The Customer Experience Podcast
The Customer Experience Podcast

Episode · 2 years ago

73. Marketing To Your Employees, Not Just Your Customers w/ Chris Wallace


We always talk about brand as a collection of promises that a company is making to its customers. At the end of the day, brand really comes down to the essence of a company.


However, if the people spending the money on the advertising do not have a strong bond with the people delivering that customer experience — the ones facing the customers — you have a catastrophic breakdown between promise and delivery.


Employee experience is customer experience if employees believe in the brand they are hired to represent.


In this episode, I interview Chris Wallace, Cofounder and President at InnerView Group, about marketing and branding to employees, not just customers.


A few of the takeaways:


- Build employee satisfaction to drive customer satisfaction — an upward spiral


- Avoid brand dilution by closing the gap between your brand promise and your customer experience


- Infuse your team with a sense of pride and purpose in their work and in your company


- Techniques & strategies for improving employee experience


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.

We want our employees to be proud of our companies, in our brands and what we stand for. 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. Our company spends so much time, energy and money marketing our products and services to our customers and our potential customers. But what about our employees? Our guest is here today to talk about internal marketing and brand consistency to this conversation. He brings twenty years of sales, marketing and corporate leadership experience at companies like comcast, insight sales and the PGA. Today he's cofounder and president at Interview Group, a firm that helps companies engage their frontline teams to improve customer experience and ultimately to boost revenue performance. Christopher Wallace, welcome to the customer experience podcast, if and thank you so much for having me. I think that's the best intro I've ever gotten. So great job with that. Also beg you. I'd small point of pride for me and I want you to feel welcome and for people who know how beneficial this is going to be based on your experience. But before we get going in earnest, I'm in Colorado Springs. You are in the Philadelphia area. Correct, it's what's the current situation with regard to the to the coronavirus pandemic? How's it affecting you or your team or your customers? Yeah, wow, we could probably spend the entire time on just that, but we fortunately had been used to working remotely over the years. We do have our head courters here in Philadelphia, which is where most of our staff is, but we do have people sprinkled all over the country. We were all armed with our zoom accounts prior to prior to this happening. But I think from our customers perspective, it really is you know, really depends. It's company to company, because you know, one of our one of our major comp customers, is the country's largest Internet service provider and they're slammed right now. They're they're one of the most important companies in the country right now and it's putting all sorts of different strain on them from a capacity perspective that it is on other companies maybe in the manufacturing of the banking space. So it's really kind of industry to industry right now. Interesting. Yeah, it's the same for us. We have a number of people who are coming to us. Like our current lead flow is just through the roof because we make it easy to stay facetoface with people through simple videos and emails and and like you, we were, you know, we were primarily in office together in Colorado Springs. Are about a hundred and fifty people and most of us are in the office physically, but we have enough people up in Denver and in other cities around the country that we're all equipped to work remotely and do meetings remotely and all of that. And so is the transition of the work itself hasn't been to challenging yet, although it's, you know, who knows? It depends how long it persists as well. Yeah, I think the only x factor for us is for the people on our team like myself, who have children, you know, at school age children that we're trying to manage through some of the homeschool stuff right now, some of the remote learning, and that's a challenge because the workday is not exactly a workday anymore. But you know, we're managing we've got it a lot better than a lot of people do. So we're happy to keep on shogging and my team's been great. We know we're talking daily, doing our zoom calls, so we're making it work for right now. I love it. gratitudes. The is the way. So let's get going and we'll start where we always start, which is your thoughts or definition around customer experience. When I say customer experience, what does it mean to you, Christopher? Well, so I'm going to start by saying that one of the things that when we when we built interview, when we had been in the professional services business before and had some, i. had a lot of experience and consulting and when we started it, we were very intentional with with how we started the company, and one of those things was this idea of kind of the vision for the company, and we talked...

