The Customer Experience Podcast
The Customer Experience Podcast

Episode · 3 years ago

1. Trust, Neuroscience & The Customer Experience w/ Ed Powers

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

If your customers can’t trust you, how long will you stay in business?

Probably not long. You’ll dwindle, flounder, and grasp for meaning and a customer base, but at the end of the day, if your customers don’t feel like they can trust you, you may as well close up shop.

You're listening to the customer experience podcast, a podcast dedicated to helping today's growing businesses restore a personal human touch throughout the customer life cycle. Get ready to hear how sales, marketing and customer success experts surprise and delight and never lose sign of their customers humanity. Here's your host, Ethan Butte Hey, thanks so much for playing this episode. Glad you're listening in. I'm really glad that you're here and I'm glad to have our guest this week, ed powers, who I know as a longtime consultant into software companies, into the SASSPACE around how to reduce term but specifically, among other things, he's got an amazing framework for building real human relationships at scale. Ed, welcome to the customer experience podcast. Thanks. You've been great to be with you. That's my background with you, but you've got a certainly a more nuanced and interesting background that I shared there. Can you just let folks know who you are, where you're coming from and what you're up to? Sure even well, I've been in business about thirty years or so. I have spent some time in sales and marketing. I was an operations and quality. I've run organizations and startups, big companies, and I spent about fifteen years or so in consulting and these days I'm back in an operations role at a company and South Denver called and telesecure, and we're in they managed it security business. So that's a little bit about me. And Right now, we were talking before, I'm in the midst of writing a book, so that's been kind of a hobby of mine. That's awesome. Is is the theme of the book similar to kind of where we're going to take this conversation today? Yeah, absolutely. The book is really about the customer experience and applying neuroscience to that. So how do you make your customer experience brain friendly and how does that warm up your interactions and how does that drive customer retention and loyalty? Cool,...

I'm sure trust. You know, when we when we talk about building relationships at scale and neuroscience and brain friendly, I'm sure trust is the essence of this. Can you just paint a broad picture about where we're going to go over the next fifteen to twenty minutes? Yeah, trust is, you know. I'm sure everybody's heard the addage you know people do business with people they know, like and trust, and you know it's intuitively obvious that that's the case. But there's also some interesting empirical data that also supports that. There have been some studies among the loyalty researchers that really show when customers are buying something, a product or service, and there's a risk associated with that, they tend to rely much more strongly on their sense of trust. And Trust is kind of a blue in our social environment, whether it's, you know, an intimate person that we have in our lives or business associates or friends, you know you need to trust them. So I we'll talk a lot about about that whole idea. Sure. So trust is one of those words, kind of like customer experience is, where I say it and you know what it means, but you might have a different understanding or definition for it in somebody else. How do you in the in the context of this conversation, how do you define trust, like what are its key components? Yeah, and and I really like the definition that of trust being a willingness to accept vulnerability or risk when you work with someone. So it's it's your comfort level right that that you can be vulnerable, you can be your true self, you can say something without repercussions. You're not going to be judged, you know. So. So trust is really this the sense of comfort, safety and security working with someone else. And the psychologist say that it really breaks down into three major components. Its ability, benevolence and integrity. And ability is competency, you know, consistency and behavior. Benevolence is caring...

...for someone, that there's there's genuine commitment to share goals. And Integrity is, you know, doing the right thing, even though sometimes it can be the hard thing. So the the example that I use, as you know, think of your doctor, right, and so is do you trust your doctor? Well, let's that's round the litmus test. Is She a good healer? Does she genuinely care about you as a person, not just patient? And you know, if you have to have a difficult conversation, is she going to shoot straight with you? And if the answers yes and all of those conditions, you probably trust your doctor. Right, that's a great example and I love those three elements that you broke out there again, ability, benevolence and integrity does just sound like the words I would associate with someone I like. Yeah, example, and apparently trust, and so you know, when these things are there's a process. They're right, like I need to sense the benevolence in you, even if I don't assign those words in my mind to you and my experience with you. And that's just one of the three components. How do we come to trust each other? How do we build this in people's minds through experience? Yeah, it's a great question and there's been some my interesting neuroscience on that. You know, we talked about earning someone's trust right. Well, we actually learn about trust. Trust is a learning process and, like you say, it comes through the experience. There's a neuroscientist by the name of Luke Chang who did an interesting experiment using something called the trust game, and the trust game is a is an economic experiment that has been around for a number of years and it's like an investment game. So you work with other players in this game and you invest money with these other players and it pays a big return. But some players will return that money back to you and take your money they invest. You'll see what they get back. Some of them will share it back and then other ones will keep it for themselves, right. So what they do is they that you play this game over and over again and you learn which which...

