The Customer Experience Podcast
The Customer Experience Podcast

Episode · 2 years ago

34. 4 Things EVERY Customer Wish You Understood About Them w/ Michael Redbord


Customer’s so wish every business understood these 4 things that Mike Redbord shared with us on our our Customer Experience Podcast.

Mike’s the GM of Service Hub at HubSpot, and he came on our show to share a few secrets from inside the customer’s mind:

  • What every customer wished businesses understood
  • Why CX is a feeling, not an operation, a department, or a function
  • Third-party validation
  • Customer reference programs

A few resources we shared on this episode:

Check out our podcast on Apple Podcasts/iTunes, or on Google Podcasts/Google Play, or Spotify and even on Stitcher.

Yeah, and I think often, you know, we choose to disagree with that reality if we have an upset customer or something like that. said it didn't really happen. That's just that's not a productive kind of stands to take, because their reality is the reality. Their perception is their perception. That is their experience. 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. All right, if you want to learn how and why to turn your best customers into your best marketers, you're in the right place. You're going to love this episode of the customer experience podcast because today's guest has spent nearly a decade at hub spot. Most of that time he served as a vice president, working in services and support and scaling the customer team to more than five hundred employees. He's currently a hundred percent focused on customer experience as the general manager of the service hub. Hub spots new line of business. Mike Red Board, welcome to the customer experience podcast. Thank you so much. Thank you so much listeners on thrilled to be here. Awesome. I'm so excited for some of the stuff we're going to go through, especially just based on your experience. I can't imagine the change that you've seen over a decade at a company like hub spot. But we'll get their lay or will start where we always start here, which is your thoughts about customer experience. When I say customer experience, What does it conjure? Whether it's characteristics and so to me the customer experience is the reality of what any one given customer experiences. So I think a lot of people in the industry, of which I'll hard right, a lot of people in the industry trying to find customer experience kind of operationally, like on a white board. But to me it's the reality. It's the old little things, all the sum of the bits of emotion and touches that a customer has with you, and the customer experience is really one threat for one customer or what they feel, but they experienced and what their impression is. Therefore up your brand. I love it. The you know, I've asked US question over Thirty Times now to smart folks such as yourself and the layer. Yet here's this a reality piece that you started on is like, this is real to that person. And you know, we can sit here internally inside the organization and debate why that happened or how that happened, but the fact of the matter is we left them with the thoughts and the feelings that created a reality for that person they're going to hold on to until we create the opportunity to change that reality or to amplify in the case that it's a good one. Yeah, and I think I'll often, you know, we choose to disagree with that reality. If we have an upset customer or something like that, we say, Oh, it didn't really happen, that's just that's not a productive kind of stands to take, because their reality is the reality, their perception is their perception, that is their experience, and so I think thinking about it as reality actually cultivates a bit of culture of like empathy, which is a super important a sure you, I would say the most important. Are you delivering a really great customer sperience? Completely agree. When I talk about what I'm learning by having these conversations and sharing it internally. It really is about raising up customer empathy in more places. You know you find it in spots, in their places where it's really healthy, but you know it's not. It's not often a pervasive or prevailing attitude or pasture in every seat in the house. But you know that's what it takes to deliver an amazing customer experience. So, for folks who don't know, talk a little bit about the service hub, kind of the the tagline at the top of the main page. There is software that turns customers into promoters and service into growth, which is a really strong promise. I love all the themes there, but talk about what you're doing there with the service hub. And so if you're going to build a grun come out swaying on the tagline right. I think that's for us. The service of is a combination of over twelve years of experience on hub spot and trying to grow our own business. And you know, back in two thousand and six so we started the company and I think a lot of the way that you define yourself to the market, your perspective buyers, was through your marketing and you know, we help spot really pioneered in...

