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Navigating the Customer Experience
24 minutes | 7 days ago
111: Using Wix to Create a Seamless Experience with Naomi Rozenfeld
Naomi Rozenfeld is the EVP of Revenue at Wix Answers, where she leads the global Marketing and Sales strategy. Naomi is passionate about helping companies and start-ups provide best-in-class customer experiences and transforming the way companies provide Customer Support. She was previously the Director of GTM at Wix Answers and Head of Product Marketing at Wix.com. Prior to joining Wix.com, Naomi was an Entrepreneur and founded two travel start-ups. Questions Could you share with us a little bit about your journey? Could you just share with us a little bit about what Wix provides and how you're able to meet your customer's expectations based on what the market is looking for? In terms of customer experience and Wix being able to fulfil that for their customers, what are some of the ways that you differentiate yourself from other service providers that give that same kind of service? Could you share with us maybe what's one online resource, tool, website, or app that you absolutely cannot live without in your business? In your journey, in your professional journey and even in your personal journey, are there any books that have had the biggest impact on you, books that have really inspired you? Maybe could you share one or two with us? We have a lot of listeners who are business owners, some of them are managers in organizations where they are charged with the responsibility of enhancing customer experience, building customer loyalty, and they feel they have great products and services, but they lack the constantly motivated human capital. If you are sitting across the table from one of those persons, what's the one piece of advice that you would give them to have a successful business? Could you share with us maybe one thing that's going on in your life right now that you're really excited about - maybe something you're working on to develop yourself or your people. Where can they find you online? Do you have a quote or a saying that during times of adversity or challenge you'll tend to revert to this quote, it kind of helps to get you back on track or keep you focused on what you need to achieve or get through? Highlights Naomi’s Journey Naomi shared that quite a long time ago; she started her journey as an entrepreneur. She always had this dream to build her own business, be her own boss. And she set out on that journey; she would say a pretty young age. She started her first startup, she was always very passionate about the travel space, it seemed ripe for disruption, or there were a lot of startups trying to tackle a lot of everyday problems that people had when it came to traveling. She founded her first startup with two other founders, which quickly actually turned into a full on business that was just running already by itself. They had won a really big tender from the Jerusalem municipality for travel and very quickly just became a business. She sold her shares there and she went on to found the second startup with another founder, also in the travel space, trying to tackle a completely different problem, which was more about travel marketplaces and just travel ideas. And that one pretty much hit her in the face. She would say about a year into it, her co-founder and her had very different views of how they wanted to take that startup forward. And she’d found herself pretty much one year with a startup that she put a lot into just basically fizzling. So, she pretty much hit that 99% statistic of startups failing. And at that point she had a friend who she’d known from one of the accelerator programs that she was part of that said to her, “Hey, I know that they're trying to build a product marketing team at Wix, would you be interested if I connect you to somebody?” She was kind of broke looking for a job that was a little bit more stable and going to provide her with a little bit more stability. And she said, “Sure, why not?” Her idea was to go to Wix maybe for a couple of years, save up again and go back to being an entrepreneur. And here she is, six and a half years later, still at Wix. What Does Wix Provides And Meeting Customer’s Expectations Naomi shared that Wix is a pretty well known as a cloud-based web development company that makes it easy for anybody to have an online presence. And that could be everything from creating your website online, your portfolio, regardless of what business or vertical you're coming from. And also to provide you with all of the tools that you need in order to maintain and to run your business on a daily basis. So, everything from managing your bookings to your payments, to your customers and all of that communication is pretty much what Wix is known for in the industry. And she had pretty much started in the marketing department, heading the product marketing team there. And there's always been a very, very huge focus as a SAS centric company on product. And everything that they did in terms of marketing was about how do they enable their users, how do they inspire them? But there was always a very strong connection to the product. And she would say about a couple years into her journey at Wix, she had heard about this new B2B product, something completely different than what they were doing at Wix. Wix is a very successful and large B2C company, today they have almost 200 million users around the world and there was this new initiative starting kind of inside of Wix that was looking to go to market. And basically what it was, was looking to take their home-grown, in-house built platform that they use for customer support at Wix, and to start basically offering that to other businesses. She was super intrigued; she met with Elad Eran who is the CEO of Wix Answers. And he was basically running this project from day one. And she had met him for a cup of coffee, and she had heard about his vision. She would hear about customer support as something that was completely new to her. And she had known a lot about marketing, a lot about obviously like web tools being part of Wix and suddenly there was this new product that was completely unrelated to Wix, for total B2B in terms of its business model and its needs that was looking to basically launch out of the larger wix.com. And she heard about his vision, she heard about this story and at that point, her knowledge on support was maybe Zendesk. She had known that Zendesk was a tool that you use, obviously for customer support for more than that, she didn't really know. And she was so intrigued and excited to hear about where they saw this product going and that the same pain point that Wix was trying to solve for many years ago and building out this own in-house technology that was now also very relevant to other businesses 10 years later, she really want in on this. And, pretty much from that point, the rest is history and she has been with Wix Answers since that point. What Are Some Ways Wix Differentiate From Other Service Providers Naomi stated that this is a really good question, in terms of tooling and obviously looking at this industry, which is a very saturated space and a very competitive one at that. Any business, regardless of how big or small you are, you're always going to need tools to communicate with your customers, that's really pretty much like the heart of every business is communicating with your customers and supporting them. And she thinks what really is different about Wix Answers is the story that kind of lies behind how this product came to be. And it's a lot like AWUS when you think about it; the only difference is that they didn't really create an industry. They were a real business that they were growing super fast. Wix was at the point of this tipping point of explosive growth; their users were growing by the millions. They were a SAS centric company; they really needed ways to connect the product teams, the marketing teams with the user voice. And from day one, they've always been very centered around capturing that user voice in terms of their future roadmap, their strategy, and really understanding where they were going as a company. They looked in the market for tools and nothing really was able to capture all of that, nothing was really able to connect all of those dots or put knowledge at the hands of their users in the way that they had imagined it, nothing was really kind of connecting support to the internal part of the organization. It was always those traditional help desks, where you expect your users to go open a ticket, get a reply, and then you just solve that ticket and you're done with that. And they saw it as much more, they knew that their product teams are their future roadmap would had to be connected to the users. So, they set out on this journey to build this tool. Now, if you look in the market today, there's a lot of different solutions that offer basically everything, you can connect all of your different channels. You obviously can have a lot of timeline view of your customers, but what really sets Wix Answers apart is the way they built the foundation of it. So, all of your channels are just seamlessly connected into one single timeline. So, regardless of whether a user or a customer starts to chat with you, and then they want a call back, or they want to get an email, or you want to follow up with an article, everything is just the seamless transition between channels. And that's just pretty much a by-product of them building their own in-house technology. So, they don't have third-party apps, and they don't have third-party vendors that are integrated into their platform. Everything is just pretty much built in into one really cohesive product and platform. And the end result is that your users have a much more seamless transition between any of your channels. You obviously have much pure and better customer data and just data at all. And the agents have one interface that is like that single source of truth about your customers. And that she would say is pretty much one of the biggest differentiators that they have today. And when it comes to like scale and doing things in high volume, they know a thing or two about that in terms of growing really quickly. And there's a lot of businesses that they talked to today, whether they're startups or even really large scale operations that do things at high volume. And when you're trying to do something at high volume, and you need to move the needle just a little bit, even if it's just 1% or just a small fraction of making changes that has really large implications. And what they found is that even smaller organizations like startups that were very lean and needed to move really quickly were suffering from the same thing that really large businesses were suffering from. And that was just a high dependency on development and high cost of running their operations, because they really needed that R and D dependency in order to move or to execute anything within the support organization. And the way they had engineered and designed this platform was that pretty much, if you want to make a change between now and tomorrow, you want to launch a new channel, you want to change your entire help center. You have to pivot, or you need to just really quickly adapt, you're able to do that without having to go to a project manager, who's going to build it out or plan it for you. You don't really need the developers to obviously start building that out for you and then launch. And that ability to go faster than ever, and to move and to iterate in a much faster way is really, really impactful for businesses today, especially when support and CX is really like the heart of any business and organization. Me: I agreed, totally agreed. So, Wix has definitely been able to bridge that gap for a way that customers can communicate with their clients in a very easy, seamless, frictionless way. And people don't like to jump through hoops, the less steps that they have to take the, the much better experience that they have. And you want them to feel motivated to interface with your platform. App, Website or Tool that Naomi Absolutely Can’t Live Without in Her Business When asked about an online tool that she cannot live without in her business, Naomi stated that she’s not sure that she’s going to be that creative with this one. It might actually sound a little bit mundane, but she feels that LinkedIn has pretty much changed her life and so many people around us. She remembers when she started at this, business cards were a big deal, they still are. She has a whole bunch of business cards sitting in her bag waiting to be given out probably the next conference, if they'll have one in the near future given this whole COVID situation. But LinkedIn really made it easy to get to people that you would otherwise have a hard time getting through to. And she finds that so many interesting conversations, partnerships, relationships have just started on LinkedIn, and it's just become like a tool that she really can't live without, regardless of whether if it's on a personal connection level or even within their business. Just reaching out to people and striking up a conversation around subject matter that's important to you, it's just really become easier than ever thanks to LinkedIn. Books That Have Had the Greatest Impact on Naomi When asked about books that had the biggest impact, Naomi stated that there's a book that she read actually many years ago, it was about 5 years ago. She read this one with her son, they made it kind of like an everyday thing that she would read to him chapters in this book. And it's actually written by RJ Palacio and the book is called Wonder, and it's actually a children's book. She always thinks that somehow children's books always have like very interesting messages about life in them and this one really kind of got to her. It was a story about a friendship and just how raw human relationships and how complex they can be sometimes. And obviously this was written for probably children between the age of 10 to 12, but it was just a really wonderful book that was just drawing a lot of depth in terms of human nature, friendships, fear, courage and that one kind of stuck with her. Another book that she actually just finished as of recently, that's more in the adults playing field is called Play Bigger: How Pirates, Dreamers, and Innovators Create and Dominate Markets by Al Ramadan. And this one's a very interesting book as well, they kind of title it as how pirates and dreamers, innovators can create and dominate markets. And what she really, really loves about this one is that a lot of the way we look at things is just the mindset. And sometimes to really succeed at something, you just need to change the conversation or change the category, or just change the way you approach something. And it just really comes from this place of not being the follower, but just trying to find different ways to lead. And that's been a book that she will probably be revisiting again, very well-written and some really good ideas in that one. It's called Play Bigger. Advice for Business Owners to Have a Successful Business When asked about advice that she would give a business owners to have a successful business, Naomi mentioned definitely focus. It sounds really simple and she can say first-hand, she has always struggled with this herself. Also, in the businesses that she has built and also with the teams that they lead today, especially when you're working with talented people that have a lot of different ideas and especially when you're building any new business, you want to pretty much just tackle it all. And she would just say that sometimes focus is something that actually really motivates the teams, it sounds a little bit contrary or counter-intuitive because you can have a lot of really great ideas and people get highly motivated by them, but then trying to tackle too much too soon or not, all of your areas of strengths can sometimes be very de-motivating to teams and people that are helping you obviously grow your business and create the strategies and taking things forward on a daily basis. So, focus has tended to be something that, where she feels when there needs to be a push to motivation, just to look at everything, look at that one area that you can really do well at, obviously involve your teams, talk to them, and that focus has a tendency to kind of invigorate that sense of like, “Okay, we're really going to go after this. We're going to tackle it and we can really win.” What Naomi is Really Excited About Now! Naomi shared that there's a lot of things that are going on right now. There's definitely a project that she thinks they've been working on really, really hard that she knows is a cross team effort and was something that was really new and different that they were trying to launch. And it's a new community that they're going to be launching next month, that's going to actually be in the space of customer experience, and they're looking to really create a whole new conversation with people and connect them in a way that they haven't really been connected before in this space. And it's been something that they've been planning as a team for a very, very long time carefully considering the leaders, the brands, the emerging technologies and companies that they really wanted them to be part of this conversation. And she knows it was a huge cross team effort that they've been basically putting a lot of resources and focus on that. She would say that that's something that right now they're super excited about, and it's going to be a really big one for them in terms of successfully launching this next month. Where Can We Find Naomi Online Naomi shared listeners can find her at – LinkedIn – Naomi Rozenfeld LinkedIn – Wix Answers Website – www.wixanswers.com Quote or Saying that During Times of Adversity Naomi Uses Naomi shared that there's something that kind of stuck with her, she thinks more so as a woman and as a woman in business, also as a mother, she has two boys, but also a girl. So, she understand that the way that we want to sometimes lead things and prove our independence, sometimes we need to push a little bit harder than some of our counterparts. And there's definitely a quote that kind of stuck with her from Ruth Bader Ginsburg. It went something along the lines of, “My mother always told me to be a lady. And for her, that meant to be your own person, be independent.” And that's something that she pushed through on a lot is just being really, obviously your own person, to be independent, but also from the aspect of being a woman and what that means today, especially in the business world and leading teams and to see women obviously in positions of power and making really big decisions, that for her is like a quote that goes really far. 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 Grab the Freebie on Our Website – TOP 10 Online Business Resources for Small Business Owners Links Wonder by R.J Palacio Play Bigger: How Pirates, Dreamers, and Innovators Create and Dominate Markets by Al Ramadan The ABC’s of a Fantastic Customer Experience 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!
34 minutes | 13 days ago
110: How to Build A Home and Business Using Feng Shui with Patricia Lohan
Patricia Lohan is the creator of Feng Shui Mastery and the Author of The Happy Home: A Guide to Creating a Happy, Healthy, Wealthy Life. Patricia Logan helps women make their home magnetic to money, luck and blessings. She shows you what they don't teach in school, what lies between the lines, your top secret tool for success. She is a Feng Shui expert, a healer and a passionate female entrepreneur who has shaped her dream life living in Bali with her husband. Patricia has a gift making feng shui simple and easy to understand and implement. She has helped thousands of people across the globe embrace Feng Shui and create long lasting changes in their homes, lives and businesses. She has seen firsthand the power of mind, surroundings and inner healing, clearing and aligning everything so it works holistically. Questions Could you share a little bit with us about your journey and maybe just explain to our listeners those who may be familiar with Feng Shui or those who may not know exactly what Feng Shui Mastery really is? And how did you get on this path to helping others in this way? Could you share with us exactly what is Feng Shui? Is it like a principle? Is it an exercise? What does it really entail? How is it that business owners can actually use Feng Shui, maybe two or three things that they could do that they're not doing, especially if it's a practice that they've never done before in their lives, like where would they start? Let's say you work from home and you don't necessarily, as you said, have an office space. What recommendations do you give to someone who probably only has like a living space versus their bedroom, how do you know where is the best place in your house to do work and be productive? And a big part of what I'm getting from what you're saying in your practice is how you feel about yourself, your environment and just everything around you; because all of that energy will impact what you pour out into your interactions with other people. What are your thoughts on that? Can you share with us maybe what's the one online resource, tool, website or app that you absolutely can't live without in your business? Could you share with us maybe one or two books that have had the biggest impact on you? What's one thing that's going on in your life right now? Something that you're really excited about - either something that you are working on to develop yourself or your people. Can you tell our listeners where they can find you online? What is one quote or saying that during times of adversity or challenge, you’ll tend to revert to – it kind of helps you to get you back on track and to refocus you. Highlights Patricia’s Journey Patricia shared that she actually got her first books about Feng Shui when she was 16, and she had no idea how she found it or came across it, but it really just struck a chord with her internally and she felt like her soul knew what she was meant to be doing with her life, but she didn't. But she really was so just enamoured by the process of working with your home and they had moved house many times, her parents bought houses and then upgraded them and then would sell them and they'd move to another house and upgraded. So this experience of moving from different houses and seeing very dramatic shifts in what was happening to the people in their life, like their family, as they move from one house to the other, like their family didn't change. But the experiences they had changed a lot between financial experiences, illness and lots of drama in one house to another house that her parents business went so well and they made loads of money, but lots of people were sick. So it was very interesting that was going on when she was tuning in to asking for books about Feng Shui. Now as she looks back on that time, it just fascinates her so much. But that was really where it started. And then in her late 20s, she moved to India and became a yoga teacher and trained in lots of holistic practices. And when she came back to Ireland, she was working with clients, hopping the release trauma and doing really alignment and energy work for them as people internally. But what happened was she decided she wanted to find herself a new apartment and she also wanted to find her husband and meet her husband to be. And she set up her new apartment for love. And very soon afterwards, she met Ken and she had used lots of Feng Shui principles in her home to call in her soul mate, her husband. She met him very soon afterwards and actually he had used Feng Shui also. So, it's a quite a synergistic process that she was led back to Feng Shui to fall in love. And everyone started asking her, like, “How did you meet Ken? Oh, my God.” And all of her single friends like what did you do. But when she met Ken, she realized, Oh, she can use this Feng Shui for, like money and for her career and for her reputation and for all these other aspects of her life. So, she dived down the path and so did Ken and they both did Feng Shui together and dived into becoming Feng Shui consultants and experts and training much, much deeper level. And they did it on their home together. And all of a sudden she was getting huge contracts. She actually had a huge six figure windfall and lots of things just changed. And it was very visible change from a year earlier. She was cycling around Dublin making Five Euros and teaching a yoga class to now being in a pretty much a new car, a million dollar home, making lots of money and everyone's like, “What's just happened?” And she’s like, “Well, we just started doing this Feng Shui for ourselves. And all these things started flowing.” So, it just made this huge shift and that obviously more people started asking them. That's how she and her husband really dived into the practice. And she never set out to be a teacher of Feng Shui. But what happened was everyone started asking her and she just was like, okay, let's do it. And that's what's unfolded. And she’s excited to speak to Yanique because your theme of like about customer service and how they've transformed the process of teaching and helping people Feng Shui their homes to an online experience but it’s really around very customer and client centric. So, yes, that's how she got it, very short story version of it. Me: Wow, that is truly amazing. So energy flows where energy goes. And it's so amazing when you give a lot of energy and effort to a particular practice how abundance just follows you in different ways, that's what I really got from what you said just now. What is Feng Shui and What Does it Entail? Patricia shared that essentially we can fluctuate anything. So, if you live in a small, tiny home to a big mountain, to an apartment, you Feng Shui anything. And a lot of people think what it is, is moving furniture, hanging weird frogs in your house and weird things like that and knocking walls. And actually, for her, how she like to describe Feng Shui is actually it's like acupuncture for your home. So, you go to your acupuncturist, she checks what's going on. But she's looking kind of at you physically, but she's checking what's going on with your pulses and looking at your tongue and really diving deeper into the energetics of tapping, it’s like working with the invisible stuff that's happening in your body. And that's essentially what she does with Feng Shui is actually, they work on the hidden energy of your home and do acupuncture for your home. So, it's a very ancient practice, it's 5000 years old and they work with five to five elements theory, which is working with fire, water, metal, earth and wood, the same as an acupuncturist would. And essentially, as they do that, they bring slow to a home. So, when you bring the sense of energy and flow and balance to a home, it really allows and supports them to grow and really connect with what their purpose is in life. When Feng Shui is kind of brought to the west, it was brought in, “Oh, put a chair and put the bed here and sit this.” And that is one tiny aspect of it. There is a little bit of that in it. But for her, most of the time, she doesn't care where your couch is or your bed is. She’s much more concerned with what's going on in your life and how your home could be actually holding you back or causing the struggles in your life. So, it sounds a little bit mad, but this is what her experiences with herself and her clients, they come to her when something's not moving. So, whether they want to call in love, whether they're not being seen in their business or they're not making the money they desire or the kind of feel kind of jinxed since they moved into their house, things have started going wrong or just not flowing like they really are. And they're working hard, but not getting the results they want. And she’s like, hey, there's this resource like working with the energy of your home that can support you. And that's where this flow starts to come into place. That sounds brilliant. So, as you know, we are a customer experience podcast. And we have a lot of listeners who are small business owners, medium sized business owners, or they work in organizations where their responsibility or core functions require them to really enhance, develop, and energize their customer experience. It's been a very odd year globally with the COVID and everything and just everything that's happening. And so, if someone was listening to this interview now, how is it that they can actually use Feng Shui, maybe two or three things that they could do that they're not doing, especially if it's a practice that they've never done before in their lives, like where would they start? How Can Business Owners Use Feng Shui? Patricia shared that she absolutely loves this question because for her, the very first place that you start is at your front door. So, like the entrance where you come into your home, very much so, we kind of take for granted our physical environment and we don't give it enough time and attention. So the very first thing is like when you arrive home, what's the first thing you see? Is there like weeds, is the welcome mat all tattered, are there like these cobwebs, is the door like tacky, really what you want is when you arrive home, you want to feel good, you want to feel excited to be able to come into your house like, “Oh, I'm so happy I'm home. I love this. I love nice and clean. It's bright.” So first off, I always start there. And then when you start there, it's like, is the door easy to open? Is it actually easy to open? Because what they're looking at is your house actually is almost like a person and it has eyes, the windows and the mouth is the where the energy, where all the things flow in. So they wanted to make it easy to get in and also attractive and easy to kind to attract it all in also. So make sure your front door, it's easy to open and then coming in and just seeing what's the first thing you see, do your spirits rise or fall? And then just have a look and see, well, what could I take out of here that's blocking that energy, that's making it feel a little bit hard. The next thing she would recommend then is also just wandering, like literally pretending this is the first time you've walked into your house and looking around and being like, does this make me feel good? Am I holding onto this because somebody gave it to me that I don't even like, a piece of art on the walls, whether it's like something that's broken or cracked. All of those things are like depleting the energy of that part of your home, but also kind of subliminally affecting you. So, for example, if it's like a door that's like stuck or hard to open or if there's something that just feels awkward or hard, those little friction points about your house, you'll notice that if you just decide, “Okay, I'm just going to like fix that or tweak that or make this easier.” That, again, will just create more flow and make you feel better as well. Me: So basic things in terms of when you just arrive, how the entrance looks, is it appealing or how does it make you feel, those things you need to be very aware of and just become very aware of. Patricia agreed and stated that just become more conscious of what you have. And then the next principle of Feng Shui is, when she works with clients, they work kind on like the invisible energy, but it is also what's visible. So, most people are like, “Oh, don't come to my house, it's full of mess, it's cluttered.” And she’s not the Feng Shui police and for her, clutter isn't like everyday stuff. So, she’s sitting in their living room right now and there's like a cup and a plate and a dish from earlier on today, that's not clutter to her, that's called life and she knows she’s going to clear it up after this and put it away. And the books that are there, that's life, all of that, if it's kind of just surface things that are moving and changing all day, that's fine. But for her, clutter is you go into that cupboard that has not been touched for six months and you kind of are afraid of it. And you’re like, “Oh God, I don’t know what's in there.” Like that is really stagnant and that's where energy gets blocked. So, there are cupboards or spaces in your home where it's just kind of like a bit like still things haven't been looked at. So maybe your filing cabinet for people in business, like go to your filing cabinets, go through it and clear out all of those old clients, the clients you didn't like, the clients didn't work out, any of the bills that you don't need records for anymore, like make space for new things, like as you release something, make space for new things. Especially entrepreneurs, she finds and in business that they keep and hold onto. For example, if you studied something different or you used to have an old career, it's almost like they hold on to all of the journals and the books and all of the stuff to do with that business or career. It's like, you know what? If you really want to focus on what you're doing right now, you don't need to keep your focus or keep a kind of a hold on all of that. Let it go and make sure your environment especially your working environment is really as inspiring as you can possibly make it. She’s just back in Ireland and she’s in her office and there's a painting behind her that has the word smile kind of over her head. So, when she’s doing Zoom calls, everyone can just see this weird smile over her head and it makes her smile. And everyone is commenting, “I love that picture.” And it's like, does it feel inspiring? Does a space that you're working from feeling inspiring and feel happy to be there? Because if there are things there that are not lined up with who you are in terms of your business and your work, that can really deplete your energy and you want to be as productive and creative as you possibly can be in your space. Me: You brought some really, really valid points because as I said, it's been a very unusual year and a lot of people are working from home. And so, you're not leaving out anymore and going to a physical workspace where you're not necessarily in charge of that space because your employer would have painted a building or decorated the place to kind of have to brand values and core values of the organization. So it's almost like you're now responsible for generating the kind of energy you want in your own personal space to make sure that it motivates you to want to get out of bed and actually get the work done. So I think this is so important, especially most of the articles that I've been reading, like on Business Insider or Forbes, a lot of organizations are looking for this long term work from home strategy, they're seeing the benefit of it financially as well as strategically. And they're really looking to extend it even past COVID. So, you really have to kind of personalize that space, as you said, to make it your own that you would feel very comfortable and it would generate the kind of energy that you need in order to get the work done. Patricia agreed and shared that from that perspective, she does actually have a guide on her website, people can download it, How To Feng Shui Your Office and there are loads of steps with that about creating the space. But for her, it's like just looking, especially from now working from home, some people are working in their bedrooms, their offices, they may not have the luxury of having a separate office if you're like, “I'm here in the corner of my sitting room.” and for that perspective, which she doesn't talk about in the guide and she wants to talk about here, is that you can get that and go through the steps of the Feng Shui, the space. But the really important part is about clear boundaries. So, making sure that where you're working from, her clients, and one particular client comes to mind in New York. She got her to get a closed sign. So, she has a separate office but she has a sign that she turns off because she literally would not stop working. She could not switch off from work. And she’s like, we need to close the door, we need to put a closed sign. And then on a Friday evening, you close the door; you're off like business is closed. And she said it has changed everything. She now has her weekends back and it's kind of like a fundamental off switch. And the same goes for example, if you happen to be working at your kitchen table, you're working at your kitchen table, that's the current situation is what it is. But if you are like make sure start off your day, you clear everything off, you set yourself up for work and maybe you have a special cupboard in your kitchen that your work stuff just goes into when you finish and you put it all away and then maybe you put some placements out, put out some flowers, you set the place up in a different way to be different. So there's a clear boundary between working on and off because that's kind of a really confusing thing around where we're working from home that you can kind of tend to, like, overextend your hours as opposed to really have some focus time when you're working. Me: That's a very good strategy. I do have a cousin who works from home; I think she uses her dining room table. So, basically what you're suggesting is when it's Friday evening, she just packs up all of her work stuff and puts it away and sets up her dining room table for what the purpose it was built to serve, which is for eating, for family gathering and prepare for the weekend to embrace that, because maybe with the work clutter there, it will definitely impact her mentally and definitely probably not motivate her to want to relax because she's always going to be seeing it, it's in that central space there. Recommendations for Working From and Being Productive Patricia shared that actually is a great question. And first of all, she would like you to move around your space and just find a place that you know that you can set aside for yourself. And interestingly, she’s going to be doing a consultation with a client just about her workspace. And currently her desk is in her bedroom and what she wanted to say to her was like, “Let's get you one of those nice dividers, like a room divider so you can just separate it.” She thinks this is a really big part is that you don't want to be going to bed at night, looking at your office and looking at your desk, that is the last thing you want. And talk about, like impacting your relationship, you're literally sleeping with your office, with your work, in bed with work. Who wants that? Nobody. So, it's about just that clear boundaries of like, whether we're going to do a room divider. The other thing that she really likes to emphasize is just about like having yourself like a good I'm the boss chair. She was on a News TV show in the US, it was last year. And one of the jokes was saying like, get yourself an I’m a boss chair, like a proper strong back chair, with a nice high back that supports you, that you feel comfortable in for working from, and in a position where you can have maybe the wall behind you, where it's bright and well lit, where you can see the door ideally. But if you can't, that you have some space around you. She sees a lot of the times like oftentimes when it comes to setting up your workspace, it can be a bit like it's an afterthought. It's like, “Oh, I'll just squish myself in the corner.” It's like you want to be the CEO of your business and you're pushing yourself into a little corner like you're not allowing yourself the space of it. And you think about like CEOs and entrepreneurs, like of big huge companies, they get the best office, they don't like hold back on creating this space that is a mirror representative of what they want their business to be like. So, she often say to people, pretend that you had clients coming to you, pretend that you had meetings coming to you. How would your office space look then? And that's a very different way of like, wow, like how would I want to look? Because even if nobody's going to come, you would create the space that would feel really good and welcoming for clients but also it's going to be inspiring for you. Feeling Good About Yourself, Your Environment and Everything Around You Me: So customer experience is all about ensuring that your customers leave feeling satisfied. Every business goes into business, I believe, primarily to solve a problem, whatever that problem may be for that client. Whether if you're a construction company and you're selling the tools necessary that the client will need to fulfil their project or in your case, if you're a Feng Shui Mastery expert and people are looking for clarity and they're looking to just get your headspace clear or if you're a customer service trainer like me, where people are looking to ensure that your customer satisfaction is at a particular level so their customers will keep coming back and that they'll have more repeat business and their customers become their advocates and evangelists for their business. But when you think about customer experience and this is one of the things I teach. One of the core principles in one of our programs is that you must feel good about yourself in order to deliver a quality experience to someone else, because everything starts with you. And a big part of what I'm getting from what you're saying in your practice is how you feel about yourself, your environment and just everything around you; because all of that energy will impact what you pour out into your interactions with other people. What are your thoughts on that? Patricia shared that she totally agreed with that. And for her, when you talk about customer experience, the best part of her job is the results that her clients get. And one of the things that the journey of really teaching Feng Shui came from, originally she would go to someone's house, she would do all of the work while she was there. She would have a consultation time with a set 3 or 4 hours, come in and have to draw out plans, have to do her calculations, have to kind of calculate, figure everything out while they are kind of sitting there, just kind of like doing their thing and waiting for her. And then she would give them all of the information in one go. And what she realized was that for them to get the best results they needed more time with her, they didn't need to be sitting around while she was doing all the work. And this is how they transitioned into online, where everything is done virtually, they send them everything, she has all the information from them and they are actually working on de-cluttering program. They're actually working on de-cluttering while their preparing their space before they get their report from her to really implement it. And it's just been so fascinating in terms of the customer journey, because the more she has done it and extended their length of support because now they have like basically lifelong support with her in her online community to ask her questions, the higher implementations is as they drip feed the information to them. And that has led in better results in Feng Shui. So, it's been this huge transformation to her that like what fed her with more energy to do it was seeing their results. And that makes her happy so she wants to do more of it. But the part of all that is that she had that results for her first. She had the success stories for her and now it's not about her anymore, it's about her clients successes. And they really focus on that and their success is the success of their business and their stories and what's happening to them is really the focus on it. So it's kind of this crazy spiral or this little infinity loop between them getting great results comes back to her to give her more energy to go and to get to really share the energy and the positivity of Feng Shui. Me: I agreed. I strongly believe life is like a boomerang, whatever you give out, it comes back to you. And that's why you should live a life where you treat people well, do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Just ensure that whatever you are doing, your intentions are good and they are pure and your initiatives are all in the aim of helping someone else. And I believe that if you do that holistically on a day to day basis, goodness will always come back to you. Patricia totally agreed and shared that when you're coming from a very positive place, like for her, with the idea and the transformation that we see with Feng Shui, it's the ripple effect that's so powerful for her. It's like a lot of women who come and join her program, like 99.9% is women. And what's so fascinating is then she gets a message the other day from a client saying, “I just wanted to tell you and share the good news. My husband has just started a new business and he shared a video with some friend of his and he's got 14,000 views today. And he started doing this and this and this. And I'm so excited for him.” She joined the program for her career and her career has been doing great things and great things. But now it's like this ripple effect, it's affecting her husband as well. So, it's this kind of everybody wins when they start working with your environment. Me: I agreed. It's funny you just said that 99.9% of your customers are women, do you do you know why it is that men don't necessarily gravitate to Feng Shui as much? Patricia shared that she doesn't know, because actually, it was the emperors in China, in the Chinese dynasties that were like the real advocates first originally. And she thinks it's almost a little bit like yoga as well. Yoga was originally just practiced by men and women were not allowed to practice yoga and now in the West, it's a complete different opposite. It's like 90% women and 10% men. And that's obviously changing. But she feels like obviously, women are mostly the people who are the homemakers and they're in charge of the energy in their home, and they are the ones that are more committed to really working on, “Well, there's something going on.” And they are there are more intuitive as well. Like that's just a natural gift of women, so intuitive. So they'll be guided more to this practice and go, “Hang on a minute, yeah since we moved into this house, like we're not getting on as well or financial things have been happening to us.” So, she thinks that's where it has ended up being more women. App, Website or Tool that Patricia Absolutely Can’t Live Without in Her Business When asked about online resource that she cannot live without in her business, Patricia stated Voxer. She hates typing anything and she just loves communicating with her team via Voxer. So, that is the one thing that she absolutely love. Just any voicemail app, voice app is so good because she loves talking, but she doesn't like sitting and typing and doing coffee or anything like that. So that's how she works. And it's like a walkie talkie app. And so, she can just communicate with her team really easy via voice. Books That Have Had the Greatest Impact on Patricia When asked about books that have had the biggest impact, Patricia shared that she just loves books so much. And what's coming to her mind is actually from a really good friend of hers, Denise Duffield-Thomas, who's written a book called Get Rich, Lucky Bitch!: Release Your Money Blocks and Live a First-Class Life. She (Patricia) has been a part of her program for so many years when she was teaching yoga and earning Five Euros. And she’s a huge fan, an advocate of her work. And it's really just around a financial mindset and money mindset in terms of allowing yourself to receive more. So, that has definitely had an impact, her community has been really big. And another book that she absolutely loves is Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. What Patricia is Really Excited About Now! Patricia shared that they are in a huge place of transformation with their business this year. It has just been probably one of the biggest years for growth and transformation in terms of growing their team, improve their communication, getting more systems in place, but also doing a huge rebrand. So, their program when you introduced her was called Feng Shui Mastery, it's being rebranded to Powerhouse. And that just feels so true, it sings through on so many layers as in like powerhouse being your house, being a powerhouse. But it's also for women who want to be powerhouses and are powerhouses like it's just feels so good. So, that entire rebrand is so exciting for her. And the other part of that is actually stepping to the next level where some of their clients are going to be joining her on a journey to learn to become powerhouse certified Feng Shui consultants and be able to support people in their communities. So, her mission is to raise the vibration of the planet using the power of Feng Shui one house at a time. And she’s not able to do it on her own. So, she’s excited to share it with some amazing women and they're going to be stepping up to really sharing this magic with more people as well. Me: Powerhouse Feng Shui consultants, sounds like an army of people transforming the world. I love it. Patricia stated, imagine all those powerhouse women. She just saw one of her team members created the hashtag Powerhouse Revolution. She was like, “Yes, that's what we’re doing.” Where Can We Find Patricia Online Patricia shared listeners can find her at – Instagram – @lohanpatricia Facebook - @PatriciaLohan.Restoring.YouBack.ToHarmony Website – www.patricialohan.com Linked In – Patricia Lohan Quote or Saying that During Times of Adversity Patricia Uses Patricia shared that the one thing that she always say is, “This too shall pass,” So, that is a really big one, it’s like this too shall pass. Nothing is permanent in life; everything is in transition and transformation all the time, change, death it’s all inevitable. Two things that are inevitable are change and death, there’s no need to be afraid of it and it will pass. And then her favourite quote of all time is just, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” And she’s currently reading Ghandi’s Autobiography so that’s quite good. 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 Grab the Freebie on Our Website – TOP 10 Online Business Resources for Small Business Owners Links The Happy Home: A Guide to Creating a Happy, Healthy, Wealthy Life by Patricia Lohan Get Rich, Lucky Bitch!: Release Your Money Blocks and Live a First-Class Life by Denise Duffield-Thomas Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill The ABC’s of a Fantastic Customer Experience 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!
