The Customer Experience Podcast
The Customer Experience Podcast

Episode · 2 months ago

228. Designing Digital Experiences to Engage Human Emotions w/ Dan Hill


Two currencies drive the economy - our dollars and our emotions. What we feel always drives our behavior. That’s because more than 95% of our mental activity is sensory and emotive - NOT rational

So we must put a renewed focus on Emotional Intelligence in a business framework. Not only is it important to brush up on the basics but be willing to delve deeper into and work on your EQ.

This episode features Ethan’s conversation with Dan Hill, President at Sensory Logic. Dan is featured in Chapter 4 of our Wall Street Journal bestseller Human-Centered Communication. He’s also the podcast host of Dan Hill’s EQ Spotlight and the author of ten books including Emotionomics and its new, updated version Emotionomics 2.0: The Emotional Dynamics Underlying Key Business Goals

On this, his third appearance of the CX Podcast, he talks about:

  • How common is a depth of expertise in facial coding in areas such as politics, business, sports, etc?
  • What is a functional definition of Emotional Intelligence?
  • Why is Emotional Intelligence so Important?
  • What are some best practices for folks that are engaging people in a sensory and emotional manner in digital experiences?
  • What are some of the cultural contextual changes that have happened since his book: Emotionomics?   

More information about Dan and today’s topics:

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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. Two currencies drive the economy are dollars and our emotions. What we feel always drives our behavior. That's in part because more than of our mental activity is sensory and emotive, not calculated and rational. Today's guest is an emotional intelligence expert with seven u S patents in the analysis of facial coding data. He's featured in chapter four of our Wall Street Journal bestseller Human Centered Communication. He's the founder and president of Sensory Logic. He's the podcast host of Dan Hill's e Q Spotlight. He's the author of ten books, including emotion Omics and it's new updated version, emotion Omics two point oh, the emotional dynamics underlying key business goals. He's just our second three time guest, Dan Hill. Welcome back again to the Customer Experience Podcast. Thank you for your indulgence Sathan. Yeah, I always love our conversations. We're chatting of course before we hit record, as we always do here, and UM, you know, the work that you do I feel like is relatively unique. So I guess before we go to our uh standard opening question of defining customer experience, give me a quick take like how common is UM a depth of expertise, not necessarily your depth of expertise, but a depth of expertise in UM, in facial coding or in human emotions across business, politics, sports, and some of the areas that you've worked. The short answers woefully lacking. Uh So, the the goal standard in facial coding, just to give you one signpost, is the facial Coding Action System called FACTS. Uh. The people who are certified as I am, you're probably talking, I'm gonna guess a hundred fifty to two hundred people worldwide. It's a very rigorous test to manage to pass it. So that's one standard. Another one is I used to do a little exercise at conferences, so there are seven core emotions you can get out through facial coding. I made it really simple. I didn't even throw any bogus options. I just gave a one word distillation of the meaning of each of these emotions two columns, and ask people to match them up seven choices. The average correct response was three three. That's that's it. So I I think that the basic answer is emotional literacy, intelligence, facial coding. Uh. They are so underperformed compared to their importance. It's a travesty. Yeah. And it's just especially like that last piece there, the idea relative to their importance. It's so interesting, this ongoing conversation we have here. It comes up a lot, and it's come up especially throughout my decade here at Bomb Bomb. You know, the tension between being data driven and human driven, and the idea that there's human emotion, human feeling, human thought typically subconscious thought driving all of those data points. UM. And So I agree with you as someone that's far more ignorant of all of this than you, UM. And I appreciate what I've learned through our conversations here. UM. It is it's not proportional to its importance in general. So with that, we'll start. I've asked you this twice before, but I'll ask it again because you know, we're evolving creatures and perspectives, learn and grow and change. Um. When I say customer experience to you, Dan, what does that mean? Well, the first thing I think is that you can't possibly have an experience with having having an emotional reaction, whether it's positive, neutral, or net or much more likely it's a blend. Uh. And you have emotions even before the experience because you have expectations related to the experience, and you probably have an afterburner which includes word of mouth advertising or diet dribes based on the experience you have. So when I look at c X, and I've looked at all sorts of models, one of the things that always strikes me is yes, that they will have neverably a feedback loop, but they'll quickly characterize it as positive or negative feedback. Well, in our core emotions, we have only one positive happiness, but there are different levels of happiness. There's joy that there's a begrudging acceptance of something. Uh. If I move to the negative emotions, well, if I had contempt versus fear, those are vastly different emotions. They call for different solutions, So they simply call it negative and not trying to tease out what the emotion or emotions might be what could be motivating those emotions, and therefore, based on the unique characteristics of the emotions, how should I devise...

