said to her, “no one has ever told me that before” what was extremely a BFO (Blinding Flash of the Obvious) to her was that how can you have someone working in your organization, even if they are just packing things in an area in the supermarket and you have not even brief them on how it is that are to interact with your customers because you can’t just hire people and put them to work.
Glenn shared that most unfortunately don’t realize who might touch a customer, one of the first things they do in one of their modules is who is the front line, receptionist, sales, billing, accounting, technical people, installers, drivers, warehouse people, anyone who has any interaction with a client at any level and for most they realize that, why would you train a driver for instance that delivers things on customer care. The reality is that they have some of the best ears and eyes that others don’t have, so who is really that person, how do we effectively communicate, how do we effectively understand our clients or customers and then you get into one the best questioning techniques because customer service is not about information you give, it’s about the information you can obtain, you need to understand what’s going on in the world to provide good customer service. Customer service is not talking; customer service is exceptionally great ears and being very good at asking questions so you can get to the root of the problem. You add the attitude piece to it, which is a lot of time when you deal with customer service issues, people aren’t the happiest all the time, so how do you deal with difficult people, how do you make sure that you don’t get emotionally involved, how do you make sure that we don’t get stuck in the emotional game, meaning that when they do something or say something, we take it personal, we get defensive, our brain shuts down, we panic, we start doing self talk to ourselves, we forget everything they say, for some people they block out and when they hang up the telephone, everything that we’re suppose to say, should have said, could have said pops in their head. So it’s not a problem of not knowing, the problem was in the heat of the battle you panicked so mentally you left the battle and after you have the chance to regain your composure, all the techniques came to you.
Nicole McLaren Campbell is professional Speaker, Educator and Entrepreneur. Driven by a passion for empowerment, she represented Jamaica at MIT’s Junior Summit and was selected to address then UN Secretary General Kofi Annan at just 13 years old. She was subsequently featured in local and International Media including CNN and Nickelodeon and was chosen has one of 20 teens who will change the world by Teen People Magazine. She’s a graduate of the St. Andrew High School for Girls and completed her High School studies at Phillips Academy Andover in Massachusetts before going on to earn an Undergraduate Degree in Economics from Princeton University in 2006. Nicole also studied at the Stanford University Summer Institute and the University of London where she earned a Master’s Degree in Globalization and Development. In late 2016, Nicole started the AIM Higher Foundation with a mandate to indentify, develop and empower promising low income students so that they can too access and unlock their potential through access to tertiary education, her vision is to inspire youth globally to aim higher.
Nicole stated that based on her team, how they are structured, they have part-time college consultants, part-time tutors, they have a core full-time team of 7 people and everybody else is part-time. They have 15 part-time tutors and 7 invigilators and then they outsource things like accounts and other administrative; they have 4 part-time college consultants, so the team is just under 30 persons.
Yanique stated that she loves the fact that Nicole spoke about eating properly, sleeping and also ensuring that you exercise because those are 3 things for you to be optimally productive and in the society that we live in currently, she doesn’t think that 90% of Jamaicans are doing those 3 things in a habitual practice and that’s probably one of the reasons why organizations are not as productive as they could be because the companies are the people, if the people are not healthy, they have all of these diseases that many of them that we contract from poor eating habits like hypertension, high blood pressure and diabetes, then they are going to be affected by the quality of work that they put out in the organization.
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This episode with Yanique Grant, she will be speaking a lot about Customer Experience and one of the brand that she absolutely love and adore. Today is going to be another solo episode; she will start it off a little differently by sharing a quote by one of her favorite people, Maya Angelo. Maya says, “I have learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did but people will never forget how you made them feel.” It so important in every interaction that we have whether it’s face to face, whether it’s over the telephone, whether it’s an internet base connection, that we really aim to ensure that when people finish interacting with us they feel good because sometimes they won’t remember exactly what you said verbatim, they probably will not remember all the specifics of what you did but they are going to remember how the experience or that interaction made them feel, so we should always aim to ensure that our customers feel good after interacting with us.
