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 any company 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 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. Hey, welcome back to the customer experience podcast. This is going to be a fun episode. You will be glad that you click play on this one. Our guest is run social media and digital marketing at companies with household names like McDonald's, humana discover. He's the author of the book winning at Social Customer Care. He's the cohost of experience, this another customer experience podcast 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 you so much for having me. I'm excited for the conversation and can't wait to get started. Yeah, me too, and so will start where I always start, which is your thoughts or your definition or that primary characteristics of customer experience. When I say customer experience, what does that mean to you? Well, to me it means how customers feel about every single interaction with your brand. And the two underlines there are the feeling part, because perception is reality. And so if we think we've built the best mobile APP in the world and our and our designers and our programmers and everybody tells us that it's the best mobile APP in the world, but our customers say that it's really difficult to use, then the answer is it's really difficult to use. The other part, though, is the every single interaction, and this is where I think most companies fall down, is that every single interaction can mean everything from 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 are designed by different people in a very siload organization, and then the result is that we as customers sort of feel this choppiness where things don't align or don't connect as well as we would like them too. So those are the two things 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 of that is that one weakness, you know, like the the chain is as strong as its weakest link or whatever, just just one weakness in all of that 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 of it is spot on. You know the twenty percent that isn't can can really damage 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, and so the stakes are really high. One of the things that I have found really fascinating, and this is what I often talked about on stage and work with clients on is that is that people are actually the research shows that people are 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 very many positive experiences to show, and so I love doing this on stage I'll say hey, raise your hand if you can remember the last time you had such 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 I say okay, now, raise your hand if you remember the last time that you 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 lot and they are sort of on one end...

...of the spectrum that's worth sharing because they'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 to explore with companies how do you create those positive ones that people want to share just as much as the negative ones and actually change that sentiment great and that that just leads right into if, for anyone listening, I create outlines of these common verstations. I try to keep them loose, but I do have places I want to go with them, and so this actually goes right into the next question I kind of generated prior to our connecting here, which is like, how are people operationalizing customer experience, like, in addition to speaking and writing and doing podcasting, you consult, so you're inside these organizations. Like what 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 within their organizations? where, some where does that look like today? Well, first of all, I don't claim to be be able to knock down all the silos, because that that can be an impossible task. But usually what I find is that there's two ways to approach the problem, to simplest fastest way, and the way that I always suggest that you start is to identify the pain points that are there today and to get rid of them. And oftentimes companies get so wrapped up in innovation and big technology product projects that the queue 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 was really successful is I managed to essentially grab the person from the technology team and I said I just got to rent this person for like three weeks and all the person did was work on little pain points on at the time it was the website, just little things that we had ide to find that we knew were 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, these giant innovation projects. So in the span of three weeks we fixed about a hundred things and not one of them, you know, was big enough to knock the whole thing down, but a hundred little changes made a huge impact. And, not coincidentally, that was the first year that discover one the JD power award for highest customer satisfaction, an award that they were really pursuing because 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 it to spending that time removing the pain points. Then I think you take a look at the flip side of it and you say, all right, how do we make our experience just that much better? And one of the things that I love talking about is the word extraordinary, which really only means better than ordinary. It doesn't mean that you have to do something that is like sending the man to the Moon Right. It's it doesn't have to be crazy expensive, it doesn't have to be outlandish, it just has to be a little bit better than ordinary. And in an industry like credit cards, which is frankly pretty commoditized, there's some great opportunities to do things that are a little bit better than ordinary. A couple things that I think discobber did that were that or great examples of this. They have the only call center that is or they have multiple call centers, but they're the only credit