...a solution or an improvement. There is so much opportunity to leverage emotions to make c X better, and so that that's what I'm really hoping can take place, and I'll do whatever small role I can take and making that revolution happen wonderful. You know, this makes me think about a variety of things. This is not going to be a very well articulated as a question, but you know, in general, when I think about a lot of the work that's going on here, I'm thinking about some of the conversations we've had where, you know, people are developing tools to ingest uh certainly text content, or to turn audio content into text, or end people starting to turn video content into data in some form even beyond the words that are being spoken that would be recorded as a video, you know, and then looking for sentiment analysis. My fear, I guess it's just in hearing that response from you, is that we're probably going to be dumbing down in that in those kind of tools and processes, I think we're maybe even attempting to dumb down the richness of a real human insight, or the richness and nuance and messiness of qualitative data in general. Like does that ring any Is that that trigger anything? For? It? Triggers quite a bit. I mean, first of all, I think I think you're right that there's concerning we're pretty dumb already. Let's not get dumber. Uh, let's let's get more sympathetic. I mean, we're really gonna be moving toward an empathy economy. Yeah, with with AI and uh, you know, I was just talking to someone the other day who said, the the uh, we moved from the farm to the factory, we lost one through the workforce in America. We didn't need them anymore. We were more productive. The same professors said, Actually, what's gonna happen is the workforce is gonna get cut in half of how we who we actually need and what role they play. So this is not you know, small stay. So this is real table stakes for the future one's career, one's company. You're gonna have to have an emotional component to differentiate yourself and make you stronger. So you have to know where the customers are coming from and you know how they're feeling. So the sentiment analysis, Yes, I've done some investigation, and you know, it keeps moving forward and getting better. But but I'll give you example. Some years ago, I had done a project where I looked at NFL quarterbacks because a lot of money gets spent on them, allow of them flame out really quickly. I said, this is just a really fascinating, you know, a little experiment on on confirmation bias where the coaches and owners are making terrible choices. And I went through and I facially coded uh to press conferences by quarterback one where they were instrumental in a victory and and cause the defeat most likely. And then I pass it on to a software company that took all the verbiage from these things, and um, it was just incredible how they had so few words that they thought were emotionally tinged, and when they seized on it, supposedly emotionally tenged was offense like giving offense to somebody. They didn't realize it was a unit in football. And I was like, come on, guys, I told you it was a study about NFL quarterbacks. You didn't even put in that qualifier. So so yes, I think there's a problem with all of those things. It's also what people won't articulate, what they don't recognize themselves, the fact that our verbal abilities reside in the more rationally oriented part of our brain. So I mean, I don't dismiss any particular tool that gets you closer to the customer. I mean, don't get me wrong. I think you should try all of them potentially, but to really get us significantly closer and to make sure that data has a heart to it, then I think you need some tool that looks at behavior and looks at emotion, uh and in in in real time or with real activity transpiring, not just not just a static picture. Yeah, you highlighted a couple issues with working off a transcript alone. Of course, it's what isn't said. There is, of course, how something is said. You know, any of us who is a parent or a coach or a mentor, like we've had some coaching moment or parenting moment where he said, listen, sweetheart, it's not what you said, it's how you said it. Or gosh, for those of us with like close friends or spouses or significant others, we've probably had that conversation. So you know, this is just something that just doesn't come off the page as a transcript, and so there's a scale component to being able to run those things through. UM. So I'd like to go next really quickly. For folks who haven't heard our previous conversations on the show, you know you mentioned a project with an NFL quarter around NFL quarterbacks. UM. I mentioned that you've done work in politics, sports, business, popular culture. UM. You do a lot of that work um as or through sensory logics. So for folks who aren't familiar, to tell us a little bit about sensory logic, like who's your ideal customer and what are some of the problems that you're solving for them? Uh. Sure, so I...

