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Navigating the Customer Experience

Join host Yanique Grant as she takes you on a journey with global entrepreneurs and subject matter experts that can help you to navigate your customer experience. Learn what customers really want and how businesses can understand the psychology of each customer or business that they engage with. We will be looking at technology, leadership, customer service charters and strategies, training and development, complaint management, service recovery and so much more!
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Dec 5, 2023

Maggie Peña is the Chief Experience Officer at Interlace Health (the next generation of FormFast), a 30 year old privately held healthcare IT firm that delivers scalable and cost-effective forms automation and eSignature solutions for healthcare organisations. She brings 22 years of experience in IT to her role and leads one third of Interlaces Health’s employees. 

With a fierce focus on customer satisfaction and retention, Maggie created and built Interlace Health's customer support team and its customer implementation strategy, she built out the company's fully Spanish-speaking team for project implementation, and ongoing customer support, and she has managed the company's managed services program to create efficiencies for customers. She believes in a proactive approach to customer service, and it shows with happy and successful customers. Under Maggie's leadership, Interlace Health currently has a 97.4% customer retention rate. 

Maggie serves as a co-leader for the HIMSS Clinician Burden Reduction Task Force and was recently named Becker’s 2023 Women in Health IT to Know list.

 

Questions

Could you share a little bit about your journey, how you got to where you are today.

Can you tell our listeners maybe three key things that you've done consistently that you believe has contributed to the success of achieving a 97.4% customer retention rate?

Can you tell us maybe some of the criteria that you use to select those customers? What type of customer do you look for to ensure that they are the ones that you're joining your counsel?

Now, could you also share with our listeners what is the one online resource, tool, website or app that you absolutely can't live without in your business?

Now we'd also like for you to share with us maybe one or two books that you've read. It could be a book that you read a very long time ago or even one that you read recently, but it has had a great impact on you.

As a customer, what are maybe three things that are critical for you to actually say, yes, this was a great customer experience.

Can you also share with our listeners, what's the one thing that's going on in your life right now that you're really excited about? Either something you're working on to develop yourself or your people.

Are there are some key behaviours or competencies that you look for when you're hiring persons for those roles as customer support?

Where can listeners find you online?

Now, before we wrap our episodes up, we always like to ask our guests, do you have a quote or saying that during times of adversity or challenge, you will tend to revert to this quote if for any reason you get derailed or you get off track? This quote kind of helps to get you back on track. Do you have one of those?

Highlights

Maggie’s Journey

Me: So, just wanted to take some time before we jump into the meat of our conversation for you to share with our listeners a little bit about your journey. I know we would have read your bio, but we always like to ask the guests in their own words, if you could share a little bit about how you got to where you are today.

 

Maggie shared that it has been an interesting journey. When she started college, she wanted to be an accountant. But after her first accounting course, she quickly realized that was not her calling. So, the path that really paved her way to where she is today started in the financial industry during her junior year working part time for a local bank and the IT department, processing operations for almost 30 banks throughout the state, working with a Unisys mainframe and green screen terminals for the very first time. And she thinks she just might have dated herself, but that's okay. 

So, all kidding aside, it was a great learning experience nonetheless. By then, she had switched majors and was now pursuing a degree in Computer Information Systems. And her time at the bank confirmed and validated her interest in technology and how we can use technology to automate processes to increase efficiencies and customer service as we knew it back then, now that customer experiences tends to be a newer word, back in the day, we were thinking at it as customer service. 

She was lucky enough to stay at the bank for almost 7 years until the bank was acquired by an international bank with plans to move their IT operations someplace else. At that point, she knew that it was time to move on and look for something else. So, she joined a local health care system, also working in their IT department supporting the business and financial side of the hospital. After about a year, Interlace Health, formerly FormFast as said came into her life when the hospital purchased a forms automation solution. So, fast forward a couple of years, she had the opportunity to join the NRA Health team and have now been there for almost 13 years.

 

Key Strategies that Contributed to the Success of Achieving a 97.4% Customer Retention Rate

Me: So, in your bio, it says that you've managed to achieve a 97.4% customer retention rate. Can you tell our listeners maybe three key things that you've done consistently that you believe has contributed to that success?

  

Maggie shared that at Interlace Health, they believe in putting people first, so that is their mission. They put people over paperwork, and it has reflected on the solutions that they provide their customers and the solution is that they innovate and so on, so forth. But even in the services, she has a belief that software alone doesn't cut it anymore, it just doesn't. Anyone can have a similar product or a similar solution as you, it really comes down to the level of service that you provide your customers and the experience that they encounter throughout the entire journey. 

So, first and foremost, they put people first, always there for their customers, they have also built a dedicated team within the services department at Interlace Health, always to be their specialized in what they do, enabled to deliver personalized and attentive support to their customers, they are there with them, they understand their business, they understand their needs, and they're always available. 

Again, to address it, regardless of what the need may be, the COVID pandemic was huge, it was terrible, but it was an opportunity for them to be there for their customers and continue providing the service, and not just the service, but continue providing the same level of service to enable them to continue providing the care that they needed to provide even more so during those difficult times.  

And then three, they embrace feedback from their customers, the good, the bad, and the Ugly, like the saying. They're always there, they have established a Customer Success Council and it's composed of their most engaged, knowledgeable customers who advises on their products or solutions, they share the best practices. And quite frankly, they give candid feedback. It's not always what they want to hear, but at the end of the day is what they want to hear, because their feedback and their insights have helped make informed decisions as they improve their products and services. And they are pretty much the ones helping them guide their path forward as it comes to their products and services.

 

Criteria for Selecting Customers to Join Your Customer Success Council 

Me: Now, in addition to those three things that has contributed to your customer retention rate being at 97.4%. And I know you mentioned a customer council that you say you use to guide you. Can you tell us maybe some of the criteria that you use to select those customers? What type of customer do you look for to ensure that they are the ones that you're joining your council?

  

Maggie shared that they offer various solutions. So, they try to get customers that are using different types of solutions, right? Because obviously, there's different needs that each solution addresses. First, they started with their internal team, and they asked them who are your champions? Who are your stellar contacts that are customers who know their products, they know it well, they're using it consistently and that's the criteria. It's also customers that are using their solutions successfully and consistently. 

But they try to get customers who weren't using it as much or adopting it as they would like them to, to get involved, to tell them why, what are your challenges? What are your staff or your patients telling you about your solutions or their solutions in this case, that is keeping you from using it to its fullest potential? 

So, it was really customers that were mostly engaged and customers that they have communication with, but not to the extent like the fully engaged ones, if that makes sense so that we could get both sides of the house, those that are using it a lot and those that are struggling for various reasons, they wanted to hear from them as well.

 

App, Website or Tool that Maggie Absolutely Can’t Live Without in Her Business

When asked about online resource that she cannot live without in her business, Maggie shared that she would say internally, Microsoft Teams. Prior to pandemic, Interlace Health, they've always been a remote company. So, mostly everyone was remote, she’s been remote almost 13 years there. But since pandemic, she thinks Microsoft Teams have kept them very well connected not just internally but with their customers in the hospital setting, that is what they've seen use the most is Microsoft Teams. And then internally to keep track of their customers and their data and their metrics and so on, so forth. Everything that they need to know about their customers, they use Salesforce platform.

 

Books that Have Had the Biggest Impact on Maggie

When asked about books that have had a great impact, Maggie shared that The Speed of Trust: The One Thing that Changes Everything by Stephen Covey. She loves that book and it's been a while, she’s probably going to read it again. And the question got her thinking she needs to reread it again. But it's been a few years since she’s read it. And she loves how it gives clarity into how trusted leaders do things differently, faster and at a lower cost. She’s a true believer that trust drives everything, and how it produces better results. So, that's one. 

And then the second one not so much a book, because he's got plenty of books, but John Maxwell, anything, everything John Maxwell, he's amazing. She first heard him 5 years ago at a Global Leadership Summit. The one thing that struck the most from that Summit was when he was talking about looking for ways to add value to people, he called it be an added value liver. Where he was talking about throughout the day, going from knowing to doing, from thinking and looking to making sure it's an action. And at the end of the day, ask yourself, “Did I add value to people today?” 

Again, John Maxwell, he is someone who she constantly sees his videos, she’s purchased some training, she even purchases trainings there at work for her direct reports as well to see and to encounter and to read and learn from his teachings. So, those are the two that she can think of.

  

As a Customer, Three Critical Things to Have a Great Customer Experience

Me: Now I know as your role as a Chief Experience Officer at Interlace Health, you are focused on providing the service to your clients. But I'd like to flip the script a little and put you in the in the hotbox where you are the customer. So, when you think about your own interactions with organizations that you do business with, what are maybe three things that are critical for you to actually say, yes, this was a great customer experience.

 

Maggie stated that the sense of trust. She talked about trust, the book. So, she would say trust, transparency, and personalization, if she had to put it into just three words. This would be her top three that comes to mind right away.

  

Me: So, trust, transparency, and personalization.

 

Maggie stated that personal life experience, she’s huge on that. Just, for example, even when she goes to restaurants, the first thing she looks at when the waiter approaches her is their name badge, because she wants to address them by their name. And she always does, it's just that personal touch and everything that we do, to her, that's very important.

  

Me: It’s always the little things.

 

What Maggie is Really Excited About Now!

When asked about something that she’s excited about, Maggie shared that just with the new CXO role, she’s excited about it because it's going to allow her to work with the entire organization on the customer journey from the initial awareness to implementation support and beyond. So, she’s excited to continue creating a more holistic customer centric culture at Interlace Health, while developing and implementing a comprehensive customer experience strategy. And Yanique did the bragging, she (Maggie) was going to brag a little bit about their customer retention rate. So, that's also exciting for them at Interlace Health at the moment, which is that customer retention rate of 97.4%.

 

Key Behaviours or Competence for Hiring Customer Support 

Me: Could you also share with us with, your customer support team that you had built out, how many persons are on that team?

 

Maggie shared that they have the team, they're thinking about everyone that's doing support, a good 10 people.

 

Me: So, you got 10 people on that support team. And so, I just wanted to know if there are some key behaviours or competencies that you look for when you're hiring persons for those roles.

 

Maggie shared that yes, they need competency, they need people that know what they know, that they're intelligent, and they know what's expected of them. But she looks more on attitude, because you can teach the skills that they need to know in order to support the customers. You'll teach them the product and the solutions and all the intricacies right of what they do. But the attitude, that is not something they can teach. So, she hires for attitude. And so, that's a big one for her. 

At Interlace Health, they look for people who are motivated and you have to, in this remote world, you have to be self-motivated. We're no longer in front of other people to help us get through the day. So, you need self-motivated individuals, absolutely intelligent, competent people, but people that have the attitude, who are going to be there for their customers, because not every single call is a good call, and that's life. Some calls aren't always the best calls, but they want people who are going to have the attitude and turn a not so good call into a positive call at the end of the day while we're helping their customers resolve their problems.

  

Where Can We Find Maggie Online

Website – https://interlacehealth.com/

LinkedIn - https://www.linkedin.com/in/maggiepeña/

 

Quote or Saying that During Times of Adversity Maggie Uses

When asked about quote that she tends to revert to, Maggie shared that there's one that she has that she’s used personally since a very young age. And that is simple, “If anyone else can do it, so can I.” and like she said, that since she can remember going through school, college, you name it, she’s always had that in her mind if anyone else can do it, so can I. 

Then she has a second one too as it relates to her professional setting at work and with her team as they're looking to do something new, whether it's a new process, a new approach to something, anything new that they're talking about doing, she always tells them, “Let's try it, what's the worst that can happen?” So, those are the two quotes that you'll hear her say quite a bit depending on the situation.

 

Me: Perfect. I love the second one, “Let's do it, what's the worst that can happen?”

 

Maggie stated, what's the worst that can happen? If it doesn't work, it wasn't working anyway.

 

Me: There's one that goes, “You miss all of the shots that you never take.” That quote kind of reminds me of that one.

 

Maggie, I just wanted to express our deepest gratitude to you for taking time out of your very busy schedule and hopping on this podcast with us today. And sharing about your journey as well as what your organization is doing and just how it is that you've been able to really make customer experience shine in your organization and achieve the high level of retention rate, how it is that you focus on ensuring that your customers are getting what they need, and not necessarily what organization wants to give them but you have something in place where you really use the voice of the customer on a regular basis. And you can see it manifest into your customer satisfaction and retention scores. So, thank you again for joining us today.

 

Please connect with us on Twitter @navigatingcx and also join our Private Facebook Community – Navigating the Customer Experience and listen to our FB Lives weekly with a new guest

 

Links

     The Speed of Trust: The One Thing that Changes Everything by Stephen Covey

 

The ABC’s of a Fantastic Customer Experience

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Nov 28, 2023

Herb Cogliano leads his own advisory practice leveraging the Scaling of Performance Platform, described in Verne Harnish’s award-winning book, Mastering the Rockefeller Habits-Scaling Up. As a Business Coach, experience CEO Scaling Up Practitioner, and Professor of the Scaling Up Masters Business Course, he has learned first-hand what it takes to overcome many business challenges.

Herb is pursuing his passion of working with leaders of growth companies to achieve more freedom by helping them create industry leading strategies, a culture of accountability, flawless execution, along with a healthy cash flow within their organizations.

Herb was formerly CEO of Sullivan and Cogliano Designers, a 53 year privately held family owned Technology Staffing and Workforce Solutions firm who joined a select group of companies that have appeared on the Inc. 5000 Fastest Growing Company list multiple times. His firm was a Multiyear recipient of the Boston and South Florida Business Journal Best Places to Work Award. This honour recognizes Sullivan and Cogliano achievements for changing the business landscape in creating a positive work environment that attracts and retains employees through a combination of employee satisfaction, working conditions and company culture.

 

Questions

  We read quite a bit about your journey in your short bio that I just read. But we always like to give the guests an opportunity to share in their own words a little bit about your journey, in your words, how you got to where you are today.

  Now Scaling Up, can you tell our listeners, what Scaling Up is, maybe three or four critical things that if as a business you want to scale up you need to have in place.

  What has been your experience in scaling a business, let's say you were an organisation with let's say, 10 employees, and you've finished in the course of 12 months, you've now grown to an organisation with 100 employees.

  In terms of customer experience, you as a customer, what are three things that you look for to ensure that you're being satisfied as a customer, that your needs are being met?

  Now, Herb, could you also share with us what's the one online resource, tool, website or app that you absolutely cannot live without in your business?

  Could you also share with our listeners if you read any books recently, actually, it could be a book that you read a very long time ago, but a book that has had or books that have had a great impact on you? Do you have any of those?

  And so, could you share with us in terms of the recruitment process from a HR perspective, what are some key, would it be a question that you need to ask them that would align you in that phase?

  Could you also share with us what's the one thing that's going on in your life right now that you're really excited about? Either something you're working on to develop yourself or your people.

  Where can listeners find you online?

  Now, before we wrap our episodes up herb, we always like to ask our guests do you have a quote or a saying that during times of adversity or challenge you will tend to revert to this quote if for any reason you felt derailed or rundown, this quote kind of helps to get you back on track.

Highlights

Herb’s Journey

Herb shared that he was very fortunate to be raised in a family business where his mother and father incorporated not only raising a family on good values but incorporated what were the challenges in running and growing a business. And as he grew up, and then ultimately went into the business, their business had years of success. And then the industry became more competitive, more commoditized and their growth started to stagnate. As a result of that, they wanted to grow further. They worked hard, they were smart people, but they got stuck. 

And they came across the book called Scaling Up: How a Few Companies Make It…and Why the Rest Don’t (Rockefeller Habits 2.0 Revised Edition) by Verne Harnish. And it's really a playbook for small mid-market companies that don't have a team of MBAs working on their staff, but still need to navigate a very fast changing marketplace. And that book really changed his life about knowing how to grow a company by asking the right questions and working with the right tools to do it. 

As a result of that, they scaled, got the accomplishments that you so nicely commented on. And then as a result of that, they exited their companies in 2018. He had an incredible business coach that was so helpful. Him and his father were incredible mentors. And then he knew that he was meant to be a coach and help others using the scaling up methodology to achieve their company's vision and potential.

  

What is Scaling Up?

Me: Now Scaling Up, can you tell our listeners, what Scaling Up is, maybe three or four critical things that if as a business you want to scale up you need to have in place.

Herb shared that one of the challenges in growing your business is that you don't know what you don't know. So, if you're a $2 Million Dollar company, you don't know what it's like to be a $10 Million Dollar company. 

And things change because you're hiring more people, you're onboarding more customers, you're offering more in different products, you may have different or multiple locations and the complexity compounds, and then makes it very hard for the original owner to command and make decisions as your workforce grows from 2 to 20, to 2000 people.  

And for many of us, we plateau, because we don't know how to handle the next level complexity, Scaling Up was a framework that helped them navigate it. And it's based upon four primary decisions that you need to get right around people, strategy, execution, and cash. And when you understand how to use those techniques in the four areas, it will then help you navigate the next stage of your growth and that's ultimately what they did.

 

Experience in Scaling a Business – Keeping a Culture That is Customer Focused

Me: So, a big part of Scaling Up has to do with people and culture and customer experience starts from within. What has been your experience in scaling a business, let's say you were an organization with let's say, 10 employees, and in the course of 12 months, you've now grown to an organization with 100 employees. How do you keep that culture that is still customer focused, customer obsessed, even though you have so many more persons that you're managing? What has your experience been in scaling from that perspective? 

Herb stated that hat's a wonderful question. The first part of his experience was “Were they hiring the right type of people that shared their similar values and purpose?” 

And in the beginning, they were just looking at resumes, you have experience, you've done customer support or business development, you're a good fit, you're hired. But what they learned was they needed to hire people that not only had skill and experience, but shared their similar values and their purpose, because they work together in the way we behave around those values is what allows them to work well together. And that translates into the customer experience. 

The second part of that, that he learned is that they cannot be all things to all customers. And they were trying to be that in the beginning and that hurt their customer experience. So, they finally profiled who was their ideal customer, they were easy to work with, they had high referred ability to others like them, they were profitable, that had to be economically good for the company and they valued them paid their bills on time.  

And then they ultimately asked them….

·      “What is it about our company?”

·      “Why do you value us?”

·      “And importantly, How are we distinctive from the competition?” 

They call those their brand promises and they hire and train people to deliver exceptional brand promise results. Because if they get the clients brand promise right, and they can deliver it, they have very high client expectation scores.

Me: Excellent. Thank you so much for sharing. 

 

In Terms of Customer Experience, Things to Look Out for to Ensure That You’re Being Satisfied as a Customer 

Me: Now, you've worked with quite a few businesses, Herb and you have a wealth of experience. In terms of customer experience, you as a customer, because I'm sure you do business with many different organisations as a customer yourself. What are three things that you look for to ensure that you're being satisfied as a customer, that your needs are being met? 

Herb shared that he thinks the first important thing is, “Are they listening to him?” “Do they understand really what his requirements or wants and needs are?”  

Secondly, “Are they responsive to him?” If he feels like he needs help, or an answer, are they responsive? And are they available as needed? 

And then the third thing is, he understands all companies can make mistakes. To him the mark of a great customer experience is not what they do when things are good, it's how well they react to a mistake or when things don't go good. And those are three things for him that have always been top of mind his entire career.

 

App, Website or Tool that Herb Absolutely Can’t Live Without in His Business

When asked about online resource that he cannot live without in his business, Herb shared that with AI right now there are so many. So, he’d like to say Chat GPT. But there's so many happening every day. But recently, in the last 6 months, he’s really been leaning in to Chat GPT and trying to create prompts in Chat GPT that will make their customer insights and experiences that much that much better.

 

Books that Have Had the Biggest Impact on Herb

When asked about books that he’s read that have had a great impact, Herb shared that Scaling Up: How a Few Companies Make It…and Why the Rest Don’t (Rockefeller Habits 2.0 Revised Edition) by Verne Harish, the book was given to him early 2003. He thinks he’s read it close to 30 times now. And as recently as this weekend when he was travelling home on a plane, he was making notes to the author, and sent him a note over the weekend about an insight or something that he thinks they can do even better as part of the scaling up network. He is with a group of other like-minded coaches that use the methodology to help entrepreneurs and their senior teams grow. And they are constantly improving the IP that goes into the Scaling Up book. So, he’s read a lot of books, but Scaling Up is one of the only books he ever wanted to reread and master.

 

In Terms of Recruitment, What are Some Key Questions to Ask That Would Align 

Me: You mentioned earlier in our conversation, as it related to Scaling Up that you want to have persons that you hire, that are in alignment with your values, your value system, your vision, and your mission. And so, could you share with us in terms of the recruitment process from a HR perspective, what are some key, would it be a question that you need to ask them that would align you in that phase? Or is it something you're looking for maybe in terms of giving them a scenario and then you're looking for them to give you a particular response to ensure that the person you are selecting it's not just based, as you said on their resume, their experience, their academia, but more so what values they're bringing to the table? What are they going to do if they're faced with a particular scenario? And is that going to be in alignment with the core value of the organization? 

Herb shared that they begin in the recruitment phase. So, imagine that you need to hire an individual, his four core values for his coaching practice are wisdom, humility, integrity, and grit. So, if he was going to look for someone to join his coaching practice, his job recruitment ads would have messaging around, “Do you value wisdom, learning and sharing?” “Do you have the humility to let others shine?” “Do you have the integrity to always do the right thing?” “And do you have the grit to deal with adversity and be resilient?” If that sounds like you, they'd like to talk. 

The second part of that goes into the interview, when they actually are asking questions all around. Do you have those core values? Can you tell me about a time where somebody challenged your integrity? And how did you deal with it? What would you do different now? What were the lessons learned? 

The third part of it is in the onboarding. So, every new hire orientation should have members or members of leadership or owners coming in, talking to the new employees about the values, the purpose and the mission of the organization.  

So, they're kind of inoculated in the beginning that these things are important and top of mind as you work in the company. They then do newsletters that are also echoing this messaging, it's part of their performance review where part of your evaluation is how well you're living in aligning to the values. 

They do recognition programmes throughout the year where you're recognized for living certain values and purpose. And then their leadership is trained that when they're working with you day in and day out, to reference recognition and constructive feedback in relation to the core value and purpose embodiment. 

Me: Those are pretty good. Excellent, excellent, excellent. And I like how you gave the examples and the question that you asked as it relates to the recruitment process, even in the advertising and marketing to ensure that you're attracting the right people. So, thank you so much for sharing those strategies on how to achieve that.

Herb shared one other point, this is so powerful for him, you talked about going from 10 people to like a couple of 100 people. When they first were looking at their workforce in one of their small groups, they had about 25 employees. And somebody had him doing “A” player assessment, what that simply means is out of 25 people, how many of them did they rate as “A” players, people that embodied their values, and people that were hitting the productivity requirements for their job? He has to tell you…..his first score was only a 38% out of 100. 

Now, can you imagine early on in his scaling up journey, the drama a company would have with only 38% being A players? Can you imagine what the customer experience would have been dealing with that team? Here was the eye opener for him. What if he scaled to 200 employees, but didn't change the 38% A player result? Imagine scaling drama 25 people at 38% A player. Now 200 people at only 38% A player? It would be awful. 

Me: Yep, that would definitely shoot your customer experience into the garbage. 

Herb stated that one of the big epiphanies that he had, and what he loves to do with his clients is they need to get your people right as a foundational part, before you just scale. 

Let's be smart, because when you scale with a higher A player rating, your drama is so much lower, your clients are so much happier, your employee retention is so much higher, and your employee tenure is so much longer. It was the most incredible epiphany they ever had, and he will never grow a company another way.

 

What Herb is Really Excited About Now!

When asked about something that he’s really excited about, Herb shared that he’s really leaning into AI. He’s looking at all the tools and techniques in their practice and they're trying to really make it easier for their clients to use the tools leveraging AI elements within it. 

The second part is he just came back, his son who's 30 years old, completed his first Ironman Triathlon last weekend, a 140-mile race. And he’s (Herb) just committed to his son that he is going to train him, his first Ironman, so you asked what's going on in his head right now, that's what's going on in his head.

 

Where Can We Find Herb Online

Website – www.aspiregrowthadvisors.com 

 

Quote or Saying that During Times of Adversity Herb Uses

When asked about a quote or saying that he tends to revert to, Herb shared that he’s found many business owners that when they get frustrated and burnt out, but think about it, a lot of entrepreneurs start their company and it's a love story. They've always wanted to be their own boss, they have a certain gift or skill, and they want to bring that to the world and make a difference. But next thing you know, tough employees happen, bad clients happen, payroll, money, frustration happens. And what turned into a dream becomes a nightmare for the owner and they feel like the business is running them.  

His quote to you is, “You deserve a business where you're running the business, the business is not running you.” And what he’s learned in his journey with Scaling Up is that you can have that dream, it's not easy. But they can make it easier for you to build a business to make more money, to give you more freedom, and less drama. And that is the wish that I have for all of your listeners that they find that for them in their company. 

Me: Brilliant, quote. Excellent. Thank you so much for sharing Herb. We just want to extend our deepest level of gratitude and appreciation to you for taking time out of your very busy schedule and hopping on this podcast with us today. And sharing all of these great insights and learnings that you have experienced in your journey as it relates to scaling up your business, ensuring they are the right people, doing the right thing, aligned in the right values so that you can achieve the highest level of customer satisfaction and even life satisfaction and to ensure that you're doing something that's fulfilling to your soul. So, thank you so much, we really, really appreciate it.  

Herb shared that as a gift for all the listeners, if they go to the website, they have a Scaling Up Business Readiness Assessment. If you want to know where your company is today for their readiness to scale up, that complimentary assessment will give you some insights. And if you're looking to know where you are as a high impact leader, they have a High Impact Leader Assessment that will give you a kind of current state of where you are, and then some insights of where you could potentially go and he just thank you very much for having him today.

 

Please connect with us on Twitter @navigatingcx and also join our Private Facebook Community – Navigating the Customer Experience and listen to our FB Lives weekly with a new guest

 

Links

     Scaling Up: How a Few Companies Make It…and Why the Rest Don’t (Rockefeller Habits 2.0 Revised Edition) by Verne Harnish

 

The ABC’s of a Fantastic Customer Experience

Grab the Freebie on Our Website – TOP 10 Online Business Resources for Small Business Owners 

Do you want to pivot your online customer experience and build loyalty - get a copy of “The ABC’s of a Fantastic Customer Experience.”

