The Customer Experience Podcast
The Customer Experience Podcast

Episode · 2 years ago

35. 2 Keys to Creating an ‘Extraordinary’ Customer Experience w/ Dan Gingiss

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Research shows that people are actually more willing to share about the positive experiences they’ve had with companies than the more negative ones. 

So, why don’t they? Well, most of us just haven’t had those kinds of really positive experiences. So, what can you do to create those positive experiences and change that sentiment?

That’s exactly what we’re talking about today with guest Dan Gingiss. Dan has run social media and digital marketing at companies with household names such as McDonald's, Humana, and Discover. He’s also the Chief Experience Officer at the company, Winning Customer Experience

Here’s what we talked about:

  • Why you should be your own customer
  • How to identify and resolve pain points
  • How to create extraordinary customer experiences

I always thought that executives at anycompany should be customers of their company and they should be regular old customers.The single most important thing you can do today is to create and deliver abetter experience for your customers. Learn how sales, marketing and customer success expertscreate internal alignment, achieved desired outcomes and exceed customer expectations in a personal andhuman way. This is the customer experience podcast. Here's your host, EthanButte. Hey, welcome back to the customer experience podcast. This is goingto be a fun episode. You will be glad that you click play onthis one. Our guest is run social media and digital marketing at companies withhousehold names like McDonald's, humana discover. He's the author of the book winningat Social Customer Care. He's the cohost of experience, this another customer experiencepodcast which he co hosts with my guest on episode fifteen of this podcast,Joey Coleman, and he's the chief experience officer at the company winning customer experience, Didn Genghis. Welcome to the customer experience podcast. Well, thank youso much for having me. I'm excited for the conversation and can't wait toget started. Yeah, me too, and so will start where I alwaysstart, which is your thoughts or your definition or that primary characteristics of customerexperience. When I say customer experience, what does that mean to you?Well, to me it means how customers feel about every single interaction with yourbrand. And the two underlines there are the feeling part, because perception isreality. And so if we think we've built the best mobile APP in theworld and our and our designers and our programmers and everybody tells us that it'sthe best mobile APP in the world, but our customers say that it's reallydifficult to use, then the answer is it's really difficult to use. Theother part, though, is the every single interaction, and this is whereI think most companies fall down, is that every single interaction can mean everythingfrom a direct mail piece to a phone call, to a social media interaction, to the website, to the mobile APP to an in store experience,and the problem is is that all of those experiences at most big companies aredesigned by different people in a very siload organization, and then the result isthat we as customers sort of feel this choppiness where things don't align or don'tconnect as well as we would like them too. So those are the twothings to me that make up the definition that are really critical. It's great, and something that you made me think about there in the back half ofthat is that one weakness, you know, like the the chain is as strongas its weakest link or whatever, just just one weakness in all ofthat set of touch points casts potentially negative thoughts and feelings and then ultimately,potentially negative stories about the entire experience, even though you know eighty percent ofit is spot on. You know the twenty percent that isn't can can reallydamage the rest for sure, and I think that's the biggest risk today,is that it really only takes one mistake sometimes to lose a customer, andso the stakes are really high. One of the things that I have foundreally fascinating, and this is what I often talked about on stage and workwith clients on is that is that people are actually the research shows that peopleare actually more willing to share highly positive experiences then they are negative ones.But the problem is, and ask any consumer, we just don't have verymany positive experiences to show, and so I love doing this on stage I'llsay hey, raise your hand if you can remember the last time you hadsuch a remarkable experience with the brand that you couldn't wait to tell your friends, a family, and you know for hands go up. And then Isay okay, now, raise your hand if you remember the last time thatyou were disappointed in an experience with a company, and everybody's hands go up. So we tend to share these disappointments because they happen to us a lotand they are sort of on one end...