...launched Century Logic. I got really lucky. I'm often lucky in life, knowing you as one of those instances of luck, I'll confess. UM. So, this article that came from a Cornell University publication was the one that you know turn me on basically to this revolution going on in neurobiology. That's where that statistic about our mental activity is not fully conscious came from. Uh though it's actually about percent. So I read that. I said, there's no way that business is alert to the reality that emotions matter a lot. I think there's an opportunity for me here. I actually think it's meaningful. Could it could add benefit to to our economy, to people's lives, UH, to employees experiences, customers experiences. So I was rooting around looking for a tool that would allow me to do this universally and in an unintrusive matter. So obviously, brain scans are fascinating, but they're hideously expensive, and they're very invasive, and as Emily Dickinson the poet said, the brain is wider than the sky. So you got billions of neurons and you've got forty four muscles on the face, So guess which one is easier to do a little on the fact that I loved rim brands as a boy, and m Brandt was really good at facial expressions, so this was a natural fit. So our first client was was target the Dayton Hudson department stores was the origin of the company. The business issue was should they sell them what We looked at what was then the next coming generation millennials, and we said, they have no emotional affinity of connection for them to this format. This is where their aunt buys them a birthday gift or a Christmas gift. UH, So we suggest you go ahead and sell it, and they did, and I think they're very happy with the decision. So it really goes in lots of directions and in the marketplace setting. Uh. Certainly it's advertising in no small part because you know, the old joke that half my advertising dollars wasted is not very funny to most people. I think the truth that matter is this, more than half of it's wasted. UH, that it's not emotionally engaging, it's too complicated, it's too irrelevant, it's too inauthentic, et cetera. But there's also sales scripts, there's customer service. UM. You know, there's leadership, there's employee experience. I mean, there's no place you can go to in business that's not going to have an emotional component. UH. An ideal client uh, someone who probably has a big problem, a big opportunity, UH, is bored with the status quo and or doesn't believe in it and the conventional answers and is looking for something else. I mean, I'm all about transformation and improvement. I do come to this as the son of a three M executive innovations the by word at three M. My father was also a quality guru for a while before he took over three MS printed post it note operation. So for me, innovation and quality go hand in hand. Uh, because I'm not interested in flaky innovation. I'm in just a substantial innovation that will survive the test of time. So good. Um. The I mean there are obviously through emotion omics, which so let's get into the books. Like. So, you've written, as I said, ten books, um, including one that's over your shoulder for folks looking at video clips online. Um blah blah blah, which is kind of a snarky uh dictionary of business terms. That was really fun. I enjoyed that one. You've also written several books. Um. One of them was Famous Faces Decoded. Um, you broke down popular works of art. Um. But emotion omics in particular, when did you write and publish that one? Um? And then I'll make an observation about one point oh two point oh, but talk about what was going on at the time that you wrote the first one, um? And how how did you approach that? Well, the first book I wrote was called Body of Truth, and I did it, you know, through John Wiley and Sons and the terrible things. I laid out the whole book. I had a visual pair page, I had call out quotes, and as a was sure, they couldn't wait to take all that out because they wanted the simplest format possible. So the second book was Emotionalmics, and I said, damn it, I'm gonna write the book. I want to write it and the way I wanted. So the original version was for color, had a visual pair page, had all the things, and it really was essentially a bible about let's wake up to the importance of emotions and all the ways that has an impact. I'd say the first book was much more geared toward advertising and market research. The second book just threw it wide open to everything. And I would say the impetus was that I could see that this was gathering steam. When I came into the space. Daniel Goldman was the only other person who had done anything really regarding emotions and business. So I was the second person. And shortly after me, there was a AUSSI company that tried it for a bit with neuro stuff and and went belly up. But I stuck to it because I really believed in the importance of this, and so I would just say it was it was the groundswell. Behavior economics was growing in significance. That's a really fellow traveler... what I do. All sorts of publications were fascinated by the breakthroughs and brain science and their implications for our lives. So there's a lot of throw weight that helped me a lot. Also, John Cleese of Monty Python fame published a book on faces and facial expressions. So just a lot of things that fed the ground swell. And then I think the really the other key thing was Malcolm Gladwell's Blink, which the only tool that talked about in the book was facial coding for you know, about thirty forty pages. So you know that's a kind of booster rocket you're always happy for. Yeah, I love it. I bought a copy of Emotion Omics, and I was so pleased with how visual it was. It was a very unique like I strongly prefer to read books in hand on paper, but even in that format, it was a very unique experience, just like and we'll get into emotionalmics two point Oh, what a unique audio experience it was. As an audio book I'm not a big audiobook listener, and it's in part because they don't. They're not as engaging as what you did. So we'll get into that in a minute. But UM, before we get too far ahead, Like I do, I have a lot of interest in this area behavioral economics, Steve who I work side by side with, and you know, the three of us work together on human center communication UM, so you know we're steeped in this. But for the listener before we go too far ahead, now that we're like fifteen minutes in UM, for the listener who doesn't have a great deal of awareness of UM, a functional definition and maybe a functional approach to two big ideas. One just kind of emotional intelligence in general and then too behavioral economics and general behavioral science and in economic context. Can you just give a like a basic, very basic primer on these two key ideas and why it's so important from the front line to the c suite everywhere in between. Transcendent of industry. I mean, we've we've obviously and hinting at this throughout, but just lay it bare really quickly before we go too deep into UM into some of the ideas that you put together in emotionalmics two point in particular. Sure, so let's start with eq, which means we also have to invoke I Q. Everyone would know that because, of course the cart famously said I think, therefore I am. But if you look at the evolution of the brain, it's a lot more like I feel and I occasionally think, and I act on the feelings primarily. So emotional intelligence is really about giving credence to the importance of emotions, recognizing that really you are looking for the input of other people. How are they feeling, how are you feeling? Then you have to understand what these emotions mean, what's there important with the behavioral implications they have, and finally then to construct some sort of response or action plan based on that emotional feedback and analysis. So it breaks down all the time because, first of all, you know, we're obsessed with ourselves. Uh. There's a wonderful quote from New Yorker where two women are talking. One says, but enough about me, what do you think about me? And we've all been in conversations like that. So we are really poor at observing what's going on around us. We are often really shy of looking at how we're feeling. We don't want to tamper with it. Uh, we don't want any bad news to creep in in Sapper morale for instance. Then I've already indicated that I think we're often emotionally illiterate. I mean, I met myself when I started this journey. I knew so little about emotions and the import If you told me what's the difference between disgusted and contempt, for instance, I would have been utterly stumped. Uh. And I think that's true for most people. And then to be able to come up with taking them seriously enough to act on them, I think that's a pretty rare quality, and to be able to do it in the moment. So, Uh, this comes up to me all the time, and when I'm on TV, because people watch it sitting on there so it looks like it's really streamlined and working nicely. I can tell you it does not work cleanly. I remember being in the green room at at Fox. I was gonna be on Fox and Friends, and I'm talking to Karl Rovan, having a good conversation because I predicted the outcome of the two thousand and eight election and he hadn't basically, and something said, you're on now, and I said, what do you mean now? They said, we forgot to come and get you, and that they mike me up as they're running down the hallway and shoved me. I mean, I mean shoved me into the chair and the session goes live. Well, you have lots of situations in life where it's not going to be as powerful to come back later on and say I was thinking about the conversation and this and that. That's valuable, but it's also valuable to be able to respond in the moment and devise some sort of action plan which comes through practice most likely. So there's all sorts of opportunities there and all sorts of insufficiencies as they exist. Uh, you know from leaders. I mean, I'll give you example. There's one leader that I think I quote in emotionalmics too. Point know who said I don't do feelings.