The ABC's of a Fantastic Customer Experience provides 26 easy to follow steps and techniques that helps your business to achieve success and build brand loyalty.

This Guide to Limitless, Happy and Loyal Customers will help you to strengthen your service delivery, enhance your knowledge and appreciation of the customer experience and provide tips and practical strategies that you can start implementing immediately!

This book will develop your customer service skills and sharpen your attention to detail when serving others.

Master your customer experience and develop those knock your socks off techniques that will lead to lifetime customers. Your customers will only want to work with your business and it will be your brand differentiator. It will lead to recruiters to seek you out by providing practical examples on how to deliver a winning customer service experience!
 

Nov 21, 2023

Peter C. Yesawich is Chairman of Hospitable Healthcare Partners, LLC - a marketing consultancy serving hospitality and the healthcare industry clients - and Vice Chairman Emeritus of MMGY Global, one of the country's leading marketing communications companies renowned for its strategic thinking, breakthrough creativity, and innovation in marketing practice. 

Yesawich has contributed to the development of marketing programs for some of the industry's most popular brands, destinations and organizations including: Fairmont Hotel & Resorts, Hilton International, Disney Parks & Resorts, Universal Studios, Atlantis, The Broadmoor, Sandals Resorts, Wynn Las Vegas, Marriott Vacation Club International, the Mexico Tourism Board, and the U.S. Olympic Committee, to name a few. 

He is co-author of Marketing Leadership in Hospitality and Tourism, and the new book, Hospitable Healthcare: Just What the Patient Ordered!  

Questions

  Could you share a little bit about your journey?

  Have you seen any common themes as it relates to customer service delivery on the part of the service provider that you think is universal to both areas?

  Now, could you also share with us what's the one online resource, tool, website or app that you absolutely cannot live without in your business?

  Can you also share with our listeners, maybe one or two books that you have read, it could be a book that you read a very long time ago, or even one that you've read recently, but it had a great impact on you.

     What's the one thing that's going on in your life right now that you're really excited about? Either something you're working on to develop yourself or your people.

  Where can listeners find you online?

  Now, before we wrap our episodes up, we always like to ask our guests, do you have a quote or a saying that during times of adversity or challenge, you will tend to revert to this quote if for any reason you get derailed or you get off track, the quote kind of helps to just get you back on track. Do you have one of those?

 

Highlights

Impact on Online Sources

But on that point, one of the things that they looked at in writing the book and their survey of 1200 adults is how they use online sources to help them think about healthcare and whether it's evaluating healthcare providers, or self-diagnosis, we all joke about Dr. Google, something happens and we quickly want to do a web search, whether it's Google or WebMD, or any of a number of site specific providers, specific sites, like Mayo Clinic and Cleveland Clinic and so forth, to get that kind of information. 

But that would be his answer. By the way, that is extremely helpful, but also generally very difficult for people to interpret. So, it's essential, they should absolutely do their homework, but they should also consult with a medical professional to make sure they've interpreted it correctly. So, it's a combination of those two, but that wouldn't be his answer, really, it's Google would be the certainly the go to source.

Me: It's amazing you said that, we take it for granted when you think about how we used to do research prior to Google, Encyclopaedia Britannica, go to the library, it takes you so long to kind of get information. And I always tell my daughter, and even my mom, I tell her, there's nothing that you can type into Google that I'm sure someone else in the world has not asked that same exact question. No matter how stupid you think it is, somebody in the world has asked the question and there is an answer there for you, so it really is knowledge base. 

Peter shared that what's interesting about that though is, in hospitality, online people go online to look at reviews. So, you look at reviews of restaurants, or hotels or destinations or what it may be. In their companies that have really built incredible databases like TripAdvisor and Expedia and so forth. And then you think about, “Well, why doesn't that exist in healthcare?”

 So, if you wanted to learn a little bit more about, let's say, a particular hospital, where you might be thinking about scheduling some kind of elective procedure, or a specific clinician, a doctor or a practice, one of the things you discover very quickly is it's very difficult to get that kind of information online about healthcare providers, and people ask why and he'll share with the listeners that kind of interesting that came out of their research. 

There are two reasons for that. Number one, most of these healthcare rating sites will not publish any ratings on providers unless they have a minimum number of what they consider to be objective ratings, typically, that's 3. So, for example, if you go into health grades, or any of the doctor sites, you'll notice a lot of the physicians don't have any rating or if they do have a rating, it might be one or two ratings. 

And obviously, people are generally very, very suspect about that if they don't have a broader base of patient reviews. Now, the question is, why is that? And here's the interesting part of the answer. We discovered that most of us are very reluctant to criticize medical professionals. For example, the example you just gave about the paediatrician. Now, you're quick to maybe share that story with other friends but his suspicion is you probably didn't go online and write a review. Now, maybe you did. 

Me: I did not. But I don't think it's because I was reluctant to share it online, I think at the time, that would have been like 2006, I don't think it was that popular at the time.  

Peter stated that for most people today, they're reluctant to do that online publicly. And we think that there's a really good psychological reason for that and that is that we are all raised correctly, by the way, to respect the amount of training and the motivation of medical professionals that even if we find that their style to be a little abrupt, and so forth, the fact of the matter is, we absolutely respect their expertise. 

And the other aspect of that is, we don't have the same vocabulary. So, it's very difficult for us to interpret many times their comments, or their assessment of our medical problem. So, it's just not possible for us to rate them because we don't know, we don't know if it's good or bad advice. And as a result of that, what happens, these ratings are few and far between, anyway, to your point is we like to say, if you have an anniversary dinner in a restaurant, where the restaurant blew it, well, you may go home that night and the internet will be blazing in terms of your negative response. 

But if you had a bad experience at your physician's office, you just kind of shrug your shoulders and kind of move on. But more and more to your point, people are exercising choice and say, “I'm not going back to that office, or I'm not going back to that hospital, the experience was really bad.” And generally, most insurance programs provide some options for you to use other providers.

 

Books that Have Had the Biggest Impact on Peter

When asked about books that have an impact, Peter stated that he'll give you just one. And it's a book that he thinks resides in the same space as their book, their most recent book. It's called Compassionomics: The Revolutionary Scientific Evidence That Caring Makes a Difference by Stephen Trzeciak and was authored by two medical doctors from the University of Pittsburgh. And it's fascinating examination of an idea similar to theirs about hospitality and healthcare. And the book, it really addresses the question, critical question that most people in healthcare ask and they say, well, we believe, we get the idea that compassion is important for patients as part of the customer experience and so forth. But it doesn't make financial sense. So, that's the point of view. 

He’ll give the best example. Most physicians today are under tremendous time pressure to see as many patients as quickly as possible, and that's a recurring theme of dissatisfaction for people in healthcare, where they say, “Well, I only saw the doctor for 10 minutes, and half the time he or she was looking at a computer screen. They didn’t look at me.” 

Well, the problem is that many of these practices, literally, they have performance criteria that says, you should not spend more than 15 or 20 minutes with a patient and you need to move on because the volume needs to be at, anyway. 

So, the whole idea of being compassionate, and a big part of that is just listening, and that is listening until the patient has expressed everything he or she would like to express and also making sure they understand what the clinician has concluded and is recommending, that takes time. 

And it's a big issue of this demonstrating compassion. And he lives through that because as he says, 10 years in cancer care business. And you talk about the importance of compassion in medical facilities, there's nothing more challenging and potentially difficult than fighting cancer, it's the worst disease that anyone can be diagnosed with. And it happens to be the most expensive disease. 

And therefore, compassion is essential in terms of getting people through the process. But anyway, that's a long answer to a great question. But he would recommend that to anybody who is interested in the healthcare customer experience because, as it turns out, they make a case, very compelling case, this is compassion, the delivery of compassion, the demonstration of that makes great financial sense for a whole bunch of reasons. And they build the case for that. 

Me: I can just imagine, because as I said to you at the beginning, the average person that goes to their doctor or hospital or clinic, they're in pain. So, when I do trainings for those persons in that type of industry, I genuinely say to them that listen, if you don't genuinely care about other human beings, and you're not genuinely there to help them, you're just in the profession for the financial gain, this is just not the area for you to be in because as you mentioned, compassion is one of those key skills that you need and sadly, a lot of patients and their relatives, they don't get that. Even COVID saw ot, I heard so many cases where I guess they got immune to the fact that people were dying from COVID, you are just another dead person to them. And that person was somebody's dad, was somebody's mom, was somebody's sister, was somebody's child.

 

Is Healthcare a Need or a Want Service?

Peter agreed and shared that it's funny, because they talk to medical professionals about their book. Some of them say, well, all this is wonderful. But healthcare is what they call a need service. And hospitality is a want service, and they stopped them and say, wait a minute, think about what you just said. 

The point they make is that, yes, many people pursue healthcare out of need, they're ill, they had an accident, whatever it might be. And they come to that experience with all kinds of anxiety, and all of a sudden, they have issues related to difficulty making an appointment, checking in, the time that it takes, understanding the cost of the service, all the things he just talked about. 

And the point he makes is that, yes, it is a need service for many patients who seek emergency care. But that amplifies the importance of the hospitality elements in delivering the care, because the hospitality elements help manage down some of that anxiety. 

We've all sat in an emergency room way too long and the anxiety is building and something as simple and a lot of hospitals now do this, which published the wait times in the emergency rooms, they say, okay, your wait time is 32 minutes, well, at least you know that you're going to be there for half an hour, if nobody told you it was 32 minutes, you'd be sitting there 20-25 and wondering what's going on anyway, you get the idea. So, even though it is a need service, and we acknowledge that, we think that it actually underscores the importance of hospitable healthcare.

 

What Peter is Really Excited About Now!

When asked about something he’s excited about, Peter shared that it is this book, took them 2 years to write this. And he said, they did a major piece of national research. And the reaction they've gotten to this book has been terrific from not just consumers because they know consumers, they say “Well, wouldn't you like a more hospitable experience?” Everybody says, absolutely. But from healthcare practitioners, they say, “Okay, that sounds really good. Tell me how.” 

So, in this book, what they've done is in their model, the fact that PAEER model for each chapter, they've identified very specific action items like how to prepare, how to anticipate, how to engage for healthcare providers, it's almost like a checklist. And it's amazing how healthcare providers react. He’ll give one example and it happens to be addressing that number one deficit, which is not knowing the cost of the healthcare service before it's provided. 

He was sharing this with a CEO of a large healthcare system in New York couple of weeks ago. And he said, “Okay, smart guy, well tell me how we're supposed to address that.” So, we'll try this on for size. So, when he books, he’s talking about non-emergency procedures. Now, emergency procedures are unique, but non-emergency and by the way, that represents a very substantial percentage of the procedures that any hospital system would do. So, you have to schedule the surgery, whatever it might be. 

So, he said, “When I confirm my appointment for that particular service or procedure, I don't know the cost, but why don't you give me a pro forma estimate of the cost of that when you confirm my appointment?” It's the same that happens in most industry. So, next week, if you take your car to a car repair service or for service, they're going to give you an estimate, you have to approve that before they do the work, you want to book a hotel room or a vacation, you're going to know the cost of that before you take the trip. 

So, why wouldn't the healthcare provider send me an estimate of the expected cost of annual physical, any surgical procedure, whatever it might be. And the reason he says that is the hospital, and the healthcare provider knows the cost of the service before they confirm your appointment. Now, most patients don't know that. But they know the cost because all of those services are already contracted with these insurance companies. 

So, they have a very specific dollar amount, they're going to get reimbursed for that, even though that dollar amount as you know is substantially less than what you see in the bill. But his point is that they could give you a pro forma estimate that says, “Okay, this is likely to be between $600 and $800.” And they disclaim that by saying, “We may discover when we do your examination that more tests are required, and therefore, it's going to be a little more expensive.” And they disclose that at the time the appointment is confirmed. 

But the point is that that gives people, patients then a general sense of what the cost might be, allows them to make an informed decision about whether or not they want to certain to pursue treatment there or someplace else. He’s sure you (Yanique) read all the stories about people that say, “Well, I looked at the cost of an MRI at hospital A, and it was $2500. And I look at an MRI at hospital B and it was $3800. How could it be different? It’s the same procedure?” 

Well, the idea is that their margins are different, their reimbursement rates are different with insurance companies. They know that, you don't know that, but you could actually as a provider, begin to minimize a lot of that anxiety by simply giving a pro forma estimate. 

So, the CEO said, “You know what, that's kind of interesting idea.” He said, you have all that information, but you just don't provide it. So, they're going to begin to explore the possibility of doing that. 

By the way, just this week, he saw Amazon health. Amazon is now getting into the primary care business and one of the things, they just released a press from two days ago, press release on this, Amazon health will give you the cost of the service at the time you book the appointment. And he thought to himself, “Wow, somebody's paying attention here.” 

Me: Yeah, they saw the need, they did their work. They did their research. 

Peter agreed and stated there's an example of what he’s talking about.

 

Where Can We Find Peter Online

Website: www.hospitablehealthcare.com

 

Quote or Saying that During Times of Adversity Peter Uses 

When asked about a quote or saying that he tends to revert to, Peter shared that he’s not sure it's a quote, but it's more of a mantra and that is, “Tomorrow will be a better day.” And that is if you get consumed by negativity, by certainly today, all the things going on in the world. It's easy to get very dark, very quickly. But you have to awaken with the belief that things will get better and generally they do. And you as an individual will have to be a major catalyst to that, you have to pursue it and you have to be relentless. But yeah, if you ever lose hope in that then you're probably headed to a very dark place. But that would be tomorrow's always going to be a better day.

Me: Perfect. Thank you so much for sharing. Now, Peter, we want to just extend our heartfelt gratitude to you for taking time out of your very busy schedule to share about your book, all the research that you did, giving us some real-life, practical examples that our listeners can take back. I think this book that you did is of great value, as you mentioned, not just to patients, but also to persons who are in the healthcare industry, who are service providers, there's clearly a lot of opportunities from a hospitable perspective that healthcare providers could be doing that they're not doing. And I really hope that this book gets to more people, and that they will look on it, not like the person mentioned, it's a need and not a want, but look on it that at the end of the day, in everything we're doing, there's always an opportunity to create that experience that people would want to come back to you, even if it's a need, even if you don't necessarily want to go back and see your GP or your ophthalmologist or your dermatologist, you want to be cured. But at the end of the day, when you walked away from that experience, you will be motivated to want to go back if something should happen to you and not feel demotivated not to go back, because the experience was not good. So, I do think that what you shared with us here today will be of great value, encourage all of the work that you're doing and thank you, thank you so much again.

 

Please connect with us on Twitter @navigatingcx and also join our Private Facebook Community – Navigating the Customer Experience and listen to our FB Lives weekly with a new guest

 

Links

     Hospitable Healthcare: Just What the Patient Ordered! By Peter Yesawich Ph. D and Stowe Shoemaker Ph.D

     Compassionomics: The Revolutionary Scientific Evidence That Caaring Makes a Difference by Stephen Trzeciak

 

The ABC’s of a Fantastic Customer Experience

 Grab the Freebie on Our Website – TOP 10 Online Business Resources for Small Business Owners 

Do you want to pivot your online customer experience and build loyalty - get a copy of “The ABC’s of a Fantastic Customer Experience.”

The ABC's of a Fantastic Customer Experience provides 26 easy to follow steps and techniques that helps your business to achieve success and build brand loyalty.

This Guide to Limitless, Happy and Loyal Customers will help you to strengthen your service delivery, enhance your knowledge and appreciation of the customer experience and provide tips and practical strategies that you can start implementing immediately!

This book will develop your customer service skills and sharpen your attention to detail when serving others.

Master your customer experience and develop those knock your socks off techniques that will lead to lifetime customers. Your customers will only want to work with your business and it will be your brand differentiator. It will lead to recruiters to seek you out by providing practical examples on how to deliver a winning customer service experience!

Nov 15, 2023

Peter C. Yesawich is Chairman of Hospitable Healthcare Partners, LLC - a marketing consultancy serving hospitality and the healthcare industry clients - and Vice Chairman Emeritus of MMGY Global, one of the country's leading marketing communications companies renowned for its strategic thinking, breakthrough creativity, and innovation in marketing practice. 

Yesawich has contributed to the development of marketing programs for some of the industry's most popular brands, destinations and organizations including: Fairmont Hotel & Resorts, Hilton International, Disney Parks & Resorts, Universal Studios, Atlantis, The Broadmoor, Sandals Resorts, Wynn Las Vegas, Marriott Vacation Club International, the Mexico Tourism Board, and the U.S. Olympic Committee, to name a few. 

He is co-author of Marketing Leadership in Hospitality and Tourism, and the new book, Hospitable Healthcare: Just What the Patient Ordered!

 

Questions

  Could you share a little bit about your journey?

  Have you seen any common themes as it relates to customer service delivery on the part of the service provider that you think is universal to both areas?

  Now, could you also share with us what's the one online resource, tool, website or app that you absolutely cannot live without in your business?

  Can you also share with our listeners, maybe one or two books that you have read, it could be a book that you read a very long time ago, or even one that you've read recently, but it had a great impact on you.

     What's the one thing that's going on in your life right now that you're really excited about? Either something you're working on to develop yourself or your people.

  Where can listeners find you online?

  Now, before we wrap our episodes up, we always like to ask our guests, do you have a quote or a saying that during times of adversity or challenge, you will tend to revert to this quote if for any reason you get derailed or you get off track, the quote kind of helps to just get you back on track. Do you have one of those? 

 

Highlights

Peter’s Journey

Me: Could you share a little bit about your journey? I know in your bio, it gives us a summary of the clients that you've worked with, some of the impact that you've had. But we always like to hear in the own words of our guests, their words of how their journey has been and how they got to where they are today.

 

Peter shared that most of his career has been spent in the hospitality field, as you mentioned in your introduction there. Actually, when he finished school, he has a PhD in Psychology, and he never practised clinically, but he always wanted to use the education to understand the influence of marketing communication. So, that's what he did for a period of roughly 35 years. And then, for a 10-year period, he took a sabbatical and he went into the healthcare business. And he did that for a bunch of reasons. But he joined a national oncology company by the name of Cancer Treatment Centres of America. They had 5 destination hospitals, 10 clinics served about 15,000 patients annually. 

So, he had a unique perspective in hospitality, having worked with a number of the brands you mentioned, and in healthcare, and when I got to healthcare, it was very obvious to him that the health care experience for patients could be improved significantly if healthcare providers simply adopted many of the principles that have essentially led to the success of hospitality brands. So, that's the short version. 

And then a couple of years ago, he was in Las Vegas making a speech and he was in the greenroom. And he bumped into a gentleman by the name Stowe Shoemaker and he's a gentleman he’s known for probably 20-25 plus years. He's a gentleman who has a very distinguished career in academia. 

And he at the time, was the Dean of the Hospitality Management Programme at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. And prior to that, he was in Houston at the University of Houston, where he also had a joint appointment with the MD Anderson Cancer Centre. So, they're trading notes and he said, “So, it's amazing, your background is very similar to mine, because we both have experience in hospitality and healthcare. And we had the same kind of perspective, and that is that the healthcare experience could really be improved.” And that's what ultimately lead to them writing this book.

 

Universal Themes Across Hospitality and Healthcare

Me: Awesome. So, hospitality and healthcare, those are two very important industries. Hospitality is more about fun and healthcare, of course, is about just living a healthy lifestyle, but seeing that you have exposure and experience in both industries, would you say there are some common themes in terms of customer service expectations that customers would have, because at the end of the day, if you go into a resort or a hotel you are going on vacation, 9 out of 10 times, people travel for business as well. But pretty much you're not in pain, whereas, 9 out of 10 times, if you're going to healthcare, you go for your check-ups, but most people a lot of times are already in pain why they're visiting their doctor, whether it be a clinic or hospital. So, have you seen any common themes as it relates to customer service delivery on the part of the service provider that you think is universal to both areas?

 

Peter stated that it’s a great question. And the answer is there are many, in fact. But let him begin by asking the question of your listeners, which is the way he really like to start the conversation, and that is he asked, “Can you think of a healthcare experience that you've had that was either unsatisfactory or gone wrong?” 

And the answer for everyone is absolutely, yes. Everybody has a story about a healthcare experience that went wrong. And then he stopped them. And he says, well think about the primary reason for that. And it's interesting to note that very rarely, is the reason is the clinical outcome the reason. Clinical outcome generally is very satisfactory for people in healthcare. But the reason primarily is the way the healthcare service was delivered. 

So, to Yanique’s question, they actually began writing this book by doing a survey of 1200 adults in the US. And what they did is they looked at 22 common points of customer engagement, that are unique to both healthcare and hospitality, for example, the very front end, how easy or difficult is to get an appointment? We all hear stories about someone who wants to make an appointment with a certain type of medical specialist, and they're disappointed because it takes weeks or months to do that, how does that experience compare with making a reservation, for example. 

And then all the way through whether or not you know the cost of the service before it's provided, in the hospitality industry, you absolutely do, because when you book, at that point, typically the cost of the service is confirmed, unfortunately, in the healthcare business, after you confirm an appointment, it's very rare that you know the cost of the service before you receive it. And he’s sure you've (Yanique) got a story, everybody has a story about a surprise medical bill and how disappointing and unnerving that is. All the way through whether or not the provider asks you for feedback on the experience.  

Last night, for example, he had dinner with some friends, and they booked the reservation on Open Table. And true to form, this morning, 8 o'clock, he gets an email from Open Table says, “How was your experience?” He will also tell you, a couple of weeks ago, he had an executive physical at a very well-known healthcare provider, and he has yet to hear from them to ask him about his experience as a patient. 

So, point is that there are 22 of these points of customer engagement that they measured in the survey with 1200 adults. And basically, what they did is they asked them to rate their experience in 5 categories to compare their reaction or their experience on the 22 points of service engagement for hospitals - number 1, for walking clinics - number 2, for doctors’ offices - number 3, for lodging - number 4, that would be Hotels and Resorts. And the 5th was in dining and restaurants. 

So, the way to think about this is they have kind of a 5 by 22 matrix. And in each cell, they have 1200 observations, so they have a really, really robust kind of basis analysis, in the punch line and all of that to your question about the common points of customer engagement. 

What they then calculated is what they call the hospitality deficit and that is how much people felt the experience in healthcare was a deficit in terms of the service experience, versus hospitality. And out of that came 5 specific themes. He’s happy to talk you through those. But that's a lot to kind of process. But the answer was, yeah, there are 22 common points of customer engagement that they identified, and they examined.

 

Me: Perfect. So, 22, that's a lot, you want to kind of just maybe run through, just maybe this list the 22 for us, and then maybe you could talk about some of the ones that are near and dear to your heart?

 

Peter shared that what they did is they actually collapsed these into 5 themes. So, he’ll kind of just talk to those specifically. And then they can drill down on any of them that would be of interest. 

So, the number one source of this deficit in service delivery between healthcare and hospitality is what he mentioned a moment ago, and that is for individuals not knowing or understanding the cost of the service before they receive it. And we've all had that experience in healthcare, whether if the bill is easy to understand or difficult to understand, whether or not if you know how much to pay for the service before you receive it. And then whether or not the cost of the service is consistent with your expectation. So, all of those kind of roll up into that first trend. And that is the primary source of dissatisfaction patients have with the healthcare experience. And you can probably think of an example for you personally, he has them, he’s sure the listeners have them.

The second theme that came out of this really interesting was the fact that patients and healthcare don't feel like their business, so to speak, is appreciated by the providers. Now in hospitality, you get many thank yous, you get a thank you when you check in, and thank you when you checkout, you get a thank you when the waiter takes the order, you get a thank you when the bills presented. 

And if you think about the expressions of appreciation patients have in healthcare, that's very rare. It's almost like, in many respects, for some providers, you the patient should be thanking the provider for the provider delivering the service. But that's the second kind of source of this deficit. 

The third is the whole arrival experience and reception. And we all have kind of stories about the clipboard, the dreaded clipboard, you show up at the doctor's office, and they hand you the clipboard and say, “Please fill this out.” 

And the irony is, you may have filled out the same clipboard a couple of weeks prior, either at the same physician's office, or a similar, and maybe a referral that has been made. But how about the whole environment, a lot of doctors’ offices and hospitals have worked hard on that in recent years, but it's still nothing like walking into a three or four star hotel or a restaurant where they've really given a lot of thought to things like colours, and textures, and aromas, and all the things that really do impact our sense of arrival and the way we're greeted, when we arrive too. 

The fourth theme is what they call service logistics. And that's this ease or difficulty of making an appointment or getting a reservation. And then the other aspect of that is the check in process, is it easy. He suspects many of the listeners are members of frequency programs, like whether it's with hotels, or airlines or restaurants. And they've worked very hard to create these customer profiles, right, they understand your preferences, they know that maybe you like a certain type of pillow in a hotel, or a certain type of bedding, or a seat on an aeroplane, it's interesting in the healthcare business, that kind of information although it's readily available, is very rarely tracked and used

So, what happens is the check in process becomes very cumbersome, go back to the idea of the dreaded clipboard, but it's providing the same information over and over again. Or the other thing in hospitality is that's been very effective in terms of recognising customers, is giving them a little special attention. 

So, for example, if you're a member of a loyalty program for a hotel company, you might check in at a different location at the front desk, so they might have a little plaque there that says, “Reserved for our loyalty members” or whatever. 

In the airline business, people scrambled to get loyalty status, so they can get an overhead bin when they get on the plane, or that maybe they have a chance to pick a seat ahead of time. 

So, the whole idea is that there's some special recognition, doesn't happen in healthcare, right? You stand in the same line with everybody else, whether or not you are a repeat patient or first-time patient. And we can talk about that, because there are ways to solve that in healthcare, but they don't exist today. 

And then the last theme here is they call service recovery. You know for example if you're off in a restaurant, and the entree comes in and you're unhappy and you mentioned that to the waiter or waitress, what happens is, they're very quick to remove it and replace it and they might even give you a complimentary dessert. They'd say the sorry that happened. Or if you're really unhappy, they just take it off your bill. Whatever happens when people contest a charge from a healthcare provider, have you ever tried to do that? You know what happens? It goes nowhere. And so, many times you're arguing with the insurance company, or you might even be arguing with the provider. But the point is that service recovery is very poor in healthcare, and it's very good in hospitality. 