...belt marketing and growth through blogging and, you know, webinars and stuff like that, and I think that then that wasn't fact a lot of the way. But you define your brand, it was from your own voice. I think now, twelve years on, two thousand and nineteen or two thousand and twenty like very soon, I think it's much more your customers that define your brands, the some of their experiences that matters much more than what you say. Really can't outshout them anymore. Every company is defined by guy's reviews. Every company's defined by its Customer Reference Program and so we've just seen this really big change and how people shopping by it has much more to do with the outcome of their peers customer experiences that it does with what your salesperson says or what your partners say. So because of that we've not created the product hopefully deliver delightful experiences and really kind of channel that change that we're seeing in the market to help our customers grow and grow better and more. Long Way to love that. You tapped into a theme that I've heard many ways. You put added a different twist on it a little bit. Is that is that we're no longer in control as businesses and companies, that it really does belong to the customer. I'm going to go one layer deeper and give you the chance to talk about something I think you enjoy talking about and presenting on and probably that you teach and share internally as well. Talk a little bit about the underpinnings of the why behind turning our customers into our best marketers, and I think it's around this, this trust gap. Can you define the trust gap that exists and how that plays into all this? Yes, what I just describing, the last thought was really this change that we've seen over the last decade or so. We're folks have gone from trusting companies and trusting sales people and trusting you as a vendor, to really distrusting you and trusting on many people in know and their peers are perceives pure group under view sites or something, and so to me, there that represents just a change in behavior and, like you're saying, underpinning that is what I call the trust gap. So I see it that you have a lot of messages in the market place, but people are just less of us were subt of. I think a lot of that has to do with the fact that a lot of those messages that we as people have been receiving over time, we've noticed our less than true. So when a company says nowadays, we did a bit of research recently that showed this in our state of service report recently, when a customer says we are you know, we saw for the customer, our customer first, only twelve percent of their prospects actually believe them right. So the vast majority, like eighty eight percent, kind of start off and you started off on the back fill with them, because they disbelieve that your customer first, even if you actually are. These just weave it because in the past have been burned by that statement, and so I think you have this gap. We're in a bit of a dish on it. I think as a sort of industry or a community of consumers and vendors where we don't trust businesses and as a result, when we trust other people, we will for that kind of third party guarantee that we're making the right decision to create certainty, because we don't trust businesses anymore to have burned so much over the last you know, decade or fifteen years, so good and so well stated. It reminds me of, you know, in seth going off for the television industrial complex and it's time to move away from that. It's like, okay, so we moved in a lot of the stuff that you that you were talking about earlier, into taking control of distribution, be able to have our own messages direct a consumer as essentially media companies, through all these various platforms that have opened up. But even that now has been so apparently abused by marketers and others that that it's created that some of that distrust is now moved into this new zone. Would talk a little bit about some of those channels. I know you have some thoughts around social in the way that's working, around Google and some of the change that they've made that have made acquisition difficult or demand gend difficult. That that makes this community of satisfied customers so much more valuable in terms of creating new customers. Yeah, so at a high level, when I think about growth and the way that you create growth, there's certain things, at certain tactics, certain points in time that work in certain ones that don't, certain ones that are table stakes, but are not like the real needle movers for your business, and so I think that, you know, acting as a media company and having that Web presents and having a blog and doing content marketing, that's all table stakes nowadays and I see the...

