What is Customer Experience? Is Customer Experience really the future? Is Customer Experience a cost centre for businesses?
On this week’s #MarketingBuzzword Podcast, Ben M Roberts speaks to Joey Coleman about ‘Customer Experience’. As always the aim of the podcast is to debunk, demystify and bring back some meaning to the marketing buzzword.
Joey Coleman is the Chief Experience Composer at Design Symphony – a customer experience branding firm that specializes in creating unique, attention-grabbing customer experiences. His clients include individual entrepreneurs, start-ups, small businesses, non-profits, government entities, and Fortune 500 companies. For over a decade he’s worked with clients that include NASA, Network for Good, Hyatt Hotels, Zappos, the Save Darfur Coalition, and the World Bank – not to mention dozens of regional and local organizations around the world.
Joey is a recognized expert in customer experience design, an award-winning speaker at national and international conferences, and has taught business and creativity courses at both the college and graduate school level. Past appearances include presentations at the M.I.T. Sloan School of Management, Google, the Georgetown University School of Business, Stanford University, Zappos, YouTube, and numerous undergraduate, private corporation, and non-profit events.
Prior to founding Design Symphony, Joey held positions with the Corporate Executive Board (NASDAQ: EXBD), the White House (Office of Counsel to the President during the Clinton Administration), the United States Secret Service, and the Central Intelligence Agency. He holds degrees from the University of Notre Dame and the George Washington University Law School. An avid reader and experiencer of life, when not traveling the world (44 countries and counting) for speaking and consulting engagements, he enjoys time at home with his family in the mountains of Colorado.
You can learn more about Joey and Design Symphony at: www.designsymphony.com
You can find a full transcript of the conversation between Ben and Joey below, but before that I want to let you know that The Marketing Buzzword Podcast is now powered by Talkative. Talkative is a company that brings live chat, voice calls, video calls and co-browsing together, in one package. This allows you and your business to truly engage with your customers, offer quick and effective resolutions to questions and improve the customer experience. You can find out more at Talkative.uk
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Enough small talk . . . let’s talk “Customer Experience”
Customer Experience Interview with Joey Coleman and Ben M Roberts
Ben: Hi Joey, and welcome to the podcast.
Joey: Thanks for having me, Ben. Excited to be a guest.
Ben: I’m so excited to get you on and I think is perfect time to get you on because you’ve got a book coming out.
Joey: I do. I do. I’ve got a book that I’ve been working on really for the last almost 20 years and it’s called “Never lose a customer again”. And really, it’s the culmination of a bunch of research. My experiences running an agency. My experiences in a variety of different careers that I’ve had over the years. To figure out, why do humans do the things they do and what can we do to make them do the things we’d like them to do. All in this context of how do we keep our customers. What is the human condition? And what are our customer’s emotional journeys as they do business with us? So that we can meet them where they’re at. Hopefully take great care of them and they’ll continue to be a long-term customer. You know, if not a customer for life.
Ben: I absolutely loved that. Last thing is it all worked out. Obviously by design as well, not by pure luck, but as customer experience is one of those huge, almost like buzz words and phrases that are out there at the moment. And I know I’ve spoken to yourself and Dan Gingiss, who was my first guest on the podcast. And I listened to your show and it’s fantastic to sort of hear all these great positive examples of customer service and experience and actually how it’s developing. It’s great to see actually, that this book is coming out and it’s a buzzword the I wanted to sort of talk about. You’re the perfect person to talk about it. The books coming out all at once. I’m just like, oh my God. It’s like those dreams have come true. All my dreams come true.
Joey: Ah, well thank you. Yeah, it’s interesting. It’s customer experience is something that 15-20 years ago, no one was talking about and it seems today that every business is trying to figure out. “What should their customer experience strategy be?”. And so it definitely has full on qualified as a buzzword at this point. Although I think it’s a buzzword that is frequently misunderstood.
Ben: Yeah. And I think that’s exactly why I wanted to bring you on today. Because now experientalisation is another sort of spin-off term of it. Where people are just going and adding new words and try and make it sound all woop-dee-doo. But really actually what is customer experience? What is the key fact or the sort of the key, the core concept of customer experience? What does it actually mean Joey?