So, those are five themes, it's knowing the cost of the service, being appreciated as a customer, the whole arrival experience, the service logistics that is the check in process, and so forth. And then finally, service recovery. So, the 22, they kind of collapse into those 5.

 

Me: So, to be really honest, of all the themes that you mentioned just know, the one that you mentioned about loyalty from a healthcare perspective, that was like a BFO for me, a blinding flash of the obvious, because you're so right, like most industries have some form of reward that you get for being loyal to them. I don't have one doctor that I go to my ophthalmologist, my gynaecologist, my GP, none of them and I've been going to them for years. My dermatologist, I’ve been going to her from I was 16. Wouldn't they benefit from making their customers, their patients feel like they valid them? And because the reality is we can switch, I've switched doctors in the years I've been going for various reasons. 

I remember when I just had my daughter, the paediatrician was extremely cold in some feedback he had given me when she was 6 months old, she had this really high temperature, I was a first time mom, I was 24 and I called the office to schedule an appointment, because I was doing all the things at home to get the fever down, and it wasn't working. And their response was, I should just bring her in later in the day. And when I spoke to him, finally, he said he was playing golf and that statement in itself made me switch. I've told that story to so many people, she's 18, she turned 18, two weeks ago, and that was when she was six months old. And I've never forgotten it. And I would never recommend anybody to go to him based on that experience.

 

Peter stated that Yanique hit the nail on the head with that, one of the things that they examined in the book is they actually created a service model for healthcare practitioners, that has five elements in it, it's called the PAEER Model, that's an abbreviation. The P is to Prepare the care for the patients. And that's the whole idea of learning more about them before they arrived. The next is A, which is to Anticipate, which gets into this whole issue of the anxiety that people feel when they're pursuing healthcare services, particularly if it's in kind of an emergency situation, we can come back to that in a second. The first E is the Engagement Process that's this check in or the arrival and how easy or difficult it is. The second E is Evaluation, that's asking for feedback. And the one the last is R, which is what you just mentioned, which is Reward. So, let's just take a second and explore that. And let him digress for a second because this is a little bit of humour. But he thinks it makes the point. 

They open the book with a story about a fictitious patient. It's a guy who is in his mid 40s. And he lives in Ohio, and he's pretty concerned about his health, he goes for an annual physical, and his PCP says, “Okay, time for your first colonoscopy.” So, they chronicle this guy's experience, trying to get a hold of the gastroenterologist making an appointment, how difficult that was, the fact that he shows up, they don't really recognize him, have no background information. So, he's got to take a half an hour with the clipboard to fill all that out. The fact that he doesn't know the physician and the first time he sees the gastroenterologist is when he's lying on the gurney, and they roll them in. He has the colonoscopy, and he wakes up and says, “How did you do?” And they said, “Well, we can't tell you. But maybe a couple of days, we'll have some results.” So, the guy worries all the way home, finally gets some good news.  

But a couple of days later, he gets a bill in the mail from the anaesthesiologist that he wasn't expecting, it was another $700.00. Nobody told him about that. And a week later, he gets another bill, which is the equivalent of a one month's mortgage payment that nobody told him about. So, the guy goes wow. Well, six weeks later, he and his wife decided to go to Vegas for a weekend. So, they go online, and they look at the options, they find a spectacular hotel on the Strip, the guy’s a member of the hotel's loyalty program. So, when they show up, he goes to the Front Desk, they say, “Mr. Smith, we're delighted to let you know we've upgraded you to a suite.” And the guy goes, “Wow, that's terrific.” So, they go to the suite, they have a wonderful time dining and shows and so forth. He's ready to check out. 

So, he looks at the app on his phone, it's exactly what he thought it was going to cost. And when he gets to the front to the exit, the doorman says, “Mr. Smith, we hope you had a wonderful time and we can't wait to see you again.” By the way, nobody said that to him when he left the gastro’s office. And so, two weeks later gets his visa bill and it's exactly what he thought it was going to be. And he notices he gets 3000 reward points for his trip to Vegas. 

And so, they asked the question, “Why didn't he get reward points for his colonoscopy?” Now, when he says that most people go, “What? what are you kidding?” “No, we're not kidding.” It's to your point, why do healthcare providers not have loyalty programs?

And you think that that would make more sense in healthcare because the older we get the more healthcare we use? So, you'd think well, there'll be reasons to encourage people to come back. Well and the answer to that is, most people in healthcare have never thought about it, they didn't think it was appropriate. Now, there are certain legal restrictions if you have like Medicare, and Medicaid, where you can't have any kind of financial inducement for people to come for care. 

But two thirds of the people in this country with a healthcare insurance, it's a commercial insurance, and that is absolutely appropriate. So anyway, they think that's a horizon that you're going to see a lot more of in healthcare, that more and more healthcare providers are going to start introducing these loyalty programs. Now, it doesn't have to be any kind of financial incentive, it could be maybe it's free cancer screenings, maybe it's free educational programs on nutritional foods, or maybe it's yoga classes, things that get you to live a healthier life. But it's absolutely a wonderful point and they think it's going to be more popular in the future.

 

Me: That's definitely a gap that they're missing out on, absolutely. Love that we dovetail nicely into that, and you're able to kind of give us a pretty good synopsis of what the book is about. I have started consuming it, I remember that story about the gentleman at the beginning, because I remember reading that at the beginning. I haven't completed the book fully yet, but I'm really enjoying the content and the comparisons, which is why I asked that first question at the beginning. So, I'm really appreciative of how you went into it and gave us some really good examples.

 

App, Website or Tool that Peter Absolutely Can’t Live Without in His Business

When asked about online resource that he cannot live without in his business, Peter shared that that's a great question. And he will tell say that he’s sure like he’s everybody else in that it's got to be Google. It's just a wealth of information, which ultimately leads to more specific sites and content that reflect the uniqueness of the search.

 

The ABC’s of a Fantastic Customer Experience

Grab the Freebie on Our Website – TOP 10 Online Business Resources for Small Business Owners 

Do you want to pivot your online customer experience and build loyalty - get a copy of “The ABC’s of a Fantastic Customer Experience.”

The ABC's of a Fantastic Customer Experience provides 26 easy to follow steps and techniques that helps your business to achieve success and build brand loyalty.

This Guide to Limitless, Happy and Loyal Customers will help you to strengthen your service delivery, enhance your knowledge and appreciation of the customer experience and provide tips and practical strategies that you can start implementing immediately!

This book will develop your customer service skills and sharpen your attention to detail when serving others.

Master your customer experience and develop those knock your socks off techniques that will lead to lifetime customers. Your customers will only want to work with your business and it will be your brand differentiator. It will lead to recruiters to seek you out by providing practical examples on how to deliver a winning customer service experience!

Nov 8, 2023

Michelle MacCarthy is Global Vice President of Customer Experience at Unit4. In her role, Michelle leads a talented team of professionals, is responsible for ensuring the maximum adoption of and customer satisfaction with Unit4’s offerings and is accountable for leading the transformation of Unit4’s customer experience strategy that enables the customer success evolution. 

Michelle earned her B.S in Marketing from Miami University in Ohio, and her Executive MBA in Global Management from Fordham University in New York.

 

Questions

  We always give our guests an opportunity to share a little bit about their journey. So, if you could take a few minutes to kind of just share with our audience a little bit about how you got to where you are today.

  So, Unit4, could you share with our audience a little bit about what Unit4is? What do you guys do?

  KPIs in terms of like NPS and customer satisfaction score. A lot of organisations also invest into market research, particularly like mystery shopping, and the mystery shopping sometimes will capture the NPS. What are your views on the frequency of doing these types of activities? And do you think it's critical to be doing it post transactional? Or should it be more so a conversation that you have with the client, maybe at the end of every quarter? What are some of your best practices that you'd recommend to clients?

  If you really want to focus on dominating, navigating that CX space in such a positive way, that your brand has an exceptionally positive reputation, what are some key indicators that you believe organisations need to focus on as we go into 2024? Where do they need to be giving their attention to?

  Now, could you also share with us what is the one online resource, tool, website or app that you absolutely can't live without in your business?

  Could you also share with us maybe one or two books that you've read, it could be a book that you read a very long time ago, or even one that you've read recently that has had a great impact on you?

  We have a lot of listeners who are business owners and managers who feel they have great products and services. But they lack the human capital that has that constant motivation, what's the one piece of advice that you'd give them to have a successful business having that consistent challenge that they're experiencing?

  Could you also share with us what's the one thing that's going on in your life right now that you're really excited about? Either something you're working on to develop yourself or your people.

  Where can listeners find you online?

  Now, before we wrap our episodes up, we always like to ask our guests, do you have a quote or a saying that during times of adversity or challenge, you will tend to revert to this quote, it kind of helps to get you back on track if for any reason you got derailed, or you got off track, just reminding yourself about that quote will kind of help to get you back on track, help you to get more focused. Do you have one of those? 

Highlights 

Michelle’s Journey

Michelle stated that she started off her career and kind of more of the traditional marketing, b2c and b2b type roles on the client side. And started in the advertising agency space, worked for a number of different retailers and brands, and eventually had kind of rounded out her experience and wanted to move into more of the tech side of things. 

She had some opportunities to go and work on the SaaS side of the business for a company called Vibes, which is a mobile marketing technology company. And through that experience, and kind of rounding out her mobile marketing experience, she was able to kind of continue her career path then into other SaaS organisations. And so, by herself, here today, very excited to be talking with you (Yanique).

 

Tell Us About Unit4

Me: So, Unit4, could you share with our audience a little bit about what Unit4is? What do you guys do?

Michelle shared that Unit4 is a cloud leader, really in the enterprise software space for midmarket, people centred organisations. And so, their solutions span everything from enterprise resource planning to financial planning and analysis tools, as well as procurement, project management for professional services organizations and so forth, as well as human capital management. 

So, their solutions really bring together all those various capabilities around financials, procurement, project management, HR, into one unified and cloud platform through their ERPX solution. So yeah, that's a little bit about Unit4.

Me: Quite a mouthful. So, at Unit4, a big part of what you focus on, we kind of alluded to it a bit before we started the official recording, how is it that you are able to improve CX by embracing customer centricity as a core value? And of course, there are some KPIs that you need to measure, so that's your area of expertise. So, could you share a little bit about that with our audience?

Michelle stated that she really believes that organizations need to always be looking how they stand out from the crowd, right. In order to do that, we have to find better ways to address customer needs, and make sure that we're providing value and attainable outcomes. We need business experience that extends past traditional customer touchpoints and make sure that we're always looking at ways that we can influence product innovation, we need to look at the employee experience, because employee experience really translates to that of the customer experience. And we need to make sure that also aligns with our customers organization serves their purpose and our values. 

So, one of the first steps in improving customer experience is really looking for a top down buy in across customer centricity and putting that at the heart of everything that you do in your business. So, whatever role you serve in the organization, that some way touches the end customer. 

And so, customer companies need to really be making sure that they're measuring customer centric KPIs in order to determine how are we doing? And how are our customers feeling about us? So, we always want to look at how well we're looking at gaining new customers into the business, how are we growing the existing base of customers that we have? And how are we ultimately retaining the customers that we have to make sure that they're becoming long term champions of our business through the success that they've achieved together in partnership with us? 

To kind of delve a little bit more into some of the KPIs, a couple of the things that we might look at are things like Net Promoter Score. So, looking at that kind of scale of 0 to 10 on how likely a customer is to recommend your company to a peer or colleague, looking at things like Customer Satisfaction Scores and making sure that those are kind of sprinkled all throughout the key listening posts of our customers.  

So, wherever they are engaging with us, whether that's post sales, or that's post implementation, or that's post a business review that we've had with them, we want to make sure that we're always facilitating, and asking for their feedback and making sure that we are taking that, capturing that feedback and looping back to set proper expectations with customers.

 

Recommended Frequency of Market Research Activities

 

Me: So, I'm glad you talked about KPIs in terms of like NPS and Customer Satisfaction Score. A lot of organisations also invest millions of dollars, sometimes even billions into market research, particularly like mystery shopping, and the mystery shopping sometimes will capture the NPS. What are your views on the frequency of doing these types of activities? And do you think it's critical to be doing it post transactional? Or should it be more so a conversation that you have with the client, maybe at the end of every quarter? What are some of your best practices that you'd recommend to clients? 

Michelle stated that frequency and cadence is definitely key, depending on the types of engagements, you want to make sure that they're throughout the customer's journey at the appropriate time. So, if you have a new customer that's joined, one of the things she mentioned is post sale, you have a customer that's gone through potentially a lengthy sales process with you, how did they find working across the organization, that's a great time for you to kind of see how the beginning part of their journey into implementation will go. 

Then you may also want to survey a customer as they're coming out of an implementation with you. So, after they've worked with the project management teams and met their CSM, how is that work stream going?

It's also key to mention business reviews. We may do quarterly business reviews with some of our customers. And so, making sure to take stock coming out of those meetings, what was the expectation? Did they see, hear, feel everything that they were expecting to have?  

And so, she thinks it's a real combination of both the quantitative surveys, but also those qualitative conversations to probe a bit deeper, where you may not have the opportunity, and just a quick plug in one question or two questions survey that sent via email. Having that face-to-face dialogue, or that phone call or that Zoom video just to meet with a customer and kind of ask some more of those probing questions is definitely key. 

She thinks that that is just as important during the beginning and middle phases of the journey with a customer as it is when you're coming up on renewal, so you may be looking at certain health indicators and want to also probe a bit deeper on some of those with customers, “Hey, you know, I've seen that you're expanding in your licences, tell me about how your company is utilizing those?” 

Or conversely, you might have a customer that's decided to move away from a portion of your product, “Tell me a bit more about why it is that you're leaving there, what you weren't adopting or finding useful, so that we can learn and bring that back into the business.”  

It also helps us from a churn management perspective, make sure that we are thinking about that and building that back into our way that we look at risk and mitigating risks with our customers.

  

Key Indicators that Organizations Need to Focus On for 2024 

Me: So, many different avenues and strategies that we can employ to ensure that we're doing the right kind of measurement. So, we are now in I would say, we're at the end of 2023. And we're embarking on 2024 and a lot has happened in the last couple of years, especially with a global pandemic and all, what are some key things that you found, trends that you've maybe seen just in your own business, as well as with your clients’ businesses that you believe if you really want to focus on dominating, navigating that CX space in such a positive way, that your brand has an exceptionally positive reputation and you have so many brand advertisers and evangelists for your business. What are some key indicators that you believe organizations need to focus on as we go into 2024? Where do they need to be giving their attention to? 

Michelle stated that she thinks that there's always a focus around personalization of an experience and how you can help customers throughout their journey to better smooth areas that potentially create bumps for them, can that happen through automation, Chat GPT? Can that help it happen through other self-service capabilities that you can serve up to them? 

And she also thinks probably goes without being said but ensuring that expectations of customers are properly managed all throughout. 

Making sure that you're always having dialogue with the customers’ needs in mind, that you're addressing pain points and the more and more that you can address those pain points through self-service, automation, ways that they can just make sure that they are able to get a quick path to value is really key, that frictionless experience for customers.

 

App, Website or Tool that Michelle Absolutely Can’t Live Without in Her Business

When asked about online resource that she cannot live without in her business, Michelle stated that for her, obviously Microsoft Teams, they use day in and day out in their business to communicate with their customers, to communicate with their teams internally. 

But one other, she would say tool that they use heavily within the customer success management space, is Gainsight. And that is a tool that allows them to bring so much knowledge and power into their organisation. It allows their CSMs to know what right move to make next in terms of how to engage both internally and externally with their customers. 

And it's becoming really more and more of a theatre of having a true customer 360 within their organization, so really, that single pane of glass view, if you will, of what their customers are experiencing. And so, if she had to pick one tool, she guesses she'd picked Gainsight because they're using it day in and day out and it's been really paramount to their success.

 

Books that Have Had the Biggest Impact on Michelle

When asked about books that has had an impact, Michelle shared that one book that she did read, it's been a very long time ago. But it was Dale Carnegie's How to Win Friends and Influence People. She read that during her graduate school programme. And despite that, it's been around for ages, she thinks it really does a great job of cutting to the core of how you can set yourself up to best relate with others through the power of being able to build strong relationships, and making sure that those relationships are built on like a mutual trust and credibility. So, she thinks that that is always relevant, no matter what role you're in, how do you build relationships? How do you help drive influence? So, that's just been a really meaningful book to her throughout the course of her career. 

One other thing she was going to add is that she listens to a number of different podcasts, perhaps different than books. But one podcast that she really enjoys is Mel Robbins Podcast, because she thinks she teaches a lot of both professional and personal habits that you can apply to everyday life, how you can really make sure that you're leading a productive and happy lifestyle and that you have that good work life balance. So, if you haven't checked Mel Robbins out, her podcast is great.

Me: Two excellent recommendations, Michelle. I totally agree with you about Dale Carnegie's book, the book came out in 1933, literally, many, many years ago, almost 100 years old. But the principles and concepts in that book are still relevant today. And I do listen to Mel's podcasts, and I follow her on most of her social media platforms, love her content. So, excellent recommendations for audience.  

 

Advice for Business Owners and Managers Who Have Great Products and Services but Lack the Constantly Motivated Human Capital 

Me: Now, we have a lot of listeners who are business owners and managers who feel they have great products and services. But sometimes they feel like they have constantly demotivated human capital, they lack the human capital that has that constant motivation. And motivation is one of those behaviours or competencies that comes from within, you can encourage it, but you can't actually evoke it or make it happen. So, if you were sitting across the table from that person, those business owners or managers today, what's the one piece of advice that you'd give them to have a successful business having that consistent challenge that they're experiencing?

When asked about advice she would give for the lack motivated human capital, Michelle shared that she thinks one of the most important things for her in terms of motivation is always trying to understand from a customer perspective, what it is that they're trying to achieve, because she thinks she gets a lot of motivation out of helping others. And she thinks when you feel like you have a true understanding of the problems that you're trying to solve, what tools you have at your disposal, and you feel like you can harness that power to find a way for those customers to excel and to drive outcomes in their business, that's extremely motivating to her. 

Everybody and perhaps new business owners or business owners, she really likes the idea of kind of starting before you're ready, everything has a beginning, right. And it's not going to be perfect, but she thinks the more and more you practice, and the more and more you get into the rhythm, you find that you figure your way through, everything is kind of easy to figureoutable. So, she likes the idea of kind of just starting things before maybe you feel like you've got it completely figured out and reframing things kind of as you work through them. So, that's kind of how she works through times of adversity or new skill sets she needs to kind of build rapidly and that's worked well for her.

 

What Michelle is Really Excited About Now!

When asked about something that she’s really excited about, Michelle shared that back over the beginning of the summer, they had a in person leadership seminar that they had done as a leadership team going through kind of the Clifton Strength Finders exercise. And she’s done all sorts of disc assessments and different things throughout the course of her career, but she really found that particular assessment very valuable. And for those of the listeners that might not be familiar, it's basically an online assessment you can take, takes about 20-30 minutes. And when you go through it, it ranks your top 5, top 10 and kind of, they call them all 34 of them strengths. 

And then you kind of understand where you can lean into a bit more as a leader. And by sharing it with your peers, you can really get a sense of how other people learn, how they like to communicate, how you give and receive feedback. And so, she actually liked that so much within their leadership conversations, she’s cascaded that down with her direct reports. And they've had some very, very good conversations about that, she thinks she’s just uncovered ways of working with people that she wouldn't have necessarily known. 

And it also helps from a leadership perspective, and she thinks managing perspective, understand more the types of skills that people have, the types of things that are motivation factors for them, so that you can really make the most impact of your team.

Her top strength coming out of that was individualization, which basically is your ability to kind of take a survey across the landscape and understand which individuals that are best suited for which areas and how to best pull out the different strengths of people you work with. 

And so, it was eye opening to see some of the things she might have thought she would have scored higher on versus those that she perhaps has some developmental opportunities with. So, if people haven't taken that, she would highly encourage it, she found it extremely valuable. And she knows her team enjoyed the conversations that they had off the back of the exercise.

 

Where Can We Find Michelle Online

LinkedIn: Michelle MacCarthy

 

Website: https://www.unit4.com/

 

Quote or Saying that During Times of Adversity Michelle Uses 

When asked about a quote or saying that she tend to revert to during times of adversity or challenge, Michelle stated that she thinks one of the things from Mel Robbins and it's not necessarily a quote, but she has The 5 Second Rule and one of the things she has been trying to do whenever she feels like she’s getting off track, or maybe you start to go down a negative path is just to say yourself, “5, 4, 3, 2, 1” and then launch yourself into doing what you next need to do. So, that's from her book The 5 Second Rule: Transform Your Life, Work, and Confidence with Everyday Courage, Mel Robbins. But she’s really been trying to use that to break habits and people use it to get themselves out of bed in the morning, from going down a negative path. 

So, the other one that she would say she really like, and it's from John Maxwell is, “A leader knows the way, goes the way and shows the way.” And she thinks that's so powerful to remember, it's not just about kind of saying the vision, but it's also about walking the talk. So, she'll leave us with that.

Me: Amazing. Thank you so much, Michelle. Now, Michelle, we just want to express our deepest gratitude to you for taking time out of your very busy schedule to kind of hop on this podcast and share with our audience a little bit about your journey, how you got to where you are today, why it is important to ensure that you're measuring for the right things as it relates to improving CX in your business and of course embracing customer centricity as a core value. And then looking at also the frequency of how you do those measurements, and what kind of things you really need to be targeting and focused on at different periods of your business to ensure that you're really delivering on the expectations of your customers and of course, aiming to exceed those expectations to create that long lasting relationship. So, your insights today, your knowledge today, all that you shared with us today, we are extremely grateful. So, thank you so much.

  

Please connect with us on Twitter @navigatingcx and also join our Private Facebook Community – Navigating the Customer Experience and listen to our FB Lives weekly with a new guest

 

Links

     How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie

     The 5 Second Rule: Transform Your Life, Work, and Confidence with Everyday Courage by Mel Robbins

  

The ABC’s of a Fantastic Customer Experience

 

Grab the Freebie on Our Website – TOP 10 Online Business Resources for Small Business Owners 

Do you want to pivot your online customer experience and build loyalty - get a copy of “The ABC’s of a Fantastic Customer Experience.”

The ABC's of a Fantastic Customer Experience provides 26 easy to follow steps and techniques that helps your business to achieve success and build brand loyalty.

This Guide to Limitless, Happy and Loyal Customers will help you to strengthen your service delivery, enhance your knowledge and appreciation of the customer experience and provide tips and practical strategies that you can start implementing immediately!

This book will develop your customer service skills and sharpen your attention to detail when serving others.

Master your customer experience and develop those knock your socks off techniques that will lead to lifetime customers. Your customers will only want to work with your business and it will be your brand differentiator. It will lead to recruiters to seek you out by providing practical examples on how to deliver a winning customer service experience!

Oct 31, 2023

Adam Bryant is a Senior Managing Director and Partner at the ExCo Group, where he works with hundreds of senior leaders and high-potential executives. As the creator and former author of the iconic “Corner Office” column in The New York Times, Bryant has mastered the art of distilling real-world lessons from his hundreds of interviews and turning them into practical tools, presentations and exercises to help companies deepen their leadership benches and strengthen their teams. 

He also works with executive leadership teams to help drive their transformation strategies based on a best practices framework he developed for his widely praised book, THE CEO TEST: Master the Challenges That Make or Break All Leaders.

 

Questions 

  We always like to ask our guests in their own words, could you share a little bit about your journey, how it is that you got to where you are today.

  What would you say the ratio was in terms of gender, and even generation in terms of the number of CEOs that you interviewed? Would you say you got a wide cross section of different generations? And would you say it's more of a male to female higher ratio, or vice versa? Or do you think it was balanced? And did you find any differences based on those considerations that I just mentioned?

  What would you say are three overarching themes that you'd have picked up or trends that you picked up from those interviews?

  What are some ways that you believe the leaders can help to reinforce at least to strengthen any doubts that employees may have to ensure that they recognise that the technology, that artificial intelligence is not there to get rid of them, but rather to make their jobs easier.

  Could you also share with our audience what's the one online resource, tool, website or app that you absolutely cannot live without in your business?

  Could you also share with us maybe one or two books that you have read that have had a great impact on you? It could be a book that you read a very long time ago, or even one that you've read recently.

  Now, we have a lot of listeners who are business owners and managers who feel sometimes that their products and services, of course, are the best, but sometimes they lack the constantly motivated human capital. And so, if you're sitting across the table from that person, what's the one piece of advice that you would give them to have a successful business?

  Now, could you also share with us what's going on in your life right now that you're really excited about? Either something you're working on to develop yourself or your people.

  Where can listeners find you online?

  Now, before we wrap our episodes up, we always like to ask our guests, do you have a quote or saying that during times of adversity or challenge, you will tend to revert to this quote if for any reason you got derailed, or you got off track, the quote kind of helps to get you back on track.

 

Highlights

Adam’s Journey 

Adam shared that he was a journalist for 30 years, 18 years he was at the New York Times, spent a lot of years as a business reporter and interviewed a lot of CEOs. And he just found over time, the more he spent with CEOs, the more he wanted to set aside the usual questions people ask of CEOs about their company strategy and their products and services and things like that. And just ask them kind of how do you do what you do? And how did you learn to do what you do?

So, he rolled that impulse up into this very simple “What if” in 2009 and it was what if I sat down with CEOs, and never asked them a single question about their companies? And instead just ask them about personal leadership lessons they've learned over the course of their lives and how they think about all the universal challenges of leadership, like hiring and building teams and culture and all those things. So, that was kind of the initial idea, and sort of brought him very much into the leadership space. 

So, he did that for a decade, interviewed more than 525 CEOs, started writing books and teaching leadership and all that was a side project in addition to his day job managing teams of reporters at The Times. And he left The Times 6 years ago to join his current firm, the ExCo Group. And as said, their core business is kind of one on one mentoring and leadership development and he’s got 4 interview series on LinkedIn, and continue writing books and interviewing leaders about leadership, not about company strategy. So, that's kind of the thumbnail.