...partner is trustworthy and which one is not, and the proxy for that is the amount of money you invest with that person. So in that experiment, what they do is they rig the game, of course, and you know they have some players that are and will return the money eighty percent of the time and others that or return only twenty percent of the time. And through the course of playing the game you kind of learn, well, this person I can trust, that person I can trust, and you can actually see that it actually when you measure the amount of money that's invested. Lo and behold, it's a reinforcement learning is that through those experiences you learn who can be trusted and who can't. And one thing that that Chang also studied, which is really interesting. He has a mathematical model that shows is very predictable. And there's two elements to this. There's there's what you learn over time and there's what you learned initially. What do you believe about another person, and which you believe tends to set the stage for how you behave throughout that experience with another person. It's really interesting. So loop Chang, if you want to look him up, sechanng. So if one component is where we start in the other component is is what we learn through experience. What is that? Where do we get our initial beliefs about trust? I have to assume that varies across the population to some people probably grow up in much more trusting environments. I'm sure some of it is deeply instinctual and part of the human experience we're in general. We'd our initial baseline starting points. You know, for example, I think about tipping. When I'm at a restaurant, I started twenty percent. If someone does an amazing job, to go up to twenty five or even thirty percent, and if it's terrible they might go down to fifteen percent. I'm really not the ten percent guy. So I have a baseline and things get better or worse. And I feel like that's what you're talking about here's people have some kind of an initial belief, for a baseline for how trusting they are of other people. Where does that come from? Yeah, like you say, law, some of it is environmental and their individual differences and some people genuinely are more trusting and there's actually there's...

...an age dependency as well as the older you get, the more trusting you are, which is but but generally we use, you know, the brand likes a lot of shortcuts. You know, it tends to use what other information, what whatever information is available at the time to make these initial assessments. But we always do it automatically. We do it sub consciously. If you were to know somebody you know, like you know the mafia, is always this person's is a friend of ours or is a friend of mine, and because of the association you know from someone else, you you set expectations about that other person based upon what you hear from someone that you trust. So that's one way. But in this case there was something really interesting, and researchers have known this for quite some time, is that just showing someone a face is enough to set a trust expectation about someone else. So just showing a faces is important and what they found was that just by showing a face, a smiley face or an angry face, that alters people's behavior. There it forms an initial trust belief. So it doesn't take very much at all to to get someone to set like a little condition in the brain and the once they have that little ankor then they then they work with that anchor, just like in your tipping example. Excellent. So obviously, then, this is a deep part of the human experience. I have to imagine that our ability to judge based on faces and have impressions based on faces is part of our deep survival instinct, or something like that. How did what was that? What are the dynamics behind access to the human face and and all the things that it triggers in us? Yeah, you know, it's interesting. It's one of the first skills we ever learned as an infant, right before we can talk, we can recognize faces, and so we're hard wored for that. And they've shown that in less than a hundred milliseconds, which is about three times faster you can than you can blink your eye, you process a face and what you do is you look at the eyes and the...

...mouth and what you're really looking for is their emotional state. We attribute and a expression to an emotional state, and the eyes and the mouth are very descriptive for us and we can instantly tell is this person, this new person that I'm seeing for the first time, is this our friend or foe? Who is this person going to do me good or they going to do me harm? And that we have wiring in our brain that goes to our our Migdalo, which is our our fear detector, and there also imprints on our memories. So we immediately make this association by looking at the face when we say I can trust that person. That person looks a little shady to me, and we do it subconsciously, automatically whenever we see a face like instantly, Yep, yeah, that's you. You gave me new language and new understanding for something I've known and even taught before, which is that human emotion expression through the face is both universal in a nate. We all do it from birth, that's the innate part, and we all do it across history, across cultures, across the side as we all do it the same way. So even if someone is sitting with a translator and the translator hasn't hasn't translated the person's words to you from another language, you still have a sense of you know, are they angry? Are they clear, or they excited? Are they happy, etc. So we do a lot of work in video at bombomb here, and so something a lot of people run into, because obviously the implication what you're saying is in our businesses, sharing our faces and a variety of ways more often it is going to be a benefit to us. But a lot of people will get hung up on I got a face for radio kind of stuff. Talk about that, right. So for someone who lacks the confidence to appear more often, whether in video or whether in photos or whatever, live video chats or video emails or whatever, talk about that dynamic is does any face work? Yeah, actually, any face does work, and it's funny they can even they've done experiments where they're just three dots. Right, there's the two dots where the eyes are, the...

