The Customer Experience Podcast
The Customer Experience Podcast

Episode · 2 years ago

76. When Customer Experience Becomes An Existential Experience w/ Todd Hockenberry

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Our ideas about customer experience have probably changed drastically due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Customer experience is no longer just about getting value from a service or experience. It’s actually about helping each other survive.

 

When customer experience is that essential to keeping our livelihoods and lives safe, we have to revisit its deepest foundation: relationships.

 

In this episode, I interview Todd Hockenberry, Consultant, Advisor, and Coach at Top Line Results, about customer centricity and inbound organization.

 

What we talked about:

 

- Alignment is actually about teamwork

 

- True customer-centricity means knowing more about the customer than they know about themselves

 

- A traditional playbook is just frustrating your reps & customers

 

- We are all connected, and no one can succeed alone

 

Check out this resource we mentioned during the podcast:

 

- Dan’s book is Inbound Organization

 

- His coauthor Dan Tyre was also a guest on the Customer Experience Podcast

 

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.

The reality is, for the vast majority of companies, you have to create this experience that's fundamentally different than your competition, because there's no other way to differentiate. 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. Today we're talking internal alignment and inbound organizations. We're talking mission, culture and strategy, customer centricity and customer experience. Our guest is a CO author of an excellent book that speaks very directly to the entire purpose of this podcast. That Book Inbound Organization. How To build and strengthen your company's future using inbound he's a marketing consultant, advisor and coach at top line results. He helps be to be leaders, drive growth, align with buyers, build sales and marketing strategies and develop the mindset to grow. Todd Hockenberry, welcome to the customer experience podcast, Ethan. It's my pleasure to be here. It's a long time coming. I'm glad to be here. Me Too, like as we were talking before we hit record. You know, we've seen each other and kind of known each other for some time and it's nice to finally can that directly and I'm looking forward to the conversation. Hey, we're recording this in like early to mid April. Won't release for a while, but just because we can't ignore it. You're an Orlando, I mean Colorado Springs. I'm just wondering what's the coronavirus pandemic situation in Orlando? How is it affecting you or your family or your customers? Like kind of what's going on? Well, even Orlando obviously is. It's shocking. Something like sixty eight million people visitor Orlando last year, which is the most visited city in the world, which is hard to believe. So that is ground to a sandstill. And I promise you I will never complain about traffic ever again in my life because I was used to it was natural. All, I hate traffic at a weight, but traffic equals activity, so I never I guess I never really connected the dots that well to that. I just would like to complain, so I'll never complain about that again. People are hurting right now down here. Disney's laying off the big the hotels are something like ten capacity, when usually they'd be at ninety five percent capacity. Now we're losing the one of the biggest tourist times of the year here. So a lot of our friends were seeing layoffs and being let go. So that's that's tough. Not sure when the hospitality industry's going to bounce back. I think it's going to take a little while so so that's a little tough here. Locally, personally, we're fine. Kids are home. got a daughter in college. She's back so it's nice to have everybody in the house and they can do distance learning pretty well, so that's not too bad. Clients Wise, we're doing mind. We haven't lost any business. Our clients. We tend to do a lot of industrial and manufacturing and it's actually pretty strong. I hopefully get into a couple of my client situations later. They are actually doing better because they're busier because they're dealing with mission critical situations, so there's some urgency there. So it's kind of a mixed bag. We've been okay. I actually landed a couple new clients this week and and I'll tell you why is. We get going here, but so so far, so good. But yeah, we recognize this as a pretty strange time and I think there's there's a lot of difficulties that a lot of people are going to see. He's for sure, yeah, very uneven effects. I do appreciate that silver lining of more face time with my wife and my son than than ever really, and my son's loving distance learning because he can do it at his own pace and he has like more free time than normal. and honestly, I think as soon as any of these orders are lifted, Disney's going to be jam packed because people are probably itching and desperate to, you know, like satisfy that unmet need that's maybe being pent up. Why? I...

