John Formica, the “Ex-Disney Guy”, is a highly sought after internationally known speaker and author of the top selling book, “Making the Customer Experience Magical Now! - How to Succeed in Business and Beat Out Your Competition Today”.
John has appeared on the NBC Morning Show, ABC, CBS, FOX, Univision, numerous business journals and recently featured in the Virgin Atlantic In-flight Magazine, after completing five successful speaking tours in Australia and being named “Australia’s Best Customer Experience Coach.” John has inspired audiences with over 3,500 keynotes and seminars throughout the United States and all across the globe.
Today, John is the leading authority in the service industry, small business growth and team culture environments. He has successfully coached hundreds of small businesses, cities, tourism communities, healthcare professionals, universities, schools and teams to build customer loyalty for life, attract and keep more customers and create “Whistle While You Work” Team Environments.
Yanique reiterate that he’s doing things that people would want to be doing on a regular basis and having fun while doing it and he’s also creating value in people's lives.
John agreed and stated that he loves helping people, he’s a server. He just wants to serve people in whatever we can help them. In his world, it's really helping them as leaders, help them as tools, help them in their business by the result. Changing people's lives and there’s not a noble cause in that.
Yanique stated that in the book it also says our purpose is more important than the job and while you're doing your job, you're always having your radar up, looking for ways to make people happy. For example, taking a picture of a family in front of the castle. Now in a regular organization let's say for example, a supermarket, you pack the grocery bags for the customers or you work at an automotive company that sells cars so you're a sales representative, your purpose statement is clearly going to be different from Disney, but will you also apply that same technique with the purpose being more important than the job.
John agreed and gave an example from an auto service repair. Many of them are his clients and many of them are mom and pop establishment so he’s trying to help them to build that culture and if you ask them what their purpose is, their purpose is to fix the car or make sure the car is running properly or make sure all the maintenance is done and make sure they use quality parts and make sure of all those things. And that's not their purpose, that's their job, that's what they do. But in reality, if we boil down to what's the purpose of an auto service repair shop in reality, it's to give him the consumer a peace of mind knowing that the vehicle is safe on the road, it's going to be in working order, it's going to be reliable when he has to get up to go to work in the morning or his kids’ cars are safe, his wife's car is safe. It's that piece of mind he’s getting. So, when you think about it, you have to do the job, you have to mechanically do all those things correctly but when he says to himself, wait a minute, he’s going to make sure that he’s going to double check to make sure those bolts tightened because he know he wants his client to have a peace of mind knowing that they did the right job, they didn't just do it halfway, they didn't just do a quick job, they go in, get this thing turned around, make money and move on to the next one. He wants to give them a peace of mind so when they drive off after getting their car serviced that they feel good, so, every decision is based on did that give someone a peace of mind. And that's the decisions that they make based on that. And it’s the same thing of a grocery store, again, maybe not a piece of mind of course but it's providing a great experience because they can go anywhere in grocery stores but knowing that that person who stacks the groceries in the bag doesn't just throw them in there and says, “Who cares, you need the groceries in a bag, I did it for you,” but takes good care knowing that they provide a great service in the food industry for people, making and sure you continue to think that way. So, everybody believes in it whether you're just a baggar or you're the manager of a grocery store. Everybody's going to do everything they can to make sure that that food is great quality it is not damaged so when they go back they can have that great experience.
Yanique stated following up on their point as it relates to the purpose, in the book it also shares that when you’re creating this magical purpose for your company you should get as many people involved in developing this statement, the owners, the managers, the supervisors, the front team, the back-office team. Don't be afraid to also get feedback from your loyal customers, ask each other why it's important, make it clear, short and easy, make it emotional, make it visible and memorable, reward and recognize people when it's carried out and post those accomplishments everywhere and discuss them at meetings and also celebrate successes and have fun. Why do you think it's important to do all these things just to create the magic in the purpose?
John stated that your purpose statement has to be an emotional connection between staff, managers, and the people that have carry it out and of course the organization. In many companies like he shared, they kind of lose sight of the why and they focus on all the other things on what, where and what he has seen many businesses small or large is that the CEO and the Presidents and executive team and the board of directors and maybe even the H.R. folks, they’re the ones that create the purpose statement and then all of a sudden it gets introduced to the entire organization and says, “By the way, this is what you're going to do now.” And the staff sitting there going, “What was wrong with the other one that we had?” or “I'm so busy, now there's more things you want me to do.” So, if you get everybody involved, you create the buying, you get everybody's opportunity to express their own thoughts of why they do what they do. It doesn't mean everybody is going to have a perfect answer to all of it but at least people have ownership and then a buy in that I'll do it because I had a part of it, when it's just top down, it's just becomes another thing and the interesting thing about a purpose statement, is that you’d never ever going to achieve it. So, it's not something that, “Okay, we did it. Now what else is next?” Your purpose statement has to be something that you're always going to be striving every single day, day in, week in, month out, year out, 10 to 15 years from now. It's not something you change because you're always striving to achieve it. An example of Disney making people happy. Every single cast member at Disney and there are 75,000 of them that work at the Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida alone, every single one of them know that today when they wake up, before they go to work, they got to say to myself, “Man, today I'm going to make someone happy.” And they're always striving to do that, well guess what, “Tomorrow’s another day, I have to make someone happy again.” And there are people that have been at Disney for the first time, got to make them happy. And there are people who have been at Disney 50 times, got to make them happy too and you’ve got to make kids happy, you’ve got to make adults happy, you're going to make seniors happy, you’ve got to make each other happy. So, it never ends, you're always striving to reach that so when you get everybody excited about it, that's what he wants you to post things, he wants you to talk about it, he wants you to reward and recognize people because then becomes a living thing not something that the flavor of the month or we have a new H.R. director or we have a new CEO, that's their idea of what the vision of the company.
John stated that what they’re trying to see if they’re a good fit and the best way to see it is to actually watch it in action rather than when they interview people in an office they say things like, are you energetic? Are you a people person? Do you like working with others? Do you have a lot of enthusiasm and energy? And what are the typical responses, “Yes” So by walking around they actually get to observe them and see are they and he always have this great saying that during an interview that's the best the person is ever going be is during an interview, it goes downhill after that. So, if they're not enthusiastic, if they're not helpful, if they're not friendly, if they're not showing you eye contact, if they're not enthusiastic about the possibility of working for you during that interview, you don’t think it's going to happen once you hire them, do you, of course not. What he tries to do is get people out, some organizations are really small, there's not any place to go, maybe a small office cubicle they’re working in but then get him outside, take them to a coffee shopp or something like that. Now, if you want somebody to punch numbers on the computer and sit in the back office and not talk to anybody, maybe that's not exactly necessary but in the customer service world that we live in where it's all about creating those experiences, you cannot hire somebody to change them into your culture. If you didn’t see it during the hiring process, as you should. He shared a story about his hotels, he used to get his front desk staff involved in the interviewing process. Whenever he was hiring a front desk person or a concierge guest services person, he would walk them around the hotel and do all the things you just suggested seeing how they react and he would take them to the front of the front desk at the hotel on the other side of the desk, not on the guest side but he would take them on the side that the workers are and he would all of a sudden say, “Oh, wait a minute I have to get this question. I'll be right back.” And he would leave them with his front desk clerks and at his front desk clerks would be, “Hey, how are you? You’re looking to work here? What are you doing now?” They would go through a little mini interview, what was interesting about it was he got feedback from them, many of them said, “Oh, this girl Susie, she's awesome. We really like her.” Or other times they would say, “I don't know. George has a personality of a dead fish, I don't think he's going to work.” And he would get feedback from his own team, guess what it created. One, it was great because he got a great perspective but then they had ownership in who we were hiring, and they had ownership of what they felt was a good fit and it was remarkable when you can do those sorts of things because now you're really seeing the person's true colors during that interview.