Joey: I think there’s two things. Number one, I’m happy to answer the question, what does it actually mean? And then number two, I think it’s useful to customer service because customer experience and customer service are also often used interchangeably to mean the same thing. I couldn’t disagree more. I do not think they mean the same thing. So I think of customer experience as how customers perceive their interactions with your company. So it’s really the full effect of everything you do, every touchpoint, every interaction you have with a customer, how does it make them feel? What does it make them think? What are their perceptions around it and how does it make them act? So customer experience is kind of the big umbrella that covers all of the interactions with your customers. I think of it as being a much more proactive approach to how you interact with your customers. Because it calls on you to think through the different types of interactions and consciously design the outcomes and design the feelings. Compare that to customer service, right? I think customer service has a tendency to be a little more reactive as opposed to proactive. And customer service I think is defined more as the assistance and advice that a company is going to provide to people who buy or use its products or services. So I think of customer service is being a little bit more of what happens. When something goes wrong or what happens when the customer needs something. Where it’s customer experience is what the company is doing to anticipate the customer’s needs and get out in front of their request.
Ben: So one thing that sort of I agree to an extent. Then the customer experience and customer service and not same thing. I think, as you said, alluded to, there are a number of different crossovers. But maybe to me or other people would see it that way. Maybe I’m paying a bit of devil’s advocate here. But is someone who is saying now a customer experience manager. Let’s say this because it’s a role that seems to be coming up now. People are hiring for these customer experience managers. Is that not just a new way of redefining. Essentially what you learned in school was that branding was everything. Now some people will say the brand was an uneducated. People would say you’re brand is a logo. But actually the more people who are involved, the more you’re involved in marketing. You understand branding means everything about how the company’s portrayed. How it’s perceived, and actually all the little experiences. So is customer experience, just not a new fancy way of merging together marketing and branding. And basically putting a marketing slash brand manager just going. “Ooh, look at that”. We can create a customer service manager, a customer experience manager, which is almost pretty much the same thing is it not?
Joey: Well, I could definitely see where some companies may be approaching it that way. I think the companies that are going to succeed the most though going forward. Especially in in the next 20 years where I think customer experience has become the great differentiator between brands. I think the ones that get that are going to see a customer a little bit differently. I absolutely agree with you, that there may be some companies that are just rebranding the titles of the people that work in their organisation. But I think customer experience, at least to me, goes beyond a marketing or brand manager role. I think those are important roles. But what’s interesting is when most people think about marketing, they think about what happens before the sale, right? It’s all the website, the advertising campaigns, as you mentioned, the logo, the messaging, all the things that are designed to convince a prospect. That they should give you their hard-earned time and money to become a customer. Whereas I think customer experience includes some of the overview of what happens prior to the sale. But we’re a customer experience really gets interesting is what happens after the sale. And I think in many organisations, the functional responsibility for what happens after the sale is not given the attention, the focus or the status that I would pause it. That it deserves the typical business, the people who work in account management or customer service or customer experience are often some of the lowest paid employees. They don’t have a seat at the boardroom table, as an entity or as a function within the organisation. Usually they report up to marketing or sales, which is fine, except then when marketing and sales is meeting with the CEO or the owners. Marketing and sales is representing what happens before the sale. Whereas customer experience, customer service and representing what happens after the sale doesn’t get as much attention or focus.
Ben: No, that’s interesting. Where does this differentiate between a focus on lifetime value then. Because that’s the term again, gets banded around and thought about that you need to increase your lifetime value of your customers. Now, what is the difference between that and customer experience or is there a difference?
