The Customer Experience Podcast
The Customer Experience Podcast

Episode · 1 year ago

67. Customer Communication In Times of Crisis w/ Samantha Stone


We’re neck deep in the Coronavirus pandemic, but digital communication gives us the power to stay connected while we’re physically separated. Should customer communication channels change during a time of crisis? 


In this episode of The Customer Experience Podcast, my guest and I discuss how digital chat (both live and bot) and video are affected by COVID-19. Listen in as I talk with my first return guest, Samantha Stone, the Founder and CMO of The Marketing Advisory Network and the author of Unleash Possible, about customer communication channels in a time of crisis.


What we talked about:

- Customer communication channels — including the chat experience

- The power of video to stay connected even when we’re social distancing

- Crisis communication through the lens of the Coronavirus pandemic

- Why we’re so far from gender equality in 2020


Subscribe, listen, and rate/review the Customer Experience Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Play or Google Podcasts, and find more episodes on our blog.

Fundamentally what customer experience really means.It it's all the ways that we interact with people. The single most importantthing you can do today is to create and deliver a better experience for yourcustomers. Learn how sales, marketing and customer success experts create internal alignment,achieved desired outcomes and exceed customer expectations in a personal and human way. Thisis the customer experience podcast. Here's your host, Ethan Butte. When yoursixty some episodes into a podcast, you're still full of firsts, and we'vegot a new first today. Our first return guest after a variety of BTob Marketing, product marketing and marketing communications roles. Are Guest founded the MarketingAdvisory Network, where she serves as CMO. She's also the author of unleashed possible, a marketing playbook that drives be tob sales. Her first appearance withus was on episode fourteen, which we titled Balancing Automation, Artificial Intelligence andhuman relationships. She's now back to talk about customer communication channels, including thechat experience, the power of video to keep us connected even when we're physicallyseparated, and generally crisis communication all through the Lens of the unique circumstances weall find ourselves in with the coronavirus pandemic. Sub antha stone, welcome back tothe customer experience podcast. Well, I am so honored to be yourfirst return guest. I have so enjoyed our conversation last time and I'm lookingforward to having another one again today. Yeah, and a just a quicknote before a couple things before we get going. First, you do sucha nice job of staying in touch and you were the, I guess,unintentional creator of the episode with David Merriman Scott, by sending a copy offanoccracy over, and so I hope folks check that one out too. Andyou know, before we get into customer experience, I think let's just setthe scene a little bit. We're recording this on Mark Sixteen of two thousandand twenty. You're in Massachusetts, I'm in Colorado. Where are you rightnow with the coronavirus covid nineteen situation? You know, I'm glad you broughtthat up because we were talking about before the show. Ethan. I actuallydon't think really we can talk about anything else. I think the reality isthat when there are moments of crisis like we're seeing today and it's widespread,it's global, it's affecting everybody, to pretend it's normal course of business isjust not realistic. People can't think about what they might eat in six monthsfrom now or twelve months from now. What they thinking about right now iswhat do I need tomorrow? Maybe, what do I need this year?I'm happy to share, sort of very transparently opening, a little bit aboutmyself. I have a lung health condition. The lung health condition makes me extremelyvulnerable to the COVID nineteen disease and virus because of some of the injectionsthat I take to treat that lung condition were suppress my immune system. Inaddition to that, should I get any respiratory infection in including this, Iam likely to be one of those people has a very, very severe reactionto that. And so what's like in my household right now is a lotof for cautions. My poor son made the mistake of ordering Burger King throughGrub hub and here I am before you open the door. Tell them toleave it on the ground. You've already paid. Here's gloves. Pick upthe bag. You know I'm really we are, you know, all jokingaside. We are being very, very cautious right now, but we aregoing outside, we are living in guests. Were doing no travel, but we'recommunicating and one of the great reasons I'm excited to be talking to youabout this during this time is that video is a way that we're staying connected, not just at work but also with family. I have a mother andfather who drove back from Florida after several weeks away and because of their age, we're not visiting with them right now and it's really hard to not getmy mom and dad a great big hug. But we did do some video chattingand that also made us feel just a little bit better that we're stillconnecting with each other. It's good. Yeah, there is no substitute forreal in person connection and nice warm hugs. They will come again, but itwon't be any time very immediately. We did the same thing here.We still have all the stores and restaurants are still open, although I knowthey're closing down elsewhere, and we're all working remotely at bomb, bomb andpost. All the events and everything are canceled and we'll kind of get intosome of the consequences of that. I think through the conversation. But onething we did spin up within thirty six hours of saying yeah, that's agood idea, let's do it, as we started offering bombomb absolutely free toall educators so that they could stay facetoface with parents, students, peers andother people important to that process. And as a parent whose son is hangingout at home right now, they just said two weeks. Basically they doubledspring break and there they'll reassess, but...