Yanique agreed and stated that especially if you know what specifically you're looking for as an individual. You knew what your personal purpose was which kind of dovetails back into what we know when we started the interview. The purpose statement that should drive the employees but even as an individual you knew what drove you as a person and so you're looking for characteristics and character traits of leaders that would be able to basically mold and drive that purpose for yourself.
John shared that as a manager and a business owner, the best way to find out what’s demotivating your staff is not looking at it as a general statement but it's a one on one. He used to always have one on ones with every single one of his direct reports and they just talked about the good, the bad, the ugly, what is it that they like what he’s doing, what is it that they want him to stop doing and what is it that they want him to continue doing and they talk about it. Sometimes he got some brutal honest input from a co-worker that said, “John you’re try to micromanage us. We can do it, or I can do it.” And he would say, “But you haven't shown me. Every time I've asked you to do it and I let you go, you didn't take it seriously enough or you didn't follow up.” But that was good it made him think, “Okay, am I micromanaging and maybe I shouldn't micromanage.” So then micromanaging was a demotivating thing for this particular staff member or maybe he didn't appreciate them, maybe he thought he said thank you, but he really didn't say thank you one on one, he kind of thanked the whole team. Again, find out one on one what motivates and what demotivates individuals. He loves this statement and knows the familiarity with it, “There's no I in team.” Guess what, teams are made up of a bunch of I’s, individuals, so we have to take care of individuals as well not just looking at the team's perspective.
John shared that you can sign up and get my new training videos for free. You can download them, it's just his way of giving back. They are only about eight minutes long but it's a good understanding of the philosophy of what they talk about. But the neat thing is you get every week a newsletter which is basically a tip to help you create more magic in your business and it could be a leadership tip, it could be a relationship tip, hiring, it could be the customer experience and it's a great way of staying in touch with him and you will have all the contact information as well but you will also have access to his library of other articles that he has posted over 100 articles that you'll be able to use but that's a great way of becoming part of his membership free, it doesn't cost anything. But then you'll get access when they’re ready to roll that out, they will send everybody that information, so if it's something of interest, it will be extremely affordable, and you'll be able to use that. He suggests that's probably the best way to be in contact, all his contact information is on that so if they want to reach out to him for a speaking event or perhaps helping their team, they can just go to his contact page and start that process. But he does a lot of free discovery calls just to see if he’s a good fit and see what if they can do anything they can to help you out.
Lavois Cruickshank, a simple yet ambitious young man Lavois has the incredible dream of positively impacting and inspiring a nation. The Spanish Town native lives by a philosophy posited by Jared Kintz, “Whether you live to be 50 or 100 makes no difference, if you've made no difference in the world.” and with this as his motivation. Lavois aims to use his abilities, gifts and skills to make a difference. He is currently serving as a Jamaica House Fellow at the Office of the Prime Minister in Kingston, Jamaica. Lavois prides himself in excellence, committing wholeheartedly to any duty or task. With his deep interest in Finance, Economics and Strategic Planning, Lavois pursued a BSc in Economics and Banking & Finance at the University of the West Indies. He also holds an MSc in Financial Economics from the University of Birmingham. With an immense love for tennis and a passion for nation development, Lavois actively serves as a math tutor at his alma mater, Calabar High School in Kingston, Jamaica; as a volunteer with the Jamaica National Foundation as an ambassador of the Governor General’s I Believe Initiative (I.B.I).
Just to give a little background to our listeners. Yanique was privileged to have the opportunity to hear Lavois speak in front of an audience of 300 plus last week around this time as we celebrate National Customer Service week, he was invited as a special guest on a panel of people who are probably twice his age, but he really commanded great attention and was able to really wow the people who are listening including herself, hence, why extended this wonderful invitation for him to join us on the Podcast
Yanique stated that one of our guests a couple of months ago wrote a book called The Effortless Experience and it's really been something that she has thought about for a very long time in terms of what customers are looking for and a lot of times not just yourself even other people that she has interviewed are just generally having conversation. People are actually looking for as you said an experience that requires them to put as little effort as possible which is why the online is such a remarkable experience for most people because if you can do the transaction literally at your office desk or while you're sitting in a doctor's office with your kid waiting to see a dentist or while you're sitting in an airport waiting to catch a flight. It makes your life that much easier.
When asked about why he thinks people want things now versus 10 or 15 years ago. Lavois stated that’s just how we are. He thinks that's just the general nature. Instant gratification is what we desire or want something that is just very natural. We get that satisfaction from having it now and the impatient is not something that we can work with. He thinks that technology has definitely helped to propel that desire. Technology has allowed us to access things very quickly than, quicker than we thought possible, initially and because we are now used to technology granting what we desire quickly, it has now become second nature that we just want it because it can happen, it has propelled us to that kind of mindset where it needs to happen, and it needs to happen now. Which can also be a bad thing, but it is a good thing in a sense.
Yanique agreed that stated that the reality as she say to people generally customer experience is constantly evolving so we're here discussing what customers want now, about five years from now it's probably going to be completely different from what we're discussing. The customer is driving that whole change, back in the day when there was no social media you basically had to just probably complain via writing or state any challenge you have by writing, you really didn't have much power because nobody knows that you wrote the letter but a customer has so much power now with social media, they can blast a company whether they're doing well or they're not doing so well, on any of these platforms and it literally reaches millions of people in seconds.
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Kenneth Burke is the marketing director for text request a B2B text messaging software company in Chattanooga. He runs a boutique marketing agency where he helps many companies of all sizes with their marketing and content strategies. And he's been awarded for work in psychology research and sales.
Yanique stated that it's interesting the way it’s explained because most businesses are also on Social Media. Social Media also has a platform for texting, so Facebook as Facebook Messenger. Instagram has Instagram messaging where you can directly message the business or the person depending on the type of business they are. So, why would they choose this platform versus those platforms that there's already interface of what the business is about, the products and services they have to offer, maybe even read feedback from other people who've interfaced with that particular product or service.
