The Customer Experience Podcast
The Customer Experience Podcast

Episode · 3 years ago

11. Rehumanizing Business and the World With In-Person Communication w/ Darin Dawson


“I want to rehumanize the way people think about their communication. I just think people are better face to face.”

Today, almost everyone relies on email, texting, message boards, and other impersonal methods to get their work done. Unfortunately, these messages lack the body language and vocal signals that we humans rely on to fill the communication gaps.

And emojis can’t cut it.

Darin Dawson, President and Co-Founder of BombBomb, which makes it easy to record, send, and track video emails within the systems you already use, has built a career on this idea.

He joined us on a recent Customer Experience podcast. Below are some of his ideas on rehumanizing business communication and the world.

Art Core values are about. Number one is relationships, and it's about building relationships other human beings. 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 customers success experts surprise and delight and never lose sign of their customers humanity. Here's your host, Ethan Butte. Welcome back to the customer experience podcast. I'm really excited to have a longtime friend, the person I've worked with professionally longer than anyone else in my already long ash career, the cofounder of bomb bomb, the president of bombomb. Not that set the title these days. Yes, okay, the President Coec to spop amount as needed. Yeah, so I'll welcome to the PODCAST, arendonk. You for thanks for having me. It's fun. Yeah, but one of this for a long time, right, and we have in a way. I mean our careers started together. We wanted to have a show together for a long time once, be honest, right, and we met at the local NBC station here in Colorado Spring. Yes, was always kind of a running thing and here we are. You and Connor built this business and successfully pulled me out of my prior career into this. It's been awesome. That's that was always the idea. I was leaving and was like, you know, you're coming with me, right. Wasn't quite Jenny McGuire, is that? But you know as close. Yeah, like there was a plan in play. It's like, come on, we're going to do this right. You're like, okay, yeah, so totally. I needed it. So we're going to start where we always start, define customer experience. I'm glad I have them listening to the podcast. Very good, very much, and human left a review for it. I think. I I don't feel double check out. You should double checks. I feel like it's disingenuous because it's like mine, but it's you. Yeah, but you don't want to. I'll do that. Okay, you've heard it, of course. I've heard every podcast. So, yeah, I thought a lot about this question, figuring that I would eventually have to answer it, and I'm usually running on the treadmill listening to this. So so it's kind of hard to piece all together anyway. To me, it's everywhere that a person experiences a business, right. So I really feel this in terms of the people of the business and how they experience them and I think about things like trade shows or phone calls or emails, and then, of course the product, yes, but I guess this really loves itself out for me anywhere you can experience our people. I feel that that is the lead foot because I believe in human beings and that I believe that we're better in person. I believe we haven't trings value. So I therefore apply the experience more to a human experience, rance and anything, and I really love trying to help people live that out in our teams here and it's important to us. That's how I think about it. That's awesome. So I mean just to capture that. Something that you've offered that I don't know I've heard before as an answer to this question, is is the people come on how to, how to customers experience the people on our side of the business, and it reminds me to exchange I was in on Linkedin the other day where we were talking about how people talk about other businesses and it's very, very infrequently product feature benefit. It's a moment that they had. Often it involved something that a person did or whatever. I love that the person is at the core of it. I agree. I for me, when I think about really companies I love, it's often the person I love at that company. You can't always do that with products like your phone or whatever maybe, but I really like my handscaper or yeah, I pick there. I like that person some. There was a bomb there and I felt like they're the one I could trust with my home. Yeah, and so I do think comes back to...

