The Customer Experience Podcast
The Customer Experience Podcast

Episode · 6 months ago

208. Moments That Matter In Customer Experience w/ Ethan Beute


We go through life with a million different moments that shape who we are, our experiences and how we interact with others.  

How do we differentiate between what matters and what doesn’t?  

It’s about the confluence of competition, commoditization and digital transformation. 

I’m Ethan Beute, Chief Evangelist at BombBomb, here to give you three specific tips on customer experience and focusing on the moments that matter.  

Listen in to this episode to learn about:

  •  Why moments matter to them, not you
  •  How the difference between a reactive and proactive approach matters
  •  What digital transformation means for the acceleration of commoditization  

Subscribe, listen, and rate/review the Customer Experience Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon, or Google Podcasts, and find more episodes on our blog.

The single most important thing you can do today is to create and deliver a better experience for your customers. Learn how sales, marketing and customer success experts create internal alignment, achieved desired outcomes and exceed customer expectations in a personal and human way. This is the customer experience podcast. Here's your host, Ethan Butte. Customer experience is a collection of moments and interactions. It's made up of every single touch point, analog, digital, machine, human, in person, virtual, direct, mediated, synchronous, asynchronous. Every touch point works together to create the experience. Not every moment, though, is equally important or emotionally your resonant. That's what we're diving into today. You'll get three specific tips on moments that matter, and before we get to those, you'll get a reminder about why all of this matters and why it matters so much right now. My name is Ethan Butte, host of the customer Experience Podcast, chief evangelist at Bomb Bom and Co author of two books, The Wall Street Journal Bestseller Human Centered Communication as well as rehumanize your business. I appreciate you listening to this episode. As always, I would love your feedback. Ethan E T H A N at bomb bomb dot com. You can email me directly or you can connect with me on Linkedin. It's Ethan Butte. Last name is spelled B E U T E. I would love to hear from you with any thoughts, feedback, questions, and at the end of this episode I'll give you an additional way where we can connect and talk about the ideas within this episode. Of course, inflection points come up all the time in any ongoing customer experience conversation, including this podcast. I'm thinking of episode with Dr Cindy McGovern, who also teaches it specifically as moments that...

...matter. I'm thinking of episode one with Jacko Vander Koy, founder of winning by design, that one has moments that matter in the title and it's because, again, customer experiences a collection of moments and interactions and touch points and not every one of those moments is equally important. So we need to identify the ones that matter the most and make sure that they're a part of a great experience. We can take forgettable moments and make them memorable. We can take terrible moments and save them right, we can avert disaster, we can take good moments and make them truly great and remarkable customer service and customer experience. Expert, chef hike in, who is a two time podcast guest on episodes fifty seven and much later on episode one, refers to these as moments of misery which are a great opportunity to turn the situation around, or moments of magic, again, taking forgettable or ordinary or even good moments and making them great, truly memorable, truly remarkable moments of magic. Identifying and improving these moments proactively and consistently is the way to improve customer experience. We improve the experience by improving the moments that matter most. So we'll jump into three specific tips, but first here are a few thoughts on why this conversation matters right now. In short, it's the confluence of competition, commoditization and digital transformation that makes this so critical. Competition, commoditization and digital transformation. So competition can be characterized by dynamism. It changes, it changes fast and often those changes are often out of our control and they're often dramatic, which is...

I we hear business truisms like what got you here won't get you there, and just saying that I'm reminded of something I heard from my friends sue woodard, who was our guest on episode in which we talked about love as a competitive advantage. She shared with me the old definition of insanity and the new definition of insanity. The old definition of insanity, of course, is doing the same thing and expecting a different result. The new definition of insanity, and this fits this Dynamic Competitive Paradigm, is doing the same thing and expecting the same result. So old doing the same thing and expecting a different result. New doing the same thing and expecting the same result. So as things change, we cannot afford to keep the same focused, to behave in the same way and to do the same things to try to get the same results. Now, sue built an amazing career in the mortgage industry and to bom bomb, we have thousands of mortgage customers and I've personally connected with hundreds of them. Plus you very likely or familiar with the mortgage process yourself. So I'll share something specific happening in that industry right now. From a competitive standpoint, a primary point of competition over the past several years was refies or refinancing because interest rates hit historic lows or historic. In my lifetime anyway, everyone who had a mortgage wanted to refinance it to save money, to get into a lower rate, and anyone buying was already buying in at that rate. But I personally know people who bought a home and refinanced it less than a year later because rates were falling. Now, compared to a mortgage for the purchase of a home, a refi is much simpler, it's much faster, it's more transactional. It's more like a simple equation. Plug in the numbers,...