Joey: Well, I think there’s definitely they’re related. Certainly I would almost think of them more as in this context probably as cousins and or siblings. But I don’t think they’re the same person and here’s why I think focusing on customer value, paying attention to customer lifetime value is important. And is something that every organisation should be doing. I think what often happens in those conversations though is the discussion gets boiled down to a formula. Whereby someone is looking at how long the customer over the course of, let’s say one year, how many opportunities are there to sell to a customer? What is that value taking into consideration the churn or the customers that will leave. Then extrapolating that across a perceived lifetime of how many years someone will be a customer. You can come up with a dollar amount of how much every customer is worth while on one hand, from a business point of view, I think that can be a useful exercise. Where I think it’s different from customer experience is, if you’re measuring everything in terms of the dollar. You’re going to be failing to create a remarkable customer experience because not every experience can be measured in terms of the dollar spent or at calculable return on investment. Sometimes if a customer feels that they love you and they feel that they’re loyal to your brand. It’s very difficult to associate a dollar amount with that. And when you do, I think what happens is most companies end up taking the personal out of the conversation. They get away from thinking of the customer as an individual. As a living, breathing human being that has feelings, wants and needs. And instead take it into a spreadsheet equation whereby they see a customer as being worth x dollars. And then the goal of the organisation often becomes to make sure they’re getting those dollars every year out of that customer. And ideally do things to make those customers give them more dollars. Now I’m not saying that either of those things are completely counter to what happens. W hen you create a great customer experience, but I think the mindset between which you’re putting forward first is an important consideration.
Ben: I absolutely love that. I think that makes a huge amount of sense to me. And this is almost like the way I operate now with the way that I run my team on. How I’m involved in my company and the way I look at it is I have an 8 to 10 rule. And for me, especially in working in the digital space, is 8 out of 10 things are roughly eighty percent give or take. I’m not talking like exactly, it has to be this way, but 8 things I make sure I can track almost as much as I possibly can justify, be just for every little bit of ROI from each of those things. Now, for 2 of 10 things. I look at things that necessarily may not be either trackable or things that things that I can’t necessarily equate a huge amount of value to you. But I know that they’re good things to do with be a gut instinct, whether it be just because I want to surprise and delight. Like it’s difficult to justify with ROI. I always try and have a mix of 8 to 10. So two things could either be used for building experience and I can’t track and measure because sometimes there’s almost like there’s an aligned to people. They’re like, I have to be able to track absolutely everything. And I said that’s great. You can pretty much track a lot of things you can track. I know you can put set telephone numbers in a print ad, you can see how many people you could send. A nice gift to someone say, “Oh look, come on to our website and you’ll get something for free”. Whatever it is, you can track a lot of things. But really actually some of these, you should, they can be good to do. When you didn’t have to necessarily track them. You can treat your customers right and you shouldn’t have to like be tracking. It seemed almost like big brother’s gone mad. You’re trying to be nice them. But then you’re stalking them at the same time. It seemed almost counterproductive.
Joey: I agree. I mean, and not only does it become stalkerish or big brother-ish, but it really separates us from the humanity of why we got into business. And I think if you actually look at why people originally got into business. It’s to serve other human beings to make their lives better, easier, faster, or fill in the modifier that describes your product or service. And I think what happens is when we track everything that starts to get problematic. And I actually really like your balance of 8 of 10, right? Because it doesn’t, let’s be candid, it absolutely does not work to have a position where you don’t track anything where you just, Oh, well we’ll just do what we want to do because if you know that that’s a quick way to get out of business, right? However, tracking every single interaction, every single touch point and trying to squeeze the ROI out of it. Is not a recipe for a long term successful relationship. You know, man, I often liken this stuff to dating because it’s very easy to see behaviours in our dating life as being instructive of what we should be doing in our professional life. So for example, my wife and I have been married coming up on eight years now. And if I get her some flowers and I think while I’m gonna get her these flowers because that’s going to make her love me 0.5% more. Which is going to make it more likely that she stays married to me for another year. Which is going to make it more likely that she stays married to me for three more years. It just, it feels very cold and it feels very calculating and foolish. And anyone who’s been in a relationship knows that when you start going into the relationship. Well, if I do X, I expect you to do Y? That gets very ugly, very fast. And so I think the same applies to business. We want to be careful as to how much we are latching onto an expectation of a specific return. Anytime we invest our time, our effort or resources into doing something or giving something to our customers.
Ben: And then how do companies then. Because one of the things I read and I’ve heard about is company saying, well I want to do a surprise and delight. And I think that’s great. Yeah. You want us to present, but then you do it too often. It doesn’t become surprising. A lot of it becomes a chore, so how do people get the balance right between actually surprising delighting people. Or it just becoming almost like a self-fulfilling prophecy where you dig yourself a hole but by being too nice to your customers. Is that is that even possible way. I read these things all these companies are doing all these great things. But then they get out in there in the wild and other people like, “oh, you know, well I want, I want to speak to this company”, and then they see what I mean. Where it becomes like a self-fulfilling prophecy. People just suddenly go, this company’s really nice. They do nice things for their customers and then they will just try and sort of squeeze every little drop of nicest at the company. Or am I just being a bit cynical here?