...don't know it. I don't know Ethan. I there's there's a lot of us have talked about that. We're not sure what's going to happen. I think there's I'm not sure I go. I mean, I'm just being kid. I'm not sure I'm interesting good one. Yeah, I'm not sure I would go sit in the stadium right now for a sporting event, which I love, or go to a concert, which I love. I don't know. I mean not that I'm super afraid of getting it, it's more that I don't know. I wouldn't want to be the guy who was carrying it infecting other people. So again, I think we need to we need to be reasonable about it. I think there's some a lot of common sense things we can do. I do think there's going to be some hesitants to get back to normal that fast. I think it'll come back into you know, in the fall, hopefully over the winner. Maybe. Again, I won't predict because you read everything and I'm you're always wrong. But I do think there's going to be pent up demand for a lot of things. I think there's opportunities for people to think about how to experience things like Disney in a different way and those are the opportunities that I think are going to change the way people look at look at entertainment, for sure, and lots of other industries. That's the opportunity of this. Yeah, there is going to be a lot of models will change and I'm sure Disney's already hard at work on that right like, you know, the movie theaters, for example. We won't spend too much more time on this. But the movie theaters, for example, decided to take whatever was going to continue to be a like a first round release and figure out how to release it, you know, straight to homes, and charge differently for it and all of that. And so business models will change to meet whatever opportunity is available. So let's get into it properly. I always like to start because I'm talking with people with a wide variety of experience here on the show and wide variety of perspectives and areas of expertise, and so I'd love to know from you, todd, when I say customer experience, what does that mean to you? Actually is changed in the last three weeks? For me, to be honest with you, customer experience used to me, and when we wrote the book in Down Organization with my good friend Dan tire, it meant kind of the sum total of expectations of all touch points along the process, from marketing through sales, through delivery, training, on Boarding Service, whatever you want to call it. That's still the case. I still think customer experience is extraordinary valuable, but I think the customer experience has changed for me in this that that there's as opposed to just talking about getting value from a product or service. It's almost become this existential thing now, whereas I can you help me survive? Can you help me get through this next six months? Can you help my business keep customers, not necessarily even get new customers, just keep the ones I have and maintain my my business? Can I stay above water? Right? That's what we're seeing, and I think it's a different level of understanding your customer, putting yourself in their shoes, being empathetic and really developing a value proposition that makes sense, that can hold up two difficult times like now. I think there's another layer on there that wasn't there a month ago, at least for most companies in the US. And if you are sending emails right now, for example, to your your contact list, your prospect list, I am on subscribing at a record pace lately from email. So just because you can do it doesn't mean you should do it. And on the other hand, though, I've got one client here, or and Orlando, that deals with the stored fuel, which is a really Nice, fun obscure thing to do. But if you're a hospital or you're a government agency, your cranking up generators that haven't been used for months or years and you've got tanks full of fuel that have it could potentially have issues. So they've all of a sudden become really valuable to making sure that field hospital you're setting up or the emergency prep workers that need to be out in the field work and hard have fuel to power up their vehicles or power up these generators. Well, what they did was, instead of sending the same old covid nineteen email that everybody is sending, they sent this out. They said, we know you're...