...really the interest moving towards social proof and that has a lot to do with the trust conversation. So how do you create social proof? Like one of the nouns of social proof. To me, there's some kind of obvious stuff, and that's like putting case studies on your website's part of that, you know, being a media brand, there are having a customer reference program where you can have folks actually talk to each other. It's a deeper way to weave that social proof through perhaps your sales cycle. Then there's, you know, the way people talk about you on social especially for me to see brands, and you know there's ways to coop this through influencers, but really, when you get that authentic drive and people really loving you, feels very different on our social networks. And then I think you have review sites, which are just super key to growth nowadays because that's where a lot of us go and when we search. Those are things that actually rank exceptionally well in Google because people trust them and people those that they perform well. So I look at those four K Studies, reference program social proof and review sites as really kind of the key, you nouns, of growth. And of course that's all the old stuff, contem marketing, all that. It's still matters, you still have to do it, but it's become a matter of laring on this new stuff if you want to actually grow and compete in a modern world with a modern customer. Great. Can you go one step deeper on reference programs? And the reason I ask is, you know, we've had various efforts here, you know, whether it's inside our support site, you know, by customer request. Years Ago I started a couple facebook groups. You know, customers like we want a place to connect with other people and then and talk a lot. In my in my experience, you have to do a lot of lifting to get them to participate and to speak to one another and add value to each other. Can you share some of the things you've maybe learned along the way with regard to those types of programs? Absolutely so. First thing is the same thing that you just said. Even it's hard actually producing a you know, successful customer reference program is quite a bit of work, and I think that companies actually should be choosing. Do we want to invest, you know, somebody's salary and time in a customer reference program or do we want to invest that in more blog posts or whatever it is like? I think there's really a trade off there, because doing this right is heavy with me. So the ways of seeming work are basically to use some mechanism to identify within your customer base people who love you. If you have a lot of customers or if you deliver a really good experience, either way you're going to have some people, at least one that's a rapid fan. Really want to start with that first one, and that's your very first kind of customer reference or where principle point you want to find that population, whether it's one or a hundred or a thousand, you want to identify them and tag them in some way and then, to your point, you need to cultivate and, you know, create some system that kind of pollsimated as a virtual cycle from that. Has To be something in it for that, whether it's just being recognized as a star customer, that could be enough. Sometimes it's about it. If you do. If you do one of these calls, will give you a fifty dollar Amazon Gift Card. Different things work for different businesses. Stuff want is identifying them, stuff to is cultivating them, and I think that there is a fair amount of turnover in these things to so require a lot of upkeep because it's a big ask. If you ask me to get on the phone or get on a get on a video with a person prospect of yours like, that's a lot of my time and so folks get burned out on it, folks turnover and it does take a lot of kind of cost effort to keep it going. But I'll tell you a great customer reference program it's just one of the strongest forms of social proof and it's one of the strongest ways, I think, to really compete and win with the modern customer in this modern era of trust gap. So I would argue that the time a marketing department puts toward cultivating that reference program or any of these other kind of social proof tools is really valuable. But it should be looked at on a tradeoff comparison. which should we make that next landing page, should make that next add or should we invest the next calory in custom references. Awesome. I'm going to guess, just based on that response, that you that you have some ideas to share on this, to talk a little bit maybe about things that you've tried and seen or seeing some of the marketing folks at at help spot try, or maybe it's even bled into services and so report at some level. What are some more passive ways to equip customers to be marketers on your behalf? For example, again just...

...speaking from our experience, we have an affiliate program. We've had it for years. Is One of the first things that some of our first customers started asking for, you know, a decade ago, and yet, you know, ninety percent of the revenues generated by three percent of the the affiliates, you know, and it's in part because we're not equipping him well enough and giving them stories to share in that kind of thing. Have you seen other, more scaled programs that aren't necessarily as personal, aren't as much of a heavy ask on the customer side, but it's still tapping into that in order to, you know, benefit from the the positive relationships you've built with customers. Yeah, there are definitely ways to do this, and so the customer refrispurgram that we just talked about. Our here is quite a high investment on the customers part to help you as a business to grow. And so if he's stoppen of it as a spectrum from high investment on the customers part to low investment, you can start to chart the path. Maybe even higher is like having a customer come on site through a reference, but you know that's quite far behind us side. What's on the lower end? To me that's like a retweet, right, that's a that's a quick share on Linkedin or instagram or something like that, right. And so there's kind of these one quick digital things that are asynchronous on one end, low and time investment, and then there's there's these synchronous heavy duty things on the on the other end. And so different things work for different businesses. But for us at least, what we've seen works is to understand again who those customers are, where you're actual advocates, and you identify them for your kind of normal business operations, who you know had a great response after support case, who gave you a ten on your quarterly MPs, whatever it is. You get that pool and then you can kind of just throw them these easy opportunities and you'll find out that pool is likely to uptake on them if they're simple. So if you can send them an email with say, hey, we just launched this thing, if you want to help us out here's like a lazy tweet, cut past or quick here, and it's a simple, one quick way to do this thing. And so there's lots of ways to harness the power of that epicacy group. To me, from an operational standpoint, it all starts to the same place. have to identify your advocates and that's through a whole business process, and then it just a question of do you want to make a heavy ask or a light ask, and sometimes it's both. Sometimes they're different types of customers within that's within the population that want to do different ones, and so whatever the light is possible thing you can do is that's on the first set of the spectrum, and then things like customer reference programs and and all that's on the other end. Awesome. I want to change course a little bit. You you know what you've seen over the decade there. I mean just in the way that you're responding, the depth and the clarity of thought around it. You're obviously deeply steeped in a lot of hard one lessons, in learnings and observations and a very forward looking company. I mean, for me, hub spot was really important in my career as I was transitioning out of, you know, previous industry that I'd spent twelve years in. Like what skills are transferable and all the work that hub spot was doing is very helpful for me. I've always appreciated respected your company. Talk about in and I'll take this some place, you know five, five or ten minutes from now, but talk a little bit about your career growth and progression within the company and I'll tee this up with a few pieces of information and observations of my own. What I feel like a lot of younger employees wanted all and they want it all right now, right and I'm imagine that there was some patients and flexibility and and stuff in your movement throughout the organization. But you know, you've been you've been there almost a decade in seven different roles, or at least by title. It looks like it's your second company, with a compete for a couple years prior to that and Undergrad you're an international relations, philosophy and computer science talk about. How did you land at hub spot? What is your movement been and what are some of the things that you picked up along the way that have now led you to be the general manager of the of the service hub? So, first of all, thank you so much for their kind words on, you know, the ways that hosponsive been able to help you. That's like a warms my heart. It's a lot of what we think of as our impact up over the long term is just that. That's great. I love that. I mean, and I guess that I'm sure a story or a series of maybe short stories here that I hope can help the wisteners, just like if you're early on in your career, if you're trying to figure out, you know, a...