28 minutes | a month ago
109: Mastering the Art of Sales and Exceeding Your Customer's Expectations with Jas Takhar
Jas Takhar has been in the sales and service industry for over 25 years. Soon after deciding to try his hand in real estate, he co-founded the REC, and in the course of 15 years, has successfully propelled his team to the 1st place position in Canada under Royal LePage. With 34 realtors and 10 support staff, the team advises and assists over 700 buyers, sellers and investors yearly across the greater Toronto Area, resulting in a total of over $1.5B in transactions. Jas’ area of expertise is in helping investors build out their real estate portfolios. Wanting to share his knowledge and experience with the masses, he wrote a book titled Real Estate Intelligence, which teaches others how to buy or sell real estate on their own. Questions Could you share a little bit about your journey, how you ended up where you are today and what that was like for you? Could you share with us how it is that you are able to provide white glove service to your clients and customers? Maybe give us two or three things that our listeners could take away and maybe use some of those same strategies in their business? Could you share with us how do you stay motivated every day? Could you 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 share with us maybe one or two books that have had the biggest impact on you? Can you share with us what's one thing that's going on in your life right now - either something that you're working on to develop yourself? Where can listeners find you online? Do you have a quote or saying that during times of adversity or challenge, you’ll tend to revert to this quote - it kind of helps to keep you focused or get you back on track if it is that you do fall off track. Highlights Jas’ Journey Jas shared that he has been in sales and service now for 25 years. As mentioned in the bio, real estate has been 15 years for him. But he was always that kid, he was always selling, even as a young kid, in class, in school when he was probably 6 or 7 years old and the teacher said, who wants to help with selling ornaments during the Christmas during the holiday time or help with the book fair when the parents are going to come and buy books, he always had his hand up, he was very eager to do really anything with sales. And then when it really kind of came home for him, it was when he was 12 years old, he got his first paper route, but it was in Toronto where for the Toronto Sun, where you have to knock on doors first to get subscribers. And even though as he thinks about it now, as he’s telling the story, he remembers heart beating, getting goose bumps, scared to knock on the door, but he always did, he always knocked on the door. And then it was fast forward to when he was 15, 16 years old, started selling shoes. Then he went into the banking industry with his client facing. And then he started selling cars for 3 years in the luxury kind of car market, Acura, Lexus and that's where he really was mentored by one of Canada's most successful owners, him and his family now own 8, 9 top dealerships in Canada based out of here in the greater Toronto Area. But he took him under his wing, there was 3 brothers, but he took him under his wing, one of the owners, and just taught him how to sell, how to take care of people, how to ask for referrals, how to kind of tap into other people's network. And then 15 years ago, he made the big jump because in car sales, he realized that there was a ceiling in terms of how much he could make just looking at what some of the people that had been in the business for 15 years, what they were making. And so, once he decided to get into real estate, as they say, the rest is history. He’s proud to say now that they have 37 realtors, he’s going to have his team make sure they make that switch in the bio, with 10 support staff. Customer service is the number one metric they use and what he means by that is how many wow's can they get during the process? Strategies for Provide White Glove Service to Customers Jas stated that real estate is one of the biggest purchases that someone's going to make. And so, what he decided to do, not really once he got into the business, because 15 years ago he was still learning it and kind of getting an idea of how he was going to make kind of a dent into the marketplace and get market share. And what he came to realize was that a lot, and just like in any sales profession, if it's insurance or car sales, real estate, if you're an Advisor, a Consultant, really the bar is set low. He hates to say it, he owes everything to this industry like the sales industry, but he thinks salespeople are the least trusted professionals. So knowing that, knowing that the bar is not set that high and so what he started doing really within about 2 or 3 years is asking customers. He was like, “What are your expectations?” And so, a lot of people would be kind of blown back, like blown away with that question, like, what do you mean? He’s like…. “What are your expectations in this process? Are you looking into buying quickly? Are you wanting to wait? Is this a long term investment or is this something that you want to buy and flip or do you expect me to answer your calls every single day? Whatever it is, I just want to know, Mr. and Mrs. Client, what are your expectations?” Now in the back end, the reason he was asking this question is because one of their company models here is that exceed expectations, client’s expectations. Well, the only way to exceed them is if you know what they are. And so, he would get people telling him, “Well, I want you to answer all my calls every single time I call, even if at 11 o'clock.” And he was like, “Well, that can't happen, that's not who I am.” And so he was able to start to set barriers right at the start. What he also realized in real estate that most salespeople were always calling outbound and asking if somebody wants to buy, sell a home. So a service that he offered and look for anybody who's listening, who's in sales, he thinks you can do this in any industry. When they started was a real estate concierge service, it's absolutely free, there's no cost. And so anybody who's listening, actually anywhere in the country of Canada, he’s based out of Toronto, but it doesn't matter where you are. If you need a plumber for your home, your principal residence or an investment property that you have and you need a plumber or an electrician, they will vet one out for you. They do all the heavy lifting, they do all the work, majority of the guys and gals from a service provider perspective are already on their list but if they don't have somebody in Nunavut, which is like a very far north cold place in Canada, they will go find them for you and there is no cost for that service. What started to happen is clients were starting to say, “Wow, that is so different and you're not charging for it?” “No. In fact, I'll even go one step above Mr. and Mrs. Client. If there is a property that you're looking into buying and in our backyard or somewhere else in the country and you just want a second set of eyes, we will be that for you?” Meaning like how you go for a second opinion with the doctor, let us be that for you. Well, people were blown away, they started to look at us like they weren't even real estate people anymore. Like, “Okay, great. Thanks for all the education. Can you put me in touch with the real estate agent?” That started to happen because they didn't think about the transaction. They started to think about how can they not only do business with Luke, the buyer, seller, or investor, but I know that on average he knows 200 people. So, if he knows 200 people that also know 200 people, because that's a statistic, everybody would agree. He probably know about 200 people approximately. Well, that means his network now is 40,000 possible people to do business with. And so, when you think about it from that mindset, it's like, “Wow, okay, all I got to do is take care of the first person who does business with me.” And then onwards and onwards. Rather than how do I sell this person, how do I manipulate or one thing that a lot of the sales coaches talk about and each to their own and their own business models. But a lot of the sales coaches will talk about, “Well, you got to handle their objection.” What are they, a hockey puck? You're handling them with a stick, that's not how this works. Be nice, picture everyone as your best friend, your grandmother, you know, ask why they would want to buy it. Why are they buying this property? Find out their motivation, dig deeper, get to know them. And so, to come full circle in terms of one or two tips, number one is offer more value than you're getting paid for. So, for example, he talked about the real estate concierge service being the second opinion, try to become the authority in that sense. Number two is that he gives away all the information for free. You mentioned there's no cost for that book. And so, anybody, even if you're a real estate agent in his office, come to his office, he’s to the back. There's no cost for this book, it's absolutely free. They have an audio version, they have a PDF version, and they have a hard copy. Whatever which way you want to consume it, they’ll will give it to you, again at no cost. It actually talks about how to buy your own home, how to sell your own home, how to invest on your own. And some people in the industry and quote unquote of his competitors would say, “What are you doing? Why would you give them all the information that you're supposed to charge for?” Because there's a little site that's called YouTube and Google that anybody can find out on their own how to do these things, they don't need us. And so, why not be the person that's out there giving the information for free? And he can tell you, firsthand experience, you start to be looked at as not at and please anybody, don’t take this the wrong way, but not being looked at as the sleazy salesperson who only has commission breath, you start to look like somebody who cares. And he hopes anybody who's listening to this podcast and your viewers and listeners, you authentically care. Like, this is something that you really care about. You care about the person; you're not trying to manipulate them or trying to rip them off. And so let others see that and feel that from you. How Jas Stays Motivated Jas shared that his why is very strong. His why and his life is really to inspire as many people as he possibly can. For him it's very neat because he'll never hit it. He'll never hit inspiring everyone; there are 7 Billion people on this planet. But he just loves the journey, he loves doing these podcasts, he loves doing videos, he loves writing articles and getting out as much as he possibly can. Why? Because he was born and raised in the north part of Toronto in an area called Rexdale, where there really weren’t a lot of role models. You kind of see people selling drugs on the side and there's some crime in the area. And he grew up in that area with as he mentioned, not a lot of role models. And so, he’s not Uber successful, in his own eyes, he’s not; he’s just Jas Takhar, son of Ajmer and Kuljit Takhar. He won the lottery in 1981 when he was born in the family that he was born in, he’s blessed, so grateful and especially when his parents came to Canada 8, 9 years before he was born. And so, now he wants to inspire people. And so, for him, he wakes up, he springs out of bed; he has a very tough time some nights going to sleep because in a good way. He’s very anxious, can’t wait to get back at it. He has two little boys and he knows that they're looking up to him. One is 7 and one is almost 5 in a month and a half. And he wants them to be proud of Daddy. And he’s leaving a legacy, that's why he does a lot of a lot of videos; he probably put on about 20 pieces of content on all the platforms, on all platforms daily. Every day he puts out about 20 pieces of content and the reason is because he was just telling somebody this in his office yesterday, in his media squad, “I can't remember my dad's voice.” He stated his father is still alive, he’s like 73/74. But he doesn't remember his dad's voice as a younger man because there are no videos. He doesn't have any videos of his dad; he probably has 18 pictures of him or something like that. But his sideburns and his bell bottoms back in the late 70s. His pops probably took it into the 80s too. He doesn't remember his voice and how he moved, how did he interact with other people? He has some pictures 17, 18 pictures, his mom too, he can't remember his mother's voice and let alone his great grandfather, who was kind of like the godfather of the family. His dad speaks very highly of his grandfather. He was lucky enough to know all his grandparents speak very highly of his great grandfather, he knows nothing about him. He passed away probably maybe when he was one or maybe just before. And he would love to have seen what he was up to and how he did things. And so, he’s putting that out in the world now. And that's why he puts out so much content. So that is what keeps him self-motivated. He doesn't need a book to read and there's nothing wrong with that. He doesn't need a podcast to listen to, he loves listening to podcasts and audio books because it's something that he wants to get better at. But he wouldn't need it because he’s being pulled by something now; he’s no longer pushing towards anything. There's something that's bigger that's pulling him. App, Website or Tool that Jas Absolutely Can’t Live Without in Her Business When asked about online resource that he can’t live without in his business, Jas shared that from a social media perspective, it would be for him, it would be Spotify, the audio platform for him because that's where he just get his podcast, it's where he puts out his podcast. It's the medium that really changed a lot for him personally, from a personal brand perspective. He was not comfortable with video at the start, now he wants 15 cameras around at all times, he’s just having fun with it. He’s seeing how does he connect with people? Do they like this? So he’s having a lot of fun. At the start, it was the audio platform that really allowed him the comfort in doing it consistently because people didn't see him, his insecurities didn't really have to play out as much because it wasn't visual. And so, the audio, in general, believe it or not, his number one app that is the most important on his phone is his calculator. It is by far the one app he can't live without, maybe because there's a little chip on his shoulders sometimes, all the teachers said, “Well, you can't go to the grocery, because when you go to the grocery store, you're not going to have a calculator in your pocket.” But really for him, the calculators, because he’s calculating a lot of numbers all the time for his clients, for himself, he’s putting deals together, if he’s negotiating something, he needs the calculator. And so, he probably uses the calculator the most. Books That Have Had the Greatest Impact on Jas When asked about books that have had the biggest impact, Jas shared that he wrote the first book that he would have read would have been The Success Principles: How to Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be by Jack Canfield. Jack Canfield is the co author of Chicken Soup for the Soul. It's a thick book when you look at it and so it's kind of intimidating for him anyways, because he’s not the kid that was really good with textbooks and stuff in school. He was always drawn to personal development. He’s in the process of writing his own book right now that should be coming out in 6 to 8 months in the personal development realm, because he was so inspired by so many guys and gals in that field. As he mentioned, a very thick book, looks intimidating. But wow, The Success Principles, the way that he wrote it, it's really in layman's terms. He understood it really quickly and then he executed. And then the second one, he’s sure anybody who's listening to this podcast has read it, is The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey. He just was someone that he followed as much as he could. Social media back when he probably read that book in 2005, there wasn't really much in the social media world and so he had to do as much research as he can. He picked up his Franklin Covey planner and everything that Dr. Stephen Covey touched; he wanted part of it because he just thought he was such a brilliant, brilliant man. And that book, The Seven Habits, really is something that he probably has read 3 times and listened to the audio version 3 times as well. It's the one book, along with The Success Principles, both of them; actually, he probably recommend the most to his team, especially his younger interns that are with him now, because he just thinks they're written very well and most importantly, they're so timeless. What Jas is Really Excited About Now! Jas shared that the one thing that is actually works, they coincide with each other is the working with the people that he’s growing with right now, which he finds very interesting, because his 37 realtors that he has, they're independent contractors. These guys and gals are stars in their own right and they're out and about in the world doing their thing. It's his 10 core staff that's with him on a daily business on a daily basis that he gets to spend a lot of time with and some of them out of the 10 have been with him for 10 years and others just joined him 2 weeks ago. And so, he’s having a blast watching them grow. Overall, it's this book that he’s coming out with that he’s most excited about because it's his turn now to give back as much as he can. And this book, “Removing Friction, How to Get Out of Your Own Way” is really something he’s excited about, because it's not a book that he is putting together that's taken 3 months to put together. It's still not even done, it's only 40% complete, but that 40% has taken a year and it's going to take another year and a half to complete. He’s so excited because there's so much effort, time being put into this. This is not going to be like a guide, like a quick guide, it's not something that he’s looking into even having quick sales; he wants longevity with this book. He wants this to be spoken about like how he just spoke about The Success Principles and The 7 Habits where it's evergreen; it's going to last forever. And that's what he’s very excited about. It's his story, along with a lot of tactical tips on how to get things done and get out of your own way, because he’s such a big believer that 90% of success, whatever success means to you, is mindset and 10% is the actual mechanics/execution of it. And the number one thing that he thinks when it comes to mindset, so that 90%, 100% of that 90%, if everyone follows along, it is understanding that you need to get out of your own way, that person that talks to you every second, you’re shutting him up or shutting her up sometimes or allowing them to speak, like that person inside you, really getting in line with that person, and he’s such a big believer in it and he wants to write about it. Where Can We Find Jas Online Jas shared listeners can find him at – Instagram – jastakhar13 LinkedIn - https://www.linkedin.com/in/jastakhar/ Website – www.jastakhar.ca Quote or Saying that During Times of Adversity Jas Uses And so, the quote that he probably has lived by, he has embodied it, it was by Dr. Martin Luther King who said that, “You don't need to see the whole staircase, you just need to see the first step.” For him, the reason that has always the first time he read it, Dr. Martin Luther King is a very special person. But when he said that and obviously has a lot of other quotes too, but that specific one for him was so important because he thinks so many people get caught up in how much they want to accomplish or what they want to accomplish and it’s usually very big and dreaming big and having big aspirations, that's amazing and you should. But then most people get stopped, they don't get started; they never actually take the next step. And when you come to understand that don't worry if you don’t see the whole staircase, you don't have to see how it's all going to unfold, you just got to take that first step because what happens is the right people and all the resources come will come into your life. Me: Very true. All the people circumstances and events will present themselves to you and it will all line up. 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 Grab the Freebie on Our Website – TOP 10 Online Business Resources for Small Business Owners Links The Success Principles: How to Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be by Jack Canfield The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey The ABC’s of a Fantastic Customer Experience 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!
40 minutes | a month ago
108: How to Build An Effortless Experience Using Conversational Messenger Platforms with Kaitlin Pettersen
Kaitlin Pettersen Show Notes Kaitlin Pettersen leads the global Customer Support team at Intercom - responsible for the performance and operations of 60 ICs and leaders out of Intercom’s Dublin and Chicago offices. Previously, she launched Yelp's EU Customer Success and Account Management in their London and Dublin offices. Questions Could you share a little bit about yourself with us, a little bit about your journey, how it is that you got into customer success and just all of what led to where you are today? Intercom is the name of the company that you are currently affiliated with; it's a conversational relationship platform. So, for those persons that may be listening to this podcast, could you share with them exactly what does Intercom do? Can you share with us what do you view as the major challenges and opportunities facing customer support right now? Intercom recently launched Conversational Support. Can you tell me a little bit about how you are actually diving into providing conversational support from your end? As a leader, as a customer support leader, what are some maybe one or two traits you think that you really need to be successful in this industry? Could you share with us maybe what's the one online resource, tool, website or that you absolutely can't live without in your business? Can you share with us maybe one or two books that have had the biggest impact on you? It could be a book that you read many, many years ago or even a book that you read recently. But it has really struck a great impact on you. Could you share with us what's one thing that's maybe going on in your life right now - either something that you are working on to develop yourself or your people, but something that you're really excited about? Where our listeners can find you online? Is there a quote or saying that during times of adversity or challenge, you tend to revert to this quote? It kind of helps to put you back on track and just get back on what it is that you are working on. Highlights Kaitlin’s Journey Kaitlin shared that she have probably her entire career since she joined the workforce at 15 at a local cafe, has always worked in customer facing roles, cafes, coffee shops, customer support representatives on up through the leadership track. So, across a variety of industries, including, of course, Intercom and Yelp, as well as some of the more traditional service industries earlier in her career. So, that's sort of been a through line through it all. She’s originally from California, she’s been with Intercom for about three and a half years now, and it's been a real joy and something that she has found to be profoundly exciting and fulfilling to see really the rise of the customer. And she has seen sort of that transformation that she has heard talked about on the podcast in the past and she thinks that all of us have seen in the industry where what happens post sale it's that, it's an afterthought. And to see this new wave of call it customer centricity, call it something else, call it just good business practice has been really fun to watch and it's certainly a change in the industry that her career has benefited from and she knows that the careers of so many. So, very, very fortunate to lead a really amazing team of individual contributors and managers at Intercom. They are working and using their own product to support Intercom’s 30,000 customers, they believe in a messenger first approach but really stretching the boundaries of what she thinks people assume support means when they hear messenger or chat, this is asynchronous, highly segmented. They're leveraging technology, proactive support, and self service support. But that's a little bit about her, her excitement for this type of work in industry and how they're currently managing and running their team at Intercom. What Does Intercom Do? Kaitlin shared that Intercom is a conversational relationship platform; they offer a variety, a whole suite of products that are layered on top of their messenger. So, you may if you if you haven't heard of intercom before, you've likely seen it, if you're on your favorite website and in the bottom right hand corner, if you see a little messenger bubble that's got the intercom smiley face and you'll know it once you see it. And the messenger is really what sits on the front end that consumers and website users see. But on the back end of that messenger, you've got a powerful platform and tools and a suite of tools and features that allow you to communicate with your customers, really every stage of the life cycle. So, whether that be kind of the work that's more traditionally associated with, say, sales development that lead generation on through to the actual sales process itself, to the customer management, customer success, customer support, customer experience, whatever you want to call it. And then there's, of course, the marketing element too. She thinks so much of how we think about selling, supporting and engaging customers, there's so much fluidity between those use cases and roles these days. And a tool like Intercom really empowers that fluidity and allows you to use one product to talk to your customers, sort of regardless of where they are in that lifecycle. Most folks would know them as a support tool that, of course, is their bread and butter and something that they're very, very proud of. But there's a lot more to that. And most recently they launched a new system that they really believe in, which they're calling the conversational support funnel, which really allows growing companies to do what previously has been very challenging or nearly impossible, which is to maintain a high quality, high level of support for your customers, but to do it at scale and to ensure that you don't have to compromise that quality experience for the inefficiency that growing companies with big commercial ambitions need to prioritize. Me: Brilliant. I was actually looking at some of the examples of the interfaces that you have on your website while you were speaking. And it reminds me of I'm assuming that the platform I use for my webinars is Demio, they probably are one of your customers because this is exactly how their interface looks when I am conversing with them. And I've had many conversations over the last few months, definitely since Covid-19, where I speak about the fact that I love that their platform integrates across different channels, so it's an omni channel experience. So, whether I speak to them through their website or through Facebook Messenger or through Instagram, all of the conversations are connected. Does your platform facilitate that? Clearly it does. Kaitlin agreed that it does and that they are one of, as Intercom support team; they're one of Intercoms biggest customers. And so, she can certainly speak to how they use it. And for them, it is that omni channel experience. So their customers can email them, they can send them a tweet, they can open the messenger on their help center, for example, if they couldn't find what they were looking for. And all of that flows through into what they call their team inbox. And then her team communicates with their customers through that inbox, sort of regardless of that initial point of contact, it all flows through to that inbox. And then there's a variety of features and functionalities to better understand some of the themes coming up in that conversation that would then inform what might be a follow on proactive communication that they would send to you kind of in that customer engagement space or what material, what might be helpful to you is that customer that was seeking something from them. What can they serve you proactively that's going to be useful to you? So, there's a lot that goes on behind the scenes there, behind that little messenger. But you are right, it is an omni channel experience and that customers, regardless of their entry point, it all flows sort of through that messenger on the front end into the back end to their team and support teams like her own team who have the great responsibility and joy of talking to customers. Me: I love it. I talk about them all the time. As a matter of fact, that was my deciding factor. So even though the platform that I use for the webinars doesn't have maybe as many features as some of the more established webinar platforms, I chose Demio because of their responsiveness and their customer experience, because that was extremely important to me. So, I definitely give you and your team kudos and an applaud and recognition for partnering with them, having them as a customer and definitely providing that experience for me because I've spoken about it so many times. What are Major Challenges and Opportunities Facing Customer Support When asked about challenges and opportunities facing customer support and Kaitlin shared that the list is long but she’ll focus on maybe the top two or three. She had a former leader who called them “problemtunities”, which is probably a silly phrase, she thinks that's what you got to do when the world is shifting around you and support teams are up against new realities, how do you lean into solve them but also identify what opportunities might be there? But to answer your question more directly, major challenges, it's hard to talk about this year without talking about the impact of Covid-19, either directly or indirectly. So, she thinks if we look back to say like let's call it March through maybe June, everything was changing. The travel industry is the one that always comes to mind for her as an example, you just have this surge of customers with needs and questions and they're time sensitive and in some cases panicked and pick your vertical, pick your industry, some version of that happened on the back of Covid-19. And for some businesses, it was a positive surge. Many, many businesses saying, goodness, our doors are closed, but we can still sell our great products online. How can we leverage the technologies out there to do that? So, whether it's a positive thing or a challenging thing, Covid has certainly accelerated change that we're seeing in customer support. To Yanique’s point in particular, the webinar platform, customers expect a high quality but also convenient experience and they won't stick around or they won't say yes to you if they don't get it. And she says high quality and convenient intentionally, she doesn't necessarily say fast. Now for you, you might also say, “Nope, for me, fast, faster is better for Demio.” But she thinks that something that is also changing is like historically people have associated online support or chat support with real time support. But there are technologies and workflows and processes that you can leverage in chat and in messengers to offer a great asynchronous customer experience. And they can get into some examples of that, of course, if and when helpful. But, again, you can imagine the travel industry business, let's say an airline, they're getting a big surge of questions and as people are navigating to their website to grab their phone number to jump and chat or to grab an email address, you can pop up a messenger that serves some information to that customer right there when they need it that says, “Hey, are you looking to understand your options, to change your flight?” as an example. So it doesn't necessarily have to be this back and forth real time, faster is better, in many circumstances faster is better. But she likes to be very specific about saying high quality, convenient and in their experience; they also believe conversational, people are using messengers at a faster and faster rate these days, WhatsApp, iMessage, Facebook messenger, Instagram messenger, this is how people communicate now. And so, making it as easy as possible for your customers to communicate to you. I text my family, I check something else through messenger, and then I message a company with a question and I'm able to interact with them in a way that's rather familiar to me. So, she thinks the need for that sort of personal, convenient meeting customers where they are when they need you, she just thinks the need for that has really accelerated. And then to the volume point she talked about, customers expectations are not changing, but their needs are perhaps increasing. So, customer support teams, and this is certainly impacted them, have felt overwhelmed by the volume of inquiries they need to manage. And that not only can lead to challenges for customers, but also challenges for your team. Burnout is a real thing. Front line support as you call it, it can be a bit gruelling. And so, as the months roll on, you're not only thinking about how do we continue to adapt our experience to meet the needs and expectations of our customers but how do we also maintain this great, highly motivated team that we worked so hard to hire and retain? So, she thinks we're seeing increased needs and volume from customers, we're seeing increase pressure on support teams. So, businesses need to adapt faster than ever to adapt to all that change and they need that personalized human way to connect with customers. She also thinks one of the greatest needs of this year in and outside of the customer world is empathy. Everyone is just going through something or multiple things, big and small. And so how can you empower teams and customer facing folks to connect with customers in a way that empathy can transfer through and everyone can still do their job and get done what they need to get done for the businesses. But sometimes when you're just dealing with like forms and these more traditional methods of communication, you're not really able to bring in that element of empathy, which she thinks is also sort of a unique need. So, all that to say, she thinks big change, lots of transformation, businesses running as fast as they can to keep up. And from her and their perspective, they think that this is creating a movement towards these conversational experiences. So, again, it doesn't necessarily have to be real time, but how can you meet people where they are? How can you connect to them in an empathetic and real way? And most importantly, how can you meet their needs efficiently? Launching and Providing Conversational Support Kaitlin shared that firstly, just to define Conversational Support, it's probably obvious that just to be clear here, so they believe that conversational support is the next generation way to resolve customer questions. And really what they mean by that is this is a messenger based experience, as she mentioned, showing up for your customers where they are, when they need you, that's to speak again to some of that omni channel experience that you talked about. And so, they started to wrap their heads around what is conversational support mean and how can they package this in a way where it really makes sense to the market where they can say, “Hey, we think there's a better way to do this and here's how to think about it.” So, in June of this year, which in 2020 terms feels like 9 months ago, but it was just a few months ago, they launched a framework for delivering this conversational support and they call that the conversational support funnel. She mentioned that earlier. And so, this is really a blueprint to show businesses how to increase efficiency, because that's certainly a need, it's always been a need in the support space, but has increased in importance this year. How can you improve your customer experience and then how can you improve the morale of your team? Let's not forget about these teams that are doing such great work out there. And so, this funnel is a concept for how they think modern support should look like and how it empowers customers to scale these messenger based experiences. Because, again, in the past, she thinks folks associate messengers or chat experiences with very expensive one to one real time support when it doesn't need to be that way. So, to bring that funnel to life, you can picture your little upside down pyramid here, at the top you have proactive support. So, again, to her airline example, what are the known questions that you know are coming in that can be answered proactively using targeted content? And so, for them on their team, this looks like a deep partnership with their product education team that owns their help center and produces materials that help their customers. How do they partner with them to surface the right content, at the right place at the right time? And this is a balance, you don't want to overwhelm customers with information that they don't need. So you need to be really thoughtful here about surfacing the right again, the right thing at the right time, at the right place. But that's that top of the funnel is get to the customer before they even have the question. And she’s sure we can all imagine these really delightful experiences we've had unfortunately they can be few and far between them. But you've got a need/question, maybe it's time sensitive and you jump onto the website or you pull up the email and it’s like there it is, there's what you need. And you just saved yourself 30 minutes and that feels really good. Going on down the funnel, you got self-serving report. So these are those repetitive questions that can be answered automatically using chat bots or the knowledge base or help center. So, they have a product