...busy right now, we know you have issues and we know you're starting up these generators and using the stored fuel. We will come on site for you free. We will test your fuel and make sure it works and it's good and it doesn't have contamination like bacteria or water in it, just to make sure you don't lose any time getting your operations up to speed. No strings attached, just tell us will show up and test your fuel. Guess what the phone was Ringgan, come on out, we need your help, right. And so the experience was being epathetic, understanding, helpful, mission critical, giving away something for free. All sound like good inbound things, right. But knowing when to do it right and knowing who to do that for. So again, I think it's just deepening for me this this idea of customer experience is deepening in this this time, because the companies that don't do it well or aren't thinking about me or being helpful first, I'm going to remember and I'm not going to be happy about it when when things settled down. Yeah, I feel like a theme there is is true partnership, a true exchange of value, not just the extraction of a credit card number or the return of an invoice paid, but a true partnership and a long term relationship. And it's really interesting. The idea of the broader circumstance really kind of fundamentally shifting or adding an important new layer to your perspective, because customer experience was an important theme in in bound organization. I'd like to spend another minute on it, specifically around your thoughts on it being the most important or maybe the ultimate differentiator. Do you think that is true, and if so, why? Absolutely, absolutely, it's it hasn't changed that sense, right. I mean products are there's parity. I can buy anything that I want right, and I can buy it from all over the world. I can buy from a hundred different vendors. Right. This is why your customer experience starts with the phone call or the message or the email, right. Or if you don't have chat today, right, I'm a I'm asking cut tell my clients get chat right now. Get it today. If you don't have it, if you can't staff it, outsources to somebody that can pick up the phone or answer those talk and talk to people immediately. Don't let them go find five other options in two minutes with a search. Don't let him do it. Be there in every possible way you can be there. So it is still the core differentiator because, again, product pricing, you don't have it. You don't have differentiation on your product and your designs aren't that great and your software is not all that better than the seventeen other options I can buy. It just isn't and you have to create differentiation and in different ways. You can do it in on a on a branding level, but you can create branding around your company mission and your vision and who you are. and Think about like Nike with Colin Kaepernick. Super controversial, but they did it for a reason because they knew their core audience. That would resonate with them right, and they were strengthened in their brand with their core audience. Me, I'm not their core audience. So, you know, may have annoyed me, but they didn't care because I wasn't their core buyer. But think about what they're selling. Tennis shoes. Really, is there any real differentiation in tennis shoes? I doubt it. I mean maybe at the high level of your an Olympic athlete or you're a Competi competic, but for a guy like me, I'm just walking on the name of my dogs. There's no differentiations shootes. So the reality is for the vast majority of companies you have to create this experience that's fundamentally different than your competition because there's no other way to differentiate. Do you just to follow up there, do you feel like brand experience and customer experience are synonymous? Really? Your response triggered that question for me. Some people see them as synonymous, some people see them differently. It's a semantic argument. Even if you ask me, Yep right, if you say it's branding, is this it's it's your your logo and your swoosh, your content, right it's all the same. It's all one thing. We Mash it up in our heads and you know, when you walk into an apple store, you get a certain sense. Is that...

...branding? Of course it is. They're telling you something about who they are and what they want to communicate. Who you are, right. That's real branding, right. But it's telling you when they're telling you who you are or they're resonating or reflecting what you are, you want to be, your aspirations, and then they tied into the rest of those touch points, the order process. This is a one of the kills me. Do you make it easy to give me money, right, or do I put up barriers to paying me? Right? Make It easy for me to buy? Is Your service good? Is Your is the you're getting, your email campaigns, your marketing, all of this matter. Your sales people, if you're marketing and sales, deliver one experience and then your service people deliver another. Again, you're reckon it right. It all matters. It's all brand, it's all customer experience. You can define it anyway you want, but I think that's it. It's the sum total of all those things. But I don't care what your logo looks like or how nicer story is. If you don't get back to me, if you don't answer my question, if you don't help me, you ruined it and I don't care about any that stuff. Right or disconnects, break it, friction will grind it down or send me away. All of that. I don't know that this is semantics, but I would love to do a little passage here where I just ask you to give thoughts on other related words that occurred off in the inbound organization and are often kind of up for grabs. Are Different people to find them or think about them differently. And I guess I'll start with alignment, just to go to your you know, sales and marketing or delivering one thing and ce us is to delivering another. You know, you got to disconnect. So alignment again, is one of the kind of things of the show, especially across those three organizations, all in service of the customer. So when I see alignment, does that mean anything in particular to you? Candidly, you than when I say that word myself, I want to slap myself. I feel like it's it. It rings hollow in my head. It feels like I'm sounding like an salt when I use it, so I tried not to. Really it's about communication, it's about team work, it's about making sure everybody's on the same page. I just threw you three more cliche so forgive me. But the the point of alignment is we ruin these words by overusing them so much. And you know, if you sell well, we need to have marketing and sales aligned. Everybody would say, well, of course we do, but realizes what does that mean? Where it is? Where's the rubber hit the road? There, where it actually means something to the people that are that are in those departments. So I think alignment's critical. But the Keelie and I think the week the point we try to make in the book was Inter departmental or inner departmental. Either is important in terms of alignment, but the real linement is the CEO, leader, founder down. I was at a company that everybody would know. Their name was a national publishing brand, and we had a meeting with about a hundred of their people in the room and the CEO was sitting there. All their senior leaders, all their marketing and sales managers were there and I asked him, I said, what's the mission of this company said it can. They may tell me the mission, the company, but houndred people. I knew what I was going to get. And the only person in the room that raised their hand, and who raised their hand? What do you think? Even the CMO, CEO, okay, Ceeo, rose it because he wrote it. Okay, no one else in the room knew it. Could, could cite it, could, could relate to it. That's Ligneman. You call it whatever you want. That's a disconnect. That's where the leadership says one thing and the team says another. And what happened was there was a huge disconnect between what the CEO said and what their sales seem said. And I'll give you one example of the misalignment. Heat they had this kind of a classic software sales process. You got a Betr, you've got a count executives and you got customer success. That the kind of the BEDR was a kind of a light bedr rollers just to try to get that initial appointment. It wasn't actually adding a whole lot of value. So I said to the CEO, I said, well, well, would you take a call from somebody that asked these kind of questions to set an appointment. Do you like that? When you set up an initial appointment, you talk somebody that doesn't actually add any value and you never talked to again. He's like no, I hate that process. So well, why you do it? You got a room full of people over here doing that. So that, to me is alignment, and that's where I see the big disconnects. Right it's sales and working need to...