...people and I I come from a small town, as you know, and so I grew up in a way that was more like our neighbors just dropped by and you had these these quick converstion like or long conversations, but that was the how I grew up. And so we're you know, the handshake was all you need it and you did what she said you would do, and that really is lived on with me and that's why I think I that's what probably puts me into that trajectory and I think about experience. Yeah, it's great. So you obviously have per view over the entire organization. You really a sales and marketing guy at your core and that's what you've taken. Taken on a lot here. But talk about the challenges of you knows, someone who is attuned to experience in someone with, you know, responsible responsibility, oversight, an opportunity to roll into any situation, any team in the house and have some influence there. What are the what are the main challenges for creating a great experience for our customers here at bombomb and that's a great question. I it's the people. It's given her getting everyone in the same page, on the line towards the same goal that we're all trying to tackle right, because you come of opinions and and I'm a big fan of we can have opinions, we can disagree vehemently, but the end of the day we all need to agree and move forward. And I think you know this about me that I really try not to be an overlord about the way I think, although I'm opinionated, I'm a salesperson and I'm working guys, so I'm persuasive. Yeah, but the same time I trually want to know everyone's like. I want to come to consensus at the same time. Sometimes you have to make the call as the owner of the leader, but for the most part, if you have the right team, you can come to consensus and you know that that is the right direction to go. But to create that experience for everybody, you kind of have that, have that common goal and vision and get with it together. And I think so often, you know, a lot of times you get consensus, you think you do, but there's somebody, and maybe it's you, and you're you're holding out and you're not just to want to say it, and I think that affects you know, if you're not if you're not all bought in and we're holding out, we're not being truthful about our concerns or not being okay with actually saying, once we come to this conclusion, we're all going to move in the same direction together. I think that causes issues. I've seen that in teams and you know and talk with a lot of CEOS and friends of mine. We talked, I talked about this a lot and and in a lot of times that drips out into how your rand is felt, how it's built, how all all things were at to the customer experience. I think can be hurt if we're not aligned, moving the same motion, trying to get to the same goal. Answer a question a hundred percent. It does. It's that is a big challenge. Is Alignment Right, and I'm going out, especially as you scale, especially as you're adding people all the time, as we are like. So you have new people, they have ideas and you want to hear them. You want to diverse culture. That's bringing these new concepts to the floor. And how do you align those and how you get run on board and so the vision and keep the culture and tact? And you know everybody is, if you're running a business, you've probably heard this, that everyone's concerned. Will as we grow, how will we maintain the culture? And you know, I think you're you know you're there. When I said this, it's like it's I can't any longer be the soul or connor and I be the soul purveyors of culture. It is up to you if you want to maintain this culture. You you need to take these on as your own core values and kind of push for them on your own. So I think, and that's a big again, a place hugely into how I believe people experience our brand and through its people, because they should be able to tell you what the core values are and why we care about them. And what they mean to them personally as well as what they mean in this business, and they should have been recruited and hired and onboarded to those things. And that's ideally, that is exactly. Yeah, yeah, it's...

...good. I wanted to ask you a follow up. For the sake of time. I wrote about, like you know, the voting process on how we do things and does everyone get to raise their hand and do we go with the popular vote and that thing, but I already know the answer there. You know, you have to you have to listen to all the voices, take them all into account, have some proper council that decides this is the direction we're going and and really work to build that by it. Obviously we worked together for a very long time, because it's exactly how I would have answered that. It's good. That's really good. Sometimes that's say look, have you talked to youthing about this? Then you know exactly what I say about it. That's good, that's I'm happy to play that role. Yeah, I'm glad that that's there. So for people that don't know bombomb talk, just share a little bit from your perspective. How do we help people improve their customer experience like what you know. I think that's fundamental what we do. It's one of the reasons, there two reasons I took the podcast in this direction. One, I think what we do dramatically affects our customers, customers mm, in a really positive way. And then the other one is that I just think that you know to your to your reaction to the idea of what's the biggest challenge, like it's a complicated thing and involves everybody and whatever. So anyway, speak to that first part of it, the how do we help people connect and communicate with their customers more effectively? I just believe that human beings communicate to each other in a way there's unique in that. We are currently stripping all of that uniqueness out in our in our business communication. A lot of our communication rules of the email or texting, social media and even, you know, as we came from the news business, where it's this polished, like in authentic presentation of who we should be, were on video rightdom. To me, that's what I want to change. And you know, we started this business with the idea that man, if I get in front of some one, chances are going to buy from me. But I wanted to raise the amount of at bads. I had to be in front of people. So we you know, we knew if we could be in front of more people in more often, we'd have more opportunities, and so that was the idea because we knew we were better in person, and I believe that everyone is better in person in the whole point of sales calls in marketing typically us to get in person a lot of times or to get the sign the contract. But arguably if we were in their conference room where we're sitting down across from them, the chance of that happening would be higher. So I want to make that a transform of experience for the recipient. Their customers say, wow, I like that person, just like like to my landscaper, and that's why I chose them right, even though they were, frankly, the only one that call me back as well, but I really did like him. The three people I called whole nother problem whome theother podcast. But I mean again, our core values are about. Number one is relationships and it's about building relationships other human beings and the fact that I can't not wave my hands around when I talk. That says something about me and your brain picks up on that and we communicate more non verbally than we do verbally in the way our tone and inflection, they seems mattered. It's so interesting to me, man, I we've talked about this a lot. You know I talked about this all time, but we spend all this time trying to hire the right people and often will interview them and we judge them based on their ability to present or how they talk, how they carry themselves, how they connect to the connect with people, especially sales people. That's a big deal, right. Can we trust them with a brand? And then we just give them like Gmail and our sales forces, a get after it and we strip away all that and it it's crazy and I'm we believed in two thousand and six when he first started this and we believe it now. I think more than ever that we want to rehumanize the way people think about their communication. It's a big deal to me and...