...few years into the workforce, what to do, or if your returns coming back from, you know, being out or having family or something like that, hopefully some of these stories can be used to you guys. So for me, I think one thing that I've learned about myself over the over the years as I really like building things and I like going deep on something and building one thing. So I don't think, as I've learned about myself. I'm not the kind of person, over the course of my career, is going to start fifty companies and you know for going to be great success. That's not really me. I'm going to help build a few companies and hopefully build themto something I'm exceptionally proud of that I want my grandkids proud of. So there's a little bit in this first step just knowing who you are, and I think you are not through experience. But you know, I think you can try to think about am I the kind of personal works in a lot of places and touches a lot of different things, or my sort of very broad or am I very deep on one thing, or my sort of t shapes and I do a little bit of both. And so for me, you know, I've been looking, or in my s after a few years of experience, really looking for a company I cans really sick my teeth into and Crowe with, and I was lucky to find up spot an element where I really just needed a job and it was a company that I interview with, I felt excited about. It has buzz around it. Candidly, I don't think I knew what I was getting into when I enjoined up spots, about a hundred person company in my job is a new customer on board. I thought it was a job. I interviewed on a Saturday and again on the Monday and I started working on the next Monday because a friend of mine worked here. I used to go to parties of people that also worked at up spots. Was Back in two thousand and ten, and so over time, though, I feel very fortunate to have avolve with help spot and basically, you know, I feel as though I worked at three or four very different companies and as you go through the girl cycles that we have, from a hundred employees to a thousand, you know, through an IPO to an international company with thousands of employees, you can really junk that experience off into three or four very different types of companies. And outside you working at a start up where it's just madness every day to trying to keep up and call the earth to make it turn and every single person is just super focus in that growth. That's a really different type of experience, really different type of skill set and working at like a scale up once you sort of arrived, and I really trying to scale that growth in the next level and it's less of a purely visceral exercise where kind of clowing at the earth is not the skill set. It's more about tactical calling the right strategy the right time and making the right tactical moves to order to grow. So I think the companies really change over time, but I think that one of the challenges in that growth is actually keeping the focus on the customer. And so the one consistent thing that I've seen, and really from our founders brand and our Mesh that I've seen over and over and over over the last decade is they are just absolutely obsessed with that customer experience. So the definition that I gave you even at the top of the show around what I think customer experiences. It's the reality of the single customers thread of their experience that really comes from, I think, our founders point of view and their obsession with that one customer experience and trying to make that as great as possible. Over time I've had various job of doing various things, but that's really been our north star, even if, you know, the skill sets of changed over time and we've kind of really learned about myself through the turn. So good. I'm really glad I ask that. And now I want to get a little bit into how of the customers change to how has this service function changed? So for you your initial role was on boarding new customers. Talk a little bit about that journey specifically for people are thinking about customer success generally and customer support or customer service specifically. Like, what are some of the thing you know you defined at a company level kind of these different chunks along the way. What are a few things you know for people that are somewhere along that journey is a company? What does that look like inside a CS organization along that path? Yeah, great question. So I think at the beginning, you know, and you're just in the primory lose of a business and you're a couple of founders and maybe an engineer and perhaps a salesperson. You know we will sit in the same room. You know, at that point everybody really understands the fabric of the customer experience. You're doing support, you know, via text message or once up on the founder cell phones. Right it's like a everybody's really plugged in. And then there's a very interesting moment that happens when...

