The Customer Experience Podcast
The Customer Experience Podcast

Episode 1 · 5 months ago

179. 5 Elements of an Exceptional Customer Experience w/ Elizabeth Dixon


Define your differentiator.

Ask yourself this: “What is it that we uniquely can do that others can’t? How do we amplify that in a way that will be meaningful to customers?”

In this episode, I interview Elizabeth Dixon, Speaker at Elizabeth Dixon Speaks and Principle Lead, Strategy, Hospitality & Service Design at Chick-fil-A Corporate, about the five elements of exceptional customer experience — one of which is defining your differentiator.

Elizabeth and I talked about:

  • Why EX is a prerequisite for exceptional EX
  • How culture should be defined
  • Why customer experience should become a broader ethos throughout culture
  • What the connection between differentiation and loyalty is
  • What role employee wellness plays in EX    

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What is it that we uniquely can do that others can't do, and how do you we amplify that in a way that's going to be meaningful to customers and ultimately, will set us apart. 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, five elements of an exceptional customer experience. That's what you'll pick up here in today's episode, along with insights into the relationships between employee experience, customer experience and customer loyalty. Our guests serves as principal lead of strategy, hospitality and service design at Chick Fil a, a brand known and beloved for the experience they deliver for customers. She's also an entrepreneur who's found, it, operated and sold several businesses, as well as a speaker and coach who's done work for CX leaders like Disney, Zappos and southwest airlines. Elizabeth Dixon, welcome to the customer experience podcast. Thanks even so, glad to be here with you. Yeah, I'm really excited for this conversation. I'm looking forward to getting into those five elements and even before that, how you arrived at those, like what was the process? If you leave anything out, like are the sequential variety of things are? But we're going to start where we all we start here, which is customer experience. When I say that to you, Elizabeth, what does it mean? So to me this might sound kind of simple, but it's truly the customers experience with our brands, whatever that brand might be, more of an individual brand or truly a company, and it's driven by what we do and how the customers feel about it. There's two sides to that coin that are really, really important, and where we see the most impact is the experiences of what we do and how customers feel about it. Related to product, process, people and place. Those four, I think, are really critical to illuminate the customer experience. Awesome, say those four again. Product people, process and place. Yes, product process people in place. So the actual product has to be good, right. You don't want there to be flaws in it where it's inaccurate, it's broken like the product has to be great and ultimately the product should make our lives a little bit better. I think it's consumers are expectations have really gone through the roof and we want products to make our lives better. The process to get that product has to be really seamless, really good, maybe full of some delight, enjoy some unexpected fun, certainly not problems. The people. The people can create the magic or they can really make it awful, and so the people have to be great when we're interacting with them and how they can really make us feel valuable as people. The humanity, the human touch, is something that we really need in our society and the more what we are able to offer it to customers, the better their experiences are in the better world is, honestly. And then the place, the environment. You rarely are going to find a really great product for a great process and awesome people in a super shabby place and people rave about it. So we got to be intentional about the place, in the space that it's that customer experience is being brought to life. It's almost like a theater stage in a sense. You want the space where we experiences that is being had to truly be intentional and one that aligns with the brand. So good. So much good stuff in there and specific to place is so interesting. I think that place, so much like it, helps set expectations at some level. It communicates something to space itselfcommunicates something in a feeling type of way and most people wouldn't typically articulate it,...