card company in the US that as a hundred percent US based service. So what they started doing was they asked every agent, when they picked up the phone, to tell the customer where they were. So, hi, this is Dan from Chicago. How can I help you? And what was absolutely unbelievable as, if you listen to these calls, nine times out of ten the very first thing out of the mouth of the customer was something about the location that that 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 and it created this immediate connection with the customer. And for years they had had US service, they just never did that extra thing to sort of make the customer 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 the pain points and then figure out the parts that you can go just a little bit above ordinary and that's when you really start to kind of get that ball rolling downhill and the momentum going of a great experience so good. I love your definition of extraordinary and I separated those intentionally extraordinary but extra list a little sum extra and in this this idea of I mean in this case there's a real and perceived value to having US based service, but even if that's not a point of contention for anyone listening, just the idea of opening the call with 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 the easiest is why we often start there, but you know and ask questions like what do you do for a living? But just opening the call with something that we can connect on as people is just a great tip. Can you go one step deeper on one of those things, though? So pain points, I think the first thing that comes to mind. Two things come to mind, but I'm sure you, with your depth of experience, will offer maybe one more or add some color to what I'm about to suggest. One is have one or more people, multiple people on the team, go through the process to find out where the pain is, because we created this process or this website or this function or whatever months or even years ago and no one's been back since right, so it hasn't been reviewed since it's been created or defined, and so send people through it on some consistent cadence and identify pain points that way. Another way, of course, would be some level of 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, but just go one step deeper for folks listening to get practical about how to identify pain points. Yeah, that's a great question and both of your answers are correct. You have to sort of do them in combination. So I found when I first I was at discover almost ten years and when I first Scott there it was suggested to me that I sign up for an employee card and I said why do I want an employee card? And they said, well, you know, you get this benefit, you get this benefit, and then when you call customer service, they know that you're an employees. I don't want them to know on them I'm an employee. That's exactly what I don't want, right because I don't want to be treated differently from a regular customer. And so I declined to the employee card. And I always thought that executives at any company should be customers of their company and they should be regular old customers. You don't want the you know, the Red Siren alarm to go off when the CEO calls into the call center. You want that person to be treated just like everybody else so that they can hear it and feel it and experience it. So I always recommend that you become a customer of your own products. Sometimes that's harder than other times. When I worked at human I wasn't eligible for Medicare advantage, so I couldn't really sign up for it. But you know, signing up for a dental plan or doing something 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 are definite ways where you can capture that. I'll tell you a story that I thought was really instructive. Again, back at discover so I'm discovers website and every page they used a survey mechanism, and there's a bunch of am out there. They happen to use one called opinion lab and at basically at the bottom of every page, unobtrusive, it's not a pop up. They're just just like a little icon that you can and leave your comment about that page and when you click on the icon, it asks you a couple of quick multiple choice questions and then it gives you a place for feedback. Now I got to report every day on the...

...feedback that we got and we got hundreds of pieces of feedback every day. That's what happens to you have fifty million logins a month, right, you get lots of feedback, and you're right. Sometimes the big issues would just pop out and and you could you you'd get you'd see it ten times in one day and you'd identify, you know, as a problem. But more often there were a little thing simmering under the surface that, if you weren't putting together those daily reports and sort of tracking some trends, it was really tough to find. So one of the 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, which was how easy was it to do business with us today, on a scale of one to ten, and I then asked for a report that had never been generated before. I said I want to see a list of every page in reverse order of the answer to that question. I want to see the pages that people say are the most difficult and then I want to explore the comments associated with those pages. Now, the page that rose to the very top, 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 a friend page. It was, you know, introduced someone to discover and will give you fifty dollars. Like, man, what's wrong with this page? I went and looked at it. I didn't see anything wrong. So we dig into the comments and it turns out that for one specific browser, to submit button was not showing up. So people were filling out their names and their email addresses of their friends and then they were stuck and this was obviously annoying. We fix that overnight and sure enough, the next day those scores on ease of