...be aligned, but right now, the top down, that's the alignment I really go after with the clients that I work with right now. Interesting, probably a hot area and really good example in it reminded me to I think you all had a you and Dan had a passage on the golden rule of marketing, which is, you know, as you already said, why are why is your team doing something that you absolutely hate? Your your self? All right, how about customer centricity? It's the only way you can survive today. Right again, if your product isn't you can't differentiate on product or pricing or where your promotion strategy are, in those classic marketing things. Right, you've got you've got to understand them better than they they and oftentimes understand themselves. This is why today, right now, I hear a lot of sales people do in this in the middle of this mess, they're making a phone call or they're sending an email out and saying, how can we help you? Write. That sounds like a good question, that sounds Nice, sounds like I'm being customer centric. Oh, I want to help you, which you should, but that's wrong. Great, don't make them think you should know how you help them and start with that. Say immediately, I help, I can help you do this, this and this. How? When can we start? Or how do you want to get moving? Don't ask them how do you can help them, because that's like basically saying what keeps you up at night, which just makes you want to go to sleep. Right, right. It's not a good question. So assignment. You're exactly leveraging an assignment on to the onto the customer or problem. Do My job for me, make my life easy, and so I don't to think. And so your job is to know them better than they know themselves. And the why you should know them better than to know themselves. It's your should be talking to twenty three thousand and fifty a hundred other people just like them. This is the classic Persona Work Right, you should know and you should have a broader base in many ways of understanding because you're working with more people just like that and you should be able to go in and say, Hey, we're working with these other fifty companies and they're seeing this. Do you have this issue or can we help you with that issue? That's a whole different as a very simplistic way to do it, but you understand the point. It's if you're not thinking that way, in a very deep profound way, then you're not you're going to miss it. And I did a coaching call with about fifteen sales people earlier this week. It was a company I'd done a sales meeting with in February right before the travel stuff all stopped, and I was a follow up call with them to just fall up on some of the things we talked about in the sales meeting and I said to him, I said you know how some things going there like Oh, you know, there's not much going on right, our guys are slow. You know, we're not mission critical. And I said, well, okay, who needs what you do that is mission critical? This is fifteen salespeople, the sales manager, the marketing manager. Silence, like they didn't. They hadn't thought of it. Are you kidding me? It like your three weeks into a pandemic and you haven't nobody's thought about how you could help people that are really struggling right now. Is I was stunned. It was like, get off this phone call and go figure that out right now. That's your number one assignment. So it's just we're used to thinking product. Where used to thinking service or used to thinking software? We're it is hard. It's still hard to get out of your own head and think about customers. And I would I would give this test to your audience and I would say if you think your customer centered, and ninety percent of companies are going to say they are. But if you ask ninety per cent of those those companies, or if you ask those companies customers, like something like ten percent are going to say they're actually customer century. Look at your website. This is my by my platinum test. Look at your website. WHO's IT for? WHO's a talking to? Is it about your you ors it about them? And that's the test. If your if you can put if you're thinking website is is about them and you put it together in a way that helps show them how you can help their business, then you're probably more a customer centric than most, but that's the that's usually the test to get. I'm industrial manufacturing a lot of bb stuff, so there's still a lot of people that don't do that very well at all and it's an easy one for me often times. But I still think it's a good test. I think it's a good...