Kenneth stated that in general mobile messaging, any message you get from any platform is huge these days, it's just what people prefer. Facebook Messenger is kind of its own thing; a lot of people use it and it works really well. Text messaging is the basic communications tool and it works really well or meshes. It can work with your Instagram, it can work with your Google business listing and your search ads. And with your website or anywhere else online where you can control phone number. So, that's a big part of it, from the consumer side, they can go to your website search for you online and if they're on a phone they can just click and send you a text pretty quickly. And all of it comes to the same place which is easy for a business to manage. And then a lot of times too a business they're the ones trying to initiate the conversations. So, for them there might be a few dozen or might be several thousand customers or members or volunteers whoever it is that they're trying to keep up with and communicate with and text which is one place to do that's really nice as opposed to going to all of your individual apps to message someone.
Yanique stated that is sounds like it’s predominantly more service-based businesses rather than product-based business to which Kenneth agreed. Yanique also shared that in Jamaica where she lives, 74% which was the last statistic of GDP comes from service-based businesses. So, a lot of organizations are not necessarily into new products or manufacturing per say but more the core of their business has to do with providing a service to the consumer. Would you say where you are in the in the part of the United States that you are that maybe most of the businesses are also in that same realm or would you say it's the opposite?
Kenneth stated that it's hard to say. He doesn’t know the stats on it. The people he comes into contact with professionally day to day, week to week - most of them provide some sort of service. They might be accountants or a home service industry or something. Their particular area does have a lot of industry manufacturing but most of the small businesses around here are service based.
Yanique reiterated that as a consumer, he’s looking for something that requires him to exert as little energy as possible but something that won't cost him too much in terms of that it's quick but it's also efficient. Yanique also mentioned that over the years in interviewing different people in different industries across the world for this podcast, she really has found that most consumers nowadays are seeking an effortless experience, they're looking for that organization that can take the effort out of the experience. Because there are so many other competing activities that you have to do on a daily basis. Take the effort out but at the same time ensure that they are achieving the goal that you've set in terms of achieving. So, whether it's buying a shoe or getting your carpet cleaned at home or getting a room painted or getting your website with a web developer, it's efficient. But you have to exert as little energy as possible because this person is just so able to meet your needs in such a very easy and effortless way.
Kenneth agreed and stated that it's the people who make it effortless are the companies who make it effortless are the ones that stand out.
Yanique agreed with that point and stated that it's something that we speak about a lot in their customer service workshops, leadership workshops that attitude is something that comes from within and you can bring in the greatest trainers, the most expensive consultants, the best of the best that the world could ever provide. But at the end of the day if that person is just not wanting to do what you want them to do then you aren't going to get much further.
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Joey Coleman helps companies keep their customers. He is an award-winning speaker. He works with organizations around the world ranging from small startups to major brands such as Deloitte, Hyatt Hotels, Zappos and Whirlpool. His first 100 days methodology fuels the remarkable experiences his clients deliver and dramatically improves their profits. His Wall Street Journal number two best-selling book Never Lose a Customer Again: Turn Any Sale into Lifelong Loyalty in 100 Days offers strategies and tactics for turning one-time purchasers into lifelong customers. When he's not speaking to audiences around the globe, Joey enjoys spending time with his amazing wife and two young sons in the mountains of Colorado.
Yanique agreed that his background is eclectic as it is sure to form great stories when he’s speaking to these different people throughout the world being able to draw on different experiences from different industries. Because it kind of pulls it together because at the end of the day even though he has worked in so many different areas we're still human beings regardless of where we're from or what we do.
Joey mentioned that he is a big believer that regardless of whether you see yourself in a B to B (Business to Business) or a B to C (Business to Customer) or a B to G (Business to Government) environment, whether you're an entrepreneur or a business owner or an employee no matter where you fall in kind of the different things you do as part of your job or career, you're interacting with other human beings and the better we can understand the journey that our fellow humans are on and meet them where they're at the more we will be able to achieve the goals that we have for our business or for our life or for our growth.
Yanique mentioned that she was lucky enough to be one of the persons that Joey sent an advanced copy of his book to Never Lose A Customer Again and she has been reading it and it's been so amazing because it feeds her soul because this is all that she cares about. She’s passionate about customer experience and customer service and there's some valid points that he has in it.
Yanique mentioned that she liked the fact that Joey noticed this straight A’s theme. She thinks it's so important to recognize that they cannot become evangelists or advocates of our business unless they've gone through some process. She stated that people think that people are going to walk and speak great things about our organization just because we've sold them an item once or we've sold them an item twice. And it's so much more than that, there's a process that goes through that will convert that person from just feeling like, “Okay, I just did business with an okay company” versus “I just did business with a great company and I need to tell everybody else and I want my friends to shop from them and I want my family members to shop from there.”
Joey stated that all too often he thinks we ask for those referrals too early in the process immediately. For a while it was very popular especially in e-commerce settings when you bought something online for after you went through the checkout cart, they would hit you with a pop-up screen that said, “Who else do you know that would be interested in our product or service?” And they wanted you to enter an e-mail and he’s thinking to himself, “I haven't even received the product or service that I signed up for and you already want me to be sharing it with other people.” It's way too soon. It's kind of like being on a date with someone and you go on a first date and before the waiter takes your order for what you want for dinner your date says, “So, I'd like to meet your mom and dad.” It's too fast it's going to make me anxious I don't want to order then. It’s too early in the relationship. He doesn’t think you should be asking for referrals until the customer has accomplished their goal. That phase 6 level where they achieve the goal they originally had when they decided to do business with you. He thinks after that is when you start to ask for referrals and additional business because they have proven that their investment has had a nice return.
Yanique agreed and stated that it's definitely more of a proactive approach as it relates to customer service and of course customer experiences taking everything into account, more of a holistic approach and not just from a face to face point of view but just every possible touchpoint or channel that the customer could possibly have an interaction with you.
Yanique agreed and stated that internal customer service is very important. The health of your organization not just the health of the employees but how they feel about the business is so critical. One of the things that we say in workshops or she’ll ask the participants if their company sells a particular product or service, I always ask them if they're actually a user, do they actually consume this product or service because that to me is a key indication if they believe in the company that they work for.
Joey agreed and mentioned that it's shocking how rare it is. In his experience he asks a very similar question and he’s always amazed at how few of the employees use the product or service and what he’s even more amazed by is that the businesses don't make it easy for their employees to use the product or service. For example, because he travels a lot, he finds himself in restaurants often and one of the things he always like to ask the waiter or waitress when he’s in a restaurant getting ready to order is, what are the two or three things on the menu that are your favorites, what do you like here, what do you recommend or what are the best things. And it never ceases to amaze him how it's very clear the way they describe things that they haven't actually tasted the dish they're recommending. If he ran a restaurant he would have it set up so that every employee in their first month on the job sampled every single dish we serve. And then they had a context and then about every three or four months he’d run them through that cycle again. And he’d give them the chance to try the specials and to try the regular items and to develop kind of their own palate as it related to the menu. It's not just restaurants, this can apply in every business on the planet, “Are your employees actually users of your product or service and customers of your business?” And if they are, what are you learning from them and creating opportunities for them to speak more intelligently about what you offer.