...there's not a chance he's going togo back to school physically in the next you know, two weeks. Whenthis when this initial period is over? So it's a really interesting time.It's highly, highly fluid and as business operators and practitioners, I think weneed to be, as you already offered, highly sensitive to where our customers andfuture customers are and we're our employees are just kind of in a headspaceand in a legitimate, direct, immediate experience. So let's get into andlet's start where we started last time, so where we always start here,which is, you know, what thoughts do you have at a high levelon on customer experience? What does it mean to you? What are someof its characteristics? You know, for me, customer experience there's a coupleways of looking at it. So one way of looking at is a structuralwith an organization. What's the team that's responsible for creating an experience with ourthe people that we sell to and that we serve? And that is,you know, organizationally, done in many different ways by different types of organization. But fundamentally, what customer experience really means? It's all the ways thatwe interact with people. It's how they find out what we do and howthey come to our website. It's the tone of the conversations we have withthem during a sales process. It's when they we deliver the service to themright. So whether, like me, I might go in and I mightbe running a workshop or I might be running a meeting, how I dothat as part of the customer experience. If I'm selling them a physical item, how it's packaged a part of the customer service. When there's a problem, how we respond, it's it's everything about how the people we serve interactwith us. That's what customer experience is all about. I really like it. I think you know, it's a little bit trighter Cliche to refer toSimon Sinex start with why, but you know this. You're in that middlelayer of how, in the second part of that in that how is somethingthat is so much more difficult to replicate or steal or a mimic than thewhat. The what is very easy to mimic and in the how, Ithink is the you know what is the first really good chunk of differentiation inthe experience that we're creating. So you already said it's not business as usual, and it is not. It's not life as usual either right now inthe United States or anywhere else on the globe. So just to kind ofget it going, what are some of the implications that you see immediately froma business standpoint of social distancing and, you know, going remote and allthe other consequences that were all experiencing right now? I'm glad that you askthat question because there's a lot that's going on. So some of the thingsthat are affect marketers, for example, or I got in my facebook feeda person who was promoting and in person event on March twenty four. No, just no stop right. So that was a really obviously me to.You know, look, I could have chosen to just scroll on past thatadvertisement not respond, but I actually had a really negative reaction to it.Right it felt very toned for me. I know that's not the spirit.Technically they were targeting fewer than twenty five people. They were abiding by therule of law, but I didn't feel like they had my best interest atheart. So we as market as of look at all the things that wedo on a day to day basis and how we're communicating and make sure we'rewearing a sensitive lens that acknowledges it. The other thing that we have todo is you have to realize that are the way we serve our audience isgoing to change. If I am someone who works in an office and I'mnow working remotely, do I have appropriate call routing? For example, Ihave a friend who works for Legal Aid. She's an amazing turn you, dedicatesher life to service, and I said different, will just phone callpeople, like, don't show up to the hospital to meet that. Whatare you doing? Like I get all this anxiety and she pointed out tome that she can work from home, except the translation service that allows herto communicate with people whose English is not their first or dominant language, isnot working in her home phone. It only works at our office phone,right. So they'll solve for that, they'll fix that. But in allof our businesses we have lots of things about what we do that we haveto think about. What happens when the people who can be remote our remote. We also have to recognize that there's lots of things that can't be donefrom home. You know, if you're a first responder, if you're ahealthcare worker, if you are working for an essential city service, if you'rekeeping our water and our power running, if you work in a grocery store, God bless you because you have this incredible, difficult job and a stressfulsituation and we need our food supply chain to not be interrupted. Right.We don't think about all the stuff that has to happen there. So weas leaders need to acknowledge the fear that people have around that, the concernstheir family members have around that, and...