I leave those two Barry Manilow. Well, I mean, first of all, you obviously have a feeling because you just exhibited contempt for the importance of emotions. And you probably have a gender bias going on there because you know, if it was in fact a male CEO, So you're kind of delegating that you know, emotions are for effeminate guys, that which is probably how you regard Barry Manilow. I'm not necessarily my favorite singer, but you know, uh, but Bury at least does address his emotions, and um, you know it's and it's just indefensible comment. I mean, as a leader, you have to take an account of the feelings that are circulating in the building if you're gonna be effective. Um, if you move to behavioral economics, it's such a fellow traveler because it's a liberation. It allows for the fact that, as some other people have said, you know, we're not Mr Spock from Star Trek, We're Homer Simpson. We feel greed and loneliness and spare and alter sorts of things that don't show up on a spreadsheet but are absolutely real. And I think it's it's really a much more humane version of business. And it goes all the way back to Adam Smith, the father of a capitalism, because not only did he write his books on economics, he also was interested in moral philosophy, which is the seventeenth eighteenth century version of saying, we're talking about psychology and emotions. And he recognized that emotions were important. He recognized the role of trust, for instance. So what I think behavior economics is really about is saying, there's a lot of noise in the data and in the process about how people make decisions, and you have to make allowances for the fact that there are blind spots and hot spots and sore spots, and that's just what it is. And as I said, I think it's terribly liberating. And UM really does eye into emotions because it accords full importance to emotions, unlike traditional economics, which is all about utility. Really good, thank you for doing that, UM, And I guess now to build a bridge into economic emotion omics two point oh. UM. You know they published the first one, what maybe a decade ago, fifteen years ago, fifteen years ago, and so of course we've had a number of things happen in that time, UM. I guess, most notably UH and most recently the pandemic and the subsequent or concurrent great resignation. UM. What else were some of the big kind of contextual like culturally contextual uh changes between the two UM pieces. Yeah, no, there's there's all sorts of things. And one last quick note on on the format too emotionalmics. I was also inspired. I was at uh invited up to Tom Peter's farmhouse in Vermont was a mother thought leaders on Christmas, and he he said to me, said, yeah, my my new book that's coming out, Reimagined. I had to go to a British publisher and art publisher, no less to get it the way I wanted because his wife is a artist and he likes art very much, and he wanted to visuals in there and he couldn't find it. He's Tom Peters. I mean, he's hold a hundred thousand copies on the first day, and yet no publisher has a wide enough perspective to say, yeah, we'll let you do what you want because it will really please the readers and what we'll make money back from all this, So that that just said, Okay, forget it, I'm gonna go my own route. But yeah, there was lots of changes. So I think globalization and and now thanks to COVID, the possible reshoring of jobs and processes is important. UM I think that millennials and gen z have such a different way of looking at the world. UM. One is their their belief in capitalism is a whole lot less than it was for earlier generations. Um, particularly in the case of millennials. There their early career prospects were punctured by the Great Recession and they haven't recovered. There just is new data out from the Treasury Department that at this point in life, relative to their boomer parents, they are economically sixteen percent behind in accruing wealth household wealth six So you better believe that inequality as an inequality a version, which is one of the principles of behavior economics, matters a lot to them because they're living it, they're feeling it. They've got college debts, jobs that aren't getting them any place financially, so they certainly wanted to get someplace in terms of how it feels in the job or its meaningfulness or changes the society. Gen z is very activists. So George Floyd Bean, he was killed less than three miles from my house here in St. Paul, just across the river into Minneapolis. So there there, there are all sorts of things going on. I mean, the demographics have changed. We just had uh uh, you know, with when the Queen of England came to the throne, one out of every two hundred Brits was non Caucasian at the point of her passing one out of seven Brits we're Noncaucasian. So whether it's the US or Great Britain or any place sounds the world is tremendously changing. And yet if you look... the executive suite, it looks pretty monochrome still and so um, you know, and and even beyond literal gender and racial diversity, what's the cognitive diversity in the executive suite? Um, I'm hoping at least that's there. Uh, and it's not full of people saying I leave feelings to very manelow. Yeah, quick, just a really quick sub question in there. You know, as the world gets more diverse culturally diverse, hopefully, as our organism organizations get more diverse in a number of different ways including um, thought process, culture, etcetera. Um, how universal? I mean I know that the I know that the facts system defines uh seven expressions, and of course there's some nuance from there, but uh, let's be clear, like when we commit to learning some of this. These are universal facial expressions of emotion. Yes, And I mean I've been in what probably eighty countries at this point I've spoken in more than I've done research and probably over thirty five. Uh So, the the the display rules can vary by culture. Obviously within that culture, that individual what motivates them to have the reaction they do. I mean, you've got to look at everything in context. But the underlying physiology of the same muscle movements correspond to the same emotions, you know. And there's been some some criticism and pushed back on facial coding, but I think some of it is really, you know, misstating what Pockman was about. Of these twenty three expressions that correspond to emotions, more than half of them go to more than one emotion. So some people say, well, there's more elasticity, more flexibility in terms of how the brain works, and it's absolutely true, and it's true of emotions. Uh you have to look for other concurrent emotions. You have to see which of those emotions that are possible based on signal make the most sense within that situation. Or in fact, what do you learn from the blend of emotions that are occurring in frontline? I mean, one of things, I think it's so important to go back to voice of the customer for a moment is that you know, they can go on and on on blah blah blah. So to speak, there might be a nugget. There might be one moment, one comment that you didn't expect, one expression that went with the comment, one failure to even say something, but it's felt. Uh. You know, when we test radio spots, about tim percent of all the emoting comes in the pauses. So you know that the client customer, who are company who paid for the radio spot, is thinking, yeah, I'm on message and I'm saying this, I'm saying that, and I've got that claim. For a lot of people, that's just noise. You know, is there something that emotionally resonants for them? And it was actually in the pauses when they're not blabbing away at you, yelling at you in the radio commercial, where the feelings can come in. So you've got to find a little nuggets that that make the difference. And um, they're really the divining rod gets you to where the water is. I love it. I mean such a pro tip. I mean pausing, I'm thinking about all the different types of people I've hosted on the show, all the different types of people who listen to the show and pausing during any kind of exchange, presentation, call advertisement so critical. I mean, we can all use So I just wanted to highlight a quick takeaway tip and I'll also give voice to one of the breakout quotes that you were on the tip of there. You gave us half of it. It's more important to be on emotion than it is to beyond message. It is important to be on message, but it's more important to be on emotion. Um, So just my quick take for you, Dan on emotion onmics two point oh. Um. It's obviously more an audio experience than a published experience. And I loved it because you brought in Tim Houlahan and Kurt Nelson, who are both hosts to the podcast Behavioral Grooves, and they're both, uh, you know, consultants at the intersection of behavioral economics and emotional intelligence, and they work in the zone that you work in. And so the three of you together some of the challenges and quizzes that you gave them. Like you know, I was, I was driving my son a thousand miles east back to college as I was listening to it, and um, you know, I was playing along with the games. You know, it was between the three of you, but I was also a part of it. It was just such I mean, I felt like what you did in print, in emotion omics, um you did in audio, or just even approaching a book with a from an audio perspective and including other guests in it so that it's not just you reading a bunch of words you wrote down. I just found it, like, I found it super engaging. Just a quick note for folks listening. And you already said this earlier, Dan. It covers the full range. I mean obviously goes through branding, sales, marketing, It goes through customer experience, very specifically, it goes through employee experience across multiple chapters, with chapters for leaders, chapters for manager, chapters for frontline...