One of the interesting things is we ask our employees to create remarkable customer experiences but many of our employees have never had a remarkable customer experience. He explained that he was at an event recently doing a workshop for a company and the CEO told him, “I want to have first class service. I want to have Ritz Carlton service. I want to have white glove service and create those type of experiences for our customers.” He said, “Okay.” So they got the whole company together and he said, Here's the deal, how many of you have heard the CEO talk about the importance of a Ritz Carlton first class, white glove experience?” and every hand in the room went up, he said great. Let me ask you a few questions. Number one, “How many of you have ever flown first class?” and the CEO proudly raised his hand and the CFO raised their hand and no one else in the room raised their hand. And I said, “Okay, how many of you have ever spent the night at a Ritz Carlton?” and the CEO proudly raised his hand, the CFO put his hand down and still none of the other people in the room had their hands up and then I said, “Okay, one last question. How many of you have ever eaten a meal that was delivered by waiters wearing white gloves?” And no one put their hand up. And he turned to the CEO and said, “It's really difficult to expect our employees to deliver a world class customer experience when they've never had a world class customer experience.” So, if there were one piece of advice that he would give to business owners listening it would be make sure that your employees have a context and a framework for the type of experience you're asking them to provide for your customers.
Yanique reiterate by saying that the gap that exists why there's constantly motivates human capital is the leadership influence that drives that whole engagement. So, recruitment is critical because you have to hire the right people. But after hiring them, there are things that you need to do to sustain their interest in what they're doing everyday so that they can be motivated.
Joey agreed and stated that you need to sustain your interest. He thinks part of the challenge we have in HR is that it's run like many businesses are run with their external customers. We spend all this time courting, marketing and selling, filling the funnel trying to convince someone to come work for us, trying to get them in the door and then they start, and they show up for their first day on the job and we don't have a desk for them. They don't know what they're supposed to be doing, they don't know anyone to go to lunch with or maybe if we do an onboarding program it's a day or two and then we kind of leave them to fend for themselves. We need to hold our employees’ hands, especially through the first 100 days of the employee relationship. What are we doing to make sure that they're achieving the goal they had when they came to work. Lots of times we don't even ask our employees, “What's your goal? Is your goal to get a cheque? Is your goal to grow a career? Is your goal to explore something new that you haven't thought about before? Is your goal to put to work the things you studied in school and have that be compensated for what you learned?” Every employee has different motivations and by the way those motivations change, they evolve over time. And so, what did motivate them to take the job in the first place six months in might not be the motivation anymore. Employers and managers need to have a finger on the pulse as to what's going on with their employees and that's how you get motivated employees.
Twitter - @thejoeycoleman
Joey also mentioned that the Nike tagline “Just Do It” is probably if not the best one of the best taglines in the world. He’s not a big fan of taglines because most taglines are watered down platitudes that could easily be given to any company, you could take the tagline and apply it to another company without anyone missing a beat. But he always points to Nike's Just Do it as one of the best out there.
Yanique agreed and stated that it can be applicable to any industry or any area, even in kids going to school who are trying to advance themselves athletically or academically, just let them know that at the end of the day the only thing that's holding you back is your own fear. So “Just Do It.”
David Durham is a mindset and self-mastery business coach, speaker, author and trainer. Before coaching David had the opportunity to build a six-figure business his first year in real estate at the very young age of 20, he is also the author of his first book, “You Must: World-Class Principles for Success” which he is so excited to launch in March. David now helps other self-employed entrepreneurs between the ages of 30 and 50 who have been in business for less than five years to build a thriving business by helping them step out of self-sabotage and step into their success.
Yanique then stated that's a very good perspective to look at. So, it's kind of like you're projecting that clearly just as how your life has challenges and obstacles and hurdles that you have to overcome every day, they're are human too and they probably have their own obstacles, hurdles and challenges and maybe their obstacles and hurdles are way surpassing what you are actually going through. So that's why you weren't able to get in touch, so then you don't take it personally and absorb all of the negative energy that you're getting from the nos.
David also mention that in realizing that you're making assumptions and you’re making interpretations, you're assuming that it's about you in your interpreting them not calling to mean something about you. That assumption, interpretation has just as much validity as saying they got in a car accident has nothing to do with you. It has just as much validity of saying I might have caught them in between work or when they were at dinner. You don't know the real answer, so which perspective are you willing to adopt that's actually going to help you move forward in a positive light. And to add to that really quick, David mentioned that he called one of these prospects, he called her over 26 times in less than 3 months, that's a lot of phone calls and she never called him back, she never texted him back, she never got back to him via e-mail and one day she called him, “Hey David, I need you to come list my property. I'm so sorry I haven't gotten back to you, things have been crazy on my end. I've been going through so much but I appreciate your follow up.” That goes to show we can't assume and interpret it to mean things about us.
Yanique mentioned how puts a nice spin on it. In all the years that she has been doing customer service training on workshops with customers, one of the challenges or one of the comments that she has gotten from participants in workshops is when the customers come at them so angrily, they're disrespectful. As David mentioned a lot of it. They told you you're a bottom feeder, you were worth less, you should go find a different job. So, in a customer facing environment the customers are going to tell you a lot of things if their product or service isn't working and if you are not responding to them in a way that they expect you to respond, they're going to actually start attacking you. And a lot of the employees take that attack as a personal attack. Her approach with them is don't take it personally because a lot of times these customers don't know you personally and they're really hurting because of the issue they're having, maybe before they came to your business place they had a bad argument with their kid or are with their boss or maybe someone bad drove them on the road. So, they're frustrated, they're angry, so they come into your business place already with a negative mindset.
Yanique then asked why is it that as human beings when people start to say things to us that we don't want to hear we assumed the negative and not the positive.
David stated he’s not a scientist to say well this is why according to X, Y, and Z. He stated that there are studies to show how strong, it's easier to be negative than it is positive. We are human beings, we jumped to the worst-case scenario many times we may make it to believe something about us we take it personally. Everyone listening that is facing that struggle, it's not your fault. It's being human, it's not your fault. And now it's your responsibility to choose to not take it personally, it's your responsibility to realize, “Wow, the assumption is that I'm making is that it's about me when in reality well why could they be acting this way. Maybe they got cut off when they were driving to work and then the coffee spilled on them when they got their car. They stub to their toe on the curb, they rolled into the office five minutes late, got yelled at then called you, maybe that happened.” So, it comes back to what interpretation, what assumption, what story in perspective are you going to decide to roll but realize it's totally human nature to get upset to take it personally. And now it's your responsibility to change that.
Yanique then reiterate, so matters not where you are in the organization whether you are the employee or you're the boss. Think about who you're speaking to and what kind of conversations you're having. There's a quote that says, “You are a combination of the five people that you spend the most time with.”