called Resolution Bot that they use, but there's a lot out on the market that allows you to kind of programmatically recognize, “Hey, this is a repetitive question and we've got the answer and let's serve that up to this customer.” We've seen this go wrong in the past and what's exciting about the chat bot space is we kind of saw this. If you kind of think about technology, there was like the boom and then the bubble burst and then this new wave tech, she thinks similarly with chat bots there was like chat bots are the next generation and it really didn't work. And you can imagine the like stock photography photos and you know you're not chatting to a person, you know you're chatting to a robot and you keep trying to get out of the loop and you can't. That's the past. The technology is moving very quickly and they believe in making people know if it's a bot, tell them it's a bot, “Hey, while you wait for Yanique and her amazing team, does this maybe help to answer your question, thumbs up or thumbs down? Thumbs down. Okay, no problem. You want to wait for the team? It's going to take us about X hours or whatever it is to get back to you.” So, you've got to do it right, leave the objective stuff to the bots, leave the empathy to the humans, and then that gets us to the third and final point in the in the funnel, which is the human support. So, complex questions that can only be answered by a human. But it isn't just about like whittling the volume down to your great smart humans, but also making it easier for them to work more efficiently. How can your system help them do their job more effectively, more efficiently and maybe even more delightfully. So, conversational support is this idea of using a messenger, meeting customers where they're at. And you've got this funnel, which is this framework that's like, Okay, I'm into this conversational support thing, but how do I do it? And they think that that's the proactive piece, the self-serve or automated piece and then there's the human piece. And then the last component here and you could tell she could probably go on hours here because this is really exciting. The last thing she'll say is in August they announced a whole bunch of new features and tools to bring enterprise grade efficiency and scale to customer support for the first time. So, traditionally businesses have had two choices, old school email ticketing forms and these allow teams to work efficiently, it organizes your customer’s needs into a nice and tidy queue and they're just going to wait as long as they wait but they're transactional. And then on the other end of the spectrum, you've got that fast personal messenger based experience that delighted customers. But synchronous is expensive and it lacks the under powering flexibility or underlying power to keep up with how larger teams work and scaling businesses, that gets really expensive and unmanageable really quickly. So, they built this whole suite of tools to enhance this funnel or this model. And they think that they're more powerful and efficient than your traditional ticketing system, that they take that messenger experience, they unlock all components of that funnel and enable businesses to not have to make that tricky choice between clunky ticketing, old school or modern but expensive, finding that happy medium. Traits for Being a Successful Customer Support Leader Me: So, Kaitlin, what are some important considerations for customer support leaders like yourself to be successful? So you spoke a lot about conversational support and a lot of these people that are working in your different teams with different organizations, they literally have to be out there in the battlefield every day offering that level of empathy, offering that level of understanding with customers, even if it's situations or circumstances that they've never experienced themselves. As a leader, as a customer support leader, what are some maybe one or two traits you think that you really need to be successful in this industry? Kaitlin shared that she loves this question and she thinks Yanique hit on such an important point, which is sometimes as a leader, you don't know what it's like. And something that always comes to mind for her is to know the difference between what she would call knowing the material and then leading. And she thinks as the support or experience leader, it's our job to do the latter, to lead. Our discipline in this wild world of customer support more than most means that your frontline employees are likely to know how to do their jobs or at least have the answers to your customer questions much more than you ever will. She jumps in to talk to their customers every now and again because it's the right thing to do and it's a great way for her to connect with their customers and team and it is the most humbling experience. She mentioned that she is the most rookie person on their team when it comes to knowing their products and talking to their customers. Whereas if you think about, say, like the sales world, which she has a background in prior to post sale. A leader can really coach those core sales skills and then you apply that philosophy to how your team approaches their book of business or their prospects. So, she thinks it's really important as a support leader to recognize you're very likely not going to have all the answers and so your value doesn't come from that, your value comes from building a strategy that allows your team to always be improving what they do for your customers and to feel for themselves that they're always advancing, that they're learning more, they're doing more, that they're developing in their own careers. And she thinks that's what's really important to hire and maintain great talent. And so, she’s really big on that one and she kind of had to learn that in the hard way, because really in her experience at Yelp. She had done everything in sales and post sales support except maybe sweep the floor that they sat on. And so, understanding what is leading the team look like, how do I enable them to be and feel more successful? And how do I really own delivering great experiences for our customers and how do I leverage our team to do that? So, she thinks that's a really important one. And then the second one, she'd say would be finding the balance between maximum efficiency for your customers and then maximum delight. And she touched on this a little bit earlier as part of the funnel. But this is really going to look different for different businesses and brands. Ritz Carlton, they've got the bank account and the brand to air on delight. But a lot of businesses out there, that isn't what you need and so regardless of where you sit on that spectrum, do we need maximum efficiency? Do we need maximum delight? Everyone should probably fall somewhere in the middle. But being intentional about understanding where your experience for your customers should sit and then what you can do to drive for those outcomes. So maybe you're going from bootstrap startup to scaling up business that wants to go public, you're probably going to need to lean a little more on the efficiency side because you're going to need to tighten the belt and button up costs. And so, again, she thinks it changes as the business grows. But being really intentional about understanding where do we fall on the spectrum and then how do we leverage our tool, stack, our team, workflows to help us achieve that outcome. App, Website or Tool that Kaitlin Absolutely Can’t Live Without in Her Business When asked about online resources that she can’t live without in her business, Kaitlin shared that she always feel bad because they've got a lot of favourites. So, she will cheat by saying they, of course, couldn't live without Intercom. They drink their own champagne, as they say. She doesn't like the dog food phrase, so she likes champagne, so they drink their own champagne. But aside from that, she would say that your sales team, too, but certainly your support team, especially in a remote working world, which that's a whole other element of Covid that we didn't even talk about. A knowledge management tool and process, and so they are super fans of Guru, which is a knowledge management system for all sorts of teams. And what she loves about it in particular, they all know what it's like to try and tackle an outdated internal wiki or to go look for an answer only to find that it's a year or two outdated. Is they have really smart AI and machine learning and great kind of powerful technologies behind the scenes that really make it very easy for teams to keep their internal resources updated. And they also, in that spirit of proactive support, they kind of help to surface the right content to your teams at the right time. So, she’s got a long list of products and tools and companies that they love. But she’s a big believer in your team, especially in a remote working world is only as good as is, it's the quality of its knowledge management system. And for them, they're big fans of Guru. Books That Have Had the Greatest Impact on Kaitlin When asked about books that have had the biggest impact, Kaitlin shared that she always struggle with this one and she will put her hand up and own it. Inside of working hours, she is diving into, throw her a white paper/sheet, throw her an article, throw her a podcast, she is into it. Outside of work, she is a fiction lover, but in the space of customer experiences and support, she will share a book that stayed with her. One is The Effortless Experience: Conquering the New Battleground for Customer Loyalty by Matthew Dixon. Into that scale she talked about between efficiency and delight. She thinks that long held belief that you got to go above and beyond for your customers and be the Zappos and the Ritz Carltons of the world, which if that aligns with your brand and you're intentional about it, then right on. But don't just assume that that's what you need to do. She doesn't remember what the stat is, but that in Effortless Experience, it talks about like channel switching. She was having a conversation this morning with their community manager about someone bouncing from their messenger to their community and then bouncing them back to messenger. They want to avoid that, they don't want to bounce them around. So Effortless Experience really stayed with her because she loves that it challenges this long held notion of striving for delight when really ease and effortlessness is what customers need. So, that would certainly be one. And then this is probably when she got her first “real job” which was Yelp back in 2009 which was Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes are High by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan, Al Switzler, and she has probably leveraged the learnings from that book more in her personal life, even though her professional. Front line, post sale, pre sale, you're having some tough conversations for a variety of reasons and understanding and she thinks the framework that stuck with her from that one is identifying a common goal and partnering with the person you're speaking with to achieve that goal. She uses it in her marriage; she uses it when working with folks on their team. And back in her kind of frontline days, she certainly used it when talking to customers. And at Yelp when they were talking about really sensitive things for small businesses like one star reviews. So, Crucial Conversations definitely an oldie but goodie and one that she thinks is helpful in and outside of the professional world. What Kaitlin is Really Excited About Now! Kaitlin shared that now more than ever, she thinks is important for all of us to find something we can get excited about, that's something we all need this year. So, she loves that Yanique is asking folks this question. So for her at work and she thinks as a leader, you need to strike this balance between guiding your team through the problems that are right in front of you. And this year, has presented more than maybe many of us were ready for and putting out fires. Especially as a strategic leader, a few levels up, you really need to be building out what does success look like for us next year? And what about the year after that? And what is our target? What big, audacious, ambitious goal is our company targeting in the next few years? And how does the work of my organization contribute to that? And so, she thinks that's always the balance of enabling your team in the moment and leading them through challenge of challenges present and also mapping out the future. And nothing goes according to plan, of course, but building the vision, building the strategy to help get there, making sure that the work that your team does isn't just purely reacting to what's coming in, but also contributes to this larger goal for the company. So in the spirit of that, she will be very transparent and say that they took a kick in the bum this year in terms of their support volume, and they found themselves in a place they'd never been before, which was sort of upside down and offering much slower wait times than they ever had. And so, supporting the team and getting through that and coming up with big, bold strategies and ideas to help them do that is something she’s currently excited about and is the top priority because their customer experience is number one and how that impacts their team, because those things go hand in hand. But longer term, like any company at Intercoms stage, she’s looking ahead and for them, that looks like building the future of their upmarket support offering. So startup early stage, you've got founders talking to customers, you're going above and beyond for every single one to not only just retain them and keep them in the door, but also understand their needs and use that to inform your product roadmap. And then you get to the next stage where you're hiring a support team and you're scaling it out, but you're offering that one size fits all experience to every single customer and you're trying to make it great. And then you get more customers and you start to set your eyes on some ambitious targets in terms of like funding or liquidity events. And she mentioned this earlier; you got to tighten up your belt. And so, for them, the inflection point that they're really at now is their enterprise segment and their upmarket segment is really swelling. And so, their offering to them has been, “We'll move you to the top of the queue. If you're a premium customer, we'll get to you faster.” That is so rudimentary, it lacks nuance, and it lacks sophistication. So she’s having some really fun conversations with folks on their sales team, with some customers, as well as folks in a variety of other departments to help her understand what they're building, the future of the market support at Intercom look like not only in terms of the speed and quality of experience that they're offering, but what does it look like on, say the availability side of the house and bug escalations and proactive partnership opportunities. And so, that's her sort of looking ahead of her toes out across the next few years and she’s really excited about it because building is really fun to do and she’s finding the conversations she’s having all over the place to be rather energizing and inspiring. So watch this space for what they built, but she’s pretty excited about it. Where Can We Find Kaitlin Online Kaitlin shared listeners can find her at – LinkedIn – https://ie.linkedin.com/in/kaitlin-pettersen-9a315215 Twitter – @kpetterman Website – www.intercom.com Quote or Saying that During Times of Adversity Kaitlin Uses Kaitlin shared that there is a quote that carries her through personal and professional challenges and is really, for her, a North Star or a guiding principle as a leader. And it is the amazing Maya Angelou's, “People will forget what you said, they'll forget what you did, but they will not forget how you made them feel.” And she gets tingles when she thinks about it and when she thinks about her. When we think back in our lives, on the leaders, on the companies, on the brands and the people, the exes, the friends, you don't remember the words; you don't specifically remember the actions, maybe unless they were really good or really bad. But you remember the feeling, it stays with you. And she thinks that's true in business, but certainly outside of business as well and through adversity. She hopes that their team and their customers will look back on this time and say, did Intercom nail everything? Of course not, because who would? We're all just adopting and doing our best and working really hard. But did they lead with empathy and transparency and heart? So that's one that she’s so glad she had the opportunity to talk about, because she thinks it's such a great quote. 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 Grab the Freebie on Our Website – TOP 10 Online Business Resources for Small Business Owners Links The Effortless Experience: Conquering the New Battleground for Customer Loyalty by Matthew Dixon Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes are High by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan, Al Switzler The ABC’s of a Fantastic Customer Experience 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!
27 minutes | a month ago
107: The Art of Listening and Taking Action in Order to Build and Sustain a Strong Reputation with Jason Grier
Jason Grier is the Executive Vice President and Chief Customer Officer at Reputation.com. He leads Reputation.com’s customer loyalty and growth initiatives as Executive Vice President and Chief Customer Officer. He's the former Senior Vice President of Global Support Operations and Chief Customer Officer at McAfee, where he spent more than 10 years. While at McAfee, Jason built a reputation as an industry leader in customer support and operations. His teams were honored with a number of awards, including the Intel Quality Award, a prestigious honor for outstanding quality and a personification of Intel's values and the highest team honor given at Intel. His teams also won two TSIA Star Awards, two Service & Support Professionals Association Awards, and a Stevie Award for innovation in action. Before his time at McAfee, Jason held executive-level positions at Sutherland Global Services and Covad communications. Questions Can you share with us a little bit about your journey, how it is that are able to get into these different roles? And of course, more importantly, what led you to the role that you are currently in today? Could you share with us a little bit about your organization? It says you're the Executive Vice President and Chief Customer Officer at Reputation.com. What does Reputation.com do? In terms of customer experience and reputation, how can an organization ensured that if they had a good reputation, a good brand image in the eyes of their customer pre COVID, how can they sustain that and even surpass COVID with those customers maintaining their reputation? Could you share with us maybe two to three things that you think an organization or characteristics that an organization needs to embody in order to really have a reputation that is strong, where customer experience is concerned? Could you share with us how do you stay motivated every day? What's the one online resource, tool, website, or app that you absolutely can't live without in your business? Could you share with us maybe one or two books that have had the biggest impact on you? It could have been a book that you read many, many years ago, but it still has an impact on you or maybe a book that you read recently. A lot of our listeners are business owners and managers who feel they have great products and services, but they lack the constantly motivated human capital - if you are sitting across the table from that person, what's the one piece of advice that you would give them to have a successful business? What’s 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? Do you have a quote or a saying that during times of adversity or any form of obstacle or challenge that you're being faced by you'll revert to this quote because it kind of helps put you back on track and just get you refocused. Do you have one of those? Highlights Jason’s Journey Jason stated that it's a great question and anybody that's being honest when they talk about their career, has to say that a lot of it is luck and a lot of it is timing and a lot of it is hard work. But he was coming around at a time when the call center world was really beginning to migrate to offshoring in India. And he found himself right in the middle of all this transformation. And so, if you think about what companies were doing back in the very early two thousands, it was all about how could we be more efficient? How can we be more productive? How can we reduce our costs? How can we keep our customers loyal, back then it was how do you improve customer satisfaction? He found himself doing a lot of travel back and forth to India, found himself in the middle of all types of big change with lots of big companies. And so, he was very fortunate in the sense, unfortunate a sense that he was doing a ton of travel, but very fortunate in the sense that he was right in the middle of it all with some of the world's biggest brands in the middle of their operational transformation. And it was just a very natural progression into the career that he ended up having at McAfee and the operations world and as the world of CX really kind of became to get more formalized. Again, happened to be the person that had the most experience doing this. And as a result was selected to lead those efforts. So, the world of formal CX in and of itself is still relatively new, it hasn't been around as a formal practice for that long. And plenty of people are still trying to figure out the really tough aspects of it, which are how you operationalize this. So that's a very brief story of how he got to where he is. What Does Reputation.com do? Jason shared that in terms of the world of CX, if you think about how the traditional survey world has evolved and all the listening posts that the CX practitioners are beginning to collect and listened to and take action on; it's not just surveys anymore, it's social media, it's reviews, it's business listening data. And so, what they've been able to do is build a platform and an algorithm that really allows their customers to get found, get chosen and get better through not only all of the point products that he just named, but really the amalgamation of all that into one platform, using one algorithm to really spit out and generate actionable data that allows them to hear what their customers are saying and take action on what they hear. So they're smack dab in the middle of what some would call the CX space and what others would call the online reputation management space. And so, they've actually created their own category, which they now call RXM for Reputation Experience Management. Me: So, when I do customer service training, one of the things that we ask the participants is what makes them choose one business over another? And usually, you'll have different options, you have price, you have quality of product, quality of service, convenience, reputation is always one of the options there. What's are your views, we’re in this space now where there's a lot happening globally. Some companies are exercising a lot of hibernation, they're not extending much spend because they're very unsure of what the future holds. And because of that, they're really trying to stay afloat. And then you have other organizations that this economy actually is making them thrive and they are spending abundantly. Keeping a Good Reputation, A Good Brand Image in the Eyes of Customers Jason shared that one of the reasons that he really likes the name of their company so much is because, reputation. Brands are built on reputations and reputations are built on trust. And what's really interesting about today's world, the COVID world is the implications for how people are going to want to do business moving forward. And the best predictor of the future is always the past. And so, if you go back and you look at something as impactful and change full as 9/11 was for the United States. What did that ultimately change? Well, it actually changed the way that we travel. If you kind of look at how you traveled before and how you travel after it's completely different. And he could go through all kinds of different scenarios that have happened between then and now, but this one's different because it impacts everybody the same. Nobody is immune, every business, every person is immune. And what is top of mind for every customer and literally across the world is safety. And so, if you're thinking about your brand and you're thinking about your reputation and how others are going to perceive you, he would say that the answer to your question is, if you're not focused on making sure that your customers not just only have a great experience in doing business with you, but if they have a safe experience, that they feel safe, that they feel like you're on top of it on their behalf. Those are the companies, at least in the short term are going to come ahead and come out on top. And quite frankly, those who don't will get punished. You're going to see anytime you see folks not taking the measures, at least the minimum guidelines to ensure their customer safety, they're going to get punished and they're going to get punished online especially with social media and reviews today. So it's a great question and it's a really interesting situation that we're in today. Me: So one of the things that I heard you saying just now, very big buzzword in customer experience now is safety. Even if it wasn't something that organizations had as a priority on their list of delivering a quality experience, it definitely is now seeing that that's something that you have to incorporate into your business, especially if you are predominantly a face to face type of operation. So, how do you see organizations really using or capitalizing on this safety thing because apart from sanitizing and ensuring that there are social distance markers on the ground, but people need to know that at the end of the day, you have their best interests at heart and the best interest of your employees, because they can basically pick up if you are just doing it because the government says you are to do it, or you just don't care. You're all about the bottom line. Jason stated that that's a great question. And frankly, that's exactly where we're seeing the explosion is on the employee side. Companies are coming to them in mass and wanting to know, “Hey, how can you help us understand what our employees think? How can you help us understand how we're doing towards keeping their trust and earning and keeping their trust in these times?” They're really concerned about, “Hey, we're spending all this money on real estate and nobody's using it. And so, how do we make our employees feel comfortable with our policies and allow them, without risk to them and without losing their trust to come back to the office, or at least have some type of hybrid model. Going back to the 9/11 example about how it changed the way we travel, this is changing the way that we interact and the way that we work. And the good news is that the entire world has learned that you can work via Zoom or Google. So, they're interesting dynamics going on for sure. Characteristics an Organization Needs to Embody to Have a Good Reputation Jason shared that the number one thing is you've got to really create a culture of listening and then a culture of action. And quite frankly, in his opinion at least, it's the hardest thing to do when you're talking about operationalization of customer feedback or CX, however you want to characterize it. The absolute hardest thing to do is be a great listener, number one. And then number two, actually take action on what your customers have to say. What he finds to be most interesting is how well-intended so many people are when they're listening to customer feedback. And oftentimes what happens is someone will take lots of customer feedback and they'll turn it into an idea that they, the employee thinks is a good idea to implement on the customer. When in reality, it's just a good idea, but it's not really what the customers want. And so, he thinks that making sure that you have that rigor and that discipline to not just listen to customers, but actually take action on what you hear, he thinks is the number one thing to do. And then, number two, you've got to permeate that into your entire culture and make it a thread of every employee in the company and so that they feel that they have a vested interest in doing what's right by your customers. How Jason Stays Motivated When asked how he stays motivated, Jason shared that he has a lot of employees that are really, really focused on doing right by their customers and creating successful outcomes for them. And one of the funny things is his employees, they laugh at him about it but, they do all hands-on on a regular basis. And one of the things that he actually do on his Zoom, he has a zoom TV. And so, what he actually do is he go through and he'll look at all their faces and he sees the commitment that they have to their customers and the commitment that they have to their company. And it really drives him to help put them in the best possible position to win, number one. So, because he thinks happy employees make happy customers. And he thinks the second thing that really keeps them all is that this notion that we are still so young and early in the business and he happens to have the good fortune of also being in the same position in the world of security with McAfee. And he saw how that grew and changed and really impacted businesses and people's lives. And he thinks this is no different, you’re just at the earlier stages of something that's going to continue to swell and become just a bigger and more important component of everybody's business world. App, Website or Tool that Jason Absolutely Can’t Live Without in His Business Jason stated that what’s so funny about Yanique asking him this question, he actually got off of all social media about a month ago, and he has to be honest, he doesn't miss it one bit. Now, the answer to the question is he does go to Google News every day. And so, he does read the headlines every day, and then there's some stories he'll dig into but the amount of time that he spends online has diminished rapidly and the amount of time that he has actually been able to pour into thought leadership has increased exponentially. And so, he has to be honest, it's been great. He has the good fortune. He has some family members who are pretty famous online and as a result, he thinks a lot of their fans follow him or used to follow him and so it becomes a distraction. And it was very healthy for him to just put it all down and focus on things that matter. And it's been great. Book That Have Had the Greatest Impact on Jason When asked about books that have had the biggest impact, Jason stated he gets asked this question a lot and it has been the same answer forever. But it was the first book that he read in business school is called Theory of Constraints by Eliyahu Goldratt, it's such a simple, easy read, and it really creates and just kind of reminds you how simple things really should be and just to always kind of keep it that way. And so, he'd go on the business side, he'd go with that one. On the fiction side, he would say either Shōgun by James Clavell or Pillars of the Earth: A Novel by Ken Follett which are both over a thousand pages, but they're great. And he says that because you should always take time to exercise your creative side, he thinks that's really important. How to Have a Successful Business When asked about advice to have a successful business, Jason shared that number one is listen. And then number two, he thinks just like anything else and again at McAfee and in other places he has been fortunate to be in a position where they've done numerous acquisitions and he could probably easily name 30 that he was actively involved in. And you start to see some of the same trends emerge when you're dealing with a massive company like some of the ones that he came from, versus someone, an entrepreneur who has really scraped and worked hard to build their business from scratch and it's so admirable. And he has such a respect for the folks that do that, but at the same token, there's the ability to listen and then to delegate and really trust is the thing that he would go back and tell all of those folks, that would have been his observation is who are you putting into these roles, who are into these critical roles that are running your company for you because you can't do it all, no person is an island. And so, it really is true. And so, it is all about the people. Me: I liked the fact that you said you think the number one thing they should do is listen. Now, how can you improve on your listening skills? It's lovely to say in theory, I think you should listen more, but let's say the person thinks that, “Well, I think I'm a good listener.” What are some things that they could do, like maybe a listening audit, or is there like a new practice they could embody to really ensure that they're trying to improve on their listening skills? Jason stated that he almost feel like Yanique was listening in to a meeting of his over the last couple of days, just because someone asked him that same question and he said, ask. And again, keep it simple, some people have a great amount of ability to be self reflective and understand their strengths and weaknesses and others aren't and, and hopefully, are good at taking feedback. But at the end of the day, the only way to be able to listen more is to ask more and then stop. And so, the question is that he would say is, what are the different ways in which you're asking, because you're asking him questions right now, but you might want to send him questions written, in written form at a different time or you might want to have someone else on your behalf reach out and send him a review. And so, it's all about making sure that you've got different asking posts, different asking posts create different listening posts is probably a better way to say it. Me: I do agree with you that asking questions will definitely help you to become a better listener, especially, as you said, after you've asked the question, you remain silent and actually pay attention to what the person is saying to you. There's a book that I read at least once per year, How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie. And that's one of the things that I really have taken from that book that asking questions really helps you to be just more intentional, it helps you to get more information because generally speaking, I find human beings don't necessarily just volunteer information. So if you really want to know, you have to be asking the right questions. Jason stated that to make it even more practical, he thinks the real answer is you actually have to be interested. And the test that he gives, and this is part of anybody that works on his staff is going to hear him say this probably more, they probably have nightmares about it, but you got to be a great secondary learner. And what he means by that is, are you paying attention to what others are saying and learning from them regardless of who they are. And so, to do that and to be good at that, it requires you to actually be interested. And he’s got to tell you, if you're not interested, it's going to show. What Jason is Really Excited About Now! Jason shared that he is in the process of building a whole model on business acumen and directly for his people. He preach a lot to his staff, it's all about the front lines and empowering them and giving them the tools to be successful. And one of the things that he has seen just across any company that he has worked for. He had the good fortune of going to business school at night and not everybody can do that. And so, he finds that it's really important when you're helping to develop your employees and your staff to actually give them tools that are practical and useful that actually help them get better. And so, he tries to do at least one of those a year. And right now he’s working on one that goes by industry and actually will help them understand what are the key metrics for that industry that will allow you to have more meaningful conversations with people instead of, he doesn't ever want any of their customer success folks to call someone and “Hey, I'm just checking in to see how you're doing?” He wants them to be able to, whether it's a healthcare company or an automotive company, or a property management company, or a restaurant, or you name the vertical. He wants them to feel prepared, capable, and empowered, to have meaningful business conversations with people about the things that matter to them, not just the things that matter to us (the organization). And that's really the essence of being a great listener is showing them the courtesy and the respect that you have taken the time to learn about their business, number one. But number two, he thinks it just makes their people better and he thinks that that makes them more appreciative of them and more loyal to them over time. Where Can We Find Jason Online Jason shared listeners can find him at – LinkedIn - https://www.linkedin.com/in/jason-grier-825b271 Quote or Saying that During Times of Adversity Jason Uses Jason shared that “When you're dealing with adversity, you just put your head down and you go and you keep going and eventually you'll get through it.” But he can't tell how many times he has had that conversation with himself. It's easy to be a great winner, what he thinks the real test of people's character is how they deal with adversity and really trudged through and methodically chop wood to get through it and come out the other side even better. 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 Grab the Freebie on Our Website – TOP 10 Online Business Resources for Small Business Owners Links Theory of Constraints by Eliyahu Goldratt The Pillars of the Earth: A Novel by Ken Follett The ABC’s of a Fantastic Customer Experience 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!