 

Gender or Generation Influence on Leadership

Me: So, leadership is your thing, Adam, and I heard that you interviewed 500 and odd people, that's a lot of people to be talking about. And I can imagine that, what would you say the ratio was in terms of gender, and even generation in terms of the number of CEOs that you interviewed? Would you say you got a wide cross section of different generations? And would you say it's more of a male to female higher ratio, or vice versa? Or do you think it was balanced? And did you find any differences based on those considerations that I just mentioned? 

Adam stated that he appreciates the question. And it was the 500 plus for the New York Times, and with all the interviews that he’s been doing on LinkedIn since, he’s now passed the 1000 interview milestone, but to your question. So, he told the story of how he created the Corner Office column based on that simple “What if” and the other sort of guiding principle he set for himself from the very start was that he was going to embrace diversity in every sense of the word - race, gender, nationality, for profit, not for profit, size of company, really want to get as much of a cross section as he could. Interviewed a couple of leaders from Jamaica as well, a guy named Lloyd Carney, who ran Brocade Communications. 

And so, his goal was very much to not just go down this sort of fortune 500 list of CEOs, because then it's going to be overwhelmingly white males, of course. And he really wanted to get a complete view of leadership. 

And to your question about patterns that he was looking for, he thinks there are pretty clear patterns, like talking to young CEOs who run tech companies in Silicon Valley is a slightly different conversation than somebody who's running at Fortune 20 company, for example. 

But on the specific question of gender and being in first couple of 100 interviews he did, he’s always sort of looking for patterns and sometimes when he would give talks, people would say, “Have you noticed any differences between men and women leadership styles?” And he has to say, where he comes down is that he doesn't, there's just too many exceptions to the generalizations and stereotypes that people have about men and female leadership styles. So, to the point is like there's so many exceptions that for him, the generalizations and stereotypes do break down at the sort of CEO level.  

People have written a lot about it and talk a lot about how one of the differences between men and women when they're coming up in their careers that women will sometimes feel like they need to be 100% qualified for a job before they go for it. Whereas men are much more willing to raise their hand even if they're not ready. And that may be true. And there's a lot of research around that. But for people in the CEO role and their leadership style, he really didn't see the difference, to be clear, not in terms of whether they were the same, they had different leadership styles, but just around EQ or IQ or extrovert, or introvert or different styles, it didn't break down along gender lines for him.

 

Three Themes/Trends Identified From Leadership Interviews

Me: Now, you said you've way surpassed 1000 mark as it relates to CEO interviews, especially with your LinkedIn profile of interviews added to that. Across the many different interviews you've done, I imagine for CEOs across many different industries, what would you say are, let's say three overarching themes that you found that is critical for a leader to be successful, especially if the leader is trying to ensure that customer experience is one of the KPIs that they believe in, not just about operational of the business or making the profits, but having a culture where people value the internal customer experience and of course, there's some, I would say, measurement, or some assessment that's being done to ensure that it's been transcended to the external customers as well. What would you say are three overarching themes that you'd have picked up or trends that you picked up from those interviews?

Adam stated that it's a great question about what are sort of the common themes that through lines from all the interviews. And he'll start with the idea of simplifying complexity, which he thinks is an art form, it's a skill. And he doesn't think you can be a CEO or an effective leader if you're not good at simplifying complexity, there's a lot going on in the world, in different industries, inside your company and he really feel like it is a leader’s job to be able to stand in front of their entire team at an all hands meeting or on a zoom call, and just answer those really simple questions that frankly, little kids ask in the backseat of the car, like, “Where are we going? How are we going to get there? When are we going to get there? And not everybody does that. 

We've all encountered people who actually seem to add more complexity to things, but you've got to be able to simplify complexity and boil it down to the 3 or 4 things that are really going to matter at your company. And he just thinks that's a really critical skill and depending on the nature of your business, but if you are in a customer service business, and that's crucial to your success, then you've got to be really clear about how that is going to drive your success and you can't be the leader who says we have 20 priorities and customer service is one of them. If it really is critical to driving your success, it has to be one of a hit handful of key priorities and there's got to be a way to measure it, you have to talk about it all the time, you have to role model it, and just keep shining that bright spotlight on why it's important. So, he thinks that's one. 

In terms of a couple of other things, because people often wonder, like if I want to be a CEO? Like how do I get to the corner office? 

And he finds people are often trying to think of like, well, what's the right path? And they wonder, you know, am I on the right path if I want to get that job. And based on all the interviews he’s done, he’s come down on the idea that there really is no right path per se, directionally, there's obvious things if you want to get to a certain place, you have to be moving in the broadly in the direction toward that. But in terms of the specific path, it's not about sort of checking boxes and getting certain titles, but the thing that has really struck him about all the leaders that he’s interviewed is that they make the most of the path that they are on.  

So, it's not like they're wondering, am I on the right path? It's whatever they are doing, they've realized that there are life lessons and leadership lessons everywhere, and you can always be learning. And to him, that's one of the skills that really sets people apart that whatever experience they're having, and the metaphor he likes to use is that your experience is like this sort of wet towel, like it absorbs all this experience. But then, what do you do with that, and he thinks the best leaders take that talent, they sort of twist it and wring it, and just get every last drop of insight and lesson around it, from it. Because, again, there are lessons everywhere, you can learn from a bad boss, you can learn from a good boss, you can learn from watching teams. 

And so, the really high performers to him is they're always making time to process and reflect and say, “Okay, what did I experience? What did I see? What are the patterns? What are the lessons that I can learn from that?” And the final point he'll make in terms of how you succeeded, we could talk about this for hours, but just one of them that he thinks really sets people apart is the simple idea of being a good listener. Because he feels like it's one of those things it's not taught in business schools, he doesn't know of any business school that teaches a course on listening, but he feels like it's really an underappreciated superpower of good leaders. 

Because whenever you start thinking, like, I've got all the answers, like, that's when you're dead in the water. And so, you have to just have a really great skills as listener to get everybody's best thinking out on the table so that you really know what's going on in your organization, because history is filled with stories of big companies that got into trouble because nobody wanted to tell the boss the bad news. 

So, you've got to not only be a good listener, one on one and in team settings, but you've almost got to build an infrastructure at your companies so that you know what's really happening and so that there's not some like, bad news on the front lines or trouble spots that you're not hearing about. So, to him, those are the three things that jumped to mind when you asked that question.

 

Ways Leaders Can Help Reinforce to Employees the True Role of Artifical Intelligence

Me: So, leadership is very important, as it relates to delivering a strong customer experience. And I always tell my clients that mud flows from the top of the stream, so meaning, if the leadership is poor, and customer service, or customer experience is not important to them, it really flows all the way down to the end user, which is the customer, whether it's digital experience or face to face.  

In your experience, especially with so much technology happening out there nowadays, we have Chat GPT, there's a lot of artificial intelligence coming on board. And I mean up to last night, I was watching the local news, and they had a question poll that they were posing to Jamaicans stating did they feel that their jobs are in jeopardy as it relates to AI being so evolving and coming about. 

And so, I wanted your views on as it relates to leadership, what are some ways as I don't think that people's jobs are going to become obsolete. I believe that human interaction is something that we will always need, regardless of the industry that you are in, and I believe the technology is there to definitely enhance the experience not to replace it.  

But based on your research across the different industries, what are some ways that you believe the leaders can help to reinforce at least to strengthen any doubts that employees may have to ensure that they recognize that the technology, the artificial intelligence is not there to get rid of them, but rather to make their jobs easier?

Adam stated that to him, what Yanique just said is the answer. The point of AI and technology is to take care of much more of the routine things so that we as human beings can add more value and let the machines take care of stuff. So, ideally, it will take care of just those rote aspects of our jobs so that we can figure out better ways to add value, because that's ultimately what's about, right, like, how are we individually and as teams creating value for the company.  

And in terms of leadership's role in all this, he often comes back to the power of stories, which is a big part of communication, because he thinks there are some leaders who are good at saying the right words and phrases, and it's easy to stand on a stage and say customer service is really important. But he thinks telling and sharing stories is how you make that real. And whether that story is about how you as a leader, customer service is really important to you and your experience in your life and the success of the company, and then to sort of tell stories to highlight people on the team who have really gone above and beyond and make them the heroes. 

Because he thinks company culture, maybe everybody talks about values, and a lot of culture is determined by who gets fired and who gets promoted and compensation structures. But he often thinks about culture is determined in large part by the hero narratives that the companies tell because if you think of companies like tribes, they are tribes in a sense, that it's really like who does the tribe hold up as a hero? And what did they do? And if customer service is really key to your success, then how do you as a leader tell the hero narratives, tell the stories, highlight the people that went above and beyond. 

To him, that's one of the ways from a leadership point of view, you make people feel like, “Wow, this really is important.” 

And it's not just the heroes within the company, but also telling the stories about your customers, and how you are helping them and having an impact on their businesses in their lives. So, he often come back to this idea that leaders in many ways are like the storytellers and chief and so they've got to tell those stories and share those narratives.

 

App, Website or Tool that Adam Absolutely Can’t Live Without in His Business

When asked about online resources that he cannot live without in his business, Adam shared that he probably do spend a lot of time on LinkedIn. He mentioned that sounds like a really obvious answer, but just in the work that he does, and he’s got 4 interview series, and he really believes that LinkedIn is emerged as kind of the Facebook for business, and everybody's on it. 

And people have written about this before, but he also thinks it's just an important reminder that there's a lot of toxic stuff on different social media sites and he just stated the blindingly obvious, but he does find LinkedIn is a pretty positive place. Like people are generally pretty supportive of each other, and then they kind of put their best selves there. So, that's where he spends a lot of time.

 

Books that Have Had the Biggest Impact on Adam

When asked about books that has had a great impact, Adam stated that in terms just in terms of fiction. He recently finished a book called Demon Copperhead: A Pulitzer Prize Winner by Barbara Kingsolver, he thinks it won the Pulitzer Prize. It’s been a long time since he’s read a work of fiction that had as much insight about human nature and just packed with wisdom. So, he does recommend that. 

Non-fiction, he really like adventure books, he has to say. So, stories about whaling adventures in the old days and how people survived, he’s really drawn to stories about resilience and what people do when they're facing a really tough task. So, he’s often drawn to that.

 

Advice for Business Owners and Managers Who Have Great Products and Services but Lack the Constantly Motivated Human Capital 

Me: Now, we have a lot of listeners who are business owners and managers who feel sometimes that their products and services, of course, are the best, but sometimes they lack the constantly motivated human capital. And so, if you're sitting across the table from that person, what's the one piece of advice that you would give them to have a successful business?

Adam shared that to him, it's about constantly going back to the why. And people talk a lot about mission and purpose. And he'll be honest, he finds that conversation, especially happened after in the last few years, just companies have been talking a lot about their purpose and mission statements. And some of them he will confess does make him a little sceptical, because they are often very broad and general, and at such a high altitude, they feel kind of disconnected from the business. And very often they're just some version of make the world a better place.  

But he thinks there is an art form to doing that, right, which is to constantly be communicating people and reminding people about the impact that you're having as a business. Because his prediction and not asking you to bet 20 bucks on his prediction, but he feels like this moment we're in where purpose discussions are so front and centre, he thinks those are going to be shifting more towards impact over time. And to him, the difference is that when you talk about purpose, that's really about your intent. And that's the very internal, you're basically saying, “When I get up in the morning, this is my purpose. Nobody can question that.” Because you say this is in my heart. 

He thinks one of the things that special and unique about business, is that it's more about impact, which is how do you show that purpose in action? So, to him, that's much more about like almost proof, like we said, this is our purpose, but this is what we're doing. We want to show you, we want to be able to document and show you the impact that we're having. 

And he thinks as a leader, we can all get kind of pulled down to just the day to day of the business. But you often have to sort of pick your head up and remind people and just sort of take stock and say, “Look at the difference we're making in people's lives.” And when you say those things, they should be tied directly to the business, it shouldn't feel disconnected. And you don't have to worry about being so lofty, and everybody's making the world a better place, you can be very much like look at the difference we're making for our customers and what we're doing. Because that helps bring out people's like, passion and pride. And then you're going to get that extra effort from them.

 

What Adam is Really Excited About Now!

When asked about something that he’s really excited about, Adam stated that at a personal level be very mundane at the risk of oversharing, but he’s really focused on ping pong these days.

Me: Really? Are you trying to master it? 

Adam stated hardly master it, but he’s sort of living in New Orleans now. And they moved there a few years ago, their two daughters moved there, and so, they joined them. And as he recently passed a birthday with a number six in front of it, he sort of decided he wanted to get back in touch with his inner teenager and start taking up some sports and things. So, he actually has a ping pong coach. He stated that he knows that sounds pretty unusual.

Me: That is brilliant.

Adam stated that he trains with him a couple of days a week. And his metrics scoreboard about whether he’s getting better or not, is he played his son-in-law once a week for a couple of hours, and what's cool is when you're 61, and you say, I want to get better at that, and you actually get better at it. That's pretty cool. So that's his very personal thing he’s focused on right now. 

But much more broadly, he’s been in the leadership field and he’s pretty passionate about it for a couple of reasons. He will say that if you give him a really big magic wand with three things to do it, he would get rid of racism, inequality and bad bosses because there are still too many bad bosses in the world. 

And he thinks sometimes we under appreciate what a toxic effect they have on individuals and by extension their families. And that's not just to be negative about that but what also gets him out of bed is just trying to help people be better leaders for those who do want to be better managers and leaders. And he thinks there's a huge responsibility and privilege that comes with that. 

His approach to leadership, he doesn't wake up in the middle of the night pretending he’s come up with some new theory, he takes more of a journalistic approach to understanding leadership and interviewing people who are leading and have been leading for a long time. And then what he tries and do is sort of share the insights and the stories and the frameworks and really open up that conversation so that people could say, “Wow, that's a great tip, I can take that and use it with my own team.” So, if at the end of the day he could make a small contribution and help people become better as managers and leaders, that's pretty motivating.

 

Where Can We Find Adam Online

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/adambryantleadership/

 

Personal: https://adambryantbooks.com/about-adam/


Book:
https://www.amazon.com/Leap-Leader-Ambitious-Managers-Leadership/dp/1647824893/ref=sr_1_1?crid=3GPHBI3CJH7I1&keywords=leap+to+leader+adam+bryant&qid=1682433550&sprefix=leap+to+leader+adam+bryant%2Caps%2C76&sr=8-1


Twitter: 
https://twitter.com/adambbryant

Website: https://www.excoleadership.com/

 

Quote or Saying that During Times of Adversity Adam Uses

When asked about a quote or saying that he tends to revert to, Adam shared that there's probably a couple that he always falls back on. And he’s heard this from CEOs he’s interviewed, but one of them is that “95% of the worst things that happen to you in your life very often turn out to be the best things that happened to you in your life.” And that's not to say all of them, right. And some things that happened to you there's nothing good about them. But when you think back on your life, and sort of those moments of adversity that you've faced, very often they did turn out to be like, really important pivot points that helped you grow and build character. And there's a lot of lessons and insights there. So even though when you're in the middle of something it feels pretty dark, sort of know that over time, you're going to learn a lot from that. 

And there's a couple of other short answers. There's that expression, “You're either winning or learning. It's not about winning or losing, but it's about winning or learning.” So, there's always lessons that you can and should be taking from whatever adversity you're going through. If you feel like you've failed or disappointed yourself, it's like that happens to everybody. Right? But the question is, what do you do with it? What is that wet towel of experience that you can then take and ring and say, okay, “What are the insights here and keep squeezing it for that?” 

Me: Thank you so much for sharing. We'll definitely have those two in the show notes of this episode. Well, Adam, we are at the end of our interview, I can't believe it feels like we just started talking but thank you so much for jumping on this podcast today and sharing all of these great insights and nuggets as it relates to leadership, all of the great information and experiences that you've garnered over the years talking to CEOs as you had mentioned from so many different industries from all different walks of life across the world. I am sure that anyone who listens to this episode will pick up at least one thing that they can run with to help them sharpen their leadership skills. So, thank you so much.

 

Please connect with us on Twitter @navigatingcx and also join our Private Facebook Community – Navigating the Customer Experience and listen to our FB Lives weekly with a new guest

 

Links

     Demon Copperhead: A Pulitzer Prize Winner by Barbara Kingsolver

 

The ABC’s of a Fantastic Customer Experience

 

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Oct 11, 2023

CJ Stratte is a highly accomplished female entrepreneur, currently serving as a CEO and President of On The Move Trucks, a successful turn-key truck rental company catering to self-storage and real estate professionals. With substantial experience in the industry, CJ has been instrumental in driving the company's growth and expansion over the years. 

As a sought-after speaker at various self-storage events, CJ has shared her extensive knowledge and expertise on topics such as business strategy, marketing and customer service, offering valuable insights to industry professionals.  

CJ is a true marketing enthusiast and firmly believes in the power of effective marketing to drive business success. Throughout her career, she has demonstrated a deep commitment to excellence, innovation and providing exceptional value to clients, helping On The Move Trucks establish a strong reputation as a leader in the truck rental industry.  

Questions

  So, we always like to give our guests an opportunity to share a little bit about their journey. So, in your own words, how did you get from where you were then to where you are today?

  Could you share with our audience, maybe two or three, I would say lessons that you've learned along the way that you found has been influential in helping the business to become more customer centric.

  What are some ways in which the marketing aspect because I know you mentioned in your bio that you focus a lot on marketing, how have you been able to kind of marry what you're doing with marketing to kind of infuse that into the experience that the customer has.

  Could you share with our listeners, maybe two things that are of great importance to you when do business with an organisation.

  Now, could you also share with our listeners what's the one online resource, tool, website or app that you absolutely can't live without in your business?

  Could you also share with our listeners, maybe one or two books that have had a great impact on you. It could be a book that you read a very long time ago, or even one that you've read recently, but it has had a great impact on you.

  We do have a lot of listeners that tap into this podcast who are business owners and managers, who they have great products and services, but sometimes they like to constantly motivated human capital, if one of those persons were sitting across the room from you right now and they asked you, what's the one piece of advice that you could give them to kind of turn that human capital motivation around, what would that be?

  Can you also share with our listeners, what's the one thing that's going on in your life right now that you're really excited about, either something you're working on to develop yourself or your people?

  Where can listeners find you online?

  Now, before we wrap our episodes up, we always like to ask our guests, do you have a quote or saying that during times of adversity or challenge, you will tend to revert to this quote? It kind of helps to get you back on track if for any reason you got derailed. Do you have one of those?

 

Highlights

CJ’s Journey

CJ shared that it's been an interesting journey, she originally went to college, she wanted to own a hotel. And so, she went to school to do that and she took a marketing class and changed her whole trajectory of her career and plans that she thought she had, how you do when you are 18 going to school, you think you know it all, but she really grasp into marketing and have enjoyed the career that she’s had with it. 

She’s luckily worked for a family business and so, they had a marketing director when she began working there, but she quit, and her family never replaced her. So, she just kind of stepped in and did the work and taught herself how to do all the marketing for their company and have experimented in all. They didn't have Facebook marketing classes back when she was in school or social media for marketing purposes. So, it's been an interesting change over the years with the technology and all the creepy things we can do in marketing now.

 

Lessons Learned Helping Her Business Be Customer Centric

Me: Could you share with our audience, maybe two or three, I would say lessons that you've learned along the way that you found has been influential in helping the business to become more customer centric.

 

CJ shared that she is very focused on the customers, we're here to make them great, her product is to make their product better, which is very fun, gives her a lot of passion about what she does. But her biggest thing is that she’s trying to make it easier for their customers to do everything, they have a pretty basic product like truck rental, it's not very sexy, there's many things you can do to change it but the technology has changed where they can make it easier for her storage facility owners to make it easier for their customers to book it. Even with you just using simple technology that we have like Calendly and like using that as a tool to book trucks and make it easier for their customers to not have to be so involved with looking at calendars and going back and forth with dates. So, that's been very cool with their customers are a lot happier with the time that it takes to book a rental makes them look more professional. 

And so, they provide the whole software for them to be able to do that and she’s changed it a couple of times over the last couple years or actually over the last 20 years. So, their software now is it was very old school when she first got a hold of it then, it was like you had to drop down every number for like the time, so you'd have to go scroll down to a one and then go zero and am and all that, it was very time consuming.  

So, they are about to launch their newest software that she’s been working on for the last year, where they basically just send a link to their customer to rent their truck, and they don't have to worry about it. So, really excited about that. They also do a quarterly magazine for their customers, which they feature different tips and tricks that they've heard from other customers, they have their customers write articles for them for the magazine. So, she really liked the ability to share the success stories, and how the best way to use their truck. 

She loves it when they use it for charity. So, they'll donate their truck usage of running their trucks out to maybe the women's shelter or other organizations within the community. So, she loves hearing those stories.  

And another way they have really worked with their customers is she actually personally will get on a Zoom, they are a nationwide company, so Zoom has been a whole life changer with getting in front of her customers and being like, “Okay, why is your truck rental not working? How can you rent your truck out more?” And seeing what's going on, and so, she has Zoom calls with customers and like, “Okay, if you want to get your truck out more, maybe we should have a sign outside.” And she’s created signs and printed them for customers and just the more successful they are with their products that she supplies, then the better off she is too, so she’s just really working with their customers and their successes is what she believes is important to be successful.

 

Infuse Marketing Into the Experience That Customers Have

Me: So, in addition to working with the customers and having that one on one touch point kind of interaction with them, as you mentioned just now, could you share with us, our listeners, what are some ways in which the marketing aspect because I know you mentioned in your bio that you focus a lot on marketing, how have you been able to kind of marry what you're doing with marketing to kind of infuse that into the experience that the customer has, you kind of touched on it a little bit when you mentioned the technology, and customer experience in terms of creating that frictionless, seamless experience. But are there any other things that you've been doing that kind of helps to enhance that?

 

CJ shared that the fun thing about what they do is they actually help their customers custom design the graphics for their truck, to be able to advertise their business. So, they definitely get asked their advice and make sure that the spelling is correct, that kind of thing. They've come up with helpful marketing phrases to use. And so, that's part of it, like just really working with their customers hand in hand to give them the product that they are looking for. But they also have the expertise to know what has been successful with their customers. 

And so, if they see custom graphics that maybe don't look great, she’s not afraid to say something to her customers and be like, “Maybe not use so many words, or let's use a different colour, you can't really see that far away,” and that kind of thing.

 

Aspects of Service Delivery that is Important to CJ as a Customer

Me: So, you do get hands on, which is really great. Now, as a consumer yourself CJ, to kind of take yourself out to the situation where you are actually the service provider, but you are the person that the service is being provided to, could you share with our listeners, maybe two things that are of great importance to you when do business with an organiation.

 

CJ shared that she always believes follow up is always great. She gets super busy, but she really wants a product and she just have a couple more questions, but then she gets another product she wants. And then she has more questions about that and so she forgets about product one, so she just thinks having patience with our customers and realising that they're busy just as she is. And she really wants to buy something, but she forgets about it. 

And so, she just thinks follow up is really great with a customer experience, it doesn't mean that they don't want it, it's just they have kids or emergency at work where it just gets put to the backburner. So, she just always like having people being patient with her but keeping in touch about different products that she’s looking to buy and keeping it in her forefront with just a polite nudge with an email or a call or whatever. But just not to be forgotten just because she didn't call back doesn't mean she’s not interested.

  

Me: All right, follow up. Very good. So, that's one thing you look out for is there another thing you'd like to share with us that you really look out for when you're doing business with an organization?

 

CJ shared that she really likes the customer experiences through the website and being able to find the information she needs, being able to check out if she’s purchasing something online, and just having a great experience online and making sure that your websites up to date, the links are working, that your checkout process is easy to use still.

 

App, Website or Tool that CJ Absolutely Can’t Live Without in Her Business

When asked about online resources that she cannot live without in her business, CJ stated that there's a lot. She thinks Canva is one of her favourite things that has been invented in her tenure as a marketing director, she never had the design gene, she’s always just been like the strategy. And so, having Canva has really made her able to show what she’s picturing in her head a little bit easier, and help her with her campaigns and really simplify the process, she likes that. 

And then she’s just looking through her phone real quick, she’s like what else does she use, Outlook, having that app and that kind of thing on my phone so she doesn't have to wait until the next day to answer a simple request. She feels like there's an app for everything, she met her husband on an app. She definitely likes Microsoft Teams and that's always great because having the Teams app for Microsoft 365 or whatever it is and being able to quickly answer her employees when they have questions, that's been a life changer.

 

Books that Have Had the Biggest Impact on CJ

When asked about books that have had a great impact, CJ shared that one of her favourite books, she likes to keep things simple and she likes a little bit of cheesiness and that kind of stuff. But she liked Rhinoceros Success: The Secret To Charging Full Speed Toward Every Opportunity by Scott Alexander, but it was a book written by a younger author, and he was just getting into the business world and he was just being like, “You got to be a Rhino, you've got to have thick skin.” And just blast through your career and don't take no for an answer type of mentality in that book. 

And it was just a quick 100 page read, but she made all her sales team read it. And just, she got every little Rhinos, they got their first sale after reading that book. So, she kind of had that in here. And then she couldn't do what she does without reading the Bible, that's her go to for solving her issues and keeping strong in her career.

 

Advice for Business Owners and Managers Who Have Great Products and Services but Lack the Constantly Motivated Human Capital 

Me: Now, could you also share with our listeners, CJ how many persons do you have in your organization in total? 

CJ stated just about 20.

Me: So, I would say it could be classified as a small organization. But regardless, we do have a lot of listeners that tap into this podcast who are business owners and managers, who they have great products and services, but sometimes they like to constantly motivated human capital, if one of those persons were sitting across the room from you right now and they asked you, what's the one piece of advice that you could give them to kind of turn that human capital motivation around, what would that be?

CJ shared that she just feels like being kind and patient and understanding. There's so many things going on in the world and in people's lives, she’s always had strict bosses that are like, “Okay, be here 9 am to 5 pm.” And then not getting projects done and that kind of stuff. But she feels like if she helps her teammates get to where they're lacking and show them how she would do it. And she gives them the space to do what they need to do. But she tries to be understanding like, “Okay, I can work from home, but my daughter is sick, so I want to be home.” And so, she’s pretty lenient with that kind of stuff because she just feels like when you're happy at home, you're more productive at work. So, if she’s worried about her daughter all day being sick, then she’s not going to get any work done at the office or not.

 

Me: All right, so be kind and be patient.