...test to and and in in that answer there's you're talking about. You know, this difference between here are three ways I can help you right now, versus how can I help you right now? It reminded me of you know, I've had a couple prior to joining bomb on. My ran marketing inside local television stations and we had a lot of we were consulted often and the value for the consultant was exactly what you did might the value I received was exactly as you described, which is they're not just talking to me as the marketing director at this local TV station and like making up, you know, solutions for me on the spot. They're traveling to thirty or forty other clients in between our last visit and bringing back the collected problems, opportunities perspectives and really understood what I was up against and had stories that could help me see my own work differently. It's just a totally different mindset, and so I love this idea of a Bedr or really anyone listening. But but the bd are just because that's the seat you were talking from. They're really being very intentional and conscientious about all of the conversations you're having, what you're picking up, the subtleties, in addition to kind of like the big obvious macro things, things that are true of the persona has written down on paper and things that maybe add some coloring or shading that are more interesting to what's written down on the persona piece of paper and using that to be of real value to the people that you're reaching out to. You mentioned TV there even I'm going to everybody in our space, right in our world, the the digital inbound world, we all say certain things. The sales process is fifty seven percent over before people call the sales people. I don't believe that. I wrote. It's in the book. I wouldn't write it again today. They also say traditional media is dead. I would argue with that too. I just went through a campaign with one of our clients in Illinois and they wanted to reach people that were building owners. They sold roofs. Okay. So the best way to reach people that so for roofs was not paid as was an inbound worketting. Wasn't content, wasn't social media, it was advertising on cubs games because they were all cubs fans. And I went there, I visit. I was in southern lily driving around and I can't tell you how many people I saw that had Chicago cubs logos on their barns or on the side or in their outbuildings. Right a lot of rural area, and I was like, I get it now, these guys are all cubs fans, they watch baseballs. That's how you reach it, right. But there is not one salesperson. There's not one, I guarantee. There's not one TV ad salesperson out there that connects the dots and says, HMM, you maybe you sell roofs. Okay, we have we can help you grow your business by selling add time. All they do is they think they sell ad time. What they're really selling is eyeballs for people who own buildings in rural areas, right, who needs that? They who owns, who owns farms, small towns? Right, connect the dots there. Now you're thinking customer century. And now of a sudden you can even make television ads seem like they're valuable, right, and they can be right for the right person at the right price for the you know, that's obviously not a small commitment, financial commitment, right, and so if you can land one of those deals there's a high return on it. So if you run a whole bunch of ads at a high cost, it might not work in some situations, but it may and others. And so the declaration of death of all kinds of things is usually a comedy routine, the way I read it, and it's usually to the case that it does turn out to be true, it's usually a decade or two too early, and in general it's a both and rather than an either or like that's done this is starting. It's usually a both and there's no question certain types of traditional media are nowhere near as effective as is they they have been in the past. I don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that and or they're over priced. Right, like they might still be valuable, just not at that price point right but it's it's my buddy Dan tires always says the riches or in the niches. And if you can niche out on audience that watches this type of television right, then great, you can use that or radio. Right, there's still there, still places,...