...maybe in a conscious or explicit manner, but we all feel it, like when we walk into a place where when we get into an APP or into the back end of a site, like, you know, a webap or something, it feels like something to us and we know this feels like one thousand nine hundred and ninety six, or this feels amazing or this feels like they haven't mopped often enough, whatever the case pretty be. I love the out of place and like you, think about one on that list you're just sharing. Think about like Disney, when you go into magic kingdom. You know that feeling that you have. You can you can be, you know, three decades away from being a young child and you still get those feelings and you might not have even interacted with a person yet. You didn't buy your plushmckeing mouse. Yet you probably went through the process of getting checked in at the line. But other than that, there's something about that space and it's the music and it's the cleanliness and it's the colors and it's how all of it comes together. It truly makes it magical, and I think magic is probably not the word that we would use to describe all of our brands. But whatever that feeling is that we want customers to have, it has to show up in the place, and I think it's also important that it does that for the employees, because when we're trying to bring to life this experience, we want an environment that is matching what we were trying to bring, not one that you know, we're we are better than the environment itself. We want it to be one where it's really a balance together and it all is cohesive awesome. I got a few questions, at the risk of being overambitious, with how we're going to spend our time together, before we get into those five key elements. I love them, but you were right there on the doorsteps. I'm going to ask this one. Like I you know, I read a lot of your stuff, I watched some of the videos you've created, some of the teaching you've done and one of my favor quotes that you offered, and I just love for you to kind of cheer a couple thoughts on it. Your customer experience will never be better than your employee experience, hundred percent. It's just not going to happen. I've I've never had or seen or heard of an experience where the employees feel underappreciated, undervalued, overworked, anything like that. But then a customer comes in and they're like all smiles and we are so glad that you are here. No, truly, the overflow of the employee experience is the customer experience. Yeah, and however good the employee experience is, the customer experience won't be better than it. And so often as brands we can get so consumed with the customer, which we need to be. We need to be constantly thinking about how we are going to serve them better, how we're going to be more sufficient for them, how we can make things more seamless for them, but we can't do it at the expense of the employee, because the employee has to be taken care of first. And the brands who are best in class at customer experience, our best in class and employee experience, and it's it's not a mistake, it's intentional and I think just as humans, we want to give to others out of what we have been given to and sometimes, for some of our brands, our frontline employees may not have been treated with the level of hospitality and care that we want our customers to receive, and so we have to go first. We have to treat them that way. First they know what it feels like and then they can truly deliver it. So exactly right. I believe that the customer experience will never be better than the employee experience. Agree. It's come up as a background theme repeatedly through these I don't know what episode this is going to be, a hundred and eighty or something, it just it comes up over and over. I love what you shared there and it makes me think about applying those four peas internally just as we do externally. And perhaps first totally the product look different,...

...right, it will be the cell phone or the chicken thing in wigs or whatever it is. The product might be the you know, the chance to work. But how do we design that and design the process, all of those elements where it's intentional and it allows people to feel what we want our customers to feel, what employees to feel that way. Yeah, quick question and then we'll get into fivelements. Okay, I have a couple more. But in your experience, both as a leader inside businesses, as an entrepreneur and as someone who's like learning and consulting and practicing and teaching alongside other organizations as a speaker and consultant, do you prefer to see or how should we think about customer experience as a broader ethos or cultural element versus an individual or department or a function like prosecons? How do you think about that? What have you observed of HMM, I think it's a great question. I think there can be an and there. I think that not every individual within an organization is going to be the designer of the customer experience or the one assessing it or designing strategy for it. At the same time, I think we're all responsible for the execution of it, and so when you have a culture that says, oh, that's not my job, you're going to miss out on having an experience because of what we just talked about with the employee experience side, because it's about how we're treating each other. It's about the culture that we're creating in that dynamic and we're welcoming people, customers, into our experience as employees. And when we have a mindset of like, oh, that's that department's job, then we miss out on that powerful opportunity of everybody taking ownership for that. And there's actually bringing Disney back up. There's a great story I read about ten years ago from Disney. We're on the first day of training. The manager who is on boarding this particular employee said we are all responsible for the experience. And during their time in the park, as they walked around, we had child drop their ice cream cone and they immediately ran and got the child a new ice cream cone and there was trash on the ground and they picked it up when they said every every one of these touch points, it's critical and we all own it. So I think we have to have a mentality that we all own it, we're all going to jump in and do what it's going to take to make the experience for every customer as excellent and exceptional as we can. And I think that there are key individuals within organizations who are designated with the job of designing what that ideal customer experience is going to be, whether that is through technology or in a human element or the actual physical design of the space. So I think it can be an and but where we really miss out is when we don't all own the essence of delivering an experience to customers. Yeah, really good. And you know, just even observing what is happening when a child drops an ice cream code or observing that there was trash on your own and having that sense of ownership again and engaged, motivated, plugged in, cared for, cared about, caring employee is required to make that happen. It's just not going to happen otherwise, and I just offer that to remind everybody. As Elizabeth says, and I quoted, your customer experience wouldn't never be better than your employee experience. So let's get to five keys of a remarkable or exceptional customer experience. I'll just read them really quickly for listeners. I'll probably do the same thing at the end and we'll move through them one by one. But the five are choose your mindset, create your culture, know your customer, define your differentiator and pursue in a van. Before we dive into them, starting with choosing your mindset, talk a little bit about the process...