...that business hires the first person whose job it is is just to work with customers. So you hire, you know, a VP of customer success, where you hire that support rap. We's just going to queer the Q at the end of the day, whatever it is, because now what you've done is you taken that responsibility, this kind of fully responsibility of customer experience, and you've moved it from founder well to employee level. That's like this first really big change that I think is a super interesting one. Of the means that first hire is really, really key because that person is also going to really define the genetics of your you know, of Your Service Department and the nature of your customer experience after that. So that's like a really, really key MOE. The other key moment that happens after that, and then there's one more after following this one, is that you go from one person to a set of people and those set of people starts to do different functions. So, you know, you hire are to support person or two and they just kind of did stuff and then one day you wake up and you realize, Oh, I have one person whose job it is to make our new customer successful and I've another person whose job it is is to clear the support. You and I you specialized right, and that point of specialization is interesting because you start to develop like expertise. You start to develop the way at your company of doing, say, on board, of doing support, and I think that's where you start to develop practices and you start to get really opinionated about, you know, what is a new customer experience look like at my company, and that's a very exciting time. And then that stage two, so it goes from just everybody those support started to get specialized. And then stage three is really about, I guess, the customer experience and customer success with customer outcomes becoming the culture of the company. And so there's a really kind of a third level here where customer experience becomes the core of the mindset of every single person and everything you do you track back to customer experience. Every time you do a sale, every way that you make decisions about your upcoming annual strategy, whatever it is. You really value the customer experience and you don't kind of let the tail wag the dog of saying, Oh, how do we just grow a little more? We'll deal with that customer thing later. You really put the customer first at scale. That, I think that third part is the hardest thing to do, because the first one, hiring, that first round, that second one, specializing, all of those happened to you on your journey to growth. But the third one of really making customer experience the centerpiece of your entire business strategy that seems active for from your founders, from your executive team, all that, I mean the right hires along the way. A lot of things have to come together and make that work. I think doing that is really what differentiates amazing companies in the modern era from okay, let's I want to work in amazing companies that really care about customers, but the customer experience the center of everything. To do so, how do? You've already mentioned several ways that that is that third piece. Is the thing. We're at that door right like you know, we're at that point at where maybe a hundred and forty people and we're at that point where we have a lot of folks with direct customer experience that are, you know, a few months on the job and a few years into their career. And so how do you know? How do you bring back all of the essence, like the deep motivations and the intentional that and you mentioned, you know, the founders hiring. Well, I assume that it's baked into some of the onboarding. But what are some other practical ways that people can can infuse the rest of the organization with a sensitivity toward customer experience and its value? And again, just double back on customer empathy. How do we order some practical ways that you are raising that up inside the organization day to day, week to week? I love that question. I love it especially because you use the word sensitivity and there and that's really what it is. And so what you want to do is you want to cultivate a culture that is sensitive to the customer. And the way you do that, the way you create that, I think like the necessary depth of understanding to how that, like fine Grande sensitivity, is you have to actually do things that don't scale a right. So, like when I was on board and customers of hub spot, I spent eight hours a day on the phone with them and I would touch, you know, whatever, a hundred customers in a week. I was really sensitive to the customer experience. When I was a director of support, you know, with a fifty person team that was kind of in my review mirror and I step more time in spreadsheets.