Joey: No, I think it’s a fair question and a fair consideration. I think there’s a couple of things at play there. Number one, how do you do it? I think you need to create a culture and an environment where your employees feel empowered to create surprise and delight moments. Um, you know, there are certainly ways to systematize and be consistent in delivering surprise and delight moments, but I think that’s where you move away from a lot of the surprise and delight and it starts to be a routine and expected. Right? And so I think you need to give some autonomy there. I don’t actually, I don’t know. It’s a, it’s a really interesting question. I suppose I could envision a world where you could go too far, but we are so far away from that space right now, Ben, we can’t even see it. Like it’s, it’s past the horizon. So I would propose that companies really worry about that after the fact, like, don’t worry about that at the beginning. Don’t worry about going too far. I think there’s, there’s a couple of things that people should consider and keep in mind when they’re, when they’re trying to look at surprise and delight moments, you know, first of all, you need to empower your employees to do them. Second of all, you want to make sure that every customer is getting some surprise and delight moments during their customer journey, and the crazy thing about surprise and delight is that it doesn’t have to be a highly expensive interaction or it doesn’t require you to spend a lot of money. It does require you to spend some thoughtfulness and to spend some consideration, and so occasionally even just a, a, a considerate message for one of your customers is enough to make their day because they had that moment of humanity. They had that moment where life didn’t seem as cold and as a, as separate and they felt connection at a deep and personal and emotional level with another human being. So I think that’s certainly available to people. I would say I’d rather see companies double down into creating actual and surprise and delight moments and to commit to that for a minimum of a year, if not two or three, and then step back and have the conversation about whether they’ve gone too far. You know, there’s a, I’ll, I’ll, I’ll share a brief story. Um, I had the pleasure of working with Tony Shay, the CEO of Zappos, and I was talking to him about their policy. A Zappos is a, is a shoe company in the US, um, it’s often written about is having amazing customer service and customer experience. And one of the things that’s interesting about their company is they sell shoes online. They sell other things, but they’re most famous for selling shoes and they have a policy that they’ll, they’ll send you the shoes and if you don’t like the shoes for any reason, they don’t fit, you don’t like the look. Whatever it may be, you can mail the shoes back, uh, at the companies charge you go on you process, they will pay to ship them back. They will refund all your money. And you can do this for up to one year after you purchase the shoes. Now, as you might imagine, the skeptics, uh, you know, are quick to look at that and say, well, don’t people take advantage of that? Don’t they buy the shoes, wear them to the party and then send the back right? You know, or buy the shoes and wear them around a little bit and use them and then say, oh nevermind, it didn’t work for me and give them back and certainly there are some customers that do that. And so I asked Tony about this and I said, you know, how do you manage this? How do you handle this? And he said, you’re right. There are some customers that abuse this, but they are actually very few and far between and the number of customers that do business with us because of this guarantee far outweighs any cost of the customers that have abused it. He said that being said, we track in our system how often someone returns to the shoes and if they’re abusing this guarantee, we just send them a message and say, hey, it seems like your approach to our guarantee and the spirit of our guarantee are not in alignment and therefore we have deactivated your account and you will no longer be
able to order shoes from us. We wish you the best in finding your shoes elsewhere. And so they will actively migrate customers out of their customer database. If you will, who are being abusive, and I think the same holds true for anybody when you mentioned, you know, Oh, what about people taking advantage of it? I’m not saying that if you have a customer that’s taking advantage of you, you should keep serving them. Not at all. I think you should. I think it’s good for every business to a regularly give consideration to which customers need to be fired from the business and do that as an active practice. That being said, what I often see happen is most companies have a tendency to say, well, because one or two customers may abuse this, we can’t do it for anyone. It’s kind of like the. When you walk into a retail establishment and they say that the restroom or the bathroom or the loo is only available for the employees is not available for the customers and usually that’s because at some point some customer did not treat the, you know, the facility’s appropriately and the organisation made the decision that they would not allow anyone than to use the restroom. And it just seems like often companies jumped to the wrong conclusion instead of looking and saying, well, what really is the problem here and how do we address it?