David agreed 120% and said that elevating your peer group is huge, it's consistently have to edit it if you want to take your business to the next level. Look who you are around, you’re the average of the five people you’re on the most. Yanique mention if you're going to move forward you clearly need to look at who your circle of influence is and try to position yourself where people who can actually help you move forward mentally, spiritually, and emotionall
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Yanique mention that it's like you're reviewing all of your accomplishments so you can be proud of yourself and give yourself a pat on the back and some level of recognition versus, I have so far to go and you're beating yourself up for not maybe meeting a deadline or doing something within a specific period of time but rather focusing on the things that you have done well and that you have accomplished so that it can propel you to move forward.
This episode Yanique Grant is going to talk about how do you strengthen a business that is struggling and how does customer service play the role in that business. You have a business and whether it’s an online or a brick and mortar business where you have customers physically coming into your location, at the end of the day you have customers. Let’s say your business is one in which it was really doing well, there was a time when every month sales was booming, there was not enough hands to cover the amount of business that was coming in and for some reason, things start to struggle, there are many different reasons why your business will start to struggle, however, Yanique thinks that before you decide how you’re going to approach fixing this challenge or moving forward as it relates to getting your business from struggling to getting things right, one of the main things as a business owner that you really should do is review what worked well when things were good, so it’s always a great place to start. Look at your sales and marketing initiatives when your business was good, how are you retaining and servicing your existing customers, how are you attracting new customers, was your product adding value at a time when it was needed most, has the market needs changed since then, if it has, what have you done to adapt and adjust your own product offerings? Look at your team, did you have key team players that are no longer there, have you been working with your team to ensure that they are fully equipped with product knowledge, so we know in the sales cycle product knowledge is the first step but there are many other things that create that or build that relationship with the customer and because it’s so expensive to acquire a new customer and it’s much cheaper a customer that has done business with you already, it’s important to recognize, “What did we do well, what were the key indicators that would have identified that this relationship went well, the customer got value out of the experience, how can I repeat that so that the customer will come back again?” If a once successful business is struggling, it’s almost always a people related issue, not financing, not capital, it’s always an employee issue, a management issue or even the owners, somewhere along the way something broke, now there’s a disconnect between the owner’s concept and what people did that with that concept, the problem maybe entitlement, complacency, laziness or even ego, eventually between the reality of the market place and the company’s ability to act within that reality something fractured until it was too late, so always start with the people because it’s always about the people. As the business owner, you should always be reviewing what works well and what does not, auditing your best practices and making sure that they are aligned with your goals and of course ensuring your clients are satisfied and will return again, it’s just so important.
Customer service is so important in a business, whether you’re a small business, a medium business or a large business, your customer can make or break your business. From the owner to the employee that is the first point of contact, everyone should be operating with the customer first in mind. The customer service landscape is constantly changing and now a day’s customers are very informed because of this age of information, right now whether you have tablet or a phone or you have a computer, the information is right at the tip of your fingers. Everyone in the business needs to have clear understanding of the customer lifetime value, the CLV and what it means to lose one customer, how much money are you throwing away when the customer never returns and tells 50 or more people which will influence their decisions for future purchases. The reality is if there is no customer, there’s simply no business, even if it’s an online business or a face to face business, you need the customer for the business to operate, you need somebody to buy your product, you need somebody to buy your service. The experience that the customer has is critical for the revival of any business, so if you’re struggling and you’re not focusing on customer service, you’re not focusing on the experience, you’re just focus on collecting the money and you’re not focusing on whether or not what the customer is getting is actually what they want then you’re actually creating more problems for the business. Customers want to be business with companies that make it easy, they all desire an effortless experience, so as a struggling business, one of your most important matrix should be customer service and some simple reasons why you should pay keen attention this includes: 1) Customer retention is far less expensive than customer acquisition, on average it cost approximately 5 times more to attract a new customer to your business than it cost to retain an existing customer. 2) Existing customers are more likely to buy from you than new customers, the probability of selling to new customer hovers in the range 5% to 20%, whereas selling to an existing customer resides in the range of 60% to 70%. 3) Excellent customer service improves public persona and strengthens your brand; the reputation and strength of your brand is highly dependent on a high level of customer service. 4) Word of mouth advertising is the best kind of advertising that money can’t buy. So, you want your customers to be selling your business, the reality is to get a 30 second advertisement during primetime is extremely expensive, to put a full-page advertisement in your local newspaper is as expensive as TV if not more and so if your customers can leave and they can tell 5 people about the great experience they’ve had and how your product is amazing, if it’s a hotel, “Oh my goodness, I would go back again.” If it’s a phone, “It’s amazing, it’s really good, the battery last long, the service is good when I call the manufacturer, they’re very receptive, they answer my questions, they are able to fix my issue in short frame of time.” If it’s your web developer or your web hosting provider, if your website goes down or if there is any issue you can call them, they answer the phone, you get live person, it’s not a situation where you can only speak on web chat which is so frustrating because you have to be typing out everything that you’re experiencing and you’re not actually physically speaking with a live person in a voice call, all of these things contribute to the customer’s experience. So, you cannot buy word of mouth advertising, the kind that can have a monumental effect on a business because it’s priceless, people are considerably more likely to listen to advise of a friend than they are to heed the guidance from some online reviewer and advertisement that you paid for. 5) Great customer service will open doors for new partnerships and other opportunities, treating your customers like gold is infectious it opens the door for new partnerships especially when other businesses see just how well you take care of your existing customers, you’re setting the mark, you’re being the innovator and people are going to want to emulate you and follow what you’re doing. It says a lot about a company and what they value when they care deeply about their customers and not just their external customers but also their internal customers, their employees. It’s something that you rarely find in businesses these days but it most certainly paves the way for powerful partnerships, collaborations and other opportunities. So, these are some basic things that you can do if you’re a struggling business and you’re really trying to revamp and re-engage and come back out into the market place and bring your business to a level where it can survive. Customer service is not for the faint of heart, it requires a lot of energy, it requires a lot of engagement and it requires you to be authentic and genuine. The customer can sense if you’re just there to collect money or if you’re really there to be there partner so that you can help them grow and you can look for opportunities to give them suggestions, you look for opportunities to save them money, you look for opportunities to make them money, it’s a partnership, they help you, you help them, it’s not a one way giving activity, it’s a 2-way street where people give and people receive equally and we just have to be focused on that. Your business can be revived and customer service plays and integral role in strengthening your business if it is struggling. One of the things that Yanique wants to challenge you from this episode is, we’re just moving into the end of the first quarter of 2018, think about the customers you’ve serviced since the year as started, have you added value to that experience? will they come back and buy again? why will they come back and buy again? and would you consider yourself to be a market leader in your industry, one that innovates, one that creates an effortless experience, ask yourself these questions, really think about when you were doing well, what you were doing well, is that you had a team member on board that was there that’s no longer there, can you invest more in the teams members that exist in your organization currently, what can you do differently to create that experience that will cause your customers to leave and say good things about you and come back again because service is the back bone for the survival of any business, especially a business that is struggling.