26 minutes | 2 months ago
106: Redesigning Your Digital Experience into an OmniChannel Experience by Adjusting, Adapting and Reinventing with Leena Iyar
Leena Iyar is the Chief Brand Officer at Moxtra. She is responsible for all aspects of Moxtra’s marketing efforts, including strategy, brand awareness, growth marketing, public relations and customer communications. Questions Could you share with us a little bit about your journey, how it is that you got into marketing and brand awareness, that kind of stuff? Could you share with us a little bit about how it is that especially in this time that we're operating in, we're impacted by the pandemic globally and people have to literally reinvent themselves. What have you noticed? Have you noticed any different trends in that whole space in terms of people just keeping their brand consistent on top of mind with the customer, and, of course, ensuring that even if even the customer is not shopping with them as they used to, how is it that you're staying relevant to those customers? Could you share with us a little bit about what Moxtra does? I know it's a one stop portal that allows customers to basically have everything housed digitally in one place. But let's say, for example, you're a bank and you operate on many different platforms. Could you just give us real time what that means for the bank and how does that translate to the customer's experience? What are your thoughts on designing the experience that it's, if not better than the face to face experience digitally? How do you stay motivated every day? Could you share with us maybe one online resource, website, app or tool that you absolutely can't live without in your business? Can you share with us maybe one or two books that have had the biggest impact on you? It could be a book that you read a very long time ago that still has an impact on you to this day, or maybe a book that you read recently. Could you share with us maybe one or two things that is going on in your life right now - either something that you're working on to develop yourself or your people? Where listeners can find you online? Could you share maybe one or if you have more than one, a quote or saying that during times of adversity or challenge, you'll tend to revert to this quote or saying because it kind of helps to help you to overcome that obstacle or that adversity. Highlights Leena’s Journey Leena shared that she got into marketing actually when she was in college. So, she started by working on a mock up of a product that then sort of evolved as part of working with the Moxtra team into what Moxtra is today. And so, she has been involved with the team since then, and she sort of started as someone who had their hands a little bit in everything. So, the marketing, the website, the design, the fonts and the role just evolved since then. And she thinks that the nice thing about being in marketing is that there's a new creative challenge every day. You're thinking about things from a design perspective, thinking about things from an audience perspective and most importantly, from an experience perspective. And so, sort of blends all of these together into sort of a comprehensive experience. Keeping Your Brand Consistent - Top of Mind and Staying Relevant to Customers Leena shared that we're seeing this a lot with our customers and just with businesses that we speak to that as you said. In today's world, it's no longer a nice to have to be able to engage your customers on digital channels, it's now an imperative. And she thinks for so many businesses, there is this push to adjust, adapt and reinvent and reimagine the way that they're engaging with their customers on digital channels. And she thinks the biggest thing in that regard is this whole idea of, whatever it might be to provide a convenient experience for your customers to do business with you on digital. And so, that's the case whether you're a law firm, that's the case whether you're a couture designer, that's a case whether you’re a real estate agent. And really, the whole concept is about keeping your customers engaged under your brand. A lot of what they do at Moxtra is that, they power people's one stop customer portal, which is basically, a digital branch for their business under their brand, which helps them engage their customers and as well as manage their organizations to deliver that service experience. Me: Marketers sometimes can come over to be a little pushy. What do you think is the approach they should be taking now seeing that, as I said, a lot of people are in hibernation to kind of watching how to spend, maybe what they would have budgeted to spend on different initiatives for 2020 has probably been scaled down depending on the mindset of that organization, because some companies are spending. But then there are a lot who are literally watching what's happening and just being very cautious in terms of their spend and activities that they would take. So, from that perspective, what stance do they need to have as it relates to being pushy or just kind of going with what the customer is asking for you even if they're not asking for anything? Leena shared she would say that in their case, and obviously, theirs may be a unique experience and sort of a different microcosm, but she thinks the thing is that what they do is they enable people to have a digital branch in their pocket at the cost of one brick and mortar branch, they could possibly be in a thousand or ten thousand customer pockets. And the reach, the distribution, the scale of that is really huge and from a marketing perspective, it's all about enticing as opposed to chasing. So, she thinks that if you have something that genuinely provides value, that makes sense, that will emerge. And it's really just about building the awareness and when is the right timing, is the right customer, things will fit. And that's what we're seeing. From a marketing perspective, we don't really end up having to do too much as opposed to just building the awareness that there is something like this out there. For businesses, the really emotional thing for them is that for a lot of businesses that might not be able to survive or might have been going under are able to revitalize and become a digitally resilient organization through this. And so that's been really huge. Actually, one example of that that was really interesting that they heard the other day was they are a collectibles manufacturing company in England and what they do is, 70% of their business was through resellers and 30% of their business was through direct, pre COVID. And, she thinks overnight they lost about 70 to 80% of their reseller business because so many of it was through smaller retailers, things like that. And people were sending back stock or not purchasing stock for the rest of the year. And so they had to think really quickly on their feet and reinvent themselves. And they happened to come across Moxtra. They were able to enable a digital branch for their organization. And now they've grown their direct business by 80% and their retailer business has mostly recovered, they've stopped working with the smaller retailers and primarily focused on larger retailers. And so, they've gained back like 90% of their overall drop in the span of 6 months and are now looking to expand to Japan, Italy, amongst other countries. And so, it's just pretty astronomical and she thinks that when you consider the effects of that, that ties to her point that it has to be compelling on its own and when it is, customers will come. What Does Moxtra Do? Leena shared that Moxtra actually has a customer collaboration platform. And so, their customer collaboration platform powers these branded one stop customer portal experiences. So let's say a bank, what does that mean? It basically means that Moxtra enables the bank to power its own digital branch. So, Van Lanschot Bank in the Netherlands is their customer, they have a whole host of private wealth clients. And what they did is they power the Van Lanschot mobile app and web app that now enables Van Lanschot customers to be able to connect to their Personal Relationship Wealth Manager to receive portfolio advice, updates, everything through the Van Lanschot experience. And it's under their brand, it’s their digital branch, and they're able to provide this continuous collaboration experience through that. And a little bit about Moxtra, Moxtra was founded by Subrah the co-founder and CEO of WebEx, and Stanley Huang, a senior director of engineering at WebEx Communications. And so combined, they have so many years of experience in the collaboration space and as a result, a big part of the digital branch experience is this whole collaboration experience powering the sort of customer engagement portion of the one stop portal. Me: So basically, instead of going into a physical branch to meet with your wealth advisor or let's say for example, a customer service person, maybe there's something you’re trying to sort out on your account, Moxtra's platform allows you to do that in a digital space with that same individual. Is that what I'm getting from what you're saying? Leena stated yes, absolutely. Me: So that's a new way of doing business, isn't it? Is that widespread? Because I've never heard of that approach being taken. And how is it being adopted in other parts of the world other than Europe in the Netherlands, for example, are you seeing it predominantly in the U.S., in the Caribbean, in South America? Or people are not logging on to it as readily because it seems pretty simple and easy. Leena shared that about two or three years ago, they started to see a lot of traction in Asia Pacific and Latin America because these are very mobile heavy countries. And she thinks that they have a tendency as a result to be a little faster moving when it comes to new technology. But over the last year or so, she would say, and especially true with COVID, they're seeing this across the board. So, United States, Europe, Latin America, Australia, New Zealand, Asia PAC, basically all countries. And the idea is it's really because that in today's world, businesses need a digital branch where they're able to deliver service to customers. You can't meet in person, a lot of the times customers aren't even in the same place as your business anymore; you're not even necessarily able to staff the brick and mortar branch. So, having a digital branch is no longer nice to have, it is what's enabling you to keep your business going. Leena’s Thoughts on Designing the Experience Face to Face and Digitally Me: Now, in terms of designing the customer experience, it's a little bit different when it's digital versus when it's face to face. But then you want to ensure that a customer has, if not a similar experience, an even better experience digitally. So some of the challenges that people have for example, when they deal with face to face interactions, at least generally speaking, is wait time, poor communication in terms of people are not following up and letting you know what's happening every step of the way. I interviewed a guest recently and he said if everybody could just give the domino effect, which and I said, what's that? And he's like, when you order a pizza from Dominoes in their app, you literally are able to see what happens with that pizza every step of the way. So, imagine if they were to take that same principle and apply it in every business, whether you’re applying for a mortgage or you're buying a car, you are able to literally see where your journey is going every step of the way, all through technology without you actually having to interface with someone. So, what are your thoughts on designing the experience that it's, if not better than the face to face experience digitally? Leena agreed and shared that Yanique raised a lot of great points. And she would also say that the first point comes down to time. When you're face to face, you have to synchronize both time and place. And she thinks with the rise of virtual meetings, you're able to synchronize just time but not place. And it's going to get to a point, especially for the convenience of the customer, where the customer has to synchronize neither time nor place with the business, which is the effect of the Dominoes app. She could be sitting in her house and place an order on her phone and the pizza will be there and she can track every step of the way. But she doesn't have to get on the phone and call Dominoes and talk to them about what she wants. The app and the experience is presented in such a way that she’s able to get her business done in a one stop experience. And they talk about this a lot, actually, at Moxtra from the perspective of customer convenience and customer experience. And it's an interesting point because it actually goes back to; let's take the paradigm of the desktop, the desktop computer. If you look at the kind of programs that did well on the desktop, they were mostly productivity solutions in many ways. And that’s because the desktop is an information presentation tool, it's an information presentation machine, you can toggle between multiple windows at the same time, you can multitask very easily. And it sort of supports that. Whereas if you go to your mobile phone, it's primarily a communication device. You can't toggle between different windows that easily, when you're in the app, you're in the app and when you shut it, you move to another window. And she thinks as a result of that, if you look at the kind of experiences that have done well on mobile, it's businesses like Tesla, it’s businesses like Uber, it's businesses like Insta Car, like Dominoes that provide this one stop service experience being that it's one stop to get whatever you need to get done with that business done and as a result, it's super convenient for customers. And so, their logic was well wait, all these consumer services are offering this one stop, on demand service experience. Why shouldn’t B2B companies? Why shouldn’t you expect the same thing from your law firm or your mortgage broker? And she thinks that to Yanique’s point, it's going to become very necessary because people expect that, they expect it from their consumer services and they're going to come to expect it from their business services. So, she thinks that from a company perspective, focusing on the customer experience, companies have a tendency to focus on themselves and what makes them look good and how their business is going to be. But she thinks that from an experience perspective, you always have to put yourself in the shoes of your customer. Who are they? What are they concerned about? And what's going to make it easiest for them to want to do business with your organization versus another organization? And if you see from that perspective, if you work externally, thinking about what they're going to want to see and what's going to make it easy, then you have to look at things that have done well on a mobile form factor and then try to make a consistent experience across touch points, make seamless. So, whether someone picks up their mobile phone or logs into through a website that you're offering as a business, a very consistent branded experience so it's seamless for them and they don't have to think about it. Me: Agreed. It's funny you mentioned whichever platform they're interfacing with you, because I recently started doing webinars as one of the offerings for my business and the webinar platform that I chose, the primary reason why I chose them was not because of the features that they have, because Zoom had more options. But I chose Demio because I could literally reach out to them on Facebook Messenger, Instagram DM or even through their website, through their chatbot that they had on their website. And literally, whatever conversation I was having in each of those different platforms, for some reason, their experience was an Omni experience, not a multi experience. And so it was a continuation of the conversation off of that other platform, which made it so much easier for me, because let's say I wanted to reference something that I had asked them about a week ago. I didn't have to go back to Instagram DM to go, “Oh, that's what they sent there.” Because regardless of the platform I'm on, everything is synched into one single window. And I thought I was brilliant. Leena agreed and stated that it provides a persistent experience for you as well. There's no burden on you as a customer to now try to recall what somebody said or what might have happened. And from a business perspective, they know all about you, they know exactly what you’ve asked for, the history remains with them versus with whichever rep talked to you last. How Leena Stays Motivated When asked how she stays motivated, Leena shared that the biggest thing for her is that she’s excited by what she does. And she thinks that drives me right, because there's a huge market opportunity and an opportunity to sort of redefine the way businesses engage with their customers. And also, help so many businesses that might not be able to stay afloat in today's world, reimagine and recreate a new way of doing business. And so, she thinks that's what keeps her really motivated. The idea that we can change really the way that people are doing things and help so many businesses that might not survive in a traditional approach. App, Website or Tool that Leena Absolutely Can’t Live Without in Her Business When asked about on online resource that she cannot live without in her business, Leena shared that that's an interesting one. She would say that she loves the graphic design hubs, actually. If you've used something called themeforest. It's actually really amazing because there are things like templates for different audio tracks or graphic design files or after effects templates. And so, they use visual mediums to communicate their points a lot because their product is highly experiential. So it is something that you need to sort of see and touch. And so, they use a lot of like short form videos, animation gifs to communicate what they try to do. And she thinks that visual supplementation helps a lot with that. So, they end up using a lot of graphic and audio assets quite a bit. Book That Have Had the Greatest Impact on Leena When asked about books that have had the biggest impact, Leena shared that it's an interesting one and it does tie into a lot of what their brand philosophy is at Moxtra and how they do things. So, the book is actually called Building a StoryBrand: Clarify Your Message So Customers Will Listen by Donald Miller. It's a fantastic book. And she thinks the reason why is because it's so simple. So many times with marketing and just with overall brand positioning, companies have a tendency to make themselves the hero in the story. The biggest lesson in that book is that it's not about you; you're the guide and your customers, the hero, your customers, the character. And to broaden that point, the idea being that, “Hey, they're on their journey.” And as a marketeer and as someone thinking about your customer experience, the most important thing you can do is tune into their journey, what are they looking for and how are they going about their journey? And then how can you better help them. What Leena is Really Excited About Now! Leena stated that she would say one of the things that's going on in her life right now, and she thinks that as so many people are, is this transition to working from home and remote work from different locations. And she thinks in many ways there are advantages to it and their disadvantages as well. Some of the advantages are people thought that everyone needed to commute to work at the same time to get things done, turns out that they don't. People can work from home and be productive; it's more sustainable as well, which is amazing. But she thinks on the other side, there's a shift in work patterns. So, figuring out a new routine and how best to sort of keep yourself energized and motivated and on top of the ball as well. Where Can We Find Leena Online Leena shared listeners can find her at – Website – Moxtra LinkedIn - https://www.linkedin.com/in/leena-iyar-59a73938/ Quote or Saying that During Times of Adversity Leena Uses When asked about a quote or saying that she tends to revert to, Leena shared that that's an interesting one. So, she would say it's sort of a strange pick, but she doesn't know if you've ever watched that show Cosmos but the original one with Carl Sagan. But they actually show an image of Earth from very far away and it's just a pale blue dot on the screen of black. And he says, “Look at that dot. That's home, that's where everyone who you've ever heard about, every human being who ever lived, any story that you've ever heard, any idea that you've ever had has come out of that pale blue dot.” And she thinks that it always puts things in perspective for her. How many years the earth has been here and how short amount of time we have. And how our lives can have such a large impact over generations. And it always just frames things for her and puts things in perspective about life. 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 Grab the Freebie on Our Website – TOP 10 Online Business Resources for Small Business Owners Links Building a StoryBrand: Clarify Your Message So Customers Will Listen by Donald Miller The ABC’s of a Fantastic Customer Experience 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!
18 minutes | 2 months ago
105: How Artificial Intelligence is Mitigating Bottlenecks in Customer Experience with Dan Leshem
Dan Leshem has over 10 years of experience leading various products in a variety of companies and fields. He wrote his first line of code at the age of 14, and has not stopped writing ever since. He is the co-founder and CEO of Plantt. He's been leading products in various industries for over 10 years, an entrepreneur at heart, and he's now setting himself a goal to make Customer Experience better than before. Questions Could you tell us a little bit about your journey, how it is that you got to where you are today and maybe share with us a bit about your company Plantt, what does not really do? What has your experience been in customer experience, especially since the pandemic? Are there any trends that you've seen across industries? And how does your platform help customers to navigate their customer experience or brands to navigate their customer experience? What industry do you specifically specialize in or is it for all different industries? What are two or three top things that you think banks need to focus on as it relates to Artificial Intelligence, but also ensuring that they're blending the human aspect of that into their customer experience because technology is great. But I still think that we need to have some human component attached to the technology. What are your thoughts on that? What are some of the bottlenecks that you found customer experience teams have been experiencing, especially since the pandemic? Could you share with us maybe one or two things that you think companies need to focus on in order to deliver a fantastic customer experience? What's the one online resource, tool, website or app that you absolutely can't live without in your business? Could you share with us maybe one or two books that have had the biggest impact on you? Can you share with us maybe something that's going on in your life that you're really excited about - either something you're working on to develop yourself or your people? Where can our listeners find you online? Highlights Dan’s Journey Dan shared that Plantt helps companies elevate their customer experience with AI (Artificial Intelligence) they help them find bottlenecks in their customer service, customer support, and then automate what they can without losing that personalized experience. But before we dive into what Plantt, Dan shared that customer experience is very close to his heart mostly as a customer, this is how he ended up funding a start-up in that space. He as a customer, he had several not ideal experiences both with human and chatbot representative. So, this is where 2 years ago he started thinking about how to change and what he can do to solve challenges in this space. How Does the Platform Help Organizations Navigate Their Customer Experience Dan shared that the pandemic had a tremendous effect on customer experience because overnight companies really had to shift their strategy about customer experience and customer support. They had not only surge increasing in demand and in volume indicating and support and communication with the customers. But also they had logistic problem, they had to work remotely and Call Centres were shutting down. So in his experience, as they work with companies, with their customers, they had to embrace technologies overnight. That was fascinating. During the pandemic in the first outbreak in March, they had customers running at them and just starting implementation of AI and automation to their customer experience. So that was very interesting to see. He thinks now companies are re-evaluating their strategies about customer experience and how they can embrace automation as part of their strategy. So it's going to be very interesting to see in the upcoming months to see how these things are developed. Me: So, Plantt is an organization that will help you to improve on customer support in terms of, you will field telephone calls, handle support tickets, chats and that kind of stuff. And you do it for different types of organization. What industry do you specifically specialize in or is it for all different industries? Industries that Plantt Specializes In Dan shared that their platform is industry agnostic, but they mainly work with e-commerce and SaaS companies and financial services companies. These are the main three industries they're focused on. Me: Okay, great. In terms of the financial companies let’s say for example, for a bank. Tell me some of the things that maybe two or three top things that you think banks need to focus on as it relates to Artificial Intelligence, but also ensuring that they're blending the human aspect of that into their customer experience because technology is great. But I still think that we need to have some human component attached to the technology. What are your thoughts on that? Things that Banks Need to Focus on and Also Blend the Human Aspect into their Customer Experience Dan stated that he definitely agree with your what Yanique said. He thinks that what we see is that companies are running towards automation. And we had this hype of chatbots a few years ago where everybody was talking about chatbots, but then chatbots just didn't deliver on their promise, although it's great. We all had a bad experience with chatbots. And Yanique is right. There was a missing, that personalized feeling there or that human touch. So, he thinks companies before they go towards automation or chatbot, first they have to understand what their customers are really asking for, what they really want, way before they are run into automation. The language understanding technology these days is quite good. But you have to understand really what it is that your customers really want from you. And then you have to know what can be automated and what must be deal with more empathy and still require your support to intervene. Me: So, basically as an organization you have to identify that not every aspect of your business is going to need full technology and automation or even some form of artificial intelligence. Bottlenecks that Customer Experience Teams are Experiencing Since the Pandemic Dan shared that if we can take for example, e-commerce companies, there was a lot of interference in the supply chain. So, they had like thousands of inquiries about delivery delays and people concerning about the delivery because of the pandemic. So, they were able to identify trends that and they also as part of their platform, they also analyze the sentiment. So, they were actually analyzing trends of people worried about COVID and they were able to see that companies that were supporting, that were adding some empathy in their answers to the customer, the conversation was that there was satisfaction at the end of the conversation was way higher. So, bottlenecks they see, delivery delays. Things that Companies Need to Focus on to Deliver Fantastic Customer Experience Dan shared that the first thing they have to do is to understand what their customers are asking, what really keeps their customers busy because many customer experience directors and many companies have an intuition about what is it that their customers really want from them. And there is that misconception where many people say customers want to speak with humans, they want to speak with customer support representatives. And therefore, we cannot automate; we cannot deliver great customer experience and also automate the customer experience and they think that’s wrong. People don't want to necessarily speak with humans, but they want to get the job done, they want for their problem to be solved. So, we need to understand what is the problem that we have to solve for our users, for our customers, and then focus on that. And in some cases, it can be automated and there are tools that can give you the insights about what these problems are. And in some cases, there is still need for human to intervene in the process. Me: So basically, you need to find out what a problem is, what solution, what problem are you really trying to solve for the customer? And I guess for each customer that's different and then you need to use tools to understand if they're actually being resolved. Dan mentioned that also, especially after the pandemic, because, we are entering in to a more dynamic, he would say, a dynamic era where in customer experience, where you would have to as an organization, you would have to navigate between multiple channels to deliver great customer experience because before the pandemic maybe you had, for example, retailer. You had customers reaching out to your store, now everything is shifted to online. And then you would have to embrace like messaging channels for the millennials and for Gen X, you would have to embrace voice channels like Alexa. So, it's going to be way more dynamic, in his opinion. App, Website or Tool that Daniel Absolutely Can’t Live Without in His Business When asked about an online resource that he cannot live without in his business, Dan shared that that's a great question. For him it's loom, when the pandemic hit and we all switch to remote work, they were starting using loom. Me: Is it similar to Asana or one of those platforms that you can basically communicate with your team and share projects and that kind of stuff? Dan shared that it's a really simple app that lets you record your screen while you speak and then you can send the recording to one of your teammates. And so, it's really helpful when you're not working in the same office, you can just share with your co-worker and it saves them a lot of hours. Me: I imagine because you're dealing with such technical stuff, it makes it easier for the persons who you're sharing information with. Book That Have Had the Greatest Impact on Dan Dan jokingly asked if she wants the real answer or the smart answer. So, the real answer is, Harry Potter. When he was young, he fell in love with the series. And this is actually how he got into entrepreneurship and in building products in general because he started like a fan club website, this is the first website he ever built. So, it has a great impact on him. What Dan is Really Excited About Now! Dan shared that when they started Plantt over a year ago, they didn't know where they were going to be with this and it's really exciting to see how they help companies learn what their customers really want from them and being actually the voice of customers. So it's really exciting. They didn't start as an inside platform for companies, they started as just as a simple chatbot platform. But then when they moved forward, they learned about the importance of designing the experience and keeping the experience personalized. So, it's really exciting for them to work with their customers, with their design partners and investors. Where Can We Find Dan Online Dan shared listeners can find him at – Website – www.plantt.io LinkedIn - https://www.linkedin.com/in/dan-leshem/ 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 Grab the Freebie on Our Website – TOP 10 Online Business Resources for Small Business Owners Links Harry Potter Book Series by J.K Rowling The ABC’s of a Fantastic Customer Experience 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!
46 minutes | 2 months ago
104: The Importance of Being Reliable, Relatable and Responsive to Deliver a Fantastic Customer Experience with Daniel Rodriguez
Daniel Rodriguez is the head of marketing at Simplr, which is upending the traditional customer service model by providing premium brands with flexible, 24/7 on-demand specialists for all digital channels. The company's specialists are unique work-from-home pool of highly educated professionals who use Simplr's, AI-powered platform to replicate tone and brand integrity with speed, empathy and precision. Danielle has extensive marketing and entrepreneurial experience, having served as the VP of marketing for Seismic and the co-founder of multiple companies, including Indivly Magic and PrizeTube. Daniel earned a BA in Economics from Harvard University and an MBA from MIT. Questions Could you share a little bit with us about your history? I know it says here that you are Head of Marketing at Simplr and that you've gained a lot of experience as it relates to digital marketing and also entrepreneurial skill. But just share with us a little bit about how you got to where you are today. Simlpr recently conducted a study, a customer experience study, where it says 27% consumers say their brand loyalty has wavered during the pandemic due to long customer service wait times. Could you share a little bit about some of the insights that you gained from that study? Let's say our audience; they do have some of these issues that we're talking about. What are maybe two or three things that they should do that maybe they're not doing now in a very practical sense, things they should really be focused on to just give that great customer experience? Could you share with us what is the one online resource, website tool or app that you absolutely cannot live without in your business? Could you share with us maybe one or two books that have had the biggest impact on you? It could be a book that you read since the pandemic, or it could be a book that you read many, many years ago. But it still has had a great impact on you. Now, can you share with us what's one thing that's going on in your life right now, something that you're really excited about - either something you're working on to develop yourself or your people? Where can they find you online? Do you have a quote or saying that during times of adversity or challenge, you will revert to this quote, it kind of helps you to move forward, to keep pushing. Do you have one of those? Highlights Daniel’s Journey Daniel shared that he spent the past 8 years of his career running marketing teams at start-up companies, tech companies in the B2B space. So, very high growth companies, they're all venture funded and have high growth expectations. And it's been a really rewarding journey, he thinks, for him, because he started his career on the consulting and finance side, and he had this moment as the wise poet John Mayer once said. He had a quarter life crisis and realized that if he didn't actually be the doer, meaning, be actually on the operating side, he was going to have regrets in his own life about the career choices that he was making. So that really started him down a path and he’s very thankful to Brad Rosen, who's the CEO of a company called Drink, for taking a chance on him and letting him work for him on kind of a volunteer nights and weekends basis and Drink is a wine app. And for him, it was great to be able to dive into on the operating side, dive into something that he was also passionate about just at a personal level. So that gave him his first taste, if you will, of actually being at a start-up, super early stage start-up and that really scrappy mode. And once he had that taste, he was completely hooked. So, that started his path then to go to business school, which was giving him an opportunity to learn a lot more about entrepreneurship, experience entrepreneurship himself, try to start a company himself. And it was kind of from there and from some of those failed experiences of his own and trying to get companies off the ground that he was able to then get jobs at more established, albeit still very early stage companies. And so, that's where he has been spending the majority of his career at this point. Simplr’s Insight on Customer Experience Study Me: So, in preparing for this interview, we were informed that your company Simlpr recently conducted a study, a customer experience study, where it says 27% of consumers say their brand loyalty has wavered during the pandemic due to long customer service wait times. Being in customer service myself, I know that's like one of the biggest pet peeves of customers waiting, whether it be face to face or over the phone or even in a web forum if you have to wait on a chat for somebody to give you feedback, could you share a little bit about some of the insights that you gained from that study? Daniel shared that they've conducted 3 of these mystery shop reports, the survey that they've gone out, partnered with a third party. They've done 3 of them over the past year. So, they did one in June where they mystery shopped about 800 eCommerce retail brands. And they were looking for areas where they could identify the things that are really important to customers and therefore result in customers having an exceptional experience, an experience that they would want to give somebody a 5-star rating about and tell their friends. And so they looked at dimensions of Reliability, Relatability and Responsiveness. So, one of the hypotheses that they had was and this was predominantly U.S. based brands, although there are people purchasing products from all parts of the world. And they also then interviewed 500 U.S. customers of those brands, consumers not necessarily specific to any of these brands, but just 500 hundred people that are consumers in the United States. And they asked them, how did they feel about wait times? How do they feel about brands and their willingness to stick with that brand, if there was going to be a longer wait time? And their hypothesis was and this was something that they have also been feeling themselves during the pandemic. When the pandemic began in March and April, there was a lot of forgiveness. People were willing to say, “Oh my gosh, the world has just been completely turned upside down. I'm not going to hold it against my favourite brand that things are messed up. And they have shipping delays and they can't figure out where things are. And they might be getting slammed with a backlog because people weren't able to go into the office to answer to these questions.” So, this idea that he thinks we as consumers were permitting, we were okay with the dreaded backlog happening, consumers don't think of it as a backlog. But we, of course, as the providers of a great customer experience, we think of backlogs and the dreaded backlog, which happens to many companies and for various reasons, he thinks reared its ugly head for many brands. And what they saw then happen was consumers stopped being as forgiving, basically, they were saying, “Hey, now that we're three or four months into this thing, I've gone back to my previously picky ways and I'm no longer willing to put up with this.” And that obviously is concerning because it's still very difficult for many brands to figure out how to provide a great customer experience. Me: So, your study focused on ensuring that you are looking at brands that were providing a really fantastic customer experience. And the biggest pet peeve that you picked up in this report was wait times. Why do you think customers as the pandemic got more and more deeper, people got less forgiving or patient as it related to giving brands the breather that they needed? Daniel shared that what's really interesting about this finding is that he does think that part of this finding is cultural. And by that, he means, Americans are not the same as people from other countries. They had a webinar and they had a couple of guest speakers on the webinar, one of which her name is Alex, she runs customer success at Princess Polly. Princess Polly is an Australian brand. So they have a lot of customers in Australia. And this idea that felt very validated by an American hypothesis in the data by Americans doesn't actually play out anecdotally anyway, in Alex's experience for their Australian customers. They were just very willing to be forgiving still of things being delayed and challenges, a lot of things relating to shipping and the forgiveness around that. So, he thinks there's a fair amount of a cultural challenge around this. He thinks the American market; you can probably say that the American consumer has a very high bar. And unfortunately, it's harder than ever before to probably deliver on that high bar. What he means by that high bar by the way, he thinks that high bar is, he doesn't want to use words that are that are either positive or negative in kind of describing the American consumer here. He is an American. He is an American consumer, but he thinks that the American consumer has been very much influenced by a lot of the existing technology and the way that American consumers have been catered to by that technology. So Amazon, which is absolutely a ubiquitous company in not just the United States, but as he’s speaking specifically about this has he thinks created an expectation of you get whatever you want, whenever you want it, and it comes fast and that whole idea of hyper catered to. And so, he thinks that's what we're kind of seeing play out here. There has been a very significant trend that was already happening before the pandemic of both his generation, as well as the generation below us, so the millennial. He’s a reluctant millennial because sometimes the pejorative to call someone a millennial, he’s like the oldest millennial you can get, he’s like, “No, not those millennials. They're all so young and don't respect their boss and all this stuff.” But as a millennial and then as Gen Z, there is a there's a pretty significant shift in the way that we want to interact with our brands as consumers away from that kind of unilateral, “Hey, here's the phone and we're available when you need us, if you ever have an issue. And by when you need us, I mean, between the hours of 9:00 and 5:00 Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday.” So, that expectation that customers then have, “Well, actually, I want to be able to interact with a brand on a different channel. I want to be able to use email. I want to be able to use Instagram. I want to be able to use chat right on the website. And by the way, I want to be able to do that whenever it's convenient for me and it's convenient for me probably not when it's convenient for you.” And that expectation has been exacerbated actually by the pandemic. And the data that they collected also reflects this narrative where brands have now recognized because of the pandemic that they need to offer more digital options for people to interact with them. They just have to, it becomes table stakes and then it becomes punitive if you're not actually playing the game. The problem is most of the brands in the study hadn't quite cracked the nut on how do I actually deliver a customer experience that is expected by this customer. I'm offering something, I have chat, but then, sometimes it takes more than 5 minutes to respond to a chat and 92% of the people who experience a 5 minute wait time on chat give the brand a very poor rating on responsiveness. Me: Because their expectation is immediate response. Daniel agreed and stated that 30 seconds or less, “If it's more than a minute, I'm starting to really get mad; I'll give you a minute. I might start wavering, but if it's more than a minute, I'm actually going to get mad.” And this world of CX that we've kind of immersed ourselves in here, it's an emotional world. He thinks of times in his own life where he can remember either good or bad experiences with brands. And his blood gets boiling, really bothers him. And these are things he can remember from like 10 years ago. So, he thinks it's so important for us to remember that in a time, particularly in a pandemic, in a time where everyone is feeling kind of raw, actually, and we're willing to then if we put our own feelings on a 10 point scale, he thinks that our capacity to feel at a 10 is actually heightened by the fact that we are in this kind of simmering state of anxiety. And so, providing somebody with a very good experience can make someone feel amazing, providing something the very poor experience can make somebody maybe kind of tip over. And this will finally be the thing that I feel like I can scream about. Me: Agreed. So, you touched on a few stuff that I thought was really, really interesting. One was you said that you thought that at the end of the day, even though you did a study and it was primarily reflective of the American consumer, you also think it's very cultural. And it's funny you said that because I do agree with you, but at the same time, you went ahead to then allude to the fact that Amazon has kind of set the bar so high and I'm doing some research for a customer experience management program I'm building for a client. And in my research, one of the things that I realized was, no matter what industry you're in, whether are you're a bank or you're a supermarket or you're delivering pizza. Because Amazon has created technology or an experience by which you can just go online and press the button and within minutes or hours depending on what it is that you're ordering, you can get the item delivered to you. You can see where it is every step along the way, it's almost like consumers expect that same experience in other types of businesses, even if the business model is not similar to yours. And I don't think that's specific to country. I don't think it's because Amazon is an American brand. I think Jamaicans have that expectation as well. Two nights ago, my godchildren's father called me and he asked me. So a lot of companies in Jamaica, especially the fast food restaurants, have been doing delivery services now. And companies like Kentucky Fried Chicken, for example, that never used to deliver in Jamaica, that was like something that we never thought we'd live to see. I couldn't understand why they wouldn't deliver just like pizza delivers, because when I did some research, KFC delivers in Trinidad, but it doesn't deliver here in Jamaica. And I was like, well, if they can do it in Trinidad and population is less, why can't they do it here? Anyhow, he called and said that his wife ordered some food from like 6:30 pm and it was like 9:00 o'clock and the food hadn't come. And when he called the lady, the lady at the delivery place says to him, “Oh, but we told you 30 to 45 minutes.” I don't even know how giving that statement to the customer is relevant because we're now way past 45 minutes. Six thirty to 9:00 is way past what you would have told them to expect. So at this point, he's so mad he wants a full refund and then they further said to him, it's going to take them 7 to 10 business days to process this refund. And remember when they took his money; I'm sure it didn't take 30 seconds to run that money off of his card or whatever payment, well, it would have to be off his card if it was a digital payment, because he did it through an app that he use on the phone. But I'm saying this is say Daniel, you are correct because of the experience that Amazon has created for us and as I said, I don't think it's necessarily cultural. I think, generally speaking, regardless of the country that you are from, if you know of Amazon and you've done business with them, it's almost like your brain is saying to yourself, “Well, if Amazon has human beings that work in their organization and they're able to create these technologies that create this type of experience, why can't other businesses think like this and operate like these to create a similar kind of experience to make life less stressful for me, because there are other things that I have to worry about, and this would be one less thing for me to stress about.” So I thought that was really, really brilliant. And I think all organizations should really