You are probably wondering, “What is this brand that Yanique is speaking about?” The brand is Apple, for those of you who knows her personally, who listens to her podcast, you will know that she is an avid Apple user, owner of a MacBook Pro, owner of an Ipad, owner of an Iphone, loves Apple absolutely and you’ll always hear her say, “Once you go Mac, you just don’t go back.” She is going to speak about some of the things that Apple has done to really create that magic formula, what are they doing in their stores and how can you take out some of the things that they are doing and inject into your own business. It is said that Apple makes US$5,000.00 per square foot on their customer experience and that is really amazing, when you compare that to other brands, Apple is performing like the brand Tiffany, the jewelry place, so there is no reason Apple should have all the fun or all the revenue because you can do exactly what they are doing, you just need ensure that you are doing the right things at the right time. Anyone can emulate Apple success in retailing by using the same principles of great customer service and customer experience. The first tip that we are going look at that Apple really emulate in their business is:
They focus on Getting the first moments right with every customer. The first moments a customer spends with a business can disproportionately affect how the customer remembers the entire encounter. Because of the way human memory works, if you get off to a bad start with a customer, it’s hard to recover, while if you do a spectacular job in those first few minutes, it’s a lot easier to coast to the finish line. Apple therefore strives to make sure your first few moments in the store go well. There are two discrete elements to Apple’s success here: Most visibly, they post friendly, enthusiastic, knowledgeable greeters near the front doors, whom she as experienced herself whether it’s in Florida or Minnesota or New York or Chicago, every time she goes to an Apple Store, regardless of the location, she is greeted by someone who is friendly, they are enthusiastic and they are knowledgeable and they are right there at the first point of contact. The only task for the shepherd is to tell you where you need to go and help you avoid the potential disorientation and stress that could otherwise be induced by the bustling store environment because their store is always packed. To take this a step further (or backward), they encourage you, well before you get to the store, to assist in creating a successful entrance experience by pre-scheduling your visit via the Apple Store App and that is just amazing. If Apple succeeds in getting you to do this, it means that when you get to the Apple Store the greeter can even more easier to interact with to get you to where you want to go. That’s step number one that they are definitely doing differently from their competitors.
Apple also Respects their customers’ time. The Apple Store app and Apple online scheduling options not only help reduce the initial stress of arriving at the Apple Store, they ensure that a customer’s visit makes efficient, productive use of the customer’s time. If a customer wants help with diagnosing a flicker in their MacBook Pro screen and only has 45 minutes to spend on the errand, there’s a good chance they can make it in and out of the store within that time frame. Does your business respect your customers’ time? Customers today are busy people, often working unusual schedules, and they appreciate those businesses that treat their time with consideration.
The next big thing that Apple is doing is they are Hiring employees who have the right personality traits for customer service. In almost any electronics retail store, the people selected for employment are enthusiastic about technology, and the fanboys and fangirls who work at the Apple Store are no different. But Apple doesn’t think this is enough. They strive to hire prospective employees who are also good, empathetic listeners. The reality is that in this age of consumer skepticism, a business is not going to succeed by giving a hard sell. Providing great customer service, in fact, is as close to selling as the Apple Stores get. We are not sure how many of you are listening to this episode are familiar with the book, How To Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie, that book is a book that Yanique believes that every business owner, every sales person, every customer service person, every person in life should read that book at least once or twice per year because the book focuses on so much on developing your personality, understanding people, ensuring that you have the right personality traits, ensuring that are being quality human being by listening effectively when you’re conversations with people. When they’re thinking about hiring, you need to think to yourself, “Are you systematically hiring the employees who are most likely to succeed with your customers?” It’s very important for you to really focus on that thought, that’s a question you need to ask yourself each time you hire a new employee for your business.
The next thing that Apple does is they Train and train again. It’s not enough to hire employees with potential. Success with customers requires top-notch customer service training. This should start at orientation and continue at intervals throughout the employee’s career with the company. To take just one Apple example, employees are trained, right at orientation, that a successful customer engagement depends on deploying Apple’s systematic process (APPLE stands for: Approach-Probe-Present-Listen-End), and they are trained in how to tailor this formula to the individual customer. An employee can’t be expected to wing it here; training and re-training are what’s called for. Does your business invest in customer service training annually, semi annually, quarterly, monthly? Are you looking for opportunities to constantly injecting these people with the DNA that they need to succeed in every customer service experience that they have over the phone, through your social media, face to face? Because if that’s not what you’re doing then you’re not going to succeed. It’s essential, from employee onboarding through periodic reinforcement to larger-scale training workshops. As a customer service speaker, trainer, and consultant herself, this is where she risk sounding self-serving, but she would stand behind the importance of methodical, repeated customer service training even if she had no dog in the fight here.
Another big thing that Apple does that sets them apart from their competition is they Streamline. One of the great innovations of the Apple Store is its innovative and unwavering devotion to streamlining: removing everything that could get in the way of a customer’s engagement with Apple’s products and its helpful employees. In an Apple store, there’s a notable absence of cash registers, paper receipts, or anything else to clutter up the experience. This isn’t just an aesthetic choice; it provides clarity of mind for customers and employees about the purpose of the Apple Store customer experience. So, once a purchase decision has been made, or a repair is determined to be required, there’s nothing in the way of making the purchase or repair happen: no forms in duplicate, no waiting in line for a single cash register. These people walk around with devices in their hand that kind of looks like an Ipad and they are able to cash you out exactly where you’re standing, exactly where you’re interacting with them. It is so hassle free, the question you need to ask yourself about your own business is are you streamlining your customer experience? Doing so is almost certain to pay off in improved customer satisfaction–and, if it makes purchases easier, in immediate financial results as well.