 

What CJ is Really Excited About Now!

When asked about something that she’s excited about, CJ shared that she’s been really excited about listening to more podcasts and being part of them actually, that's been a lot of fun. She’s learned a lot from different hosts like yourself (Yanique), and it's helping get her confidence better, like actually saying out loud what she does is very helpful with her growth, and in leadership, and that kind of thing too. So, she’s really excited about that. 

She’s been really working with having more intimate meetings with her leadership team and going off campus she calls it and really just sit out there, sit together just talking like more in private, but they'll be like at a restaurant or something where they're not in front of the team. And they can just kind of say how they're feeling and what strategies they have. And they come up with great brainstorming sessions. And so, she’s really enjoyed having some of those meetings and just working closely with her leadership team to nail out some great plans.

 

Where Can We Find CJ Online

Linkedin – CJ Stratte

Facebook – CJ Stratte

Website – www.onthemovetrucks.com

 

Quote or Saying that During Times of Adversity CJ Uses 

When asked about a quote or saying that she tends to revert to, CJ shared that yes, actually, she just texted it to one of her good friends, she's going through some personal issues. And she always just remembers, “Everything's temporary.” Every day goes by and if you survive to the next day, you did great. So, it's just like everything's temporary, it's not always going to be a bad day, it's not always going to be a good day. So, it's just temporary, and go to the next hurdle or the next success and be grateful for your successes and just don't harp too much on your failures.

 

Me: Thank you so much for sharing that quote, CJ, we will definitely have that in the show notes of this episode.

 

So, just want to extend our warmest gratitude and appreciation to you for jumping on this podcast with us today. I know you took time out of your very busy schedule, running a company must take up a lot of your time. And so, we want to thank you for your sharing some of the journeys that you've been on, the impact that you've had on the clients that you have as it relates to your trucking business. And just some of the benefits that customer experience can have to organizations across different industries. I do believe that what you shared today will be of great value to our listeners. So, thank you again.

 

Please connect with us on Twitter @navigatingcx and also join our Private Facebook Community – Navigating the Customer Experience and listen to our FB Lives weekly with a new guest

 

Links

     Rhinoceros Success: The Secret To Charging Full Speed Toward Every Opportunity by Scott Alexander

 

The ABC’s of a Fantastic Customer Experience

 

Grab the Freebie on Our Website – TOP 10 Online Business Resources for Small Business Owners 

Do you want to pivot your online customer experience and build loyalty - get a copy of “The ABC’s of a Fantastic Customer Experience.”

The ABC's of a Fantastic Customer Experience provides 26 easy to follow steps and techniques that helps your business to achieve success and build brand loyalty.

This Guide to Limitless, Happy and Loyal Customers will help you to strengthen your service delivery, enhance your knowledge and appreciation of the customer experience and provide tips and practical strategies that you can start implementing immediately!

This book will develop your customer service skills and sharpen your attention to detail when serving others.

Master your customer experience and develop those knock your socks off techniques that will lead to lifetime customers. Your customers will only want to work with your business and it will be your brand differentiator. It will lead to recruiters to seek you out by providing practical examples on how to deliver a winning customer service experience!

Oct 3, 2023

 Kat Kennan is the founder and CEO of Radical Customer Experience™️, a ground-breaking consulting firm that encourages brands to establish genuine connections with their customers by embracing strengths-based, trauma-informed, and inclusive marketing services. 

With a passion for empowering individuals and driving positive change, her mission is to help brands speak up, speak out, and foster diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging in their customer interactions. As a certified trauma-informed professional, Kat brings a crucial perspective to her work, infusing every aspect of her business ventures with a deep understanding of the human experience.  

Questions

  We always like to give our guests an opportunity to share in their own words a little bit about their journey. So, could you tell our listeners how did you get from where you were to where you are today?

  You are very good at encouraging your brands to establish genuine connections by embracing strength-based, trauma-informed and inclusive marketing services. Could you break that down for our listeners in a very layman terms that the average person listening could understand what all of that means?

  You embrace a framework called the three R's framework, which stands for Radical Vulnerability, Radical Empathy and Radical Transparency. So, could you first break down what each of those R's mean, what they represent, and then maybe give us an example of those in interjecting those into customer experiences.

  In your feedback just know that empathy is very, very, very different from sympathy. Have you come across persons who you find may lack the competencies or the behaviours that support empathy? And in cases like that, how do you overcome that, how do you strengthen that skill?

     Now Kat, can you also share with us what's the one online resource, tool, website or app that you absolutely can't live without in your business?

  Could you also share with our listeners, maybe one or two books that you've read? Either you've read a very long time ago, or even one you've read recently, but it has had a great impact on you.

  Could you also share with us what's the one thing that's going on in your life right now that you're really excited about? Either something you're working on to develop yourself or your people.

  Where can listeners find you online?

  Now, before we wrap our episodes up, we always like to ask our guests Do you have a quote or a saying that during times of adversity or challenge, you'll tend to revert to this code? Let's say for instance, you're faced with a challenge and obstacle or hurdle. And just speaking this quote or kind of repeating it to yourself kind of just gets you back on track, and gets you refocused to achieve whatever you're working on. Do you have one of those?

 

Highlights

Kat’s Journey

Kat shared that she’s a marketer by trade. She has been building and rebuilding marketing organizations for brands of all shapes and sizes and industry sectors for a little over 20 years. But a huge part of her story is that she has complex PTSD. So, she’s a trauma survivor herself. And a number of years ago, she realised she was perceiving marketing messages very differently. 

So, during the pandemic, she went back, and she got certification of being trauma-informed and now she’s sort of marrying her personal experiences with trauma, the certification, work and a career, lifeline time of running marketing and brands.

 

Establishing Connections by Embracing Strength-Based, Trauma-Informed and Inclusive Marketing Services

Me: So, could you give us an example, when I read your bio, and it stated that you are very good at encouraging your brands to establish genuine connections by embracing strength-based, trauma-informed and inclusive marketing services. Now, that sounds very high level, could you break that down for our listeners in a very layman terms that the average person listening could understand what all of that means?

 

Kat shared that she thinks as marketers, we were all taught and are still taught fear-based marketing, right? So, we're creating urgency with our customers, there's limited time, there's limited quantity. And repeatedly putting out messages like that, while they do help in the short term can actually be very psychologically damaging in the long term when consumers are bombarded with those kinds of messages, literally, like every second of every day. 

And so, what she encourages her clients to do is use that same data, and just flipping the message a bit. And so, for an example, instead of saying, “Hey, we're almost out of x, y product, limited quantities.” You can put out messaging that says, “We know this is one of your favourite products.” So, you're switching the positioning, but you're using the same data points. 

And then in terms of trauma-informed and what that looks like, the fact is that all of us have experienced some kind of trauma in our lives, particularly if you look at it through the lens of COVID where 40% of us lost someone or know someone that died during a pandemic. But it really goes through all areas of marketing. A really easy tangible example on the creative campaign side would be a brand that says, say they do a Mother's or Father’s Day campaign and then they send out a text or email that says, “Hey, we know this time of year might be tough for you, click here to opt out of our Mother's Day messaging.” And so, right there, you are showing a customer that they are seen and heard. 

She knows this happened to her after her mom passed, getting bombarded with all those like Mother's Day, Mother's Day, what are you getting for your mom? What are your kids getting for you? Like all of those messages, it can be really overwhelming and triggering. But instead, putting out an empathy-based message like the example she just gave, you're still driving sales, at its most basic level, you are segmenting your customers, but you make them feel heard at the same time.

 

Embracing The 3 R’s Framework – Radical Vulnerability, Radical Empathy and Radical Transparency 

Me: Now, could you also share with our listeners, in doing research in terms of getting you on our podcast, one of the things that we found out was that you embrace a framework called the three R's framework, which stands for Radical Vulnerability, Radical Empathy and Radical Transparency. So, could you first break down what each of those R's mean, what they represent, and then maybe give us an example of those in interjecting those into customer experiences, and navigating the whole journey of the customer, ensuring that those three R's are included, what does that look like in real life for a customer?

 

Kat shared that the easiest way to think about it is really in terms of brand positioning. We're all humans, whether we are the customer or setting brand side, and we make mistakes, right? So, a radically vulnerable brand will own up to those mistakes, and just be really sincere about it. She thinks that it allows brands to connect on a personal level, even though they're a company. 

In terms of radical empathy, it really is, it's not sympathy, that's something very different. It's at a very internal level, saying, hey, your customers are coming from all different ethnic backgrounds or size, shapes, ages, right. And embracing that they're just a whole person, and really putting their life experiences first, which then leads to sales, instead of putting sales first, which tend to make customers kind of feel not great. 

And then in terms of radical transparency, she has now started saying radical transparent investment, because companies really should be investing in their communities. But it's not just putting a park bench or doing a street clean up, it is really authentically investing in their communities. Maybe it's like training the next generation of workers, maybe is like truly getting involved in the community versus, some sort of vanity metric. And so, the three of those all kind of come together to embrace what she sees as radical customer experience.

 

Empathy – How to Strengthen That Skill

Me: Now, a big part of what you do is empathy. And I heard you mentioned in your feedback just know that empathy is very, very, very different from sympathy. Have you come across persons who you find may lack the competencies or the behaviours that support empathy? And in cases like that, how do you overcome that, how do you strengthen that skill?

 

Kat shared that she doesn't think that there are people sitting around a table thinking about how to hurt people. At least, we hope not, most of us that have been brand side are trying to think of what's best for our customers. She thinks the empathy perspective comes in is it's not really changing what you do, it's changing how you think about it. In customer experience, it’s very frequently gets viewed as pure customer support, customer experience is so much more than that. 

But a key element that she thinks has always been missing as someone's life experience. And being able to have empathy like whether it's where someone came from, whether it is the holiday example she just mentioned whether or not they may have lost a parent. We're all humans. Even if you're selling, for example, B2B, when you pick up the phone and talk to somebody, you're not talking to a company, you're talking to a person and so, you they deserve to be treated like a person.

Me: Agreed, 100%. 

 

App, Website or Tool that Kat Absolutely Can’t Live Without in Her Business

When asked about online resource that she cannot live without in her business, Kat shared that she would say her own tool or app, which is the Cancel Culture Check-Up. But beyond that, certainly, she tends to live and breathe by LinkedIn. And some of the other communities that she’s involved in professionally. It can be really lonely being an entrepreneur and finding resources and communities wherever you can she thinks is very important.

 

Books that Have Had the Biggest Impact on Kat

When asked about books that have a big impact, Kat shared that she thinks one of the first authors that sort of set her down this path was Brené Brown. She didn't even know it at the time when she first read her work. Brené Brown has been so influential to her. When she first read about her and globally watched the infamous TED talk, going on 10 years ago, she had no idea that it was going to start the wheels turning to where she ended up today. But, she showed her actually what vulnerability really look like, both at work and at home and put this whole thing into motion. Absolutely.

Me: So, I know you've mentioned Brené Brown, but is there a particular book that you would want to give to our audience? Or is it all of her content you're saying just jump out there and buy them? 

Kat shared that she thinks everyone needs to read absolutely everything she (Brené Brown) puts out. But she does have something that's just easy to get to. She has a couple of Netflix specials that are really easy to watch. She has a podcast where she is having really, really impactful conversations with folks. So, she highly recommends both of those.

 

What Kat is Really Excited About Now!

When asked about something that she’s really excited about, Kat shared that it's somewhere in the middle. So, they are just moving out of beta for a software product that they've put together, it's called the Cancel Culture Check-Up. Basically, it's her answer to a net promoter score, which honestly gives you no real data other than how your customers feel on average at any given moment in time. But there's an assessment that's based around the three R's that she mentioned earlier. And it measures brand sensitivity, and we know that brands that are more sensitive and empathic and vulnerable, all of these things that we're talking about will have higher sales, will engage more deeply with their customers. So, she’s totally geeking out on her own data product right now. She thinks it is a huge game changer and so, so important, particularly for consumer facing brands.

 

Me: So, this app or solution that you're working on, are you saying that it would be in direct competition to the NPS and give greater data insight on the clients’ experience? Or how they feel about the brand?

Kat stated yes, now, someone could certainly add a Net Promoter Question. At the end of the day, net promoter is just asking whether or not your customers would recommend your product to a friend. So, someone could add that question if they are really married to the NPS, although, as she said, she thinks it's fundamentally flawed as a metric. And, she thinks what they've put together with the brand sensitivity score far outweighs any kind of the insights that you could get otherwise. 

Me: Okay. Is there a question that is attached to the app that your metric would be measuring? Like, what exactly are you pulling out from the customer from your application, if you can share any insight on it at all?

Kat shared that certainly the three R's are their frame, it's what frames the assessment. But, the product rather than a net promoter score is a Brand Sensitivity Score. So, it really deep dials into everything we're talking about like empathy and vulnerability.

And just how much customers trust a brand to do what's right. And we know even anecdotally that brands that are standing up for what's right, or embracing, even things like sustainability, and diversity and inclusion, all of those things, not only are they critical, but are really instrumental in growing their customer base and growing revenue.

 

Me: And when can our listeners expect for that product to be available to the world? 

Kat shared that she’s so glad Yanique asked because it is available today. You just have to head on over to her website, which is www.radicalcustomerexperience.com and you will see three or four tiers that are available to subscribe to.

 

Where Can We Find Kat Online

Website – www.radicalcustomerexperience.com

LinkedIn – Kat Kennan

Instagram – Kat Kennan

 

Quote or Saying that During Times of Adversity Kat Uses

When asked about a quote or saying that she tends to revert to, Kat shared that she certainly goes back to Brené Brown. And she bases it off of Teddy Roosevelt. But, “It's easy to be in the stands. It's easy to watch and poke and make fun of people and criticize them, but it's way harder to be in the arena.” And she always remember that on those particularly tough days where it just feels like she’s getting bulldozed literally that she'd so much rather be in the arena and be facing those challenges than be just sitting in the audience watching. 

Me: Perfect, I remember that one from her book The Gifts of Imperfection. 

Thank you so much Kat for taking time out of your very busy schedule and hopping on this podcast with us today sharing about all of these great insights that your company and the initiatives that you're taking as it relates to empathy and transparency and authenticity and just really ensuring that your brands are not just about the outside of the customer experience or the vanity but more so the depth of it in terms of getting to know people, making people feel seen, making people feel heard, making people feel valued, because as you mentioned, those things will definitely lead to longer lasting customer relationships, customer loyalty and that's what I'm sure all brands are aspiring to, a high level of customer retention that your customers are with you for a lifetime. So, thank you so much.

 

Please connect with us on Twitter @navigatingcx and also join our Private Facebook Community – Navigating the Customer Experience and listen to our FB Lives weekly with a new guest

 

The ABC’s of a Fantastic Customer Experience

 

Grab the Freebie on Our Website – TOP 10 Online Business Resources for Small Business Owners 

Do you want to pivot your online customer experience and build loyalty - get a copy of “The ABC’s of a Fantastic Customer Experience.”

The ABC's of a Fantastic Customer Experience provides 26 easy to follow steps and techniques that helps your business to achieve success and build brand loyalty.

This Guide to Limitless, Happy and Loyal Customers will help you to strengthen your service delivery, enhance your knowledge and appreciation of the customer experience and provide tips and practical strategies that you can start implementing immediately!

This book will develop your customer service skills and sharpen your attention to detail when serving others.

Master your customer experience and develop those knock your socks off techniques that will lead to lifetime customers. Your customers will only want to work with your business and it will be your brand differentiator. It will lead to recruiters to seek you out by providing practical examples on how to deliver a winning customer service experience!

Sep 26, 2023

Josefine Campbell is a founder of Campbell Company, a top leadership consulting firm for multinational companies. Campbell inspires and coaches leaders, teams, and talents in large organisations such as McDonald's, Deloitte, Maersk, Novo Nordisk, and Carlsberg Group.

Her approach combines the practical and the pragmatic. A four-time jiu-jitsu champion, she is particularly interested in developing personal leadership in difficult circumstances, such as is often the case in modern work life.  

Questions

  Now Josefine, even though we read a short description about our guests, we always like to give our guests an opportunity to share a little bit about their journey. So, could you share with our listeners a little bit about your journey, how you got from where you were to where you are today?

  A big part of what you do focuses on the power barometer, right. So, can you share with our listeners a little bit about that, and how it is that you are able to implement? What is the power barometer?

  Could you share with us maybe two or three approaches, tactics, tools that you can use to manage energy in work and life?

  Could you also share with us what's the one online resource, tool, website or app that you absolutely can't live without in your business?

  Can you also share with us maybe one or two books that you've read recently? Or even maybe a book that you read a very long time ago, but it has had a very big impact on you?

  Now, can you also share with us Josefine, what's the one thing that's going on in your life right now that you're really excited about? Either something you're working on to develop yourself or your people.

  Where can listeners find you online?

  Now, before we wrap our episodes up, we always like to ask our guests, do you have a quote or a saying that during times of adversity or challenge, you'll tend to revert to this quote if for any reason you got derailed or demotivated, this quote kind of helps to get you back on track. Do you have one of those?

 

Highlights 

Josefine’s Journey 

Josefine shared that when she was a teenager, she was quadruple national champions in jiu-jitsu, it's Japanese martial arts. And for the last many years, she’s been coaching and developing executives, individually and in groups. And at some point in her practice, she has a background in business practice, she’s ran businesses herself, she’s been in business for plus 25 years, she’s also been teaching business school. 

And at some point, quite early on actually, in her endeavour of supporting the executives that she was helping the best possible way, she realized that some of the techniques and practices that she brought with her from the jiu-jitsu practice actually had a huge effect when working with executives in modern work life, because being an executive is quite demanding, especially in modern work life, it takes a lot of energy, it requires for you to stay mentally clear under difficult circumstances, it's quite normal to be under a lot of pressure, just like as when you're in a battle, it's the same thing that happens to people when they feel threatened in a battle, and when they feel threatened at work. The circumstances might look different, but what happens inside people can be quite similar. And have you watched Karate Kid? 

Me: I have, yes. 

So, you remember the Mr. Miyagi? Wax on, wax off. So, he trains Karate Kid and how to be mentally agile, how to stay ready in a battle, right? So, one thing is he trains the techniques, but he also trains how he is with himself, that's a lot of the movie, remember, that's why he has to do the wax on, the wax off. And it's the same for executives, it takes a lot of personal capacity to do the work they do. So, that's how she came across the methods that she’s written about, and that she’s helped executives put into practice.

 

What is a Barometer?

Me: In reading a little bit about your story, I noticed a big part of what you do focuses on the power barometer, right. So, can you share with our listeners a little bit about that, and how it is that you are able to implement? What is the power barometer? Let's start there.

 

Josefine shared that the power barometer is an imaginary tool that anyone can apply personally, alone, individually and in teams at work. So, it's a way of checking in on your personal energy level. And checking in on your personal energy level is important because energy is the fuel of the brain. Your brain uses 20% of your personal energy, it's quite a lot because it's only the size of 3% to 4% and if you're low on energy, your brain doesn't run very well. So, if you aren't aware that, you're not capable of performing in the same way as if you have the self-awareness of where your energy is right now. 

And the same thing counts for what happens in teamwork. So, one thing is that each and every one of us should take responsibility for our own personal energy, the personal energy that we bring to the table but in a meeting, everybody should take responsibility for the energy at the meeting. So, tell me, have you ever been in a meeting where someone suddenly took out all the energy of the room?

  

Me: Yeah, that's happened quite a few times.

 

And what happens to productivity in such a case? It declines? And engagements? And retention? So, performance? Does people come up with creative, innovative ideas? Do they solve difficult task when the energy is out of the room? 

Not so much. So, just being aware of personal energy, start to measure it even if it's a subjective quantification, it brings awareness to energy and everybody's responsibility on the energy level. And that kind of behaviour that would bring out energy of a room suddenly becomes unwanted and for many reasons, that is good.

 

Tactics and Tools Can Be Used to Manage Energy in Work and Life

Me: So, it's about balancing, it's about energy, could you share with us maybe two or three approaches, tactics, tools that you can use to manage energy in work and life? Because we all have our personal life, but we also have our professional life and how do we balance having energy in both so that either area is not getting diminishing returns?

 

Josefine stated that if she may, because Yanique says personal and professional life, actually a point, a very important takeaway from her book is that business is personal. So, there's a difference between private and professional life, so, that's isn't opposition, there's things that happens in your weekend, within your family that's private, but and what happens at work, what do you have to do at work, it's professional, but all of it is personal because it's you as a person who goes to work. It's you as a person who is leading, collaborating, communicating, it's you and I, as people who are talking right now on this podcast, and we cannot take the personal aspect out of the equation. 

So, you cannot just put away anything but personal. And that's a key point also, in you addressing the question like what can you do to keep a high personal energy level?

And, first of all, and the most important thing is to be aware, to be aware of your own personal energy level. It starts noticing when your energy is high, when it is low, most people would start to care more about it and putting more attention into raising the energy, you will also have more insights about what drains you and try to do less of that, things that gives you energy and it could be work tasks, specific work task you discover, “Oh, I get energy from this type of tasks or this type of meetings, or working with these people, but they also drain me.” 

And of course, at the workplace, you cannot always decide who you are meeting with and who you're not. But those relationships which are draining, can you do something about it? This is something you can bring to the table to improve their collaboration. She knows plenty of good examples on how people have addressed bad working relationships and taking them to another level where they can do great work together. There are also situations where you have to avoid, certain collaborations, or certain tasks. 

If you're in a team, understand what type of task drains and gives different team members energy. Work division might going to seem more obvious. And then there are the physical aspects, such as getting enough sleep, having a few breaks once in a while, actually just even micro breaks, a few minutes of rest. And rest is not looking at your phone, or just answering email, rest is maybe closing your eyes or leaning backwards on your chair and letting go for a minute. Just these little micro breaks, they can have a huge impact on your energy level. 

We're not designed to be productive all the time. The organism, the biological human organism is designed to perform in circles, in waves, the energy, our natural energy will move upwards and downwards in iterations. So, it would be normal that you have some downtime once in a while, at least, but normal, natural, that's the difference, the normal is that people don't have any downtime.

 

App, Website or Tool that Josefine Absolutely Can’t Live Without in Her Business

When asked about an online resource that she cannot live without in her business, Josefine shared that she will be reluctant to say, if you go on her website, www.josefinecampbell.com, there's a section with freebies, and go there and grab whatever you think can make a difference for you. There are a couple of tools there and you can try them out, you can write me if you have any questions. And that's plug and play, go check it out, there's no software there. 

Josefine shared that Microsoft Teams because all her clients use, most of her clients uses Microsoft Teams. Very often that's where they meet and engage.

 

Books that Have Had the Biggest Impact on Josefine

When asked about books that have had an impact, Josefine stated that that's a wonderful question. So, what to choose from? There’re so many wonderful books. She really, really loves books. Well, Stephen Covey, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change, it's an old classic. And she thinks it was the first book on personal leadership that got really big. And it's from the 90s. So, she was pretty young back then. But she got really fascinated with the book and the content of the book, she also started her first business when she was really young. She was 21 when she started her first business. 

So, she needed a lot of help, she needed guidance on how to manage herself, and she felt so much wisdom in that book. And she actually thinks it's still valid, it's old, but it still works. So, she often recommends that book, she still does.  

And then she thinks Brené Brown’s Dare to Lead: Brave Work. Tough Conversation. Whole Hearts, that's another great book. It's just a few years old and she thinks she took leadership books in another direction, writing a book that is very personal and that has some really nice contributions to how leadership development is being perceived today. She really thinks she made a huge difference. Thank you, Brené Brown.

 

What Josefine is Really Excited About Now!

When asked about something that she’s really excited about, Josefine shared that there’s so much. So, obviously, there's the book which is just coming out now and she’s excited about sharing that with the world. And she has written the next one too and they're still working on the title and she’s excited about that one too. She’s written another kind of book, she’s been quite creative, and she’s also excited about finishing that one and putting that one out. So, her books are part of her passion. She gets up 5 o'clock in the morning sometimes to write just because she really feels like writing. She loves it.

 

Where Can We Find Josefine Online

Website – www.josefinecampbell.com

LinkedIn – Josefine Campbell

  

Quote or Saying that During Times of Adversity Josefine Uses 

When asked about a quote or saying that she tends to revert to, Josefine shared that she have not a quote, but an image. The myth of Sisyphus, it's an old Greek myth. It's this man who is being judged by the Gods to push a rock up a hill. And every time he's up the hill, the rock is falling down, he has to push it up again. Have you ever heard that tale? Can you imagine the picture?

Me: I can imagine the picture. 

So, that's that feeling of this never-ending work and that things just keeps on being tough. Just after the Second World War, there was a French philosopher Camus, who elaborated a little bit on that myth. And he pictured Sisyphus working at the stones on the mountain, as he was pushing the rock up the hill and he would see the sun sparkle in some of the stones, and it will be beautiful. And his attention and his energy, his mind, his being would direct towards the beauty of those sparkles. And that would make the rock and himself feel lighter.  

And that's what she tries to do, she tries to find just that little spark, those times where it's really dark, and it's tough, and it feels like it's never going to end, though we know it's going to end, there's always light at the end of the tunnel. But sometimes it just doesn't feel like that. Then she tries to find these little sparks of light that beams in and just give a little more energy to get done whatever needs to get done.

 

Me: All right, perfect. Thank you so much. I guess another way to look at that is the quote, “This too shall pass.” but you've kind of transformed it into an image, which is way more impactful because then it really focuses on what can you really do to navigate that space and recognize that at the end of the day, you will overcome it, it may seem like it's going to last forever, but there is a solution somewhere down the line.

 

Josefine shared that, “This too shall pass.” it's a really beautiful quote. She likes that one. Another one comes to her mind, it is the quote saying, “Everything is as it's supposed to be.” Kind of give some kind of peace of mind if you don't try to fix anything, or if you don't try to struggle, if you say okay, things are as they're supposed to be, somehow, it's all going to make sense at the end of the day.

 

Me: It will, the puzzle will all fit. Thank you so much, Josefine, for taking time out of your very busy schedule and hopping on this podcast and sharing all of these great nuggets and insights with us, a little bit about your journey, your new book that's coming out, the importance of preserving your energy and doing things that will lead to a more productive life, a more balanced life. So, I think our listeners definitely would have gained great information, great value from what you shared with us today. So, we just want to express our appreciation for you joining us on this podcast today.