...of putting this framework together. You've been kind of chipping away at organizing your thoughts around this over years, or was this like I'm going to finally sit down and organize, you know, my best thinking in my most valuable observations that I've made interacting in so many different environments? Are they sequential? Are there any that you left out? Did it start as seven and you wanted to get it down to five? Just anything you want to share about the process of organizing these thoughts, I love it. That's awesome. So for me, it was two years ago and I was asked to do a talk on customer experience and that truly was the impetus. It's what I do, but at that point I hadn't been talking about it very much, and so I started to pull experience from these great brands that I've gotten to know and work with and it really became the five. There weren't. That really was the central focus. I haven't found anything that is left off because the intention is to keep them high level. And a lot lives within that. So culture is massive like that is a huge topic in and of itself, and so my intention was that they could be, you know, elements that can translate across industry and honestly translate into your home. Like these things work in personal life just as much as they do in business life too. So we'll see. Maybe we will find some that are missing down the road, but so far they've seemed to be as pretty complete. So interesting if I have an idea of what I would like to ask you about if we have enough time at the end, but I'm actually going to foreshadow it now because what you just shared. There this idea that they apply in our personalized it and think a lot about that over the past maybe eighteen months or so, that an excellent leader or manager is a healthy whole person, an excellent salesperson is a healthy whole person who's curious and has integrity, is honest and fourth right, like just essentially being an amazing professional is just being an amazing, healthy, thoughtful person. Just as we would be a really good friend or really good spouse or partner in our personalized so we would be in everything else that we do. It's so interesting. That parallel so true, because this almost like we talked about the customer and employee experienced dynamic, like we're we are only going to be as good as we are whole ourselves. So we're really I think, are we going to really thrive in life when only one component is working? But it's truly about having some what I mean? People talk about balance and sometimes that can get taken to an extreme a little bit of like everything being okay. I think about it more like just making sure that we're putting in the investments of time where that we're life matters the most, so that we don't get to the end and look back and go, oh, man, I put all my chips in the wrong basket, but trying to make sure that we are being as a whole and well rounded as possible. And the other thing that's kind of interesting is for those that have kids. I mean we're literally having this conversation this afternoon. We have family meetings and they always center around ice cream so that our kids want to have the conversations. But our kiddos are six and eight and they are fighting with each other and I'm like that doesn't create a home that we want to welcome others into. And so we're going to have the conversation tonight over ice cream. Of You. What do we want to be known for as a family and what kind of an environment do we want to welcome others into? And then, therefore, what does that mean, like how do we need to treat each other, and having those kind of conversations. You know, it's quite similar to having that kind of conversation of like who do we want to be as a brand and what do we want to welcome customers into? So how... we need to treat each other in a way to welcome customers into a culture and a dynamic where they get to feel cured about so they really can cross over in an interesting way? Absolutely do. Of course, one of the popular parallels to the sales process is like dating and levels of commitment, perhaps even marriage. And then, you know, in leadership and management it's really difficult not to see the parallels to parenting. Not that are not that our team members are children or should be treated as such, but the parallels are all still there anyway. Love it. So what you could tell them? Okay, so first choose your but again, choose your mindset, create your culture. Know your customer, define your differentiat or pursue innovation. Choose your mindset. DEFINE MINDSET FOR US and talk about how important this is. Oh sorry, and it is this sequential? Is this maybe a way to start thinking about it? Yes, it is. It's like the foundation. We have to have this base to build from, and so we can be if we put innovation first, but we never have a mindset for the customer. We're not going to design our innovations with the customer in mind. If we don't know who our customer is, then our differentiator is going to miss what the customer actually wants. Good, very good. I felt that that was the case. I just wanted to be really clear for folks. So mindset. Talk a little bit about mindset. So mindset, I think that as an established set and attitudes, and so we think about established and we think about set of attitude. So established means it's a settled way of thinking or feeling and you know, it's been in existence for a long time and it's rare that we really pull back and think about our mindsets. Are established set of attitudes that have been in existence for a long time. But when we do, we start to uncover some limiting factors or just some beliefs that we might have about how things are. So we relate that to the customer experience and there could be employees in your organization, for those that are listening, who have a mindset. But the customer is and nuisance and they're annoying. I remember when I worked at the gap off international drive in Florida, where almost every tourist that visited Orlando went and for some reason when you're on vacation you just want to try on all the clothes and buy one, you know, the quintessential gap sweatshirt, and leave everything else piled up in the dressing room. And it was so easy to start to see customers as a nuisance, like Oh, here comes another one. But that is death to a brand when the frontline employees see the customers a nuisance opposed to seeing them as a necessity. The necessity part is that we don't have driving businesses if we don't have customers who are coming. And Henry Ford told us that years and years ago that it's not the employer who's going to pay paycheck, it's the customer who actually pays your paycheck. And so the difference between having a mindset towards customers and being a nuisance or necessity makes all of the difference, and so being able to pull back, whether it's in our personal life, it's around customers, it's a mindset around employees, it's a mindset around are we going to add value or extract value as an organization. Those mindsets are direct actional for the decisions that we make and how we behave, and when it comes to customer experience, how we behave and the decisions we make drive and define what the customer experience is. So much good stuff in there reminds me a lot like it's definitely a privilege. Right. No one needs to walk into your store, no one needs to pick up anything off a rack, no one needs to make an assessment of do I like this better than that? No one needs to make an assessment of should I spend fifty or a hundred and fifty dollars? It's a privilege to be there and it reminds me of I sent a ton of email as a team member here about my...