Even though the 5 concepts that we have given you here that Apple is using, let’s recap. One is Get the first moments right with every customer, second is to Respect your customers’ time, third is to Hire employees who have the right personality traits for customer service, forth is to Train and train again and fifth is to Streamline. If you follow these steps, even though they are very straightforward, implementing them in a way that works for your business is where your understanding of what makes your business unique must come into play. She is not trying to turn you into a cookie cutter replica of an Apple Store, or of any other successful business. The goal is to keep “you” you, but in a way that gets the non-you out of the way of delighting your customers. Apple actually invented almost none of these concepts; they borrowed them most visibly in fact from the hospitality methods of great 5 star hotels. But by putting them into play in a very Apple way, they now seem to be an organic part of the Apple brand. She encourages you to go forth in your businesses this week, this month, look at your team members, look at your recruitment processes, look at how you’re streamlining, are you training and training, are you being pound foolish and dollar wise? But you really need to ensure that you are making sure that your spend is quality because if you invest in the development of your organization through your people and through your processes and through how you streamline and how the experience goes for your customers, what does that journey look like for them, is it one that is seamless, is it one that is hassle free, is it one that delight them then guarantee that you’re going to see lots of dollar signs at the end of each experience that your customers have with you and the good thing is, they’ll go out and become evangelist of your business, so you can actually use some of that money that your using for marketing advertising and reinvest into making that delight a repeat experience for your customers.
Kenneth Bator is the founder of Bator Training and Consulting Inc; he has more than 15 years of experience in helping organizations create environments where employees actually want to come to work and customers want to keep coming back. As a facilitator for training and strategic planning sessions and an expert in brand concept, culture building and management, Kenneth has helped 100’s of organizations since 2001. In additional to his career working with managers and entrepreneurs, he has also served as an executive of 3 different institutions throughout the United States of America and has assisted many small to medium size businesses to reach new levels of effectiveness. Kenneth is the author of The Formula for Business Success = B+C+S, The Pocket Guide To Strategic Planning: The 90-Day Quick Fix For The Business Owner or Manager and The Strategic Planning Workbook and Guide For Financial Institutions, his articles has appeared in many trade publications including the Credit Union Journal, Lifestyle Entrepreneur, CU Business Magazine and ABA Bank Marketing. Born and raised in Chicago, he earned a Bachelor of Science in Finance and an MBA in Entrepreneurship from DePaul University as well as a Certificate in Integrated Marketing from The University of Chicago.
Yanique agreed that customer experience is different because the experience forms everything that they go through; every channel that they are engaging with your business and also, it is before they come in to work with you, so a lot of customers are very informed before they come to your business, with the onset of the internet, they can do their own research, they can look for information on their own, they are 60%-75% informed about what your business offers before they even have an interaction with you or your employees.
Kenneth stated that the example that he usually use, he uses one from his banking day is that customer service is we are going to handle the customer transaction properly and efficiently maybe even wish him/her a nice day and shuffle him/her out of our bank. A customer experience is when we have a line at the teller line, we are going to have somebody come by and offer them water and coffee, we’re going to ask them if there is something we might be able to do for them in an office, we might ask them,”What was your transaction today and what were you trying to accomplish? Maybe there’s another way that we can help you.” That’s an experience, that’s a how do we create a positive environment for our customer rather than just putting them in a line and giving them service and taking care of a transaction.
Yanique agreed that they are good points that you definitely need buy in, it needs to have a level of inclusivity that people feel like they are apart of the process because then they are more willing to adhere and to actually own the issue, they don’t feel like it’s information being handed down to them that they have to comply with and it makes the environment that much easier for you to work with because the team members feel like it’s their business and it really is. You spend 90% of time at work.
Kenneth stated that he has seen in some circumstances where if you’ve done this properly in terms of creating the service standards, that there’s even a self-management among the team where one front line worker will tell the other front line worker, “Hey, that’s not how we do things here.” It actually begins to take some of the onus off the leader to continually be that person that cracks the whip, it actually makes things in the best of circumstances run smoother without your involvement as a leader. When you can leave for days and the place runs just as well or better than when you’re there, then you know you’ve done something right.
Angie Fisher founded and created Coaching Success Systems in 2011 as a way to provide busy business owners with the full range of resources they need to accomplish their goals. What began as a part-time position became a full-time thriving business by 2012 providing copywriting, graphic design, administrative and marketing assistance and more to several successful coaching entrepreneurs. Over the last 3 years, Angie has continued to grow a thriving business by creating a team of 15 talented support members. Coaching Success Systems provides valuable services to clients all over the world. As a mother of 3 children and an entrepreneur, Angie understands the importance of providing solutions that will help you reduce stress, grow your personal wealth, decrease overwhelm, stabilize your business during hectic times and find more free time to do what you enjoy. Angie’s passion for helping entrepreneurs succeed has led her to author several free reports you can find on her website at www.coachingsuccesssystems.com, each report can provide you with tips that you can implement today to save time, grow your business and spend more time with those that you care about and are close to.
