The Customer Experience Podcast
The Customer Experience Podcast

Episode · 2 years ago

44. The 3 Components of Trust for Better Customer Relationships w/ Cory Scheer

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Every time Cory Scheer puts on his Brooks running shoes, he has a great experience. 

He doesn’t get blisters and his feet feel comfortable.

And when it’s time for a new pair of shoes, he turns to Brooks.

So, how do you create experiences like this? Experiences that make your customers want to come back again and again?

On this episode of The Customer Experience podcast, Cory joined us to talk about why building trust is the key to developing a loyal customer base. 

Cory currently serves as Director of Church and Community Engagement at Pleasant Valley Baptist Church. Previously, he’s been the Business Director at a whitewater rafting company in Colorado, VP of Strategic Partnerships at the YMCA of Greater Kansas City, and Dean of Admissions at William Jewell College. 

He also earned an Executive MBA and a Doctorate in Education, completing his doctoral work on the topic of trust, value, and loyalty in relational exchanges.

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

 

Most organizations start with let's increase the value proposition. How are we going to do it? You know how we going to do this. With with challenge in this particular area. How do we maintain our value proposition? It really does not start with value, it starts with trust. 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. Today we're talking trust how to cultivate it within our organizations and with our customers. I think it's one of those things that is easy to talk about, but we might not be talking about the same thing, or it's easy to take for granted and lose sight of the fact of how fundamentally important it is and that it's a skill and a value that we need to be building between each other. And so you're about to get some practical, evidence based ways to strength and trust through relational exchanges and our guest is super dynamic. He's been the business director at a Whitewater Rafting Company out here in Colorado, where I live. He's been the vice president of strategic partnerships at the Hymca of Greater Kansas City, he's been the dean of Admission at William Jewel College and presently he's the director of Church and community engagement at pleasant Value Baptist Church in liberty, Missouri. He earned a bachelor of science and speech, communication and community recreation and executive MBA and a doctorate in educational leadership and Policy Analysis. And, as a fun fact, last detail here, he's completed twenty eight marathons, including New York, Boston and Chicago three times. Corey Shear, welcome to the customer experience podcast. Thank you, Ethan. It's awesome to be on here with you. I really appreciate the just the chance to connect. Yeah, I think you know the work you've done, in the range of work that you've done. You know obviously trust, being the subject of your dissertation, and probably a lot. It's beyond that. It's so deeply entwined, I imagine, in so many of the various roles and situations you found yourself in, and so I'm looking to really get into all of that in a formal and inform a way and I typically start with asking you to find customer experience, which we will do. But first I want to ask you do you have any brand loyalties around running shoes? So I guarantee you put on a lot of miles, like probably put as many miles on your shoes as some people do on their cars. And so what's your running shoe situation, because I run to not nearly as much as you like. What's your loyalty situation there? I have a fierce brand loyalty to brooks running shoes and there's one particular model. It's the glycerin running shoe and it's the widest sorts, the double e, and I have I have run up those shoes for probably three or four more years now and I had one blister in all of my races. So before that I was I was running with Nikes and I thought, well, everyone runs with nikes because they're they're everywhere and it look great. But I realized after I was getting blisters nearly every other long run, I just had to mix switch and so I got fitted appropriately switched over to brooks and the shoes, the glycerins, are kind of their high end model, so they're a hundred fifty bucks a pop and after four hundred and fifty miles, got a rotate your shoes. So they're a little bit more money, but the I'm willing to pay for the noblisters. They've been awesome shoes. How about yourself? I run in the Brooks Ghost, which is kind of like it's also a neutral, lightweight shoe, as is the glycerin, and it's only, I think, the new models a hundred and thirty bucks. It's like it's like one step down, but same thing as you, I think. I was like, okay, I am kind of serious about this, not as serious as you. So I went to a specialty store. I put on six or eight different brands. It was definitely the right one for me. And just fun fact for everyone listening. Corey came to me through a previous podcast, guess Kurt Bartolache, who talked about how to protect your brand. He's a he's he's a brand builder, but even more he's a brand conservation. It's like how do we protect what's good about our brands? And so that's a past episode you can listen to. You can check it out at Bombbcom podcast or in your favorite podcast player. But I've also had Rachel Ostrand or on from Brooks running. She's the director of runner experience, so I had her on as well. After we hang this up, I'll send you that link and if you're listening, I'll send that to you, cory, but if to listeners again you can find that out. Both of those are in the first ten episodes of the show. So definitely go back and fish out some cool sounding brands and people and topics, because we've been doing these conversations and each one of them has their own magic to them. I'm super glad I asked that. Brooks has an awesome company. Actually visited them too when I was in Seattle, or we, I mean we had it's like a monument to Brooks. In my closet I have stacks of old running shoes which turn into lonnoing shoes. They are the most comfortable on going shoes. But...