...of the spectrum that's worth sharing becausethey're good stories. But we're actually more willing to share those positive ones.If we just had some positive ones to share it. So I love toexplore with companies how do you create those positive ones that people want to sharejust as much as the negative ones and actually change that sentiment great and thatthat just leads right into if, for anyone listening, I create outlines ofthese common verstations. I try to keep them loose, but I do haveplaces I want to go with them, and so this actually goes right intothe next question I kind of generated prior to our connecting here, which islike, how are people operationalizing customer experience, like, in addition to speaking andwriting and doing podcasting, you consult, so you're inside these organizations. Likewhat does the consulting engagement look like for you? What a people need? How how our companies operationalizing and creating this kind of alignment and consistency withintheir organizations? where, some where does that look like today? Well,first of all, I don't claim to be be able to knock down allthe silos, because that that can be an impossible task. But usually whatI find is that there's two ways to approach the problem, to simplest fastestway, and the way that I always suggest that you start is to identifythe pain points that are there today and to get rid of them. Andoftentimes companies get so wrapped up in innovation and big technology product projects that thequeue to get little projects done is so long they just never get done.And so one of the things I did when I was at discover that wasreally successful is I managed to essentially grab the person from the technology team andI said I just got to rent this person for like three weeks and allthe person did was work on little pain points on at the time it wasthe website, just little things that we had ide to find that we knewwere angering customers because they were frustrating and they were so easy to fix,but we just never could get them prioritized next to, you know, thesegiant innovation projects. So in the span of three weeks we fixed about ahundred things and not one of them, you know, was big enough toknock the whole thing down, but a hundred little changes made a huge impact. And, not coincidentally, that was the first year that discover one theJD power award for highest customer satisfaction, an award that they were really pursuingbecause mx had wanted, you know, all seven years of his existence.And if you think about an mx is this big, highly respected brand.Discover is a much smaller brand, midwest, different kind of a customer base,and to win that award was a huge deal and I absolutely attribute itto spending that time removing the pain points. Then I think you take a lookat the flip side of it and you say, all right, howdo we make our experience just that much better? And one of the thingsthat I love talking about is the word extraordinary, which really only means betterthan ordinary. It doesn't mean that you have to do something that is likesending the man to the Moon Right. It's it doesn't have to be crazyexpensive, it doesn't have to be outlandish, it just has to be a littlebit better than ordinary. And in an industry like credit cards, whichis frankly pretty commoditized, there's some great opportunities to do things that are alittle bit better than ordinary. A couple things that I think discobber did thatwere that or great examples of this. They have the only call center thatis or they have multiple call centers, but they're the only credit card companyin the US that as a hundred percent US based service. So what theystarted doing was they asked every agent, when they picked up the phone,to tell the customer where they were. So, hi, this is Danfrom Chicago. How can I help you? And what was absolutely unbelievable as,if you listen to these calls, nine times out of ten the veryfirst thing out of the mouth of the customer was something about the location thatthat person was sitting in. It was either Oh, I love Chicago,or how is the weather, or even...

...as direct as Oh, thank goodness, I'm talking to somebody in the United States. So it drew out andit created this immediate connection with the customer. And for years they had had USservice, they just never did that extra thing to sort of make thecustomer aware of it. And once they made that change, every conversation,you know, was sort of forever altered. And so it's get rid of thepain points and then figure out the parts that you can go just alittle bit above ordinary and that's when you really start to kind of get thatball rolling downhill and the momentum going of a great experience so good. Ilove your definition of extraordinary and I separated those intentionally extraordinary but extra list alittle sum extra and in this this idea of I mean in this case there'sa real and perceived value to having US based service, but even if that'snot a point of contention for anyone listening, just the idea of opening the callwith something a little bit personal that you and I can talk about.In this case, geography is pretty easy to talk about. Whether it's theeasiest is why we often start there, but you know and ask questions likewhat do you do for a living? But just opening the call with somethingthat we can connect on as people is just a great tip. Can yougo one step deeper on one of those things, though? So pain points, I think the first thing that comes to mind. Two things come tomind, but I'm sure you, with your depth of experience, will offermaybe one more or add some color to what I'm about to suggest. Oneis have one or more people, multiple people on the team, go throughthe process to find out where the pain is, because we created this processor this website or this function or whatever months or even years ago and noone's been back since right, so it hasn't been reviewed since it's been createdor defined, and so send people through it on some consistent cadence and identifypain points that way. Another way, of course, would be some levelof customer feedback, but I wonder if they if customer feedback gets specific enough, I guess you would find emergent themes about really big pain points, butjust go one step deeper for folks listening to get practical about how to identifypain points. Yeah, that's a great question and both of your answers arecorrect. You have to sort of do them in combination. So I foundwhen I first I was at discover almost ten years and when I first Scottthere it was suggested to me that I sign up for an employee card andI said why do I want an employee card? And they said, well, you know, you get this benefit, you get this benefit, and thenwhen you call customer service, they know that you're an employees. Idon't want them to know on them I'm an employee. That's exactly what Idon't want, right because I don't want to be treated differently from a regularcustomer. And so I declined to the employee card. And I always thoughtthat executives at any company should be customers of their company and they should beregular old customers. You don't want the you know, the Red Siren alarmto go off when the CEO calls into the call center. You want thatperson to be treated just like everybody else so that they can hear it andfeel it and experience it. So I always recommend that you become a customerof your own products. Sometimes that's harder than other times. When I workedat human I wasn't eligible for Medicare advantage, so I couldn't really sign up forit. But you know, signing up for a dental plan or doingsomething trying to sign up at least going through the processes is really important.And then you mentioned voice of the customer, which is also critical and there aredefinite ways where you can capture that. I'll tell you a story that Ithought was really instructive. Again, back at discover so I'm discovers websiteand every page they used a survey mechanism, and there's a bunch of am outthere. They happen to use one called opinion lab and at basically atthe bottom of every page, unobtrusive, it's not a pop up. They'rejust just like a little icon that you can and leave your comment about thatpage and when you click on the icon, it asks you a couple of quickmultiple choice questions and then it gives you a place for feedback. NowI got to report every day on the...