This episode was inspired by a recent TV interview that Yanique Grant completed. Yanique will be speaking about the growing power of the consumer which important in customer service. In the interview, one of the main things that the interviewer asked her was, “The conscious customer, why is the customer so conscious and how is that the consumer holds the power in this whole buying process of customer service?” The customer holds the power in the market place probably for the first time and it’s all because of the internet, consumers are very well informed before they do business or they buy from you, they engage in extensive research from your website, to your social media pages where products and services are available for them to get a temperature of what it’s like to be your customer and how the product may or may not work. They’re going to ask questions from their friends, their family members and of course the feedback they get from those persons will determine whether or not they will continue to do business with you or if they’ll even become a customer for you. It is so important to ensure that the experience that the customer has with you is one which is positive and that the reputation that your brand has in the market place is one that is positive. Consumers are so aware and conscious of trends, for example in the health care industry, many businesses such as restaurants and even fast foods chains have had to modify their menus and have an option that has less calories or is gluten free or promote eco friendliness and protecting the environment because consumers are looking for businesses that are aligned with the things that they value the most. It’s also important for the brands and the companies to ensure that they are very transparent in their interactions and their activities, according to a Deloitte study, “The way how the shift has occurred is consumers prefer to pull information rather than have business push it to them.” so consumers and very conscious these days, they’re aware of what’s happening and as the business you have to be aware of this and be very knowledgeable. One of the challenges business face, is how are they going to close the gap when they are dealing with millions of individual expectations, so the business needs to invest in developing capabilities to integrate and track every individual journey and offer a targeted response in real time if they want to continue to grow revenues and profits while also improving customer satisfaction. Consumers have always had the ability to vote with their feet and their wallets, they can walk in to your business and spend lots of money and they can walk out of your business and spend money elsewhere. While the digital revolution has handed the additional power to the consumer, including more information and more choices, we are now in the information age, you can basically google, research anything on your own, there’s no need for you to try to figure out, “How am I going to know about this organization or this individual?” because the information is right there at your fingertips and it’s also a very good point or indication if you’re researching someone and you’re not able to find any information on them because that also gives you clues as to how recognized they are and what is their credibility in this particular field, the consumer has way more choice but consumers have found ways of dealing with this choice issue and many now use tools such as social media or price comparison websites to perfect their choice and exert their power, so the ability of consumers to distribute information using a variety of networks, digital media devices and platforms not only lets them connect with their peers, it also helps to enrich the information shared.
There are so many ways that you can share the information for the consumer to know what’s going on in your business, there are the social media pages, there’s Twitter, there is Facebook, there is Instagram, there is your website, you can have a blog, there is a lot of ways you can get information out there so that you can be more accessible to the consumer. Customers are very concerned about what their family and friends say, and according to Deloitte study, it shows that for the majority of consumers, families and friends consumer reviews and independent experts are the most trusted sources of information, only around 1 in 10 customers find product and manufacturers or service providers to be their most trusted source, so there is no doubt that the consumer has become a professional shopper, their confidence has grown along with a better awareness of their rights. The consumer’s ability to exercise this power has also reduced their perceived level of risk and with consumers increasingly knowing where to get the information they need, more preferred to pull information rather than have the business push that information to them. This is just to broaden your mind and open your scope in terms of how you think about your business, why the consumer has so much power and really think about how you can empower your employees so that they can handle situations, they can provide good, quality information to your customers, they can create value in the life of your customers, because the more value you create, is the more loyal customers you’ll have. People like to know when they’re doing business with you, it’s an effortless experience but in addition to it being an effortless experience, it is also one that is adding value to their business or life depending on whatever service or product you provide for them. Yanique wanted to take the time and share some of the highlights that we really got out of the whole experience and overview of the conscious consumer and consumer’s power and if you’d like to learn more about this particular study that Deloitte did and also gain some understanding of why the consumer has so much power and why you need to equip your team members with has much knowledge and power so that they can serve your customers better and that you can have more business and create greater loyalty and have a better brand image in your market and just dominate.
Joshua March is the founder and CEO of Conversocial a cloud solution that enables businesses to deliver customer service over Social Media at a large-scale. Conversocial is used in the contact centers of hundreds of major retailers, banks, telcos and other brands to enable them to manage the high volumes of complaints and questions they're receiving through social networks like Facebook and Twitter, including Google, Hertz, Tesco, Barclaycard, Hyatt hotels and many more.
Yanique mentioned that his business caters to the type of customer that needs the information now. Gone are the days when you'd write a letter and submit it to the organization through the mail and a couple of weeks or months later you get back our response plans. The clients that we're dealing with nowadays there’re in the now age.
Joshua agreed and stated that we live in an in the moment world where people are expecting almost real-time response to everything. And if you're going to take days to respond, they're probably just going to phone you at that point, people need an answer or they'll just go to a competitor, that's the reality. But on the flip side, one of the great things about digital messaging and asynchronous messaging as opposed to traditional web chat is that it's more like texting a friend and texting a friend it's pretty much real time that they're responding in 5 minutes. And if there is occasionally a message it takes a little bit longer and some are shorter and that's fine. And the traditional web chat world that doesn't work because the web chat world is like sitting there with the chat box open when waiting for a response and so you have to have current agents online responding within seconds. But with an asynchronous messaging you can even out those bums most a lot more easily and you can have a smaller number of agents handling a much larger number of customers as a result. Because as soon as you respond that pops up as a notification on their phone, they don't have to be sitting there paying attention all the time. So, it's very convenient for both the customers and for customer service agents.
Yanique mentioned that a big part of what she heard in a lot of what Joshua said was convenience. She thinks convenience is definitely one of the key differentiators that businesses who are disrupting the whole customer experience platform, they're really killing it in that area and making life more convenient for their customers because that to her is just a very convenient.
Joshua stated that there is a huge amount of data which talks about the benefits for this, his favorite book on this subject is The Effortless Experience : Conquering the New Battleground for Customer Loyalty by Matthew Dixon, Nicholas Toman and Rick Delisi of CEB, who is now part of Gartner and it's a book that’s given to lot of a lot of his clients and Effortless Experience costly had a huge amount of data from years like large studies and it shows that the most important thing that affects customer loyalty after a service interaction is the effort that they have to put in to getting their true result. When someone has a problem or a complaint or an issue, they just want that issue to be solved as soon as possible, as easily as possible and it's very hard to increase their loyalty following any service interaction even if you really go crazy go above and beyond. They had an issue and you solved it great, they're not going to be ecstatic, maybe they'll be a little bit happier, what happens in the majority of cases, is that their loyalty is reduced and the data shows that if you do anything that makes it harder for them to get their issue solved; it has a massive negative impact on loyalty. If you make them jump through any hoops to speaks with an agent that they have to repeat themselves, they have to tell one person one thing and then they have to speak to someone else and tell them the same thing again. Anything like that which is just annoying and hassle or puts a delay, puts them on hold has a really, really negative impact. And so, if you can just reduce that effort, then you could have a massive impact on Customer Loyalty. He thinks this is the core of what makes social messaging so powerful is that it’s just so effortless. He spent the last year writing a book as well which is going to be coming out this quarter which he’s excited about and it's going to be called “Message Me”, it's all about the future of customer service and looks at the impact of messaging and he talks a lot about effortless experience in that book because he thinks that in many ways they kind of figured out the foundation and they could have asked this question, “How do you make it effortless?” And he doesn’t think that technology was really there at the time when they wrote book to actually implement it. But he thinks that with messaging, we finally do have the technology to implement a service channel which really can be completely effortless for consumers and that's super exciting.