I just think it's better. I just think people are better facetoface and humans are better than text. I just I've bet no one disagrees, like we can disagree about scalability and talk about how to get at that stuff like that I give you and to it is it applicable? And to be clear, we're talking about simple personal videos, typically Webcam smartphone videos recorded in place of some of the plane typed out text. You my descent, and so people might disagree about when she's a canned evergreen video, when you get truly personal and say the person's name and speak, and I like all those things, but I think anybody disagrees that hanging out with people is where it's at and that's what this life is about and that's what we most look forward to in the weekend. Ultimately, is being with the people we care about and I just think that we can create more relationships like that in our business life and make it a more rich experience and by using more authentic personal type communication to video. It's great. I love it, and in for the Aha moment for a lot of the customers. So my role here has been really collecting and telling customer stories for years. Yeah, the Aha moment is typically in that reply that someone gets back from from a customer that says, you know, all my Gosh, thank you so much for this and they realize that it is different than than what they had been doing before, but you know, one of the more I'm thinking of Michael Thorne here, someone who just got it instantly. You're in the Alger in that show's early longtime customers. They got it the second they received a video from me where I greeted them by name. There's an instant connection of I want to make my customers feel this way as opposed to some other people. Get that out moment with they get the reply and they're like, Oh Aha, I made my customer feel a different way than if I had done it another way. Absolutely yeah, yeah, so I'm going to at the risk of violating some constructive criticism I've received about asking more than one question at a time. Then come from me. Okay, no, it didn't. That's why I still feel safe doing it with you here. I'm going to just full full a couple ideas together. You know, again, we've already established your kind of a natural sales and marketing guy. It's just in your blood, it's who you are, it's how you've looked at the world and looked at business in general. So talk about like what is that proper relationship between the sales team and the marketing team? What do you wish more salespeople understood about market or marketing people, and what do you wish more marketers understood about sales people? Like talk about that relationship between those teams. It's obviously super important. It's important to the experience and it's important to the business. Yeah, I think it's changed a lot of my career. I really think. I know. Sometimes I think I can this. Insiders look at this anyway. I think used to be very much siload and I think they are. I believe they're varying, inner, intertwined, that they are integral to each other success, especially in our business, as they can't think of a business where it's not. But oftentimes we see the things as siload, or I see them siload and businesses and frankly, competitive in nature, but where I believe they need to be in unison, working alongside each other to a common goal and and I don't I see that happening more than I have in the past. But it used to see a very silent and very combative against each other. I was competitive. I think they're both like competitive people that choose those paths, like we are, like you know, I think I'm more sales Z and you're more marketing me. I mean we were I was in sales and you're a marketing in our past careers and so but yet we've always seen how that coming together is better than trying to do it apart. But I don't know, it's a tougher question and say, well, I wish they understood more about each other, because I guess I have an interesting path now where I have both departments reporting to me and we have a nice layer of cynergistic thinking going on there. Now. We haven't always what we do today. So I gosh, I guess. Okay, I'll ask that part specific to you personally. You've...