Yanique shared that as a business owner herself who lives in Jamaica, she finds that customer experience is driven or inspired by the person that’s leading the company, so leadership is very important.
Angie stated that leadership creates the whole moral of the company and that moral trickles down to the customer experience and the results of the business, so leaders need to really follow the 3 C’s, have communication, be consistent and have compassion and they also need to teach their staff or their team the same morals. It’s really important to not forget what it’s like to be on the other side of the desk, or the computer or the monitor or the cash register, wherever your customer is sitting, to not forget what that experience is like, so leaders need to understand and help their staff to know and remember that and that can’t go away it doesn’t matter what size your business is, there has to be someone in charge of remembering what that’s like and ensuring that that’s still powerful. Angie stated that the employees could have those values themselves, they could be a great communicator, they could be a consistent person, they could have compassion but the real power comes from the leader teaching the staff on how to implement that in the business, how to reflect that in the business, the tone, the voice, the service, the product, all of that plays into it and the leader really needs to guide those employees to help them understand that and they will look up to that leader because of how they are acting, they are a role model.
Angie stated that she truly believes in consistency, if you aren’t consistent then there is lack of trust and lack of trust will get you no where. You will not have customers and you will have trouble growing your business when you don’t have the trust of your clients and so consistency goes a long way.
Yanique Grant shared that consistency is one of the founding characteristics of a business that offers quality customer experiences, if you look at the Zappos of the world and the Amazons of the world, they are consistent in their service delivery and if they are not consistent, their service recovery strategy is extremely successful in winning that customer back over at the first point of contact because they know how important it is to retain their existing customers.
Angie stated that a lot of entrepreneurs want to fish the sea, they want to get new leads and new clients but we always have to remember to take care of the clients we currently have and we already have them, they have already raised their hand and said, “I have bought from you or I want more from you” so we should pay attention them and it may be easier and cheaper to sell more to them than to go out and try to get a whole lot more leads of new clients. There is a balance there but be sure that you are paying attention to those that already love you.
Yanique stated that this is applicable even if it’s you alone in the business in the first 6 months; you can put that structure in place so that when the opportunity comes for expansion and scaling, delegation is a much smoother process.
Angie agreed and shared that delegating early is the key but she also understands that that’s not possible sometimes, so being ready because when you bring a team into chaos which is most of the time a business that has experienced growth, it is chaos behind the scene because you are working hard to keep everything floating and nothing dropping and so you bring in a team or a virtual assistant or a coach into it to help you, they are coming into a little chaos and it makes it stressful for the business owner, it can make it stressful for the team and it makes it more difficult to move forward, it takes more investment of time. Setting up those things early and especially when you’re growing, you have a little bit of extra time, even if you have a family at home, you still have the time and it’s worth it to take the extra 15-30 minutes while you’re doing the task to make the checklist along the way.
Listeners of This Episode #40 – Receive a Free Gift from Our Guest Angie Fisher
This episode with Yanique Grant will be the first solo episode after doing 38 interview based episodes and we will be sharing with you some tips, nuggets that we have collected over the last 38 weeks of releasing 38 amazing interview based episodes. We want to give a shout out to all of our guests locally and internationally that has come on board to support and share the wealth of knowledge that they have shared and we are amazingly inspired by each and every person that we have come in contact with as a result of starting this podcast
Today Yanique will take about customer experience and are some of the different opportunities that exist for a business going forward in 2017, what are some considerations that they need to take into account. Whether or not a business plans for it, your brand provides a customer experience to your customers; customers collect experiences throughout their journeys with your brands, regardless of your effort investment or intent to deliver cohesive and satisfying experiences. It’s important that your brand and your advertising and your marketing that they are cohesively connected and they are all singing the same song, we’re all on the same page, singing the same verse at the same time, singing the same chorus at the same time because if not, that’s where the disconnect occurs.
People base their decisions based on what they experience and hear about your brand, every experience you provide to your customer can provide encourage or discourage, satisfaction, loyalty and advocacy and for those who are familiar with the book Customer Satisfaction Is Worthless, Customer Loyalty Is Priceless: How to Make Customers Love You, Keep Them Coming Back and Tell Everyone They Know by Jeffery Gitomer, you would know that if a customer leaves satisfied from your business, that does not guarantee that they are going to remain loyal to your business and so because of that, you have to consistently deliver on quality experiences, if you’re not, then it’s quite possible that the customer will switch and customers these days have choices.
The Internet has given everyone the opportunity to do their research before they come into your business. They go online, they go to your website, they go to your Facebook page, they look at what other customers are saying about your business, if they ask their friends and family about your products, they read reviews, they are fully informed at least by 60%-75% statistics say, before they even interact with a member of your organization, so with all of this in mind, you have to consistently deliver on whatever it is you’re advertising that your company is going to deliver and that is seamlessly what your brand is all about. People like to have simple experiences, that’s the reality. Yanique stated that she loves to go to a business that when she walks in, she doesn’t need to try and figure out what the business is trying to offer, what should she do, where she should go, she knows exactly what to do and where to go.