use popped right back up, and that's what sort of gave me this idea of let's go find the next hundred things that are wrong and just fix all of those, because they're not hard, but you do have to discover them, and so that no pun intended. So I think it is about having you have to have the right system in place to capture the feedback and then you have to have you've got to be able to go beyond reporting, and one of the things I find that is is a big mistake is you ask companies with you listen to the voice of the customer. Oh Yeah, I get this report every day. Well, a report doesn't fix anything right 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't even have time to read it. So I start they start stacking up and then when you have ten of them, there's no way you're reading ten of these reports. So you it's not effective just to be sending out a daily report to people because nothing gets done. You have to get it that step forward, that that next step where it says, okay, we've got to 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 way to get past the big que in in technology and and actually have somebody be willing to go fix these things. And it turned out that that was a great project and very successful. I love that story and I recognize the pain in having all this really valuable information but not being quite sure how to harness the resources internally. And I think this gets to the big challenge of customer experience in side organizations and breaking down the siles, which, you is this kind of objective third party that comes in, you know, to assess and diagnose and discover and, you know, prescribe and things like that can't do on your own. So you said earlier, like I'm I can't break down the silos just too much. It's a different thing and it's even hard for people internally to do. It's, you know, if this is something produced throughout, throughout and across the entire organization. How can we work with in these siles to get it done? And just you know, the idea that you had to take someone out of an existing role speaks to the way that we're not really structured to get a lot of this important work done and we need to figure that out. I want to go to social media. Just in the title of Your Book You're obviously blending social and customer experience. Obviously social is inherent in some ways to the...

...customer experience, but can you speak to your view of like, how are those two integrated? What is we're is social fit into this picture? So I actually believe that the advent of social media is why we're talking about stromer experience so much today, because social media gave customers a voice that they never had before and shockingly, they use that voice right and so thus we're now all focused on listening to that customer and 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 a certain 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 on a plane, that was like the ultimate offline experience, and now even that isn'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 know enough to be dangerous about every part of the experience, because any part fails and you're probably going to find out about it on social media. In several of 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 are going to tell you the flip side. Then the other part of the circle is that how we respond to people talking to us on social media feeds right back into that experience. So if we are responsive and empathetic and we can resolve problems, we can often turn to tractors into advocates, and I've seen that happen tons of times. You start with an angry customer who really doesn't expect you to solve their problem, they just want to vent, and then all the sudden their problem is solved and they love you. The opposite is true too. Is that if you have a customer, either an angry customer or, frankly, a very happy customer, who reaches out to you and you ignore them, now you've changed their opinion of you and that feeds back into their overall experience. So to me, social I got into it as a marketer. The first thing I realized about it was, I don't think this is another broadcast channel, which is what brands did when it first came out. I mean, I remember being in conversations. How about we put our TV commercial on facebook? It's like what, wait a minute, I fast forward to the TV commercial on my television. Why do you think I want 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 is a 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 where customers could talk back, and that changed everything, because they did talk back and they gave feedback and they said stop with these commercials, we don't want to see these, or they when you interrupted their facebook feed, it reminded them that they had been meaning to call you about some completely different issue and so then they type in their their problem, even though it has nothing to do at the marketing piece you just put in front of them. So it changed 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 are really sort of two sides to the same coin, if you will. Yeah, it was super important in my career. I was in broadcast television. I ran marketing teams inside local TV stations and so you need occasionally do the events like a parade. You know, there's very little customer interaction. You're just like high people over there on the curb and you go to like festivals and events where you would maybe talk to people, but there's so little customer feedback except for research, which is all anonymized and lumped together. And so I remember, I was still in television when social was on the come up in this idea of people a being able to talk about whatever you're talking about and then be talking about things that have absolutely nothing to do with what you're talking about. But you still need to find the right home to participate with it. So obviously the rise of social...