...about with the vision of our company is to take something that seems intangible and turn it into something that can be deposited in the bank. Okay, that's what that's part of our vision for our company and I think it translates really well into my definition of customer experience, because I think of customer experience as kind of the currency for the new generation. Right. It used to be products and features or, you know, kind of some of your more you know, traditional. You know, is the product better than the competition? Yes or no? There's so many companies, there's so many options, there's so many ways to get goods and services that the products are are you the product parity, service parity just about in every single category, and I really do look at the experience as the great differentiator from brand to brand. So I guess my definition really is the the added value that an organization is building into their interactions with customers that separate them above and beyond their products and services. I like it. I like the value anchor and I liked that it is in the interactions, right, that is where the experiences kind of most felt, I think. So really good calling. You're absolutely right and it's a primary thesis on the show. Here's that hyper competition which you described in product parity render customer experiences as the ultimate differentiator. So it's what a cool thing to be able to start a company with that perspective and to make decisions through that, through that Lens. So we're going to be going, I feel like, a little bit back and forth between employee experience and brand branding. Brand experience, brand consistency, brand dilution, and so I just wanted to tea up that I'm really excited about this one because both of them are truly inside out right. One of my early mentors around branding really may, made it clear that it needs to be lived from the inside before it can be felt outside, and that's the way that you make it consistent. So I love this connection to the employee. And then don't know if you're familiar with the service profit chain, which is a it's available for anyone to read kind of a digest version at Harvard business. Forget to Harvard Business, our Harvard Business Book, Right. Yeah, correct, it was an article. You made a book. Yeah, and so that like when I when I when I was learning about your company and anticipation of this, as just really excited because if I feel like that's a significant intentionally, you're not perfectly consistent with that, which is the idea that you know the revenue and the profitability are the outcomes. Customers are the midpoint, but really spending so much more time and energy building that internal service quality and making sure that the employee experience is fantastic is the necessary precursor to all of it. So I guess we'll start here, which is the reason I always ask about customer experiences, that you get a variety of answers, although there's some things, some consistent themes, and I feel like the same thing is true of branding. So I'd love for you to talk about brand and brand experience relative to customer experience in your view and your opinion, are they synonymous? Are Their differences like? How do you think about that? Yeah, so, so I don't know that I would say that there's synonymous, but I think that they're they're sort of tied to one another. Right. I think that the way we always talk about brand is a brand is a collection of promises that a company is making to its customers. That's the way we think of it. We think of it as the brand really comes down to the essence of a company, and the essence is why do we exist? What are we saying we can do for customers? Why do we have a place in this world. Right. So we always come back to we look at the brand. Is Two promises that are being made. We look at the customer experience as whether or not the Custo of the promises are being kept right. That's how we see the two of those things being linked and it's really important that you look at them in tandem. You know, we found, both through research and through practical work, that they're just they're disconnected far too much of the time. And what do you think the primary causes there is? That is that one of them is overlooked or one of them is undervalue, like we're where's the disconnect? You think so? I believe the disconnect and you know, I'm in the process of writing a research and we did some research and or the...