...feedback that we got and we gothundreds of pieces of feedback every day. That's what happens to you have fiftymillion logins a month, right, you get lots of feedback, and you'reright. Sometimes the big issues would just pop out and and you could youyou'd get you'd see it ten times in one day and you'd identify, youknow, as a problem. But more often there were a little thing simmeringunder the surface that, if you weren't putting together those daily reports and sortof tracking some trends, it was really tough to find. So one ofthe things we did is we asked a question in the multiple choice section.We asked a question that came directly from the Forester Customer Experience Index, whichwas how easy was it to do business with us today, on a scaleof one to ten, and I then asked for a report that had neverbeen generated before. I said I want to see a list of every pagein reverse order of the answer to that question. I want to see thepages that people say are the most difficult and then I want to explore thecomments associated with those pages. Now, the page that rose to the verytop, the most difficult page on the on the site according to our customers, was actually a super important page for us. It was the refer afriend page. It was, you know, introduced someone to discover and will giveyou fifty dollars. Like, man, what's wrong with this page? Iwent and looked at it. I didn't see anything wrong. So wedig into the comments and it turns out that for one specific browser, tosubmit button was not showing up. So people were filling out their names andtheir email addresses of their friends and then they were stuck and this was obviouslyannoying. We fix that overnight and sure enough, the next day those scoreson ease of use popped right back up, and that's what sort of gave methis idea of let's go find the next hundred things that are wrong andjust fix all of those, because they're not hard, but you do haveto discover them, and so that no pun intended. So I think itis about having you have to have the right system in place to capture thefeedback and then you have to have you've got to be able to go beyondreporting, and one of the things I find that is is a big mistakeis you ask companies with you listen to the voice of the customer. OhYeah, I get this report every day. Well, a report doesn't fix anythingright and, and I can tell you from sitting in the chair,when I get a daily report number one, most days of the week I don'teven have time to read it. So I start they start stacking upand then when you have ten of them, there's no way you're reading ten ofthese reports. So you it's not effective just to be sending out adaily report to people because nothing gets done. You have to get it that stepforward, that that next step where it says, okay, we've gotto identify these issues and then have the ability to fix it. And again, that second piece was critical, as I had to figure out a wayto get past the big que in in technology and and actually have somebody bewilling to go fix these things. And it turned out that that was agreat project and very successful. I love that story and I recognize the painin having all this really valuable information but not being quite sure how to harnessthe resources internally. And I think this gets to the big challenge of customerexperience in side organizations and breaking down the siles, which, you is thiskind of objective third party that comes in, you know, to assess and diagnoseand discover and, you know, prescribe and things like that can't doon your own. So you said earlier, like I'm I can't break down thesilos just too much. It's a different thing and it's even hard forpeople internally to do. It's, you know, if this is something producedthroughout, throughout and across the entire organization. How can we work with in thesesiles to get it done? And just you know, the idea thatyou had to take someone out of an existing role speaks to the way thatwe're not really structured to get a lot of this important work done and weneed to figure that out. I want to go to social media. Justin the title of Your Book You're obviously blending social and customer experience. Obviouslysocial is inherent in some ways to the...