...see what the result is, proceed if the customer desires. And many loan officers chose to compete significantly on that refi business. So they built this muscle, this musculature, this muscle memory. Now the processes to be very fast and highly transactional and a lot of them made a lot of money. But all of a sudden rates are rising, they're rising quickly, some would even say dramatically, and there are a lot fewer reasons to refinance your loan. So the primary point of competition returns to the purchase opportunity. This is a much different process. More people are involved, it tends to be more emotional. There are a lot more moving parts. It's more like a story problem or a puzzle than it is an equation. It's less plug and play. There are more things to figure out and they're moving parts, like I can't buy this place until I sell that place, contingencies, and it's so much more relationship based. Now. Many loan officers never took their eye off the purchase opportunity. Others geared up and leaned into that refi opportunity at the expense of some of their relationships. The whole point here is competition is dynamic and the shifts and changes are very often beyond your control and dramatic. The nature of competition is also affected by commoditization, the death of differentiation, the rise of Sameness, and it's something that we see in so many different markets. An episode on which we call the value of human to human moments. I brought in some great insights from Matthew Sweezy, a marketing futurists at salesforce, who observed that over time, almost every market tends toward commoditization. It's characterized by people being able to get approximately the same value for approximately the same...

...price, a little bit more uniformity and standardization in product and service offerings, a faster and more transactional sales process, because there's less distinction between choices, and price can often become the primary point of competition. Of course, this can also turn into a race to the bottom, and I'll observe that even in our space of video email and video messaging, a space that we pioneered over the past decade here at Bom bomb, that there are a lot more people coming into the market. There's more VC coming into the market. A lot of our younger competitors are using the same language that we've been using for years, and that's just part of the dynamics. So it's a it's commoditization at some level very early stages, and this also ties to the nature of competition. And a third factor affecting both of those dynamics, of course, is digital transformation. Digital transformation has dramatically accelerated through the pandemic areod some people estimate seven to twelve years of transformation were pulled into the past two or two and a half years. So everything we're experiencing today was inevitable at some level, but it's here with us today because we were forced into it via the pandemic experience, and what happens is the experience gets more mediated, more virtual, more digital. It becomes a bit more commoditized. The antidotes to this our emotion and differentiation and, like competition, commoditization and digital transformation working together to create these interesting and challenging and perhaps even fun dynamics to work through. Emotion and differentiation work hand in hand, and this is why we need to identify and take advantage of the moments that matter along the customer journey, within the customer life cycle and in the customer experience. And with that, here are a few tip around moments that matter. First, and this may seem...

...intuitive, but it's worth being explicit about, we're talking about moments that matter to them, not to you. This is about their feelings and thoughts and actions. This is about their interests and needs and wants, not yours. And of course they could be prospects and customers, they could be recruits and employees, they could be strategic partners or other stakeholders. They could be anyone, of course, that you're building your success with and through and four, generally, we'll talk through this in terms of prospects and customers, and customer experience. So what matters most to them and when? What matters to them intellectually and emotionally, what we want to provide in these moments is positive emotional resonance, that feeling that sticks with them. And if this sounds soft, I just want to remind you about something that I talked Howard Tiersky about on episode one. Customer feelings drive customer thoughts, and these thoughts may be conscious or subconscious. Of course we make the vast majority of our decisions subconsciously and they're based in feelings and emotional resonance in memory. So customer feelings drive customer thoughts and those customer thoughts, be the conscious or subconscious, drive customer words and actions and decisions, and those words and actions and Decisions Drive Your Business Outcomes. And if you buy that logic, then we can say that your business outcomes are driven by your customers feelings. Another way to think about this is in the words and ideas of Dan Hill, two time podcast guest, multiple time author, fantastic person. He's featured in human centered communication. In chapter four he teaches us that emotion and motivation share the same Latin Root Move Ray. That's to say, where there is no emotion, then there is... action because there is no motivation. In addition, emotion drives memory, so what is emotionally resonant with people is both memorable and motivating for them. That's why positive emotional resonance is key to you achieving your business outcomes. So look at and listen to the voice of the customer. Look at all of your feedback channels, look at notes from customer interviews, play back those chorus or gone calls, discover or rediscover or refine what matters to them. Don't just look inside and think about what matters to you and your team. So that's tip number one. Here's tip number two. There are two approaches to moments that matter, one that's more proactive and one that's more reactive. Proactively, we can plan and plot these moments that matter and make sure that we're delivering our best in those moments. reactively, we can identify in the moment one of these moments and equip and empower our team to avert disaster or make something forgettable memorable. And if we have good pattern recognition about this reactive identification of a moment, perhaps we could turn that into one of the more proactive moments. So again, the customer journey, customer lifecycle, customer experience is a collection of moments. These moments can be mapped and not every moment is equal. So what a way to look at and think about those moments in order to be proactive about some of them, is to look for where there's friction, confusion, frustration, slowing, reduced conversion, where people disappear, where people go quiet. These are moments to proactively get ahead of the issue and improve the experience. And again, you'll see this when you're listening to the voice of the customer and paying attention to and collect thing even more better...