I love Brooks. I'll be a champion for them for a long time, not a running champion, a brand champion. Sure, your champion, your champion within your own circle of influence there. So let's go. Let's go to the formal open like how when I see customer experience, what kind of thoughts? Are Feelings, are words? Does that conjure for you? Yeah, it's you know, we were talking a little bit before we came on here and this this whole emotion of when you walk away from Cusford experience, it seems like you walk away with there's a residue that you walk away with. So you either have a really good residue or poor residue or you have no residue at all from that experience. And so the goal is that we want to try to interact with companies where we have a really positive residue. And so I think we've probably all been in situations where you walk away and something in field right, or you can you can put your finger on something that was definitely what I would consider kind of violation on a brand violation or a trust violation. Or you also have like I have with my brooks running shoes. Every single time I run in those shoes it's a really good experience and I don't have blisters. I have good experiences, my feet feel good and there's nothing better than putting on a brand new pair of brooks shoes for me and from my foot, but also just in regards to the customer experiences that we have had as a family with for kids. We have a lot of different opportunity to interact with different companies and so I sometimes my radar and my sensitivity to brand or customer experience. Sometimes it can actually be a little bit too sensitive because I'm in this work and I think about it quite a bit Kurd actually, and I we've had a lot of conversations around this and so, but that residue, we want that positive residue from our customer experiences that we can continue to build upon, because then we'll come back because we want more of that. Yeah, love it. I like the language you use there. That is new language. I've asked now nearly fifty people that question. I've never gotten the same answer twice and typically I'll get some new layer like you've offered here, like new specific language about residues. Like it adds a tangibility to thinking about it. You know, a lot of people, a lot of us, will talk through our thoughts and definitions of customer experience and it doesn't seem as like tangible or visual, like I can see what's left, you know, after that exchange. So let's get let's get a little bit into the into the trust topic, because you have a special level of expertise here. Your dissertation was titled Trust, Value and loyalty in relational exchanges, and so I thought I'd be a fun exercise to maybe walk through each one of those. So let's break down that title again, the words for the folks that are listening. Trust value, loyalty and relational exchanges. So let's start with trust. I mean, obviously it's a big one, but you know, give me a give me a medium size take on trust, like when you're talking about trust, or when people who are doing formal, academic, quantified work, or how trust we're exactly are we talking about? That's that's a huge question and such an important one for all of us who are in the market place, whether we're a formal leader with with a specific job title, or we have influence, whatever and whatever level of organ organizational leadership we have. So how I think about trust and really what I learned about trust through my doctoral work at Missoo. There were three authors of an article. Their names are Sardeshmuk sable and saying, and they wrote this article called trustfelial loyalty and relational exchanges. And so what they did was they built this framework, this model around measuring value in relational exchanges. And so in their learning they identified three things trust, value and loyalty, and they wanted to identify was there a linear relationship between the three, or is it just about trust, or just about value or just about loyalty? And so then what they did is they offered some some structural elements of trust and how they identified it. As they said, okay, if we were to break trust down into two big buckets or two big areas, one bucket would be frontline employees and then one bucket would be policies and procedures. So if you think about the structure or the bones of trust, those are the two buckets that that that kind of live or comprised trust. So from unemployees and then policies and receiders, and then within each of those there are three primary components that they measured. And so they did this empirical research in the airline industry and in the retail industry. There was another another author who did doctoral work in higher Ed. He did quantitative work and his last name is Carvolo, and then I did qualitative work and higher at, using the same theoretical framework. So within frontline employees and policies and receiders, the three elements that are critical. So these must all be accomplished in owner for trust to be B built. The first one is is that there has to be a level...

...of competence. So when you think about a frontline employee or a policy or procedure, it has to be competent, and that's that seems so obvious. But when something is not competent, like a policy or a frontline employee, there's a brand and a trust violation that occurs. The second thing, outside of competence, is problem solving. So thinking terms of a maybe an employee that you've worked within the past, or a policy and procedure that you've interacted with in your current work or a past work where it has been not a problem solver but actually a problem creator, and the level of stress that that puts on the organization, whether it's through people or policy, and so that is actually a structural element of trust where, if there's more problem making them problem solving occurring, then trust is actually going to drop down. And then the final one is really, really an interesting one, and then has to do with operational benevolence, meaning does that friend unemployee or does that policy put other people's needs before their own? So here's the interesting thing about the structure of trust. If you don't have all three of those, you'll actually start losing trust and that's challenging because you might have the most competent individual in your organization, but if they don't have problem solving skills or if they're not benevolent, they it's going to be very, very difficult. So if they are a problem solver but they have no benevolence and no competence, you're going to have issues. And if they are benevolent, they're a pushover it because they don't have any competence or problem solving skills. That's going to be difficult. Same thing along the lines with with policies. I use the example of the office. So the office is like this amazing case study of organizational leadership and trust building and trust violation. So in the office you know Jim, he is like the most benevolent person. He's not a problem solver and he's definitely not very competent and his actual job, but he people love him and he loves everyone except for Dwight. So he's what I would call the hardest person to fire in an organization. Very Benevolent, low confidence, low problem solving. And then you've got Dwight, who was like the most competent salesperson. He can sell paper to a forest of trees right, but he has no problem solving skills and he's not benevolent at all. And the Abelt Michael, who is the supposed boss of the office. He's got none of the three. He has no confidence, no problem solving and absolutely no benevolence. But the beauty of that show is that it kind of flips the model and that's why I think it allows people to come back to watch more, because the person in the office that actually demonstrates all three of those trust elements, benevolence, competence and problem solving, is Pam and she is the person that has technically the least amount of influence within the organization. However, she is the primary trust builder in that show. So that's kind of a good way for me to think about when we when we think about the structure of trust. And even in my own work, whether it's whether I'm working with people or I am developing a procedure around something, I can ask myself those questions very simply. Okay, is this the most competent approach? Is this the problem solving an approach, and then, in my actually putting other people's knees before my own. So what these authors did, because they then took that and they said, okay, if we do have all of this trust, that will then naturally lead to increase value. So the value proposition naturally rises. Okay, so think about trust as the water coming into the pond and then value is the boat that's rising because there's trust underneath it. And then the loyalty is the experience that people have as a results of trust. It's being built strong value proposition, and then the loyalty, that's the residue that people want. They continue to come back to that. But if you're violating that in any of those three areas, problem solving, competence or benevolence, there's a natural tendency for trust to actually start to decline. And so that that mental framework has been so helpful for me because it allows me to compartmentalize the elements of trust, and so that's how I would define each each of those elements. And the most important thing is that trust has to occur before value, and then value. It leads to loyalty. Most organization start with let's increase the value proposition. How are we going to do it? You know how we going to do this with with a challenge in this particular area. How do we maintain our value proposition? It really does not start with value, it starts with trust. I would guess that price starts to come into play when those pieces are broken, like well, when one of them is missing or one of them is weak. By the way, that was amazing. For those of you who are listening. There's a thirty second back button for a reason. It's either a you got interrupted or be there is something that was so good or interesting or useful, such as your office analogy, which resonated very well with me and I'm sure will anyone who watch the show probably saw all of it instead of just a couple episodes. So feel free to bounce back and catch back up to to us here. But I'm going...