...first I've been here for decades. Second, I was the first only marketer for some period of time. So everything, newsletters, and web are invites, promotions, etc. And I can remember feeling frustrated when would people were to reply back to emails with questions and needs or observations that were related to the nature of the email. And I had this mindset moment where I was like, it is a privilege to be in conversation with this person. It is a privilege that at some point, whether because they became a customer or they participated in some other way, that they even gave me an email address. Like that's a they didn't need to give me anything. And so when you as soon as you change your mindset, it's just a privilege to be in a conversation with somebody at all, for all the reasons you're already described. And it's so. I've also been ever, worked in a variety of companies and in some other companies we would, you know, people would talk negatively about a customer and I'll never forget one of my early managers early on in my career, was like we don't do that, you know, essentially stop that right. I know this is even casual watercooler talk, but they're not dumb, they're not disguided. We didn't explain it clearly enough or whatever. Anyway, it's so much good stuff there. We probably spend thirty minutes on each of these, but we'll go to number two, creating your culture. How do you define culture? You define mindset. is an established set of attitudes that, of course, then guides our thoughts and then our actions. Talk a little bit about culture. How do you think about culture? You already described it as very, very big, and certainly it is. But sure if you thoughts and ideas or even tips around creating your culture. So we'll just pick right with that CO worker who said like hey, we don't do that here. I think that's such a great descriptor of culture. One of my favorite definitions for culture is it's how we do it here and knowing what those sometimes spoken, sometimes unspoken things are within a culture that you do and we create those as leaders and participants in the culture. So it's not up to a title to be fully in control of the culture. It's everybody's roll. We all have a participant role in it. But when you think about culture, we get what we model, create and allow. Again, it transfers from home to you know, social dynamics to work, that the ways that we act of what we model. Well, we create around us. There's intentional things that we do and what we allow, where there are boundaries and this is okay and this isn't okay. That is ultimately the culture that we get. So just like that co worker said, you like, Hey, we don't do that here. The he was being an ambassador of the culture to say this is an important element to us, but I'll go ahead and call it out really quick and say we don't do that here, but this is what we do. And most likely that aligned back to a value principle for that organization that was really important for over all the health of that organization. Yeah, two things are really like. They're among others. One, that we define it by what it is and by what it isn't, and to that that they're teachable moments in that I think, you know, it's one thing to make declarations and to do, you know, periodic monologs from a leadership or management position, but what's really going to stick is that little story or that little example, especially for the person that was doing something very positive or something that was inconsistent with what we want to tolerate and accept. A NOT I'm not coming out too hard here, but that's not what we do, that's not how we do it, that's the etc. That consistent with our mindset. Just to tie it back. It does totally. And then I think even being proactive for ourselves, like we have the proactive of helping, being that ambassador for the culture, but in different seats where we said getting feedback. And one of my friends owns a company and he had a consultant come in, and you don't have that a consultant come in. I mean you can do a survey monkey or just ask the question, but he had a consultant come in. From the consultant ask the...