They have this index called The Global Brand Simplicity Index and in it, it talks about what simplicity is. Each year this company called Siegel and Gale, they survey thousands of consumers from around the world as it relates to evaluating hundreds of brands and how the brands deliver on their experiences. Simplicity by definition is freedom from complexity, intricacy or division into parts. This is the definition by www.dictionary.com and it is freedom from deceit or guile, sincerity, heartlessness, naturalness. People want to do business with companies that it’s very easy to transact business with them in all the channels that they provide service through whether it’s online, whether it’s face to face, over the telephone; it’s a seamless and a simple process, a simple experience.
According to the 2017 Global Brand Simplicity Index, simple to the consumer in 2017 means being clear, it means being human and it means being useful. It's is powerful and if those are the 3 things that simplicity means, it means that in everything that a business does, they need to figure out, “Is this process clear, is this product delivery or service delivery human and are my consumers valuing this experience as being useful?” because if you’re not meeting 2 or 3 of those options, then you are loosing out on all of the money you are leaving out on the table for not creating that simple experience for customers, so we cannot implore enough why it’s important. It is so important as well for your brand or people that interact with your brand to recognize that you are real, a lot of companies say in their marketing advertising that, “We are offering quality service, our customer service is the best, we take care of you.” They use all of these endearing terms that when you listen to the advertisement whether it’s on TV or on the radio, you feel a sense of emotional connection, however, when you go to the business and have the interaction - it’s a completely different experience, so your brand is what people feel and say it is, not what your brand believes or says it is, "Perception is reality to the person that perceives it", this is a popular quote that she gives in all of her workshops all the time. A lot of people believe that service delivery or the service that they offer is based on what they feel it is and it’s not what you the company feels it is, it’s what the customers says it is, it is their feedback, it’s their perception that matters, that’s what determines whether or not you’re a great or a good company, so your brand is owned by the customer not you, it is created and fashioned in the minds of your customers and prospects. You are what they think you are or what they hear from others, sometimes people form a perception of a brand just based on what their husband says to them or what their girlfriend says to them or what their co-worker says to them, they have never interacted with the business before but they are basing their thoughts or giving feedback to other people based on what someone else said, with that in mind, you have to remember that your brand is what others say it is. What your brand does is more important than what it says, action speaks louder that words and because body language is 55% of the communication process, it’s so important that your leaders, team members, everyone is walking the talk, your brand will be ultimately evaluated by it’s customers and what it does for them, not what it says in the ads, emails or on its website, so again, if your marketing is not congruent with the actual experiences that your customers are having, then at the end of the day, it’s not what you believe your service experience is but is what your customers are actually experiencing.
Brands that cannot retain customers, they just won’t win in this world that we are living in, if you are not able to really recognize that the customers that you have currently are your gold mind, those are the ones you need to be nurturing and ensuring that they’re satisfied, ensuring that they want to come back, so that they can go out there and be evangelists of your business, then you lose right there, as said before, it’s money you’re leaving on the table, so your brand, acquiring customers is a costly activity, it requires you to go out there and tell people what you’re about and spend money to woo someone that you really don’t have a relationship with, rather you could be nurturing and building up existing relationships and having those persons woo people you are trying to get because it would be an easier sell because that customer who you’re trying to get would be persuaded by someone who has had an experience with your business and the acquisition of that new customer would be based on what that existing customer shares with them.
Brands that cannot motivate their customers, to share positive sentiments will ultimately diminish the effectiveness of their marketing efforts. The aim is to ensure that when your customers leave your business, they feel like they’ve just done business with the best company on earth, if you cannot absolutely say that, then it means that there is room for improvement. People trust each other more than they do brands and word of mouth is a powerful force for improving awareness and consideration, that’s why social media is so powerful, there are all these brands out there that basically, you can go online and you can read up about where you’re going and what kind of experience to anticipate, you can even get a rating and so if your customers are not speaking positively about your business, even if you have the most upgraded building, the best uniforms, the mission and visions on the wall, state of the art technology, state of the art equipment, machinery, if the experience is not congruent and people are not leaving feeling like they are valued and appreciated, then you are definitely going to experience a diminishing return in the long term.
Your brand can’t be all things to all people, customers have different needs, expectations and values so the better your brand can understand and reflect these through focus, segments, personas and personalization, the more powerful the experiences it can deliver, you have to know who your customers are, what’s your marketing segmentation, who represents that 80% of your business, what 20% of your customers gives you 80% of your business and how can you have those 20% become evangelists of your business so that you can continue to increase on that percentage. It’s a work in progress but it’s possible, it’s all about making that experience very simple.