...workers, and for people trying to either initiate or advance their careers. UM, and all the considerations that are really you covered a lot of bases there, and I guess, for the sake of time, I just want to go to a you know, spend a few minutes on a few of the key ideas. UM. I would love to go. I guess first talk about your approach to the audio. How you know, I assume you've probably known Tim and Kurt for some time. How did you put together this as an experience for consumers of this of this information of this product, Well, like, when did it occur to you to do it this way? Well, first of all, I have to say that I'm delighted that you like the interactive quizzes because to me, they are one of the main stays of the book. Um. I mean, you've got, you know, in the case of Curt PhD, who's you know, well versed and behavior economics and a whole lot of other things. And Tim, who has been alert to the space for a long time and now just got his dream job. He's working for the merger of two banks and he's in charge of C and e X and bringing it all together for Trust Bank out in Charlotte, North Carolina. So this has all come to fruition for him. But I love the fact that they didn't know the answers. Um necessarily they failed quote unquote a lot of the test, and they could acknowledge it and they could laugh about it and grow from it. Um. You know, what's the return on mistakes? That's really an important thing. And they had that spirit about it, and they can make fun of each other. And and we didn't know where the conversation was going to go. And and that's part of what's important about it. I mean, one of my you know, I know, we both loved music. I was growing up a big Bob Dylan fan. And when he was recording his most important song, like a Rolling Stone, Uh, someone was just fidling around on the organ. He said, louder more of it, um, and he the whole song transformed. UM. And I just think you have to be alive to what is happening in the moment. And that's really how I wanted to approach it. I think the origin of the probably came from without approach came from I came off the stage at Speaking of conference in Dallas and someone said to me, I will love your book if it's you know, in the same spirit and the same voice as you know how you speak on the stage. And I love the fact that I meant he really liked the speech. But I was thinking, oh, ship, because I'm not sure on page I quite had the same verve that I do live because I love the interaction, I love the audience. I like being tied into the moment and writing is hard work and generally very lonely. Um, and you know it's exciting that it makes you really flex your muscles and figure out what you're about. But it's so much fun to take seriously. And I came with a lot of notes and things I wanted to get to, but I also wanted to just see what sparked in the moments and how I felt and how it came out and what they said, and the whole interactive mode was just crucial to me, really good. It came out very nicely. And um, I'll say to the loneliness of writing, I've only written two books, you've done ten, and I think you said you're done with it. But so so this advice isn't for you, it's for anyone else. I worked with Steve Passonelli as a co author on both books, and doing it together even though I was doing most of all the like direct immediate writing makes it a lot less lonely, and you don't feel like like if my way off base here, like too far afield, like is this so anyway? Co author? Good thing to have. Okay, one of this I'm speaking probably to multiple chapters here, but it's something that's personally interesting to me. UM. You know, there's a lot of talk about face, brand, character, story, archetype, UM and and what it leads me to. I'll try to turn this into a question. It's this idea of we're trying to assign some human expression to the company or brand, like bring the logo to life like for example, one of the games you played was UM, you know the Various you know, the Jolly Green Giant, and I don't know if Tony the Tiger was one of that, but we talked about this, this this whole um anthropomorphization of the brand, usually as a human being, as a character or UM. Just talk about why we need and want brands to become human or to have human qualities, and just to kind of color it a little bit, maybe influence the direction you go. I've been talking with a lot of other people who do the work by title as chief evangelists here at bom Bomb, so I've been talking without a lot of other people about the role in the title and similar titles. And I don't have this worked out yet, but I feel like there's something about the human embodiment and the human expression and this kind of goes to you being on stage versus you being on the page. Um, there's something about the human embodiment and the human expression of the ideas, the values, the passion, the purpose behind the brand, behind the product, behind the movement, behind the philosophy and the practice of whatever the product or service brings to life. Just talk about like why do how to your knowledge? What's the history of trying to humanize or anthropomorp fives brands? And like...