...to guess that in the absence of trust to do to any of those, those three elemental failures or absences or even just weaknesses right strong as the weakest link. Whatever. That price starts to come into plays. You Start Messing with the value prop it's like I would is lower the price and see if that will buy our way out of the fact that we can't build trust. That's exactly right. I mean, if you think about your greatest customers experience environments that you've been a part of, you've probably been loyal to that customer experience. You've gone back to it or you've had really fond memories and you may have even said yourself, I can't believe I paid that much for that, but it was amazing, it was so worth it. And that's where trust is. It's critical and I think that it's very natural us, natural for us to think about trust. I think that we do all have trust radars, so to speak, where we just go back and feel right. So one example that I use as if you ever have a grumpy southwest airlines employee, that, yeah, yeah, that I can think of. That doesn't feel right when you do. I've had a couple and it's like wow, like they're not going to be with this company very long and so you know southwest airlines there and so many of case studies as relates to business, which they're there for a reason. But when you think about southwest are US actual value proposition, they really don't have that great of a value proposition compared to some of the other airlines. They don't have TV's in the back of their seats. You know the boarding process for a lot of people, they don't really like it, they just put up with it. No matter how many times I twenty four hours in advance of my boarding time, I'm always be thirteen or lower. It's like, how does that absolutely and how does that actually happened? But what Southwest Airlines is done. They have mastered the element of Building Trust with their friendline employees, and then their policies and procedures, the one policy that is so vital to them. If their bags fly free policy went away. So imagine they say hey, backspy, prey, backspy pre policy is going to go away so that we can increase the value proposition for our customers so that they have TV's in the back of their seats and they have better food options on our flights. They it would be a revolt. They would have a mass exodus because people have come to trust and love that backs fly free policy and if that went away that would be an ultimate trust violation for southwest airlines. It's really interesting. We fly a lot out of Denver. We're in Colorado Springs, which, for folks that aren't familiar, is like we're about forty five minutes south of South Denver and about in ninety minutes from the airport, because here courts way out east and we used to fly frontier a lot. They have a lot of gates in in Denver and there were, you know, TV's in the back of the seats, like like good stander policy. And then slowly they change their model to go kind of downmarket toward what I think is like a spirit or an allegiant where all of a sudden you have to pay for your bag check, you have to pay for a bag carry on, you have to pay if you want to pick your seat, you have to pay more, of course, if you want to pick a good seat, like all of this kind of craziness. And so, you know, we just stopped flying. Then that's when the company split and now we have southwest people and United People and you know, some people were still would do what they're going to do. But to your point of like we for the first two years or so when we started doing a lot more trade shows and conferences and expos and things, we were we were very actively flying, paying a brand, I'll make it even more generic, paying a brand for their service, paying a company for their service. And then the rules started to change on us and you don't realize the rules are changing because there are any headlines about it, until the next time you go to book. You know, like, to your point, this doesn't feel the same, this doesn't look the same, effect this isn't the same. And so that that your point, Ethan, what you experience was a trust violation as it relates to their benevolence towards you, meaning baby, by them not communicating to you, by them not considering what your experience was going to be. Then, in the new way, with a new policy shift, they have actually violated trust for you because they're now no longer being benevolent, they're not looking out for the needs of their customers. With Southwest Airlines, it's amazing how many people they book seuthwest without Pruss shopping. They just fly southwest. They totally trust that the prices are going to be ad or near industry standard. But that's a pretty big purchase to not do press shopping on. We don't do that with other products within our companies or other vendors, but with southwest there's such tremendous friend loyalty. But if you go upstream, beyond the value proposition, it really is more of an element of trust for them and they've mastered it and and so now the challenge is, I think for them they have to uphold that and they are known for that. And so because of that that provides for them tremendous accountability as a company. So I'm curious, Ethan, as you so you've been with your company now around eight year or so. Can you kind of think of maybe like a season or like a policy or a procedure where you all, as...