...changed all of this and and I agree with you that that, yeah, this does look like a marketing channel. Know, actually, this looks like something a lot more and a lot more important. But let's get a little bit more nuanced. How have you seen 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 social for better, for worse, for neither that that has an impact on maybe the way companies are engaging with customers. Well, I think the biggest change has been that social media as a service channel started off as the cust as the channel of last resort. So I had already called and was put on hold for an hour, or I emailed and they didn't respond, or my chat session took forever, whatever, and I'm already really frustrated because some other customer 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 with brands on social is actually quite pleasant and it's fast. It's it there is no hold time like there is, you know, when you're sitting on the phone, because you can tweet and go about your day and and come back and see the response, you know, whenever it's convenient for you. And as companies sort of quickly funded and resourced social media, what happened is they put 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'll tell you that I go to social always first now it's my channel, a first resort, and I think that's really the trend that has happened, and it's because, for me anyway, it's the most convenient, fastest, most pleasant service channel that there is out there. I think the other thing that has happened and the other trend that we're seeing happening right now is actually this move to from what I'll call public social to private social, which is to sort of these messaging APPs and facebook messenger and twitter, DM and we chat and all these things, and this is a really nice trend for both customers and companies. Companies, of course, love it because the complainers are now taking their complaints off blind so to speak, you know, out of the public sphere. 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 is there, so you know you've don't you find yourself not having to repeat your problem 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 while ago and so you can just continue the conversation. I've had an ongoing conversation with American Airlines for, you know, a year or two now, where it's like every time I have a question or I've got an issue or I want them to look something up for me, I just go back and they know me and they and it's so easy, way better than calling or anything like that. 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 but that I'm pushing for and that I really hope happens, is this move towards positivity and and this ability, the ability to change the sentiment by, as we used to say at McDonald's, creating more lovers than haters or making the lovers louder than the haters and, of course, by, you know, by creating experiences that people want to share positively with with friends and family and followers and sort of drowning out some of the unfortunate hatred and trolls and other stuff that is out in social that is, you know, still kind of the to dark underbelly of the channel. Yeah, so many good pieces in there. I want to get practical for people and companies smaller than the ones you've you've built value into through your engagement there. You know, in a smaller 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 do we integrate it back in for specifically, you know, for us, social and social engagement, even in a support type scenario, was all driven out of marketing. You know, it was me and then it was this Gal that I hired and we would do it together, and then we put someone on social full time and now it's her, but she takes vacation and, like most humans, get sick from time to time. And so trying to figure out how to rope customer service and customer success in there so people can get more timely responses? I guess I have a bunch of questions. I'll save that. I'll save the one that is there. Just occurred to me for to get your actually, when a team is much smaller, to you have any tips or recommendations around that, like how do we how do we integrate social like how do we elevate it out if we're in a company smaller than a humana or a discover or McDonald's? Yeah, it's a great question and it'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 million mentions every single day. How do you handle how do you hire enough people to handle that? Right now, for a small company, even ten or twenty mentions a day. Maybe that same question of like how do we handle this, because your social media person probably has a lot of other things on his or her plate and maybe is also your email person or your you know or your website person, so they're doing multiple things. I think the first thing to keep in mind is that it is still critical that you communicate with your customers, especially when they want to communicate with you. I mean I always ask and I have worked in small companies as well, and I think the thing that we have to remind ourselves is without customers, we don't have a business. So there is nothing more important than communicating, than talking with our customers, especially when they want to talk with us. So, in terms of prioritizing work, I would tell the cup I would tell the social 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. The second 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 not two seven like an airline or like a hotel chain, right, but you do have to come out in front of it and on your profile page is say, Hey, we're here to service you from nine hundred to five or whatever, and if you if it's after five, will get back to you first thing in the morning and people totally understand that. It's when you you sort of either don't set expectations or set the long expectations you know, for example, if I tweet you at two o'clock in the morning and you've got somebody 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 do that and wait until nine am. And now you've set the expectation with me that you're going to get back to me in business hours, and so it's absolutely fine. I often get asked like you know, do we have to be 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 and are having problems, yeah, you got to be there, but for a lot for most companies, that's not the case. The other question I get asked all the time is will. What channels do I do we have to be in? And my answer is, I'm going to tell you ahead of time. Is Somewhat disappointing. It is wherever your customers are. And so when I was working on a Medicare advantage product at aimed at seniors, we weren'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 on snapcheck is. That might be where your customers are, in which case you've got 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 mistake of feeling like they have to be everywhere, and then all that does is stretch your one person too thin, and so I would say focus on where your customers are, the one or two channels, and set expectations and remember that not only are we nothing without our...