...organizing your customer feedback. We can reduce friction, we can reduce confusion, we can eliminate or reduce frustration, we can speed things up, we can increase conversion by finding those most important moments and getting ahead of the question, getting ahead of the problem, improving that step, anticipating those needs and solving for them. And again, reactively, we can equip, empower and engage our teams to identify and improve moments that we haven't proactively addressed yet. This requires some opportunity, recognition, some prioritization, some decision making a bias toward our ideal or best fit customers, those that fit the characteristics of other customers with incredible lifetime value. Customer delight can come from a smart, proactive anticipation of a need or want or removal of a painter frustration. Delight can also come from a thoughtful reaction to a situation, and that reaction can exceed even slightly customer expectations and dramatically improved the experience. Just another tip from chef, who I mentioned earlier. Being amazing for our customers simply requires that were slightly better than average all of the time. It's not about blowing people's minds periodically, it's about consistently showing up and being slightly better than average over and over and over again, and this process of blending proactive and reactive action related to moments that matter helps us getting much more consistent, especially where it really counts. So tip two is about customer journey and customer journey mapping and proactive and reactive engagement in those moments that matter. The third tip is related to the way that digital transformation has accelerated commodity zation very generally speaking, the customer experience... increasingly digital and increasingly faceless. This makes it more like a commodity. It all feels a little bit more the same. But, as we discussed an episode one, human to human moments play an outsized role in creating memorable experiences. Emotional connection, human connection, those things that stick with us, that great customer service, Rep that amazing person who helped us make our flight, or that rude server who seem to have no interest in accommodating our needs or even hearing us out on them. The process or the experience may go well or poorly, but in those human to human moments the bad can be nullified and the good can be amplified. So as we look through the journey or the life cycle or the experience, we identify these moments that matter. We need to be really mindful about what we're automating. We're the off ramps are out of a chat or some kind of other digital experience, can I actually reach a human when, why and how? Of course this varies by business model and go to market strategy, but in general we should be using our new tech to support high touch, giving the machines those things that are repetitive, monotonous heavy lifts, so we can free our people to do what they do best. Emotional, dynamic, ambiguous, unpredictable, creative, responsive. And this doesn't always require direct human to human engagement via phone, via zoom, via chat or in person. We can add emotion, we can increase differentiation, we can build human connection simply by mixing some video messages in in place of what would otherwise be faceless, typed out text, to communicate...

...more clearly, to get the emotion or tone right in the message, to break down detail or complexity, perhaps with a show and Tel screen recording. And, like any of the touch points or interactions or engagements in these moments that matter, a video message could be done proactively, record it in advance and use it as appropriate, or it can be done reactively, truly bespoke, truly personal in the moment and should that moment arise a few more times, then perhaps we get ahead of it proactively by recording a video that captures what matters and improves the moment. For most people, video, email and video messaging is a space that I've been working in for over a decade now. I've written two and a half books on the topic. It comes up often here on the customer experience podcast, and for good reason, and so this is my unique engagement offer. If you are interested in a conversation about competition, commoditization, digital transformation, moments that matter to them, proactive or reactive approaches to those moments and solving for the shortcomings of an increasingly digital and faceless experience, go to bomb bomb dot com slash podcast. This is episode two D eight. In the middle of that page at Bombom DOT com slash podcast you'll see the three most recent episodes. So, depending on when you're listening or visiting the site, this may be one of those top three or you might have to Click Seymore and scroll down to find it. But episode two eight, when you look at that post, you'll see a link to my calendar. I'd love to learn a little bit more about you, about your company, about your customers and about the moments that may matter most to them. It's a short appointment but I think we can have a really fun and useful conversation. So visit bombomb dot com slash podcast, check out episode...

...two, Oh eight and if you notice that there are several weeks in which I'm unavailable. It's because I'm heading out on sabbatical thanks to bom bomb, but I'd love to connect with you before or after. I hope you found this helpful. I do welcome your feedback. I appreciate you hit me up on Linkedin. Ethan beaute. Last name is b e u t e. let me know how you're improving moments that matter. Here's a fun fact. Video emails and video messages aren't about video at all. They're about you and about the other person or the other people you're sharing that video with. Videos are about your tone, intent, enthusiasm, gratitude, concern and all those other rich human nuances missing from your typed out messages. Save time, add clarity, convey sincerity. Send video messages from Gmail, outlook, iphone, android, salesforce, outreach, Zendesk, Linkedin, slack and beyond with bomb bomb. Learn more and try it free at bomb bomb dot com. Thanks for listening to the customer experience podcast. Remember, the single most important thing you can do today is to create and deliver a better experience for your customers. Continue Learning the latest strategies and tactics by subscribing right now in your favorite podcast player. Or visit bomb bomb dot com. Slash podcast.

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