...process of writing the research report right now. But from that research, what we've been able to see is in the organizations that we support, and we're typically working with either a business to consumer brand or a consumer brand that goes to market through, you know, be to B Toc. Maybe they have distributors or retail partners, but you know, think of like a consumer electronics brand. They go to market you know be to B Toc, but they're typically consumer brands and typically what we're seeing is the people who are designing the brand and and sort of the architects of that brand story, the people who make the promise and the people who keep the prom so who are responsible for keeping the promise? The physical and mental distance between those two departments is probably wider than we even thought. Okay, I'll let me give you an example and the research that we just did, which it hasn't been released yet, but I'll share some of the findings. One of the things we found was in asking customer facing employees in consumer industries, retail, airlines, hospitality, restaurants, you your typical consumer and consumer industries, who do they see is most critical and helping them sort of deliver the customer experience and tell that brand story right? How do they know what brand promises they need to keep right? Where do they get that from? Where do they get that direction from? We gave them six different groups within their organization that they could choose from. Marketing ranked five out of six. So the mental, again, physical and mental distance between somebody who works a register and the person that that does the Advis is huge. It's even bigger than we thought it was. To be on. So we knew it was big, but we're seeing the the data tell us that it's wider than we even thought and to me that's a big challenge. Right, the people who are spending the money on the advertising and spending the money with the you know, to build the campaigns, if they are not linked, if they do not have a strong bond with the people delivering that customer experience, you are bound to have a breakdown between promise and delivery, right, and that's what so many brands have as that breakdown the between promise and delivery. So I'm going to come down to they simply just don't see each other. When I say they, the customer facing teams and the marketing and brand department and most organizations just don't see each other as one another stakeholders enough of the time. What do you say that? That's one of the biggest points of value and engagement when you engage with the company as interview is that? Is that one of the disconnects? That's probably one of the bigger points that you're working on or like, what's that? What's the scope of engagement? Yeah, that's really what it is. I mean a lot of it comes down to an and and I didn't say that was the rift simply because it's sort of doubtails in with what we do, but because, again, we were seeing from the data that's even bigger than we thought. But we really do build a bridge between that strategic vision of where the brand wants to go and the day to day execution. Right the campaign. Think of it this way. If a campaign is done, you go to your agency, you reposition yourself. You're going after a new demographic. You've got to you've got great creative you got great ads, you have a great add by and you go out with that campaign and the demand starts flowing, the phones ring, the foot traffic picks up, all those things, but the people who actually service those customers are disconnected. Think about how much of a drag on the results of that campaign and uninformed and uninspired frontline employee group can be. Right. Think about how big that disc and we've filled that gap. We've closed that gap for companies and it again and it ends up being a much bigger than even we thought it would be, going in really interesting. It kind of teas up where I wanted to go next, which is your thoughts on the relationship between the employee experience and the customer experience. Yeah, so we have I'll call a little I will call controversial but maybe a little bit provocative view of sort of the employee experience to to customer experience. The way we look at the link between the two is we believe...

...very strongly that employee so I would bet you'd get more definitions of employee experience than you would of customer experience because people really look at that in very different ways. The way we look at it is you have people who are hired to do a job. If we can put them in a position to believe in the brand that they represent right and be in a position to serve that customer to the best of their ability, if they are good at their job every single day, if they are serving customers well and they are getting that positive feedback from customers, whether it's just in body language and exchange or, you know, in good natured interaction, or if it's coming through literal feedback through customer surveys and things like that, we believe the pride and what they do is going to grow right. So we believe very strongly in let's put them in a position to serve the customers the best they possibly can and in doing so you're going to build their pride and working for the brand that they represent and their pride generally in serving customers. So we're very much a we look at it as help them serve their customers, help them do their job to the best of their ability and their satisfaction with the work that they do and their engagement's going to go way up. A lot of other organizations look at it as it, which is very, very feasible and viable, is this idea of let's make happy employees, and happy employees make happy customers. So it's a lot of like employee experience becomes making sure that they've got, you know, great coffee machine in their break rooms or their snacks or there's like a lot of like truly like workplace, like workplace empowerment type programs. Those are all well and good, but we cut straight to the the the chase and we say put them in a position to serve the customers better, get them more excited about the products in the brand that they represent and watch their satisfaction and as an employee go through the roof. So good. It's a positive upward spiral and it reminds me of this idea that company culture is not a foodsball table or beer on tap. A lot of companies think that right, right. But to your point, I love the you cut straight to it. And so what is that? What does that look like in practice? Is this more internal training? Is this? What are a couple kind of tangible, actionable things around, like how do we get employee buying, especially maybe for a company that's been operating let's say four years? They kind of taken a lot of this for grand did and now you have, you know, the culture, what is normal, what is accepted, what's been tolerated, what it feels like to show up every day is a certain way. How do you start, from a practical standpoint, start transitioning that to get that buy in and that belief, like winning the hearts and minds of the employees so that the customers can feel it? That's it's so it's a great question. So what you just ask? You know the line we always use. As you know, people when we start talking about these types of things, marketers typically say we have this challenge, but fixing it just feel so daunting, right, and the reality is white feel so daunting is because they look at their employees, they separate their employees as one group and their customers as another group. And marketers are in the business of mass behavior change. That's what they do. Their job is to compel people to act in new ways based on a message that they've heard or or some sort of stimulus. And we look at it as it's not that hard and not that daunting if you take the things that you're so good at right now and you just apply them to the employee group just as if they were a buyer. Right. The biggest Aha here is to look at them as a buyer and consumer of your message, not as a messenger, just for a minute, right. If you can get them to buy it first and really believe in it, then getting them to be a messenger as a lot easier. Organizations go the other way around. They try to make people messengers a something that they don't necessarily believe it. So what we do is, just like any good marketing campaign, we start with market research. We developed a tool called...