...we need to do what we canto protect them. So for those of us who have a service that couldmaybe protect them, we should be making that readily available. We've seen somegreat things. You gave an example or earlier of providing educators video access atno cost. We've seen other people make other kinds of of conciliation. Wealso need to take care of security. The reality is when people are workingmore remotely or they're working and more social distance situations, they are maybe notfollowing all the secure protocols, are filing sending files back and forth an emailand they're throwing things and, you know, portable drives and they're exposing us.They don't have the same networks and firewall. So we need to makesure that we're thinking about the infrastructor to protect the data of the people thatwe're serving in this situation. And so sort of the threat about all ofthis is simply using our good sense to think through the scenarios that our customersare going through, to be sensitive to how we communicate and to be consistentand transparent about what we are doing with our customers. And then, onthe flip side, we have to accept and be ready for an entourage ofpeople who are trying to cancel reservations, reschedule meetings, transform whole conferences intovirtual events, who are just not sure how to make all these bits andpieces, because we've never gone through something like this on a global scale.I've certainly done this and crisis management, for example in New Orleans when wehad those, you know, terrible hurricanes, or we had flooding in Texas lastyear, but when we think about the scale of this, it's unlikeanything that we've done, and so we have to be ready to have questionsthat we don't have time to answer be asked and we have to be patientwith it. These are the times we're talking to a human is probably betterthan talking to a machine. Right if I'm worried, I need a Ineed rubbing alcohol the clean my medical equipment. This came up on a facebook grouprecently. And before I go to the store and I send somebody thereget my rubbing allcle I want to make sure it's in stock and I callthe store, I need to talk to someone who's going to be able totell me whether it's in stock, tell me whether I'm going to be ableto get it in stock, maybe recommend places where we could have it.We put on a weight list, whatever those things maybe, and come togetherand interact with people in a way that is sensitive to even if we're feellike business is normal, because I'm sitting in the same office I sat inthree weeks ago and six weeks ago. It's not normal for the people whoare calling me and asking me questions. Yeah, really, really good.There's a lot there. The couple things I want to touch on. Oneis, you know, when you talk about transparency, that couple words cameto mind there, and it's visibility and accessibility. And so you know,all this is up in the air. Is this two weeks? Is ita month, is it eight weeks? Is is a number that was justthrown out like it's so, so fluid, and so I think keeping communication channelsopen for our team members right as we try to figure out what issomething that we didn't anticipate. We need to close this loop, we needto fix this. You give a number of really good examples of just workflowissues that we need to pay attention into and and then you also teat upsomething that I spend a lot of time over the weekend doing, which isUN undoing all of my travel plans. I have a high school junior atour home and you know, we have we all he's a school kid,love school, high performer. So we're like we had a bunch of collegetours scheduled between now and next fall, and you know, so we've beento a few schools already, but the first big trip here over spring break, of course, is canceled. So we have to cancel personal plans,professional plans, etc. And so I found myself in a zone that Iknow you have a lot to recommend an offer around, which is the communicationchannels that are available to us as consumers. And so, you know, Iwas on I was any emails, responding to some emails, I wasin some mobile APPS, I was on some websites, some was front facingsome, I was logged into my own account and I was on the telephoneintermittently across these experiences. And in one case they took me from an emailwhere to cancel. They still wanted to charge me fifty percent of the chargeand then I called and they said, Oh, okay, no problem atall, you don't have to pay that. will send you another email. Takea look at it. Is for a rental car. Take a lookat it and just reply and say what your circumstances are and then we'll justuse that on file and then just canceled. Well, turns out at even workout that way. So at some point I need to call him backbecause their reply to my email, which said entire trip is canceled. Theschools are not accepting us to visit the campus US anymore. We're just notdoing the trip. It's not the prudent thing to do and we can't evenexecute the whole reason we're going in the first place. So we would likea, you know, a refund, and the reply was, well,there isn't. There is not a national mandate not to travel, so wecan't do that right now. You know,...