Ben: I think that’s a really interesting point and it’s one that I’ve come across before. I mean part of my background is I worked for a large e-commerce site that dealt with outdoor survival products and one of the things we really held pride in place with our customer service, the experience and actually being able to offer those free returns. Because we saw too many companies were doing essentially what you were just saying. And it was a case of, oh look, a couple of people kept wearing the clothes and sending them back. And people were beating the system, so company just went, nope, we’re not doing free returns anymore. Too many people are abusing it. And we took a sort of a slightly different approach. Again, is almost almost exactly the same. Thank you. So I feel like we’re doing the right thing.
Joey: This is a great idea. And my imagining would be, you could tell me if I’m wrong, that the business grew and that customers really liked that you stood by your products. And that you gave them the chance to return them or exchange them as need be.
Ben: Yeah, exactly. And it was everything was doing rework and again, our trustpilot ratings, we use trustpilot as our big review site and we were, we were smashing that. We’re up to like 17, 18,000 reviews on their averaging like four point nine stars out of five and it was like, Whoa, people are absolutely loving this, you know, is that trust? And again, we weren’t afraid to eventually, look, you’ve sent so many items back in this last year.
Speaker 2: Unfortunately we’ve actually been losing money from, from your customers. So unfortunately we can’t serve you anymore. We want, we’d love to, but you’ve abused our systems and we’ve actually cost us more money to send things to us. We don’t unfortunately as nice, we were like, we don’t want your custom anymore because it’s not beneficial for any of us. Whereas other people can appreciate that because we could keep the free offer open for the other people. Exactly. Exactly. You know, it’s interesting. I talk about this in a never lose a customer again in that the best businesses reduce feelings of buyer’s remorse by having some type of guarantee or some type of way for the customer that if they feel that things are working out as planned, they can either end the relationship, get their money back, return the item, et Cetera. And you know, there are a number of companies that I talk about in, in the book that specifically address this and you know, for example, Casper beds is a bedding company that has grown incredibly fast here in the United States and one of the things they do is they give you 100 nights to sleep on the bed.
Speaker 2: So they say to you, here’s the deal by the bed, sleep on it for over three months, for a hundred nights. And if by the time you get to the end of that time period, you’re loving the bed, great. Keep it and sleep on it going forward. If you’re not loving the bed, let us know and we’ll give you your money back, and then they do something even more interesting because sometimes people feel guilty about asking for a refund or asking for their money back, especially after they’ve used it for awhile and the folks at Casper beds are really smart about this. What they do is they turn around and they say, oh, and when you decide that you want to give it back, we’re going to refund your money and we’re going to donate the bed to a homeless shelter in your community. Now what that does is two things.
Speaker 2: Number one, it helps the customer who might feel guilty about asking for a refund of, Oh, well, what are they going to do this better? They’re going to sell it to someone else. Are they going to put it in a landfill? Oh, I, you know, I really didn’t. You know what? I’m just going to deal with it. Right? And that’s someone who’s never going to be a customer again and it’s going to have the wrong attitude. Instead, they make it part of kind of their. Their social responsibility isn’t an organization and they say, look, we’re gonna help, uh, you know, a homeless shelter in your area to be able to offer a better night’s sleep to people who are staying at the shelter because you didn’t like the bed, so you almost feel good about giving the bad back because you know it’s going to do some good in your community.
Speaker 1: It’s interesting though because some of these examples I can quite easily see from a, uh, small business owners example, I look at it, I go, I can exactly see how that’s going to work. But then a small business owner would turn around and go, I can’t afford that. I can’t afford for people to then start sending all these beds back and, and it, it actually costs me a lot of money and put me at a business before I’ve even got going because I’ve earned some money and I’ve already got to pay people back. How will the small business owners actually get over, get over that fear or understand that this isn’t necessarily a customer experience, isn’t a cost center because he’s put in. When you hear all these stories, I can understand what go, yeah, I’d love to do that, but it’s just going to cost me shed loads of money. How do people and business owners, marketers, customer experience managers get over that fear of it being a cost center?