...the brand transfer studying the brand transfer score, and what we are quite literally doing is we are assessing an organization's message, sort of their core brand message, what are the key pillars of that message and we're assessing the corporate architects of that message and then all the people out in the field or wherever else inside the organization that represent that message. And we are coming back to an organization with a point of view, just like you would with a customer, just as you would come back with market research and say, here's what the customers think of you, here's how the customers view your view you. They don't think you're good at this. They think your competitions, you know, kicking your butt here, but they think you're strong here. We're doing the same thing with the internal audience and we're coming back to a marketer saying you believe your brand story is this, but you're losing twenty seven percent. You're Miss Aligned by twenty seven percent with your retail team or you're misaligned, you know, seventeen percent, with your with your channel partners or your distributing, your distribution partners. So we're coming back to them with research, market research. It just so happens we're doing market research on a different audience. But once you have that data in hand, again, what a marketers do with data? You build a messaging campaign and you drive tactics out in different mediums, out that are going to move the needle. And the key here is you have to think far outside hitting send on an email or posting a product training to really get people's attention and to compel them to change their behavior. You wouldn't try to train a customer to be excited about your brand, but that's how organizations that. Again, they're trying to make them messengers, the people represent the brand, messengers before their believers. We want to flip the script for them. So the internal campaigns that we run they look more like the type of campaign you'd run two consumers. Then they do something that you're typically doing through your training department. I love it. What team is this coming out of? Do you engage marketing departments to do the work or do you'd provide it as a third party? We work with the marketing department, so we are typically partnering with it could be anybody from the brand and in a core marketing team inside a brand. It could also be a channel leader, somebody that's responsible for channel marketing for a dealer channel or for a call center channel, or whatever the case may be. So it's typically the marketing. The way it goes is marketing typically says man, wouldn't it be nice if I could get my people on message right, because that's our question to a marketer. How confident are you that your people are on message? And they're like not so confident. So we say okay, great, so you think you might have this challenge. Then we become partners with the people like the sales leadership, the training team. We become the glue that sort of holds those things together. And to your question earlier year about working with the customer facing teams in the marketing team, we sort of become that bridge. We become the conduit between the marketers that just don't have the internal mechanisms to link up with those people down at the front lines and we build that bridge for them and help sort of manage it over time. Love it. So how much of this is branding work? I mean say on message, and so you know, on message could mean why are we all here? Why do we show up? Who Do we serve and what do we solve for them at a high level? or it could be, like you know, you offered before, maybe a new campaign or a new product or a new service that maybe the front line is is ignorant of or just playing misunderstands. And so how much are you talking brand in this scenario? So it's a really good question. So I this. I will say. Our focus isn't we don't build your brand. We always joke we're like be asf we don't build your brand, we just help you exert were execution people right, and I think that you know. What we've done is we've tried to break it down into sort of six what I'm going to call triggers that you know that sort of drive the work that we do. There's product and service launches. So, as a marketing team, we're bringing something new to market. Okay,...