...this is like be still my heart, like I look, I'm sensitive and I understand that's there are financiallyvulnerable companies out there that these changes impact and I believe that our government andour communities and our customers and our partners need to find a way to keeppeople solving through this. Having said all of that, they answer and solutionis not to piss off every customer. Even they shouldn't even have made youask the question of sending the emails. We are in lockdown as a globeright now across much of the world, certainly across the United States, andthe campuses every college student right now is on forced break. My son tomorrowis going to empty his dorm because even though they have an officially said it'sgoing to be six or eight weeks, it's I think everything indicates it's goingto be and we don't want to have to go back. If school reopens, will bring a stuff back. I'll like to have that problem right,but we're going to go empty it. At least we can get his booksand things for online learning. So they the right customer service and customer experienceshould have been to pro actively communicate with you. We suspect your travel planshave changed. If we're not correct, please let us know. So adefault, that the default should be the most likely scenario somebody is going throughand they shouldn't make you go through their hoop of saying why your plans havechanged, because we know the answer to that question. Your plans of changebecause everything is in a slow down mode as we as a country respond now, I don't blame the individual person who had to read that email. Clearlythey haven't been given a corporate policy that gives them the fortitude to address that. They could have a policy that says, at this point, we actually can'tafford to do refunds and maybe we're not in a financial situation to dothat, then they should have been should at least give you a credit towardsfuture, or they should have some dialog with you about that situation. Butthey defaulted wrong they asked you to jump through hoops incorrectly. They have apolicy that's going to make you uncomfortable and unsatisfied with it and instead of deliveringbad news to you and a conversation where at least the empathy can come through, they didn't do it. For example, I canceled my housekeeper. Let metell you, this was a painful decision for me to make. I'min a situation where I could Ford to pay her, so I said thatI'm going to just then mow you the money, at least for a coupleof times. She's an individual and I'm fortunate and grateful to be able tosay that I can afford that. But if I had to call and cancel, I wouldn't have sent her a text message saying I'm canceling and I'm sorryI can't pay you. I would have picked up the phone and, ata minimum, left of voice mail where she could hear my voice and hearmy sincerity in understand that I feel bad about it. We can't always dothe thing that's going to make the customer on the other side happy, butwe can do the thing that makes them feel we're human and empathetic to thesituation we find ourselves in. Yeah, just allow them to feel like they'vebeen heard and that they're appreciated. I see you, I understand your circumstance. I want to meet you there. Let's talk about what we can do. I thought the airlines in general did a very nice job of the twothings you specifically recommended, which is default to what is the most likely situation, which, by the way, this applies at all times, not justin times of crisis, but default to what the expectation is and then makeit really, really easy. All of them are hey and and I forgetwhich one because I had flight schedule. I'm United Guy, on points mostly, but because they fly out of Colorado Springs. But you know, Ihad flights on Delta and American also schedule just so I could go direct outof Colorado Springs, which is not a major airport. So I mix upmy vendors and they all did a really nice job of proactive communication and Iforget which one it was, but they said, hey, don't call us, here's the deal. You know, you have no obligations right now.You have up until the end of the year to reschedule. You know thevalue of this flight, and it's like so they're like, it's really kindof this whole flat in the curve thing. But you know, in a veryacute customer service situation, is like, don't call us right now. You'regoing to hate it. We're going to hate it. We got yourback. Don't worry about it. You have months to figure it out.And so what now? What I need to do is make a little spreadsheetto say, you know, all the flights I canceled in a little opencredit, because they're spread across various APPS and websites. But they did bothof those things really, really well. That the perfect example of how touse technology, because what they needed to free up their staff for was theperson who says my son is stuck in London and I need to get mykid home. Help me do that. So look, technology can help uscommunicate to the default step and they made... very easy and Airy vampathetic sothat the when the things that are emotional things that I need to respond to, I can make sure that my phone staff is available for them to beable to I agree. I think the airlines overall have done a nice job. My son reluctantly was on a flight this week. It was a shortdomestic flight from Rochester. I was really uncomfortable situation but I needed to getthem home and I was comforted by talking to the airline about the cleaning thing. So sure I got the email everybody else got, but given my scenario, I also called the local airport and I ask them to give me,you know, sort of the lay of the land and I felt they werehonest and sincere and well trained, because we could have had the option ofhim renting a car and driving back or something like that. So I thinkyou're right. There are so much good happening right now and so much thatI've actually been pleasantly surprised by. But there have been pockets of opportunists thatare sort of feeding in to the frenzy and the fear and the discomfort orjust making us go through a whole bunch of extra hoops. Nobody needs theextra stress right now. Let's make it easier on ourselves. Yeah, solet's talk about one of the channels that I know you have some thoughts on, which is chat, and we have kind of two ways to go aboutthat, live chat and chat bots. You know, last time we talkedwe talked about the transparency of automation and AI, although a lot of thecover ground episode fourteen. Go back and listen to it is really, reallygood, so we won't won't do too much of it again. But youknow this idea that so much of what we're calling AI is actually automation.In these channels you don't have what you have on the phone or even whatyou have with videos. kind of this empathetic thing. We talked about transparencyand not acting as if you're a person if you're actually about but you know, in this context of our conversation here today, what do you think aboutthe chat experience today as regards the customer experience? You know, first ofall, I think the chatticks were, in both live and, you know, ai driven our part of the tool kit that we should be using.I think they're incredibly useful. I did a study where we talked to aboutfive hundred and fifty things where the number at it up, but over fivehundred consumers and we very specifically ask them, when they want to talk to amachine, when they don't, what their expectations are. We gave themscenarios and asked them to say, if you read these three scenarios, howwould it change? Would you buy from that person again? How do youwhat do you think about their brand? And it was starting lanely clear.For everyday operational things, talking to a machine instead of a person is perfectlyfine and often preferred. I want to know if you're open, I wantto know you know what's the balance on an account. What time is thatappointment I scheduled again right? I don't actually need to have a back andforth. I want to ask the question and get it answered. When Ihave a moment of concern, upset frustration, do not give me to a machine. It actually makes it significantly worse, and it doesn't just make it significantlyworse in the moment that I'm in right now, it makes me notwant to interact with your brand prior the other thing that it's surfaced very clearlyis don't pretend your human if you're a machine, because when we get intoscenarios where I can tell that the transper they were more the same bad chatexperience that was clearly a little robot symbol and like not a real person,as it look like a picture of a person. Right the same exact chatscript was way more negatively perceived in the long term relationship I want to havewith the brand. When it was I thought it was a human or werepretending to be a human. Then when you were just clear that's robot,I forgive the robots ignorance because it's a robot and I'm okay with that forgiveness. It also became very clear we need escalation pattern. So it's particularly inscenarios like this where we all have questions. You're running around trying to figure outhow I'm going to respond to events being canceled and I'm trying to figureout where I'm supposed to be. Your get home from wherever I am oradjust a meeting for wherever I am. When I hit a steck point,I need to be able to talk to an actual human being and our automatedtechnology needs ways to I identify that I'm getting that point when we put thatchat bought up and we simply say here, have a you know, here's thephone number to call. It's one of the most frustrating things that canhappen because you're asking me to leave the medium I chose to use, inthis case a chat window, and go find my phone, dial a numberand reget in a queue for somebody to answer my phone call. And evenif the phone call gets resolves my issue, we've created extra steps for someone ata moment that's the worst time to...