...customer experience, but can you speakto your view of like, how are those two integrated? What is we'reis social fit into this picture? So I actually believe that the advent ofsocial media is why we're talking about stromer experience so much today, because socialmedia gave customers a voice that they never had before and shockingly, they usethat voice right and so thus we're now all focused on listening to that customerand trying to respond. I look at it as sort of a circular relationship. So I'm a believer that, again, with the advent of social media,there's no longer such a thing as an offline experience. Just ask acertain airline that got caught dragging a guy off a plane and you know,you realize that, man, it used to be that when we were ona plane, that was like the ultimate offline experience, and now even thatisn't offline anymore, and so everything can come online and therefore we as companies, even we as social media teams, have to be we have to knowenough to be dangerous about every part of the experience, because any part failsand you're probably going to find out about it on social media. In severalof my jobs I have found out that the website was down from twitter.You know before even the internal technology people know. It's like your customers aregoing to tell you the flip side. Then the other part of the circleis that how we respond to people talking to us on social media feeds rightback into that experience. So if we are responsive and empathetic and we canresolve problems, we can often turn to tractors into advocates, and I've seenthat happen tons of times. You start with an angry customer who really doesn'texpect you to solve their problem, they just want to vent, and thenall the sudden their problem is solved and they love you. The opposite istrue too. Is that if you have a customer, either an angry customeror, frankly, a very happy customer, who reaches out to you and youignore them, now you've changed their opinion of you and that feeds backinto their overall experience. So to me, social I got into it as amarketer. The first thing I realized about it was, I don't thinkthis is another broadcast channel, which is what brands did when it first cameout. I mean, I remember being in conversations. How about we putour TV commercial on facebook? It's like what, wait a minute, Ifast forward to the TV commercial on my television. Why do you think Iwant to see it on facebook? That's not what I want to see.But that's what people immediately thought, that you know, hey, this isa free channel where we can broadcast our message to the to the masses,and instead, I think what happened is it became the first marketing channel wherecustomers could talk back, and that changed everything, because they did talk backand they gave feedback and they said stop with these commercials, we don't wantto see these, or they when you interrupted their facebook feed, it remindedthem that they had been meaning to call you about some completely different issue andso then they type in their their problem, even though it has nothing to doat the marketing piece you just put in front of them. So itchanged everything and that's why I've loved to keep I love social media anyway,but I love the interaction of social and customer experience because I think they arereally sort of two sides to the same coin, if you will. Yeah, it was super important in my career. I was in broadcast television. Iran marketing teams inside local TV stations and so you need occasionally do theevents like a parade. You know, there's very little customer interaction. You'rejust like high people over there on the curb and you go to like festivalsand events where you would maybe talk to people, but there's so little customerfeedback except for research, which is all anonymized and lumped together. And soI remember, I was still in television when social was on the come upin this idea of people a being able to talk about whatever you're talking aboutand then be talking about things that have absolutely nothing to do with what you'retalking about. But you still need to find the right home to participate withit. So obviously the rise of social...

...changed all of this and and Iagree with you that that, yeah, this does look like a marketing channel. Know, actually, this looks like something a lot more and a lotmore important. But let's get a little bit more nuanced. How have youseen that kind of change, maybe maybe over the past five years or so? Like what what are some of the changes that you're seeing happening in socialfor better, for worse, for neither that that has an impact on maybethe way companies are engaging with customers. Well, I think the biggest changehas been that social media as a service channel started off as the cust asthe channel of last resort. So I had already called and was put onhold for an hour, or I emailed and they didn't respond, or mychat session took forever, whatever, and I'm already really frustrated because some othercustomer service channel has failed me, so now I'm going to go to social. But I think what's happened over time is that people realized that engaging withbrands on social is actually quite pleasant and it's fast. It's it there isno hold time like there is, you know, when you're sitting on thephone, because you can tweet and go about your day and and come backand see the response, you know, whenever it's convenient for you. Andas companies sort of quickly funded and resourced social media, what happened is theyput some really good service agents on this channel and people started figuring out,man, I can get my problem resolved really well on this channel. I'lltell you that I go to social always first now it's my channel, afirst resort, and I think that's really the trend that has happened, andit's because, for me anyway, it's the most convenient, fastest, mostpleasant service channel that there is out there. I think the other thing that hashappened and the other trend that we're seeing happening right now is actually thismove to from what I'll call public social to private social, which is tosort of these messaging APPs and facebook messenger and twitter, DM and we chatand all these things, and this is a really nice trend for both customersand companies. Companies, of course, love it because the complainers are nowtaking their complaints off blind so to speak, you know, out of the publicsphere. So it's so the PR people can relax a little bit,and companies don't have to be so afraid of complaints. Customers like it because, again, it's a very fast, convenient channel. The entire history isthere, so you know you've don't you find yourself not having to repeat yourproblem or even repeat your loyalty number or whatever it is, your identifier,because it all you got to do scroll up and you shared it a whileago and so you can just continue the conversation. I've had an ongoing conversationwith American Airlines for, you know, a year or two now, whereit's like every time I have a question or I've got an issue or Iwant them to look something up for me, I just go back and they knowme and they and it's so easy, way better than calling or anything likethat. So I do think that's a nice trend again for both parties, and that's probably the second thing that has that has happened, I think. Again, the third thing is the one that hasn't quite happened yet butthat I'm pushing for and that I really hope happens, is this move towardspositivity and and this ability, the ability to change the sentiment by, aswe used to say at McDonald's, creating more lovers than haters or making thelovers louder than the haters and, of course, by, you know,by creating experiences that people want to share positively with with friends and family andfollowers and sort of drowning out some of the unfortunate hatred and trolls and otherstuff that is out in social that is, you know, still kind of theto dark underbelly of the channel. Yeah, so many good pieces inthere. I want to get practical for people and companies smaller than the onesyou've you've built value into through your engagement there. You know, in asmaller organization, social is often kind of tossed off over there to that individual. If you're lucky it's a team,...