Yanique stated that one of the things that she’s most amazed about as it relates to customer experience as well is regardless of where you are from in the world or however you are socialized, whether you're from Europe, North America, South America or the Caribbean, at the end of the day because we're all human beings, we're all yearning for that connection we're all yearning for some basic needs to be met. As Joshua said, she agreed that if you have to put in less effort you are more likely to go along with that particular service provider because they make life much easier for you. You have so many hurdles to jump over on a daily basis, whereas, if you're running a business, you're a family maker, you have a husband to take care of or a wife, kids up and down, just so many things pulling in all different directions. So, if you can do business with an organization that is looking out for you in that aspect and they're pulling you in less directions and they make it super easy kind of like Amazon, you can sit down in the convenience of your own home and basically order whatever you'd like to order and it's delivered to you, you don't have to go into the store and stress yourself out walking up and do figuring out which aisle it is in. Everything can be purchased with the click of a button, it really does definitely drive you to be loyal to that organization because you look back on those experiences and that's what would make you continue doing business with them.
Joshua agreed and stated that it’s important and he thinks not enough businesses really pay attention to it today. People are used to the point of looking at measuring customer satisfaction and empty apps. I actually love to see more and more businesses measuring customer satisfaction and NPS but he would actually love to see more and more businesses people measuring effort and measure how convenient, how effortless was it for them to get help, he thinks that would be really impactful for a lot of businesses.
Yanique asked if this question is asked after every interaction with their business or is it a question that they ask maybe on a yearly basis based on the customers who are their clients.
Joshua stated that they did the actual, so, before they started working with them so he doesn’t know exactly how they do it. The way that they help their clients do surveys today through social and messaging is that your after-service interaction has been closed and resolved, then they send out an automatic survey inside the messaging thread from the Facebook Messenger or Twitter that ask them whatever question they want to have set up. So, it's after every service interaction, he thinks that's the best way to get that kind of data.
Yanique agreed and mentioned that people do remember the experience that they have had within the first 24 hours and then after that if it's not super great or really bad, they really don't remember the details. So, that question should be asked after each interaction.
Joshua mention that they see that the faster you get out after the issue has been resolved, the higher the response rate.
Yanique mentioned that reading Sci-Fi is a very unusual genre of books to read but she can see where Joshua is coming from with it because it kind of opens your mind to the impossible and that's where we're heading.
Joshua agreed and stated that if you're interested in customer service, the future of customer service, you should read his book “Message Me” which is going to be coming out pretty soon which he mentioned earlier as well.
Twitter - @joshuamarch
Twitter - @conversocial
LinkedIn - Joshua March
Dan's 20-year career has consistently focused on delighting customers, spanning multiple disciplines including Social Media, Customer Service, Marketing, and Digital Customer Experience. Dan is the author of the new book, Winning at Social Customer Care: How Top Brands Create Engaging Experiences on Social Media, which is available on Amazon. He also co-hosts the Experience This! podcast, a weekly look at what’s working – and not working! – in the world of customer experience. Previously, Dan hosted the Focus on Customer Service Podcast, where he interviewed nearly four dozen brands which are renowned for outstanding customer service in Social Media, garnering tips and best practices. The podcast was named one of "The 50 Best Customer Retention Podcasts to Help You Attract, Engage and Retain Customers" by NGDATA. A frequent conference speaker, at conferences such as: Social Media Marketing World, Social Shake-Up, Corporate Social Media Summit, The Customer Service Summit, The Secret Service Summit, and more, Dan has also been named to several notable industry lists, including:
Dan has also been responsible for Social Media, digital marketing, and customer experience at several Fortune 300 brands, including being the Senior Director of Global Social Media at McDonald’s Corporation, Head of Digital Marketing at Humana and Head of Digital Customer Experience and Social Media at Discover. He played a key role in Discover winning its first J.D. Power Award for “Highest in Customer Satisfaction.” Dan also holds a B.A. in Psychology and Communications from the University of Pennsylvania, and he has an M.B.A. in Marketing and Strategy from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. He resides in Chicago with his family and is an avid Cubs fan.
Yanique mentioned that the whole platform of customer experience over the years clearly has changed as indicated in the introduction where Dan said before traditionally marketers would be using a megaphone and kind of shouting their messages to the customer. A big part of customer experience now especially with Social Media is that the customer now has a platform by which they can express their voice and so testimonials have become such an integral role in terms of customers making decisions. It's no longer what you say the brand is but it's not what your customers say the experience and the brand experience is like.
Dan agreed and stated that we all expect that when we go to a business's website, that website is going to tell us great things about the business because it's speaking, so we're used to that. And that's a good first step to figure out what it is we're getting ourselves into but with almost any product or service the very next step is to figure out what other people are saying and whether that's a ratings and reviews site or it's looking up the company on Facebook or on Twitter. These are really important steps in the buying journey. And so, the extent to which companies can ensure that as prospects go through that buying journey they're hearing good things about their company or if they're hearing complaints that they're seeing a company that cares enough to listen to those complaints and respond to them. That's becoming really critical and he thinks the companies that are figuring it out are the ones that are getting more business because people are taking into consideration besides price and product, they're taking into consideration the willingness of the company to engage with me if I have a problem as a as a big part of the decision.
Yanique mentioned that one of the things that her customers sometimes ask her and as an expert in Social Media Customer Care, she would love to hear his feedback on it. Typically, what do you think is the global standard or do you think it should be a standard based on the industry that you are in if you post complained or comment on someone's social media page. What is a standard time within which they should get back in touch with you. Is it immediately? And when we say immediately, what do we define that as, 24 hours, an hour, 30 minutes?
Dan stated that the time to get in touch with a customer after a complaint or comment was posted does differ slightly by industry. He would say that best in class is 15 minutes or less. He doesn’t think that people expect instant yet unless they're on a channel like a live chat. But he thinks 15 minutes or less is considered best in class. Now there are some caveats to that. If you are an international airline that operates 24 hours a day you know the expectation is that you are available 24 hours and that you're responding quickly because your customers might be stranded in an airport having just missed a flight and they cannot wait for a response. If you are a mom and pop retail store that has one location that's open from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm every day, there's probably not as much expectation that you are responding 24/7. And into that kind of a company he would advise that as long as you are upfront with your customers about when you're available and you set expectations properly it's absolutely fine for you not to be available all the time. The challenge is that more and more consumers are evaluating every company they do business with in comparison to every other company they do business with. If you are a restaurant, you're not necessarily being compared to another restaurant, you're being compared to Amazon or Sprint or Comcast or whatever company. I just had a really great experience with on social media and who answered my question in 15 minutes or less. So that's the challenge is that you don't get to say, “Well. I'm just a small restaurant.” And so, my customers’ expectations aren't as high because unfortunately you're being compared to all those other companies. Now the good news is those other companies are also being compared to you. So, when he goes into a restaurant and he has a really nice waiter or waitress and the food is delicious and the overall atmosphere and experience are fantastic, the next day when he walks into the Sprint store or some other place, he is comparing that experience to what he just had at the restaurant. So, he thinks that the short answer to the question is, he has always tried it at the companies he has been at to aim for 15 minutes or less, that is best in class across all industries but certainly depending on the size of your company, the size of your customer base and your hours of operation. There's flexibility there.