...a team, you really thought more in terms of this is a more of a value proposition? How do we make it more trustworthy? kind of I try to ask that of business leaders because I'm I'm fascinated by how they've been able to apply this element of trust without them really even putting structure to it. They just do it intuitively. Is there something that you can your work there? We are like that's something that we move from a value proposition to really more of a focus on building trust. I don't know. I'll offer you the first thing that comes to mind and then you can tell me what I like what I've offered you. We're talking about bomb bomb or software company subscribed by month or by year. We make it really easy to record and send video messages from our web at from our mobile APPs, from Gmail, outlook sales force outreaching a bunch of other instances and in then track all the results. As you allows you to get facetoface with more people more often, because it's better than relying exclusively on plane typed out texts. We're trying to get into relational exchanges as and build trust and offer and deliver value in these kinds of things. It were better facetoface, and so that's what our whole Mo is. So we've gone back and forth over the years and kind of various iterations of you know, first it was a thirty day money back guarantee. Then we move to more of a brand promise, which was if you use this and you don't improve your results, however you define it, will give you all your money back. So what we did in that iteration was, and we believe this, if you send ten videos to people, let's just say, to say thank you or hey, how are you? It's been a while, I guarantee you're going to get replies and responses that let you know this is a different and better way to communicate. And so that that, that was our deals. Like, we know this works, and so instead of just a blanket someone looking at themselves in the camera and feeling uncomfortable, like that natural vulnerability that always occurs, and just bailing right away, we're like, we wanted to create this situation where, like, trust us, if you use this and you make it to the other side of this initial little barrier, you're never going to look back, because we've seen it for thousands of people before. You sort of like, if you use it and you don't improve your results, how redefine it? More replies, more responses, more clicks through your emails, higher lead conversion, better ability to stay in touch, more referrals, whatever, you know, whatever you're trying to get done, more appointments set and held, whatever, we'll give you all your money back. But you got to try. And so we wrote this framework around it and we published it and it was like, you know, you have to, you know, will do personal coaching with you and then you have to I don't remember what the details are, so I'll make them up here, since it's not in place. I guess it doesn't matter how exactly accurate I get. You know, if you send five videos within a week's time after we do a oneonone consultation with you and you say Nope, let me go, we'll just we'll just let you go, a hundred percent refund. And the cool thing was we broke out of that thirty day window to right. So it wasn't just this, you know, thirty days give someone an easy like an easy out. We don't act so anyway. So we went with that a little bit it, but it was being sold a little bit differently than it was being executed on the you know, the sales side and the customer success side. There's a little bit of tension and miscommunication there. The customers hearing one thing when they're, you know, at this point of making a decision to provide a credit card number, but then as they get into it and they maybe want to cash it out, they're like, Oh, I actually have to do something. That wasn't my understanding of the promise in the beginning. And so you know it, we've kind of walked away from that and we're in. We're back to where we started, which is this kind of case by case situation where we'll really will really push you a little bit, because we are doing behavior change. This is new behavior. This is a new tool in your tool set. There was a time, well before you and I, Cory, were walking the earth or running the earth, that people didn't sell by telephone. They sold only in person and through letters and mailings. Right like they have telephones on their sales desks. This is essentially like a twenty one century telephone showing up on the thing that's going to allow you to be more effective more often in all these things. So we still will challenge you to pick up this new tool and make it go, because we know that it works. We've seen it work for thousands and thousands of people and we and we know we can encourage you and we know how hard this might be for you. So anyway, it's gone through various iterations and now it's kind of, I honestly don't personally know where it is, because the company's big enough that don't know everything anymore. That's a fun era, by the way. There are a couple of years ago I knew everything. Right, it's so anyway, I'll offer it. I'll offer that. What do you what do you take there? Yeah, well, it's really interesting how you moving just a little bit away from that kind of value proposition of that. Here's the thirty day. You know, Thirty Day. Anything. That's a value proposition. That's a value proposition framework, because it's like, okay, thirty days, we've heard it before, we're familiar with the best, very price driven and so but then also you have, as you have, moved away from that. What I love about moving away from that, you still kept the essence of it, where you're challenging people, but you're making accustomed to their needs. So what you're doing there? You're naturally that's a competent approach that's intended to solve their...