...question what is most important to your boss, the leader of the company? And he was my friend was preparing himself when the consultant came back. He was going to be like, all right, you know it's all about the customer experience. And the consultant said, Hey, I hate to break it to you, but they said what's most important to you is labor costs. And he was crushed. My friend was crushed, like labor costs, that's not what's most important to me, and the consultant just said, but that's what you talk about most. And so those things that we talked about most as leaders or whatever role we're in, those are going to be the things that people noticed about us. That's what we're creating around us and we're saying that what I talk about most is what's most important. So even being proactive to say hey, what am I, what do you think is most important to me, and keeping a really great awareness for how we're coming across, because it might be, like my friend, that accidentally we're not talking about the things that are most important to us and we're being misunderstood by those around us. Yeah, reminds me of them. I have the longtime friend. I regard him as a mentor. He's been a guest on this podcast branding expert in Kurt Bartol, which and he taught me really early on in my career that, and I'm paraphrasing at this point, that we don't own the brand. The customer kind of owns and finds the brand. All we can really do is influence and what you're just that just that story about your friend makes me think about the internal equivalent, which is we don't own the culture. Essentially the own that our team members at large on the culture. We can try to influence it, but ultimately it's not ours to define. We can talk about it aspirationally and encourage people to live into it, but ultimately it's beyond us. It is out there and it belongs to the team at some level. Yes, and the best thing we can do is stay connected and in touch and be inquisitive and ask questions and learn and listen so that we understand where things are shifting and moving, because it's not a set it and forget it kind of thing. Culture is constantly growing and shifting and changing, and so we have to stay connected to it so that we don't get behind yeah, and all of a sudden it's off in this other direction. You'd find figure out how to get influence it back to us. You know where you want it to be. Yes, okay. Number three, know your customer or customer obsession. I think when I think about some of the companies you've worked with, that term comes to mind. Talk a little bit about knowing your customers and the importance value and maybe even how to do that better or differently. Yes, totally so. I think that Jeff bezos really put customer obsession on the map. When you think about the just inspiring way that he approached Amazon to say I want to really listen to what the customer wants, and I think the ripple effect that that had on a lot of businesses is like only if we're not listening to our customer, we better. And so knowing your customer is all about understanding what those needs are, what those opportunities are that your customer has and how you can meet them. And you know, Jeff often has said in interviews, be more obsessed about what your customer needs then what your competition is doing. And if you're more obsessed on what your customer needs, you're going to meet it probably better than the way your competition is doing it. I think before all that we were still focused on the competition. Who's doing what? Well, what color are they changed their logo a? What services are they offering, and just trying to compete that way, but really being focused on who that customer is and being able to meet their needs even better. And so I think this comes down to how we're making decisions and how is the customers voice involved. Many of our organizations have vast amounts of Datta. How are we listening to that?...

How are we minding for that? Because when a customer reaches out with a perspective thought it complaint, that's gold and going back to mindset, that's not a problem to avoid. That is an opportunity to embrace. And so when we get that insight and that information, how are we listening to that, how are we responding to that and how are we making decisions differently based on that? At the end of the day, the customer is the center of your organization, thriving or not, and so knowing who they are, what they need and how we can serve them's critically important. I so appreciate the reminder to stop looking sideways. So often that's how I describe everyone's looking sideways and looking sideways it. What are they doing? What are they doing instead of looking to the people are already right in front of you, who are already who've already given you a credit card or who are back in your retail establishment or whatever? It's like. That's where it's at, and how can we be of recurring impact and service and value in a meaningful way? And I don't know I will stand on track. I was going to get ahead the innovation. Every like these, I feel like three and five go so well, hand in hand is that, like you know, in what ways are we innovating? It's why I love the you sequence, Missouri. But first there's another filter, I think, on innovation, which is number four. Define your differentiator. Yes, let's set you apart, like what is it that you uniquely can do? And what's interesting is whether it's in our personal lives, like with our own set of gifts and skills and talents, or it's as a brand. Often we underplay, under appreciate the things that were really really unique and really really good at. And so what is it that we, you meely, can do that others can't do, and how do you we amplify that in a way that's going to be meaningful to customers and ultimately will set us apart. I love the analogy you just gave, a like looking sideways, and it immediately made me think about driving and how incredibly dangerous it is when we start trying to creep into other people's lanes instead of just staying in your lane and trusting the process and keeping your sight through ward and moving forward. I think that's such a good analogy. And so, within de finding your differentiators, spend the time to identify pay who's our customer? What is it that we provide to them in their lives? And then how how can we do that uniquely for them? What about our service, our product? What about the four PAS that we talked about at the beginning of the people in the process and the place and the product? Like how can we create that in a way that as unique and we'll create meaning in people's lives? And that's when we start moving ourselves towards loyalty, between that relationship between customer and brand. Yeah, so good, and I think a key word that you use twice in that response was some version of meaningful. Like it. We can't just be different for different sake. We have to be different in a way that is meaningful and valuable to our ideal customers. So again, a great job with sequencing. Number five, pursuing innovation, knowing our customers, knowing or trying to understand, through voice of customer and other mechanisms, how we can uniquely differentiate ourselves. And then I would assume that part of your imagination or thought or experience on innovation is how do we just constantly cycle that cycle, that cycle that so that we're always on the edgine always getting better and more meaningful and more valuable. Yes, because everything is changing around us so fast, so fast, and so if we're not keeping up with that is Jack Welch that had said that when the rate of external change exceeds the rate of internal change, the end is near. So when the culture is shifting, the need state of customers the brands and...