...why does that matter so much? Well? Leo Burnett Agency in Chicago is probably most famous for giving us toning the tiger and all these other sorts of things. So I'll give you a really particular instance and I'll broaden the the answer. Uh So, I was invited in General Mills and doing some testing for Hamburger Helper and they were gonna, you know, redo the packaging. So I didn't make all of the sessions, but I made a couple, and it was one of my observations that actually was the one they ran with most. I said, you could never intellectually defend it, I said, but honest to God, what you should do with the packaging is you should like double or triple the size of the Hamburger Helper guy, because the the you know, person preparing the dinner. Probably typically you know, a woman comes from from job or whatever is going on. She's busy, she's harried, she fears no one's going to appreciate the efforts she put in to make the meal. And the little hamburger helper guy is like her only companion while she's at the stove. So I said, again, you cannot intellectually defend it, but that's the only person in her life while she's involved in this task, which is half an hour to an hour of her day, you know, day in day out. I said, drop as much as everything else as you can possibly get off the package. I know you have to heat the legal least, but please make the hamburger helper bigger. And they ran with it, and you can see it out there. We we just when you look at the emotions, there's only one positive emotion. It's happiness. And if you look at happiness, the two biggest profound drivers of it. Yes, I can be happy because it's a nice bottle of champagne and I get a buzz, But if I'm talking about really g profound, lasting happiness, it only has two sources. Uh, and the kind of the positive couches and negative is we want safety, we don't want to feel you know, endangered. But the other one, which is purely positive it works well, is bonding with other people. Um, you know that's that's the essence of our our lives. Mean. I will not be on my deathbed and thinking about you know what books I published, quite honestly, I will be talking and thinking about and feeling about the people in my lives, my my you know, my best friends, my family, the people who mattered to me. So a brand can be in our life. And uh, as you know from having listened to the audio tapes, two women published a really underappreciated book where they went through they looked at archetypes, brand archetypal roles based on the Bible, based on mythology, based on the grim fairy tales, etcetera, etcetera. And I think they came up with a really nice distillation of twelve different kinds of characters that we are all familiar with. And they can even put it in four different dimensions based on what kind of motivational realm it's in. Whether you're more of you know, caregiver, more of explorer, you know, learning mode, all these kinds of things, and I just think it's really important because we we do look for some point of connection, and you know, a factoid does not work as well as a face and a heart and a sense of who somebody is. I I lose track of quite a few names, but I never lose track of my sense of who that person was. And I want to get a sense of who that brand is, so endlessly. The most famous example cited is always Apple and going back to thinking differently and the really clean design and the elegant simplicity of you know, the the use of white and so forth. But it is really strong and really successful, and my god, people should learn from it. But standing behind it is is you know Steve Jobs. I mean he's not with us anymore, but you know he thought differently, you know, he felt differently. You know, he pushed back at things. I haven't been reading a biography of Einstein right now. This is amazing. You know, he published for seminal papers. But because he was such an iconic class and probably also being Jewish at that point in the world. Uh, in you know, Switzerland, German, in Austria, uh, he applied for and was turned down for a high school teaching job. He's already published the first version of the theory of relativity at a high school turns him down for the job. I mean we you go back to behavior economics. We are so wedded to status quo, you know, bias. Uh, So you need to break through that, you need to form a connection, and personification is a really strong way to do that. Yeah, really good. UM. I just that that theme kind of hit a few times throughout. You had some some really good exercises around it that I all failed at along with with your your your team members on it. But chapter six Customer Experience, Like, I don't feel like we have enough time to really do any of it justice. But you know, for the folks listening this chapters chapter six UM covers so much ground from you know, turning customer service and customer experience into a profit center UM and a in a true source of innovation, UM how specific ways to engage customers more to give customers for what they want.