...we haven't. We have a new thing that we want to get out there. Are Customers need it. We've done all the research. We got to get it to market. The story we're telling there is your frontline teams, whether you like it or not, their gatekeepers. You know, you need them to be offering this, you need them to be recognizing the customers need in order for this new product or service to be successful. You've got to open up those floodgates early and not wait until you're thirty percent to your goal to figure out how to engage those folks. Typically, most brands cannot drive enough demand to their doorstep to make every product and service launch worthwhile. You've got it. You've got to get your front your frontline team engaged campaigns and promotions. So it's coming up on your your big selling season. You're making a big push. You've got some promotional pricing, you've got a key, you know, pricing, promotion out there in the market place. You really want to get traction for it. You need to get your team bought in. It's another trigger getting into some of the more philosophical ones around brand company, rebranding and mergers and acquisitions. Right. The common theme here is anytime change is coming to your brand, anytime you're pivoting, any time you're swiveling with your brand and you're adding something in bringing a new message out to the marketplace, that's typically where we get involved. But rebrands are a big one, and mergers and acquisitions. How do you bring two brands into one? How do you get people, as one of our client says, to quote unquote, act the brand right? I love that idea of how do you act the brand and a rebrand or a merger and acquisition scenario. That's such a key piece. Yeah, just bet. It just begs it. It's critical, especially that, you know, with big companies you find that, you know, banks merge and people don't know how to talk about who they are, you know, on day one any more than they did the day before, and it causes a lot of customer confusion. The last two are customer experience program so if companies are investing in their customer experience, how do we make sure that their brand truly is built into that program and it's launched in a way that's going to drive that that excitement and, frankly, it's going to make it stick at the front lines? And finally, it's, you know, really dealer and channel support. You've got these programs that you need to push out to call it a non employee and not employee base. These are people who don't have to do it because it's on their scorecard or their bonused on it. It's people that you have to really influence into driving the actions that you want. So those are really the six triggers. That's great. I like the framework and that last step there. I mean in a lot of cases, depending on the nature of the partnership. The customer doesn't know or care whether they're direct employees or not. I mean functionally they are. They are brand representatives, whether you want them to be or not. So it's so obviously important to to rope them in and make sure that they understand everything the same way as a direct employee would. Let's talk for a minute about brand dilution, like what are the costs there? How do we get more consistent? How does it happen? Just talk about some of the dynamics there. Yeah, so, so brand delution is is quite simply the difference between what the brand is promising and what the customer here's right. We talked about the definition brand in the definition addition of definition of custom and experience. We look at brand illusionist, the gap between those two things. Right. How why does that gap? You know, in the research that we've done with with senior level marketers and customer experience executives, what we found was it was really interesting. The people who felt like their organization was poor at getting that message out in the lined way. They sort of perceived that the diluted message had at a cost still significant. Right, about about half of the respondence that we had valued that gap at five million dollars, between five and ten million annually, or, excuse me, north to five million annually. But for the organizations that felt like they were good at it, we ask them to ascribe a value to that consistent message. Sixty two percent of those people. Know, these were with larger organizations, but sixty two percent of those people put a price tag of ten million dollars plus on...