...customers, but it is a whole lot 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 to sales and acquisition and marketing versus customer success and customer service and retention in almost any sized business, its way off. And so I think that's the other piece of advice I would give is that this term customers success, I have some skepticism about because I've been in a customer success roll and to me it felt 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 customers are successful, then you don't have to sell as much because they're going to renew 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, which was about it was really about expectations. That wasn't the language I was going to 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, in two thousand and nineteen alternative channels, alternative to email, chat, phone, that they have an expectation, but you have the opportunity to manage it and set it in as long as you're clear and explicit. You know what they can expect in this channel. Then this idea of being on seven it was for me it was like what is the urgency of response, because earlier talked about this asynchronicity. Were you, as a customer, contweete and then you know, 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 that was awesome. That's really, really good practical stuff. Let's talk about your podcast. 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 I run a very traditional format where I bring on really smart people and ask them questions that either a I need or want the answers to or be. I think the listeners would really enjoy and really evoke this theme and build this ongoing conversation. You have something that's a little bit more timely, topical, back and forth. You do it with Joey Coleman, who wrote his book on the top of you concluded that that last response with talk about what you're trying to do with experience this. Yeah, so we are about to enter our fourth season of experience this and it has been a ton of fun to do and I hope and I think that that comes out in the product. Is that Joey and I really have a lot of fun doing the show and we looked at the whole show top to bottom and said we want to do something different. If we're going to talk about creating remarkable experiences, we need to create 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 and I actually, previous to experience this, did host another podcast that was an interview show, and so I love I love listening to interviews of smart people and learning from them as well. So it's not that there's a knock on that 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 episode that'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 like fifteen different games, but they only play five or six games in every episode and so you never even quite know what game you're going to get. And that'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 which of the ten you're going to get. So every episode feels different. It's not there's not a sort of if you can't fall asleep at the wheel because the next episode is going to be something really different. Two shorter format segments also of like seven, eight, maybe ten minutes, allow for just sort of a quicker discussion that's that's really lively, really interesting, really doesn't lull at all because you sort of getting to the point and then we move on and we capture a takeaway so that we...

...it's really important to us that there's a 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 we also try to focus on storytelling. I think the best way to get people interested in customer experience or enthused about doing something at their own business is just to tell them stories that are memorable that are practical. I I personally try to stay away from stories that are might be amazing but are so outlandish that an that a typical company couldn't possibly do it right. It's like, I mean, most companies aren't going to spend half a million dollars on, you know, one customer and you know, just to get the PR value out of it right. So we really try to focus on stories that are practical and one of my favorite parts about the show is that a lot of the stories now are coming from our listeners, so their call there. You know, we have this ability. We have like a digital voicemail kind of thing where 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 interview but as just sort of a snippet where we have sally tell her story for two minutes and then Joey and I kind of riff on it and come up with the takeaway. So it's definitely fun and we've had a blast doing it and and we're going to keep doing it as long as people want to listen to 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 interacting or listeners, customers are listening and and participating with it directly. It's great and 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 commitments and you're like, okay, we need some periodic breaks to to breathe and round 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 that we've gotten used to as consumers, we've gotten used to sort of binging on seasons of content, whether it's on Netflix or Amazon, brime or whatever it is. Our first season was forty episodes long and it was a bear just to do every week for forty weeks and I think we found just personally the towards the end of that we were getting exhausted and we didn't want that to come out in the show. I still think the content was great, but it was just a struggle for us to get geared up for it. So we took a little break and then we moved to sixteen episode seasons, which actually, 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 and then 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 right back in January and go through may again. So right now we're on hiatus over the summer and it's great. It's it's we could focus on our own things, we can do something else. We can collect stories so that when we come back in the fall we got a nice backlog of fun stories to talk about, and so far that's worked really well. In sixteen episodes seems to be. I'm not exactly sure how we came up with sixteen. I think it was more of a calendar thing, you know, four months. It just 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 the exclamation point comes through in the listen and the four seasons coming soon. I noticed. 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 listen to the episode those I had been listening to experience this prior to reaching out to you to come on this show. Anyway, thank you. Thank you for doing it and I'm glad you're finding the rejuvenation you need to get back at it again, because it's a it's a pleasure to listen to. But one of the things I notice is that you have a background in a couple of prestigious schools. You did communication and psychology at pain which are the two subjects I studied most at the University of Michigan and you did your Mba at northwestern's coalog school of Management, one of...