  

Please connect with us on Twitter @navigatingcx and also join our Private Facebook Community – Navigating the Customer Experience and listen to our FB Lives weekly with a new guest

  

Links

     The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change by Stephen Covey

     Dare to Lead: Brave Work. Tough Conversation. Whole Hearts by Brené Brown

 

The ABC’s of a Fantastic Customer Experience

 

Grab the Freebie on Our Website – TOP 10 Online Business Resources for Small Business Owners 

Do you want to pivot your online customer experience and build loyalty - get a copy of “The ABC’s of a Fantastic Customer Experience.”

The ABC's of a Fantastic Customer Experience provides 26 easy to follow steps and techniques that helps your business to achieve success and build brand loyalty.

This Guide to Limitless, Happy and Loyal Customers will help you to strengthen your service delivery, enhance your knowledge and appreciation of the customer experience and provide tips and practical strategies that you can start implementing immediately!

This book will develop your customer service skills and sharpen your attention to detail when serving others.

Master your customer experience and develop those knock your socks off techniques that will lead to lifetime customers. Your customers will only want to work with your business and it will be your brand differentiator. It will lead to recruiters to seek you out by providing practical examples on how to deliver a winning customer service experience!

Sep 19, 2023

Anatoliy Labinskiy is an entrepreneur, eCommerce expert, salesman, holder of 4-time Two Comma Club awards. His story is a perfect example of life when everything goes against us to become successful. In less than 5 years, he went from a simple waiter to a successful businessman and an owner of an 8 figure winner awards in the ecommerce space.

Anatoliy is the founder of GSM Growth agency that helps ecom entrepreneurs grow to 6-7 figures in revenue. He is included in the Forbes Business Council and featured as one of the Top 10 eCommerce Entrepreneurs helping people during the COVID-19 recession. 

Questions 

  So, we always like to start off by finding out from our guests a little bit about their journey in your own words. Could you tell us a little bit about how you got to where you are today?

  Now along that journey that took you to where you are today, what are maybe two to three things that you believe has contributed to your success that you believe if other people employ those three skills or competencies, they will achieve success as well?

  Can you also share with us Anatoliy, in your experience, maybe two or three tips that you believe will help to enhance sales and customer service skills as an entrepreneur?

  Could you also share with us what's the one online resource, tool, website or app that you absolutely cannot live without in your business?

  Could you also share with our listeners what's the one thing that's going on in your life right now that you're really excited about? Either something you're working on to develop yourself or your people.

  Where can listeners find you online?

  Now, before we wrap our episodes up, we always like to ask our guests, do you have a quote or saying that during times of adversity or challenge, you will tend to revert to this quote if for any reason you get derailed or demotivated the quote kind of helps to get you back on track. Do you have one of those? 

 

Highlights

Anatoliy’s Journey

Anatoliy shared that his journey is quite long and he will try to be as short as possible because it's a lot of factors which has brought him where he is today. But basically, back in 2013, he went to UAE Abu Dhabi with no cash and he didn't know English at all, had nothing behind him and just start working there as a like food runner, cleaning dirty plate from the restaurant but dreaming a lot as a simple Ukrainian guy that what he can have in this world when he has seen Abu Dhabi because Abu Dhabi is kind of a rich city in Arabic Emirates. So, it's something what motivates him. 

And after several years of failing, finding the better work, the better opportunities in life, he got married during that time. And back in 2017, he was already renting like small master bedroom, not even apartment, small room with his wife. And his wife said to him that she is pregnant. And that day, he really was scared like never before because he has seen her how she's crying. And not because she's happy, because she was terrified, like what's going to happen with them, they don't have their own apartment, rented apartments, they just rent in the room. 

And he promised to himself that he will not allow his kid to come in this world in the way where how he’s living and how he grew up with financial troubles. So, he sent his wife back to Ukraine and start like move to even smaller apartment with two bedroom apartment with 7 other people rented just the bed space to save some money and start searching for opportunities and find out what is eCommerce all about. Give it a shot, spend everything what he had, nothing workout, and style start like becoming a zombie. Because I got addicted to the ecommerce and said to himself, 99% of people are failing, because they're quitting, he will never quit, he will never give up and he will make it work and he will become the top one person who will succeed. And this is exactly what happened after several months of fail and lost everything that he had. 

In February 2018, he finally got his first $8,000 in 15 days of sales in his Shopify store. And like step by step, October 2018, his first $50,000, November $150,000 and so on, so on. So, for the next couple of years, he was doing coaching of how to succeed in eCommerce. And in 2020, opened his eCommerce agency because there was a lot of requests from his students, “Can you manage ads, not with me, for me?” And he was like, “Wow, that's something interesting!” And they tested it out, one of the stores they made over $6.5 Million in two and a half years. And they were like, “Wow, that's really insane!” And in the same time when they were building all this process, they decided to switch from the mentorship to the agency side. And so, from March 2020, they are operating GSM Growth Agency and now have multiple businesses which is operating with different business partners.

 

Me: Wow, that's a fulsome story Anatoliy, really, really powerful.

 

Skills and Competencies Needed to Achieve Success

Me: Now along that journey that took you to where you are today, what are maybe two to three things that you believe has contributed to your success that you believe if other people employ those three skills or competencies, they will achieve success as well?

 

Anatoliy stated that it's a great question. And it's like good sounds too basic, but it is the fundamental of success. So, first of all, Never Give Up. You can turn left and right if something straight doesn't work. Like for example, he was always teaching his students that okay, if dropshipping eCommerce won't work for you, listen, in this couple of months, you've got insane experience in eCommerce industry, in Shopify, like affirmations of different processes and all marketing, find out just different sub niche in eCommerce and test it out that as well and see that maybe there you’ll get more luck with that. 

So, some of the people who are listening to him that they quit on the dropshipping, but one of them actually told their partners, in couple years, come back to him and say that they now operate in email marketing agency successfully. Another person came back to him after one and half year and said, “Anatoliy, I follow your steps and now I'm living in Abu Dhabi. And he was in France before as an immigrant, and now I'm running like, YouTube automation advertising agency.” 

And there is several stories like that, one person just go out as a head of marketing department position in his city, just because he was smartest guy in the room on the interview, because he just used that experience, which he got in the couple of months of mentorship. And he just implemented as like life experience to his own needs. And he became like in some local company, marketing expert and got the head of marketing department. So never give up, like adapt and try something else. This is number one thing which he would say for sure. 

The second thing, You Have to Know Your Why. If your why is just finances, you just follow the cash, you will fail, you will never build a strong business, never. You will make money here and now most probably, and that's fine. But at the end, you'll stay with nothing because when you don't have your strong why, you won’t to be able to build anything sustainable, and for the long run, you're going to be just going to make quick cash and that's it. 

So, think about your why, his why, for example, it was his son, when he found out that his wife is pregnant as she delivered the baby, he still haven't made anything, he lost already everything by that moment when baby has been delivered. But it was his strong why that he has no chance to lose. He have no chances to quit and his why was so strong that it was pushing him forward and it's continued pushing him because he knows that he has higher responsibilities now and kids are growing and you need universities to think about, you need schools to think about, you need to think about your own life, retirement and all that stuff. So, you're basically building your own life under your own rules, it's your why. You have to think of your why which is going to let you wake up earlier, going to sleep later, this is the second thing. 

And number three, Don't Be Scared to Hire People, to Build a Team. So many people stay in as a small business owners, small intrapreneurs just because first of all, they don't want to lose the profitability, “Oh my god, if I hire him, I cannot afford it. I will lose like instead of 40% profit, I will be on 20% profit, it's not possible. No, no, no how will I pay my bills.” 

They think so small and they look so straight like he’s always saying oh look wider on it. When you start looking wider on the things, you understand by hiring technical person who are going to be able to reduce the busy work from you on the technical stuff, your brain will start functionalities of how to create more business to your company. And will be a CEO of your company, chief executive officer, which is the goal is to bring more businesses to your business. 

So, by hiring one more or couple of people, you will lose profitability at the beginning, you will reduce the profitability but it will allow you by having one technical person, one salesperson, it will allow you to bring more businesses and operate more customers, a salesperson will bring you more people, more clients and the technical person will be operating and managing them while you're thinking about new channels for getting more customers, for improving the skills of your employers and so on, by having this kind of team, or by having this kind of three rules in your life to follow, you will be able to grow so fast, this is what he has done. 

He’s been a mentor for couple of years, and he reached his ceiling of income and I couldn't grow because he has only 24 hours a day and he’s alone, when he hires one person for testing like agency stuff and after that switch to completely agency model, they made four weeks in the first month of starting agency to compare when he was alone, that's the example. And it's always like that, don't be scared to hire a team, find your why and never give up, these three things, which he would highly recommend to follow, it simple, but it is the true.

 

Tips to Enhance Sales and Customer Service Skills as an Entrepreneur 

Me: Can you also share with us Anatoliy, in your experience, maybe two or three tips that you believe will help to enhance sales and customer service skills as an entrepreneur? What are some of the things that you've done to enhance customer service to deliver that amazing, fantastic experience that your customers want to come back, not just buy from you once, but come back again and again?

 

Anatoliy stated that it's a great question. Because he will tell you honestly, result in great customer service, your company will not survive as well. Like if you don't have a goal in life, and if you don't have a customer service in company, as it is good customer service. So, by that being said, by working in eCommerce, they are not dealing with people straight away, face to face, they are dealing online and online to make the person calm, it's harder than you are face to face with them on the phone, because they don't see your reactions, they don't see who you are, they don't feel the emotions, they are just angry and you need to deal with that by using the right words and right techniques. 

So, he’s really grateful for his past experience being a waiter in back in 2014, 2015, 2016. Like in Dubai, he moved from Abu Dhabi to Dubai, where he got to experience in the top Italian restaurants of Abu Dhabi. And after that top Italian restaurant in Dubai, where he learned a lot of customer service tactics and sales tactics, how to sell someone who is already full, how to sell dessert or coffee, or how to sell $3,000 wine, it is storytelling, and it is a great language, how to produce the right wipes that person would love to buy from you and come back again because they enjoy the service. 

So, by that being said, when he started coaching, he got 100% of success in terms of customer service by implementing exactly the same structure. Even if it wasn't work for person, he never got anyone left him with angry face, even if they were not satisfied with something after conversation with him and customer service, which he provided during the journey, they were leaving with smile and wishing him all the best. 

So, when he opened the agency, he was training his company, his team, it being him. So, he was sharing with them all the golden nuggets and all his experience, how to speak with their customers for buying from website, clients for using their service in the agency and so on. So, one of the tactics which he learned so now he coming to the answer. It was just a story before.  

You're supposed to always introduce yourself as a middleman. What does it mean? 

Even if you're CEO of your company, you're proud of it, and you want to show that yeah, I'm a decision maker. I'm the main guy here, I'm the main lady here and I'm going to be making decision if I will give you a discount, refund, will solve your problem or no, then this person will know that it will become even matter because okay, this is the guy who I will screw now, who I will get paid from. So, in our industry, very important, do not allow this to happen. So, that's why. 

Usually how it works, he will give you an example of like email marketing when speaking to someone who just purchased from you and they said, “Hey, it's the wrong size” or like, “Hey, I changed my mind, I want blue not red t shirt, and it's already on the way so it's already shipped, it's not possible to be done.” You can provide discount, but not exchange only if they will return the item. 

So, basically, how to handle that, are you introduce yourself let's say, “My name is Misty, I'm a customer service specialist in the XYZ store. I'm here to support you with any kind of questions which you have. I have noticed that you send it to us these kinds of requests.” And obviously asking for tracking number, this is one of the parts of their business, but the main point, you introduce yourself not as an authority, you introduce yourself as a customer service specialist, who is not responsible for decision making. 

And saying, “Please clarify for me all the details of your problem. And I will do my best to forward that to the top management and ask them to support you in this situation. And again, I'm not making any decisions but I know that your case completely can be managed in somehow and I will be fighting for you because I feel what is going on. I feel your pain. I feel what you're saying.” use these kinds of words, it makes people calm. It makes people feeling that someone is taking care of them. 

And it's good to implementable even better in the local shop, in the local business because when you are saying to them, even they know that you're the one they stand face to face to but you're saying and they say, “Oh my god, you paint my car and my car looks disaster. Give my $3,000 back. I want refund.” And you know that it's not possible but maybe you can give some small, we refund that they will be happier but if you will be decision maker in front of them, they will squeeze you. But if you say, “Hey, I completely understand what you're saying, oh my god, really, it's never happened before. But I'm here to help you out. Even you know that I'm the owner of the place. But the thing is that we have a structure. We have an accounting department, we have lawyers, we have agreements which has been signed, I need to figure it out how I can help you out to overtake all those bit of variety of stuff, and making sure that I will be able to provide you the best possible solution. Are you with me with that?” 

And this person is feeling like, “Oh my god, he's awesome.” He’s pointed out he’s the owner, but he’s not able to help because there is  several bureaucratic steps, which he needs to take over and find out the solution. But he’s more than sure that by his personal approach, he'll find out the best possible option. But even you pointed out that you need to go through the heads and finding out, they know that decision maker somewhere there. And you'll come back in some time if it's locally on the phone or in the mail and saying, “Hey, I just spoke to the management and as I said to you, we have a like non-refundable agreement which just has been signed, but listen, I was talking to them and I was really pushing them hard to make the things different. That's why I made it happen and my pressure allows me to squeeze this deal as much as possible and they agreed to give you a full refund of your request by 20% of the deal which you have made let's say $3,000 painting the car it's like 20% $600 plus you can receive from us XYZ in the future, so all it depends on your business.”

 

App, Website or Tool that Anatoliy Absolutely Can’t Live Without in His Business

When asked about an online resource that he cannot live without in his business, Anatoliy shared that because his business is online, they use advertising platforms such as Facebook, TikTok, Google. So, Shopify, he would say in his particular direction, right now, if they will lose Shopify, it will be huge trouble for the company, because they don't have business. All of their customers on Shopify stores. But since he’s living in eCommerce direction, they have a lot of alternatives, which is WooCommerce, Corra, a lot of different alternatives so they'll switch their direction and move there. 

But he would say it's will affect them a lot the same, like if Facebook won't work, they'll have Tik Tok, Tik Tok not work, they have Google. So, they have different options of the softwares to exchange in case something is happening, but different tools. But seriously, like if Shopify goes down, it's definitely will hold their business for a while to fix the problem.

 

What Anatoliy is Really Excited About Now!

Anatoliy shared that he would say that right now, they have two new directions, which is he’s really excited about to grow them. And one is his personal and one is about the team, and he’s excited to bring that to his team as fast as possible and get results because it will be new era for his team of the interesting projects. 

So, first one is for the company for the team, it's like IUL telesales mastery direction, which is for the insurance agents who are dealing with the insurance packages for nurses for life insurance. And it's incredible valuable product which is they are teaching them, they have a 20 years plus coach with 23 year plus experienced coaches who are going to be coaching those salespeople how to sell successfully life insurance for a particular niche, like a nurse's niche. But it is useful for nurses because they won't be paying taxes from their retirement when they retire and their insurance will be there. 

With these kinds of IUL insurance, they will be able to save all the cost on taxes and avoid pay taxes legally and build their bigger wealth for the retirement process in the future. So, it's like super useful product for the end user and super cool and powerful product for the insurance agents. So, this is something that he’s excited to bring in the mass from the company side as a different project. 

And something personal, which is he’s like really cannot sleep and excited every single day. It was back in 2017, eCommerce, the same work he’s now excited about this one for himself. It's a real estate investments in Section 8, so they are buying houses in bad shape, doing full rehab and providing for the Section 8 people like rental agreements with the government and provided for the Section 8 people who are having low income, not able to rent by themselves be signing contracts with the government and providing them the place to live and it's not the cheapest or bad shape houses, they are actually going to be doing full rehab and these kinds of people can live in the normal condition house and build their life in the way how they wish to. 

So, it's super useful for the end user who are going to be staying there as a tenant. And it's a great business model since they're going to be dealing with the government and getting the consistent cash flow from the government checks. So, providing the place where to live physical conditions for people. And so, growing business there, it's one of the incredible things which just makes him excited like never before.

 

Where Can We Find Anatoliy Online

Instagram - @ecombyanatoliy

YouTube – Anatoliy Labinskiy E-com business encyclopedia

Website – www.gsmgrowthagency.com

Linkedin - https://www.linkedin.com/in/anatoliylabinskiy/

Ecom Business Stream Podcast - https://linktr.ee/ecombusinessstream 

 

Want to Boost Your Sales? Start Creating Killer Ad Copy Today! Fill out the form and get our $97 eBook for FREE 👉 https://bit.ly/40ZQlg1 🚀

 

Quote or Saying that During Times of Adversity Anatoliy Uses 

When asked about a quote or saying that he tends to revert to, Anatoliy shared that he has one, “No matter what's happening in life, we are always able to manage.” He proved that to himself 1000s of times, and whatever was happening in life and what looks like it cannot be managed, it's not possible to fix. They were fixing, they were managed and they will always move forward. Everything is manageable guys. So, if you're in struggle right now in a bad condition, in a bad situation, remember, you always can change that for better. Just start searching for solution, solutions always there. 

Me: Thank you so much, Anatoly. So, just want to remind our listeners that you can follow us on Twitter @navigatingCX and feel free to join our Private Facebook group @navigatingthecustomerexperiencecommunity. 

Thank you so much, Anatoliy for joining us here today on this podcast, taking time out of your very busy schedule and sharing all of these great insights about your journey, about tips that you've learned. I'm sure that our listeners would have gained great value from what you shared with us and hopefully, there's a few nuggets in there that they can take back and apply in their day to day interactions either on a professional level or on a personal level. So, thank you so much.

  

Please connect with us on Twitter @navigatingcx and also join our Private Facebook Community – Navigating the Customer Experience and listen to our FB Lives weekly with a new guest

  

The ABC’s of a Fantastic Customer Experience

Grab the Freebie on Our Website – TOP 10 Online Business Resources for Small Business Owners 

Do you want to pivot your online customer experience and build loyalty - get a copy of “The ABC’s of a Fantastic Customer Experience.”

The ABC's of a Fantastic Customer Experience provides 26 easy to follow steps and techniques that helps your business to achieve success and build brand loyalty.

This Guide to Limitless, Happy and Loyal Customers will help you to strengthen your service delivery, enhance your knowledge and appreciation of the customer experience and provide tips and practical strategies that you can start implementing immediately!

This book will develop your customer service skills and sharpen your attention to detail when serving others.

Master your customer experience and develop those knock your socks off techniques that will lead to lifetime customers. Your customers will only want to work with your business and it will be your brand differentiator. It will lead to recruiters to seek you out by providing practical examples on how to deliver a winning customer service experience!

 

 

Sep 12, 2023

Leslie Pagel is the Chief Evangelist of Authenticx - a conversation analytics company dedicated to improving the way healthcare companies engage with patients. In this role, she creates awareness across the healthcare industry of more efficient and effective ways for healthcare organizations to deliver on their customer objectives.

With over two decades of working with customer experience teams, Leslie helps clients actualize the voice of the patient to show how these voices prompt meaningful action.  

Questions 

  We always like to start off by asking our guests to share a little bit about their journey. Could you share with our audience a little bit about how you got to where you are today?

  What has your experience been I would say, let's use maybe the last 12 to 24 months, as it relates to what customers are expecting. You mentioned conversational AI as a way to do the data collection and less reliance on surveys. But what have the customers been saying? What are some of the trends that you've been seeing emerging? What are customers really looking for?

  So, in terms of using conversational AI to be a better listening tool with customers, right? Could you share maybe an example, a real-life example for our listeners, that you've seen the conversational AI work in such an impactful way that it transformed somebody's life or group of people's lives?

  What's the one online resource, tool, website or app that you absolutely can't live without in your business?

  Could you also share with us one or two books that have had a great impact on you? It could be a book that you read a very long time ago, or even one that you've read recently.

  Can you also share with our listeners, what's the one thing that's going on in your life right now that you are really excited about? Either something you're working on to develop yourself or your people.

  Where can listeners find you online?

  Before we wrap our interviews up, we always like to ask our guests, do you have a quote or a saying that during times of adversity or challenge, you will tend to revert to this quote if for any reason you get derailed or you get off track, it kind of helps to get you back on track. Do you have one of those?

 

Highlights

Leslie’s Journey

Leslie shared that her journey in customer experience started over 25 years ago before CX in customer experience was even a thing. She spent 20 years working with large global, primarily business to business organizations on a new strategy for creating competitive differentiation. And that strategy was the customer experience. And over the past several decades companies have grown to create a boardroom conversation around customer experience, because it is a very productive and effective differentiation strategy. 

What we see over the over the decades is the pace of innovation has continued to accelerate, which makes it really hard for companies to compete on product alone or services alone and no one wants to compete on price, so companies were looking for new ways of differentiating in the market and they turn to customer experience. And so, she spent 20 years, the first 20 years of her career working with companies on their customer experience strategy, which largely was informed from traditional or historical methods of customer listening through large survey programmes, Net Promoter Score programmes, customer satisfaction programmes. 

And as technology has evolved and artificial intelligence has become more mainstream, we're seeing a new method that companies are leveraging for listening to their customers, which then informs their customer experience strategy and that's conversational AI. So, when you take a historical look at customer experience listening or measurement, you see that the way that we capture customer input has changed, but what we capture and listen to hasn't, we're still very survey dependent. 

And in the last two years, she’s been really focusing on helping business leaders realize a different source of customer insight and that source is not survey data, that source are the conversations that customers are having every day with businesses when they've reached out to ask questions, when they reach out to make purchases, when they reach out to use the website, customers are interacting in moments. And companies have an opportunity to listen into those moments and the technology exists. 

So, spent her entire career in customer experience is evolved more into a role today of helping leaders really listen to the moments of customer interactions instead of relying on survey data to keep their finger on the pulse of their customers.

 

Using Conversational AI for Data Collection – What Are Customers Really Looking For?

Me: So, you have quite a wealth of experience in that area. Now you're primarily in the healthcare space, right? 

Leslie stated that she is now, prior to working with Authenticx, she worked across industries, primarily focused on B2B. But then have over the past 5 years been really focused within the healthcare industry, working with payers, providers, being doctors, and pharmaceutical, manufacturers, pharmacies, and in that realm of healthcare.

Me: What has your experience been I would say, let's use maybe the last 12 to 24 months, as it relates to what customers are expecting. You mentioned conversational AI as a way to do the data collection and less reliance on surveys. But what have the customers been saying? What are some of the trends that you've been seeing emerging? What are customers really looking for?

Leslie shared that she would say, and this hasn't changed over the past 12 to 15 months, they've been saying this for decades. But customers, they are saying to the organizations that they do business with that one of the best ways of demonstrating care and concern for the customer. And by the way, in healthcare, caring and concern is essential in that customer experience. But customers have been saying that the best way to show me that you care about me is to listen to me, and to show me that you're listening to me by hearing what I'm saying and taking ownership of it and driving action in the business. 

So that's nothing new, that's been there for decades. The other thing that's not unique to healthcare, you can see it in any business is eliminating friction from the journey. But in healthcare, friction in the journey means a lot more, it means delayed care, it means not getting access to the care that you need. So, really looking at pockets where there is friction, and that friction is impacting the patient in their ability to get the care that we need. And that also impacts business and business outcomes as well. 

Me: Indeed, because at the end of the day, you're trying to build trust and loyalty and a higher level of retention. And if you're not getting what you're looking for, then they're probably not going to come back, especially if they have options. 

Leslie agreed exactly. And there are a lot of options out there, that's kind of why leaders turn to the customer experience to differentiate as companies are innovating fast, your product doesn't stand alone anymore. And so, they are looking towards other ways of building loyalty and the experiences is the way that is where they're turning.

 

The Impact of Using Conversational IA

Me: So, in terms of using conversational AI to be a better listening tool with customers, right? Could you share maybe an example, a real-life example for our listeners, that you've seen the conversational AI work in such an impactful way that it transformed somebody's life or group of people's lives?

Leslie stated that the example that comes to mind immediately is they are working with a hospital system, and this isn't unique to hospitals across healthcare, there's a lot of focus on social determinants of health because social determinants research has found that social determinants have more of an impact on our health and wellness than healthcare itself. And so, there's a lot of focus across healthcare organizations on understanding social determinants of health and helping patients overcome those. 

And so, they do work with a hospital system and one of the questions that they asked them to explore in their conversational data was related to scheduling and why are there no shows? Or why are there reschedules? And one of the things that they found in studying just a single topic of scheduling appointments was that social determinants of health in 14% of those interactions were having an impact on getting to care, getting to the care that they need, they were impacting, rescheduling or missed appointments, as well. 

So, this hospital system through that learning, one, has a different appreciation and understanding when someone is calling in to reschedule, that it might not necessarily be because they're not feeling good, it could be because their caregiver didn't show up and they can't get to the appointment, or they're working three jobs and they're not able to get time off. 

So, through that insight, they have been working with their frontline staff to one, help in those interactions when someone is calling around a scheduling appointment or rescheduling to offer services that might help that patient in need. But they're also taking their insights that they've learned to the broader community perspective as well. 

Me: All right, so that's data driven decisions there for sure that would help them to enhance the journey of the customer.

Leslie agreed, absolutely.

  

App, Website or Tool that Leslie Absolutely Can’t Live Without in Her Business

When asked about an online resource that she cannot live without in her business, Leslie stated that there's so many tools and resources that she uses every day. She would say for the work that she does at Authenticx, which one of the things that she does is to take the bird's eye view of all of the healthcare landscape and all of the conversations that are coming through their platform and listen more at an industry level and macro level. 

And she relies on their own software to enable that perspective. So, that's one of the things that she wouldn't be able to do her job if she didn't have Authenticx because it's allowing her to listen at scale. This year, they'll have over 200 million healthcare conversations coming in through their platform, yes, 200 million. 

And there's no way they would be able to understand that data at scale, a human can't do that at scale. And so, she relies personally on their platform to allow herself and their team to do the research that they do to help the healthcare industry at a macro level. So, that's one she would say.  

More on like a personal professional side of it, LinkedIn comes to mind. She relies on LinkedIn to help spread the word to help open the eyes of what they're doing and how conversational AI is being leveraged in healthcare to drive outcomes, to drive business outcomes. So, that's another one that's more kind of on a personal professional side that comes to mind as well.