...the value of having that consistent message. And when I say the value we're talking we're not talking about this isn't paper value. We're talking about in the transactions day to day, in the interactions that we talked about earlier. We are winning more business because our people can represent our brand more consistently, our brand can stand out, our brand has value and the more we live our brand and act the brand, the more business we're going to win. That's what that dollar value is is telling us is the brands who do this well, sixty two percent said they would put a value of more than ten million dollars annually on that attribute of their organization. So it's not even just the perceived costs or high enough, but the actual value the companies are realizing actually is greater than the perceived cost of companies that are struggling, obviously so important just to the business functioning in general. I was thinking they're about midlevel management. I would guess that you're engaged by probably executives or senior leadership at some level, but really where this is going to be made is probably at the mid midlevel management scenario. Who are they're hiring, they are daily managing, they're hopefully doing consistent one on one meetings and a variety of things there. I feel like that's probably when I think about the channels available for internal marketing to employees to keep them engaged to help make some transformation the way they think about or even behave within the business. That that's got to be one of the most important gateways. It's the most important gateway and that's, you know, across all the work that we've done, all the consulting we've done over the years. I don't care if you're talking about sales and marketing or accounting, frontline managers are the single most important, you know group inside, you know most especially large organizations. They just simp there the leverage point right there there. There were, you know, big initiatives and execution. You know, either lives or dies. So we've seen that across a whole bunch of different engagements that we've done over the years. Everything we do, all the engagements that we do, we try to account for the leadership in a really unique way. We try to make sure we can reach that leader on their terms. And just as we're trying to equip the frontline employee to be a believer in the message so they can be a good messenger, we also have to do the same thing. And this is a big, big waterfall right. The message has to cascade down and man, if it gets down to the frontline leader and stops there, you've got a real challenge. But most organizations, most big organizations especially, are only as good as their frontline leadership team. Yeah, so I see here this this opportunity to probably run into some resistance. You know, one bad manager could probably ruin it for entire department or team if they are either, you know, speaking out of both sides of their mouth or they just never get behind the message in the first place. What are some cautions? I mean, obviously what was baked into your last response. There's the idea that this needs to work for the company, it needs to work for the team and it needs to work for the individual, and we need to create that alignment. I mean that is part of the cascade. It needs to work at all levels and be cleared all levels. Where are some other you know, in terms of overcoming resistance and some of the other things that you run into an any change, management or transformation process. You have a couple cautions for folks. So I'm going to highlight one example. I've a really tangible example of what you just described. We have a client who's a national home improvement brand, okay, and we did a brand transfer study with them recently. We did the readout with their national sales leader and we found something really interesting. Okay, we did it on they're about to roll out a new customer experience initiative. So they're overhauling, completely overhauled the way they engage a customer, from the way the sales process to the inhome experience to it's completely changing. And what we found was senior leadership was very keenly aware of what needed to change, the frontline teams...

...were very keenly aware of what needed to change and the front line leaders made it very clear that they were not interested in anything changing and if you think about it's very logical and actually our client predicted that would happen, and the reason he predict that that was, he said, if you think about front line leaders, frontline leaders are were promoted to where they are today because they worked well in the current system. So if you introduce variables that take them outside of what helped them get promoted to this point, they learned how to work in the current system to stand out and be successful. If you if you introduce new variables, you've just disrupted their world. You've upset their apple cart, so to speak. So when we think about so, the pitfall there is you create training, and this is one thing I want to stress. I have no problem with training. I think the training is needed. The challenge is the way it's applied and the way it's layered. In an organizations. It's typically marketing. Has a new product, we want people to sell it. We create product trainings. They take it online or its instructor left or they get a one sheet, whatever the case may be. But in most cases that frontline leadership team is left out of that or they take the same one that their team did and they just sort of glade. I don't need to take this, they just kind of click through it. But the reality is there's a whole separate effort that needs to be focused on them and spoken to them in their language. It's a separate part of the messaging campaign. You need to hit those frontline leaders and account for them differently than their frontline teams. So good. I see the very obvious parallels that you've opened up on between tactics that you would use to market externally and tactics that you would use to market internally. Got To meet people where they are and and show them their unique benefit and value in this situation. I'm to change gears briefly and then will I love my clothing questions and I'm looking forward to to your answers there. But you earned an MBA from the Fox school of Business and management at Temple and you've taught there as an adjunct professor. Just speak for a minute about and any thoughts that occur to you about that, like what's the value of higher ed in your opinion, or what are some positive trends you're seeing in customer experience at that level? Anything you have to share about that? Yeah, so I think I can share one, you know, one pretty direct insight and the class that I taught at Temple I was leading in complex organizations. Okay, it was. It was sort of a core, core class for the for the professional NBA program which was the part time professional NBA students, working adults, and everything we're talking about all traces back to fundamentally sound leadership. I don't care if you're talking about customer experience or marketing or sales or the concepts, all sort of trace back to the same place. Okay, and you know, it's sort of goes in conjunction with the previous question about how do you avoid some of those pitfalls? Well, it's easy to say good leadership can avoid a lot of these pitfalls. It's not good marketing leadership or good sales leadership, it's just good leadership. One of the ways that we found, in probably the best way to sort of tie it back in with the lessons that I taught a temple, is this idea of there's no better way to change behavior, there's no better way to move people than to move laterally, not top down. The top down organization is fundamentally poor. Twenty one century leadership methodology. It's just just doesn't work right. We're working in Matrix organizations, you're working with an employee based it's more empowered than they ever have been, or at least they were before a couple of weeks ago. But the organization that can drive change in a matrix influence based way are the ones. They are going to be more nimble, more responsive and are going to have smaller gaps and execution. The delution that we talked about solutions just another way of saying gap and execution.