...create ex extra work for them.Yeah, putting the burden on the customer, even the perceived burden in some casesreally not that much more work. But if it feels that way,the customers experience is the experience. The customers experience is a matter of fact. We need to respect it and appreciate it. In this channel switching situation, I did a solo episode just based on some of the learnings of thefirst chapter of the effortless experience by Matt Dixon in a couple other folks,and that's one of the being treated like a number and channel switching are twoof the most frustrating things people can experience. Really interesting survey results, by theway, love that you're just doing that work. So in unleashed possibleyou advocated for video like extensively. I forget which chapter it was, somewheretoward the end, and of course we already touched on it a little bithere, and I think what it does is takes a little bit of thatwhat we were talking about, that empathy that can be delivered through a voicemailor through a phone call, and just steps it up to another level.That if we are sincere in our message, whether it's I'm really sorry for yourexperience or I'm so excited for you or congratulations, you just hit amilestone or whatever, the message is that, if we're sincere in it, thatour bodies, in our faces and our voices all tell it in away that just simply can't be communicated any better except live in person. Andso, in light of our conversation here, maybe set up your your initial ideasabout video, whether as express usin unleash possible or since you wrote thebook and in the context of what we're talking about here today. Yeah,you know, I really believe that video is critically important because not only canyou better see how I'm responding to something or I'd project my surprise my sincereapologies, my excitement, my you know, information. But equally, as aperson, I can see the other person on the other side and Ican read their body language and I can respond and adjust to what I'm seeingon the screen, just kind of like if I was in a room witha person. It's a little bit different, but it proxies it very well.So I think video is critically valuable tool and we use it in oneon one conversations. I'd by default turn my camera on for pretty much everyconversation. There's a couple exception. Sometimes bandwidth is you is an issue fora day or a moment and that's fine. I do do a podcast that's audioonly because that medium is meant for someone while they're doing something else likedriving and and and that's okay. But the my default is video on.But we also have to remember that video is a really powerful tool for alldifferent kinds of content, long form content, teaching something, interacting with someone.It's a great tool for direct mail to open something up and actually havea video welcome message instead of just another message. And there's just a wholebunch of things that happen. One of the things we have to remember andrem find ourselves of is that video doesn't have to be perfect and it doesn'thave to be always polished. You know, I have on a scarf and Ithrew some lipstick on because I love you, Ethan, and I knewyou were going to be videotaping me right, but I'm still comfortable and I'm stillnot overly prepped. I didn't have hair and makeup come in do thistoday right, and I don't need to, because the whole point of video isactually to make people comfortable with each other and it is a unique mediumby which we can do that. And if you were not yourself on thevideo, whether it's a direct mail piece you're sending out, whether it's alittle note from a salesperson, whether it's a high five to somebody did agreat job, it doesn't matter. So just you know, we just gotto get good at being comfortable and I'm always thinking about what can I dofor video. I'll give you a really good example of how I used videoto affect a business outcome for myself. Actually, not that long ago weran a marketing strategy workshop my business partner and I, and it was thefirst in person workshop that we done for a classroom set and we were inworkshops for individual clients all the time and I've taught big workshops at conferences thatother people have hosted off and off, and it was the first time thatwe'd done it and we assumed the math that half the people who registered wouldn'tshow up, right, like kind of typical event type of thing. Thathappened. But I was determined to break that trend and so I I thinkthe thing that gives us the most it was a good class so I'll saythat. And I think people wanted to come and we had a good venueand we had a good material. So we did all of that. Buteven when you do that you still have drop off. So what we didis, as soon as somebody registered, I sent a video message to themthat said Hey, congratulations, so excited you came. Here's what to expectfor the day. You don't need to prep and I you know, andit's and it's like if they don't show up, they've disappointed me a littlebit, right and then and then the... before the event we said Hey, can't wait to see you tomorrow and gave some other like little stuff andwe had twenty. I think we ended up having twenty people registered. Oneperson got called away on and out of town trip last minute for an urgentwork and couldn't show up. Every other and and they sent this hugely apologeticI can't be their node. Every other person came and came on time andstayed the entire time or good. But it's not just because we did agood workshop. We took the time to connect with people who had registered inthis very intimate way and I really truly believe that the video played an importantrole and getting that show rate to be higher than it might otherwise have been. It's really good. That's the social reciprocity pieces. is a really goodone, in an undervalued one, but you referred to it twice. Thefirst one is this idea that they're not just letting down some organization that hasan email signature and some details in a typed out email. They're letting downSamantha. I can't let her down and in the case that I have to, this is a second part, I'm going to be profusely apologetic, whereasotherwise it's just so much more difficult to disappoint or reject a human than itis, you know, a wall of faceless digital text, and we've seenthis too, by the way, using video to increase show rates on appointmentset demos, set in these other things, you know, not just a fullday workshop, but even like lighter weight stuff, even zoom calls inthose types of things. We had a pretty large one of the top tenfranchises in the United States. Their franchise sales team uses bombomb and they wereable to increase show rates from fifty six to seventy eight percent on one oftheir initial calls. And so you can you just like walk that. I'vejust think about a traditional like sales funnel. generically speaking, the ability to takethe initial conversation and set the appointment is one thing, and then actuallyhave the appointment show and to be able to bump by, you know,twenty plus points the show rates on that called me. Just think about allthe downstream consequences and all it is is what what we've already observed, whichis it's just human connection. It's just this yeah, you know, Ican't let her down or I feel more connected or I feel more trust towardthe situation. I feel more clear about what to expect because it's been communicatedto me not through my own tone of reading this. This otherwise like tonelesstext. I mean really, really good writer can infuse text with a littlebit of tone that people can feel, not just read and think, butactually feel video. You just start feeling immediately. Yeah, you know,it's a perfect example of how to apply this at scale, and that's ahuge difference in your business. Think about that. At twenty percent plus swingand the people who show up for demo like that's big and I do thinksocial reciprocity, as we've been talking about, as part of it. I alsothink it shows it's going to be worth my time because they're saying thingsthat are relevant. I'm likely to maybe skip through and read an email likelogistics update. I probably scan. I also sent text, by the way, because not everybody watches videos, so we did that. But also Ithink there's this component of I'm important. They took time to send me amessage. I'm I'm important to them, and so therefore there's a piece ofthis. I'm going to want to go there, I'm going to want tosee this and it's going to be worth my time. They're articulate, theyhave something relevant for me. So I love the application of applying to showrates for Demos. I think it can be used for all kinds of thing. Ethan is the best set this. Every conversation with Ethan big milestone usif he always sends the the most gracious of videos afterwards out and is areal living example of how out to build that connection with people that we maynever have been in a room with before, but I could still feel like itright. Yeah, I appreciate you saying that in a really good point, that this, this gift of your time and attention, is something thatcan't be fake. Like no one knows how long it took you to writethat email, but everyone knows that you spent forty two seconds explaining that thingjust for you. Like when it's you know, you can do evergreen oryou can do truly personally, do a truly personal that is just the ultimate, like this gift of my time and attention. I no one's going tosay that consciously and say, my Gosh, she took forty two seconds out ofher day to say that, but I do get all the time.Thank you so much for taking the time to answer my question in a video. Right and it's like I just saved myself like five or ten minutes.It would have taken me a lot longer to explain it by typing it allout. So there's a number of really, really good benefits there. At therisk of time and at the risk of throwing a complete curveball into theconversation. It was recently, I'm going to do it anyway. Agrees.I love you, Ethan. Do it good. It was recently International Women'sDay and on Linkedin you gave a shout out to several women that you've workedwith and really respect. You help give away some free subscriptions to innovation women, and I just wanted a quick take...