be looking at benchmarking themselves, not against companies that are in the same industry as them, but even companies that are outside of their industry because that's what their customers are viewing their businesses. Daniel shared that he totally agreed with that. And thanks Yanique for just sharing that anecdote as well. They actually we work with a large restaurant, quick serve restaurant. And they have an application and it's a very similar type of thing where you see a lot of times confusion that people have. And what was sad, they saw recently this really great kind of interaction with the brand they're helping out on helping them answer these customer inquiries. And somebody writes in with basically that same story like, “Hey, something got messed up with my order. It hasn't been here for way too long.” And he thinks that the bar is currently so low, actually. Here's the saving grace. We don't want to give doom and gloom to everybody. But maybe the saving grace is that the bar is actually quite low in terms of reality and if you then are responsive to people and you are empathetic and this was another thing that their data showed is the relatability aspect. So being empathetic, showing somebody that you're a human, which bots obviously struggle to do, and which is why people get frustrated with bots. And he’s not saying bots should never be used, but he’s saying and in certain instances, if you put a bot in front of somebody and they are unable to get their situation resolved, it will make them even more mad than they would have been in any other situation. But when we talk about just that bar being kind of low, you give somebody a quick response, you immediately tell them, “Hey, I am so sorry that your food did not get there when it needed to. That must have been extremely frustrating. And you're probably hungry right now.” You immediately have made the person feel validated because being validated is the cornerstone, he thinks, of being able to make somebody feel open to then working with you and coming back, so you start with that validation, which is, he thinks, the cornerstone of empathy. And then you give them that refund, you get that processed much more quickly and then what does that person do? And this is actually a real example, by the way. So, they saw this exact example happen and this person wrote back 5 out of 5 star review on the CSAT survey. And then they write in and they say, “I just have to tell you, I didn't even think anyone was going to write me back. And you've totally blown me away.” But that first initial idea that they had actually written in, they'd taken the time to write in to express their frustration and they still didn't even expect to hear back to him shows that there is a real disconnect between where people's bar is in terms of like, if you can get over this bar, you're going to actually satisfy people. And then if you can really go beyond it to just the expectation that we want to have for our consumers, that there's plenty of 5 star moments out there to be had. Me: Agreed. So, true. So one of the things your study actually said, which I thought was really very important, reinforcing what you just said. So, “AI driven chatbots are making significant strides in providing Real-Time information to solve simple customer concerns. But it still remains important to the customer experience that a company brings empathy and humanity to each customer interaction.” Because, as you said, bots are here to help us, the technology is there to help us. But at the end of the day, there are some circumstances that require human interaction. I honestly don't think that even though technology has advanced so much that the human element of a customer experience is ever, ever going to be void and null, it's still going to need some form of human interaction. Daniel agreed and shared that a couple of years ago, they were living in the rage; AI bots are going to be able to completely take over multiple parts of the organization actually, it was customer success, it was also sales. He remembers hearing we're never going to need sales reps because the bots can do all the work. And the reality is, we think of ourselves as a human enabled technology company and we think that there is a place for technology and we see companies and he’s not even talking about their own customers. They see big brands, there's a place for bots and it has certain limited scope. And it's an incredibly valuable way for them to reduce their overall cost of service. And we see companies that then are using people to answer questions in an on brand way. And you really got a nail that kind of tone and brand. And you have to have the knowledge and the people have to have that knowledge. And we play that role; we play that role for companies. But there's different ways that companies do that. And then there's also always this like core team internally where things need to get escalated to, if something is really going bad, you really need to have some people that are inside the organization that might be able to move larger mountains if need be. And so, that's kind of where things he thinks sit today. And he doesn't necessarily see a lot of companies saying, “What we really need is more bots.” He hears them say, “What we really need is fewer backlogs.” Because the backlogs are what is killing their customer satisfaction. And bots don't necessarily take away the backlog, they might give you an immediate quick responsiveness, but they won't necessarily be able to resolve the issue. And of course, if you don't resolve the issue, you don't really change the situation. So, they see a lot of companies also really focused on resolution, first time resolution. Just resolving something is obviously important but if it takes you, “Hey, we're on chat and I can't help you, now email us and I'll get back to you in a few days and we'll work on this over the course of the next week.” That's not okay, that is just not okay. And when he says it's not okay, the data reflects that CSAT scores are not good when that happens. So, they're really focused on and he thinks a lot of companies agree with this, really focused on getting that resolution to happen in that first interaction. Things to Focus on to Give Great Customer Experience Daniel shared that yes, he would say the First Time Resolution. And you accomplish a first time resolution by making sure that the people who are responding on your behalf are empowered to be able to resolve the issue that they are being asked to resolve. So that's critically important. He would say another thing to do is around Relatability. Oftentimes, we have people that are doing the customer service response, they’re writing back and yet for a variety of reasons, whether it's the incentives we're giving them or whether it's a lack of directive, we are taking out their humanity from the interaction. If we're just telling somebody, just get through this quickly and get it done, which is sometimes the way that we align the incentive, we then just get them to just do something really fast. And you can tell when you get an email when it's kind of fast, somebody is just being quick. And so, when he means relatability, he means empowering people to actually show that they're people and using that personality. So, giving a potential anecdote, being able to be empathetic like we were talking about before, validating how somebody is feeling, it's hard for bots to do those things, credibly. They can do them maybe in a way that will get it right some of the time and then not some of the time. And that not some of the time is really a disaster, basically. So, this is where human beings, we have this capacity to allow somebody to have an emotional connection to what you're saying because you're showing your humanity and we need to encourage people to do that. And the last that he’ll say is it is important to be able to be Reliable with your customers and where they want to be, the data does suggest this, and this is also where the world has been going. If you have chat and you cannot respond to people on chat, it's like what is worse, having it in the first place or giving people a terrible customer experience. It's like a two sides of the same thing. It's terrible because you're going to miss out on these presale opportunities by not having it and a lot of people just prefer to go in through chat for even for a post sale inquiry. But if you don't service it properly, it's a terrible experience. Same thing with email. People offer up email and they should because many people like to email and they recognize that I'm going to send you an email and he thinks the expectation from what we can see, is the expectation is a day. If you're getting back to him in 24 hours on an email, that is about what he would expect. That's how he kind of think about it even in his own life in business. He writes somebody an email; he expects them to get back to him within 24 hours. Me: Even if it's just an acknowledgement. Daniel agreed and stated that just to be able to say I hear you right. Oftentimes in our customer service world, we end up giving people an automated response, just let them know I received your email and we will be getting back to you. But, in the survey that they did, the average response time on email was 48 hours. He thinks that people recognize that that's probably not acceptable. He thinks that the bar for what we should be attempting to provide, it is attainable because where things currently are has plenty of room to get better. And I think that when you impress people, so if you then get back to people every time in less than 24 hours, every time, and you never create a backlog. So, because you never want to have a backlog and because customers feel the backlog, the backlog means you can't get back to them for days or chat if your chats are piling up and he’s not talking about at 3:00 a.m. when for some strange reason somebody doesn't get back to a chat, maybe you can be forgiving of that. He’s talking about during a time where you expect somebody to be able to chat and they're piling up, that's a chat backlog. That's a disaster and those should be avoided at all costs. App, Website or Tool that Daniel Absolutely Can’t Live Without in His Business When asked about on online resource that he cannot live without in his business, Daniel shared that they use a technology called Gong to listen to their sales calls. And he will say that it has been very powerful. As somebody on the marketing side where they are really trying to support their sales team, make sure that they understand what their prospective customers are actually saying about their pain, what is that language and their ability to then provide the right information to their sales team so that they can be successful in those selling interactions. Gong has been amazing because it allows them to asynchronously participate in the sales conversation, because they can listen to the calls, they can listen to them at faster than real time speed. So you can make it play at more than 1X speed, which is great, too, because it allows him to catch up on some things that at a faster pace. He can skip forward and listen, what they've done is within the Gong platform, they're using Natural Language Processing to tag what people are talking about. So, when somebody is talking about pricing, when somebody is talking about positioning, He can kind of see where that is in the conversation so he can kind of skip forward to the things that are going to be really useful for him. If it's 2 minutes or 5 minutes at the beginning of just kind of set up time, he can see what that is because that's tag there so he can move past it. So Gong has been a real benefit to them, and he’s only assuming that also because of the pandemic, that it's even more useful because he can't easily just kind of hop in a room and join one of his sales teammates on a call. Books That Have Had the Greatest Impact on Daniel When asked about books that have had the biggest impact, Daniel shared that on the professional side, Tony Hsieh’s book, Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose, which he loved, was 10 years ago. He still loves that book because he thinks in many ways, Tony's way of thinking about the business model as customer centric and obviously he also sold the business to Amazon, which at the time felt like, well, maybe that's not a win and if he's been holding onto that Amazon stock, most of us would think he's probably a billionaire at this point. But they were two companies cut from the same cloth because Amazon also has done the exact same thing and he has listened to podcasts and things where people from Amazon are talking about how do they think about solving business problems. And they always start with the customer perspective. What will make the customer happier in this circumstance? And he thinks that that ethos and Tony just talks about this basically throughout the entire book, that ethos is what makes the whole discipline of CX a reality, it's not just your customer support function. You have to be thinking about this in every part of the company. Well, what would be better for the customer? And that informs what we do on the marketing side too, what you make this easier for the customer to be able to understand our value, understand what we do, how can we give them more useful information that will make their jobs easier? So, he loves that book. On the personal side, he recently finished reading How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi and it's an amazing book. It he thinks gave him a lot more language to be able to understand the role that he needs to play in the world and how he’s going to be part of change that needs to happen and the role that policy needs to play and what he needs to do to support policy that is anti-racist so that we can dismantle the systemic racism that has plagued not only this country, obviously, but many parts of the world for a long time for centuries. And so, he’s incredibly grateful for the scholarship of Ibram X. Kendi. He’s actually attending a seminar that he's putting on. So, he’s very, very excited about that book and if anybody else has read this book and is interested in talking about it, he’s very much looking to connect with people who are interested in this as a topic. What Daniel is Really Excited About Now! Daniel shared that the funny thing about a pandemic is that it can change a lot of the priorities of what you’re able to try to do or not do. One of the things that he’s passionate about is meditation. He started meditating about 10 years ago and has been meditating on a daily basis for close to 4 years at this point. So he's kind of gone on and off in the past with some different ways of doing it. And one of the things for those who have meditated regularly and have done so kind of alone, one of the things that he was realizing he was doing, he has been doing a guided meditation, a daily 10 minute guided meditation through an app called Calm. And there are different apps for this; Headspace is another app. WakingUp is an app that was recently introduced to him. There are lessons that are being broached and he wanted more opportunities to kind of talk about those, talk about those lessons and to reflect on them and hear other people's thoughts on them. So, he feels like he has been doing this in kind of a siloed, personal way. And recently he brought this to Simplr and he said, “Hey, does anyone want to do a meditation?” He'll talk about why he’s into meditation and they can do one of these guided meditations through the through the app. And to his pleasant surprise, a bunch of people were very interested. And there were also a bunch of people that have meditated, either sporadically in the past or that meditate quite regularly for longer periods of time even more than he does. So for now, they're starting a company meditation practice where they get together every couple of weeks, every two weeks, and they have a prompt that they are going to then reflect on and then when they get together, they are going discuss what was covered in that prompt as a way of trying to deepen their own practice and understanding. And also just to get to know people on a kind of a different level. So, really, really excited about the things that they can do that will bring them together while obviously, they can't actually see anybody face to face. Where Can We Find Daniel Online Daniel shared listeners can find him at – LinkedIn - https://www.linkedin.com/in/drodriguez4/ Quote or Saying that During Times of Adversity Daniel Uses When asked if he has a quote or saying that he reverts to in times of adversity or challenge, Daniel shared that in meditation, he thinks so much of what he’s trying to do is actually just come back to the present and come back to the breath. So, he actually really like to remind himself to just breathe and then to actually do it. And oftentimes, if he’s feeling overwhelmed, if he just focuses on that feeling of his breath and just tell himself the word breathe, that it has an incredible effect. So, he will just leave everybody with the single word, “Breathe” Me: That's brilliant. It's funny you said that because I have an Apple Watch and every now and again I see the breathe thing comes up on it and it says breathe. I guess it's reminding me to breathe. I don't know if it's built into the watch like that or maybe it picks up that my body energy needs to kind of cool down, I have no idea. But yes, breathing definitely does help. I don't know if I intentionally sit down and breathe from time to time because I do meditate sporadically. But breathing, it can definitely create clarity for you; it causes you to kind of just slow down and as you said, brings you back to the present. I have actually experienced that on many, many occasions. 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 Grab the Freebie on Our Website – TOP 10 Online Business Resources for Small Business Owners Links Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose by Tony Hsieh How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi In New State of CX Study by Simplr, 27% of Consumers Say Their Brand Loyalty Has Wavered During Pandemic Due to Long Customer Service Wait Times by Simplr The ABC’s of a Fantastic Customer Experience 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!
39 minutes | 2 months ago
103: How to Win Back Your Time with the Right Virtual Assistant with Daniel Ramsey
Daniel Ramsey is the founder and CEO of MyOutDesk, the highest-rated Virtual Assistant company in the marketplace with over 500 5-star reviews and over 13 years of experience serving more than 6000 clients. Daniel founded MyOutDesk during the last global financial crisis of 2008 to help businesses leverage the remote workplace and scale businesses with Virtual Assistants. In 13 years with MyOutDesk, Daniel has helped thousands of clients scale their businesses and grow profitability. He has worked with some of the largest companies in some of the fastest growing industries. Daniel has had the opportunity to work with many of the largest sales organizations, technology startups, insurance, real estate and healthcare companies and he's willing to share all those lessons with you. Questions Could you share a little bit about your journey? A lot of our listeners probably are thinking would a Virtual Assistant suit me? How do you know if that's really an avenue that you should explore? What are some of the key indicators that would kind of trigger you to say, this is something I could look into? Are you saying then that your Virtual Assistant doesn't necessarily have to be in Jamaica? And what if that insurance advisor has concerns about cultural fit? How does your company integrate all of that? How do you get the customers to embrace technology if it's not something that they were incorporating into their strategy or their execution prior to Covid-19? How do you get them to learn the technology, to feel comfortable using the technology, to feel comfortable asking their customers to engage with the technology if it's something that they're not accustomed to? So, in terms of your Virtual Assistant competencies and capabilities, is it just in the administrative spare or do you do like accounts, marketing, sales? What aspects of Virtual Assistant does your company provide? If you could choose a client that you've used currently in the past that utilized your services and, you know, just that tangible example that we could share with the audience so they could see how it is that using a Virtual Assistant was able to transform either in terms of dollars or in terms of time or in terms of just productivity. How did that look like for them? Just if you could share one real example. Could you share with us how you stay motivated every day? Could you share with us maybe one of your online resources, tools, website or apps that you absolutely cannot live without in your business? Could you share with us maybe one or two books that have had the biggest impact on you? It could be a book that you read many years ago that still has a great impact on you to this day or could even be a book that you read recently. Can you share with us what's one thing that's going on in your life right now - either something you're working on to develop yourself or your people? Where can we find you online? Do you have a quote or saying that during times of adversity or challenge, you will revert to this quote. It helps to push them forward, get you unstuck. Do you have one of those? Highlights Daniel’s Journey Me: I think it's quite fascinating that your business was formed out of our last major financial crisis. So maybe tell us a little bit about that journey and how your journey of prior to your business got you to where you were and how you've been doing over the last 13 years and how this crisis that we're currently in or we're being propelled into is impacting your business. And just a little bit about who you are. Daniel shared that what he loves is the story is not over complicated. He’s an entrepreneur, he was building a business and at the time, 2001 to 2006, they're really building an amazing business because the market was hot, they were in expansion stage. And as an entrepreneur, he thought he was doing really well. He was very proud of himself, he was young, and he was in his 20s. And he, like many entrepreneurs, he hadn't held a good job for a long time and so he built this business. And then the 2007 crash happened and at that time, he had three offices, lots of salespeople, lots of administrative staff. And literally in one quarter they had 90% of their revenue go away. And at that moment, he’s scratching his head and he’s like, “Maybe I should go get a job. Maybe this isn't working for me.” And that was a momentary thought that came in and then went and he said, “No, I'm going to stick this out.” So, they stuck this out. They found new customers, new clients, at that time the market massively shifted and if you can remember that it was his first time ever being really impacted, much like many businesses today are being impacted. So they figured out who their new customers were, where their new place in the marketplace was and they started to grow again. And in that growth, what he was worried about was he needed to stay profitable, he needed to take a paycheck home. And a friend of his started talking to him about Virtual Assistants and turns out he was about to hire five. And he toyed with Virtual Assistants, he had a couple in his business at that time and he turned to him and said, “Why don't you help me find five people?” And literally MyOutDesk was born because his friend Christian Peter said, “I need some virtual assistants, just like you have.” And so, MyOutDesk was born, they steadily grew over the next couple of years. And what they do primarily is they help businesses, entrepreneurs C-Suite people, get some of their time back. That's really what they're focused on doing, is helping businesses grow and scale by adding high caliber talent to your team so you can grow and scale your business. Enhancing Customer Experience with a Virtual Assistant Me: Amazing. In this global pandemic that we're all going through, right. A lot of businesses are focused on how it is that they can enhance their customer experience. And, of course, you know, our show is Navigating the Customer Experience. And I guess a lot of our listeners probably are thinking would a Virtual Assistant suit me? How do you know if that's really an avenue that you should explore? What are some of the key indicators that would kind of trigger you to say, this is something I could look into? Daniel shared that it’s a great question and he wants to start by giving the audience their thesis to customer experience and when he says their thesis, really, he believes the customer experience starts with setting of expectations. In fact, everything in their business aligns around, “Does the customer understand our product and service? Are we clear about what we can deliver? And are we a good fit? Are we a good match for our customer?” And in their business, nothing goes sideways when everybody's clear about the job. Everybody's clear about how they're going to help. If the customer has a realistic onboarding and a good system, then they typically don't have customer experience issues. So in their world, they define customer experience as really the setting of expectations. And that starts on their website that starts in the emails that they send out to their customers. And then, as they prospect and they find people who are willing to meet with them and do a consultation. It starts in that first conversation. What are your needs? What are some of your thoughts or concerns or what's your system look like? Who's on your team today? So, they go through a really dedicated deep dive into businesses explaining what their service is. And then they ask the customer, “Are you set up to train somebody? Do you have the right system in place? What tech tools do you have currently?” One crazy thing is that their customers, they run the gamut of being very sophisticated techie people. And then also, they have customers who this is their first time doing a Zoom, for instance. And they've never built on a customer experience that isn't a handshake, that's one challenge right now in the pandemic. Most small and medium sized businesses, they're relational selling. They're in that relational space and right now, as we transition to this digital world, many people are struggling. And so, their role is to help businesses find talent and buy back some of their time. And so, that one thing is kind of their driving force for everybody that they hire, all the customers that they bring in and that's how they kind of think about customer experience. Me: Brilliant. So, basically trying to save someone time. Daniel agreed and shared that if you're right now busy, you're an entrepreneur. And he constantly thinks if he had more time, He could do anything. And that's kind of what they hope, is that their customers are thinking, “Okay, I need help. I know I need help. My team needs help. We're struggling in this. We're struggling with implementation of clients or we're struggling with setting of expectations or we need more help with our digital brand.” Whatever your need is, their job is in this process is to help you buy some of that time back. And to the second question, customer experience. What they believe in in terms of the team for a customer experience team is that many of the things that your customers are experiencing can be helped with a Virtual Assistant. So, they believe in a blended model where some of your people are US and in the States and then some are in their case, they're in the Philippines. And maybe half of your customer experience team is in the Philippines. And because of that blended model, not only are you saving money, but you're able to cover the 24/7 if you need it, weekends, evenings, and also have multiple people on the staff. So it's not just a small team, you can actually build a fairly large team and be cost effective about it. Concerns of Culture Fit When Integrating a Virtual Assistant Me: Okay, so let's say, for example, you are a company that is based in Jamaica, I live in Jamaica and I know a lot of people listen to the podcast all over the world. I think we are listened to in over 87 countries globally, which is really cool. But let's say your company is based in Jamaica and let's say you're a financial organization and you have a contact center or maybe you're an insurance advisor and you're looking to get a Virtual Assistant. Are you saying then that your Virtual Assistant doesn't necessarily have to be in Jamaica? And what if that insurance advisor has concerns about cultural fit? How does your company integrate all of that? Daniel stated that that is a great question and it's like Yanique is reading his mind. These are definitely the things that they help customers make in terms of consideration like, “Who's on the team? How am I going to integrate a Virtual Assistant and how am I going to teach?” Maybe if you're talking about a financial or even insurance, there are licensing requirements. So, you have to have a license in order to serve a customer and sell them a security or an insurance product. So they're definitely not providing licensed people. But what they are is, they're helping the licensed people elevate the level of work that they're doing. So when you're a licensed person and let's say you have 5 or 10 years of experience or even 20, guess what? You've seen every kind of risk and you've seen every type of investment. And your secret sauce is helping people build that financial wealth or protect their assets if you're an insurance person. But it's not helping people reset their passwords or get access to their online profile or even scheduling an appointment with you or getting another statement or in the insurance world, getting a certification out. All of those things are administrative or customer experience or service related and for the vast majority of companies, they can help in that space, there are some tools and techniques that you have to implement. But that's what their consultation is all about. They'll sit down with the business, with all the key stakeholders, and they'll determine, like, “Hey, maybe you need to implement Zoom meetings. Maybe you need to have an internal platform like Skype or Asana or Microsoft Teams or whatever the platform is that you're on.” Slack is another great one. But they've been remote for 13 years and they've helped companies create blended customer experience teams since their beginning, basically. And the one thing that people always say is, “Wow, I didn't know that this would actually work. Could you help me in this other department, sales or marketing or maybe ops?” And so, they've had the pleasure of helping over 6000 businesses in the last 13 years. And it's amazing what is possible with the way technology is today. Getting Customers to Embrace Technology Daniel stated that here's the reality. They don't coach the customer; they don't try to talk them into it, they just simply explain best practices. So, somebody comes to them and says, “I don't have a CRM or I don't have a digital strategy and I need to transform.” Then they'll help them develop a plan. In fact, he was on the call with a really great entrepreneur yesterday and he called and he says, “Hey, we're really having success in this one state and we're about to go nationally.” And they started talking, his name was Bill. He said, “What's your plan, Bill? Would you have it written down?” And he's like, “Well, I've got it in my head and I'm trying to write it down.” So he and Daniel just strategized for a good 30 minutes actually. They talked through what his system needs to look like, what kind of technology he needs to employ, some of the challenges and the roadblocks that he's going to run into. So they've done this so many times that they're all very simple standard steps, so they aim and he helped him. And his (Daniel) company is focused on when you have a plan; they'll help you fulfil the people portion of your plan. And customers that embrace this digital world and are okay with technology, those are their ideal customers, their ideal clients and the folks who need help or aren't quite yet sure what should happen, they’ll help them develop a plan, watch them go execute and when they're ready for talent, when they're ready to buy some of their time back, then they're here for them. Aspects of a Virtual Assistant When asked what aspects of Virtual Assistant his company provides, Daniel stated that that's a challenging question and he'll give you an example. They have a boat broker in Florida and he hired a Virtual Assistant to help him with a marketing campaign around every time he sells a multimillion dollar boat, he wants everybody in the world to know about it, and then he wants his customers to land on his website and see all of his boats online. So, they have a very diverse customer base but he wants people on the podcast to know that they primarily help in four areas. So if you're listening right now, you don't have to write any of this down, he’s going to give away a copy of their free book. They actually wrote a book helping people implement Virtual Assistants into their business, regardless of where you're at. So, whether you're in the UK, Australia, Puerto Rico, doesn't matter. These principles and this practice all works the same. So if Yanique is okay with it, he'll give away a copy of that book towards the end of their time together. But the four areas think about sales, marketing, operations and customer service and support. Those are their four main pillars of folks that they hire. And every business needs those four areas. So, they're pretty blessed and happy. And this pandemic has been really challenging for companies around the globe. And they only want to serve and help customers. So to the question, the digital marketing, they spent two months really outlining their digital strategy for Virtual Assistants. Like this is how you can use a Virtual Assistant in your digital strategy. And so they outlined all of that on their blog, they've outlined that in their book and they consistently put out content to help their clients succeed. And you can you can all check that out at www.myoutdesk.com Me: Brilliant. Sounds fabulous. So, you said your four pillars are administration, marketing, operations and customer service and support. So marketing and sales are kind of one. Daniel agreed and mentioned that in their world, they view marketing as inbound digital marketing, so anything that's on the web or in social media. And then sales is really prospecting out to customers and having conversations. So think of it like digital marketing is the worm on the hook. You throw the worm out into the ocean and you've got your hook, that's your marketing plan and then the sales team, they're the people who reel in the customers with having good conversations and making sure that that particular lead or potential customer is a good fit for their service or product. So they've got those kinds of dual roles. Using Virtual Assistant to Transform an Organization They've got a customer, his name is Nolly and he is a speaker, author, trainer. And he travels the world giving presentations on really building business. And he had built his own technology stack for his company and he'd built basically a (CRM) Customer Relationship Management platform. And he'd built that CRM a decade ago and it was in an interesting position because his customers use the CRM, his teaching and platform was around the powerfulness of combining like sales, process and systems and technology in order to really grow and scale businesses. And so, when he came to them, he was like, “Look, I've hired 3 or 4 people, they've all been great for 6 to 9 months and then they've moved on.” Meaning, he was stuck in two places. He needed to invest more money in his CRM to bring it up to date because it was built almost 10 years ago and it was time to do a refresh and an update on the user interface. And then he had another need that he needed somebody to help him with this customer experience, meaning, people would sign on and then not be able to use the platform and then they just disappear over time. And so, they talked at length about how he was going to either have to step in and run the business or hire somebody who's really great at customer onboarding and customer service over time. And so, they actually found him a guy named Chris and Chris has now been with him almost 5 years. And Chris runs everything in the customer experience department for this technology company from onboarding new clients, taking credit cards, answering questions or opening tickets and solving and resolving them. And so, this guy Nolly, he didn't want to step in and handle the customer service portion of his business and he really needed to buy some of his time back because he was busy traveling the world and speaking in front of large audiences. So, what he (Daniel) would encourage everybody on today's podcast to do and this is a simple exercise, they call it the sticky challenge. And he knows you can't see him right now, but he has got in his hand a pile of stickies, just the yellow stickies that you buy at any office supply company. And he wants you to follow yourself around or have maybe your leadership team do it or your managers within your business follow yourself around with stickies and then ask yourself this one simple question, “Am I working in the business or on the business? Am I just doing the things that need to happen every day that are important but really don't grow the business? Or Am I working on growth initiatives? Am I working on the most important work?” And then write those tasks down and follow yourself around sticky. So a good friend of theirs did this. She ran a South American investment company and she had her entire team do the sticky challenge. And after doing the sticky challenge for several weeks, she comes back and says, “Oh, my goodness, Daniel. I'm working 60 hours a week. And more than half of my time is on stupid tasks that actually don't drive revenue or add value to my business.” And just by sitting back and reflecting through her time and through what she was doing every day, literally, she was like, “I was on Facebook for 30 minutes every single day. And when I looked at it, I wasn't writing on Facebook, I wasn't using it as a lead generation, I was just surfing on Facebook.” And so, what he’s encouraging everybody to do is really step back and ask yourself, “Am I doing the most important, most valuable work in my business or am I doing stuff that I should delegate down or give away?” You do that for a couple of weeks and you'll really start to find opportunity to hire a Virtual Assistant and really help you grow your business. How Daniel Stays Motivated When asked how he stays motivated, Daniel stated that that's a great question. And he thinks it's funny, too, because he was just born motivated. But he’s definitely like any anybody; they need to keep in routines. Like a car, if you forget to put oil or gas or water, the car breaks down. So in his case, he exercises a lot. Playing soccer is one of his favourite things. He’s a wrestling coach, a local high school wrestling coach. He contributes 25 hours a week when he can because Covid-19, they're not going to do wrestling until next year now. But his normal routine is a lot of exercise. He has a morning quiet time where he sits in a hot tub and he does a meditation and a lot of journaling. And his other pillar is that he’s very consistent with his time blocking. So, on the schedule, family time, personal time, work time, customer time. So those are the three things, staying physically in good shape, having a mental game, meditation, yoga, just some quiet time in the morning and then being really consistent with his calendar and schedule. App, Website or Tool that Daniel Absolutely Can’t Live Without in His Business In terms of online resources, Daniel stated that he’s not going to give one; he’s going to give you a couple that are really important when you go remote or have a digital kind of background. First, he always prefers face to face conversations. So, they do a lot of video conferencing. So, have a video conferencing app, have a VOIP phone system so that you can have your Virtual Assistant and your team, regardless of where they are, actually communicate both phone calls, text messages and it's really important to have kind of that system set up. Me: And which ones do you recommend as the better ones to use if you were to engage in a VOIP system? Daniel shared that they're all pretty much created equally. They use RingCentral internally because it connects to their CRM sales force. But there are several out there. The most important thing is there's no latency and so he'll give some suggestions there. Latency means in the Philippines, which is their country of operations, there are servers for RingCentral. So, the servers where the phone is transmitted are actually in Asia and so therefore, there's no latency when you make calls or you have your 1-800 number, for instance, routed to somebody in the Philippines, that's probably the most important consideration. But also connecting to your CRM or your customer experience tool, that's a very big deal. So, integration is a big deal and native integration so that it's not through an API of like Zapier or something. And the last one is always a task management platform. He can't tell you how freeing it is to have something, they use Monday, and they use Basecamp for projects. There's a company called Asana which is great. Slack has a good one. But you need some sort of a tool for keeping track of all of the individual tasks, as well as all the projects that you have going within a business. And those three, if you implement those three things into your business, you're probably ahead of the curve in most major businesses right now. Me: How do you feel about scheduling app? If you have to schedule meetings with customers, do those platforms allow for scheduling or do what you need to go outside of those platforms for scheduling? Daniel shared that there's Calendly and they use something called ScheduleOnce. He likes those things because they help automate the process. But also, he’s very cognizant of sometimes it's just great to pick up the phone and have a conversation with your customers or clients. So, he uses scheduling apps that tie in to their websites and tie into like their calendars and tie into their CRM. And he thinks there's a place for that. There's ease of use, your customers can choose to either schedule it like that or give you a call. And he thinks there's some powerfulness in that, especially as you're scaling and growing. But nothing replaces a great, good old fashioned conversation. And he’s the guy with that. He really, really loves talking to customers and helping them and hearing their experience and seeing what they need to do. And he loves Yanique’s mission, “Creating a more caring world.” He thinks that's great. One of their core values as a company is just having a servant's heart. So their job is to serve their customers and help them grow and attain their goals in life. So they share that very positive outlook. Books That Have Had the Greatest Impact on Daniel Daniel shared that he loves all the business books, and if you're new in the entrepreneurial world or if you're kind of driving toward success, Scaling Up: How a Few Companies Make It...and Why the Rest Don’t (Rockefeller Habits 2.0) by Verne Harnish is a great business book. It's one of his favourite books. It's written by a billionaire guy who really did a great job of explaining the process of growing and scaling a company. But The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change by Stephen R. Covey. Another great book, The Millionaire Next Door: The Surprising Secrets of America’s Wealthy by Thomas J. Stanley. He loves The Richest Man in Babylon by George S. Clason. A lot of the books that are out there are written to tell a story. And whenever they're in story mode, he really gets into them and he loves reading those books. But, The Richest Man in Babylon, he'll give you a quick synopsis of that book. It talks about not taking risks financially, when you take a bet, it's not that it can be a short thing, but you really want to protect your nest egg or your business or your bank account. And so, in his world, he finds a lot of value in that because a lot of entrepreneurs make decisions out of expediency, meaning they want the result right now versus the long game, which the long game is hard. So, he finds the struggle to be good, he likes to embrace that struggle, he likes to be part of that struggle, he likes to be in the struggle with their customers. And so, that book for him is awesome. What Daniel is Really Excited About Now! Daniel shared that he’s doing a lot of mastermind's now. So, they just launched an entire new kind of content strategy around building a mastermind, what they look like and really a virtual mastermind. So, being in conversation with people, your peers and really helping them grow and they're in the process right now of doing an initial call mastermind to augment their customer experience. So, because they're on a customer experience podcast, he thought this would be an interesting example. They'll pull 10 customers together, for instance, brand new customers, and then ask them how it's going and then add value to them and teaching them, “Hey, this is the system that you need, or here's an example of somebody else who's tried to do that. And here's one that failed and here's one that succeeded.” And so, the job is to give people a bit of a peer accountability, as well as a peer group to bounce ideas off of, but as well as just having a safe place to discuss obstacles and how to remove them and how to really grow and scale. So they're offering that to their customers now as they are in the initial phases of onboarding a virtual assistant. And he’s really excited about it because it's really a different approach for them. It's a way of adding value at a higher level than they've ever done in the past. So, that's his newest experiment right now. Where Can We Find Daniel Online Daniel shared listeners can find him at – Website – www.myoutdesk.com www.myoutdesk.com/scale/ Twitter - https://twitter.com/MyOutDesk LinkedIn - https://www.linkedin.com/company/my-outdesk/ Daniel shared that there is a text code if your listeners are in the US or North America, Canada, you can actually text them 31996, that’s the phone number to put in the text. And in the message you'd put SVP (Scale with Virtual Professionals). If you text that message, you'll get a copy of their book and you'll get in contact with them. And they'd be happy to serve anybody who's listening today and thinks that maybe you could buy some of your time back. Quote or Saying that During Times of Adversity Daniel Uses When asked about a quote or saying that he’ll revert to during challenge, Daniel shared that he’s giving away their secret sauce. Whenever he finds a customer or a friend who's an entrepreneur or a business is stuck in a particular spot, he always ask this question. He asked them, “If they could wave a magic wand and have the problem disappear or have the business double or really start to see some traction and growth and scale, what would you have to start doing, stop doing? And who do you need on your team?” He'll give you some perspective there. When a billionaire goes to buy a sports team, she or he doesn't say, “I'm going to run the football team or I'm going to be the manager of the team.” They buy the sports team and then they think, who do I need on my team in order to win the Super Bowl or win the next series or whatever? The billionaire never thinks, “I'm going to be the manager or I'm going to be the team captain.” They never think that. And unfortunately, a lot of entrepreneurs do. So the question again is, “What do I need to stop doing, start doing and who do I need on my team in order to grow and double my business?” If you ask yourself that one question, you'll start to see some big change. 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 Grab the Freebie on Our Website – TOP 10 Online Business Resources for Small Business Owners Links Scaling Up: How a Few Companies Make It…and Why the Rest Don’t (Rockefeller Habits 2.0) by Verne Harnish The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change by Stephen R. Covey The Millionaire Next Door: The Surprising Secrets of America’s Wealthy by Thomas J. Stanley The Richest Man In Babylon by George S. Clason The ABC’s of a Fantastic Customer Experience 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!