...but you've got to know right. You've got to know who your persona is. This this mass media thing wherever we're going to hit everybody with the same message. That doesn't work. But if you can get down to the niche and you can get down to the persona and the target audience, then then I'm always agnostic when it comes to tactics. I could care less what the tactics are. I want to know what works. I want to know what my client wants to put their audience is actually going to consume. That's what I'm going to use. Yeah, it's good. It's no reason to throw anything out without figuring out the goal and some of the various ways you can get there. Okay, last one here in this little passage and then we're going to get that. I'm I got some quotes from the book for You. Right back into your book to get at the ideas and maybe a speed round style, but the last word that I would love your thoughts on is personalization. Yeah, the personalization is again it's heading for the market of one right, where this personalization tokens and emails are Nice, those kind of things are that's not personalization right. Real personalization is going to happen when I can pick the customer experience I want, that I can go along the buying path I choose. Now, again, in consumer products and things like software, like what you do, you it's easier to do that it is in something, to say, like a large piece of capital equipment. But even so there's multiple a new ways to sell or to consume, even things like capital equipment that didn't exist ten years ago, even five years ago. So I'm going to be able to pick my experience. I'm going to be able to pick the pacing that I want to go. I either I want to do facetoface meetings or I want to do zoom meetings, or I wanted to chat communication, I would do phone communications. I'm going to pick the way I want to engage with you and I'm going to personalize the process. That doesn't mean again, buyers won't need help. I think the idea that inbound is about eliminating sales people is an erroneous one and I think in bounds got a little bit of a bad rap in certain circles because of it. It sales people are more important when it comes in bound. Right. In bound to me is that you get to be found when they look or when they need you. But when they find you, then you are an expert and you guide them through the process. They may not know how to go from Point A to point B, they don't know how to get all the stakeholders internally aligned. They don't know how to evaluate all the different options or the competitors. Your job is a salespersus help them do that. No, no one article, no one thing's going to solve that for a complex sale. If you've got a transactional sale, fine, you could probably be a hundred percent inbound. Go digital ads, never talk to a human being. And if you're over here on the curve and complexity, it's going to be far less in bound and way more kind of traditional sales where you think about like network solutions for software for companies or again, to mention capitalquipment, which is when I handle a lot. Right there's a lot of moving parts there. Nope. People make research, say a million dollar laser system online, but they're not going to buy it because they saw a blog post were your white paper was amazing. Where do I sign? It's not going to have it. You got to get engineering involved, plant management, the electrical guys, the production guys, the product is there's a bunch of stakeholder. So that's not in bound. Right, inbounds going to affect that. They're the ideas of inbound should influence that process. Sharing content, helping for free self service content, again being helpful. First, all the principles we talked about are still there. But it's still going to be very complex sale and it's going to have it's going to take a long time, it's going to have a lot of stakeholders. Right. So there's still a huge opportunity for sales people to act like their inbound and apply it to those complex situations, which is what I love to do. That's my thing that I like to work on. I don't like the transaction so much, I like the complex. Love it. I and the one thing I really appreciate about what you did with personalization. There's so many people think of it where you started, which is my emails or, you know, my messaging, but you took it immediately to the experience level of how can we make this experience personalized? All right, so inbound organization. I love the book. I actually had Dan on the...