...what they're offering, when the rate of external change is greater than exceeds the rate of internal change, our own internal innovation for our brands, the end is near and we've seen that with some iconic, incredible, incredible brands. It's kind of funny. The other day my Kiddos had and an Amazon, you know, Gift Booklet, and I just laughed out loud because I was like, Oh, do I remember the sears catalog and Conoverason Christmas, you'd get it and you'd like circle all the things you wanted and it was like twenty five hundred pages thick. It was a doorstop, like it was incredible how much they must have spent on that catalog, but it it's one of those really disheartening examples of the rate of external change became so much greater than the rate of their internal I would say willingness to change and getting into that mindset of like no, like, that's not really what customers want, when that's exactly where customers are saying that they want. They want convenience, they want speed, they want their lives to be made easier. They just want what they want when they want how they want it, and we can decide if we like that or not, but it doesn't change the reality of it. And so pursuing innovation is critical, and impaired with that is iteration. And so the way I see those differently is innovation is truly introducing something new. It's those disruptors that hit the industry and you're like, Whoa, that is totally new, and then iteration is making the existing things a little bit better. And the reason why I think they're both important is because for those who are working within their brands and they might be closer to the front lines, they are the best definers of the things that we need to iterate on. They're going to be the ones who are going to say this is a pain point, that's a problem and here's how we can fix it. And so iterations ultimately lead to those bigger innovations, and so I think we need to be skilled at both listening to the front lines, making sure we know what things need to be tweaked and iterated on, and then ultimately being able to think so far out into the macro trends and where things are going to say what is it that we could do that would be totally new in this space and could redefine it back to our differentiator, redefine it in a way that is meaningful back to the customer, meaningful to the customer and it aligns with a culture love it. So much good stuff in it reminds me of so many conversations I've enjoyed on this podcast. Really recently Michelle a Suski at Uber. I asked her about disruption. I couldn't not. I felt kind of like a jerk to red but it was like it was right there. I kind of had to, and it was interesting because her response was really about this is like it's not disruption to Romer. She didn't say it this way, but that my takeaway was. Disruption is just a consequence of what you just described, constant iteration in periodic innovation. It's obviously something that Uber is very well known for, and the result is to I'm not looking to she said, we're not looking to disrupt anyone or anything. We're just trying to serve customers better. Yes, you know. And then it also reminds me about Lauren Culbertson, works for a, is a founder and CEO of a software company called loop, the OC, and she talked about the little loops and the big loops and it was more specific to like Voice of customer and customer service. Then then iteration and innovation, but it's the same thing as like the little loops are. How do we make sure that we fix that problem and let the three customers that reported it know, versus the big loops, where the broader trends we're do all these little loops add up to? What are they saying that we can or should be doing? How can we stay ahead of these things in this you know the back and we both you know, and the easiest thing to do is just look at the little...