...little doubt for the mouth, and we recognize that kind of face. That's how hard word we are, you know. We ever, when you see the front grill on a car, you see a face, or you see, you know, our rock formation or clouds, you see a face. So we're hyper sensitive to look to interpret anything that looks like a face. But in terms of trust, it's really the expression and not not the the nature of the face itself, unless you're dating, of course. Now, if you're dating, there is some science that shows people like symmetry in the face and people will fixate on that and whatever. But if that's not true goal, you just need to look into the camera. You know, I straight ahead and smile and that's really all that's necessary to create a sense of trust. I love that. I'm going to be scanning the environment for faces even more intentionally now than I was before you introduced that. But I've experienced all the things you described in clouds and rocks and things. One of the business implications here. So just to kind of connect the DOTS as we wind up, you shared a lot of compelling research. I think all of it makes sense. You've spoken directly to the one of the things that motivated me to to start this podcast in the first places. And where does the human belong in the customer experience, whether it's a tangible product or an intangible product, or that or the product is an experience itself. Buttons down a little bit around this research. Where does this point? What can someone do differently over the next day or week or month, or what can they teach their team? You know, how might we operate differently in light of this information? At sure, and it's you know, What's interesting in these economic experiments and again these are laboratory conditions where they measure things and they control of variables. But in the laboratory environment they have found by sharing, by showing a face, that cooperation or the trustworthiness and these interactions increases about fifteen to twenty percent, depending upon the experiment, and there's been a lot of experiments that have kind of verified this idea. So if you could just show your face and get fifteen to twenty percent higher cooperation with a prospect or customer, that's...

...a slam duck. Why not? Right? It's a simple thing that gives you a little bit of an edge and that fifteen to twenty percent maybe all you need. So what I tell people is, you know, put your face everywhere. Put your face on your website, put it in your signature line and your email. You know, if you have like little mail or cars, put a face on that. You know, we all look at social media. Do we look at facebook? While? Do we look at do we read stuff? Now? We look for the pictures of the people and what that we know we're attracted to those faces. So wherever you can put your face out there, and that's what I really love about bombomb what you guys are doing, because it's really encapsulating this and it's it's making it easier for people to show their faces and to tell their story. And in the very beginning, when you're building a relationship, you want to have every advantage you can to set that bit, to get people to have that initial trust belief, and the more you do that, the more you get on the right path. Now, at the end of the day, you have to still act in a trustworthy fashion. Right, ability of benevolence and integrity are all very important. If you if you yourself or you work with your company, who is incompetent or there you know their cheaters or whatever. The truth comes out and people will learn their lesson. They'll give you the benefit of the doubt, but in time you know they're going to. They're going to wake up to the way that you are. So you obviously, the way you look has to match your actions. At the end of the day, that's what's ultimately important. But getting that initial nudge, getting that initial direction forward, getting you that that appointment that you're seeking with that new prospect, all of these little things add up and that put you in a position to be successful. It's excellent integrity. My language on integrity is consistency and word. Indeed, you know, are you going to do the things that you promise, whether those our promises on your website or promises on the phone, or promises that you can actually get customer support when you need it, etcetera. So these things really add upability, benevolence and integrity. There are a lot of ways to do it, but ultimately the experience should be at...

...some points human and I think Ed you shared a lot of really great recommendations and great research on the importance of this human aspect, which is trust based and obviously deeply embedded in our in our psyches. There anything you want to wrap on, to wrap up with here, anything you want to share with folks that we maybe didn't touch on? No, I think that's it and I really I appreciate you going down this path, even because, you know a lot of times we get we get wrapped around the Axel on metrics and processes and deliverables and contracts and you know, we do lose sight of this human this human nature, and business is all about people. It's all about the how do we experience each other? How do we learn and grow and learn to trust each other and do business and hopefully do business again. You know, that's that is a human process and we need to pay very close attention to that. So I would just recommend to your listeners to give it a try, you know, take a run at it. When I since I've been talking about this, people have come back and said, you know, I gave that a go. It's on scientific but man, it just feels different. Customers seem to respond a little bit better. So I would say give it a go. That's excellent. Thank you. A if someone wants to connect with you, ed and build some no like and trust with you, what are some of the easiest ways for anyone to connect with you? Well, well, I'm available on Linkedin. I connect to people all the time. I said now a little you know, stories about those little snippets, and I'm in the middle of writing a book, so hopefully when I do that I'll let you know on that's available and have that. But definitely linkedin is a good way to connect great ed powers. Thank you so much for your time today on the customer experience podcast. I will definitely have you back when you're able to button down that book, because there are a lot of topics I'd love to talk with you about that we didn't even get to touch on today. So I appreciate your time so much and have a great rest of your week. Thanks you even I appreciate. Its A lot of fun. You're listening to the customer experience podcast. No matter your role...

...in delivering value and serving customers, you're entrusting some of your most important and valuable messages to faceless digital communication. You can do better. Rehumanize the experience by getting facetoface through simple, personal videos. Learn more and get started free at bomb bombcom. You've been listening to the customer experience podcast. To ensure that you never miss an episode, subscribe to the show in your favorite podcast player or visit bomb bombcom. Thank you so much for listening. Until next time.

In-Stream Audio Search

NEW

Search across all episodes within this podcast

Episodes (222)