...show and talked about it. I'm excited to have you. I tried to do this as a lightning round with Dan and you can predict how that at how that worked out and folks can here not episode forty. So I'm going to try similar and so just give me like your quick we're sponse to when I give you a line from from the book that you authored. Just give me a couple thoughts on it. You got it from the open. You don't want to find people who fit the culture, you want to find people who add to it. That's real diversity. If you ask me, great, right. You said short answers. That was I gave you a Bab you one prak yeah, okay, I want I want to I want to see diversity of opinions and ideas and thought processes in the way they look at the world. That's really going to drive your culture right. Frame it up, give him a frame people, a framework for people to work in. Given the guard rails and let him run. Love it, and that's that is like a really nice add to the additive piece there at the end. Okay, from the regarding content, the value people get from your content is related to the amount of thought you put into it. Great quote from I think it was David McCullough, one of my favorite historians. I love historical writing. He said writing is thinking and I love that quote because you have to think first. You anybody can write, anybody can put things down the paper, but to real writing, which is content, is about really about what your message is, and so it really requires you to think. And that gets back to all the other things we were just talked about, customer centricity and pathetic. Put yourself on their shoes, right, and that's probably one of the reasons we so see so much bad content. If your sales reps are still using a traditional sales playbook, you may be frustrating your prospects and customers. My goodness, ONS, the last time you got a cold Koe Ethan I'm going to watch on my phone is nowhere, but I get tons of cold emails and tons of cold linkedin messages. Well, we all hate the colde emails, right so somebody's running that playbook and they don't work. But my my favorite is the is, the is the cold calls. I love cold calls. I answer them because I want to hear what people are being taught, and they're being taught this. Hello, is this todd my answer is this. I say, what's the name on your call sheet? They stop, they go what, and they say well, how are you today? I said, you don't really care. That's my answer. Like they have no response, they're done, and it's like that's somebody who's running a traditional playbook. They put a bunch of people in a room and said follow the script. And you're annoying me by a calling me number one, and then you're annoying me twice by saying what my name is, what you already know, and second of all, you don't care how I am wasting my time again. Get to the point, have a value proposition to be able to communicate it quickly. If I'm interested, I'll say that's interesting, tell me more, but your I don't even let you get there. If you run that old playbook, and so many people still run those old garbage playbooks. That's why I break it up. Love it, I appreciate the passion there too. Okay, kind of sales service here. Your Service Organization is more important than your sales organization when it comes to generating net new customers. Yep, well again we live in the I just interviewed Mark Shaffer, who just came up with a fabulous book marketing rebellion. Check out his book, and he talked about this a lot, and David Meir Rescott's new book fancocracy also talks about this a lot. Your customers, ratings, reviews, they become your best sales people because people trust third party generated content. So if your service people weren't taking care of them, your third party content stinks, your ratings are bad, so therefore you're not getting there's that new customers. It's that simple. Your service people may better take care of them, because those customers should be your best salespeople. Awesome. You'll love this quote from just a recently released episode with Ed Brial the the cmoda digital asset management company called a Primo, and he told me, when I interviewed him from the show, that he had to Mantras for two thousand and twenty and I'll just give you one of them and his is the customer is the new...

...marketer and he's just trying to take this in and kind of operationalize it in some kind of a new, more developed way. Okay, service, for most modern buyers, self service is excellent service. Well, we work seven all kind of weird hours and times. Right, if I'm going your website and I want to see how to solve a problem or get some certain information, I want to be able to get that quickly. Again, if it gets more complex, I want to be able to find the right person and have that connected to that person quickly. Don't put me in the here's another old playbook. Please listen to all these options, because there are menus recently changed and you have to listen to this foolish menu, or the other one is where this is being recorded for quality purposes. Give me a break. It's see why purposes. It's not quality purposes. And so again those are the old playbooks and those are killing self service. It makes me want to just scream when I hear those see those things make it easy for me to get to the people I want right. Use The classic website navigation idea that you should have everything within three clicks. There's every service touch point you offer the equivalent of three clicks away from the answer shoot for something like that. Yeah, now, they're nice practical rule here that you've that you've offered last one, and this was from the close. We are all connected and no one can succeed alone. Well, it's that's more poignant than ever right now in the middle of this mess. And Yeah, this is a tough time and I think that the companies that understand how how to be human and be understanding and empathetic and not self serving are the ones that win. And I will tell you another one. I'm going to go out on a limb here on this one, and that the companies that treat their employees right through this process are going to be the ones that win. Number One, your employees do the exact same thing we just talked about with customers. Employees tell other people how it is to work for you and if you treated them poorly, if you let them go, if you if you as the first opportunity, you cut a bunch of your people, that's going to be online. It's going to be on things like glass door. They're to tell their friends. It's going to hurt you and frankly, if I know personally, if I know you treat your employees that way, I'm not coming back. Because now's the time when we need to pull together and say I'm going to do a little extra for my players, I'm going to take care of them, I'm going to ask more of them maybe, but I'm also going to take care of companies that do that. It should be the ones that win and they rightfully should be recognized for doing it so good. In you know, we often talk about the employee experience as a necessary precursor of an excellent customer experience, and it's really interesting to think about. You know, up to this point. We'll see how it all shakes out, but especially in kind of competitive industries and hard to find talent, you have to market your organization essentially and create employee experiences and build into the employee the same way you need to go to market for your customers. Customers and employees, to me, or like breathing and eating. You got to do both. They're not the same, they're both critical. You can't live without them, right. Yeah, so it's not a matter of one or the other, or first or second, it's they're both important. Yeah, I did, but I think historically we've probably taken the employee relationship for granted, whereas the customers, you know, always been in the conversation. All right, before we go to a couple fun closing elements, I would love, I know you you think about and talk a lot about mindset, and so I just love for you to kind of, you know, tea it up nice and easy for you hit it wherever you want to go. You know, why is mindset so important and what? What's maybe a mindset tip that people listening can take away? Well, I guess. I guess the mindset piece that's so critical is it ultimately comes back as to why you're there you. Are you there for yourself? Are you if you're the leader of a business or your league, of a group or division or even a team? Are you there for yourself? Are you there for your ego? Are you there for your own monetary game,...