44 minutes | 3 months ago
102: How to Transform Your Customer Journey Mapping with Change Management with Jim Tincher
Jim Tincher, CCXP, is a nationally recognized customer experience thought leader, journey mapping expert, keynote speaker and author. Jim led customer experience programs at Best Buy and United Health Group before launching his innovative CX consultancy, Heart of the Customer, which helps start-ups to Fortune 50 organizations use voice of the customer research to improve loyalty and boost revenue. His book, How Hard Is It to Be Your Customer?, is considered a must-read for CX-focused leaders, and Live Help Now, Support Be Influencer Marketing, CustomerThink, Feedspot, and LitmusWorld have all named Jim a customer experience influencer to follow. Questions Can you tell us a little bit about your journey, how it is that you got to where you are? How is it that you as an expert in this area, could maybe give us some tips as to how an organization can digital look at digitally transforming but ensuring that their team members are also on board with digital transformation? Now, as a customer journey map expert. Could you tell us if you are an organization and you've never done journey mapping before or let's say you did it 5 years ago, what's the recommended time for you to revisit it, to make sure that all the touch points are operating the way they should? What are your thoughts on embracing the power of being digital to the core to enhance customer experience and improving personalization in the process? What are your thoughts on companies that do have different channels? So they operate on multichannels, but they're not operating on an omnichannel perspective where everything is integrated, how can they go about doing that and do you think that's the best approach? How do you get employees motivated? What if they're like, “They're bringing in all of these systems, you have to learn all of these new things, and I’m not getting any new pay for it. I don't feel motivated.” How do you get them engaged, motivated, feel like they're a part of the process? Do they need to be included in the decision making or is it a case where you just roll it out and say, listen, this is a new path we're taking? Could you share with us how do you stay motivated every day? Could you share with us maybe an app, website or tool that you use in your business that you absolutely can't live without? Could you share with us maybe one or two books that have had the biggest impact on you? It could have been a book that you read many years ago or maybe about that you read recently that has read had a great impact on you. Can you share with us maybe something that you're working on now - it could be something that you're working on to develop yourself or something that you're working on to develop your people. Where can they find you online? Do you have a quote or saying that during times of adversity or challenge that you will typically revert to this quote - it kind of helps you to refocus, get you back on track? Do you have one of those? Highlights Jim’s Journey Jim shared that he doesn't know why he has always been focused on the customer. He remembered his very first job out of school; he was in technical support and on vacation he wanted to go visit a customer where he was visiting his now wife at her home in Connecticut. And he wanted to go visit a customer while he was there and people said, “Why? Go on vacation.” But it's just the way he has always thought. He went from there to small business and went to Best Buy. If you're in small business, you have to be customer obsessed or you don't survive. Similarly, Best Buy very much focus on that. And then he went to a new organization and he naively thought everybody was customer focused and found out there were other methods, literally nobody in a marketing or product development group had ever met a client and he was amazed by that. And as a result, they had the most complex products in the marketplace because they were building the products they wanted to buy. And their customers were giving them feedback that this is way too complex, people don't want all this all these features, that they want it nice and simple. But again, because they didn't have customer feedback, they were building really complex products. And it really came to light when they went out and talked to their customers. So, they divided them into customers who are really successful with their products and those who are struggling. And he created a program called Hug Your Customers, which, by the way, sounds really good until you have a sales rep call a customer to say, “Hey, we want to do a Hug Your Customers meeting with you.” They're Minnesotan's, they don't normally hug, it gets a little awkward. So, they changed to collecting best practices. But he started taking their executives out to meet the clients and what they realized was that the clients that were struggling were the ones who were using their materials and following their advice and the ones who are most successful, the ones who are ignoring our advice and making their own materials. Now, that's a hard lesson, but luckily, because he was bringing the leadership out to hear firsthand, he didn't have to beat them over the head with that and they learned on their own. And that really has been the foundation of their work today. Now, what really led for him to start the company is the fact that he got fired a lot because he remembered one VP saying, “Jim, you make a lot of noise.” He does make a lot of noise because they were just so inward focused and he was trying to change the culture. And one of the things he learned as he was trying to change the culture from the bottom up, and that does not work. You need those pieces, but you have to start with the top and that was one of the lessons that really informed them at Heart of the Customer is that they help an organization think about their customers. They have to engage in leadership from the beginning and that was a lesson he learned the hard way by trying to start with a bottoms up approach. Me: It's almost like your experiences have literally helped to mold who you are, drive the different aspects that you've envisioned for customer experience, especially with helping your clients to realize their own customer journeys. One of the biggest things that a lot of organizations have been focused on, especially since the pandemic, is their customer journey. They've been looking at their customer journey from end to end and they've also been looking at how it is that because of the pandemic and we're literally forced. A lot of organizations had I think some companies had been proactive enough to look and see that their customer behaviours were changing and they were adapting pretty well. But some companies were still back operating as if it were in 1995, early 2000. And they fully had not transformed a lot of their customer behaviours into how their business functions. Digital Transformation Tips Jim shared that's huge and we should break those into a couple of different pieces. The digital part is accelerating. They had a customer experience event earlier in the week and a speaker from Target who was saying that they're 2030 goals now have to be realized this year. There was such a move towards digital now with a Coronavirus that's had causd them to have to pivot very quickly. And they're seeing that across the board. What's beneficial, their clients have already taken the time to learn what their customer needs and what are the moments of truth in the journey so they can build digital platforms that allow customers to be more successful by understanding those moments of truth as well as those friction points. And they find that's really critical, that if you take a broken process and digitize it, all you get is a broken digitized process and you're not helping anybody. So, it's really critical back there to understand what are those key needs of my customers first? And so, what they've been doing is during this time, even if the output is to be digital, which it often is, what's more important is to understand what are those customers needs in any online or offline environment? What are their challenges? What are the points of friction today? And to use that to design the digital. We are people first, digital second, and leaders tend to forget that, they seem to think that we're all digital people and we just need digital tools. No, we need to solve the human need first and use a digital platform to do that. Me: Ok, so we have to solve the human need first. So, I'd like some practical examples. I see in your just from your bio that retail and healthcare are areas that you have a lot of experience with. So maybe you could give us one from each. Maybe just how it is that you could put the human need first, what does that look like in a real life business example? Jim shared that although it's been interesting because their customer base, the Heart of the Customer, has not been so much retail, they do a lot of healthcare work, a lot of B2B and B2C work. So, with business customers or as an intermediary to the customer. But one of the things they are finding across the board in almost any industry is the need for operational transparency. And he’s going to back that up, what does he mean by that? And it's really the world's humankind's second most awesome invention after fire is the Domino's Pizza Tracker. It's amazing how many people they talked to want a Domino's Pizza Tracker for everything, and they find most organizations are not providing that operational transparency. So, they're to go back 5 or 6 years in time, he doesn't remember when exactly the pizza tracker came out. He can come up with an app that could show you when your dough is put down and who is putting down the dough, and when somebody puts on sauce, somebody puts on ingredients, toss it in the oven. You just said, “Why would I want that? That’s daft.” But when it showed up, people say, “Oh, I love that, in fact, I want to know if I'm applying for life insurance, I want to know what's happening.” They call it Operational Transparency and there's a great Harvard Business Review article on this, very influential to our thinking. But when organizations provide operational transparency to their customers, the customers feel the organization treats them more fairly, even if the outcome is bad, let's an use example of life insurance. Even if they're declined, they feel better about the process because they had visibility into it. And it removes a lot of anxiety. They find that's true in almost every industry. They work with distributors who are providing materials to their clients, when they can provide operational transparency to when the order is placed, when products are shipped. Amazon clearly does this quite well, in the business environment; it's not often done as well. They started to see it coming through a little bit more through some transparency in health insurance. If he submits a claim, he wants to know where that claim is, he wants to be able to see where it's working its way through, and he wants that transparency. So that's what they're finding across the board. He mentioned that he didn't answer another part of the question going back, so he wants to circle back. And Yanique asked about the digital piece, but also asked, how do they get people to actually implement and understand customer needs and to actually put in place the processes needed. And this is critical to their entire practice. They build everything they do around change management. And with that, they have a chapter in the book specifically about how to apply change management principles to journey mapping. Now, a number of years ago, it's been like 4 years. They did a survey on companies regarding their success in Journey Mapping, and he’s a journey mapping geek, his license plate is literally, “JRNY MAP” So, last week they drove down to Texas and dropped off the car to his youngest, that would be the fastest plates you have ever seen swapped out because there's no way Jared wants to have journey map on that car. So, he’s a geek and they did a survey, he thought that everybody, when they asked how successful you were, would give you a 4 or 5, which clearly journey mapping works. Everybody is going to say it's successful, not what they found. What they found is that only about 1 out of 3 did that. Another 1 out of 3 gave it a 1 to 3 and another one third said it's too soon to tell. Now, they just updated the data. They did another survey coming out here, more about journey management and the numbers are even worse. They're finding that only about 15% are saying that they are really successful. Most, 45%, so that’s literally most are saying it's too soon to tell which is not suggesting it's trending well. If you spend US $125,000, US $150,000 which is what it takes to do Journey Mapping right, and you tell your boss, if your boss asks you, “Hey, did that work?” And you say, “Oh, I don’t know, it's too soon to tell.” That's not a good conversation. They find that most organizations are doing the mapping and they're not being successful because they haven't thought about change management. What change management means and they did this research. They found the most important factors in being successful are first of all, knowing what it is you're trying to map, going after an actual business problem. They've had people tell them their business problem is they don't have a journey map. That's not a business problem; they’ve had other people say their biggest problem is their survey scores are low, although that's not a business problem. We are losing customers, customers are not using us for this one type of product, we have a lot of people calling in, which is costly to them and to us, and those are business problems. So, it starts with going after a business problem because that's how you engage executives. Second of all, then is involving customers in the process, which they should not have to talk about it, it's called customer journey mapping for a reason. They ran across all these consultants and as well as practitioners who think that if you take a bunch of employees, you put them in a room and give them post-it notes, we got a customer journey map. Not true. Well, they found when they do that because that is part of their process early on is that they get really good answers that are wrong. Everybody thinks they know the customer journey but when they match that up against what customers actually tell them, there is a huge mismatch between the two. Because you are just reacting to part of the journey you see and very few employees can actually articulate the entire journey and are actually missing what's most important to customers. So, second part is involving customers. But the third one, which is actually the most important, is who's on the team. If we go back to this, they don't involve their digital team and they mapped the journey and they come up with all these new digital items they need, you go to them and say, “Hey, we have this beautiful journey map.” Telling you all these things you need to do differently. Well, they're not going to listen to you. Why should they? They've got their own list of things. But if you involve them in the process, you get them as part of it, that's when the magic happens and even more importantly, is involving leadership, getting the leaders to be part of the project, getting them to talk to customers, that's when you start to embed it inside of a culture. Me: That makes sense. Would you suggest everybody should be involved, at least all of the different touch points that could possibly impact the customer? Jim agreed and shared that they usually have about 30 people involved in their projects, sometimes more across the organization. Me: And let's say for an organization with that size of maybe 2500 employees, let’s say they are a financial institution, they have a bank, they have an insurance arm, they have an investment arm. In a case like that, if they're really trying to do a transformational journey it would be recommended that all the leaders from the different business units are involved. Mike mentioned that it sounds like Yanique has a particular customer or company in mind. Me: No, not necessarily. But I just want to use a specific example, because I do have some of the persons that listen to this podcast that are in that line of business. So it would be good for them to specifically hear, because sometimes you read books, Jim, and the books speak at a very high level, but they're not bringing it down on a granular level to where you are in the organization. “I am the marketing associate in the marketing department and I think if we do this in a digital way it will help to influence our marketing efforts.” But how does that transcend into the entire journey from end to end? And is it connected with the other departments on how it is that they are feeding information to the customers from their units? That's where I'm trying to get at so that everybody listening understands that it's not just a responsibility of one department. Jim agreed and shared that first of all, it comes back to what's the business problem you're trying to solve, and likely you're actually not going to involve all three of those groups because the business problem typically doesn't go across the bank, the investments and the insurance area, it's probably more granular. And so, let's say for example, the business problem. They worked with one bank; let's use that as an example where their business problem was that always the secondary bank. So, some other bank was the primary purpose, they were secondary and they isolated it because in the onboarding process, that first 90 days, clients weren’t really learning all they could do with the bank, and so they kept it as a secondary kind of a fund money bank, but they weren't using it for their primary checking account, their savings account, the credit card. They typically came in because they needed a separate bank account for some reason, and they stayed with that. So, they wanted to learn how could they create an amazing onboarding process that got customers to learn that they could use this bank for way more than banking? In that case, they needed to involve clearly the front line; you need to involve representatives from the individual branches because that's where a lot of the rubber hits the road. You also need marketing, going back to your point about marketing, you have to have marketing there because marketing should be creating a lot of these materials that you're using for the onboarding. Product, because product can learn what they're doing and come up with new products that fit that. The contact centre because they need to match as well what’s happening as well as the digital team. So minimum of these 5 teams, all need to be involved. Me: So, that's really, really good information. Now, in terms of customer journey mapping, I did a webinar recently and I think one of the questions I asked was how often do they revisit their customer journey map. Using Journey Mapping In Your Organization Me: Now as a customer journey map expert. Could you tell us if you are an organization and you've never done journey mapping before or let's say you did it 5 years ago, what's the recommended time for you to revisit it, to make sure that all the touch points are operating the way they should? Just to give people an idea, because I think a lot of companies think they built this journey map and that's it, it's almost like a policy or a procedure that was created in 1970 and it stays there forever. Jim stated that Yanique was right and shared that the journey does change. They just did this survey, which they’re right now on the analysis of and they found that 90% of the respondents basically stopped there with the mapping. They create two different kinds of maps, they create one which is a change management map, highly graphically, the research is pretty clear, and it’s called The Visual Superiority Effect. If you create a highly visual artifact, people understand it more and they remember it, so they have that one. Then for some of their clients, they go beyond that where they create a data oriented map which is bringing in the feeds of the operational data, as well as the sentiment data, the surveys, to show how that journey is as a baseline and how it changes over time. If you do that, that largely answers your question, because as long as the journey is working the same and by bringing the operational data and he should say financial as well, you're going to start to see is that journey still healthy or are we seeing more cancellations? Are we seeing lower additional products added on? Are we finding business problems are happening because typically the business problems come/originated by a customer problem. And so, the sentiments part of that, so you're able to track sentiment over time, hopefully have a journey survey, and have some touch point surveys so you bring that into the living journey map. But you also bring in that operational data so you can see while they're seeing a lot of calls at this phase of the journey or they're seeing that their average basket size going back to retail is dropping significantly or increasing. That's when you need to go back out to your customers, because the working the live journey map is telling you that things have changed and you need to go back and figure out why. Using Digital to Enhance Customer Experience Me: Ok, so that definitely does answer some of those questions. Now, in terms of personalization, personalizing the experience for the customer. I know artificial intelligence and augmented reality are some things that companies are incorporating into their experience to make it more personalized. I was watching a video recently where IKEA literally has the augmented reality, you just hold your phone or your iPad up and you can just position the furniture in your house to see what it looks like. So you're actually almost choosing it without physically going to the IKEA location. What are your thoughts on embracing the power of being digital to the core to enhance customer experience and improving personalization in the process? Jim shared that in terms of enhancing customer experience and improving personalization in the process is absolutely critical and not far enough along yet. Amazon has spoiled us all; every area we work in, we tell them Amazon is your competitor. If you're a bank, if you're a distributor as he mentioned earlier, you’re a health insurance organization, you're a non-profit, Amazon is your competitor. Not literally, if you're non-profit, it's pretty hard to argue that Amazon is taking your funds away. But the mindset, all of our mindsets are changed by Amazon and that expectation. Amazon gives him a personal experience, therefore, when he’s engaging with another retailer, but also when he’s engaged with his health insurance organization, he expects them to personalize things for him. He expects everybody he interacts with, every organization to give him an Amazon like experience and so as a result, he’s frequently disappointed. AI (Artificial Intelligence) is opening that up for the rest of us that we find the machine learning specifically allows you to understand patterns of behaviour and build and orchestrate a journey as a result. They have a partner of theirs that does orchestration where you can actually set up individual responses based on needs. And that's a machine learning platform, although you can incorporate machine learning into it. But what they're finding in their research is that a handful of companies are doing an excellent job of really personalizing and building the journey on an individual basis even, or at least in a mass customized level. But most are not there today. There's a huge opportunity. Me: So there's opportunity for organizations to improve personalization. Another big thing I found also, Jim, in the whole process of customer experience and enhancing it is having more integration across their channels. I use this webinar platform called Demio and so one of my business channels has expanded as a result of the pandemic. So, I never used to do webinars before, but because of the pandemic and I'm not physically going out to the training anymore. Of course, I'm using webinars as a platform to reach more people and in doing my research, because I'm a customer service trainer. I wanted to use a platform that was customer friendly, meaning if I had an issue technically or there was an issue with just how to use a platform or what to do. I could message them on their response time would be like instantaneously. And of course, after doing research on speaking to other trainers both here in Jamaica and overseas, I was able to pick Demio. They're fairly new in the game and there are some features that they don't have that Zoom has, but one of the things I liked about them was that they were omnichannel and they were integrated. So it didn't matter which platform I spoke to them on, what it was, Facebook Messenger, Instagram DM or it was the little chatbot that was directly on their website, that conversation continued on each platform and each person I spoke to was a continuation of the conversation from before, and it just made things so seamless and easy to transact business with them. Operating an on Omnichannel Where Everything Is Integrated Jim shared that clearly it's the best approach, as Yanique just said right there and she’s right. You don't want to have to think about, “Did I start this with chat, did I start with the bot, where I started?” You don't care. One of their sayings is, “Thinking is bad. The more you make your customers think, the more at risk you are for losing their loyalty.” That comes back to the need to be multichannel. He does not want to have a different experience or more importantly, to get different answers if he calls you, than if he chat, than if he uses other methods of interaction. He wants to know he’s getting that same experience across the board. They find it's hard because they tend to have a siloed approach to improvement, and that comes back to earlier, that if you don't engage the leadership and don't engage the overall organization around this area and again, the parts of the organization that can be part of the solution, then you end up with siloed solutions. If you're building siloed solutions, you're going to be in trouble. But if instead you're taking the time to integrate across them, that's when you can make a huge difference in not just keeping your current customers are bringing in more because you're going to keep your base because they like the experience and they're going to talk to others. Getting Employees Motivated Me: So, one of the things that we have to also do, and I know you mentioned it earlier in terms of involving the people, involving the people on the ground, the ones who are in the grassroots every day dealing with the customers, they know some of the challenges that the customers are actually experiencing. But how do you get them motivated? What if they're like, “They're bringing in all of these systems, you have to learn all of these new things, and I’m not getting any new pay for it. I don't feel motivated.” How do you get them engaged, motivated, feel like they're a part of the process? Do they need to be included in the decision making or is it a case where you just roll it out and say, listen, this is a new path we're taking? Jim stated, well, so let's go back to the change management comment earlier. And again, they're big believers in involving change management. They find that customer experience, when they involve a change management approach, they have way more impact. On a business to business level, Jen Zamora from Dow, they’re a client of Jim’s, they have a great approach. She's been posting every month on LinkedIn, their journey to customer experience and last week's was about how they incorporate change management into their approach, it's a great read. Follow Jen Zamora and look at her posts of what they've been doing. Now, in Jim’s case, he likes John Kotter’s approach, which is on structure, but they talk a lot about the ADKAR (Awareness, Desire, Knowledge, Ability, Reinforcement) change model from Prosci. And he likes it because it's simple but not simplistic. And ADKAR is an acronym. If you want somebody to change, they need to be aware of the need to change. They need to desire to change. They need to know what to change. They need to be able to change. And that has to be reinforced. He mentioned that he’s going to try to convince Yanique to move away from Jamaica to Minnesota. First of all, you need to be aware of your need to move to Minnesota about how it's so beautiful there, it's fantastic, you’ve got to move up there. You need to desire to come up there. You've got to say yes, I don't have any snow boots, I need snow boots, he needs to get you desire that. You have to know how to move there and he'll work with you to get a moving agency. You have to be able to; you've got to be able to find something to move you from Jamaica to up there and you need to continually reinforce why this living in snow is a good thing. So, he has got an uphill battle. What they find is that most organizations focus on the first A and the K and maybe the second A. So they say, “Yanique, are you aware that you can move to Minnesota, here's how you can do it and let me give you some training on how to live as a Minnesotan.” But he never took the time to help you understand why Minnesota is a beautiful state and why you'd want to leave Jamaica to come there. It's a high bar. But now let's turn it back to your marketing person. And if you want your employees to use new systems, a lot of groups start with awareness, “Hey, we have a new system.” And then jump right to training. And here's the training. They didn't take the time to say, “And this is why this is going to help you. This is why you should want to do that.” Love the ADKAR model because it helps us remember how I built against the desire component and if your changes are not taking place, that's where he'd look. How Jim Stays Motivated When asked how he stays motivated, Jim shared that he'll tell you; it's really hard the first few months of the Coronavirus, because even though he’s an introvert, he’s very introverted. He gets a lot of energy off of one to one conversations. A number of years ago like 8, 10 years ago when he was fired from a company, trying to find my new job; he had 133 coffees. Now that doesn’t count lunch, that doesn’t count dinner just strictly 133 just on the coffees and everything else. And now we bring it to today in March and April was hard because nobody wanted coffee. It’s very easy for us all to pull inside. He gets his energy out of one on one conversations. He loves talking with other customer experience leaders to find out what they're doing. And so, one of the things he did this year, it actually started before the Coronavirus, you may have seen Forrester’s prediction that 1 out of 4 customer experience people would lose their jobs this year because they're not showing business value. A year earlier, Customer Think came out with the research that showed that only 1 out of 4 programs can show business value. So in January, he got really interested in that and said, well, what is it that separates that 1 out of 4 who are going to be fired from the 1 out of 4 that are who we all want to be, the ones that are really showing impact? And so this year, they've interviewed so far 86 people in customer experience roles. They've added a few as well in finance and CEOs to understand what does excellence look like in customer experience. And when he leaves one of those conversations with somebody who's truly expert, he’s motivated, he’s inspired. App, Website or Tool that Jim Absolutely Can’t Live Without in His Business Jim shared that there are two he'll mention. First of all, they use Microsoft Teams, there’s a way to connect and to use visual, big fan of that. That's number one, but some way that you can connect and have that camera turned on, that's important. The Coronavirus taught us about a new tool that he wants to pitch, he’s not an investor or anything, but he loves it. It's called Stormboard. And it is an online interactivity white boarding tool that you do not have to train anybody. It's amazing. The service is really responsive; they have really enjoyed working with that. So if you're looking at a tool for doing online workshops, they loved them, they've been great partners; they’ve been very flexible and willing to teach them how to facilitate. But what they found is that they don't have to spend a lot of time teaching their clients how to use the tool, they just get in and they start to use it. Books That Have Had the Greatest Impact on Jim When asked about books that have had the biggest impact, Jim shared that he just came back from vacation a couple of weeks ago out in Maine and what he does when he goes on vacation, this is geeky. He read books and he read three books and half of three others. But the one that really hit him hard is Leading Change, With a New Preface by John Kotter. Time called it one of the most influential business books of the last 25 years. And he's got a great method of walking through it. And so, as he mentioned, they've used Prosci in the past, he has read their book and that's good from an outcomes perspective. What Kotter does, he walks through a process. First of all, you've got to create a sense of urgency. What they find most customer experience leaders failing at is the next step, which is to create a powerful change coalition and then from there creating a vision as a total steps. But it just spoke to him. And yes, he realize that that shows how geeky he is in a book on change management, on the beach spoke to him, but he strongly recommends that book. The Power of Moments: Why Certain Experiences Have Extraordinary Impact he liked a lot by Chip and Dan Heath and he interviewed one of them for his blog, getting their feedback at Heart of the Customer. And it was interesting because Jim has a little bit different approach in that they they're all about building positive moments, which he agrees with as well. They don't like journey maps as much because journey maps also focus on the negative but you have to understand what are the most crucial moments are. But in there, they also talk about do you want to spend your time fixing problems or creating great interactions? And what they find is that most organizations spend their time fixing problems. But the potential of creating great moments of truth with your customers has nine times the organizational value than fixing problems. Great book. What Jim is Really Excited About Now! When asked if he could share something that he’s working on the develop himself or his people, Jim mentioned both, as mentioned, they’ve done 86 interviews so far to understand what is it that leads to excellence in customer experience. And one hint, it does not involve the letters N, P or S, it's really involving engaging executives, creating a vision. They are right now in the process of distilling that and hope to be coming out with their own book again, a second book here in probably about 6 months to a year. But they're learning that there are people out there that are truly transforming their organizations around the customer experience and that there is a process that does it, but that it's rare and that most organizations are not having the impact. But there are some that are truly transforming their companies around the customer. Yanique asked when would that be out and Jim shared that they're suppose to start analysis on the first of the month and do the writing through the end of this year or so, hopefully first and second quarter of next year. But he knows that their original project plan on the last book had them getting done in 2017 and it came out in 2019. But his history is not so good at getting the writing done in time. Where Can We Find Jim Online Jim shared listeners can find him at – Twitter - https://twitter.com/jimtincher LinkedIn - https://www.linkedin.com/in/jimtincher/ Website – www.heartofthecustomer.com Quote or Saying that During Times of Adversity Jim Uses When asked if he has a quote or saying that he would revert to in times of adversity or challenge, Jim shared that he does and it's particularly poignant during the Coronavirus, and it's from John le Carré, who's an English author, who said, “The desk is a dangerous place from which to view the world.” They find a lot of customer experience people don't actually talk to customers, it's really important. Has been harder in the Coronavirus, it has to be done virtually but if you want to create an amazing customer experience, it starts by talking to your customers and that quote has inspired him for years now. Me: It's so simple and it's almost like a BFO, like a blinding flash of the obvious, because clearly, how are you going to know what needs to be improved if you're not talking to the person who you are trying to make the improvements for because you need their input, it can't be based on what you feel or think. It must be based on their experience. So you would think, a lot of people are doing that, but a lot of companies don't actually do that consistently. Jim agreed and shared that a lot of customer experience people don't even do it consistently, and that's the opportunity. So if he was to wish one thing for you, for everybody listening to this, it's that you will tomorrow reach out to a few customers and just have a conversation. He shared that he had a great interview with the customer experience leader in France and she said one of the benefits of a pandemic is that she used to visit all the customers in France because she could do without traveling. Now, she’s talking to their customers in China, in Brazil, in Canada, because they're all the same distance away from her now. Me: That's true. The French and the Chinese and the Brazilians, it takes that much energy to call each one if you're calling somebody just the same in France. Jim agreed and shared that that's his encouragement to everybody is, reach out to your customers no matter where they are. 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 Grab the Freebie on Our Website – TOP 10 Online Business Resources for Small Business Owners Links How Hard Is It to Be Your Customer? Using Journey Mapping to Drive Customer Focused Change by Jim Tincher Leading Change, With a New Preface by John Kotter The Power of Moments: Why Certain Experiences Have Extraordinary Impact by Chip Heath and Dan Heath The ABC’s of a Fantastic Customer Experience 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!