 

Books that Have Had the Biggest Impact on Leslie

When asked about books that have had a great impact, Leslie stated that she doesn't have the tattoo but if she were going to get a tattoo of a book, it would be this one it’s called Conscious Capitalism, With a New Preface by the Authors: Liberating the Heroic Spirit of Business. Leslie stated that if she was at a networking event, chances are before they were done talking, she would talk about Conscious Capitalism. Conscious Capitalism is a book, but it is a book that articulates a business strategy, that is a proven business strategy with outcomes that benefit, not just the company in terms of profits, but also benefit humanity and help elevate humanity. And there's some principles in Conscious Capitalism as a business strategy that really resonates with her and that drive how she shows up in the world, both professionally and personally. 

And some of those are really that for business, purpose, and profit must co-exist. We can't just focus on driving profit without purpose, and we won't have a company if we don't have profit. But the two of those must coexist, it really is the essence of the responsibility of business is to have a higher purpose, and to generate profit for the company, for the employees, and to be able to invest back in the organization for growth, for customers. 

The other thing that really resonates with Conscious Capitalism is more of a shift in mindset from short term gains to long term gains, particularly publicly held companies are very focused on the here and the now and they think of the longer term opportunities and Conscious Capitalism is really more about focusing on the long term vision and outcomes and driving decisions in the here and now based on the vision and where the organization is going in the future. So, that would be her one book, Conscious Capitalism.

  

What Leslie is Really Excited About Now!

When asked about something she is really excited about, Leslie stated that she would say the thing that she’s really excited about is, she feels like where conversational AI today is it's not known or understood. And so, the thing that she’s really excited about is helping organizations and particularly healthcare organizations understand what conversational AI is, and understand how they can leverage it to drive business outcomes and patient outcomes. 

And so, they've got several things coming up that they're working on to help kind of spread the word. One is next, next month, they're going to bring together healthcare leaders from across all verticals, to their headquarters city in Indianapolis, Indiana, and have conversation around best practices for leveraging and listening to the voice of the customer. They're going to have conversation around the challenges that are present within the healthcare industry.  

So, she’s really excited about that. One of the things that they know, in their work is that when they really listen to customers, they'll guide the way and they're bringing their clients and other healthcare leaders together for purposes of listening, so they can help them guide the way and they can help them achieve the outcomes that they're looking for their business and for their customers.

 

Where Can We Find Leslie Online

LinkedIn – Leslie Pagel

           

Quote or Saying that During Times of Adversity Leslie Uses

When asked about a quote or saying to she tends to revert to, Leslie stated that she doesn't know who to credit for this quote, but she guesses it's more of a mindset and that mindset is to, “Focus more on others than to focus on yourself.” And it's not to say that focusing on herself isn't important, because it is and that's very intentional in her life. But when she’s in a place of struggle, or kind of not feeling it, just reminding herself of focusing on others more than she focus on yourself is something that really helps her redirect her attention and re-engage in the work that she’s here to do. 

Me: All right, perfect. And I think that's even more relevant, that quote that you just shared, especially for the industry that you are in, because when it comes to healthcare, people usually are reaching out to organizations, or hospitals or clinics or doctor's offices because they need help, they're in pain, they're experiencing something that they're uncomfortable with and they need help. So, at that point, it's not about you, it's about them. So, that's a really good quote I think to have and to kind of remind yourself about, especially in the space that you're operating in. 

Leslie agreed, exactly. 

Me: Well, thank you so much, Leslie, for coming on to our podcast and sharing all of these great insights about the voice of the customer and the importance of listening. I think even as simple as it sounds, and as you mentioned, it's something that customers have want for decades, not just in the last 12 to 24 months, that we really should pay attention to the opportunities that we have, and that the greater tool that exists is conversational AI, and there are ways that we can integrate it into our everyday activities so that we can get a better understanding of what our customers are looking for. And that way we can really deliver that amazing experience that can hopefully help them to return again and again, and bring their friends and family, although we want them all to be healthy and be good and well.

 

Please connect with us on Twitter @navigatingcx and also join our Private Facebook Community – Navigating the Customer Experience and listen to our FB Lives weekly with a new guest

  

Links

     Conscious Capitalism, With a New Preface by the Authors: Liberating the Heroic Spirit of Business by John Mackey 

 

The ABC’s of a Fantastic Customer Experience

Grab the Freebie on Our Website – TOP 10 Online Business Resources for Small Business Owners 

Do you want to pivot your online customer experience and build loyalty - get a copy of “The ABC’s of a Fantastic Customer Experience.”

The ABC's of a Fantastic Customer Experience provides 26 easy to follow steps and techniques that helps your business to achieve success and build brand loyalty.

This Guide to Limitless, Happy and Loyal Customers will help you to strengthen your service delivery, enhance your knowledge and appreciation of the customer experience and provide tips and practical strategies that you can start implementing immediately!

This book will develop your customer service skills and sharpen your attention to detail when serving others.

Master your customer experience and develop those knock your socks off techniques that will lead to lifetime customers. Your customers will only want to work with your business and it will be your brand differentiator. It will lead to recruiters to seek you out by providing practical examples on how to deliver a winning customer service experience!
 

Aug 29, 2023

Tom Martin is the CEO at Glance, a CX and contact center strategist, product lifecycle expert, and partnership builder. Tom has led Glance through a successful “pivot,” transitioning from a small business screen share tool to a provider of omnichannel visual engagement solutions for some of the largest enterprises in the world. 

Since that pivot, Glance has experienced multiple years of 70% year on year growth. Prior to joining Glance in 2013, Tom spent over a decade at Verizon building and managing strategic partnerships. Outside of the office, Tom is an avid backcountry skier, mountaineer and competitive cyclist.

 

Questions 

  We always like to give our guests an opportunity to share in their own words, a little bit about their journey, how you got to where you are today.

     Now, could you tell our audience a little bit about Glance and what it is that your company does?

  Can you share with our listeners a little bit about how it is that you can still integrate personal experiences or personal connection with emotion even though we have so much of our connectivity being done in a digital space.

  What is your view on empathy? And do you believe everyone has the ability to exercise it? And if not, what are some tools that you believe can help to strengthen that particular competence in a team member?

  Can you also share with us what's the one online resource, tool, website or app that you absolutely can't live without in your business?

  Could you also share with us maybe one or two books that have had a great impact on you, it could be a book that you read a very long time ago, or even one that you've read recently.

  Could you also share with our listeners, what's the one thing that's going on in your life right now that you're really excited about? Either something you're working on to develop yourself or your people.

  Where can listeners find you online?

  Now, before we wrap our episodes up, we always like to ask our guests, do you have a quote or a saying that during times of adversity or challenge, you'll tend to revert to this quote if for any reason you got derailed or demotivated, this quote will help to get you back on track. Do you have one of those?

  

Highlights

Tom’s Journey

Tom shared that he’s always been fascinated with people which drew him down the path of really understanding what people like, how people buy, he cuts deep into sales and marketing early in his day. And no matter what he was doing, he was always interested to understand how to connect with other people. And the part of like connecting with other people, as you realize that as we have moved from business where we were always together, like you walked into a store you connected with people, you learned a lot of information when someone walks through the door. If you're in a clothing store, you could size them up and be like that person's this size jacket. And you could also recognize all the other cues. 

It could be like Valentine's day or the day before, and a gentleman walking in and he's in the women's section. There's all that context that you get. So, you understand, like the challenges that businesses today have when you start to move, sometimes completely into the digital realm. 

And so, it's sort of been an area of focus of his, throughout his career, just understanding people. And in today's landscape of customer experiences, where the battleground is no longer a product, it's really the experience that people have.

  

About Glance and What Your Company Does?

Tom shared that they are a in-brand collaboration platform that brings real human beings into a digital space, to be able to provide that personal connection at just the right moment. And that translates into thinking about any type of a journey that a customer is doing, where it could be better served by bringing a human being in, so many people have become more digital native and of course, the familiarity of digital tools has skyrocketed with the pandemic because people, that was the only modality that they had. 

But now you realize that, instead of thinking about how do I actually do something, it now comes down to what advice do I need to complete something. And can I reach out to get advice, guidance from someone who can help me understand the inner workings of something, demystified fees, whatever it might be. And that's what they focused on doing is really bringing the digital and the human elements together.

 

Integrating Personal Experiences or Personal Connection with Emotion Even Though Our Connectivity is Being Done in a Digital Space

Me: So, that's what Glance is all about. Now, at the beginning when you were explaining about your personal journey, how you got to where you are today, you mentioned something that piqued my interest, which was the connection that you make with someone, really getting to know that individual and connecting on a personal level. 

Now, a big part of customer experience, I believe is an emotional connection that you have with someone and I do believe people buy from organizations that they like and love, and there's some emotion that's there that's driving them to want to do business with that organization. 

Can you share with our listeners a little bit about how it is that you can still integrate personal experiences or personal connection with emotion even though we have so much of our connectivity being done in a digital space? 

Tom shared that the things that we talk about today and also where things are headed, that are going to be supported by technology is recognizing that today….customers are forced to really be in the driver's seat to go down in many of the different channels. 

And many times, if you ask someone, have you had a good experience with a chatbot?

If it's outside of something that's very simple, like, what are your hours of operation, oftentimes leads them to switching channels to get somewhere else. And when you think about the emotional component and realizing that if we're able to meet the customer where they are versus forcing the customer to go through many different channels to find out that they can't get what they need done, either abandoned, or they come up with another channel, like making a phone call that maybe goes into a centre, or into a store. 

And the part about like emotion is realizing that, what if we want to insert the human being into the journey at a certain spot, or maybe in a couple different spots, where you can provide that level of connection or empathy really demonstrating genuine care and understanding towards the customers’ needs and concerns. 

And the part of what we've experienced over the past number of years is this idea of we need to deflect away from those channels because they're inefficient. But we also recognise that while digital is becoming better at getting information, at helping people through certain workflows, there are moments in a journey where, “If I could just talk with you to be able to understand something to help me make a decision.”

Because oftentimes, you think about what a bot can do, it's going to be doing things based on information it knows. And many people don't necessarily want to share everything about their personal life, they're going to hold it guarded until they actually speak with someone to say, “Hey, this is what my situation is, is this going to meet my needs? Is this going to help me live my best life? Should I go and get this mortgage.” 

And so, emotion has a bunch of different components and he thinks of how Forrester thinks about these things, empathy being the most important part, but also having bankers or agents or specialists, be able to not just combine the empathy, but also be given the empowerment to actually solve a problem. 

And today, there's a lot of focus on things like personalization, really tailoring interactions to meet a specific customer's preferences and expectations. And also realizing that people take the shortest path, like water, they take the path of least resistance. 

And so, finding ways that we can delight a customer, how we can simplify the process and oftentimes, once you get so far, being able to connect with someone, you realize that wow, I am interacting with a real business, with real people, and he likes to say that people want to do business with people that they know, like, and trust, it's an important aspect. 

And when he’s connecting with you, and he goes, “Gosh, I can have a personal connection with you, I can now have a better relationship with the business because you're now representing the business, you might be better representing the product or service that I'm buying.” And so, it becomes multi-dimensional when you're able to connect with a human being not just personal one on one, but it just changes your view of the business.

Me: Agreed. And so, the human connection is even more important now I believe as you were mentioning just now, different interactions that customers have with a business, because then they feel more connected to that business, they feel like somebody's actually listening to them and they're being heard. 

Tom agreed and stated that he thinks one of the challenges that businesses today are facing is really going forward is how to infuse that human element into the digital experience and realizing that it's not a oh, digital failed, now we're going to go to a human being. It's how do we bring these things together so that while we're in that immersive experience, while we're in the digital channel, you suddenly have multiple modalities. 

And as we start to think about data, and when businesses start to go, oh, yeah, we have a lot of data, but then it becomes, wow, the data lives in so many different places, how do we organize it? And how do we actually take information and insights that suddenly become actionable?  

For many businesses, they realise, “Wow, we have some work to do, there's some homework, there some clean-up, there's things that we need to do.” But when you start to think about understanding what your customers are doing, and you can design an action, a journey, an experience for a customer that's informed by data that suddenly says, “You know what, we're going to create that the high speed lane on the highway, we're going to clear all the clutter.” 

Because many times when you interface with a business, it's almost like a labyrinth, someone designed these things, you have to go left or right, straight, backwards, it feels like and you realize that they were designed for a variety of different things that require clicks and navigating through different things. But what if that data and some of the design informs a better journey that streamline saves you time, that gets you just what you need, and brings the human being into it? He thinks that's really the future of where we're headed, there's a lot of work to be done to get there.

 

What is Empathy? And Tools That Can Help Strengthen Empathy in a Team Member 

Me: Agreed. So, you also mentioned in your explanation of personal connection, empathy and it's definitely something I believe that is critical for customer experience, especially for organizations, you have some industries that need empathy more than others, I do believe every industry needs it. But I think some needed even more, for example, like the healthcare industry, but what I wanted was your insight as a CEO, you sit at the top, I'm sure you integrate with your team members at all different levels, but it's important to kind of hear from the leader of an organization, what is your view on empathy? And do you believe everyone has the ability to exercise it? And if not, what are some tools that you believe can help to strengthen that particular competence in a team member?

Tom stated that it's a really important piece. And he does think empathy is something that you can lead with, it's almost similar to like a value that they have there in the company, which is like assuming positive intent. But having empathy, which is, can you walk a few steps in the other person's shoes, the customer’s shoes or a colleague, and he thinks there are people that are higher on the they'll call it the EA spectrum that they just have a higher sort of emotional quotient, EQ is the phrase. 

And he thinks the part that we're starting to see is, what if there are things that can fall into the category of having information that based on the conversation that is being had, you can have tips and tricks, you can have information that's being done. And this is where technology, imagine natural language translation is working to listen to the conversation and is helping coach the specialist to have a better conversation. It can listen for tone, it's doing the translation on the actual words, and can bring information in to the conversation to recommend to the specialist how to have a better conversation.  

And part of empathy is demonstrating that genuine care, but also, it falls short, if you're not empowering the people that are delivering the empathy. Because empathy without empowerment can work in the opposite direction, it can actually be kind of like a falsehood. You say you're sorry, but you're not willing to actually do anything to help me out and so you really need to couple those things together, and be able to solve problems, to be able to get the customer where they need to go as efficiently as possible.

  

App, Website or Tool that Tom Absolutely Can’t Live Without in His Business

When asked about online resource that he can’t live without in his business, Tom shared that the thing that he finds with modern day smartphones, is probably he can't live without his smartphone more than anything because he suddenly have access to all the different systems personally at his fingertips. His business phone can ring, he has access into things that need to be HR or finance for approvals. But he feels like we're now in this world where mobility has created this opportunity to be connected wherever you need to be connected. He knows that's a bit of an overarching statement, but he feels like the mobile device has really become a game changer for so many people in business because it gives you access and information at your fingertips.

Me: All right, so your mobile phone is your tool. All right, love it.

 

Books that Have Had the Biggest Impact on Tom

When asked about books that have a great impact, Tom shared that one that he read a long time ago that he still thinks today is amazing. An author who we see in the New Yorker, Atul Gawande, he wrote a book called The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right. And it really went through a process of just understanding what are the things that need to be done, and he speaks from the voice of a surgeon and thinking about performing surgery on someone, and to have the right outcomes, there's a checklist, and there's so many things within a business that can be assisted and aided and improved by doing things around a checklist. 

Another book that he just finished that he really liked is 10x Is Easier Than 2x: How World-Class Entrepreneurs Achieve More by Doing Less by Dan Sullivan, and the concept of that is pretty simple, in that 2x is very easy to see, you and I can say, “Oh gosh, we need to do 2x more.” It's just a matter of like working harder, a few things that you streamline, but it's something that you can see how to achieve 2x. To achieve 10x, oftentimes, you have to say, “Gosh, we're going to have to do a lot of things differently. And first and foremost, we're going to have to stop doing a lot of things.” 

Because to 10x isn't to say we're going to 10x everything, it's one of the most important things we're going to 10x and it means that all the other things don't matter as much. In fact, some of those things can be eliminated, stopped, it can be deferred, you can hand it off to someone else to do but it's really about how to think about 10xing anything, your personal life, your business. 

And if you think about the 80/20 principle, it can be applied in so many different ways. You really think about saying, “Gosh, to 10x, I've got to put 100% of my energy on the 20% of my life or my business, which means I've got to figure out how to deal with removing that 80% that gives me that 10x leap.” 

And then the last one, this is a fun one. He bought this for his daughters, Kevin Kelly, one of the founders of Wired Magazine, it came out in the beginning of May. Excellent Advice for Living: Wisdom I Wish I'd Known Earlier. He loves this book, it's something that you can open up every day and get a little seed that can grow an idea in your head, it's a fun little book to have on the side of his desk.

  

What Tom is Really Excited About Now!

When asked about something that he’s excited about, Tom shared that probably the thing that's the most exciting is something that, you think about the parts of any type of business, they've spent so much time really thinking about how do they build great experiences, but what people want to know more than anything else, is when and where should we have those great experiences. And the part of that is to understand where people need help. And there's a piece of this, which is realizing that oftentimes people and human beings want to be able to do things and they don't necessarily rely on or can understand all the information, all the cues. 

And so, if they as a company can figure out how to help businesses know when and where to have experiences that can transform how they compete, and how they deliver an exceptional experience that really puts them at the forefront of where they're going as a business. 

And in doing that, a lot of this work that they're doing is really informed by taking a more data centric approach. And so, they're spending a fair amount of time really rethinking how we look at things. They've always looked at them through a few sets of lenses and now they're really taking a step back and saying, “You know what, we're going to look at the same thing. But we're going to look at it through a different set of lenses to really rethink how we approach those things.” 

Because oftentimes, inexperience happens because a lot of other things have informed that experience as to like when and where it happens, didn't just happen. It happened because of a lot of other things. And if they can understand what the best things are, then they can inform more frequently and consistently how to have them to deliver the right outcomes.

 

Where Can We Find Peter Online

LinkedIn – Thos Martin

            

Quote or Saying that During Times of Adversity Tom Uses

When asked about quote that he tends to revert to, Tom shared that there's a quote from Scott Peck. And he’s also thinking about one other one, but the one from Scott Peck is pretty simple, and it rings true. But when you talk about adversity, the quote is, “Life is difficult. This is a great truth, one of the greatest truths. And it's a great truth because once we truly see this truth, we transcend it. Once we truly know that life is difficult, once we truly understand it and accept it, then it no longer becomes difficult.” 

And so, as you realize that there's another part of this about optimism, optimists view challenges and hardship as temporary things that can be overcome. And so, he’s a big believer in optimism because to get anywhere, you must first imagine it, you must first dream it and then you can work towards that dream. And then that dream can become a reality. And it doesn't mean that there aren't going to be challenges or pitfalls along the way, but you recognize that if you believe that those things are only temporary, you can continue to thrive.

 

So, we want to thank you so much, Tom, for taking time out of your very busy schedule and coming on this podcast, sharing all of this great information, what your company does Glance, your views as it relates to creating that personal connection, ensuring that the digital is interceding in a very great way with the human connection, because both need to work together in order to deliver that fantastic, exceptional experience that we want our customers to have. And of course, to be very intentional about designing that experience in a way that our customers actually value the efforts and the experience that we've created for them.

 

Please connect with us on Twitter @navigatingcx and also join our Private Facebook Community – Navigating the Customer Experience and listen to our FB Lives weekly with a new guest

 

Links

     The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right by Atul Gawande

     10x Is Easier Than 2x: How World-Class Entrepreneurs Achieve More by Doing Less by Dan Sullivan

     Excellent Advice for Living: Wisdon I Wish I’d Known Earlier by Kevin Kelly

 

The ABC’s of a Fantastic Customer Experience

Grab the Freebie on Our Website – TOP 10 Online Business Resources for Small Business Owners 

Do you want to pivot your online customer experience and build loyalty - get a copy of “The ABC’s of a Fantastic Customer Experience.”

The ABC's of a Fantastic Customer Experience provides 26 easy to follow steps and techniques that helps your business to achieve success and build brand loyalty.

This Guide to Limitless, Happy and Loyal Customers will help you to strengthen your service delivery, enhance your knowledge and appreciation of the customer experience and provide tips and practical strategies that you can start implementing immediately!

This book will develop your customer service skills and sharpen your attention to detail when serving others.

Master your customer experience and develop those knock your socks off techniques that will lead to lifetime customers. Your customers will only want to work with your business and it will be your brand differentiator. It will lead to recruiters to seek you out by providing practical examples on how to deliver a winning customer service experience!
 

Aug 22, 2023

Joey Coleman helps companies keep their customers and employees. As an award-winning speaker, he shares his first 100 Days® methodology for improving customer and employee retention with organizations around the world, for example, Whirlpool, Volkswagen Australia and Zappos.  

His Wall Street Journal #2 best-selling book, Never Lose a Customer Again: Turn Any Sale into Lifelong Loyalty in 100 Days, shows how to turn any sale into a lifelong customer. And his upcoming book, Never Lose an Employee Again: The Simple Path to Remarkable Rention, details a framework companies around the world can use to reduce turnover and increase employee engagement.

 

Questions

  Could you tell us a little bit about that book – (Never Lose a Customer Again)? And then we can go into the new one that you recently launched.

  And your book (Never Lose an Employee Again) focuses on the phases that you should use to try and retain these employees. And those phases are Assess, Accept, Affirm, Activate, Acclimate, Accomplish, Adopt and Advocate. So, can you just give us maybe a brief summary on each of those and why it's relevant? 

  Could you share with us what are some of your favourite things you've seen brands do to create the kind of culture that you're talking about where employees are advocates?

  What is the one online resource, tool, website or app that you absolutely cannot live without in your business?

  Can you also share with us maybe one or two books that you have read, could be books that you read like a long time ago, or even ones that you've read recently, but they have had a great impact on you.

  Now can you also share with us what's the one thing that's going on in your life right now that you're really excited about? Either something you're working on to develop yourself or your people.

  Where can listeners find you online?

  Now, Joey, before we wrap our episodes up, we always like to ask our guests, do you have a quote or saying that during times of adversity or challenge, you will tend to revert to this quote if for any reason you got derailed or demotivated, it kind of helps to get you back on track.

 

Highlights  

About Joey’s Books – Never Lose a Customer Again & Never Lose an Employee Again 

Me: So, let's start off with a little bit about your first book, Never Lose a Customer Again, for those of our listeners that may have just recently started listening to our podcasts and unfortunately weren't able to tap into that awesome episode. Could you tell us a little bit about that book? And then we can go into the new one that you recently launched.

 

Joey shared that so about 5 years ago, he wrote a book called Never Lose a Customer Again: Turn Any Sale into Lifelong Loyalty in 100 Days. And the premise of this book is that we spend so much time trying to find new customers that we forget to pay attention to the customers that we've already acquired, people who have already raised their hand and said, “I want to do business with you.” The premise of that book is based on some staggering research that they both did, and came across that showed that somewhere between 20% and 70% of new customers will decide to stop doing business with you before the 100 day anniversary of becoming a customer. 

So, as quickly as you're bringing customers in the front door, they're running out the back door. And the book outlines a framework that's based on 20 plus years of his experience as a consultant and speaker and agency owner. And it outlines a framework for how do we navigate our customer through eight phases of a journey, where we're creating the kind of remarkable experiences that will keep them coming back for more.

  

Me: Alright, so before we actually started the official recording, you and I were kind of having an informal discussion as it relates to employee experience and your new book, Never Lose an Employee Again: The Simple Path to Remarkable Rention, really focuses on what are some strategies, what are some tools, you've provided us with a great framework as to how it is that organizations can keep talent that is really impactful to the organization and they won't leave, because at the end of the day, the employees grow, the company grows. So, can you tell us a little bit about this book? And then I have some more specific questions I want to ask you based on my own reading as well.

 

Joey shared that he often thinks of customer experience and employee experience as being two sides of the same coin. We can't expect to have a remarkable experience for our customers if our employees aren't delivering that remarkable experience. 

And the way our employees deliver remarkable experience is they have a context for what that is and they have a framework for how to continue to deliver that to the people they serve. Interestingly enough, when he set out to write this book, he had that first 100 days research from his first book in mind, and when he went and looked at the parallels in the world of employee experience, he found that they were shockingly similar, that same significant percentage of people who leave as a new customer in the first 100 days was mirrored in the world of employees who start a new job, and then quit that job before the 100 day anniversary. 

In fact, depending on which research you looked at, it was again somewhere between 20% and 70%. And these numbers he found to be absolutely staggering. He thinks many organizations have felt the pain of an employee leaving, but very few organizations are paying attention to the speed at which employees are leaving, and the myriad reasons why employees are leaving so that we can hopefully develop frameworks and structures and philosophies and methodologies that will keep our employees engaged and retained for the long term.

  

Never Lose an Employee Again – Phases You Should Use to Try and Retain Employees

Me: Yes, and your book (Never Lose an Employee Again) focuses on the phases that you should use to try and retain these employees. And those phases are Assess, Accept, Affirm, Activate, Acclimate, Accomplish, Adopt and Advocate. So, can you just give us maybe a brief summary on each of those and why it's relevant?

  

Joey stated absolutely. And he'll try to go through these quickly because there are 8 of them, we could spend an entire podcast talking about any one of these phases. But for context before he describes them, the reason they all start with the letter A is he wanted folks to kind of have this thought that if your employees felt you were succeeding in each of these 8 phases, it's like getting straight A's on your report card in school, you're doing a great job, and you're worthy of continuing to be advanced, because you're delivering a great experience. 

So, the first phase is the Assess Phase. This is when a prospective employee is trying to decide whether or not they want to come work with you. They're looking at your job descriptions, your want ads, the about us page on your website, the careers page on your website. They're submitting an application, they're going through your interview process, they're sharing their resume, you're doing reference checks, all the things that lead up for an employer to decide whether or not they want to hire this specific person. And the time period where the potential employee is also assessing whether or not they want to join your enterprise. 

We then come to phase two the Accept Phase. In this phase, the employer extends an offer, and if we're lucky, that desired candidate accepts our offer. 