You listen to your customers to understand them, marketers spend a lot of time and money studying what gets people to buy too often and sometimes they ignore what gets them to be satisfied, loyal and willing to tell others, listening is important in the whole customer experience process and the voice of the customer programs are essential to defining and measuring customer experience performance. When you hire someone like Yanique to train your team members or hire her company to do market research, it’s very hard to see a return on investment the following day and that’ what a lot of businesses fail to realize that customer experience is a very tangible measurement and because of that, it’s so important to continually be engaging and hearing from your customers because if you’re constantly getting positive feedback and recommendations that you get from customers are actually improving on them and customers can see that their feedback is not just being put in a box and no one is taking it into account but they are actually using it to make changes, then that’s when you see repeat business over and over.
Joseph Michelli is an Internationally sought after Speaker, Author and Organizational Consultant who transfers his knowledge of exceptional business practices in ways that develop joyful and productive workplaces with a focus on the total customer experience. His insights encourage leaders and front line workers to grow and invest passionately in all aspects of their lives. Dr. Michelli is a Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Publishers Weekly, Neilsen Book Scan and New York Times number 1 bestselling author. His latest book is Driven to Delight: Delivering World- Class Customer Experience the Mercedes-Benz Way, some of his other titles include Leading the Starbucks Way: 5 Principles for Connecting with Your Customers, Your Products and Your People, The Zappos Experience: 5 Principles to Inspire, Engage, and WOW, Prescription for Excellence: Leadership Lessons for Creating a World Class Customer Experience from UCLA Health System, The Starbucks Experience: 5 Principles for Turning Ordinary Into Extraordinary and The New Gold Standard: 5 Leadership Principles for Creating a Legendary Customer Experience Courtesy of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, as well as When Fish Fly: Lessons for Creating a Vital and Energized Workplace from the World Famous Pike Place Fish Market. Joseph holds a certified speaking professional designation from The National Speakers Association and is a member of The Authors Guild; he received his Masters and Doctorate from the University of Southern California and he has won the Asian Brand Excellence Award as an Editorial Board Member for The Beryl Institute Patient Experience Journal (PXJ) and is on the Founder’s Council of Customer Experience One, he is also named one of the top 10 Thought Leaders in Customer Service by global gurus.
Yanique shared that she found that the companies that really understand their journey also recognize that things are not going to go smooth all the time so service recovery is so important.
Joseph stated that it is simple as Starbucks has a promise that, “If you don’t like your drink, we will replace it for you no questions asked.” Joseph gave an example, he stated that there was a prankster, a person who pranks corporate America, so he bought a Starbucks drink, he brought it home, it was a milk based drink, he put it in his garage, he left it there for a week and a half, he brought it back extremely rancid inside of a plastic bag and he brought it into a Starbucks and handed it to the Barista and saying, “Look, this drink does not meet my satisfaction.” They have been trained so well by this brand simply said, “Let me take this take this to our back dumpster and in the mean time, what drink might I prepare for you that you might like today?” It was that simple, many people would say, “come on, obviously this is not a freshly made drink that we are in any obligation to replace” In truth, this prankster went on to write a blog about the fact that he had hoped that they would fail their recovery promise and they did not do so and he was the one who got pranked and that advertising and that promotion and the fact that he’s telling the story today has far more value to the brand than the $4.00 they would have saved had they argued with the customer in suggesting that he was not entitled to the recovery.
Yanique stated that she lives in Jamaica and most of the stores already have a sign on the door that says, “No exchanges, no refunds” so you as a customer, once you enter or start to browse that store, you know, “If I purchase this, clearly it’s a final purchase, if I have an issue with it, I can’t take it back.” It’s truly amazing to know that the promise is that they are going to replace it for you no questions asked, that takes real guts, real courage.
Joseph stated that there will be those who abuse it and this would have been a case of abuse, clearly it went well beyond the perimeters but most people will not. There is a speaker in the USA who at the beginning of every presentation hands out a bowl of quarters and he says, “Please take all the quarters” and no one has taken all the quarters in any audience that he has ever put that out to and the message largely is, most people will self regulate, most people are business owners, most people have a sense of fairness, there will be those who abuse it but assuming the entire population is out to get you creates an animosity between yourself and the customer that’s hard to recover from and as a world traveler, he has been to countries in the Caribbean that are open and warm and he has been to ones that are locked down and he knows which ones he doesn’t want to go back to.
Speed and Convenience for todays customer - Joseph stated that we have to maximize the speed at every turn and we do have to manage customer expectations because there are certain expectations that have gotten ahead of customers and in order to have everything that fast you also give up some tradeoffs on artisanship and quality so it is an educational on tradeoffs that with speed comes some compromises and we are willing to make them in these regards because we know what’s best and in delivery of this particular product you know you need speed, we know you need speed, we are working to maximize that but you also need quality and if you compromise and buy something very hastily crafted in order to meet the speed, it probably won’t last long, so it’s baiting what is value and speed is a part of the value equation but there are other dimensions that you have to education. Sometimes we can do things while they are waiting for those 5 days for a product, we can educate them, and we can stay in relationship with them. The art of Disney if you go to Walt Disney World, you are in massive lines, it is not speedy at all to go through the experience but they often distract you, entertain you, transform you with other things happening while you’re in line and he thinks that’s the art sometimes, how else can they add value, “The product will be there in 5 days but in the mean time I want to give you 5 days of information about how maximize the use of your product as soon as it arrives so there isn’t such a learning curve.” So maybe there is a not speed to delivery but there’s a speed to use because he has done something in that delivery time that adds value.