Speaker 2: Well, I think there’s a couple ways. Number one, uh, one of the things that was really important to me in writing the book was that I included case studies from all different types of businesses of all different sizes. So there are examples of small businesses and when I say small business, I mean a truly small business, one or two employees, right? Solo entrepreneurs, folks that are really doing it just by themselves, uh, you know, or with a very small team and maybe have small revenues, you know, certainly under a million dollars in some of the companies that I profiled, you know, we’re, you know, at under 100,000 dollars. And so I think first of all, it is applicable to small businesses and in fact is really unexpected when it’s a small business. So that actually helps you grow the small business faster because customers don’t expect this in the marketplace.
Speaker 2: Secondly, what we’re talking about here is a philosophy for doing business and a mindset for doing business. And I think what happens all too often is companies say, well, we’ll be more generous when we’re bigger, will be more generous when we’re able to do it and we see this in people’s personal lives. They say, I’ll donate money to a cause that I believe in after I’ve made a million dollars because then I can donate a lot of money and really make a difference and really make an impact. What’s fascinating is all the research shows that if you don’t adopt an attitude and a practice of giving early on, you never become a big donor later. It’s very rare, at least in the world of donations. And I think the same holds true for business. If you don’t adopt a commitment to customer experience early on in the creation of your business, it is much more difficult to adopt it later.
Speaker 2: So I think you can do this now to your question about, you know, I, I think the phrase you loses a using, losing shed loads of money, right? Which I love by the way. I want to add some absolutely brilliant. Um, I think that the secret there is your product and service has to be high quality. So going back to the story of the bed company Caspar beds, if their beds were sharp, right? And they were like, oh yeah, and if you don’t like it, you can turn it back in and tons of people were turning it back in. That would be a big problem. That would be an absolutely huge problem because they didn’t have a quality product or a quality service to start with. Um, there’s a company called ll bean that has a very famous until very recently, they just changed this, but they had a very famous policy that you could return anything you bought from their store anytime.
Speaker 2: End of story period. Like if, if you bought their product and you didn’t like it and you wanted to return it, no problem, and you would, you know, that they wouldn’t ask any questions. There wouldn’t be any, uh, challenges. And you were all set. What’s fascinating is that the origins of that policy come from the fact that when the company very first started back in, I think it was 1911, right? I mean, this company is hundreds over a hundred years old. When they first started back in the day, they made a series of boots that if I’m recalling the story correctly, it was something like they made a hundred pairs of boots, the founder and he had this policy and like 97 pairs of boots got returned and you’re right, it almost put them out of business. But it also taught the founder a very valuable lesson which is you have to make a quality product. And because he never wanted to have as customers feel this way again, he created this lifelong return policy and said, we will have to rise to the occasion. We will need to create better products and better services or else we will go out of business and this will be a good way to check us to check our level of honesty and reality about how good our products and services are in the marketplace.
Speaker 1: I think that’s as an example, I’ve got an example of that as well. You to me, I don’t know you. I know you assume you have these cars out in America, but kids have kids so I bought a kid because it had a seven year warranty on it and I thought a company that’s going to almost back themselves and say, you know what, seven years you. They get out of this car and we’re gonna we’re gonna pay for all the stuff on it. Cause they were within the warranty clause by like so many other car manufacturers were only putting three and four years on there and I was looking at going, hang on, this car is the same price as every other one or sort or slightly cheaper and yet they’re putting a higher warranty on it this of almost twice as long as I trust that company because it’s such a company going to put seven years on that warranty.
Speaker 1: I was like, you know what, they’re going to actually, I, I feel like they’re going to actually work really hard and this car is going to be much better value for money because they’re saying that this car isn’t just going to work for three or four years. It’s going to work for seven years and we’re going to put up a leaf and our time in there and now you’ve taken. If anything goes wrong, the seven years we’ve got you covered, we’ve got you covered for all those essential bits. And for me that was actually quite a big thing in me choosing to get a car because I could’ve gone for a slightly swisher looking car. I could’ve gone for a car that maybe had very slightly better miles per gallon, but for me actually that trust factor and that experience is actually a big deal and people don’t necessarily equate that and I think that was one of the.