Yanique stated that Dan mentioned one very important word that she thinks is critical to achieving customer experience and building loyalty. And that's empathy. And asked if he could just share with us what are his views on empathy and why is it even necessary in our customer service environment regardless of the industry that you're in?
Dan stated that it goes back to what he was describing before is the ability to step into the customer's shoes. He thinks that very often companies create products and services and even worse processes that they haven't actually as consumers gone through themselves. So, they make a lot of sense to the company but as a consumer you're stuck going through a process that is difficult or time consuming or doesn't make sense. And when you have a complaint, what you want is somebody to listen to you and to believe your complaint and to be willing to help and all of that kind of gets wrapped up into empathy and the best customer service agents are the ones that are able to step into a customer's shoes, understand that they're frustrated and be willing to try to help them. When people ask him what kind of people you look for in Social Customer Care. He always says you want to look for the customer service qualities first among which empathy is one of the top things to look for because you can teach almost anybody how to do Social Media. It's very difficult to teach empathy and it's very difficult to teach someone to be great at customer service, to want to solve customer problems, to be willing to listen, to be willing to remain objective and not get emotional when a customer is upset. These are things that are really tough to teach and they're kind of innate in people. But when you find those people that are good at that you can teach them Twitter and Facebook, that's pretty easy. He believes that empathy is one of those things that customers are looking for when they're frustrated and when they find it, it eases their frustration and again can make them actually turn the negative experience into a positive one.
Yanique reiterated by saying you take the same approach that you would take to employ someone that you are putting face to face in front of your customer with the right attitude. And then you can teach them the technical skills but that same characteristic that you're looking for in that individual that's who you're going to put in front of your Social Media as well.
Dan agreed stated that when you've got people answering in Social Media they are the face of your brand. The other thing he advise for social agents in particular is to make sure that they're good writers which is something that you don't need necessarily in a phone agent but when you see companies responding to customers and there are spelling and grammar errors that's a reflection on the company and so the people that you select for this really important role, they've got to be good writers, they have to be able to show empathy and patience and caring and a willingness to solve problems because all of that is reflective of your brand.
Yanique stated that the book actually covers a lot of the areas that Dan speaks to. She is encouraging listeners that are going to have the opportunity to listen to this podcast. This book was actually written by Dan and Jay Baer wrote the foreword to the book. Jay Baer was a past guest on our podcast couple months back so you can always archive one of those podcast episodes and listen to Jay. But it's important and just wanted to emphasize to our listeners that this is an awesome book. It focuses on a lot of areas and questions that Dan may not be able to fully answer in this podcast, he's only touching on little areas but he goes deeper in the actual book Winning at Social Customer Care. So, she would encourage all of you and have the opportunity to listen to this episode to head on over to Amazon and purchase this book because this could be your winning tool for 2018.
Yanique mentioned that it's interesting that Dan said that because we are all customers regardless of the businesses that we interface with or the lives that we lead but a lot of the challenges that we face in life that contribute to our stress level being high which leads to chronic illnesses. It really boils down to the interactions and the relationships that we have with people and a lot of it boils down to the services experiences that we have, how we treat each other, how we respond to each other. If more organizations could make an effort to understand how important this is to their business it would actually improve the quality of life not just in the business but generally how we relate to each other in the world, it would improve the world overall.
Dan agreed and said that Jay Baer was on a previous podcast and Jay wrote a terrific book called Hug Your Haters: How to Embrace Complaints and Keep Your Customers by Jay Baer and one of the key takeaways there that he loves is that people who complain about your company, complain because they care. The ones we need to be worried about are the ones that have already picked up and moved to our competition. But the ones that are complaining actually care about our brand and want us to be better. And again, there's a sort of a human nature to that that if we're just willing to listen and hear out a customer that has a complaint more often than not we're going to realize that that complaints are valid and that that customer might actually be suggesting ways for our experience to be even better. And as long as we're open minded about that we shouldn't be afraid of complaints, in fact we should welcome them because it's feedback and feedbacks a gift whether you are a company or an individual, getting honest feedback is a real gift. It's what we do with it that matters and he totally agrees, if we had fewer bad experiences with companies we'd probably all be happier as a population.
Yanique mentioned that she is an Otterbox user, she didn't know they had a water proof case, that's awesome. Listening as Dan said is so important and it's not just about going on Twitter and hearing information or looking at what's there but actually using that information, providing it to the people in the business that can actually do something with that information. So, it's good that they listened, they took it back and the team actually did something by creating a product that customers actually wanted because a lot of times in a business your customers are telling you what they want, it's just if you're really listening to what they want or are you just giving them what you think they want.
Yanique mentioned that she liked the fact that he linked marketing and customer experience because she thinks there is a lot of organizations that have these departments and the departments aren’t even speaking to each other so they’re collecting, doing their own thing but they are operating in silos and she’s not sure if marketing has recognized that what they’re doing connects directly to what the customer is experiencing and of course whatever it is that the customer is experiencing needs to filter back into what marketing is doing on their end to ensure that they’re actually meeting the customers’ needs, that’s powerful and that’s like a BFO (Blinding Flash of the Obvious) that a lot of organizations that light bulb has not gone off in their business as yet for them to recognize that those departments really should be working in tandem with each other.
Dan agreed and stated that how many of us has gone on to a website and have been greeted with an obnoxious pop up ad from the marketing department, the problem is those ads tends to work which is why companies do it but they work at the expense of annoying the 90% of customers that don’t click on it and that’s frustrating and marketers have to be way more aware of the overall customer experience and their contribution to the customer experience than they are today and he believes that silo busting is going to continue to be a theme in 2018 with companies, the ones that are figuring out to get silos integrated with each other instead of separate are going make great strides towards improving the entire customer journey.
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Yanique agreed and stated that even though it’s just three basic words, it’s not so much the words but it’s the meaning and the purpose that’s in the depth of those words that you really should extrapolate and try to inject into the DNA of your employees so that they can really function from that mindset because you’re right, sometimes things are very simple and we find the most complicated and complex routes to frustrate the poor customers who kind of want to get in and out in the shortest possible time whether it be online, face to face, over the phone, “It’s just a simple question I want answered” and somehow it’s just a very discombobulate way that the organization has put in place for this. If we could really start with that in mind, do simple better, it will definitely improve the quality of all of our lives.