...ones, because they're more manageable. We can get our hands around them, they're easier to lift their easier to describe their models. For them. Were iterating on something that already exists. But then the need for both. I just really appreciate your call for the need to balance understanding and movement in both areas totally. And then to your point those big loops. They can be really uncomfortable and uncertain and messy. And what if it doesn't work? And I think we we're asking those questions of like, what if it doesn't we're probably on the right path, but it's something that we should keep tinkering with and pushing on and moving towards, because what if it does, like what if this completely reinvents the way that we can fill in the blank and if it's in line with what the customers are saying that they want, then it comes down to when is the right time to introduce it. And I've had some incredible mentors in my life. One of the Horse Sholtz, who found at the Ritz Carlton, and he told me the story about how they tried to use the card keys at their Ritz Carlton locations in Atlanta before the customers were really ready for and they pushed back. Or I know we want the traditional key, in which I was like, there was a day when hotels had like literal keys in them. I just I think I've just growed up so much with the cards that I thought, oh, that's right. It used to be like you get that kind of paddle thing and then how to chain, and it was connected to like a literal key. And he said we introduced it too early and so we had to take it all back down with the old ones back up when we had to wait until the customer was truly ready, and so we got to be skilled and strong in this muscle of innovation and pursuing those things that will be new and we'll solve problems. We also have to be really well timed with when we introduce them and make sure that the customer has an appetite for it, they're ready for it and they are open to that innovation integrating into their lives, and I think that's where we see a lot of things right now being phased and maybe we're not ready for fully autonomous vehicles, but if you keep me in my lane and you stopped me before that Red Light, then that's wonderful, and suddenly we're kind of easing our way into some of those innovations that are ready to go. We're just not writing as a culture. Yeah, so interesting. It makes me think too about, you know, all the conversation over the past year and a half around things that the pandemic has accelerated. Makes me call back to something shared earlier in this conversation about, you know, this idea of the culture and the culture shifting and, you know, are things moving faster outside than they are inside? I think a lot of companies got caught in that she because that shift was so dramatic and big and felt, and so customers, even if customers weren't ready, we all had to figure it out and get ready to so many interesting dynamics in play here. I think that customer relationship and Voice of customer so key to it. So again for folks listening, that's choose your mindset, create your culture, know your customer, define your differentiator and, of course, where we just wrapped up there is pursuing innovation. Five elements to an exceptional customer experience. Question only foreshadow earlier. For you, Elizabeit, it seems like health and wellness are important to you personally. Your path into chick fil a, I believe, just looking at ear linked in profile, was through a wellness program at an outside organization that you were leading. That then led to you joining them directly talk about, you know, maybe pick up back up on where we were personal professional. We kind of already played that a little bit. But you know, to you what is wellness? What is maybe employee wellness? What how should companies be thinking about it and or how would you advise an individual person wants to be better professionally in their performance? What roled is, you know, personal health and wellness play in that. Tick that any where you want. It's a big zone of fell and quiry. I just feel like you have something interesting and and tested and proven and or something you're passionate about personally... say about wellness or even fitness and health specifically. Yeah, for sure. So you're exactly right. So my career started out of college with a group out of Dallas, Texas called the Cooper Aerobic Center, which for the wellness world they are premier spot. Dr Cooper, Dr Keneth Cooper, coined the term aerobics back in the s. He was an air force pilot and you know, linking this even to the animation conversation, I think this is really important. Back to that kind of messy, uncomfortable he saw in the s that it would be better to help people prevent disease than try to fix disease once they had it. And he was ridiculed. He was pushed in the medical industry and told that he was completely wrong and he was so right and he was encouraging that people would do stress tests to understand the health of their heart, to identify if they needed to make changes to prevent a heart attack, not to try to help someone after they've had a heart attack and again ridiculed. And that happens in spaces of innovation. When you're a visionary and you see what could be, it's lonely and it's hard and I think the best thing we can do for the visionaries around us is encourage them and support them. And so that's where my career started. I was very passionate about health and wellness. That was my degree in college and I dreamed that if I could work for a company WHO's product I loved and teach them about health and wellness, that would be a dream. And that journey I learned that I'm actually an entrepreneur. So after we started the wellness program for Chick Fil a, I was kind of look picking my head up, going what else this is humming someone else can keep it going. That's not my favorite thing. I want to go create some thing you do where is there a problem that exists or an opportunity to build something within the company. And so I really believe that well being. It's come a long way in twenty years, but wellbeing, wellness, exercise, business, whatever dimension of that you're looking at, it goes back into what we talked about earlier, that whole person, and the more whole and healthy we are, the more we get to contribute an offer. And so I truly believe that when we start our days or just find that time in our day where we're going to exercise our bodies and we choose nutritious foods and we sleep, I mean they say eight hours. I mean it's not a badge of honor to sleep little hours, sleep adequate hours. And there's a group in Florida that I took their program probably eighteen years ago, and their program was called the corporate athlete. And I think the more that we view ourselves as athletes that we have to make sure we're getting all of those components so that we can perform well, we'll ultimately the better that we perform. And we have less disease, we're not going to be as exhausted and we're going to be able to engage with the people that matter most to us and give them our energy and our customer experience so much as energy. When you walk into a place and they're just like, hating life and tired, we brings you down, but you want to walk into a place that helps lift you up, and so making sure that we're walking in with the right amount of energy each day is going to come down to those habits around sleep, water, exercise and nutrition. So good, so true. What an absolute joy. What does it feel like to be a team member here? How do we do it here? What does it feel like to be in this place with these people? It really is about energy. So much good stuff. I can talk to you all day, but I know you've a meeting soon and it out of respect for listeners, I'll honor our typical format. So I've already mentioned a couple episodes with Lauren Culbertson with Michelle the Souski. You just reminded me of a couple I've had with Jeff Risley, the founder of the Sales Health Alliance, where he...