Speaker 1: Something else you said was about the small business actually. If you focus on the quality and you’re actually confident in your own brand, your own offering, your own products, your own service, then actually you will need to necessarily do, but the people have the confidence to act that you’re smart enough and you’re good enough to be able to backup and do what you say you can do. And that is the difference, isn’t it? It’s that competence and that. Look, I’m so pro, I think, I don’t know if you heard of George Foreman grills over here and he said something like, I’m so proud of it. I put my name on it. I know he didn’t make the things, but it’s almost like it wasn’t willing
Speaker 2: To put his name on it. Exactly. And, you know, it used to be when we talk, you know, bringing our conversation full circle back to when you talk about brands, uh, you know, one of the things I often look to is the world of art and artists sign their work because they are confident in putting their name, literally putting their name on their work and saying, this is my work and the quality and the craftsmanship speaks for itself and I’m willing to sign it. And there are many brands that are, are famous and well known where people sign the work. You know, there’s some high end automobiles where the mechanics and the engineers who build them will sign the frame. Uh, you know, there’s some high end pianos where the woodworkers who create the piano will sign the inside of the piano. And I think what happened is we moved from that approach to, uh, you know, really in the eighties and late seventies and eighties and nineties going to.
Speaker 2: I don’t know if he ever got one of these. You know, sometimes we need to get a piece of clothing or an item. There might be a little slip of paper and said that inspected by number 22 or inspected by number 47, and we and we moved away from taking personal ownership for the quality of the product and move to well some number in our business. Agreed that this met our minimum standards to be able to go out to you and you know, it goes back to our conversation about the Roy on customer experience as well. You know the Kia that you purchased, they don’t necessarily know until now because they listened to the podcast that the reason the big deciding factor in your purchase decision was the seven year warranty. Right? And had the salesperson asked you at the time, you may or may not have said that that was the reason you may have said, oh, I like the car.
Speaker 2: Oh, it’s been nice working with you. Or I like the way it drives or the way it looks. You might not have said, oh, I like that you have the seven year warranty. And even if you did say that you liked the seven year warranty, the likelihood of that salesperson transmitting that back to the management team who decided to have a seven year warranty is very small. So that’s why he can’t always be about can you measure it. Some of this, to go back to your point, has to be that two out of 10 where you just say, well, we’re going to do the right thing and trust it works out. It’s, Yay. I’m tripping with my words because I’m in total agreement here and I’ve got Lisa is all you agree? Because you cannot track everything because certain things are they don’t fill to the right way.
Speaker 2: People don’t always interacts the way you expect, but they may still be interacting for the reasons you expect. So they may not say it, they may not always look like they’re doing it, but actually their consideration set is what you want. And again, you may track someone, they may not open any of your emails rages and suddenly they open one email and they’re certainly could become one of your best customers. It’s really difficult and it’s, it’s, it’s something that marketers will to and fro about for years and years to cut even with automation, increased tracking systems, and it’s an absolutely fascinating subject that we could talk for hours about. But one thing I do want to sort of really sort of touch upon before I let you go is, is your book, and with that then, so why have you decided to write this book? What is the premise of this book and why should people who’ve listened to this now and listen to you for the last sort of five minutes or so?
Speaker 2: Why should people buy your book, Joey? The reason, let’s see, let’s see. Posts, no pressure, no pressure pokes. OK, so a couple things. Number one, the reason I wrote this book is I stumbled across a problem that is facing every business on the planet that I think most businesses aren’t fully aware of. They’re not fully aware of the problem, nor are they fully aware of the danger and the threat it poses to their business. And that’s the problem of customer retention. All the research shows, and I’ve looked at pretty much every industry imaginable around the world, uh, both in terms of industry and operating in countries, not just in the United States but around the world. And what we found is that somewhere between 20 and 70 percent of your new customers will decide to stop doing business with you before they reached the 100 day anniversary.
Speaker 2: Now, this is staggering when you think about it. We spend so much time, effort and money filling the funnel, driving people to the front door, you know, trying to prospect and sell and market and as quickly as we were bringing people in, the front door, 20 to 70 percent are running out the back door and they’re leaving for. We have the opportunity to really serve them. They’re leaving before we have the opportunity to recoup our acquisition costs. They’re leaving before we have any opportunity to start to take advantage of that lifetime value of the customer. And this defection, this churn, this leaving of the business has a huge impact on morale within the organization as well. It makes it very hard to be an employee, and so when I realized that this was a problem, I decided, well, what can we do to fix the problem?