So you know that. I would say that's one thing that I in reference to my experience through higher education, is a lot of the challenges that we face right now as marketers and otherwise really comes back to just fundamentally sound not just leadership, but twenty one century leadership really good. The Matrix piece is the key to moving forward. It's interesting to think about how many businesses are still operating in a very traditional, tap down manner and I would assume that you would agree with my speculation that they're going to struggle to recruit and retain the best people. Not only that, it's we've we work with a lot of companies that are more traditional, the older school type of industries, a lot of manufacturing businesses and things like that. And you know, one of the things that we found is people always do the blame the millennials game. All it's the millennials or you know, their force in the hand on this it. I always say millennials. All they did was they made it okay to want the things that all employees want. They just they just weren't willing to take no for an answer. They wanted to be treated with respect. They believed in a pat on the back is worth as much as as a bonus in your paycheck and in some cases it's worth even more. We know, we've seen. You know, I had a gentleman is late s of sales up one time, stand up and say I've got a couple years left doing this and I'm going to go out the right way. The stuff you're talking about. This is the way I want to leave, this is the way I want to, you know, be as a professional and I'm getting on board because the people, people are fundamentally the same, whether they're millennials or boomers, and I just give credit to millennials for kind of kicking through the door and saying we're not going to compromise the things that matter to us as individuals really, really good, and I appreciate that so much. We've had a couple of millennial conversations on here and in on the show, and they typically point back to what you just shared there, which is they're just regular people too and they're just changing some of the norms today, which is fantastic. Folks are listening and you enjoyed this conversation. You might also enjoy episode thirty nine with Lanson Levi from Dutch Bros coffee. That one is about company culture as your competitive edge, and one of my earlier conversations with my longtime friend Kurt Bartolich on episode eight. Take care of your brand and it will take care of you. He's all about brand conservancy and protecting what's good about it. Christopher, before I let you go, I'd like to know two things from you. First, is someone who is actually more than two things, but I'd love to give you the chance to thank or mention someone who's had a positive impact on your life, for your career. Yeah, I appreciate the opportunity to do that, so I'm going to I'm going to take a moment and recognize somebody who's become a really dear friend and mentor to myself and my business partners. His name is Dr Frank Sespidis and and Dr sespodus is a senior lecturer at Harvard Business School and I want to say with two thousand and fourteen. Two Thousand and fourteen he released a book called Aligning Strategy and sales and we read the article in Hbr that was sort of, you know, hyping up the book and we bought the book right away, like a week after it had come out, and I sent Dr Sespidus and email at like thirty one night and by thirty I had an email back from him saying I'd love to talk to you. I you know, sure be happy to find some time. And and here we are, you know, almost six full years later, and Dr Sespitus is helped lead us into we merged a prior practice with it, with another firm that he had some contacts with. He's helped us build the thesis and really see through the beginning of interview as we've sort of taken what we knew from the past and started up again. But just very generous with his time and truly a testament to Harvard business school and the in the horse power that they have with their faculty there. It's unbelievable, fantastic story. I really appreciate that so much. I think so many of us who are consuming ideas and information, whether it's through podcasts or videos or books or articles or whatever, are so hesitant, I...