...problems with them, but then also and you're trying to help them understand the problems that they don't understand that they have yet. That's what you're trying to do. But then, third it really is looking up for their needs because it's custom, because they may not want to thirty day, they may want attend it, they may want to forty five day. A man, not Emil want to talk about that. So you guys have naturally what that procedure. You have moved towards more of a trust model and all I'll share this with you and to the listeners. Ethan did not ask me to do this. I will just offer this. So I had not met you yet. Ethan Kurd had introduced us and then you sent her an email back to me and you held up my name and that was on the frame of the of the first email that you sent to me. And then it was the bomb on video. It literally redefined email for me in my mind. I've never I've never had something where it's like with emails, like email, you type your email, you get another email, you generate more email, but that was one of the first times I've ever really had that experience. I've seen bombomb but I've never had someone interact with me with my name held up. That was so powerful to engage me and I click through and I listened in and it redefined email for me. It became a new way of communicating, and so that was very powerful and that was a trust building experience for me as I kind of Ben and also just to find you're a commitment to say I'm going to write your name down, I'm going to hold it up because I know that you're going to see it, because I care enough I'm going to spell your name right when I write your name down, I'm going to look to make sure that I'm running your name right and then as I interact with that that was just such a cool experience. So what you guys are doing, it's all about building trust for you guys and this really gigantic area of email and you have done a great job or redefining that space and it sounds like you're doing it through through trust. So well done. Yeah, thank you. And in most of the use cases are around this, like you know, we're asking for people as as people on the business side of the business, not bombomb but any business. Right. We do a ton of business in, you know, large sales organizations, large customer success organizations, all the way down to individual practitioners, whether they're, you know, like Solo Preneurs who are building a coaching business or financial advisors, real estate, mortgage, insurance, automotive typically buys. As a team, we're doing all kinds of different business and all of these people are trying to do the same thing. is so much of the initial touch in a customer experience these days is digital. Right, I'm checking out websites or I'm reading online reviews or whatever the case may be, and now I'm going to engage with the company because I'm not buying a widget right, I'm not booking an airline ticket, I know how to do that. I'm not buying something where I can just reads rereviews and decide whether to buy this or the other thing. Or you and I going back to our running shoe. We do need to engage with a real person. I want to put on multiple pairs of shoes I don't like. I love that Zappos is going to be willing to take my shoes back and pay for the return if I don't like them, and even let me run in them. But I don't want to do that four or five times with four or five brands. I want to show up at a store and have a have someone who's going to judge my gate and judge my pronation help fit me in the right shoe and I can do mote like. So there's some things that are better done with people and some things that are that are better done exclusively digital, and so we're working with people that are still doing things where human ads value reduces complexity, reduces tension, reduces emotion or anxiety or fear, walks you through through, you know, detail and nuance and again complexity, and so in a lot of these cases those relationships are starting digital. So how do I know you're more than an email signature? Some people have a preference for dealing people, dealing with people that are in the states right like I don't want to know that my support tickets going, you know, halfway around the world by someone that doesn't really know who I am because they don't live my experience and all these other things. So when you just raise your hand and say hey, I'm a real person, I'm the face that goes with this name in the email signature, I'm the guy that left you that voice mail. And then this is the super powerful part. I see you, cory, I hear you, cory, incurred about why we should get together and I understand you. I've looked you up online, I would love to have you on the show, etcetera, etcetera. And so this ability for me to be seen and heard and then to also let you know as a fellow human being, that I see you and hear you, is like that's that's it, that's where it's at. It is and you're not, you know you're not. You're not generating that on your cell phone while you're walking to your next meeting, like you are intentionally slowing down, and it's almost like a campfire experience. You know what we're engaging in right now, because I see you, you see me. We're in our own element. We have our own stories for sharing stories, maybe more freely because we have the technology it wish to be able to do that. There's something about sitting on a campfire, whether it's in the bottom of the ringing, in the bottom of the Grand Canyon or out in your driveway for Halloween, where something very powerful about the camp fire just creates these storytelling...

...opportunities, and so I just I appreciated that interaction of very powerful for me and I immuniately thought to myself, that is a trust building approach. It really really is. It's not about value. Its not about efficiency. It does take a little bit more work there. It does require a little bit more intentionality with that, but you guys, obviously you guys have figured that out. It's awesome. Yeah, thank you. And and once you get basically comfortable with the process, it will save time because we speak about four times faster than we type. So and and some things are just easier to describe. And with the screen recording where you can have your little face on there and walk someone through document or a presentation or something like, there's some efficiency plates there anyway. So you did a great job describing trust, value in loyalty, in their relationship to one another, the elements of trust. Just before we get on and get maybe into some practical advice that you've seen in working with some of the leaders and organizations you've worked with about how to do trust better in our organizations and our and or with our customers, define that last element, like what are you what are we getting at with that term? Relational exchanges? Yeah, I think relational exchanges the the original authors of the model. I think what they were talking about is anytime that we are interacting with a company, so that may be in a customer, a true customer service experience, or it could be a relational exchange where I'm interacting with a branding element or a create, a creative element, because there was that company is developing a relational bridge with me. So I may not necessarily be connecting person to person because I'm actually interacting with something that a person created so that I might have a deeper experience with that particular organization. But what the research that they did was primarily with people to people. My particular research focused on I was I was struck by this reality that in higher at over twenty percent of freshman who come into a college environment, over twenty percent of them their sophomore year, they leave that particular college and they will either go to another school or they will drop out. And when you think about the economic impact of twenty percent of your customer base leaving your company after a year, and then when you think about it in terms of how long that sales cycle is in order to acquire that particular customer, that student. So my daughter, she's a junior right now and she has now formally began that sales process. It's a long sale cycle and for a business it's really challenging to have long sales cycle low retention. That's that's tough. That's a very, very tough business model. And so now that always that kind of bugged me. It rked me because we were working so hard to get students on campus and I was thinking to myself, why is this occurring? And it's occurring across the country. Most schools have about a twenty to twenty four percent attrition rate after their freshman year. And so what I did was I've used this model and I was really curious about for the students that did stay, these were the students that they have gone at least to their sophomore year, junior year and then senior year. So I interviewed all four levels of grade and as I did that, I was asking these questions around your perception of value, because I thought that it was about value, but I really learned that it was more about trust. And what was fascinating to me was the number one indicator of success for a student or the number one kind of catalyst the movement to Sophomore Year to junior to senior year? It was it was not necessarily the institution itself or even the brand power of that institution. It was actually the frontline employees, which, in the context of higher read, is the professors or the coaches, and so the bond that is created with professors and coaches, it's so powerful for high read because they are the people who are literally moving people, those customers, those students, through that customer more experience, which is a long, intense, life changing experience for students. And so without professors, without coaches, it would be impossible for a hired institution to be able to actually get students to graduation. So the research that I did really validated that. And you think about the number of relational exchanges that a student has with their professors, and that's why higher ed institutions they've got to hire great professors and they've got to hire professors who really understand what doesn't mean to build trust with those students. And then, you know, it's why I think a lot of colleges have now a faculty advisor model where they got faculty members that are not only teaching but they're also advising students, and so they're really helping from a competent standpoints, are helping solve problems and they're doing this on behalf of the students. So that was such cool research...