...it's easily siload like. How dowe integrate it back in for specifically, you know, for us, socialand social engagement, even in a support type scenario, was all driven outof marketing. You know, it was me and then it was this Galthat I hired and we would do it together, and then we put someoneon social full time and now it's her, but she takes vacation and, likemost humans, get sick from time to time. And so trying tofigure out how to rope customer service and customer success in there so people canget more timely responses? I guess I have a bunch of questions. I'llsave that. I'll save the one that is there. Just occurred to mefor to get your actually, when a team is much smaller, to youhave any tips or recommendations around that, like how do we how do weintegrate social like how do we elevate it out if we're in a company smallerthan a humana or a discover or McDonald's? Yeah, it's a great question andit's interesting because small companies present different problems than big companies. You know, the big company problem, certainly McDonald's, was there were more than a millionmentions every single day. How do you handle how do you hire enoughpeople to handle that? Right now, for a small company, even tenor twenty mentions a day. Maybe that same question of like how do wehandle this, because your social media person probably has a lot of other thingson his or her plate and maybe is also your email person or your youknow or your website person, so they're doing multiple things. I think thefirst thing to keep in mind is that it is still critical that you communicatewith your customers, especially when they want to communicate with you. I meanI always ask and I have worked in small companies as well, and Ithink the thing that we have to remind ourselves is without customers, we don'thave a business. So there is nothing more important than communicating, than talkingwith our customers, especially when they want to talk with us. So,in terms of prioritizing work, I would tell the cup I would tell thesocial media person forget about your next facebook campaign and answer that customers question,because that's more important, right. That's I think that's one piece. Thesecond thing is is that it's really important just to set expectations for your customers, because people are generally very accepting of smaller companies and understanding that they're nottwo seven like an airline or like a hotel chain, right, but youdo have to come out in front of it and on your profile page issay, Hey, we're here to service you from nine hundred to five orwhatever, and if you if it's after five, will get back to youfirst thing in the morning and people totally understand that. It's when you yousort of either don't set expectations or set the long expectations you know, forexample, if I tweet you at two o'clock in the morning and you've gotsomebody answering, then the next time I tweeted two o'clock in the morning,I'm assuming somebody's answering, right, and so you almost want to not dothat and wait until nine am. And now you've set the expectation with methat you're going to get back to me in business hours, and so it'sabsolutely fine. I often get asked like you know, do we have tobe twenty four seven? And for most businesses the answers no. I mean, obviously, if you're an international airline and people are flying two seven andare having problems, yeah, you got to be there, but for alot for most companies, that's not the case. The other question I getasked all the time is will. What channels do I do we have tobe in? And my answer is, I'm going to tell you ahead oftime. Is Somewhat disappointing. It is wherever your customers are. And sowhen I was working on a Medicare advantage product at aimed at seniors, weweren't on snapchat because that's not where seniors are, but we sure as heck, we're on facebook right and so your business may be very highly focused onsnapcheck is. That might be where your customers are, in which case you'vegot to be there and if not that, don't worry about not being there.There is a lot of companies, big and small, make the mistakeof feeling like they have to be everywhere, and then all that does is stretchyour one person too thin, and so I would say focus on whereyour customers are, the one or two channels, and set expectations and rememberthat not only are we nothing without our...

...customers, but it is a wholelot easier to keep an existing customer than it is to acquire a new one. And yet when you look at the dollars spent and the focus given tosales and acquisition and marketing versus customer success and customer service and retention in almostany sized business, its way off. And so I think that's the otherpiece of advice I would give is that this term customers success, I havesome skepticism about because I've been in a customer success roll and to me itfelt a little more like inside sales and it did really making my customers successful. But I do think that that is a critical role because when your customersare successful, then you don't have to sell as much because they're going torenew and they're going to stay and they're going to be loyal to yeah,really good stuff there. And you tackle the other question I had, whichwas about it was really about expectations. That wasn't the language I was goingto use, but you know your customers, when they reach out through these,let's just call them, even though it's ridiculous to do so, intwo thousand and nineteen alternative channels, alternative to email, chat, phone,that they have an expectation, but you have the opportunity to manage it andset it in as long as you're clear and explicit. You know what theycan expect in this channel. Then this idea of being on seven it wasfor me it was like what is the urgency of response, because earlier talkedabout this asynchronicity. Were you, as a customer, contweete and then youknow, a while later you check in and there's your response or your answer, like you know, how urgent does it need to be? So thatwas awesome. That's really, really good practical stuff. Let's talk about yourpodcast. A little bit. You also have a customer experience based podcast.It's called experience this. It's a very fun format. It is not Irun a very traditional format where I bring on really smart people and ask themquestions that either a I need or want the answers to or be. Ithink the listeners would really enjoy and really evoke this theme and build this ongoingconversation. You have something that's a little bit more timely, topical, backand forth. You do it with Joey Coleman, who wrote his book onthe top of you concluded that that last response with talk about what you're tryingto do with experience this. Yeah, so we are about to enter ourfourth season of experience this and it has been a ton of fun to doand I hope and I think that that comes out in the product. Isthat Joey and I really have a lot of fun doing the show and welooked at the whole show top to bottom and said we want to do somethingdifferent. If we're going to talk about creating remarkable experiences, we need tocreate an experience for our listeners. We need to do something that is extraordinary, that's a little bit better than ordinary or or just different from ordinary andI actually, previous to experience this, did host another podcast that was aninterview show, and so I love I love listening to interviews of smart peopleand learning from them as well. So it's not that there's a knock onthat format, it's just simply that we wanted to intentionally do something different.So but we landed on was essentially a roughly twenty five to thirty minute episodethat's broken into three different segments, and I like to compare it to,if you remember the price is right game show. You know they have likefifteen different games, but they only play five or six games in every episodeand so you never even quite know what game you're going to get. Andthat's exactly what we do. So we have about ten different segment types,but we only use three in every episode and so you don't even know whichof the ten you're going to get. So every episode feels different. It'snot there's not a sort of if you can't fall asleep at the wheel becausethe next episode is going to be something really different. Two shorter format segmentsalso of like seven, eight, maybe ten minutes, allow for just sortof a quicker discussion that's that's really lively, really interesting, really doesn't lull atall because you sort of getting to the point and then we move onand we capture a takeaway so that we...