Beta Brand – company that did not have a product but they provided their prospects with entertaining stories.
Isabel Hundt is the author of The Power of Faith-Driven Success: A Journey Toward Living Your Dream by 30 and certified vision and Transformation Coach and International Speaker. She’s a world visionary and an ambassador of Global Presence Leadership. She travels all over to share her enlightening message of tuning in to our true selves by understanding the connection between our heart and our brain. She is also teaching how to use our emotions as a powerful guide for success in all areas of our lives instead of experiencing emotions as a distraction. She’s a proud Christ follower, wife and a mother to son Jonah. Isabel enjoys kick boxing and body combat.
Isabel stated that emotions aren’t just emotions; they are what we make them, who would determine that anger has a certain chemical reaction in your body, we define it and we can acknowledge, “oh, that’s what’s going on, it’s okay, I am okay, I just don’t have to act on it react to it by pushing it on someone else”
Isabel stated that most of her clients are online. She said that for one, it is more convenient with a child at home that young but it allows her to work with people from all over the world, from France, Sweden, and India and all over the USA and she found and it depends on where you live. She stated that where she lives people are very conservative so it takes a lot to break through that wall and outside of it people are more open to what she’s talking about and what she teach and coach on. She does work mostly online but when she speaks, then she is travelling.
Isabel share that sometimes we take My Why a little bit too easy, it’s not just, “my WHY is to support my family financially” it needs to serve for the greater good. She stated that her WHY is to create a deeper connection inner culturally to understand that even though your background is different or the way you grew up or the traditions are different, it doesn’t make you any different as a human being. Her big Why is to bring people together to really connect on such a deep level that we can understand that without each other we can’t do anything and even if we live a thousand miles away from each other, we still impact each other in the way we think, in the way we operate, it has a ripple effect, that’s her greater purpose, that’s greater vision that she has so if you start with the WHY and only say, “my WHY is supporting my family” that’s not enough, that keeps it too limited and you don’t think outside the box.
Louie La Vella’s clients are entertainment personalities, night clubs, concerts and festivals and he creates brand and marketing strategies to engage and connect with their audience. Working within the shark infested waters of the night life and music industry as a Marketing and Branding consultant, La Vella has been delivering high profit solutions to live entertainment events, musicians and venues for years. With over 20 years in the night life industry, an extensive development and production experience with national television projects, authors, speakers, event producers and coach. La Vella has produced and marketed over 30 live music concerts in the past few years. Winner of the Niagara Music Awards Promoter of the Year in 2012, The Junior Awards Canadian Music, Dance category committee. He has been called a “Mediapreneur”, combining a successful television executive producer and host role with being sought after marketing and branding consultant in the night life and in the music industry. In his television days, he had the opportunity to interview the likes of Lady Gaga, Richard Branson, Backstreet Boys and more.
Louie stated that talking about events whether its festivals or night club events or smaller concerts, going to the events are always great for him to either wine down and enjoy the event or do a little bit of research on what everybody else is up to and he fine that a lot of the places that either spend too much money to market to fill their room or just not filling their room is because they are stuck back in the day. Louie shared he was on a panel at the International Night Life congress a month ago and everybody was talking about Millennials and how they’re on their phones all the time and it’s ruining the experience going to a club or going to a venue to have their phones out and they just want to be on social media and he sat there and thought about his experience going in and he said, the usual behavior is not just because they are on social media and need to tell their friends or talk, it’s their documenting, they’re documenting everything they do and we do the same things, maybe not as much as the generation because depending on our age demographics but we want to tell our friends what we are up to, we want to share what we are eating, we feel like we are all media companies and we need to document. He told them going back to the experience of him experiencing a night life venue, “What are you guys doing differently than 20 years ago? You have a concert hall or a night club with a nice deejay or a band with some lights and a bartender but that’s the same concept as 20 years ago.” He was trying to poke fun by saying that he doesn’t use VHS tapes anymore, we have all changed, why have you not changed if you think about 20 year old concept of the night club, it’s exactly the same, and we have different sounds and different lights but that’s not a huge step in the experience. When he walks into a club and its dead and the bartender is on their phone and it’s the same old, same old for 20 years, he’s thinking well no wonder nobody’s here or it’s too busy and the promoter and the venue owner thinks, Hey, Louie look how packed it is, look how great it is here, it’s over packed” and he’s thinking, “Go ask 6 girls right now what they think about your club and I bet you 4 or all 6 of them will say it’s too busy here, I can’t get a drink, I wanted in line too long, I Iost my friend when I went to the bathroom” and you think that the over capacity of the club is your success but I bet that you’re even losing money because they want to leave early, they get frustrated to get to the bar to get a drink. He has seen that with his own experience by going to these places and thinking….these are issues that are going to bite them or already bit them.