...from you on, as someone whois obviously built a successful career as a woman, like why in two thousandand twenty are we still in this gender inequality situation? Or and or whatare some seeds of hope? Just like give me a quick take on what'sthe scene and where are we going and what are you encouraged by? Yeah, you know, I wish I could tell you why we're still in thissituation, because the reality is in my entire lifetime, laws have been ineffect to make this relatively easy in parts of the world that I work.That is not true. In large parts of the world there are still realinequalities in legal structure, in the rights that a woman has versus a manand in big parts of the world, and so part of what holds womanback is cultural and legal context that we take for granted in the United Statesand in a lot of European countries and and many places around the world.We just take it for granted the exist. They don't in many places. Sothat's a fundamental infrastructure that needs to be fixed more daytoday, operationally oriented, I think we don't do a good job of rewarding people of different approachesto solving things. I'll be quite candid. As a woman, I quickly gotpromoted in my career and I quickly had success and I didn't hit alot of direct glass ceilings. But I believe there's a real reason for itand I believe the reason for it is I acted like a man. Idid the things in the environment and now not all men act the same thedon't you know, everybody don't interpret that. What I mean was I was reallyassertive about what I wanted. I was super aggressive about forcing myself intoconversations. I'm not known for sitting back and being quiet. That makes mea strong woman, but that doesn't make me every woman. There are strongwomen like that and we as communities and as business leaders, yet to beback to listening to all voices, including quiet of voices. So you know, I think there's any quality, not just in men and women. Ithink there's any quality and a whole bunch of context around different thought process anddifferent things. But the female and versus male and equality is robust, inconsistentbecause all of the infrastructure to address it isn't there. We're not taught thesame things, we're not supported in the same way and it's real and itexists today. So I do have hope. I personally have had a very wonderfuljourney, but it hasn't always been easy and I've had to I've beena working mother with the young children and the first day I started a job, the president of the company looked at me and said I did not wantto hire you and I didn't want to not hire me because of my skillsor my experience. I was a perfect fit. They didn't want to hireme because I had an infant and I lived forty five minutes from the officethat we were required to be in and they were worried that I would haveto leave to pick up my kid at daycare. And literally that's the exactconversation we had. I shouldn't that should not have been a conversation and Iwas very fortunate we made a decision as a family. My husband chose tostay home with our kids and he took the childcare issue off the table forthis particular organization. But I shouldn't have had to. It was the rightchoice for our family anyways. But a lot of people don't have a choiceto make or they make that choice because they feel like they have to.And so I think just fundamentally, in equity still exists. We have totake an active stand to change that, and days like International Women's Day givesus the opportunity to surface those challenges and to move forward and correct them.I love seeing all these programs that are designed to elevate female voices. Ilove seeing more young girls follow pursuits and sciences and Maths and other things thathave traditionally been very male dominated and quite frankly, it's not just the rightthing to do. We have to do it, and I'll give you areally real example. We have artificial intelligence technology that is building algorithms that fundamentallydecides what we see what we don't say. He would target you. We don'tif a woman's perspective and the only people who are coding that are menand it's only trained and they will inherently miss things about a whole a halfof the world's population, just like if it's all young people versus old people, or if it's all people of one culture versus a different culture. Wehave to have that kind of Veg versity. So if we don't do things toencourage young women to move into these sciences, we're going to find ourselvesin some very tricky and dangerous situations. That are not because people are evil, it's just because we all have the context that we have. And soI am excited and I am optimistic because...