We then move to the Affirm Phase. Now, this phase occurs immediately after the new employee has decided to accept the job offer. And he’s sure all of Yanique’s amazing customer experience experts are very familiar with the concept of buyer's remorse. What they may not be as familiar with is the concept of new hires remorse. It's the same thing as buyer's remorse, it's scientifically proven that this happens anytime someone accepts a job offer, they begin to doubt the decision they just made. And in the affirm stage, we need to reaffirm their choice to counterbalance that fear and doubt and uncertainty they're naturally feeling and in their new hires remorse stage. 

We then come to phase four, the Activate Phase. Now, of all the 8 phases, this is the only phase that is limited in its duration, first day, and that day is the first official day on the job. 

What is it like you come to work for that first day? 

And in the immortal words of country music legend Bonnie Raitt, “Have you given us something to talk about?” Because every employee is going to go home that night to their spouse, their significant other, their children, their parents, their roommate, whoever it is in their life, and that loved one, the first question they're going to ask when they come through the door is, how was your first day at work?  

How are your employees going to answer that question? Have you created such a remarkable experience on that first day that they have something to talk about? 

We then come to the Acclimate Phase, phase 5. Now, the acclimate phase starts on the second day on the job and can last for weeks or even months as the new employee gets used to your way of doing business. They learn the various roles and responsibilities they're going to have, they understand better the requirements of what they're supposed to do, they understand the relationships with their co-workers and colleagues, and how all those pieces fit together for them to be great at their job. They're also learning your tools and your cadence of communication, and the chain of command and the various things of how your business operates. We need to hold our employees hands while they acclimate to the job and too many employers just kind of push the employee into the deep end of the swimming pool and say, “Well, just go ahead and swim.” Instead of taking care of them and making sure they understand what's happening. 

We then come to phase 6, the Accomplish Phase. This is when the new employee achieves the goal they had when they originally decided to accept your job offer. See, every employee has a vision of what this new career will be like. Whether that will be more responsibility, more autonomy, more opportunities to develop new skills, they have a vision of what they're hoping to accomplish. The challenge is most employers not only don't know what that vision is, but they're not paying attention to the employees progress as they track towards achieving those goals. If we don't do that as organizations, we can't celebrate with our team members when they accomplish their goals. 

We then come to phase 7, the Adopt Phase, this is when the employee becomes loyal to you and only you, they're committed, they're not going to look for jobs elsewhere, they're not listening to those calls from head-hunters or recruiters that want to hire them away. Almost every business on the planet desires adopters. But what's fascinating is very few businesses do anything to acknowledge when an employee becomes an adopter. We have a tendency to take those employees for granted, even though they are the lifeblood of our enterprise. And if and only if, we've helped to hold our employees hands through those first 7 phases do we have the right, the privilege, the honour of having them transition to the eighth and final phase. 

The Advocate Phase, where our employee becomes a raving fan for us, singing our praises far and wide. They're going on glass door and writing reviews. Anytime we have a new position open, they're recruiting their best colleagues, the people they've worked with in the past, the smartest humans they know to come apply for this job because they know it's a great place to work and they want amazing people to work there with them. 

The way he always test with business owners who say to him, “Oh, Joey, a lot of our teammates are advocates. And so many of our people are advocates.” He'll say, “Great. Here's a little test to see if that's true or not. The last time you had an open position in your organisation, what percentage of the candidates you interviewed were direct referrals from your existing team members?”  

What's interesting is those people who were previously saying, oh, everyone's an advocate….kind of go, well, actually, no one. So, he’s like, well, then you really don't have as many advocates as you think you do. 

So, those are the 8 phases and the last thing he'll say on this is that when an employee is promoted, they go back to the beginning, they go back to that assess phase, trying to decide, “Is this a promotion I want? What am I going to do? Okay, I'll accept the promotion. Oh, should I have accepted the promotion, I liked my old job. But this new job even though it maybe comes with more money or a better title, it also comes with a lot more responsibility and a new learning curve.” And then we've got to hold their hand and acclimate them. And what happens is the longer an employee is with the organization, the more they cycle through these phases, yet, most organizations aren't paying attention to the fact that the employee is going back to the beginning. And we have an opportunity to reengage and reconnect with them as they navigate through the 8 phases the next time.

  

Me: I love those phases and I love that question that you asked, like that really puts them on the spot and makes them practically say, “Okay, do we really have advocates in this organization?”

 

What Brands Joey Has Observed Creating a Culture Where Employees are Advocates 

Me: Now, Joey, could you share with us what are some of your favourite things you've seen brands do to create the kind of culture that you're talking about where employees are advocates, especially in this remote driven world that we have, I mean, the pandemic and COVID has definitely changed how organizations are approaching their business models, many of them are taking on a more hybrid approach. I know, for example, in Kingston, Jamaica here, you do have some forward thinking organizations who genuinely recognize that their employees can still be just as productive or even more working from home but then you find you have some dinosaurs who still believe people need to physically sit in traffic and go to work from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm, and they just need to see the people in the office to know that they're doing the work. But what are your thoughts on that?

 

Joey stated that Yanique is correct. There's still a lot of dinosaur era thinking going on in many organizations today, despite the fact that we have proven both statistically and across almost every industry on the planet, that remote work is just as effective, if not more effective than in person work. In fact, most of the research and the studies show that when employees work from home, they are more productive, they are more engaged, they are happier, and they feel a stronger connection to the fact that they are able to balance their work with their life. 

So, if your organization isn't actively pursuing, at the very least hybrid, if not pure, remote work, he can set a stopwatch for how much longer you're going to be in business. It’s just the reality that the landscape has changed. If we were to roll the clock back, and he was to say to you, “Yanique, you can still run your business, but you're not allowed to use the internet.” Most businesses would be like, “Oh, my God, how am I supposed to function?” This is a fundamental aspect of business, remote work, work from home, non-centralized, come to an office work. When we get about, he thinks 10 years down the road, it's going to feel like saying to someone, you can't use the internet, saying to someone you have to come to the office is going to be the equivalent of a shock to the system and a foolish statement as saying, you have to run your business without using electricity, or the internet or a phone. The ship has sailed, this is over. 

Now, when you asked him about his favourites, it's kind of a tough question because there are over 50 case studies in the new book from all 7 continents. And so, asking him to pick a favourite is kind of tough, but here's what he will tell you is a common thread, especially amongst the organizations that are recognizing the benefits of hybrid and or remote work. And that is that in an increasingly digital era, the smartest companies in the planet are making sure to invest in analogue interactions to attach to and be compatible with their digital interactions. What does he mean by that?  

Well, if you've got everyone working remotely, and you're not having that office water cooler time, and you're not having everybody come to the same office, while it is beneficial for your productivity and your engagement and your employee happiness, they're still humans. So we need to find ways to build additional connection with them, that transcends the digital sphere. So, that could be sending gifts to their house, it could be hosting in person events every once in a while maybe, a group gathering twice a year, most of the research shows that if you have a fully remote team, you should strive to get together in person at least twice per year with the whole team. 

But here's the secret on that, it's not about getting together in person to have meetings and to do work, it's about getting together to create connection. So, one of the companies that he profiled in the book is LEGO Corporation. Most folks listening are familiar with LEGO the children's toy, or the adult toy in his case, he loves building, he was building LEGO sets this weekend. And his 2 boys who are younger came up and they were like, “Daddy, can we help build too?” To show you, he was building on his own and then they wanted to play and he included them, and it was great fun. 

But LEGO does something where every year they have a play day. Now, LEGO is a company that makes toys. So, of course they believe strongly in the concept of play. And every year they shut down all of their offices globally, for a full day, all their stores, all their corporate headquarters, all of their factories, and everyone comes together and what do they do that day? 

They play, that's all they do

They don't have team meetings, they don't talk about the vision of the future, they just play. And in interviews with LEGO employees globally, when you ask them what one of their favourite kind of traditions or rituals within the organization, they say that the LEGO Play Day is something they think about all year leading up to it. Humans are not that complicated, we like the idea of social interaction, we like the idea of play, we like the idea of getting to know people personally so we can have a personal and emotional connection with them, not just a work connection.

 

Me: I agree. That kind of dovetails nicely into my next question, Joey because with your new book, Never Lose an Employee Again and I find a lot of times when I talk to some of my clients, especially not necessarily those who are in a HR function, but even the business owners themselves. They will grapple or struggle with the fact that if they're losing employees, they believe it's a lot of times monetary. And I have found that a lot of times when an employee has reached a point where they're resolute in their decision to say I want to leave this company and go somewhere else, even if they're offered more money, they still wouldn't stay, they'd still leave. So, I believe that a lot of them would look forward to more non-monetary benefits, like simple to the example you gave about LEGO, a simple play day something that people look forward to, it's our sense of community, you get to meet and connect with people. And to me, there is no dollar value that you can put on those types of experiences. So, I guess my question is do you agree with me?

 

Joey stated that only 100% does he agree with everything Yanique just said. It's really fascinating, if we look at the research that has been done on why employees leave, the typical study on why employees leave is based on a sample set of somewhere between 200 and 500 respondents. Now, if you know anything about statistics or anybody listening has experience with statistics, a sample set of 200 to 500 results is not nearly as robust, as if that number were larger, and arguably significantly larger. 

In doing the research for the book, they came across some studies that had been done by the Work Institute, where they interviewed 234,000 employees who were quitting their jobs and asked them, “Why are you quitting?”  

Now, many business owners around the world will say, “Well, my employee quit because they got more money somewhere else are someone's going to pay more money somewhere else.” They make it all about the dollars, all about the money. But the research doesn't show that to be true. Only 9% of employees globally, quit for more money

So, then that led him to wonder what about the other 91%? 

Why are those people quitting? 

And what this research found from the Work Institute was that the number one reason, the greatest reason given 23% of the respondents, so almost two and a half times the number of people quit for this other reason. And that reason was, they didn't see a clear path forward for their career at that organization. They didn't know what their next job was going to be. So, when we as employers, an employee comes in, and they're like, “Oh, I'm going to leave” and we're like, “Oh, we'll pay you more, we'll give you more benefits, we'll give you a better title.” These are not the things they're looking for. So, it's kind of like we're offering them things that at this point in the game really don't matter as much. And it almost feels insulting, because we're not listening to why they're leaving. 

Instead, we need to move the conversation forward. We need to have the conversation before they come to us saying, “I want to quit” and have a conversation around….

“What are your goals as an employee?

We have goals for you as your employer, things we'd like you to do.

But what are you hoping to accomplish in your life?

Are you trying to get out of debt?

Are you trying to be more fit?

Are you trying to start a family?

Are you trying to buy a house?

Are you trying to take care of ageing parents?

Are you trying to go on vacation?

What are the things that are goal?

Are you trying to run a marathon?

What are your goals?

What are the things you're hoping to achieve?" 

And then as employers, we need to look for opportunities to support our people in those goals as well. See, for all too long, he thinks we've had this belief, “we” meaning most organizations globally, that well, there's business and there's personal. And when you're at work, we've just want you to focus on the business, don't bring your personal life to work. But what's interesting is almost every employer on the planet expects you to think about work when you're not at work. They expect you to answer emails, to have your phone on you, we need you to work a couple hours late or if you're going on vacation, we might need you to do one or two calls. 

The business has no problem asking the employee to chip into their personal time to do business related work. But God forbid we ask the business to allow the employee to chip into their business time to do personal things. For some reason we think that's offensive or improper.  

Humans are humans, he would posit this, the employer of choice in the future is going to be the employer who pays as much attention to what happens in their employee’s life between 5:00 pm and 9:00 am as they do compared to what happens in that employee's life between 9:00 am and 5:00 pm.

  

Me: Agreed 100% Joey, I am there with you.

 

App, Website or Tool that Joey Absolutely Can’t Live Without in His Business

When asked about online resource that he cannot live without in his business, Joey shared that since the last time they had a podcast was about 5 years ago, he must confess he’s not 100% sure of all the specific answers he gave then. But the one online tool that he’s using right now that he finds increases efficiency and productivity, but also makes for he thinks a pretty great experience is the online scheduling tool Calendly

And the reason why he loves it, because often, as he’s sure you do, he has folks saying to him, “Joey, we'd like to arrange a time to connect, we want to have a call, we want to talk about a project, we want to talk about a future speech.” Because he spends most of his days giving speeches. “We want to interview you for a podcast.” Whatever it may be, when he can send them a link that allows them to see the days he’s available and it syncs up beautifully with his calendar, it makes everybody's life faster, and more efficient, and more seamless. There isn't the back and forth of, “Well, what about next Tuesday at three?” “Oh, I can't do that.” “What about Thursday at nine?” “Nope, I can't do that.” “What about the following Tuesday?” And it makes things work better, so he’s a big fan of Calendly.

 

Books that Have Had the Biggest Impact on Joey

When asked about books that have had a great impact, Joey jokingly stated that this is a completely unfair question only because he loves reading books. He tries to read a book a week, there are so many wonderful, wonderful books out in the world that he absolutely loves. So, he’ll give an example of a book that is in the customer experience space, because he knows a lot of listeners spend most of their time in the CX space. And then he'll give one that's in the employee experience space since that's what they've been talking about. 

So, in terms of the customer experience, he absolutely loved the book Creating Superfans: How To Turn Your Customers Into Lifelong Advocates by Brittany Hodak. An amazing book, it's been out not even a year yet, it came out earlier this year in January of 2023. Fantastic book, incredibly well written, Brittney Hodak is very much an emerging but also a well-established voice in the CX space. She's smart as a whip, she's got an amazing story. She's incredibly talented. If you're not paying attention to Brittney Hodak and if you haven't read her book, Creating Superfans, go check it out, you will not be disappointed. 

Now, on the employee experience side, he would look to the book, How to Work with (Almost) Anyone: Five Questions for Building the Best Possible Relationships by Michael Bungay Stanier. Now, what he loves about Michael's book is it helps us with very practical tools for creating better connection, and better relationships with the people we work with. It's a fast read, but it's a powerful read, how to work with almost anyone. 

Michael is smart as a whip, he's an amazing human being, he's been there, done that, got the T-Shirt. And he just has a really tactical, yet powerfully thoughtful premise in this book, that we need to be spending more time investing relationships we create with our colleagues and our co-workers and really diving into the relationship side instead of just, “Oh, well they work at the same place as I do. And so, we have to interact with each other.” He's about building the relationships. So, How to Work with (Almost) Anyone by Michael Bungay Stanier is absolutely fantastic.

  

What Joey is Really Excited About Now!

When asked about something that he’s really excited about, Joey shared that there's so many. He’s an excitable guy, you probably pick up on that and anybody who's listening to the conversation. There's so many things he’s excited about, right now he would say the thing that he’s most focused on is getting the word out about this new book. He’s so excited about the response, the book debuted at number 5 on the Wall Street Journal Bestseller list. There is clearly a need for employee experience enhancement globally. And just the chance that he gets to speak at events, to do workshops for individual companies to help them get better at both engaging and retaining their people has him incredibly excited. 

They're delving into exploring creating some customized workbooks that folks will be able to avail themselves of and purchase that are going to really bring the ideas in the book. He likes to think the book stands alone by itself and that it gives you as Gary Vaynerchuk would say, it gives a high picture strategy, but it’s also tactical on the ground thing you can do.

One of the challenges of writing the book is that you can't fit everything you want into the book because otherwise the book would be 10,000 pages long. So, he’s excited to create more tactical tools that people can use on an almost weekly basis. Like what is the thing we're going to focus on making our employee experience better this week and give people those kinds of ideas and suggestions so that we can make it more fun to go to work. We can create more play, we can have more excitement with the things we do. 

Yeah, you mentioned something about Gary Vaynerchuk just now, but you chipped out for a bit. So, could you repeat that part for me, please?

Joey stated that he was going to say, Gary Vaynerchuk has this really interesting concept of dirt and clouds. This idea that we want things that are very tactical and practical that we can do down in the dirt, but we also want big picture strategy. We want things that are kind of in the clouds, kind of the 35,000 foot view and it's something that he really tried to create in the book, which is there is strategy in the book, but there are also really tactical things you can do.

One of the things he’s excited about is adding even more examples on the tactical side

available as workbooks and downloads and things like that that people can access to continue to work at enhancing their employee experiences on an ongoing basis.

  

Where Can Listeners Find Joey Online?

Never Lose an Employee Again: The Simple Path to Remarkable Retention – Hardcover – e-book – Audiobook

Website – www.joeycoleman.com

LinkedIn – Joey Coleman

             

Quote or Saying that During Times of Adversity Joey Uses

When asked about a quote that he tends to revert to, Joey stated that he doesn't necessarily have a quote that he comes to, but in those scenarios, he likes to try to get very clear on what the situation is they're dealing with. Let him explain that a little bit. He used to be a Criminal Defense Lawyer, and so his job used to be to keep the wrongfully accused out of prison. And if he misspoke, now he’s a full time professional speaker, but in those days, speaking in the courtroom, if he misspoke, someone went to prison. And that usually meant they went to prison for a long time.

So, whenever he’s faced with a challenging situation, he asked himself two questions. Number one, “Did anyone die in this scenario we're dealing with? Is there a death that has happened?” And thankfully it's very rare that he would ever answer that question yes, usually no one has died.

The second question that he ask is, “Did anyone go to prison without the possibility of parole in the future?” Because if you go to prison without the possibility of parole, you've got a really big problem. If someone has died, you've got a really big problem. But if no one died and no one went to prison without the possibility for parole, you actually don't have that big of a problem. You've got a situation, you've got a circumstance, you've got something you maybe need to focus on or address. 

But he finds that that criteria of evaluating the situation allows him to keep some perspective on how much he should be getting worked up or frustrated or angry about a scenario. And instead say, “This could be a lot worse. This is a challenging time to move through. But the consequences aren't that terrible and irrevocable that we're not going to be okay on the other side.”

 

Me: I like it. I've asked this question to over 150 guests because we're approaching close to 200 episodes for this podcast. And it's amazing that most guests would give maybe a motivational quote, not necessarily ask themselves a question. So, it's interesting the perspective that you take because then you're able as you identified to really recognize is this really an issue that we need to be raising our blood pressure and losing our mind, or can we just adjust our approach and decide, okay, we're going to tackle it this way, these are steps we're going to take and this is how we're going to approach it. 

Joey stated that's definitely what he tries to do because he agrees with Yanique. There are very few things that we should be raising our blood pressure in a negative way. If your heart's beating faster because you're inspired, you're eager, you're in love, you're feeling those things, great. But if your heart rate is raising because of stress, because of worry, because of fear, he thinks there's an opportunity to approach the situation from a different perspective to kind of keep things a little more calm.

 

Me: Thank you so much for coming back on our podcast. I just want to express my greatest gratitude to you. And of course, congratulations again on your new book, Never Lose an Employee Again. I think it really will be a great complement to your original book, Never Lose a Customer Again. You brought up some excellent points, really practical stuff that employees and employers across different parts of the world in different industries can definitely think about, hope everyone that listens to this episode will go and grab a copy of your book as you mentioned in whatever version they like to listen to it in, whether it be audio or e-book or the physical book where they read. But it was really, really insightful. I love these types of conversations that get me excited, it doesn't even feel like I'm doing a podcast, it feels like I'm sitting down with a friend having a cup of coffee or a nice glass of lemonade and just having a great conversation. And these types of conversations really fulfil my soul, makes me feel good inside. So, I hope it was as fun for me as it was for you.

  

Please connect with us on Twitter @navigatingcx and also join our Private Facebook Community – Navigating the Customer Experience and listen to our FB Lives weekly with a new guest

 

Links

·  Never Lose a Customer Again: Turn Any Sales inot Lifelong Loyalty in 100 Days by Joey Coleman

·  Never Lose an Employee Again: The Simple Path to Remarkable Retention by Joey Coleman

·  Creating Superfans: How To Turn Your Customers Into Lifelong Advocates by Brittany Hodak

·  How to Work with (Almost) Anyone: Five Questions for Building the Best Possible Relationships by Michael Bungay Stanier

 

The ABC’s of a Fantastic Customer Experience

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Aug 15, 2023

Randy Mercer is an omnichannel product content expert with over 15 years of industry experience. He leads 1WorldSync’s global product management and solution architecture teams, aligning the company's portfolio with current customer needs and emerging market trends.

A frequent commentator for national and trade media outlets covering retail and e-commerce news, Randy leverages his extensive background in item and data content alignment, e-commerce application development and solution designed to guide 1WorldSync’s strategic product roadmap and vision. 

Questions

  Now, could you share with our listeners a little bit about your journey? How it is that you got from where you're coming from, to where you are today?

  Could you tell our audience a little bit about 1WorldSync, what it is that your organisation does?

  What are some key things that if we had a listener, tapping into this podcast, who was in that similar space looking to strengthen the architecture of their user experience, whether it be the digital web, or even the face to face or even through the contact centre that you believe they should be focused on primarily at this time?

  What have been some maybe one or two emerging market trends that you've seen in the whole customer experience space, not just necessarily from a face to face interaction, but even digital?

  Could you share with our listeners based on your experience especially from a design perspective, what are some key things that you need to consider in order to ensure or at least to get as close to being consistent?

  Could you share with our listeners as well, what's the one online resource, tool, website or app that you absolutely can't live without in your business?

  Could you also share with our listeners maybe one or two books that have had a great impact on you, it could be a book that you read a very long time ago, or even one that you've read recently?

  Now, could you also share with our listeners what's the one thing that's going on in your life right now that you're really excited about? Either something you're working on to develop yourself or your people.

  Now, before we wrap our episodes up, we always like to ask our guests, do you have a quote or a saying that during times of adversity or challenge, you will tend to revert to this quote if for any reason you get derailed? It kind of helps to get you back on track.

 

Highlights

Randy’s Journey 

Me: Now, could you share with our listeners a little bit about your journey? How it is that you got from where you're coming from, to where you are today?

  

Randy shared that he started out as an application developer about 20 years ago, and through that, doing some customer development for a few customers, he found himself developing applications for the space that he’s in today, which is product content and sharing and distribution of that content. And fast forward, about two decades, he’s now been with 1WorldSync for about 10 years, and had been leading the product organization for about the last 5 years or so of that.

 

What is 1WorldSync and What Your Company Does?

Me: Could you tell our audience a little bit about 1WorldSync, what it is that your organisation does?

 

Randy shared that they're a SaaS platform that sits predominantly in the retail space and they sit between large manufacturers, CPG manufacturers primarily, and large retail organizations, many of which you would know, and they allow those organizations to share master data and e-com content back and forth between the two organizations to power pretty much any channel.

 

Strengthening the Architecture of the User Experience Whether by Digital Web, Face-to-Face or Contact Centre

Me: So, you're in that digital space, I was reading something that Shep Hyken sent out recently about the different acronyms that you have now, you have EX, CX, WX, UX and he was kind of giving a breakdown in his newsletter as to the different user experiences that exist on what the acronyms represent. Just thinking about the different experiences that the customer has, based on your experience and your area, what I picked up from your bio was you focus a lot on the landscape and the architecture of the experience. What are some key things that if we had a listener, tapping into this podcast, who was in that similar space looking to strengthen the architecture of their user experience, whether it be the digital web, or even the face to face or even through the contact centre that you believe they should be focused on primarily at this time?

 

Randy stated that when they look at their customer base, and their target market, what they're primarily helping them with is to the consumer experience associated with e-com primarily. But they also extend that into the in store experience as well. So, they're often very focused on for them, that consistency between the in store experience and the e-com experience, in terms of the content that they're using to power all of that. So, a very consistent product representation across all of the channels to include the imagery, the search engine optimized copy, rich media, in the terms of videos - AR, VR, all of those things. 

But aside from all of that, when you think of just how all of that comes to be something that they help their customers with a lot is what they describe as orchestrating the content or the consumer experience. How do you get from creating content, managing it, distributing it into the marketplace, and then monitoring how it's selling for you. All the things that go into orchestrating those behaviours and those activities is just secondarily something that they help their customers with a lot.

 

Market Trends in the Customer Experience Space

Me: Now, in your space, your business and what you're doing. What have been some maybe one or two emerging market trends that you've seen in the whole customer experience space, not just necessarily from a face to face interaction, but even digital seeing that many customers, that's where they hang out, it's easier for them, the convenience is better, and it's less hassle for them.

  

Randy shared that the biggest thing that they recognize today is just the expectations of the consumer that’s shopping online, in terms of the types of information and the types of content that they're expecting to see when they're doing their shopping on any e-commerce site. Beyond that, he just mentioned the consistency related to that, what they know in the consumer surveys that they do is that consumers today are not just shopping on one site, they're often looking at items across a number of different digital properties before they finally make a buying decision. And they're looking for more and more content. 

So, one of the expectations that they see evolving is just this expectation of consistency across these digital channels, if they don't see that, it damages the trust they might have in the information they're seeing. If it's not the same, like which one of them is correct. And then sometimes they just move on to other products, and things like that. 

So, the other thing that they see evolving around the online consumer experience, is the fact that consumers don't like to read, they like to look at pictures. So, when they help their customers with the imagery that they use to depict their products, more and more, they're starting to create imagery that contains some of the verbiage that is actually in the SEO copy. But again, consumers don't often read that, they're just looking at the picture so annotated images becoming more and more frequent, hotspot images where they've got spots on the images, where you can click and pull up some specific details. 

And then hero imagery, where they take a front facing product image and they call out a few very key details about that product as a way of just informing the consumer without them having to read some of the text.

Me: Right, so you kind of have to find a way to make the information pop, making it less frustrating for them to try and dig through your website to try and find what they're looking for, but it's there.

 

Key Things to Consider in Order to Ensure Consistency

Me: You mentioned expectations and consistency and I quite agree with you as it relates to both. I find a lot of organizations, it's not that they don't deliver a great experience or maybe that's their intention is to give a great experience. But the challenge is that they don't do it consistently. Could you share with our listeners based on your experience especially from a design perspective, what are some key things that you need to consider in order to ensure or at least to get as close to ensuring because I know nothing in life is guaranteed, to get closer to being consistent?

  

Randy stated that it is just attention to detail. So, within their platform that allows the manufacturers to manage and prepare their data to be sharing that with the marketplace, they just provide a lot of tools that help them with the finer points of the content. A really good example of that is, a significant percentage of their customers are in the food CPG space, so selling food products into retail channel. And today in the area of transparency and an intense interest in nutritionals, allergens, those kinds of things is r