36 minutes | 3 months ago
101: Understanding the Importance of Human Connection in Your Customer Experience/User Design with Mike Welsh
Mike Welsh is the Chief Creative Officer at Mobiquity, leading a team of experienced architects, experienced designers and conversational designers to deliver engaging and compelling solutions in collaboration with engineers who bring these solutions to life. He has been doing this for over 27 years, having joined Mobiquity near its beginning. Mike notes that what originally drew him to this role is the ability to transform experiences for companies and their customers. What keeps him on the team engaged is the opportunity to find out what truly transforms human experience and then brings it to life. He's a firm believer in the power of a team and its ability to create impact derived from insights. Mike's time is spent with clients and teams, including working within creative, business and technology fields, bringing many skills to the table including: experience strategy, experience design, product strategy, and product design. His industry knowledge within these functions spans healthcare, retail, ecommerce, and financial services and he has lectured on these topics at the University of Pennsylvania, Drexel University, Moore College of Art and Design and various conferences. Questions Could you tell us a little bit about your journey, how it is that you got into experience strategy and experienced design. Tell us a little bit about that journey over the 27 years, how it got you to where you are today? We're in an era, especially since the global pandemic where a lot of organizations are definitely looking to transform their experiences digitally, even if they weren't in a digital space, they're possibly looking at a digital transformation strategy, regardless of the industry that they operate in. As an expert in user and customer experience design and strategy, could you maybe share with us two or three things that should be top of mind in making that transition if you're a company? What are some of the things that need to be done on the backend to ensure that the user feels like it's personalized to them? How do you stay motivated every day? Could you share with us maybe one personal win that you think working from home has had an impact on your client success? Maybe just one thing that you've been doing differently that has had a greater impact on how you are able to show up for your client. Can you 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 share with us maybe one or two books that have had the biggest impact on you? It could be a book you read recently or something you read a very long time ago, but it still had a great impact on you to this day. Can you share with us what, one thing that's going on in your life right now that you're really excited about - either something that you're working on to develop yourself or your people? Where can listeners find you online? What's one quote or saying that during times of adversity or challenge or any obstacle that you may be facing in your life, you'll tend to revert to to kind of help you to stay on track or just keep going. Do you have one of those? Highlights Mike’s Journey Mike shared that he went to Drexel University; he got his degree in Graphic Design and a sort of minor in Sociology. And after graduating, he started out a little shop in Manioc, which is a town just outside of Philadelphia and got to work on some interesting projects and got started and thought, “Wow, this is actually exactly what I want to do.” But he thought he needed to learn about all the pieces that surround the design business, the work that they do, not just making pixels and making things pretty, but how do people think about things? And for those that suffer by what they design, what is it like in their experience? So how can you get into that more directly, more fully, and start to explore that? So, he had lots of opportunities and mentors along the way, and people that gave him guidance and sort of stumbled and fumbled through the first 5 or 10 years of his career. And then sort of hit his stride when the dotcom boom slash bust happened. That's when he started to get into these entrepreneurial spaces where it was startup time. So he has probably been 4 of the last 6 jobs are startups. And for him, that was the opportunity to really explore how do you actually transform? How do you kind of get up that Maslow pyramid to get unmet need met? And he thinks a lot of the work that the teams he has been fortunate enough to lead demonstrate that in a lot of different ways, but it's ultimately, can a customer get, can a user, can a patient have silent utility? You don't need 5 star experiences. What you need is, the design has to sort of become part of an experience that's quietly used by folks and it just works, it just works every day. And he thinks that's been a big portion of the journey leading up to the last 7 years at Mobiquity of taking customers, probably 200 or so projects of how do you get somebody to understand their experience enough, give it to you, and then come back with something that gives them sort of a rich, silent utility experience. Digital Transformation Strategy to Keep in Mind Mike shared that one of the main things that companies that have to approach this sort of new normal, new reality structural change that's going to be with us for a significant period of time is first don't panic. He knows that sounds maybe not like a design thing to think about, but if you're a business trying to survive and get on the other side of whatever this is, a global pandemic, civil unrest, governmental change, all sorts of things that are happening in everybody's country. The first is to not panic and think about how your business grows in an environment like this. In every depression and recession we've ever had, most of the truly sustainable businesses are built out of that crucible of collapse. And so, if you are one of those businesses and you can see this with Facebook and Netflix and Spotify all came out of the great recession. Well, we're at another point where there's going to be another set of entrepreneurs and business owners and business people that are going to have opportunities. The second big pitfall or the second big sort of caution is “You don't have to boil the ocean; you shouldn't have to solve everything at once.” It is sort of the Kaizen model of take a little bit each time that you go to make a change in your business and do some analysis, try it, if it doesn't work, learn from it and move on. Don't try to do everything at once, like curbside or contactless payments or things like that. There's plumbing and systems that already exist, that are already in the world. How can you adapt these to your business in a simple, straightforward, working with your customer, dealing with your labour way that can also make you able to meet your bottom line. And then to some extent, the third thing is you have to have a grit, so Duckworth wrote all about it, and you have to have passion and perseverance and you need tons of both to be able to sustain yourself through what is essentially a depression and come out of it with a completely new streamlined, more efficient, more customer focused than you'd ever have in any other time. Me: So, those are definitely valid integrations that we can take into consideration when we're thinking of our digital strategy. Now, a big part I think of user design and you can correct me if I'm wrong. Seeing that you're an expert is I think personalization and so using whatever platform whether it's for a bank or for a supermarket or a spa, or whatever that at the end of the day, I don't feel like it's generic to everybody, but it's specific to me and what I'm looking for. How can you ensure that you achieve that? Is it by ensuring that you're asking the right questions? Is it maybe from collecting the right kind of customer data? Personalized User Experience Mike stated that he doesn't know if he’s the expert, expert, but we all use experiences like you use the phone, we're using Skype, we're doing all these things, and we’re accessing technology and adopting it. He thinks one of the things, one of the principle things people have to do if you're trying to personalize is to first understand what the human component is. So for example, that sort of Maslow example he talked about in the beginning was, at the bottom of the pyramid you can just make an app that sits in an app store and it does a thing and you have to log in and that could be Uber, or it could be Amazon. You get to the next tier and you have to understand what desires exist for a person. What are the desires that people want in an experience. If you understand those, you can create interactions they really want, and that may be a tier above. So, Uber for example, or house party or some of these other experiences that really do get at interactions you actually want in those experiences and then tier above that is you gotta have a fair exchange of value between the human and the system. And so that means that you have to construct these systems so they're built around an audience, not around a technology. It's hard for people to understand that when they go to set out and make an app, because they're thinking about a technology, that's looking for a problem, but the reality is you want to make it so that you understand fundamentally what's at stake for that person so that they can have moments of achievement in that fair exchange of value. And he thinks when you see the 5 star experiences or you think of the apps that you use yourself, or think of the kiosk experiences that you've had, or the experiences with your television set, any technology interaction you have that you feel is meaningful. Oftentimes, obliquely goes after the unmet need by trying to create fair exchange of value between a human and a system. The last piece of this and sort of the capper is if you understand how audience management works and how you can steer audiences in different ways, it starts with that one to one knowledge that understanding of the human condition. Do you really understand anxiety, the uncertainty and powerlessness that people feel today as they go about their business, put on their mask, wash their hands, do these kinds of things are going to fundamentally change the way we act as humans. We don't know what it is yet because we're still in the cauldron. But ultimately, if you think about that anxiety as an equation for how you can address the more certain people can feel, the more power they have in a transaction and that intuitive emotional awareness of the consumer can change the state of anxiety someone experiences when they're trying to interact with a piece of technology. And that's a great way to start your sort of personalization conversation. And then on the technology side, there are a million things out there, AWS, Google, everybody's got tons of widgets that can quote….unquote, address personalization, but they're all afterthoughts, it's not until you understand that equation fully and completely. And then you create that exchange, that fair exchange of value between you and someone else. Me: So, the person who is doing the designing, they're not just have to think about just selling a product, they have to think about the end user. And as you mentioned, how does the human element connect with the technology aspect to ensure that you're actually trying to meet the unmet needs of the client? Because sometimes I guess the customer doesn't even know what their needs are until it has been met. Mike agreed and shared that it shows up surprisingly in different ways. So, the way that you bought the microphone that you're using to do this podcast had a certain set of things, you had some needs, you had to have really good sort of MPR quality audio, and you wanted some high quality production after you do this podcast. But the reality is, is that you want to make sure that the quality of your audio gets to your audiences in exactly the right way. There's a sort of a margin that you have, if he understands that, that he’s going to position that microphone in a way that gets you to that end, he’s going to use YouTube influencers, he’s going to use social media, he’ going to have people using the mic mention it. There's a lot of ways that people can do this, where they can actually personalize the experience and make it so that you're making the right purchase with the right kinds of information. Me: I think information is so critical Mike as you mentioned that, I think sometimes a lot of companies, I know, like for example, in sales, they focus on trying to sell the customer the benefits, like how will it benefit me versus the features, because I think that's where a lot of salespeople go wrong. They're caught up on all of the features that this particular product or service may offer, but maybe some of those features I don't need, I'm not interested, let’s say I was buying a car, I'm not interested in the fact that the RPM can go to whatever number, I'm probably more interested in the softer features, does it have a dashboard with a podcasting app? Does it have bluetooth that it will sync with my phone because those are things that I actually value and use on a daily basis when I'm driving. And so, it's to understand who you're serving and what the benefit would be to them. For example, you're selling a vehicle to a mom with three children versus a single, a single man who is a bachelor. Clearly your pitch would be a little bit different because she's probably looking for something that will have enough space to accommodate her family, if she has to go on a trip or a vacation, or just up and down every day to take them to soccer practice and ballet recital, you want to know that you can travel with them in comfort. And of course, if you have to carry groceries that there is enough trunk space to facilitate all of that. So, I do think that you really have to focus on the benefits of the product and then knowledge is critical in getting that information across. How Mike Stays Motivated Mike stated that that's a good question. He shared that there are days he will tell you that we've all been having on lockdown that are difficult, but he thinks two things. He has three daughters and they're teenagers and they keep him motivated every day because every day it's something. But he’s a big fan of sort of audible and listening to audio books and things like that. And he found this one, it's about the two minute mornings and every morning you fill out a journal, you answer three questions. It takes literally two minutes and it has actually been extremely powerful. He thought it was kind of like, “Oh, whatever, I'll do it.” But then after he did it for the 90 days, it actually starts to turn into a way that you can control your day and have a good day. So, that plus a little bit of yoga, plus he runs a bit, those kinds of things will give you something to look forward to. But he also thinks that the work that they get to do for their clients, he used to travel a lot for work, he would travel 50 weeks a year almost doing workshops and meet with clients and doing pitches and things like that. Having to do all of this stuff at home from a sort of remote space, he has been the most creative he thinks. He has been able to help, he has been able to have the most impact he has had since he has been in this job simply because he hasn't had to go to the airport at 3:00 am in the morning and get home after midnight. It really does put a tax on creativity. So that motivates him every day. And the fact that hundreds of millions of people use stuff that they've designed every day, that's a huge motivation. Somebody asked him one time for a job search that if you had to tell a candidate coming to work for Mobiquity, what's the reason you'd come here. And he thinks for him, the motivation is if he told you that you could have an outsized impact and that your design could potentially influence saving someone’s life, for example, that will change your whole outlook on your whole life. Because the thing that you thought you went to art school for, which is designing stuff actually influences healthcare outcomes, or it helps someone have some moment of fulfilment that they wouldn't have otherwise had, unless you designed that thing. That is an excellent motivator to get up and get going. Me: All right. So those are some good things that you used to get motivated every day. One thing that sparked my interest while you were sharing just now is you spoke about things that kind of don't necessarily energize your creativity and definitely traveling, those stressful hours getting to the airport and then getting back. I mean, traveling on a whole is a stressful experience really. But one of the things I wanted to know from you was since you've been home, you said for the past 90 days, and you've definitely been able to be more creative. The Impact of Working at Home Mike shared that the one big thing is, a long time ago he was told by one of his creative bosses that he wasn't that good of a storyteller. And that was pretty big, a little bit of a punch in the gut kind of thing. And sometimes that's the truth, you have stuff to work on and sometimes people just don't know how to deliver that message nicely. But it was true. And so, what happened was he made that his sort of like, okay, that is going to fuel his hate fire, that is going to make him sort of motivated to be the best storyteller he could possibly be bar none. And so, every day he wakes up in the morning and that for him has been the thing that's changed the most. Not only his own storytelling is getting better and his practice of doing that is getting better and the techniques that they use to do it remotely is getting better, but it's actually affecting his teams. So, his whole design team is getting better at storytelling and getting more efficient at making these messages meaningful. And he thinks that that's been a big thing for him anyway as a check the box, you're making some progress. Me: So, that's definitely had an impact on you because I think it's so important for our listeners to realize that even though we're working from home, we can still put out even better work than we were putting out when we were actually in a face to face environment or just doing the things that we're accustomed to doing. Human beings generally don't like change and they put up a lot of resistance to change and I can imagine for an employee who is accustomed to face to face interaction, the up and down busy kind of activity every day. Staying home over and over every day, I guess at the beginning it did seem like a nice thing to kind of get a break from the everyday activities. But after doing it over an extended period of time and now even hearing that this thing is going to continue into 2021. I was just reading on LinkedIn last night that Google is going to extend their work from home to the end of 2021. And I don't see why it is that it can't be a part of our permanent way of operating because if you can literally pull out opportunities out of it and you're able to see productivity increase, you're able to see people grow, you're able to see people develop and your customers are being satisfied even before. If you can find some measurement metric system to identify the level of satisfaction post COVID versus pre COVID with the same people working, but under different conditions and you're able to prove that it's a better experience, I don't see why we would discontinue what we're doing if it's working better. Mike shared that the sort of fun fact is the world isn't going to get back to normal until 2023, 2024. If you talk to epidemiologists around the world and virologists, they'll all say, “There is a normalcy bias and a cognitive bias that people have for what's happening to them.” And some people have been tremendously negatively impacted, lost their livelihoods, loss of their businesses, spouses out of work. We're all going to go through a PTSD event. Think of it that way. What you can hope for is that there can be opportunities for people to find a way to express themselves. So, the Maslow that they do for their clients is the same that they do for themselves. If he can have moments of achievement in his job, in his life and in his work, that's great. But if he can help others do the same thing, the force multiplication that comes along with that is staggering. The amount of impact that you can have. One of his teammates had to do a presentation for a client. She didn't want him on the call; she just wanted him to coach her through it. And she said to him afterwards, because they went back and forth about one of the slides. He said, “Look, I don't think you should put that on there, but what do I know?” And afterwards she said, “I kept the slide in, despite you not wanting me to.” which he said to her, “It's fine. You can do what you want.” But she had to own the story and she came back afterwards, the client was super excited. She did a fantastic job. And as a result, she said, “Look, I really appreciate all your coaching and everything. And I kept the slide in, like I said, but a lot of the points that you made ended up in my talk track. And for that I'm grateful.” And she said, “At some point you got to let us spread our wings, boss.” And so, he’s humble enough to know that he’s only good at a very small number of things, the things that he’s terrible at isn't is an extensively long list. And he imagines others have the same sort of imposter syndrome and things like that. So, if you can have focus enough to help somebody else get through this thing and help them have a moment of achievement, it can change that person's impact on the world that they live in. And so there is a little bit of a multiplication effect of being able to kind of help your team get through the things that they're struggling with so they can influence others and then it just becomes this self fulfilling kind of thing. App, Website or Tool that Mike Absolutely Can’t Live Without in His Business Mike shared that he’ll give one and then maybe a half of another. The one that he really couldn't live without is the Notes App for his iPad. Now, he wouldn't have said that in January, but his Apple pencil and his iPad, when he starts doing meetings, and this is going to be one of these storytelling things, is that, that the ability to sketch during a shared meeting, like you're on Zoom or on Teams or whatever, the minute you start drawing on the screen. You have the Bob Ross effect, which is sort of there's a happy tree and you sort of get this soothing feeling of someone drawing a tree on a landscape, his experience has been that that is actually something that is super valuable to con their customers and their teammates. If they can sort of see the whiteboard, the electronic whiteboard effect happening, they oftentimes are more engaged in the meetings that they're in, they don't want to see more PowerPoints or Keynotes, they feel like they're actively doing something and he’s drawing what they're saying. So, he’s literally sketching out while they're going. Across his own internal teams and with external clients have said in feedback that this was a much more engaged meeting and they felt like they accomplished a lot more because they actually can see a physical result as opposed to a set of slides that he had to spend all week preparing. So for him, the ability to draw a live in a shared environment with someone or some people has been a ‘Godsend’ for not being physically present, you don't get physical cueing, verbal cueing, you barely get audio cueing. So, you need some other physical aperture to be able to have an interaction with someone and the Notes App has been fantastic. Me: Excellent. That’s very dynamic tool, Apple has come a very far way with that application. And there are other apps out there that do it, but the notes one is super simple and it can be shared with others and stuff. So it's his default. Books That Have Had the Greatest Impact on Mike When asked about books that have had the biggest impact, Mike shared that he'll share two books. Now, if you would talk to the team, they would say, “Oh my God, that’s the question for you.” In his presentations with clients, he has a thing called the book slide, and you can find it on his website. He goes through a whole thing about all the books he reads. And so, one book that's affected his whole career, his whole life is the Tao Te Ching by Laozi. You can find a version of the Tao Te Ching in lots of translations; it's an ancient philosophy book. And it has spawned lots of different sort of Taoists religion itself and Zen Buddhism came from it. There are a lot of things that came after, but the Tao Te Ching has been a book that he has been reading over and over again, then audio booking, listening to it over and over again for the last 27 years. And it's fundamentally changed his entire outlook on his entire life. The other book and he just finished this book, which he thinks everyone should read this book, it is so fascinating. It's the Biography of Frederick Douglass. It's a long listen on audio on audible; it's like 40 hours or so but he ran a lot of miles listening to it. But the fact that it's so long, it gives you insight into a person that you would never otherwise have. And then it allows you to draw your own conclusions. The way the book's written, it's fascinating. It takes his life from when he was child in Baltimore, all the way through to the end. And you always think about these characters of people that you learn about in school, but until you actually get into the detail and you start to see how, you know, they're not perfect, everybody wants everybody to be binary, and they’re not binary. There's a gray scale of humanity that this man operated with. And you just think about how tough your day is, you can take any six chapters out of that book and feel a thousand times better about what you have to do each day. And it's brilliantly written, it’s almost like when Hamilton was like writing all the time, doing the Federalist papers, he wrote like 50 some odd Federalist papers. Everybody else did a fraction. This guy was writing constantly, failed newspapers started another one writing constantly the sort of suasion sort of principles, then moving into nonviolent stuff. And then moving through freeing himself from slavery and traveling abroad and becoming a writer and sort of a speaker on the circuit, you really do get a sense that one person could change the world. And he found the book to be just super fantastic and The Life and Times of Frederick Douglass is also his own writings, which he thinks are also good. But you get to see a full picture of a human, which he thought was amazing. What Mike is Really Excited About Now! Mike shared that the one about his people is they do in person training. So, one of his team that same teammate he described the story about the slide that she included that he didn't want her to. She came to him once and said, “Hey, I'm having trouble being confident about how I'm presenting myself and what I'm talking about in the work. And I'd like to be more confident about it. And it seems like my peers and other jobs and other companies have this level of confidence.” So at that point, he was like, alright, let's get everybody's confidence level up or reduce their imposter syndrome. So they brought in an outside firm to give them training every six months or so, they'll do two classes, one is like how to do UX journey maps and other is how to do usability or heuristic evaluations, expert reviews, how to present UX, storytelling for UX, getting this team certified in each of these areas by a sort of globally known company. Started to build up this confidence level that you would start to see in meetings with clients. So, that from a rewarding standpoint has been amazing to watch a team of pretty experienced professionals up their games, be more confident about their work, sort of stand on their own two feet. His biggest thing he tells his team all the time is he would love if they had a meeting with a client and they're doing a presentation and he could just sit in the back. Being the Chief Creative Officer, isn't super easy, there's lots of things about it that are hard, but the most proud moments you can have, or the most rewarding moments you can have is when you see your team have these moments of achievement for themselves, they get up, they do their work and the clients are like people clapping at the end of a meeting come on, that's amazing. For himself personally, his parents both passed away in the last 3 years. His mother passed away in February just before lockdown. But his mother probably kept him from traveling and in some ways protected him, probably from catching this COVID thing. And so, as a result of that, he sort of said, “Alright, from now on, I'm going to try to live everyday like it's my last.” And he got a teardrop trailer and he’s going tow it across the United States and he’s going to do the 25 top national parks of the United States. He travels all over the world and have been around the world a bunch of times, but it's mostly for work so it's not like he’s vacationing in places, he’s just going into a conference room, but he’s going to take the camper and it’s like a small teardrop, it sleeps one person and he’s going to drag that across the United States and try to see all these wonders that he hasn't seen, so he’s a big camping fan. Me: That sounds pretty exciting. It's amazing the amount of things that you can do and I think I was reading that recently, actually, it was on an Instagram story. A company had asked one of those polling questions, what's the one thing you've learned since COVID and someone wrote that time is so precious and you really shouldn't take any day for granted, that's what they've learnt since COVID. And I guess it’s because we have so much time to sit still and look at what is really happening. I mean, look at what happened yesterday in Beirut. We have to be grateful for even the things that we think is standard, breathing, waking up every day, the sun is shining, just having the ability to live and just function. The things that we take for granted that we believe must happen, they don't most happen. And so, I think at the end of the day, if we all approach life as you said, like it’s your said last, you’ll really live a more fulfilling life. Mike agreed and shared that most people live their lives on the gross level and you'll see that in Tao Te Ching. Most people live their lives on a level that doesn't let them get below the surface of their own existence and that has been broken through for a lot of people in this sort of lockdown. It's been difficult isolation, depression, all these things are happening. However, on the other side, the bright spot is you can really see people start to get below the surface, they're not just constantly consuming, they're not just sort of keeping themselves distracted or anesthetized from what's actually happening in their own lives. And that's been interesting to see and it has impacted him as well. Where Can We Find Mike Online Mike shared listeners can find him at – Twitter - https://twitter.com/mikeswelsh/ LinkedIn - https://www.linkedin.cn/in/mikeswelsh/ Website – www.mwelsh.com Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/mikeswelsh/ Quote or Saying that During Times of Adversity Mike Uses When asked about a quote or saying that he tends to revert to, Mike shared that it's sort of a hashtag that he has been doing since his father passed away. So, a long time ago he went to his dad, he had a problem. He said, “Dad, this thing's happening in my life. What do I do about it?” And his father’s advice to him was, you need to keep your head down and you need to keep moving, because if you stand still, everything will take you down. Those things will just eat you alive.” So, the idea is that you got to keep your head down, you got to keep moving. And that passion and perseverance thing, the grit that you need to have, you need to get it, you're not born with it, you have to earn that going through these experiences and you just have to keep moving. 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 Grab the Freebie on Our Website – TOP 10 Online Business Resources for Small Business Owners Links Tao Te Ching by Laozi Frederick Douglass: A Biography The Life and Times of Frederick Douglass by Frederick Douglass The ABC’s of a Fantastic Customer Experience 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!