...to be able to find and validate to go. That's the key. The professors are the key in the resource that I did as related to the primary trust builders. It's not the fifty million dollar student center, and those are great things. It's not the great food. That's a good thing. It's not the dorm rooms that have, you know, really nice furniture in it. It. I mean, those are all good things. Those are adding value to the experience, but ultimately it's the professors for building the trust. So interesting. It's super, super interesting because all in that scenario, because that is a you know, if you're choosing to physically attend on Camp Empis, you've moved beyond I'm going to watch youtube videos or some of these, you know, online courses and these other things paid over free. Regardless. You're intentionally choosing this and it does come down to that human engagement that makes the difference. That, like, you know, when you're evaluating you're comparing two schools, you're going to look at like have but this one has, you know, the cafeterias with that much better and more interesting menu. They do Sushi twice a week or whatever. You know and that stuff like adds up and like allows me to check my box. But ultimately, when we decide to commit and declare loyalty to ourselves in our own heads, through our behavior, or consciously or subconsciously or whatever, it's about that human relational exchange. It's so interesting. Just fun fact, you just triggered me on bombomb by like by bringing it up. One we have a lot of folks in admissions offices using this to reach out to prospective students and, of course, their parents, because it's a dual sale there. You have to sell everybody on it. And then chapter five of the book I co authored with Steve Passonelli, called we humanize your business about this process of you's using simple personal videos. The story I tell in the opening of chapter five is a college professor. He teaches online only for Canesius college and University of Buffalo and he sends videos to the whole class to start the semester and then throughout the semester as he's giving feedback or answering questions or whatever he tends to do with videos. And his student ratings were so high that the tenured that the people on the physical campus asked him to come in and teach the tenured professors how to use video to build these relationships. And so, anyway, it's all right there. Let's go to the other side with this. Is Been Awesome and I feel like I can keep going for like an hour and a half, but I won't ask you to do that. You know, I was going to ask you to talk about building employee facing trust and or customer facing trust, but I guess I'll go I'll blend those and see, like in your experience talking with people and doing your research, where do we go wrong on trust, besides maybe taking the whole dynamic in the importance of relational exchanges and leaving positive residue, set all that to the side, like the taking it for granted piece. What are we what are we actively doing to go wrong on trust? Yeah, like what gets in our way? What are its impediments? It's a great question. You know, simple framework that I'm a I'm a big fan of like her scales, I think like herd skills. They just they dimensionalize it list in my mind. Oh, I think it's like, okay, it's either a one or five or wires in between, and so one of the things that I've developed as a tool to help talk about this is a really simple, like her skill. So if, for example, in your own mind, as you think about your own Organization for employees, and and anyone can do this in with their employees when they think about if they think about a particular employee and they do three questions. So on a scale of one to five, how competent is this individual? Five being amazing, one being they had a lot of work, or perhaps it's time for them to consider a new new role somewhere else. Okay. Number two, are they a problem solver? That would be a five, or are they a problem maker? That would be a one. And then number three, how benevolent are they? Are they looking out for the needs of others? That would be a five, or is it just all about them and all they care about is themself? That's a one. In the same way, you can apply that like or scale model to your policies and procedures, which the other thing about policies and procedures pricing. That is a policy. It may not be in the employee handbook but it very much is a policy. And so there are policies all over organizations that they don't end up in a handbook, but they are driving an organization. And so one of the things that I find helpful and talking with people about this, is to say, if you can have this conversation around the structure of trust before you actually have to evaluate whether or not something is trustworthy, what it does is it gives you an objective framework of discussion. So you can you can run your employee conversations or your hiring decisions through the filter of the structure, or you can run this policy decision to go. Okay, hold on, before we get into that, let's make sure that we're evaluating this policy on the three criterion of building trust. Is a competent is a problem solving and is a benevolent and then you can introduce that structure from a leadership standpoint into the...