...the fact that we're even having thisconversation even would never have happened twenty years ago and any of my conversations.So I see that as a positive sign, but there's still a lot of workto do. Good. I'm really glad that I asked. I thinka couple things and it's see something, say something. I think that's oneway that anyone listening to this in a workplace environment can start to make thecultural change when it like it's one thing for that gentleman that you were referringto earlier to think these things, but to say it openly says something aboutthe culture inside that organization. And so when you see something borderline or obviouslyinappropriate, just say something. Question the person who said it, question theperson who did it, just make them think twice. To create this warnessdoesn't have to be highly confrontational, but letting things fly. We're all complicitin in the consequences of letting things fly, and I do think that just generalawareness of I mean it's hard because it's unconscious bias, and so makingthe unconscious conscious, you know, is a little bit oxyboronic or a contradictionin terms or some thing, but the more aware that we are, thebetter off we are. I am going to even though we'd already did thisonce. You Think Jeff Holling for opening up an early stage of your careerin a really welcoming way, and you gave a shout out to the atbbmx for accommodating your health condition that you described at the top of this conversation. So we're just a minute. I'm going to ask you to answer bothof those questions again, because it's been like ten months since we've talked.But but before we do, for folks who are listening again, be sureto give a listen to episode fourteen, balancing automation, AI and human relationshipswith Samantha and, if you want, check out episode sixty three, creatingfans through human connection with David Muirman Scott again. One of the reasons thatthat, I mean it was not this transactional, but this is the waythat just, you know, being thoughtful and gracious works out. You werekind enough to think of me when his book Fan accracy released. You hada sign copy sent to me and I was like, I like her,you're just reminding me of like I need, I need to talk to her again, and we had been in communication anyway. But Anyway, episode fourteenand episode sixty three. If you enjoyed this one, you'll like that onetoo. So, Samantha, as we wind down, take a minute hereto thank or mention someone who's had a positive impact on your life. Oryour career. Oh Gosh, I'm so fortunate. There have been so manyamazing and wonderful people. I won't thank Jeff Howe again just because holy sorry, that's okay, I will spread the love a little bit around that.But you know, one of the people that I'd love to recognize is KatieMartel. I'm not sure that she would think of herself in this way.So if you care a lot about equality for women or Truth and advertising ingeneral, a lot of things, Katie do some amazing work around handering andcause marketing and and calls out a lot of companies to do it wrong,and she also happened to edit my book. She also happens to be a personthat I've been fortunate to know for a lot of years and I Ireally have to give her credit because she makes me want to be a bettermarketer every day and she is the kind of voice that we need out inthe world. You know, it's easy to pay to turn things pink onInternational Women's Day. That you know that probably isn't going to serve your businesswell, and she holds us all accountable and I think we need more ofKatie mortels in the world. And so I'm really deeply grateful for her inspirationbut also, very practically, for, you know, her help. I'mnot sure that unleash possible could have ever happened without Katie. She and I. She kept me honest, she kept me true to what I wanted tosay. She knew me well enough to know when I was going astray frommy my purpose and pulled me back. And anybody that can make you looksmart and talented deserves a big Hifa of and she certainly gets a shout outfrom me for that. Awesome and we are all fortunate if we have oneor more people in our lives that make us want to be better today thanwe were yesterday. Just to get that like I have that inside me,but to get that support is so helpful from other people. So I lovehearing you describe her as someone who makes you want to be a better marketer. How about a company that you really respect for the experience that they deliverfor you as a customer? That's an excellent question. I've had some reallygood experiences recently and I've had some really bad experiences recently. I'll give youone of the examples that I that I like to use, because I thinkit really is demonstrating of a commit with this company has made to their customers. wayfarer. So I ordered chairs for... office when my office was comingand I was being a little obsessive about everything because this was his brand newworkspace for me and I wanted everything to be perfect. And the chairs cameand I didn't love them. They didn't look the way I thought they wouldand I was super disappointed in them and they looked a little damaged. Andyou know, I called up wayfarer and I'm prepared to sort of go tobattle over why I need to return these chairs and I want different. Notonly did they like graciously, with no hesitation, say no problem, we'lltake back the chairs. I'm sorry you have that experience. You were lookingat these other chair designs that are very simile miler that were out of stock. Would you actually like those instead of re replacing the one that looked alittle damage when I got them, like yes, so good. Through allthis and I'm excited and I'm like okay, so how exactly do I box theseback up and like get them to you? It's a chair, areyou