47 minutes | 3 months ago
100: The Must-Have Sales Strategies for the New-Normal with Richard Moore
Richard Moore originally worked 60 hour weeks in the city of London before deciding to build his own businesses and help others do the same. After building companies from the trenches up by taking ownership of sales teams, coaching leadership roles and consulting with multi hundred million pound organizations, Richard created his own company to help others get massive traction as they launched their businesses. As he did this, Richard invested in many of the companies he helped to create and shared with the world his views on business through the weekly live Q&A’s he runs online, to speaking gigs in front of business owners in his space and his weekly blog. Richard also created products such as the Monetize You Course, the Basics of Sales course and direct mentoring of established businesses using his 16+ years of experience in the space. Questions Could you maybe just share with us just a little bit about how it is that your journey went? Maybe talk about one or two experiences that you had that has brought you to where you are today, where you are king of sales on LinkedIn. Let's say you're not accustomed to selling in a digital space and this is something that you're going to have to take on now, what kind of mindset shift you need to have in place to ensure that you are successful at selling in a digital space? And so, what are your thoughts as a sales person getting to know your clients before you actually interface with them, like doing your research? Could you give us one or two virtual selling strategies that maybe that were not used as much before, or even if a new one, maybe through innovation or new design, people are actually selling differently in a virtual space? Could you share with us what's one online resource, tool, website, or app that you absolutely can't live without in your business? Could you share with us maybe one or two books that have had the biggest impact on you? What's the one thing that's going on in your life right now that you are really excited about - either something that you're working on to develop yourself or your people? Where can listeners find you online? During times of adversity or challenge, do you have a quote or a saying that you’ll tend to revert to this quote or this saying to kind of carry you through, keep your focus, kind of just get you back on that track to achieve whatever it is that you're working on? Highlights Richard’s Journey Richard shared that there's only been a couple of particularly interesting moments that have made him the person he is or taken him in the direction he has been given. And it’s interesting because he thinks the person who set him on the particular rails to be this kind of person was his mother to start with. And she was very much the person who drove himself, his two sisters, to be as best as they could at whatever they did. And she very, very much was behind them as a motivator and he really appreciated that. It’s interesting, when he went to university and both his degrees are in history and kind of the first real big pivot point into the world. When he was 21, 22, he wanted to stay on and do his Ph.D. and basically become an academic, write books, become a lecturer. And it's interesting because coaching and teaching was always there in a way. But basically, he didn't get funding for the Ph.D. so he had to get a job because he couldn't get any more bank loans. So, he had to go and get a job. And his mother said, “You're not going to come home.” And she didn’t say in a nice way, but was really good, “So, you’re not coming home, you’re going to fend for yourself now, come on. So you’re out of University, go and find a way.” So, he slept on his sister’s sofa the two weeks and he went for a job interview and he took literally that first job, which was cold calling and selling internet marketing back in 2002. So it's like 17 ½ years now. So was a very difficult time selling internet marketing because people were like, “Are you serious?” Back then people were spending lots of money in print ads, in magazines, they weren't really doing so much of what we see today. So this is pre Facebook, this is pre LinkedIn, this is pre a lot of stuff and so it was very new and he’s thrilled he started there. And his mom, if she drove one thing into him was that you really can't quit because it's hard. And so that was really good, he learnt that from her. They never had any money, she couldn't drive, she was a single mom with three children and she never complained. She just focused on making it happen and so he’s really pleased, he’s very lucky in a way that he has that from her. And so, he learned very early on that if you just cold call managing directors and CEO’s and try and sell them stuff, they don't really like it much. So, you have to learn a way to be a bit more elegant about it. And so, by having the phone put down on me a lot, he started to learn like the basics that he really needed to be half decent at it. But then if you jump ahead a good 10 years or so of corporate work in the city, ultimately he was at a headhunting company, as their sales director, and he really had a kind of tough moment like this was 2012 or so on. The really big pivot point for him was that he was doing well at his job, it wasn't like he was kind of he'd had enough or anything like that, he was doing very well. But he had a very bad year. His grandmother who he was very close to passed away, his first daughter was born and was born without an oesophagus, so she went straight to surgery. She spent the whole of her first year almost dying a lot and having loads of surgery and that’s 3 months after she was born. So he was commuting to London from the hospital. His mother then died, she'd had 2 years of cancer. So, it's been a tremendously difficult time. And when you have that kind of adversity, you end up going through it and you just have to. But it was the following year where he really kind of imploded because it kind of hits you when you've gone through it. So, a huge amount of difficult times and he had very understanding boss, he was a family man as well, he understood that he had a lot on his plate. But basically, he hit this point and his wonderful wife said, “You know what you need to do? You need to understand you don't have to work in this kind of job. There's one thing you can do is sell, which means, you know you're going to be all right. Go and start something else.” And so, he started his own business and so many people were like, “It's irresponsible, you have a child and a wife not working, what are you doing?" And he was like, “But I've got this. I know there's one thing I can do is at least make money.” And he started two taekwondo academies actually, but he also did a bit of consulting as well, just something different. And since then, honestly, it's been his therapy, growing the business from there and helping others grow theirs. And then, 2 ½ years ago, LinkedIn has really jump forward in terms of being a serious player for doing business online. And he’s really, really enjoying not just what he does, but who he is now. It's been an interesting route, always around, like driving yourself in the right way, coaching and teaching. But it's been really interesting milestones that have pushed him in particular directions. And as you probably experience from other guests, when you have those moments of adversity, perversely, really great things can come of them eventually. Me: I totally agree. So, Richard, you shared a lot about your experience on adversity and some of the challenges that have clearly made you stronger, has propelled you to achieve great things, things that a lot of people around you would have not seen the potential, they are trying to be very practical, think they're giving you good advice, but they're actually not giving you good advice. And we're in a time now globally where we have to be doing a lot of things differently. And, of course, there's a new coined term, the new normal. What kind of mindset shift do business owners, I think at the end of the day; we're all sellers, regardless of what role you play in your organization, because at some point you have to be operating in a selling role. What Kind of Mindset Shift to Selling Should We Be Embracing Richard stated that this is such a good question. And he did learn back in 2008 in the recession then. They're very lucky that they have a CEO who he remembered addressed all of them. And it was very much when he started learning about the right kind of mindset, he said, “The majority of businesses now will go into scarcity. They're going to hibernate, they'll tighten their belts, they will freeze everything. This is the time when you push yourself.” Recession is a time when you grow more because that's when you can land grab when you really need to push yourself. And he said, “So, for many, there is no substitution for volume.” And what that means is there's no substitution for just grind. And it's still funny because there's a lot of people who haven't been through a hard recession that was a big one. Arguably, we're about to hit an even bigger one. And what's interesting is that you get some people saying, “Oh, man, it's really tough out there.” It's like, yes, it's meant to be. This will be the biggest recession since 1930. So it'll be hard. And if you ask about mindset, what matters is that you understand that you have to have huge empathy for what the person you want to speak to and work with is going through right now, and everyone is equipped to be able to do that. So we all are able, if we dare to stop for a minute, think what would someone else be thinking about right now? They're probably thinking to themselves, “I'm worried because I don't know if my business can survive. And in addition to that, I don't want to
25 minutes | 3 months ago
099: How to Re-Purpose Your Marketing Efforts Using Data to Enhance CX with Bill Bice
Bill Bice has always been an entrepreneur, starting his first company at age 14, putting on road races with corporate sponsors. At 18, he started ProLaw Software, the first integrated ERP for law firms. After selling the company to Thomson Reuters, Bill became a VC as a founding partner in the Verge Fund, investing in high tech, high growth companies in the Southwest. One of the core things that Bill has learned in building and investing in companies is that the go-to-market is always the hardest part of growing a business. He got so frustrated in trying to get great marketing for his companies that he decided to tackle the problem. A programmer at heart, Bill founded boomtime, tackling marketing as a technology problem. It turns out that when you follow the data, really good things happen. That’s why boomtime built the world’s first marketing-as-a-service platform: fuse. boomtime’s marketing strategies follow the data: they already know what will work. Instead of reinventing the wheel, boomtime applies proven marketing techniques at scale. Questions Could you share with us a little bit about boomtime and what boom time really does? What do you mean by following the data and marketing as a service? And how can it really help a business owner? What does that translate into? Could you share with us maybe one to three mistakes that companies typically make in their marketing efforts? Could you share with us how it is that you believe marketing can be more integrated with customer experience design? Can you share with us maybe two to three things that the data helps you to improve on decisions that will enhance experience and bring more business? But how can we really use data to drive our decisions? What are we using the data for? What kind of data should we be looking at? Can you share with us how do you stay motivated every day? Could you share with us maybe one online resource, tool, website or app that you absolutely cannot live without in your business? Could you share with us maybe one or two books that have had the biggest impact on you? It could be a book that you read recently or maybe a book that you read a very long time ago, but it still had a great impact on you. Could you share with our listeners where they could find you online? Could you share with us maybe one thing that's going on in your life right now, either something that you're really excited about to develop yourself or even to develop your people? We have a lot of listeners who are business owners and managers who feel they have great products and services, but they constantly lack motivated human capital. If you were sitting across the table from that person, what's the one piece of advice that you would give them to have a successful business? Could you share with our listeners where they could find you online? Share with us maybe one quote or saying that during times of adversity or challenge, you'll tend to revert to this quote, it kind of helps to keep you focus, just remind you of why you're doing what you're doing and it gets you back on track. Highlights Bill shared that what you're really doing is focusing on this very old school form of marketing, word of mouth, which sounds like this thing that just happens. But the great thing about us all being digitally connected is that there's all kinds of ways that we can amplify the effect of word of mouth now. And so, that's really what they're doing. And so, if you've done the really hard work of coming up with a great product or service and you take care of your clients, you're getting referrals today, just you probably want more of those. And so, they've just put scale and efficiency into how you do that and they found that following the data is one of the best ways to do that, because they're running the same kinds of campaigns across several hundred small businesses. And therefore they see what's happening much clearer and much faster than you can if you're doing it just in one company at a time. Bill shared that he really likes to focus on just the two challenges, the two biggest mistakes that he sees over and over again. And the first one is talking about yourself, which it seems kind of counterintuitive because marketing is all about getting the word out about what you do. But the truth is your audience doesn't care about you, what they really care about is the challenges they have in their life, their career, their business. And so, if you just flip your marketing on its head and you start talking about those challenges and providing insight and perspective on how your ideal prospect can address them, suddenly your marketing gets vastly better. So, it's this kind of the 90/10 rule, most companies have 90% of their marketing about themselves, we just need to flip that around and make it make it 10% about you and 90% about the issues that your clients are having. And then if you do that, then the biggest problem that they're going to see over and over again is the lack of consistency. Most companies do what he calls random acts of marketing; it's just like this sort of series of things that comes one after another. If you really want your marketing to be effective, then you need to pick a strategy that you know works, the best way to do that is to pick up on something that's already working really well for other companies like yours and then stick with it because there aren't any miracles in marketing. The thing that makes this so difficult is that you start to see really good results, you see early results like 6 months in and you see good results 12 months in and then 2 years in is when it just starts to really transform your business if you do this right. Me: So, marketing is also very much tied to the customer's experience and I would say in recent years I've seen companies not taking such a silo or individual approach. But now they're really merging together the marketing strategy along with the customer experience strategy, because they're very much aligned. You can market and advertise the problems that you are trying to solve. But in trying to solve those problems, if my experience is poor or really bad, then I'm likely not to return and I'm probably going to use that same word of mouth advertising to blast you on social media and tell people this was terrible, I had to wait so long, the team members were not knowledgeable, they didn't know what to do to fix the issue, I had to wait so long, the list goes on and on. Bill shared that he absolutely agrees with that, and the way that he often talks about it is that if you haven't addressed those issues, a lot of times people make the idea of brand into this really complicated thing, but really your brand is just that it's the customer's experience and working with your company and no amount of marketing is going to fix that if you don't have a good customer experience. Really great marketing is this loop where the feedback comes from your customers, it drives product development, it drives the messaging, it drives what you're communicating with your audience that then brings more customers in, which gives you more feedback to work off of. Marketing when it's done really well is the flywheel of the business, it's what drives everything. Me: So, basically taking definitely a more integrated approach, as you said, taking the feedback from the customer and possibly even using it to drive your product design or even service design in terms of what the customer journey will look like so customers can actually have a more hassle free experience. Bill shared that he thinks it's one of the huge advantages that a smaller company has. So often you go in and talk about marketing within a large company and it's just what you're describing, it’s a siloed experience that is really disconnected from the real problems your clients are having, the experience they have in working with your company. This is a huge advantage that you have as a smaller business, that you can choose to fully integrate these things and make the customer experience the primary driver for your marketing, because every moment you spend to making the customer experience better is going to pay off 10x in the effectiveness of your marketing. Me: So, we spoke a little bit about marketing and we spoke a little bit about customer experience. I know that sales is also very important to businesses and seeing that a lot of us are being impacted because of the pandemic that's going on globally, how is it that you recommend organizations stand out right now especially in this time. Those who weren't even in the digital space and have now moved into the digital space, people are being bombarded with lots of webinars and marketing initiatives and it's a lot of information to consume. In all of that, how is it that you make yourself stand out and still be able to maintain sales with those challenges being faced with? Bill shared that to some extent, depending on your business, it may not be realistic to maintain the same level of sales, and that's what creates a real challenge, which is that this is actually one of the best times to invest in marketing, because even though with everything you just said is absolutely true, the amount of engagement and the amount of attention that is available right now is much higher. We look at LinkedIn, which was already on this huge growth path and then the moment this crisis hit, engagement went up 55% overnight. And so, if your audience is on LinkedIn, you're doing something in B2B, then you want to be in front of that audience, connecting with them, building that network because they're paying more attention now than they ever have before. So, the way that you break through, there isn't a secret to it, it's irrelevant to your audience and be consistent. His goal is never to create the one breakthrough campaign that goes viral and everybody sees it, it's everyday viral. How do we create a steady flow of co
39 minutes | 3 months ago
098: Creative Stress Reduction Solutions for the Busy Professionals with Carlee Myers
Carlee Myers is an expert at helping professionals who feel overworked, overwhelmed, or on the verge of burnout relieves stress so they can find more joy at work home and beyond. As a founder of The Stress Less Company, Carlee has helped hundreds of professionals across the country take action to reduce stress through coaching. She believes there is no-one-size-fits-all when it comes to stress management. Carlee, a Diplomat of The American Institute of Stress, has had her work most recently featured in media outlets such as Parade, Good Day Philadelphia, FOX 29, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philly Mag and Whoolley Magazine. Questions Could you tell us a little bit about your journey, how did you get onto this journey to manifest or understand that you are manifested to help others reduce stress in their lives? Talk to us a little bit about stress and customer experience, to just expound for us why reducing stress in your life can impact your overall wellbeing and of course impact your business regardless of what type of business you're in, whether you're the employee or the business owner. Let's say our listeners that are listening to this episode, they are looking for some tangible takeaways, give us maybe two or three things that they can start doing tomorrow morning to reduce stress. Based on your experience and just working with the different clients that you've worked with over the years, and I know it's a very general question and it may not overlap across many different people, but maybe two or three stress-relating activities that you found works well for busy professionals, low resource, is healthy for you, but generally speaking people tend to enjoy it. Can you share with us how do you stay motivated every day? Can you share with us maybe one online resource, tool, website or app that you absolutely couldn't live without in your business? Share with us maybe one or two books that have had the biggest impact on you. It could be a book that you read recently or even a book that you read a very long time ago but the principles and tips that you maybe have picked up in there still stay with you to this very day. Can you share with us what's one thing that's going on in your life right now that you're really excited about either something that you're working on to develop yourself or your people? Where can listeners find you online? What's one quote or saying that during times of adversity or challenge you will revert to it, kind of helps to refocus you and just help you to get back on track. Do you have one of those? Highlights Carlee shared that she likes to say whenever folks asked her this question that you've opened a can of worms. But the cliff notes version of her story and how she ended up in this line of work is actually it goes back a really long time. So when she was about 12 years old, her parents had gotten separated and her mom ended up dating again and you're probably thinking, okay, well, what does that have to do with any of this? Well, her mom ended up actually dating a bad apple and as a result, that bad apple, she broke it off and he had never kind of let go of the relationship. And so a few months later that bad apple, that ex-boyfriend broke into her childhood home, killed her mom's new boyfriend and tried to kill her mom. So, as you can imagine, as a 12 year old girl, she struggled with stress, with PTSD, with overwhelm, with anxiety, with fear, you name it, she was probably struggling with it. And for about 10 years, she really struggled and when she says struggled, she thinks that's probably an understatement. And to be clear for everybody who's worrying about her mom right now, she's alive, she's well, if you saw her today you would have no idea that she was shot three times. All she has is a pair of reading glasses and a slight limp, but it's wild. But for her, she struggled for 10 years with PTSD, with overwhelm, with stress, with everything. And for the first five years of her journey, she didn't tell anybody. She thought that if she told anybody that she would be the straw that broke the camel's back in her family, that her family couldn't take another problem to deal with, or that she would become a burden to other folks. And so, as a result for the first five years, she didn't tell anybody. And then one night she actually had probably one of the worst night terrors of her life. And she finally opened up to someone and thank goodness she did, because then she started slowly but surely sharing with people in her life. “Hey, I'm kind of struggling right now.” or “I'm feeling a little stressed or I'm feeling a little overwhelmed.” And she would ask people for advice and it was like clockwork, she would get the same five or so responses every single time. “Hey, Carly, have you tried therapy? Have you tried yoga? Have you tried meditation? Have you tried changing your diet? Have you tried exercising?” Have you tried insert mainstream approach here basically. And the reality was for her is that she had tried all of that. She was so desperate for change that she had tried all of that and some of it didn't work and some of it worked a little bit, but nothing ever got her over that hump where she was experiencing things like happiness and joy and peace of mind and contentment and silliness and goofiness and all of those beautiful states of mind that she used to roll her eyes at because she thought that they weren't real. She thought people were faking it and all this to say that it took her 10 years to find the thing that worked for her. And at the time it was art, it was creativity. And now as she has matured and grown, she has learned that more specifically, what she has found is this thing called Creative Stress Reduction and that is any activity that gets us out of fight, flight or freeze mode and into a state of play or flow. And so she spent a few years when she figured out what this was and what it was all about and how it worked. She spent a few years being upset because she was like, “Why isn't anybody talking about this? Like, this is so important.” She struggled for 10 years, she know there's people that struggled for 20, 30 plus years and that's not okay. And so after she spent a few years throwing a temper tantrum because no one told her, she had to figure it out on her own. She realized, “Oh crap, like I'm supposed to be talking about this.” And so, that's how she ended up here. That's how she ended up with The Stress Less Company, because she don't want anyone to feel like they're stuck or that something's wrong with them because those five or so mainstream approaches that everyone's talking about, isn't quite working for them. Me: It's so fascinating that you shared how you got on your journey was because of a pain that you were experiencing, a challenge that you were facing that you did the research on your own, you tried different methods, proven methods, not so proven methods and then you decided to come out with this wonderful solution and now you're offering it to other people because all businesses go into operation to solve a problem. And a lot of times it's the entrepreneur, the person starting the business that has the problem first and realizes that, “I'm not alone. This isn't an isolated problem. This is a group problem. This is an aggregate problem. How can I create a solution that will not just fix it for me, but fix it for other people?” so I really thought that was quite insightful. That's what I got from what you said awhile ago, that a lot of times we're solving problems we think is just for us, but a lot of other people are having the same issues. Carlee shared that she does a lot of speaking and she shares a more extended version of her story and of course she’s sharing tips and tools to manage stress. And she cannot tell you how many times at the end of events, people will come up to her and they'll say, “I'm so sorry about what you went through.” And her response always kind of jars people because her response is, “I'm not, I'm not because if my mom hadn't gone through that, if I hadn't gone through that, if my family hadn't gone through that, then none of us would be doing the work that we're doing today. None of us would be the people that we are today and as a result of that, our lives are so much better.” Me: That's so true Carlee. It's funny that you say that too, because I was listening to a young lady that I follow on LinkedIn and I'm not sure what type of abuse, but I know she suffered severe abuse in her youth and now she's an influencer on LinkedIn. But one of the things she speaks about as you said is she's not sorry about the abuse that she went through because she doesn't think she'd be the same person that she's today, if that wasn't part of her journey. And you're so true. Sometimes we wonder how we ended up on the paths that we're on and we don't realize that it wasn't by chance, it was by design why we ended up on the path that we're on and I guess as you get older and you become wiser, the picture is much clearer, there's more clarity. Carlee shared that managing our stress is so key to having our customer’s experience our businesses and our work in a much better light. One of the key symptoms or a few of the key symptoms of stress, we can start with the mental health side of things, which is irritability, anxiety, depression. And then we go into the physical symptoms, which they can be as slight as headaches and things like that. And then we can go into the more extreme, which is like cardiovascular disease, heart attacks, strokes, and things like that. And so when we think about stress from the perspective of, “Okay, when I'm experiencing distress, all of these symptoms come along with it, then am I really functioning at my best when I'm showing up in my business and in my work. If I'm showing up with a client irritable, or if I'm showing up
52 minutes | 4 months ago
097: How to Use Video to Accelerate Sales and Build a Fantastic Customer Experience with Ethan Beute
Ethan Beute is Chief Evangelist at BombBomb, coauthor of Rehumanize Your Business: How Personal Videos Accelerate Sales and Improve Customer Experience, and host of The Customer Experience Podcast. Ethan has collected and shared video success stories in a variety of formats for a decade. He's even sent 10,000 videos himself. Prior to joining BombBomb, he spent a dozen years leading marketing teams inside local television stations in Chicago, Grand Rapids, and Colorado Springs. He holds an undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Michigan and UCCS in communication, psychology and marketing. Questions Could you share with us a little bit about your journey of marketing and customer experience and how you landed at BombBomb. And of course, the book that you wrote, what inspired you to write the book and what impacts has it had on your clients and as well as non-clients? Could you explain to us by when you say humanize the connection with customers using video through the services that BombBomb provides, what does that look like in reality, if I was to apply that strategy in my business, what would that look like? We spoke about video and how video can definitely humanize the experience for our customers. One other thing that I'm really curious about Ethan is in the book, do you speak about how it is that you can build better relationships with your customers? Can you 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 share with us maybe one or two books that have had the biggest impact on you? It could be a book that you read recently or maybe something that you read a very long time ago, but it still stays with you to this very day. Can you share with us one thing that's going on in your life right now, something that you're really excited about - either something that you are working on to develop yourself or your people? Where can listeners find you online? Do you have a quote or a saying that during times of adversity or challenge you'll tend to revert to this quote, it kind of helps to keep you refocused kind of get you back on track. Do you have one of those? Highlights Ethan shared that his story of how he arrived at BombBomb. So, as you read in the bio there, he spent a dozen years in local television and that was kind of by accident. He was at the University of Michigan, he always liked school, he was good at it, he enjoyed learning and growing and he didn't really have any career direction. And so, he ended up in the communication department there and wound up going back home to his hometown of Grand Rapids, Michigan for the summer and got an internship in television and then ended up doing that for about a dozen years. But he was bored of it, he was tired of the work, it's highly repetitive. Television news is not a particularly interesting product after a certain amount of time. And so, he was doing all kinds of project work and he hopes some of the listeners can relate to this. He wasn't quite sure; he had been doing about the same work, obviously with some nuance differences, for a long time. And so he was wondering what else would he be good at? What does he enjoy doing? What skills does he have that would be transferable to someplace else? And in television, you do a lot of writing and producing and editing, so he was very comfortable with video and he had met the two co founders of BombBomb socially when he moved out to Colorado Springs. And they were building this company from nothing. And so, he did project work with those guys for a couple of years, he wrote some email campaigns, he made a couple of videos for them, he wrote some website copy and he just really liked them, he liked what they were about. He liked the mission that they were on, he liked the purpose behind the company, which is not just to generate revenue and be financially successful. There's a lot of purpose behind the work. And so, he knew when they could make him a somewhat competitive offer to leave the television station that he would join them. And so he did that almost 9 years ago now. And as for the book, he was just really excited about what they were doing. He thinks he hit his sixth year full time at BombBomb. And when he started, they maybe had 100 or 200 customers and now they have over 55,000 at the time, he thinks they had over 35,000 or 40,000, he was just really excited about how far they had come as a company and as a team and as a community of people who are being more personal and more human in their communication. And maybe they can get into the nuance there, but just to tie it to the book; he just felt like, they're marketing the service, they have positive word of mouth, customers that like them, really, really like them and bring more customers to them which is all any business could really ask for, is that their customers are so satisfied that they bring new customers to you willingly for no compensation. And so, he was just excited about the growth of the community and the movement. And he felt like a book, like a traditional book would be beyond their webinars and their blog posts and their social media and some of these other things and their customer base spreading the word. He felt like a mainstream business book about this opportunity to use casual conversational unscripted videos would get the message to more people. He knows that they will be in a better world; it'll be a better place to live and work when more people are more personal more often in their business communication. And so, that was what motivated him to start writing. And he started writing it between 5 and 6 in the morning, on his own time and the better part of a Saturday or a Sunday, most weekends. And then started talking about it with some of his team members, he wasn't sure A, how to write a full length book and B, how to get it to market. So he had to work on both of those at the same time and ended up going with a pretty traditional publisher called Wiley. He had read a lot of books that they had released and he liked them. And it was a fun journey. To the last part of the question there, one of the things he did in preparing to write the book was he re-read books written by people he knew and then asked them if they would talk about the process of writing their book and all six people he reached out to said yes. And the one theme that was very consistent for them was releasing a book will open doors that you didn't know existed. And by that, you're not doing it to capitalize on a particular opportunity or to create a particular outcome. It's just that doing it will open up opportunities that you didn't know were opportunities. And he would say that is come to be relatively true. He thinks it's one of the reasons they are talking today. They've sold a lot of copies of the book; people that he doesn't know are reaching out to him directly by email because he included his email in the book and reach out by LinkedIn and other networks. And it's just really neat to see the impact that it's having on people because again, you get to be yourself more often, it's just so wonderfully satisfying and then it builds human connection. And so, it's been delightful to have it out in the world. Ethan stated that when he says video, he thinks a lot of people, when they think about video in a business context, they think about lights and scripts and budgets and drones and green screens and expensive equipment and all these other things. And that's all nice if you're using that style of video in YouTube or on your homepage or in social media or whatever, that's fantastic and you should continue doing that. If you're not doing that, there's an opportunity that every business has, that every person has. And that is to replace some of your plain typed out text, this faceless digital communication, the same black text on the same white screen that doesn't differentiate you, it doesn't build trust and rapport, and it doesn't communicate nearly as well as when you jump on a video call or you jump on a Skype call or you get on the phone or you see people in person. There are so many benefits to bringing to life your message and by using your webcam or your smartphone in a casual conversational, unscripted type of way; you can be more personal and more human more often. And so what BombBomb does, and they're not the only company that does it, they make it really, really easy to record these video messages and send them to people typically by email. But you can also share them through Facebook Messenger or LinkedIn Messenger. You can text the videos to people, etc. And so, when you think about video the way they think about it, they call it relationships through video and to draw a line against marketing through video. And he doesn't mean against as in that's not a good thing you shouldn't do it as he already said, if you're doing marketing through video like budgets and scripts and things, good….keep doing it. But this relationship through video piece, it's just about being a person instead of being a two or three paragraph block of text. And so you're wondering maybe when would I use this, we could talk used cases for the rest of our conversation here, but he'll just share a couple that get people's minds going. One of the most important things that they can do for their customers and for their employees and for their partners and suppliers and vendors and other people in their business ecosystem is to say, thank you. And so if you only used video, if you took 5 minutes every morning and you thought of two or three people, and you just said, thank you. “Thank you so much for filling out that survey. Thank you so much for renewing your contract. Thank you so much for taking the time to have that phone call with me. Thank you so much for spending 2 years of your career with us. C
35 minutes | 4 months ago
096: How to Discover Your Purpose and Develop Your Leader Within with Don Frericks
Don Frericks knows the exhilaration of working with a good leader and the unrelenting pain of working for a bad one. In over 30 years of corporate leadership and coaching experience, he has developed the reputation as on outstanding leader, a passionate advocate for personal and corporate change, and a well-loved personal leadership coach for various Fortune 2000 organizations and industries. Questions Could you share with us a little bit about your journey, just tell us how it is that you’ve really got into this leadership path, were you put into it by accident, did it happen by chance or is this something that was a passion for you from you were a young person? Could you share with us maybe two or three character traits that you think leaders need to have, especially now. So, what are those two or three qualities that leaders need to have to ensure that during this time they're still maintaining a high level of customer centricity internally and externally? How do you stay motivated every day? Can you share with us what's the one online resource tool, website, or app that you couldn't live without in your own business? Are there any other books that have had a great impact on you? Maybe a book you read recently, or even a book you read a very long time ago that has still had a great impact on you? Could you share with us what's one thing that's going on in your life right now that you're either really excited about something, maybe that you're working on to develop yourself or your people? Where can listeners find you online? Could you share with us a quote or a saying that during times of adversity or challenge, you'll tend to revert to this quote because it kind of helps to keep you refocused. Highlights Don shared that he loves it because it's not a normal path. He actually had three wonderful experiences working for tremendous leaders, people that just were inspiring that you wanted to follow them because they were so good with people and they helped you be the best that you could be. And what was interesting in each one of those occurrences, they were the one that hired him, but they were gone in his experience six months later. And it was so abrupt and so quick that it was a bit shocking. And the next leader that came in behind them was not as good. And in fact, in a few cases, they were horrible; the kind of people you would say would be the bad bosses of the world. And it was such a night and day difference. It shocked him to his very core and he noticed his own behaviour, his own performance slipped. He noticed that he didn't like it; he wasn't engaged like he used to be. He worked at a very high level, he puts a lot of energy and heart into his work and he wasn't doing that with these other bosses. So, he really felt like there's something about great leadership and how it has a huge impact on other people. And after that experience and through those experiences, he started studying tremendous leadership and extraordinary leadership and what the difference is between good and extraordinary and why it makes a huge difference on businesses. Me: So it's definitely been in your core, in your DNA from very early. Now, I see here on your bio also that you’re the author of the book, Best Boss Ever: The 5 Steps to rapidly develop yourself into the leader everyone wants to follow. And this podcast is called Navigating the Customer Experience as you know. One of the things I've found in the years of being a customer service trainer is that leadership is very critical in customer experience because if the leaders are not on board with delivering a quality experience both internally, because it starts from within, and then of course it flows over into the external, you're going to have a lot of challenges in the organization. Don agree that Yanique is right on track with thinking how dynamic a situation can be internally as he’s sure you've seen many times where people have talked about the power of serving the employees so that they can serve the customers so well. Great leaders today get that, they understand that their service of their people internally needs to be taken to the next level. And that probably means getting to know your people at a level where you understand their emotional needs and understanding how they're dealing with all the challenges with the pandemic and the other things that are happening in our environment. So, they're missing the point and they're missing an opportunity to connect heart to heart with their own employees. And that will prevent their employees from reaching out to the customer in such a way that that experience, as you're an expert in is at the highest level. And so we have to take care of our people and that's the leader's job. Don shares that he thinks one of the most important aspects of extraordinary leadership is the ability to inspire and motivate others to high performance, Zenger, Folkman. John Zenger and Joe Folkman have done a tremendous amount of research in this regard. And they've looked at over a hundred thousand leaders around the world and from their research and their data, they have shown that statistically inspiring and motivating others to high performance is the most important aspect of extraordinary leadership. So, it's one of those things that you'd say, “Well, that makes sense because when I'm inspired and motivated, I do my best work.” But as a leader, “What is it that I actually do to inspire and motivate others?” He’s sure the listeners have that question like, “How do I do that at a high level?” And the number one trait that they have uncovered is making the emotional connection, similar to what he was just saying. Leaders today need to sometimes push aside their performance metrics and all of their meetings and the policies and procedures and make the emotional connection with their people, the most important thing. And one good way that he often coaches his clients to do that is to go down and think about each person that's on their team and to assess how much of a relationship they have with each and every one of them, high, medium, or low, and how much trust is there in that relationship, high, medium, or low, and then to ask themselves, what can they do to invest more in that person emotionally, what can they do to connect with them in a way that maybe they don't have a connection today? It's amazing what comes up when you start to think about it at that level, as if it's one of the most important things you can do as a leader. Another thing that he thinks listeners might be interested in is that the conversation around what inspires and motivates us doesn't happen very often in business today, we're expected to bring our own inspiration and motivation to our work, and absolutely the best employees are highly motivated. But it's fascinating how as you go through life, what gets your attention changes as you move from maybe a very young age to mid age, to older age things that are important change. And so, what inspires and motivates you today may be different and good leaders stay in touch with what inspires and motivates their people by connecting with the changes that happen to them throughout their life. And so, one way to do that is just to have a candid and curious conversation with their employees and team members about what currently inspires and motivates them. He finds a lot of leaders miss this point, because it seems like something that they feel like they don't need to talk about, but that's the problem. It is absolutely an emotional need for people to talk about what inspires and motivates them. Me: And you want people to also feel very comfortable sharing with you because I may not feel comfortable sharing with you what motivates or inspires me if I don't trust you, which is what you alluded to at the beginning. A big part of leadership is getting people to connect with you, but also for them to trust you. In terms of what inspires you, it means you're getting very vulnerable about what you like and what you don't like. And you typically feel more comfortable sharing that information with people who you feel you can trust, would that be fair to say? Don agreed and stated that he loved the way Yanique put that together. Without that foundation of trust that you're speaking of, it is very hard to have a meaningful discussion about anything that's close to our heart, especially the things that inspire and motivate us. Vulnerability is absolutely a key and it's one of those skills that he finds a lot of leaders actually have to work at, it doesn't come natural for some reason, it seems like we've learned that when we get into the business world, we actually become less vulnerable. We become more professional, so to speak. That's not what people are looking for, they're looking for your heart, they're not looking for your professionalism. Me: Why do you think leaders who are able to pretty much get a high level of productivity from their teams. There are some leaders who are not able to get that level of productivity. So, to give you an example. Yesterday I had a friend that called me and she said that her hairdresser has an employee, the young lady does really, really good in terms of her technical skills is amazing and the business owner cannot imagine this person not being in her business. However, when I spoke to the owner, she said to me, the lady’s interpersonal skills are extremely poor. She doesn't know how to talk to people; she says things that comes over to be very disrespectful. The clients don't really like dealing with her, but she, the business owner cannot imagine her business without this person in it. And so, she wanted to know if I think training could fix this person. So, from a leader perspective, if you got a call like this, from a person like this, what would you recommend? Don shared that his gut says that he'd like to
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