UM talked a little bit about loyalty, UM some really practical advice about letting people complain right, giving them a sense of control back. That's more in a customer service context, UM is really really good advice on that, And UM, I guess what I'll ask here um to include in this conversation. You know, there's a lot of talk about retail spaces, physical retailer spaces and including all of the senses and activating all of the senses, and ultimately it comes down to eyeballs and fingertips, I think is the quote. UM. But obviously so many of the I just know by the by the folks that have engaged me as listeners of this show. I mean, so much of us are doing digital work with sas products and experiences. UM, software products. What advice do you have for folks in terms of engaging people in a sensory and emotional manner in digital experiences? Sure, well, you know you're gonna be working with site and sound at that point. So let's go to some of the essentials. First of all, people read a whole lot less than they might say they they you know, read. You know, they might tell you they watch PBS, but they're actually watching you know, America's got talent or something else. I mean, when we use eye tracking and studies, it is shocking, Uh, most people when we show them a print ad or a website page. Uh, anything that's that's of that ILK, even even a TV spot video because you have embedded video obviously digitally um streaming. Uh. If you got words on the screen, they might read the first two words or the first syllable of those two words. They probably won't even get through a whole sentence. So to imagine you're gonna get home, you know, through the words, is really a misnomer. Uh, it's the vision for one thing is the visual. I mean we process a visual a lot more quickly, a lot more innately. Uh. You can pack a lot into a visual obviously, but you know, clip art is not going to be the solution. We also look for authenticity. I mean, how many times have we seen the purposely diverse employees showed in the background on a on a company's website. Do any of us believe in it? We do not. I have tested so many things, and one of my favorite ones was for Beggar. They said, you know, this is amazing because what they asked me to do is they said, go through and actually code for the authenticity of the acting in the TV commercial. And I told them which commercials had higher levels of authenticity and which ones had lower, and my recommendation was obviously to run the ones that had higher levels because trust, you know, seeing is believing, feeling is believing. I said go with those and they got much. They got the best in market correlation they ever had. So you know, uh, when we have faces, uh, including in the digital space, I know that about seventy of the gaze activity will go to a face if it's involved, So it's gonna completely overshadow the words. Uh. And if you've got something that's really important, put it close to a face. Uh, make the face intriguing. We we did something once where they had kind of a bird's eye view of two people in the target market. But they had not the usual placid smile, you know, the authentic smile. They had kind of more puzzled, complicated expressions. Don't forget that Mona Lisa actually is showing several emotions. It's often described as the Mona Lisa smile. It's not really even a smile. Particularly. There is anger there, there's contempt there, there's actually some sadness there. I mean, they got four different emotions going on in Mona Lisa's face. Allow yourself to recognize and reward the complexity of the human experience, the customer experience. So I'd say the visual, the visual, the visual, the faces absolutely important. Then look at the sound qualities, look at the pacing qualities. If you're using audio, Um, there's lots of opportunities there. So you know I mentioned pauses. Actually going a bit louder can matter. Dialogue absolutely matters. Here here's a killer statistic. We found that when we looked at radio spots, the worst thing you could possibly do was to have it be a monologue and to have the kind of the cast of the person and the vocabulary used be professional. That that tanked if it was a monologue, But at least it was personal, more intimate, uh. Smaller word choices, not five dollar words but nickel words uh. More revealing, more vulnerable, more passionate. That was better. But really good was actually interaction, which is enough inspiration for doing the book the way I did it,... And so that's really important. Um. You know, don't go in long blocks. You gotta break things up, but don't break it up in staccato because people get tired readily, and you know, you can get really upsets with it and you're up close and you know, everything you're trying to accomplish. And you imagine people are making all the connections. They're not making all the connections. They're tired, they're distracted, um, et cetera. And so you gotta make it more approachable for them, more accessible to them. But give them variety. We respond to varieties and pitch and tone volume, all of those things because we need to steal a live We don't want to feel like we're dealing with a robot. I mean, we've all looked at corporate videos, give me a break. They are by and large such a terrible snooze and lacking in all credibility. I mean, there's no one, there's no one home. Yeah, so much good stuff offen there, really practical advice. It makes me think about some of the work that we were doing recently here on the marketing team at bomb Bom, and like, I need to look at that stuff again, you know again, especially to this idea of like, well, people are gonna do a lot of readings, so let's break it up. But then all of a sudden you have, like, you know, forty fragments all strung together, and they don't hang together. Um for folks listening uh Dan has been with us twice kind of three times already now explained what I mean with that. If you want to go deeper, If you thought that the Mona Lisa take was interesting, the idea of human faces, we spent a lot of time on that. Back on episode seventy five of this podcast, it was emotional intelligence and the power of faces, uh Dan, we got into I don't know if you remember, but it's stuck with me. UM. You know, we got into the framing of people on video in a variety of other topics. UM, because obviously video can play a large role here you spoke to that quite a bit here towards the end, and then a little bit later on episode one fifty three is part of our human centered communication series UM, which we also recently react as episode two eighteens. So you're kind of a fourth time guest. That's probably three conversations. UM. We we also got a lot more into some of these themes, and because with Steve Steve was with us, we we also dwelled a little bit and some of these things that we're all mutually excited about around behavioral science as well. And so UM, if you enjoyed this conversation with Dan. Go to episode seventy or more recently, episode to eighteen, and you'll get a lot more of these really rich insights on how to respect the rich, complex, messy, often hard to quantify, but so fundamentally important human qualities in the work that we do. The people were engaging with Um. Our whole purpose in bringing you and all the other folks into Human Center communication was if we're forced to operate digitally, virtually and online, how do we build true human connection? And so Um, you were a critical voice in that. Dan, I appreciate it so much. I appreciate your time here. Again, I had probably fifteen other points I wanted, So maybe it'll be my first, fourth, fifth time actually four time guest, But UM, to put a button on this one. I'm gonna give you the same opportunity I've given you a couple of times before. That is to think or mentioned someone who's had a positive impact on your life or career, and then to give a not or a shout out to a company or brand that you appreciate for the experience they deliver for you as a customer. I'm going to my dad in this case because when I started my company. I said, you know, I said what didn't you like about your vendors at three M And he had a pretty long list actually, But the last thing you said is don't perjure yourself. You know, care about the company, but given honest answer, not abrasive, but an honest, insightful answer, and the business will take care of itself. And I don't think that's how it always operates. I was once introduced at at a conference in Amsterdam and the person said, Dan is the only person who told me that he really wasn't suitable for the project we had in mind. He said, I've never had a vendor turned on the work ever before or since. Dan was the only one who had the veracity to do that. So I'm going to give a shout out to my dad. Awesome, and any company or brand come to mind for you. Well, I'm going to take an example. And I can't remember the name of the company, but I loved I was at Sturgis. I wrote a book on how cities brand themselves through festivals that are held in every year. So I joined the UH. I don't know how many hundreds of thousands of people in Sturgiones. I left my Japanese car on the on the edge of town where my obligatory black T shirt and blended in. And at one point I talked to a guy and I love the slogan his company had or his booth and sturgis. He said, we cheat the other guy and pass the savings onto you. And I thought that was the most awesome tagline ever. Because we've got to be honest, we live in a very cynical society at this point. There's a lot of manipulation, and uh, it was a strange way, but I think a really good way of restoring trust, which is the emotion of business. Because when I read that slogan, it first made me laugh and...