...the best in the world. Before we get into maybe the value of that experience, talk about the perceived value of that experience. I feel like a higher education, formal education are a little bit under attack and part by this hustle culture that's like, who needs that? You just need to get out there and get it done and and all of that. And then, and then also, of course, the more practical consideration of you know, the fact that the cost of it is rapidly outpacing you know, the cost of inflation, etc. Talk about your thoughts at a very high level about formal education. Yeah, it's a great question. I'll tell you. I've been interviewed on a lot of podcasts and I've never been asked that. So this is a an answer that has never been heard before. So I love the question. First of all, I would say, and I think a lot of people would say, I probably couldn't get into pend today. It's so much more competitive even than when I was there. But I ended up going to pain really because first of all they let me in, but as I was looking at schools. I stepped on the campus and it was just one of those moments where I was like this is where I belong, I love this place. I visited lots of college 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 like this 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 got into 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 editor have have really helped me through my career in its entirety. People still know today that if they've got a spelling your grammar air in a word, documentary power point, I'm the one that's going to find it, just because it's going to pop off the page and punch me in the face, whereas other people will will will skip it. Funny Story, by the way. I actually had a vendor come to present to me at discover and they spelled discover wrong on the cover page of their presentation and you could probably bet that I wasn'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 I do think that there is a lot of value in an MBA and the sense of it just rounding out the other areas of business that maybe you're not as comfortable on. Right. So I came into Kell again, left Kellog as a marketer, but being exposed to finance and Statistics and economics and some of these other things that you know marketers often get a bad rap there. You know, it's the it's the soft skill and they don't really understand numbers and all that thing, and it's so I really enjoy kind of learning some of that other stuff and ironically, the the required classes that I had to take in my first year, there were eleven of them, and the one that I waited to take last because I was absolutely convinced I was going to hate was operations. And I took operations and I loved it and it actually turned out to be my second major behind marketing at Kellogg, because I thought it was so fascinating and I do credit that to sort of my interest in customer service and customer experience was taking some of those operations classes. That just never would have, I think, crossed my mind. I would say, however, that what you said is true, that I think the value of the quality of the school that you went to is not as high as it used to be, and I think that Mbas have become arguably what law degrees became a few, you know, a couple decades earlier. They've sort of become a diamond dozen that every you know, everybody has an MBA now, and I 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's and whether you got it at Kel log or you got it at at some school I've never heard of, I don't think is that critical. I'm obviously proud of where I went, but I do think that as I've as I've progressed in my career, where I went to school has become less and less important. 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 GPA in 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 my first job after business school, ever asked for my GPA at Kellogs. So it 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 that the 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 it helps you to really understand, especially when you're having debates with your colleagues or you're having big meetings with lots of differing opinions. It allows you to be more open minded to, you know, other people's perspectives. Yeah, really good. You covered a lot of really important ground there and help me organize. A couple thoughts are on it. One, I can absolutely see how operations would lend itself to a customer experience approach, in particular because it is interdisciplinary or cross silo or cross function. However, you wanted to find that and operations has that, that underlying element baked in. I think there's also an experience there. I mean you got to it really there at the end a little bit because I agree. I'm and I've hired a number of people through my career and you if you went to a prestigious school and went really well, that's part of the holistic snapshot of You on paper. But ultimately it's it's you in person, it's the accomplishments, it's the stories you're allowed that that you can tell extemporaneously in an interview. That really and what other people say about you reputation right. Just to double back to social media and stories the people tell and experience, I do agree that it all adds together to make you a more well rounded person in a lot