...it's really important to us that there'sa that there's a concrete takeaway from every story that we tell that is practical. The people can kind of go back to work and be like, Hey, I heard this great story and here's how it would affect our business.And I've said the word story now a couple times too. I think wealso try to focus on storytelling. I think the best way to get peopleinterested in customer experience or enthused about doing something at their own business is justto tell them stories that are memorable that are practical. I I personally tryto stay away from stories that are might be amazing but are so outlandish thatan that a typical company couldn't possibly do it right. It's like, Imean, most companies aren't going to spend half a million dollars on, youknow, one customer and you know, just to get the PR value outof it right. So we really try to focus on stories that are practicaland one of my favorite parts about the show is that a lot of thestories now are coming from our listeners, so their call there. You know, we have this ability. We have like a digital voicemail kind of thingwhere you can leave a recording of a story, that of your own experience, and so then we bring on these other voices, not as an interviewbut as just sort of a snippet where we have sally tell her story fortwo minutes and then Joey and I kind of riff on it and come upwith the takeaway. So it's definitely fun and we've had a blast doing itand and we're going to keep doing it as long as people want to listento it. Well, the way you opened it absolutely does come through.It's just it's got a contagious effect and so I love that customers are interactingor listeners, customers are listening and and participating with it directly. It's greatand I'm excited that. You talk about the season approach. Just really quickly. What's the approach from a season by it is just you guys have commitmentsand you're like, okay, we need some periodic breaks to to breathe andround up some new stuff and take care of other things. Or Yeah,I think that's definitely part of it. I think the other part is thatwe've gotten used to as consumers, we've gotten used to sort of binging onseasons of content, whether it's on Netflix or Amazon, brime or whatever itis. Our first season was forty episodes long and it was a bear justto do every week for forty weeks and I think we found just personally thetowards the end of that we were getting exhausted and we didn't want that tocome out in the show. I still think the content was great, butit was just a struggle for us to get geared up for it. Sowe took a little break and then we moved to sixteen episode seasons, whichactually, although it wasn't intentional, we kind of follow the school year.So we go from January to May and then we take the summer off andthen we come back in September and we go through December, you know,take Oh, maybe a week or two off for winter break and come rightback in January and go through may again. So right now we're on hiatus overthe summer and it's great. It's it's we could focus on our ownthings, we can do something else. We can collect stories so that whenwe come back in the fall we got a nice backlog of fun stories totalk about, and so far that's worked really well. In sixteen episodes seemsto be. I'm not exactly sure how we came up with sixteen. Ithink it was more of a calendar thing, you know, four months. Itjust worked pretty well for us, so we're going to keep doing it. Awesome again. It's called experience this with an exclamation point. Even theexclamation point comes through in the listen and the four seasons coming soon. Inoticed. Obviously I like to read a read about guests. When I can. I try to read some of their blog posts or read books or listento the episode those I had been listening to experience this prior to reaching outto you to come on this show. Anyway, thank you. Thank youfor doing it and I'm glad you're finding the rejuvenation you need to get backat it again, because it's a it's a pleasure to listen to. Butone of the things I notice is that you have a background in a coupleof prestigious schools. You did communication and psychology at pain which are the twosubjects I studied most at the University of Michigan and you did your Mba atnorthwestern's coalog school of Management, one of...