...been a salesperson in a variety of roles. Like yeah, what is it about a sales role that you wish maybe CS person or a marketer understood or respected? Yeah, and that, and I don't even like like I'm working hard over here. Respect me. But like your bom has always kind of under values the other ones ability. It's like they know sales people think it's super easy to create these inbound leaves or the pipeline for them and in the marker thinks that the salesperson disrespects the lead and it's an easy Gig and I think everyone framed of the things. The sales job is the easy job, right, but it's it's not like they just get paid all this money or something, it's just walking a park. But it's not. I mean it's it's a different type of hard. Okay, like and likewise, in the marketing world, is hard to think about strategically how to get this person fill this form out. Does not easy to capture that opportunity to give it to a salesperson. So, you know, it's this tragic mix where the marketer thinks this hospers wanders, the lead needs at work so hard for and in the the sales people think that the markers are just playing ping pong and in the in the quiet, John Dan's very applicable for us. And Yeah, so that's where I think. I think they need a one. This happens in every job. Fully understands one what it takes to do the other and they you know, I try and enlighten both sides of that spectrum. Like what he just did was super hard and she just did was super hard. And you guys need to get better line. But because you're all going in the same direction, you're all trying it's the same goal. It's the revenue right that we're trying to drive there. So I think we're in a good spot right now. We are, and I but I've been in spots there horrible. Yeah, horribly competitive, and you're not doing it right and you should do this different lane. I'm happy not to be in that place right now. Yeah, I me too. It winning really helps, by the way, winning ails a lot of things. It also masks a lot of things. It does mask a lot of things. Yep, I we just had, you know, just worked on that yesterday and you know, you know, we're like, we're winning here, but wait a minute, is that exactly what we wanted when we said that that was what we were going to achieve, and you achieve it, but did we? Yeah, what's in that number? And how's that makeup? Yeah, that's good. That's good, good, I'm glad. You gotta take away here. That's a good time. All right. So we were talking about this a little bit before we hit record. It's, you know, customer experiences. I think, deeply, deeply based in employee experience that if employees have good experiences, that naturally comes out. I'm kind of, I guess I'm time back a little bit to where you started, but I think I want to like kind of start winding down on this. Is What kind of team and environment like, kind of what are you trying to set the tone for here? Like what do you want, you know, whether they're, you know, it's a customer care associate who's dealing with I can't get my Webcam to work, or a salesperson WHO's trying to, you know, diagnose and discover and shine a light on a path forward for a prospect or a you know, any of these seats that we have in the house. Like what kind of team or environment or experience, like how are you trying to create a sense of purpose and connection here? Yeah, I think there's a lot of jobs like that in the world and it's a pretty good job mark right now and you could go do that job somewhere else. That our job like it. So when Connor I started this business, thing that we wanted to make it about was we wanted to really make a den the universe is how we used to talk about. We'll make it then the universe. They're sure about what that was, but we're pretty sure. Just wasn't an our path. That there's anything wrong with a hit, but that, you know, I said this here day. I'M NOT gonna have a billion dollar ranch somewhere with ranch hands or something. You know, I'm not there. Whatever, I'm not going... I want to make it then the verse with as that mean, and recently what we've kind of tied that into is how we're going to we want to that only rehumanize people's communication, we want to rehumanize the planet, and people like, oh, that's just some you know, this is my finger that someone listening where I was going. That to some, you know, crazy bs that you don't recognize the planet. Well, well, as we unpack that, what does that mean? What that means is to rehumize a planet. We want to rehumanize the people that are dehumanized. We want to use bombomb, the thing that's humanizing your communication, as a way, as a vehicle to do that. And so what we try and do is invest in non profits or in people or that are attempting to rehumanize people that are being dehumanized in places like, you know, Africa, where they don't have food and or spaces in America they on food locally. We do it with a couple organizations with homelessness, with families that are on the streets that are homeless, also with women who can't receive healthcare. We they provide free health care and to me, if you can and get health care, you're deep being be humanized. I mean, at this point we should be all of health care. But we could either complain and try and change it or we can literally change it in your backyard, and we found a plate way to do that. And so for us, that is how we can help rehumanize people. And we have a problem with slavery and this world right now. I don't think a lot of people honestly know about that, but people are being more enslaved in this world than they ever have been, sex trafficked, human trafficking. Let's change that or we could buy a ranch like I would rather choose the corner and trying to make don the universe by rehumanizing these people. If you've ever met someone that has been in these paths and then has been rehumanized, that has a job and has a home now and that life is gone, you will want to do that, and so I want and we try and do this. That's why you're answering the phone of bombomb that's why I wants to be pumped. The answer that ticket. Yeah, make that sales call, because we're trying to do something different. Not only does our technology help people be better facetoface and build that human relationship, the human connection, but we're going to change the planet one thing at a time. I'm big. My thing is to do the next right thing and we're just tackle what we can. I'm going to try and humanize the planet and we're going to do our best to do it and hold me accountable. Yeah, I love it. It's it's foot it is part of what keeps me excited every day. There are two things that keep me excited every day to come back. Well, I guess three. One one would be the team. I think there's a lot of joy and fun and challenge and all these other things that that are that make it enjoyable to be here. But then there's also the when I get a customer story back that's like, and I hear this is going to sound just as dramatic and crazy to someone who has heard it before, as rehumanize the planet, and it's this man, this didn't just change. My business has changed my life. I've heard that multiple times. That's remember. I remember like a guy, this is a camera's name, you probably will it was a gentleman who use bomb bomb to raise money because his dad cancer. I'm like, have remember the story? Yeah, I can't Remem I remember looking at kind of back. Dude, if it is all to do that, I'm good. Yeah, I'm good, like like I'd rather been directly help saved one guy's life. Come on, you keep going like. So, you see, you build a business to create a sustainable revenue stream to and, frankly, the community around this too. Internally, in the third piece, of course, is this like this idea that I'm more in touch with a lot of ideas and challenges around homelessness, Around Single Motherhood, around orphans and lack of access to food and education, all these other things. I'm more in touch with it. It's fun... see when we when we get together and either physically assemble getting cars and go help people, yeah, or whether we have because instrunker treat yeah, whatever it is, or or whether it's or whether it's a presentation at the team launch, where we where we get to meet people who are on the front lines of this stuff and anyway, it's awesome. So we're going to wrap. You already mentioned our number one core value of relationships. It's how I always like to end. I like to give you the chance to think or mention someone who's had a positive impact on your life or career and and I'm really excited. I'm excited for that part too, but I'm super excited for the second part, like a company or a brand that you also feel is doing a really great job of delivering it a positive experience for you. Cash. The cycle's harder for me. The first one I've always so I didn't go to college, as you know, I didn't really so I was raised by men and women who spoken to my life. One of them was at him, Sam Frog Itt, and then alone is my father. I mean my father very much for the whole dude, you say you're going to do hard works important like these are just values that I believe are very midwestern, where we're from, and so I appreciate him for that. And then, but Sam Frog it was a gentleman who, that's where I get to do the next right thing, from just owns of business, business leader, good dude, older guy like that. Really saw potential me as young man and then invested in hanging out and developing a twenty something person into a what he saw could be a leader, and I really his words still speak to me. So it's he's been super influential. So was this something you saw in yourself at the time? Did he help bring that out of you know, man like? I didn't, and that was the thing. It's a great question. I think that was part of it that I because because I didn't fit the bill right. So I didn't. So you were listening to the culture at large that said yeah, gave a shot at college. Wasn't really my thing. I don't like run away out. I barely got a high school right like. But there was never this identification of entrepreneurism or like any of that, and so he saw that and he made it a point to spend time with me to unpack it and help expose what it was. So I challenge listens, if you know people and you see this, please and not trying to do myself, because that taught me that that some people, we look at them is like they're crazy. Those kind of me a connor both of us, but people saw something in that and they jumped in and they helped turn the page on that. I've had a lot of people and that I could list many people, and you're probably you may be listening this, that have helped me do that and I'm so appreciative of that. And I read my butt off and listen my butt off to Brian Tracy and all the classic podcast before podcast was called. See these in my card right, probably so I've been doing that for ever and still do. Clean this one. Yeah, numb. You know, cusser, experience. goshly think about this all the time. Well, I'll see you up a little bit. I think you're an experience guy anyway. You've been to Hawaii many, many times. You know exactly where you're going to go. You take your family to just me many times. If you want to talk super high end whiskey's like you like heard, experience find. Yeah, Gosh, man, I just made it harder than I was on the dreadmill listening to your podcast. A very nice resort in Hawaii, thinking how they were not winning with this. But I don't want to go negative, but I do think that I travel a ton. So I will say the hotel. You know I'm I'm a merry at person and they've treat me very well and I love, you know, frankly, being rewarded for the amount of times I travel. And they they figured out to do that. He or I think it's spoken about a ton, the rich, Carlton or Forceas is experience, but even just the General Maryatt knowing that I'm a d weary traveler, and how they...