know? I'm not going to stuff and a numble open, take itto coals to be returned, like I might do with some of my Amazonthings. They're like, nope, you got someplace you can donate them.Like I'm sure I can find the donator. Like keep the chairs, donate them. So they made the whole experience positive for me. Not only didI get replacement chairs that I'm in love with and I just adore, theyalso let me keep the old chairs and not have the hassle of returning them, and I got to donate them to something that I feel good about.So all this stuff came together in a way that I think is wonderful.And I will say that I think wayfier's phone service has this kind of caredI don't think they've translated it well to their email services and their chat services. So I caution you know that experience with them, but on the phonetheir team is phenomenal and I really value and I keep shopping their knowing thatI'm going to be able to have this kind of positive experience should another issuearise, which doesn't. Most of the things I'd buy them are great,but occasionally it does happen and I know they're going to take care of me. It's really good. I mean, I can't imagine. I always worryabout that, even on a much smaller I mean, and you reference that, like I worry about that with a smaller thing, like I should Isave this box. You know, it's got a one year warranty. Ilive in a very, very small house, so saving boxes so that I canrebox something is not on the top of our list. It's like straightto recycling. And so, anyway, I love what they did for youthere, Samantha. This has been great. I wish you good health and continuedsuccess, especially through this really interesting and odd window that we're in.The folks want to catch up with you or they want to check out unleashpossible or anything else where we send people to follow up on this conversation.Yeah, thank you. I'm going to give you that information, but Iwant to say one thing before we wrap them. I hope you might evenbut as we're going through this amazing point of uncertainty, we don't have allthe answers to all the questions that are going to add be asked of usand that we're going to ask ourselves, and the right thing to do hereis just acknowledge the uncertainty, be as open and transparent you can be.Don't share false information and don't make promises you can't keep. This is thereally hard one. Don't say we're going to do something that we not certainthat we can do. So it's okay to say I don't know. It'sokay to say we're going to try. I've been seeing a lot of thosepositive communications, so please do that. I love for new readers of unleashpossible. Every you know, week I get new messages from people with withinformation and comments and questions, and there's nothing more rewarding than that. Andleash possible is available on Amazon both as an audiobook as well as regular goodold fashioned physical good book. What I like still the touch and feel.Ethan's got the copy there, which I love, and Paul Smit, mynarrator, did an amazing job narrating for me even one little sentence about beingpregnant, which, you know, that's a whole nother story and we cantalk about another time. If you'd like to get ahold of me, pleasedo. I'm on Linkedin, I'm on twitter. It's Samantha's stone really accessible. My email address is Samantha Dot Stone at Marketing Advisory Networkcom, and Ireally I give that out freely because I want people to reach out and askquestions and there's just nothing better than helping your ideas come to life in aparticular organization. So look forward to meeting all your listeners. Awesome. It'sfunny. I used to be a little bit tentative about giving out my emailaddress as I guessed on in conversations like these, and then you realize someonea if they made it this far, they're obviously into it and be ifthey're really into it, I want to talk to them right it's a privilegeand so, anyway, you can also reach me Ethan Etch A and atbombombcom. Hit me up on Linkedin, Ethan Butte, and I everything thatSamantha just said I will include. I write up these episodes at Bombombcom podcast. I also drop in some video clips. So I know there were some visualmoments in this one. I'll do my best to try to find thosethat include them, just to kind of bring the episodes to life. SoI appreciate everyone for listening. Samantha, I appreciate your time so much today. Yeah, thank you so much,...

I hey, if you do nothingelse, book, connect a still that doesn't show me like up my noseor something, I'll be happy. I don't know what it is, buteverybody collects that one funnail that you don't want. But thank you to yourlisteners for listening. This is a time of uncertainty and I'm so grateful tohave a collaboration with you to talk about and just acknowledge it and to remindus all that this is about human connection. Video can play a very important rolefor us as we're going through this moments, weeks, possibly months ofuncertainty and come together as a community. Well said, clear communication, humanconnection, higher conversion. These are just some of the benefits of adding videoto the messages you're sending every day. It's easy to do, which isa little guidance. So pick up the official book. Rehumanize Your Business.How personal videos accelerate sales and improve customer experience. Learn more in order todayat Bombombcom Book. That's bomb bombcom book. Thanks for listening to the customer experiencepodcast. Remember, the single most important thing you can do today isto create and deliver a better experience for your customers. Continue Learning the lateststrategies and tactics by subscribing right now in your favorite podcast player or visit Bombombcompodcast.

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