I got really good at interviewing and hiring the use of my time. I was a good director of support. But that sensitivity to the customer kind of fades away, even if you can lean back on it. You know it starts again review or gets a little blurrier. And so the way that I think you really stay in touch, even if you come from a place where you were superb, like embedded in the customer experience. Way You say in touch, is you go back there, you spend time with customers. You don't just listen to the customer calls, you actually are the person doing the calls. You you have to yourself respond to the question from the customer about why xyzing didn't work or why did this thing go this way or, you know, listen to their accolades about something and the fact that they display something else. You have to create that emotional state in yourself and have a really high touch relationship with your customer. So on a tactical level, what can you do to create that sensitivity on your executive team? Talk to a customer every month as a team. It doesn't scale it's a world's most expensive support call in certain ways, but do it because it will create that sensitivity and it will like kind of shake you out of your normalcy and it back into the customers reality, back into the customer experience. If you're in product right and you're doing research and you know it's kind of quantitative, make sure you're for coloring it with qualitative research and talk to ten customers and feel what they feel or do say visits right, it's probably empathy in that sensitivity, and a lot of that is doing things that don't scale. And so I see our team doing this, where our execute spends actually quite a bit of time with customers one on one. And you know, there's one way to look at it like wow, that's a really inefficient use of highly pay people's time. The other way is that's something that makes us us. We would fail without that and I think that, I think that second road, that that is like the necessary way to cultivate sensitivity in the apathy is just gotta spend the time with customers, just people to people. It's great. It's one of my curiosities. Again that motivates me within these conversations on the customer experience. Podcasts is doing the unscalable and at a certain point maybe you do figure out how to scale it. But I think so many people are looking to automate and scale. I'm using your quotes for people not watching video clips, which you can do by visiting bombombcom slash podcast. We want to scale these things, maybe prematurely. I think there are some things to your point. There's some things that that maybe shouldn't be scaled and there are other things that you can just push to the very, very edge and it's like okay, cost benefit not there. Talk a little bit about that, I guess, from a success and service and support standpoint. Human touch versus tech touch, how do you think about it? Is Is it? Is it purely a calculated peace or like, what are some of your thoughts around when to be truly personal and then when to personalize? So I love people. I also love the SEK machines. Right, so I come on. I come on both sides of this. Of course they have different people have different skills than machines. Machines are great some things, people are great at somethings. So to me, people are actually insanely flexible and they they're very agile. You can walk in in the morning and say, Hey, like not, your job is to do this thing, but yesterday was this thing. That's much more difficult with the machine, or at least two a relatively simple machine that you just stood up. When people are really flexible and they're very actual, machines are great at doing the same task over and over and they're really good at doing things that people, you know, kind of don't want to do. Also right. So to me, how do you take that then, what people are good at and what machines are good at, and create a customer success strategy? That pens booth and the answer is, if you have questions about what the your process ought to be, so like say, let's take a new customer making them successful. If you have questions about what it takes to make a customer successful, that is not a job for a machine. That's a job for human. Yes, ML can help write, but a human could just talk to twenty customers. are probably figured it out over the course of the week in a much cheaper and more actual way. And so that's kind of the beginning of the story. Often starts with people. When you're trying to answer those questions of what ought we to do. Then once you know what you ought to do, then it's time to like kind of blend people in machines into some really cool cyborg thing and start to outment the productivity of people and start to move some of the simpler work. More...