...talks about sales people as corporate athletes often and wellness and mental health in particular. But I'm going to point listeners to two episodes. Episode thirty nine with Lance Risser and Levi Iris, who are two VP's of field operations for Dutch Bros Coffee. We called that one company culture as your competitive edge, and leave I answer the question I'm going to ask you in a minute with chick fil as his response. And so this episode thirty nine with two VPS from Dutch Bros Coffee. Episode one hundred and forty nine, more recently with Lauren Bailey, the founder and president of both factory and an amazing organization called Girls Club, and we called that a blissful approach to training customers and employees, and it's really about engagement, expectation, setting, expectation management in improving the experience both internally and externally, and she has a great framework. I think bliss turned out to be an acronym S. that's one hundred and forty nine with Lauren Bailey. Before I let you go, Elizabeth, and set you off on the rest of your day with a great deal of energy, and you filled me up with a energy as well. I would love for you to do two things for me and for listeners and for the people in company. You're going to mention, thinker mentioned someone who's had a positive impact on your life, for your career, and give a nod or a shout out to a company or brand you personally appreciate for the experience that they deliver for you as a customer. I love it and I could spend thirty minutes giving shadows a lot of people, but I won't. So I want to bring back. I mentioned horse who founded the Ritz, Carlton. So three years ago, he was a mentor to me for a year. We got to spend a lot of time together and we traveled and at one event that we went to we were walking through a hotel. It was a Hilton believe, and I would say they were probably five people that stopped and their visual expression change and they grabbed like their heart and quickly walked over and said, Mr Schultze, it is so good to see you, and they had worked at one of his hotels like thirty years before. Multiple people coming up. I mean he is an icon in that industry because he set the bar for customer experience in hotels and it all started for him at age fourteen when he wrote a research paper while working at a hotel in Germany. So check out his book excellence wins and learn more about that incredible story of how the Ritz Carlton and ultimately came to be. That I would give a huge shout out to him. And then a brand. I'm going to give a shout out to two brands that I love and get to connect with often, and that southwest airlines and also dreury hotels. So it's southwest. Steve and Julie and Jonathan are incredible in their operations and hospitality team and how they're continually reinventing and thinking of what is to come for southwest, and the jury hotels, Eric and Alison. They think like if you haven't been to a dreury hotel, you gotta go. It's fascinating. They have won the JD power a word, fifteen years in a row now. Wow, the most excellent hotel of their category and, as they say, a Ritz Carlton customer is not necessarily their customer, but for those that are in that mid tier of hotels they are the cream of the crop, and so I would give my shoutouts to southwest in jury. Awesome. Love it. Well done, and I have to speculate here, not that either of US really has anything obvious to say about it, but I got to imagine being horse mentee pre pandemic would be better than during the pandemic, just for that travel tidamical load amazing, great stories. Thank you so much for both of those. For people who've enjoyed this conversation even a fraction as much as I have that would like to follow up with you personally, where would you send them? Okay, so Elizabeth Dixon speaks. So if you want to go to the website it's Elizabeth Dixon Speakscom instagram it's can't you know, handle, Elizabeth Dixon speaks, or Linkedin is backslash. ELIZABE DICON speaks. Awesome, I am Ethan viewed. She is Elizabeth Dixon. You are listening to the customer experience podcast. I sincerely appreciate... I appreciate you, Elizabeth. I bid everyone an awesome day. That was fun. One of the most impactful things you can do to improve customer experience and employee experience is to include some video messages in your daily digital communication explain things more clearly convey the writing, motion and tone safe time by talking instead of typing. Prevent those unnecessary meetings. There are so many benefits to using simple videos and screen recordings, and bombomb makes it easy. In email, Linkedin or slack messages from Gmail, outlook, sales force outreach or Zendesk, learn how bombom can help you and your team with clear communication, human connection and higher conversion. Visit Bombombcom today. 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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