...take care of me when I check in either late or whatever, and what they do the like bottles of water, cookies, little things like that me a lot, mean a lot when you've been traveling too much and you're stick of the road. So I'll use them as a good one. But but Whiskey, I said in mine, of the craftsmanship. That's someone took this much time to put something amazing into this bottle and the idea that been doing it for that long blows my mind, like you know, hundreds of years and the castle and Ireland and and yeah, I won't go. So there's a sti there's stories behind a little story. You're right exactly. I'm a sucker for a good story. I love it. I love building stories by love being a part of them and I love drinking them. Yeah, cool, I guess will end there. I appreciate it. I appreciate your time so much. Thank you for listening to the PODCAST. By the way, your feedback is always a good also to the people who are listening now. I welcome your feedback. You can email me directly, Ethan etch an at bombombcom or, better yet, go to itunes or apple podcast and drop a rating or review to do that. That's my takeaway. Cool. Yeah, and there's another one in there. All get that on playback, but anyway, thank you so much for being here. Thank you, and thank you everyone else. Yeah, you're listening to the customer experience podcast. No matter your role in delivering value and serving customers, you're interesting. Some of your most important and valuable messages to faceless digital communication. You can do better. rehumanize the experience by getting face to face 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 bombombcom. Thank you so much for listening. Until next time,.

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