...people work off of their plates. So they found there's an email that they send every time and it works really well. Cool. Let's not have the persons in the emails, have the machines and the let you come from a crm or WEF cycle management solution or something that, over time, as the people figure out more and more things and it more and more of it falls into kind of like repeatable, successful stuff. Machines are great at that. Over time, in fact, even that whole process, perhaps on boarding itself, might get fully automated. But I'm a big fan of really starting with people, as people are agile and flexible, but overtime larying and machines are more and more over time that becomes more mechanized. The trick in that is that sometimes there are changes that happen, either exhaustionist changes and the market place or, you know, the way humans are behaving, which we talked about the little bit of the front of the podcast, or maybe you change your pricing or your packaging or is new competitor and that can really come in and create like some waves that you that have to go back in with people and refigure out. Takes you back to the beginning of this process. So to me, start with people, because their flexible. You automate over time and you'll get each one of your processes individually somewhere off that spectrum. And then you need to kind of have a hygiene process for making sure that, in fact, yes, these are good and you're not fooling yourself in to thinking that you've got it all figured out. Our staying aw're staying in touch with the customer and you really are keen to understand what the experience consists of, even when you have automated a lot of it away so good that in that hygiene process is so easy to miss this idea that we do need to carve out the time or to make a process to double back and review and make sure that this hell works the way I the way I heard. That's grossly oversimplified and if anyone enjoyed that as much as I did, just hit the bounce back button and listen to that response again, because there's a lot of really good stuff in there. To really dumb it down, it's the machines to operate against a rule set. The rule set needs to be written and humans are in the best position to learn and take some of this complex information, put it together, the nuance and the detail folded together into the rule sets that the machine operates by, periodically check in and make sure that the rule set still applies and that the machine is still doing a job. I'm going to hit you with a couple other just kind of themes, are high level questions before wrapping the way I always like to wrap the show, and one of them is based on a word that I saw on the service hub website, but something I've been thinking about quite a bit. There are number of books written with this in the title. Talk a little bit about friction and friction less, talk about the frictionless experience, and what triggered that for me was that, you know, this blend of both and human and machine is how I think we get best to frictionless. But what are some of your thoughts around friction frictionless? Am I view friction is a piece of the customer experience and something customers field throughout the experience. Sometimes were ups so, for instance, if I want to engage with your company to accomplish a certain thing and I can't do it the way that I want, I experience friction. So it's really a it's a very customer centric kind of beings version thing and different customers and different businesses of different definitions of what friction is. So there's not a one size fits all prisons. If I wanted to, you know, sign out for spotify, I don't want to talk to a person spotify. Maybe talk to a person to sign up for it. I WOULD INSERT UT friction. I'll be less likely sign up a spotify fin on my want to cancel my spotify account I had to talk to a person. HAVE INSERTED UP friction. That would make me more upset on the way up the door. But I wanted to buy a hub spot enterprise class software in order to do you know, crm or help desk or something, I might actually want to talk to a person and in fact, if you pushed me to a self service pursus experience, I might not like it. I might actually want to talk to a human being in order to make my decision. And so that's a case in which sometimes buying and doing that self service. That's about reducing frictions and machines sometimes about reducing friction by enabling human touch. So once again, it's understanding your customer in the moment, what they actually need and finding the path of laice resistance for that. Anything else is creating friction. So for different businesses it's really different things. There's high consider purchases, will consider purchases. There's times where we really want to consultation and advice. There's times we want to be left alone and just do what we know it's right. And I think understanding your customer or reading your segments of customers and sub personas within your customer base and try, and really I think the key...

...verb is to match the way your customers want to be treated with the channels and the mechanisms that you offer. That's how you reduce friction. You do that through frictional selling. I there's a lot of ways to reduce friction in the sales process. Do that for frictional a service so that people can get their own answers when they want but also have the help they need when they need it, and there's all sorts of ways across the life cycle to reduce friction and I think nowadays the brand with the least friction wins. That's how you created great customer experience. That's how you grow, that's how you beat the competition. It's less about even having the best product, it's more about having the best experience, more about having the lowest friction. Hundred percent agree. That's an easy story for a satisfied customer to tell. Right like I went in with this opportunity or this problem or this challenge, and guess what it was? Unlike all the other ones. It just like got resolved or I got to completion right away and it was easier than I thought because of the expectations around a lot of the stuff are so low and and this friction zone is like moving so quickly. There's a lot of progress there. So I think expectations will change rapidly, but you know, we're still maybe in a window where it's not that hard to exceed expectations. The other place I wanted to go here quickly is video. So you know we turns out we both sound a lot of simple, personal, unscripted videos to connect and communicate with people more effectively. We swap videos prior to this call. So when you came out I was like, Hey, it's Mike. Talk a little bit about why you like video and maybe even how you've seen it be successful within your within your support efforts. I just see the progress of videos technology over the last five years or so, so really fast and it's a fantastic way to humanize experiences in a world where I think we're really hungry for human experiences. And so we started probably way back in two thousand and fourteen or so, and our support team using video as a tool, especially when we realized that we're two emails into a to a ticket. But man, this could get really narrowly. Let me record at two minute. We call them video voice smails. Kind of sent them along with a little bit of text, and those just like the opportunity for surprises of light and those it's just amazing. People don't expect it. It's still novel enough that it kind of feels new and fresh to the recipient and it just it can help you get over so many, I think, hurdles that technology imposes, like when you communicate through email, there's always back channeling to read the email. Okay, how should I respond? How should I craft this? There's all this like inner monolog us. Dispense with all that. When you're on a just a phone call, you never know what's going on. Is Somebody like booming something on the side or whatever, like synchronous video, and get get away from that. You leave somebody a voice mail, you don't know if you're actually communicating what they need. But when your company with video in your face and intonation in your voice cluster face, it just really enriches it. So we've just seen video as a tremendously useful ways to shortcut like and save time but simultaneously actually get better outcomes for everybody. It just like good things come to those that are more human, and video nowadays, I think, is a technology that really enables humans as well. Who knows what's next? Maybe it's like, you know, I'll went to reality, or or you are or something like. There's something next. That will be the thing. But I think right now, at this moment, and probably for the next couple of years at least, video is a really, really great way to humanize your sales experience or support experience whatever. It is and just like just shortcut a lot of the stuff and just for personal person to get to where you want to go. So good and all it takes is getting past that. You know that that tense, that challenge that people feel in crafting the right response and dead I get the tone right. You know, there's the same thing with getting comfortable on camera. But once you move past that. I love what you offered their first that the person that's more human wins, but then also you can save time while in proving the outcome once you get past that basic comfort of recording and sending videos like this has been awesome. The ton of value. I know I kind of took it a little bit all over the place, but I know that people are going to enjoy the conversation and playback very, very much. Before we go, I always love to give you the opportunity to think or mention someone who's had a positive impact on your life or career and to mention a company that is doing customer experience really,...