...the best in the world. Beforewe get into maybe the value of that experience, talk about the perceived valueof that experience. I feel like a higher education, formal education are alittle bit under attack and part by this hustle culture that's like, who needsthat? You just need to get out there and get it done and andall of that. And then, and then also, of course, themore practical consideration of you know, the fact that the cost of it israpidly outpacing you know, the cost of inflation, etc. Talk about yourthoughts at a very high level about formal education. Yeah, it's a greatquestion. I'll tell you. I've been interviewed on a lot of podcasts andI've never been asked that. So this is a an answer that has neverbeen heard before. So I love the question. First of all, Iwould say, and I think a lot of people would say, I probablycouldn't get into pend today. It's so much more competitive even than when Iwas there. But I ended up going to pain really because first of allthey let me in, but as I was looking at schools. I steppedon the campus and it was just one of those moments where I was likethis is where I belong, I love this place. I visited lots ofcollege campuses. They're all beautiful. There wasn't really any that I hated,but I just stepped on that campus and I loved Philly and I was likethis is where I got to go and it was an amazing experience for me. I spent my biggest extracurricular was the newspaper, and so I really gotinto journalism and knowing that it wasn't something I wanted to do for a career, but honestly, the skills that I developed as a writer and an editorhave have really helped me through my career in its entirety. People still knowtoday that if they've got a spelling your grammar air in a word, documentarypower point, I'm the one that's going to find it, just because it'sgoing to pop off the page and punch me in the face, whereas otherpeople will will will skip it. Funny Story, by the way. Iactually had a vendor come to present to me at discover and they spelled discoverwrong on the cover page of their presentation and you could probably bet that Iwasn't really giving them the benefit of the doubt for the rest of the presentation. And I think Kell log was an awesome experience as well, and Ido think that there is a lot of value in an MBA and the senseof it just rounding out the other areas of business that maybe you're not ascomfortable on. Right. So I came into Kell again, left Kellog asa marketer, but being exposed to finance and Statistics and economics and some ofthese other things that you know marketers often get a bad rap there. Youknow, it's the it's the soft skill and they don't really understand numbers andall that thing, and it's so I really enjoy kind of learning some ofthat other stuff and ironically, the the required classes that I had to takein my first year, there were eleven of them, and the one thatI waited to take last because I was absolutely convinced I was going to hatewas operations. And I took operations and I loved it and it actually turnedout to be my second major behind marketing at Kellogg, because I thought itwas so fascinating and I do credit that to sort of my interest in customerservice and customer experience was taking some of those operations classes. That just neverwould have, I think, crossed my mind. I would say, however, that what you said is true, that I think the value of thequality of the school that you went to is not as high as it usedto be, and I think that Mbas have become arguably what law degrees becamea few, you know, a couple decades earlier. They've sort of becomea diamond dozen that every you know, everybody has an MBA now, andI don't that could be frustrating to me. I don't think it really is,you know, because I think that the education is still important and it'sand whether you got it at Kel log or you got it at at someschool I've never heard of, I don't think is that critical. I'm obviouslyproud of where I went, but I do think that as I've as I'veprogressed in my career, where I went to school has become less and lessimportant. And it's funny, my dad said to me when I graduated college. You said the first job you get...

...they're going to ask for your GPAin college and then nobody else is ever going to care, and he's right. Nobody's ever asked me since then my GPA pen and nobody, including myfirst job after business school, ever asked for my GPA at Kellogs. Soit really doesn't matter to you know, the details behind it don't really matter. I passed in both cases. I graduated, but I do think thatthe education part does matter. It helps you to be more well rounded,helps you to be a generalist in whatever role that you're in, and ithelps you to really understand, especially when you're having debates with your colleagues oryou're having big meetings with lots of differing opinions. It allows you to bemore open minded to, you know, other people's perspectives. Yeah, reallygood. You covered a lot of really important ground there and help me organize. A couple thoughts are on it. One, I can absolutely see howoperations would lend itself to a customer experience approach, in particular because it isinterdisciplinary or cross silo or cross function. However, you wanted to find thatand operations has that, that underlying element baked in. I think there's alsoan experience there. I mean you got to it really there at the enda little bit because I agree. I'm and I've hired a number of peoplethrough my career and you if you went to a prestigious school and went reallywell, that's part of the holistic snapshot of You on paper. But ultimatelyit's it's you in person, it's the accomplishments, it's the stories you're allowedthat that you can tell extemporaneously in an interview. That really and what otherpeople say about you reputation right. Just to double back to social media andstories the people tell and experience, I do agree that it all adds togetherto make you a more well rounded person in a lot of environments. Butbut you mentioned like right off the Bat, when I step down that campus,I knew this place was for me. I think my son had that samemoment visiting northwestern a couple summers back. But but there's an experience there tolike see being there in person. I did my NBA over five years. I to drag it out as long as I could make it easier topay for and I opted not to do any classes online a because the schoolwas, you know, a thirty minute drive from my office, so Icould get up there a couple week nights every week, but there's something aboutthat in person experience. I think that that adds to the whole thing.Talk about it from an experiential standpoint. Absolutely. I mean probably the bestand most lasting impact of going to business school is the network that I createdby being there. And one of the things that they do at Kellog,and I'm sure there's some psychology behind this, but the first day you're there oforientation, the head of admissions stands up and basically tells you about yourclass. And you know, in my class there was, you know,everybody short of the like curing cancer, right there was the guy that spentthree years in Africa, you know, saving babies, and there was theother person that climbed Mount Everest and there was the other person that and itwas like, oh my gosh, you just kept feeling smaller and smaller becausethese people had done unbelievable, remarkable things, and that's really that the takeaway wasjust it was so it was such an experience to be in a roomnot where you feel like the smartest person in the room, but where youfeel like everyone's the smartest person in the room and they're all kind of challengingyou to think differently. I remember one project that we were on, agroup project, where I was there. It was a marketer, the personnext to me was a teacher, the person next to them was from themilitary, the person next to them, you know, was from a was, I don't know, from the medical industry or whatever, and here weare all trying to solve the same problem, bringing our unique experiences together to solveit, and I thought it was absolutely fascinating and you don't get enoughof that in the work world because oftentimes it's a very homogeneous population, versusbeing in that trying to solve a complex business case, sitting next to adoctor, and you know, it was was really, really interesting to me. It's great and it leads into the...