...think, to reach out to people, even when, like I make my email address available on every conversation I have. You know what, I'm in your seat and it's so funny how infrequently anyone takes advantage of it. And you know, just like millennials, are employees with just different norms. You know, these people are just doing their own work. They love their work, they're proud of their work, I would assume, in most cases, just like we want our employees to be proud of our companies, in our brands and what we stand for, that so many people are willing to engage. But that's just above and beyond. I love it. How about a company that you really respect for the way they deliver for you as a customer? You know, I always use examples when I'm doing sessions with clients. I always talk about the Nordstrom effect, you know I talked about and I know that's one of the ones that comes out frequently. I don't want to be unoriginal, but you know, I look at Nordstrum and say, you know, the exercise that I do is, you know, have a group of employees or leaders in a room and I'll say, okay, who's ever shopped at Nordstrum? Okay, three cores of the room an it's go up. WHO's ever left in nordstrum and spent less money than they anticipated? No hands go up. Okay, you always spend more. WHO's ever left in nordstrum unsatisfied? No hands go up. Right. So you know, with that illustrates to me is people don't need to apologize for delivering products and services that meet the needs and wants of their of their customers. So many times, frontline employees. This is where I talked about the idea of belief. People at Nordstrom really believe that they're doing you a service. They believe that they're helping you. They believe that finding you that right suit and write shirt for that job interview or for that client meeting, they really believe they're serving you, not selling you, and that belief is so critical. So many organizations have people that really rob the customer and the company of a larger transaction, a more fruit for relationship, so to speak, because they're not willing to go that extra mile. The people in Orchtrom do and they deliver for their customers. People don't walk away and feel like they were sold, they walk away and fault like, feel like they were helped. So I'll call out norch from as a brand that really seems to do this well. Good one. The the idea of the belief held and shared by each employee that they are doing something of real value and it gives a sense of purpose and it gives you that sense of pride that you've been talking about throughout the conversation, and so that's a great example to end on. Christopher. Someone wants to follow up with you. They want to learn more about interview. Where would you send people? Yeah, so you mentioned given the personal email. I'd encourage anybody to reach out to me directly. I am see Wallace Walll Ace at interview group. Now it's inner as in looking inside, looking at your inner self. I and Er view not like a job interview, but it's interview Groupcom and then another great place to find me is linkedin Chris Wallace at interview group in the Philadelphia Area. So I have to caution people. I have a very common name. It's not a rare aim. So if you are looking for me, look for interview group and look in Philadelphia, you'll find me. Awesome, I have found you there. I'm pleased to be connected. I appreciate your time so much. Really appreciate what you're doing with interview. It's obviously critically important and I think it's you know, the more people that you serve, the more satisfied and joyful employees I think we'll have. Well, I appreciate the opportunity and it's been a great conversation. Cool. Thanks so much. Of course, clear communication, human connection, higher conversion, these are just some of the benefits of adding video to the messages you're sending every day. It's easy to do with just a little guidance. So pick up the official book rehumanize Your Business. How personal videos accelerate sales and improve customer experience. Learn more in order today at Bombombcom Book. That's bomb bombcom book. Thanks for listening to the customer experience podcast. Remember...

...the single most important thing you can do today is to create and deliver a better experience for your customers. Continue Learning the latest strategies and tactics by subscribing right now in your favorite podcast player, or visit Bombombcom podcast.

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