...really well. Yeah, so I think one of the people that's had a really formative role in my a lot of the conversation we've had on this podcast today is Brian, my CEO and you know, he's somebody that's had a incredibly type focus on the customer to throughout our growth. But he's also somebody who, you know, I've been in resially close contact with for not ten years and he's one of the most adaptable human beings on the planet and I just I'm constantly impressed by his consistency of focus, but the new tools and new weapons that he's been able to reach in his job. Function, which I see of a software company has changed from like founder, so now you know, let's see you, of a global public company, and it just is very impress up to watch him, but also watched the customer focus and he's been a great mentor me and helping you make the right decisions and, you know, sort of Crow my career too. So That's on the mentor side. A lot of what I have to say is sort of, you know, share with Brian in terms of totality, right. And then on the on the customer side, excuse me, the the business side. That I think a really interesting I find that the place where customer experience is most important is where the thing that you're selling is a little bit of a commodity, right get into a bunch of places and the more competitive the industry, the more hustory experience today is causing her to be winners and looser to stand out whinner sometimes. So when I look at that I think if some industries that are kind of like old school industries, right, I look at like the mattress industry and what cast for or like, you know, those kind of quick shiver mattresses are doing with customer Sperience, make sure you have any great experience. But an industry that I really, really like it's actually the makeup industry and there's two brands in there I want to call out in particular. One is called IPSY. They want to called gloss here, right, and these brands are selling meg up and they know they have a brand identity. They have such an amazing pull through of that brand identity from their website, their instagram to their service or twitter. It's just socosistent. You feel like you're talking to a person that has a real identity. I think it's one an amazing job cultivating themselves in terms of personas and delivering a customer sperience. It's really in line with what their customers want. So I love those industries. I love those brands. Great Recommendations. Hey, if someone wants to follow up with you because they want to see what you're sharing and connect and communicate with you, or they want to check out the service hub, or they want to check out hub spot worse, some places that people can connect with you and the work that you're doing. Yeah, so, if you want to get in touch with me, had love to talk with you guys, especially if you made it through the entire podcast. Let's definitely talk. Follow me on twitter at Red Board, my last name or Linkedin, easy to find them. If you want to learn more about more about the hub spot service, then go to HOLP spotocom service. It's a bunch of information there and again, be happy to talk to anybody about their experience customers growing, scaling tea service off or whatever. I love this stuff and thank you, guys, for US awesome and I do want to double down on what might just shared with you. As a listener. If you got this deep into the episode, you probably have a ton of ideas. Mike has just made himself available to you, and I'll say it's someone who does the same thing. Not Nearly enough people take people up on the opportunity. So I know he sincere about and so if you have some some ideas or questions or anything, reach out to Mike. Thank you so much for listening and thank you for your time, Mike, and also those reason clear communication, human connection, higher conversion. These are just some of the benefits of adding video to the messages you're sending every day. It's easy to do with just a little guidance, so pick up the official book rehumanize Your Business. How personal videos accelerate sales and improve customer experience. Learn more in order today at Bombombcom Book. That's bomb bombcom book. 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 Bombombcom podcast.

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