of environments. But but 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 same moment visiting northwestern a couple summers back. But but there's an experience there to like 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 to pay for and I opted not to do any classes online a because the school was, you know, a thirty minute drive from my office, so I could get up there a couple week nights every week, but there's something about that in person experience. I think that that adds to the whole thing. Talk about it from an experiential standpoint. Absolutely. I mean probably the best and most lasting impact of going to business school is the network that I created by 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 of orientation, the head of admissions stands up and basically tells you about your class. And you know, in my class there was, you know, everybody short of the like curing cancer, right there was the guy that spent three years in Africa, you know, saving babies, and there was the other person that climbed Mount Everest and there was the other person that and it was like, oh my gosh, you just kept feeling smaller and smaller because these people had done unbelievable, remarkable things, and that's really that the takeaway was just it was so it was such an experience to be in a room not where you feel like the smartest person in the room, but where you feel like everyone's the smartest person in the room and they're all kind of challenging you to think differently. I remember one project that we were on, a group project, where I was there. It was a marketer, the person next to me was a teacher, the person next to them was from the military, the person next to them, you know, was from a was, I don't know, from the medical industry or whatever, and here we are all trying to solve the same problem, bringing our unique experiences together to solve it, and I thought it was absolutely fascinating and you don't get enough of that in the work world because oftentimes it's a very homogeneous population, versus being in that trying to solve a complex business case, sitting next to a doctor, 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 the show 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 value here at Bomb Im. We're all about that human connection, the relationship to give and taken everything that comes through that. So I like to give you the chance to think or mention someone who's had a positive impact on your life or career and to give a shout out to a company that you respect for the way that they treat customers. Cool. Well, I'm going to give a shout out to my friend and mentor, Chep a pike in, who is a customer service Guru, who I like to call my my brother from another mother, because we share the same hair do and when we're walking side by side it's a pretty funny site. But chef has you know, he's a hall of Fame Speaker. He's been in the business for thirty plus years and he has been so generous with his time and his mentorship and and really helping me along in this business, which I think everybody needs. Everybody needs a mentor. I've tried to be a mentor too many people as I can and throughout my career, but it is always nice when you when you get one for yourself. So I want to thank Chep for that. And the company right now that I am absolutely obsessed with is called imperfect produce and it's a start up out of San Francisco. They are essentially taking what they call ugly fruit and vegetables, that stuff that isn't pretty enough to go into grocery stores, and they've created a subscription program out of it. And what I think 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 or really small apples or whatever, or dents or bruises, it's really high quality fruit and vegetables at a great price, but the other part that they're so good 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 saved from the landfill and how much water I've saved, because they you know because of that, and how much cot I've kept out of the here. And it's really an interesting way of keeping the customer hooked because you you understand your own contribution, your own value back. Plus they have hilarious marketing. They're so clever. Their billboards are funny, the boxes they ship the stuff in are really creative. So I just I think they've really figured out how to take 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's bigger than me in the fruit I may or may not want to eat for the 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, such a such a powerful add Dan, this has been awesome. Really, really enjoyed the conversation. I appreciate your time so much for folks that want to and, 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 or anything. 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'm a 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 it and, if not, reach out to me and I'll make sure that we get on awesome. Thank you so much for your time. I hope you have a great rest of your day and really appreciated all the stories you're able to share with us here. Thank you. I appreciate the great questions and for really pushing me. It was fun cool. Continued success to you. Take care. 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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