...conversation and then it's not about my preference or their preference or their power or their position. I'm just offering a model and then let's have a conversation around this. An example of that would be situational leadership that was developed by heresy and Blanchard, this amazing view on leadership and how they talk about how we have to lead situationally and with my team. In my work at the Church that I work out we have created a lexicon and a language around situational leadership. And so what would it look like for an organization to say hey, before we have any kind of conversations, whether it's emotional or biased or historical or whatever, let's start with the framework of trust and then when we come out on the end of that, we will know that we have been true to our customer by ultimately our desire to build trust with them. And then if you did an evaluation of, let's say a policy and your rating was one, three one, you probably need to look at changing the policy to where it becomes a four, three, four, because a one thirty one, meaning it's low competence, it kind of solves problems, maybe it's kind of neutral, but it really is only looking up the for the needs of our own organization, maybe from an efficiency standpoint. Ultimately, that procedure, if a customers interacting with it, it's going to reduce trust and you don't want that. But if you can catch that on the front end and say how might we tweak this just a little bit to where it's actually more competent, more problem solving and more benevolent. The research, the empirical data, shows that it will build trust. That will lead to higher perceived value, regardless of the price. Obviously you're pricing us to be within range, but it will also lead to loyalty. The beauty of the model is it is empiricle, it's proven in multiple industries and so it works and it's just a really good way to think in terms of from a leadership standpoint. I'm going to set the table with all of the key components of the trust conversation. Now let's have a conversation and dying around the table. There's nothing worse than stepping into a meeting where there's just there's no food on the table, there's no sober on the tables, like, what are we doing? Are we just talking here? But as a leader who can set the table appropriately, I think our conversations are going to leave the more trustworthy endeavors with people, as well as our policies, really good. I love the intentionality and bringing it to the front of the conversation. Just a point of clarity for me and hopefully on behalf of listeners who might have wondered the same thing. What does Beth nevolence look like as a five on your scale? Is that like a true win win, where we're putting, you know, like, because that's a lever right, like is this? Is this just a straight giveaway? So at one point, just to go back to the thing you offer challenge me with earlier, you know, one point we're just like, if someone wants her money back, we just giving their money back, no questions asked, doesn't matter when they ask for it. And and that was, you know, the customer has to take some responsibility. They were the ones that said, yes, I want to do this. I wouldn't take their credit card number. They entered it into the website right. And so what is their responsibility here? To to work it a little bit and draw some value. And you know, where do we take responsibility? So for this benevolence pieces your is you're writing this tension between are we doing this or making this decision or going this way instead of that way? Are we all about US versus? Maybe the the far other end is just a total giveaway that's actually not even in our own interests. Like what is a five in benevolence look like? Is this like a balanced win win? We're good for us, good for them, or would it talk a little bit, one layer deeper on benevolence? Yeah, I think ultimately it should be a win win. But where I think it's easier just organ naturally, organizationally, it's easier for us to have a when internally and kind of well, whatever it is for them, it is. That's what it is. And so the the win when, I think, you know, one recommendation might be talked to your existing customers, your champions, and ask them say, okay, if we were to take pricing out of your initial experience as we introduce this to you, what might have been some other ways in which we might have just met your needs better in that process? So, like I would say, let's have it on this conversation with an existing company that knows, they truly do know the value of your product, right, but you've got to trust her relationship to where they can say honestly, it really wasn't about the thirty day guarantee or whatever it was. It was actually just about that person that I talked to. They were unbelievable and their office looked really cool behind them and they engaged me. They didn't bug me with too many conversations like it was a right. I mean I think it would be really interesting you guys, maybe you've already done this, but to actually do some data mining on some of your current or existing customers that are what I would call champions and allow them to start shaping, because what might be really powerful about that is that as you roll something like that out and a new benevolence strategy, you...