He stated that it’s the same with Facebook likes, he has 10,000 likes. Likes do not equal sale at all. The amount of time that your organic reaches 1% you still have to target people, you might be targeting specific intricate ways of targeting like somebody that likes your page but also likes these certain items. A lot of people are just going for likes and it’s a visual thing and he understands as a branding play but that’s a small piece of the branding pot, you have 5,000 likes or 10,000 Twitter followers that never equal actual sales, you have to think outside of that, so you spend all of your money trying to get likes but he never do that, he tries to spend the ad budget on your actual target, let’s try to create a funnel, let’s sell tickets, let’s sell music, people will like your page indirectly because they see the ad and they don’t like your page currently and they’ll it like but that’s not the metric we go for so a lot of people are not thinking the new way of doing marketing and still thinking of the old mentality, we want more likes, we want to pack the bar, we want to do the old school way because it’s easier and it just doesn’t work.
Louie stated that the night clubs are your basic bar and night club, there can be a 500 person venue, 1000 person venue but through your typical night club every week they have events going on or students nights so it’s a different atmosphere all together where as a Festival your talking 30,000 people showing up a day or more or maybe less and it’s such a massive cool undertaking and you work on marketing for 8 months, right now he’s working on marketing, even in September 2016 he was working on festivals for June 2017 but it’s really cool. You have a tight nit team and they organize everything to do with the festival and when it finally comes to fruition and you’re on stage with 30,000 people in front of you and this massive production and you’re thinking, “I’m the marketing guy, I was a part of bringing in these people in that’s really awesome.” And that a cool feeling and it’s a larger scale and not everybody gets to do that, if you’re a good marketer and you have friends and you know deejays, you might be able to jump in as a promoter at a night club but that’s not something that he does anymore, he consult and train a lot of owners and promoters because he knows marketing but he has a small hand full of bars and clubs now just because he knows them well and they are friends now and he helps them out but for the most part he has expended away from that and there’s different monetary value between a large scale festival and a night club so he can do different business and not work so hard but work on 3 projects instead of 15.
He stated that in festivals now you’re dealing with million dollar deejays, million dollar bands, some of the biggest of the biggest and you get to discuss with their management things, forge friendships and that’s just a whole other ball game as oppose to the night club which is still fun and great but you’re working with the local club owner or the local deejay and sometimes they bring in acts but not usually not the larger scale because there is no way they can afford someone of that caliber for a 500 person venue so it’s a completely different ball game but it’s a lot of fun.
Louie shared listeners can find him at –
Brett Campbell, from journeyman cabinetmaker to fitness entrepreneur having built one of the fastest growing fitness brands in Australia is a man on a mission and he’s living the dream life of a young and successful entrepreneur. Impacted and inspired by the passing of a childhood friend, Brett is now taking his mission to the next level, helping the generations of entrepreneurs and professionals realize their true potential and assume a life of freedom and abundance that is possible for all who dare to take charge of their destiny. Brett’s mission is to help over 100 Million people discover, design, develop and deliver their passion and expertise to the world so that they can make more money, help more people and ultimately live a lifestyle of their design. Brett is also the owner and CEO of Fiit International, a global health and fitness company whose products and services have helped over 45,000 clients and the Authority Academy, an online community for Internet marketers, coaches, speakers and small business owners. He’s also the founder of the Unleash Your Greatness Movement, an international live event series to help others pursue living the life of their dreams. Having grown up in New Zealand, Brett now lives in the gold coast of Australia with his lovely wife Emily and their two pugs, Burt and Pugsley.
Brett agreed that he has had a very excited and adventurous journey thus far and there is a number of things that have happened and reason why these things happen is that he is the that guy, you hear the saying, “Ready, Fire, Aim”, he let off 20 rounds first so he’ll fire, fire, fire, ops he’s ready and then aim, hence the reason why he is able to do so many things because he has had that attitude from day one which is engrained that he just doesn’t give up, he’ll keep moving forward. He just wrote his first book and he shared in it that, “We work on the right things, just at the wrong times” and it’s something for entrepreneurs and business owners to really be aware of and with the opportunity that they have right with the online landscape and how easy it is to get your message in front of people. Too many people right now are working on the right things such as: maybe it is the right thing for you to be learning Social Media and Facebook but if you haven’t got the foundations, you haven’t understand what your business is all about, why you’re doing the business that you are doing, you can certainly be like he was; build a franchise with 35 locations in 6 months then realize that maybe this franchise wasn’t the path he wanted to go down.
Brett shared that the book Right Now!: Why Not You and Why Not Now? by Brett Campbell can be found at www.rightnowacademy.com/book, you can also find it on Amazon and in book stores around the world.