...way I always like to close theshow here, because I know you have a call the top of the hour, so I want to honor that. Relationships are our number one core valuehere at Bomb Im. We're all about that human connection, the relationship togive and taken everything that comes through that. So I like to give you thechance to think or mention someone who's had a positive impact on your lifeor career and to give a shout out to a company that you respect forthe way that they treat customers. Cool. Well, I'm going to give ashout out to my friend and mentor, Chep a pike in, who isa customer service Guru, who I like to call my my brother fromanother mother, because we share the same hair do and when we're walking sideby side it's a pretty funny site. But chef has you know, he'sa hall of Fame Speaker. He's been in the business for thirty plus yearsand he has been so generous with his time and his mentorship and and reallyhelping me along in this business, which I think everybody needs. Everybody needsa mentor. I've tried to be a mentor too many people as I canand throughout my career, but it is always nice when you when you getone for yourself. So I want to thank Chep for that. And thecompany right now that I am absolutely obsessed with is called imperfect produce and it'sa start up out of San Francisco. They are essentially taking what they callugly fruit and vegetables, that stuff that isn't pretty enough to go into grocerystores, and they've created a subscription program out of it. And what Ithink is so remarkable about it is it not only is it a great value. Where I'm getting, you know, might be sometimes really large cucumbers orreally small apples or whatever, or dents or bruises, it's really high qualityfruit and vegetables at a great price, but the other part that they're sogood at is that they helped me measure on the website in real time.They tell me how much, how many pounds of way is st I've savedfrom the landfill and how much water I've saved, because they you know becauseof that, and how much cot I've kept out of the here. Andit's really an interesting way of keeping the customer hooked because you you understand yourown contribution, your own value back. Plus they have hilarious marketing. They'reso clever. Their billboards are funny, the boxes they ship the stuff inare really creative. So I just I think they've really figured out how totake something as strange as ugly fruit and turn it into a fantastic experience.So good and what they're doing there is tying you into something bigger. It'sbigger than me in the fruit I may or may not want to eat forthe way it looks and getting over that, but this idea of like you are, you are part of something bigger when you participate with us, sucha such a powerful add Dan, this has been awesome. Really, reallyenjoyed the conversation. I appreciate your time so much for folks that want toand, by the way, I learned about imperfect imperfect fruit producing. Yeah, I'm perfect both, probably sorry. I learned about that from experience this. So it's as a connect with you or the podcast or your book oranything. How can people follow up if they enjoyed any aspect of this conversation? Sure will definitely comes. See me on my website at Dan gingscom.It's Gian GISS and there's links to everything, their book, podcast, speaking etc. I'm also very active on twitter and not surprising least, it's I'ma social media guy. so that's at D Genghis and I love to engage. I practice what I preach. So if you reach out to me,I promise I'll respond, and generally pretty pretty quickly, and then experience.This is available wherever you listen to this podcast or any other podcast. Itunes, Stitcher, you know your favorite podcast APP. We should be on itand, if not, reach out to me and I'll make sure that weget on awesome. Thank you so much for your time. I hope youhave a great rest of your day and really appreciated all the stories you're ableto share with us here. Thank you. I appreciate the great questions and forreally pushing me. It was fun cool. Continued success to you.Take care. Clear Communication, human connection, higher conversion. These are just someof 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 officialbook. 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 thingyou can do today is to create and deliver a better experience for yourcustomers. Continue Learning the latest strategies and tactics by subscribing right now in yourfavorite podcast player or visit Bombombcom podcast.

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