Speaker 2: And so I spent many years not only working directly with the companies in my agency, but also researching the best companies around the world and I identified 46 different companies, small, medium and large, that are doing incredible things to create a remarkable customer experience at every step along the customer journey and designed to be a playbook for how do you map your customer journey and then how do you enhance the journey in a way that allows you to create specific emotions. Specific feelings are specific outcomes at each step along the way that are designed to move the customer from one phase of relationship to you to the next with the end goal. Being that they become raving fans is elvis advocates that are referring new business to you and really helping you grow and sustain your business in a way that is built on there. Their loyalty and their belief in what you do and what you offer.
Speaker 1: I think that was absolutely an incredible sales pitch and I know that I’m going to be getting a copy of the book and I know that I think every single listener, I know, I know, I know you’re out there. There’s going to be buying a copy of this book as well and I’m so excited because after listening to you for so long now when I say so long, I mean you poke me going that long, but it feels like I know you guys so you and done so, so well from just listening to you guys every week. So as well. I’ll go do a little plug for your podcast as well. So the, I think I’ve done it already a few times on this, on this podcast. I feel like I should get a little, a little
Speaker 2: Little reward for upper body as I appreciate that. Yeah, I have a lot of fun. Dan and I have a podcast called experience this where we tell the positive stories of customer experience, uh, across a variety of different industries, little segments and snip. It’s basically an appetizer of delight of what’s working in the world. And what you can feel happy about in the world of customer experience and customer service. So really appreciate you listening to the show band. Appreciate you sharing it with your listeners and uh, appreciate you having me on the show to talk a little bit about never lose a customer again.
Speaker 1: Absolutely my pleasure. But, but, but before I let you go, I need to ask you the question I ask everyone else before I leave, before I let them leave. What are the business and marketing buzzwords are you hearing right now that you are loving or hating? What was I, the grinding your gears or makes you go,
Speaker 2: Yes, this is what’s right with the world right now. Sure. No, it’s a, it’s a fantastic question and I love that you end every episode with this. Um, there are two that come to mind. One that I absolutely love and one that drives me a little crazy. The one that I absolutely love is customer journey. I think the quicker that an organization acknowledges that a customer is walking a journey with them and that that journey is going to have highs and lows and that you have the opportunity to affect and impact that journey by the type of interactions you have with the customer. It really allows an organization to appreciated a very deep level what a long term relationship with their customers should be. So I love the idea of a customer journey. Um, it’s not surprising that it’s, you know, the core focus of my book and I think that is something that everybody should be paying attention to.
Speaker 2: One that drives me crazy right now is big data. I’m not opposed to using data, but I think there’s such a rush to pay attention to big data that we are missing the opportunity to pay attention to small data. What I mean by that is if we take all the interactions that we have with our customers and kind of push all that data up and create big data to spot trends and pathways that that’s very useful and can help an organization figure out what they should be doing next and how they should be responding and taking care of their customers. However, if we do that to the exclusion of the small data, which is the very specific things that individual customers do, they can give us insight in how to make their individual life better or how to serve them better. We run the risk of separating ourselves from the humanity of the people that we serve.
Speaker 1: I think that’s a fascinating point because data driven marketing is a future episode. I’ll cook. I’ve got coming up and is looking at actually, but the difference is between the small and the big data and actually how the data is used. It should be used at different stages of the marketing journey, the customer journey, and actually how big data has its real uses and so maybe driving high level of strategy, but actually on the ground, big data doesn’t have that much to use and it’s actually where the, where the people find the balancing act between the two. So obviously I’m obviously I’m blown away actually you’ve bought that up because actually no one else has updates and it was something that I feel quite passionate about as well, so. Hey Joe, this is almost worked out so perfectly. Perfect. Well, I’m excited to listen to that episode then. That’s awesome. Hey Joey, thank you so much for coming on. Absolute pleasure. I know everyone listening has learned a lot, so thank you so much.
Speaker 2: Oh, it’s my pleasure and thanks everyone for listening and keep up the great work, man. I love the show.
New Speaker: Thanks Jerry.