...then it made me believe in the guy actually that he could have that take on it and put that out there. Um, and I adored it. So I think companies should find the non obvious slogan and run with it. Be a little daring, be more human and sadly, I'm gonna put these two words together refreshingly honest. Yes, yes, absolutely, those two words shouldn't go together that way, but they do. Um. Okay, if someone wants to learn more about you, they want to connect with you, they want to check out any of your ten books, including Emotionalmics two point out, where would you send folks, Well, if they wanted the whole spectrum of what I've done, including the books, then you go to the website, which is of course the obligatory three ws and Sensory Logic dot com as in your five senses. But I am wide open to having someone email me directly. So that's d Hill at Sensory Logic dot com. Unlike some folks, I actually respond to all my emails and um, you know I like the dialogue. Otherwise I'd be a hypocrite. Awesome, Yeah, me too. By the way, it's just Ethan at bomb bomb dot com, always happy to hear from people directly. I highly recommend Emotionalmics two point oh. Such of course of a valuable listen to. I mean, if you liked like the last five minutes of this conversation, just like hit after hit after hit, you'll get tons of practical things that you can apply immediately. But it's also it was also really fun to spend the time with the three of you in that conversation. Uh so, I'm glad we could talk about it today. I got a lot more to talk about, but we don't have time for it. So I will bid you Dan a fantastic rest of your day, and I will bid all of you listening a thank you so much and have a great rest of your day to thank you. As we've learned time and again here on the podcast, the essence of customer experience and of employee experience is how we make people feel. But so much of the experience relies on digital communication faceless typed out text. To connect and communicate more effectively with the people who matter most to your success, add some video emails and video messages to mix, save time, add clarity, convey sincerity, be seen, heard and understood, and make other people feel seen, heard and understood. Try saying thank you, good job, or congratulations with a video. Try answering a question with a video. Try introducing yourself with a video. 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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