...can say hey, this isn't just coming from a whiteboard in a boardroom somewhere, this is coming from an existing companies. This is they told us you could have been more benevolent to us if you had done this more and we're learning from that. I mean that in and of itself that process is benevolent to your future customers. So that could be a really interesting way to approach that. Love it. That's a great tip I have. I've two standard close questions, but before we get there, because of your experience in Higher Ed and I didn't quite understand how tied to higher ed your doctoral work was, and so I this really makes me an ass is any thoughts on higher education at a high level, specially when you introduced your daughters in the zone here. You've obviously committed to it. Yourself. I feel like the combination of the cost benefit of, let's just say an undergraduate degree is obviously under threat because it's been so dramatically outpacing inflation and everything else on any index for you know, the cost of what, you know, the cost of everything is outpaced all of it. And then it course it like on the other side there's this kind of like hull hustle culture, you know, if you're if you're true Entrepreneuri like some of our best entrepreneurs or college dropouts, etc. Talk about your your thoughts of higher education. What is its value? What is its place in and from an experience standpoint, what's so important about that physical on campus kind of rite of passage for some share of our Americans? Yeah, that's a great question. It's a an honest dialog that we're having with our daughter and our son who he's a freshman and so he'll be entering into this and so one of the things that we're starting out is at in a point of neutrality. So there's a lot of different options post high school. We want to look at them as equally as we can, even though my wife and I we both have, you know, Higher Ed experiences but they don't have to go to a school just because we went to that school and it's not assume that they're going to pursue higher ed degree, and so that's okay. There's tons of amazing options out there for those who are wanting to pursue higher ed because of a particular type of degree or experience that they want. I think it's incredibly valuable. You alluded to it earlier, though. There's over four thousand colleges in America, ranging from very low tuition and like we have a programmer in Missouri where, if you do a couple of community service and you've got good attendance at your school, your first two years of community college or paid for and then you transition into a four your institution. So those are the programs that are obviously very significant for some families, which is awesome. But one of the things that I think is really important to note is that ultimately, right now, at least currently in kind of the status of Higher Ed, employers still will rely very, very heavily on degrees from colleges and until that really starts to change, there's automatically going to be value and a degree from afore your institution. So I know there's a lot of certificate programs and there's different ways of learning online, but if you think about it, employers they still do. There is an element of that where that's an expectation still and that may not exist forever, but that's the current state. And so what they are really I think what employers are doing there is they're seeing did this particular student did they align themselves with the particular institution and a major do they have they built some credentials? Have they built competence in this particular field? HAVE THEY BUILT PROBLEM SOLVING ACUMEN? And you can do that absolutely in a foyer experience. And then, of course, are you developing soft skills, interacting, living in community with people, working with multigeneration, with professors and administration and other staff and, of course, other students. That's an element of your building your benevolentce. You're building your emotional intelligence. So a four year degree in its optimal state is a trust building experience so that when you step atow and organization and an employers hiring you, you've created some of those trust building acumen. And so I think until that requirement changes, the value of a four year degree is still going to be very high for people, especially in certain agree. So like, for example, my daughter, she knows she wants to go into medicine. Not a lot of choices out there except to go through four year and then graduate school, and that for her. But maybe my son, maybe he wants to go into something different. Maybe he wants to go military or a trade school or hired, and that's totally fine at the end of the day. Well, we want to do as parents. We want them to become better thinkers and better problem solvars women. We want them to be benevolent, can be competent and we want them to make an impact wherever they land. And if that is true, a four year degree experiences, that's awesome and there's going to be value on that. It's really good, nice use of the framework there and just as like another reader, to step like this can be applied in used in so many scenarios is so useful. We also into...

I think that that college requirement is very lumpy, right, like medicine law. Yeah, absolutely necessary, but you're starting to see some, you know, software companies, for example. It's more of it. You don't necessarily need to build that. That multigenerational interaction and demonstrate this stuff. We just need to be able to look at the situation, come up with a couple code solutions and be able to execute them or whatever. And so the distribution there is a little bit lumpy. Cordy, this has been awesome. I've enjoyed it so much. Before I let you go, I always do a few things. One, I want to give you the chance to think or mention someone who's had a positive impact on your life or career, and this is especially interesting for me to ask you because of the again, the dynamic nature of your career and I like the various phases and evolutions of it and and and I can see in hindsight how each step in your formal professional, on paper career makes sense, especially now having spent this time with you. But I think your thinker mentions it has had a positive impact on your life or career, and give a mention to a company besides Brooks that you feel as delivering customer experience and in a really good way. The for both of those questions are hard. I could go on for a while, so I'll try to limit it. I've got to give you two names. The first is merl meets and Tim Overbe who they they were the pastors of my Church during this dissertation work and my NBA stuff and then transition of jobs, and so the church that we were attending. They both shepherded me through that in such tremendous way as they listen, we work through. We were consistently meeting and so they became such amazing spiritual directors for me as well as just strategists as of US thinking about my next step. So Merlin, Tim and then the coal part is is that I now work with them. They hired me and so that's the church that I work out. So I am so incredibly blessed to work with with them and everyone else. I'll obviously at PV and then as relates to some companies that I think are doing great work. You know we talked about curt with guts branding, unbelievable workaround brand strategy. And then to local companies here in Kansas City that are amazing. One is a young company called they're younger, they've only been in existence for a handful of years, but they they the work that they do is like twenty years. It's amazing what they've done. and is called intrepid creative and they produce unbelievable video content, podcast content. They're awesome. So intrepid creative and then the the final one that I would mention is called guild content and they work with a lot of organizations as it relates to ensuring that the content is dynamic. It's building trust with different stakeholders within the organization and they're also a local company here in Kansas City. There's all sorts of great companies here in Kansas City and so we're happy to be in this area. But those are just a few shoutouts. Awesome. Thank you for that. Hey, if someone wants to go deeper, if they want to connect with you or some of these just super valuable ideas in frameworks, where would you send people to connect? Yeah, so the best way to reach me is through Linkedin. So hop on Linkedin and just shoot me a direct message, you know, send me a connection. I say yes to people if they want to connect with me and then send me a direct message and then we can begin a conversation. But linkedin is definitely going to be the best way to reach me on social and I would love to connect with anyone who wants to talk about. How do you build trust within a company and in our relational exchanges, because it's vital, and the companies that we interact with that do this well, we tend to always go back to them. It's like this Jedi mind trick that they have on us. But it really isn't about that. It's really just about they understand what it means to be competent, what it means to be problem solvers and what it means to put other people's needs before their own, and that is trust. Beautiful. He is corey sheer. I am Ethan Beaut you can connect with both of us on Linkedin. Corey, thank you so much for your time. Thank you, mething. It was really a pleasure. It was awesome to be with you today. 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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