...or you there for your own career? Are you there for whatever selfish reason you can think of? Or you there to contribute to other people? And I think this is just a fundamental human thing. Right. There's givers and takers, and the the givers will win, the takers will be found out and in the world, that the the we're living in now and the world that we're moving forward to, the people that are that care about others first, that put others ahead of themselves. These are not new ideas. E. Think these go way back and the people that think of others first and put the success of other people first would be the ones that do well. And, frankly, it's just the right way to live. And again, all the stuff that's going on right now, I think the mindset of people first over profits. I mean, you got to profits, I know, I get it, but there's a time and there's a place and there's a way to grow business in a way that also grows people and is helpful to people both inside the company and out, and that's the mindset leaders have to have. And and it's hard when it's the survival question right though. It's me versus them, but they're surviving and they're surviving. So I think, you know, I'd go back to classical literature. This is even marketing stuff right. I'm going back to without getting too philosophical with you, I'd go back to kind of classic literature about why we're here. Think about you know what what what our purposes here, and very rarely is it going to be to make money. So find that core purpose, tie back into that. People to really really understand that and live that are going to be the ones that, I think, you're going to see the most success. Awesome, that's fantastic. I encourage folks to hit the bounce back on it and, especially with those open questions, be honest with yourself, you know, as I was trying is as following along with your questions for myself as like yeah, a little bit, yeah, a little bit. I mean I definitely have selfish motivations and that's okay. I just need to be aware of them and to think about, you know, how I'm making my decisions and what my real motivations are. As, as you know, feelings become thoughts become the actions, and that's just beautiful. I'm really encouraged by your future. Thank you. I hope it comes to pass. I live it every day. I'm I've been very blessed and I've I've had a just passed eleven years with our business top line results, and it's my wife and I, so it's a joy every day to work together and I've just love it. I love working with her and work with my daughters and my business and and lots of great people. So we're helping each other and we're trying to help our clients the best we can and we just do that and the more we do that, the more successful we are. When I start thinking about money or aren't trying to think about closing the big deal. That's what I don't get them interesting. It's so good and I just think it's just so fundamentally attractive. I think that's how you attract good team members. Obviously yours have some level of commitment just baked in by the fact that that some of them your family members. But you know, I do think good good attracts good. Like attracts like and it builds on it on itself, and so that's awesome. Love it. I'm so glad I asked that. So for folks who enjoyed this conversation, of course, I had todd's co author, Dan Tire on episode forty of this podcast and that one was called the biggest transformation and prospecting in thirty years. We ended up talking a lot about video, in simple videos places some of our typed out text and then a couple episodes later I had Sangramvagere, who's the cofounder and chief of angelist determinus, and we talked about five ways internal alignment can elevate your customer experience. So we were a bit more inward facing, we were a little bit more culture and process and alignment oriented in that conversation. So you'll enjoy those two. So, todd, this is great. I'm so glad we're able to spend time together. I have a few more things, though, before I let you go. I always like, because relationships are our number one core value among five, I like to give you the chance to think or mention someone who's had a positive impact on your life or your career. What we've been talking about. Dan Tire from hub spot. I'll mention Dan because it was I...

...learned so much from him. Were working on the book together and he is just such a universally insistently positive, uplifts being person. I told you I just did a conversation. I had a conversation with Dan another person this morning and he spent the first three minutes telling the other person how great I was, and I said there's only other person in the world that does that. As my mom and she doesn't even do it as much as Dan, and he's part of it's a bigger piece there. And the companies I appreciate. Hub Spot, who's connected we're Dan Works, is also one I really appreciate, having worked with them for over ten years and seeing their response to the this situation, how they've come out with new products and I can see some things on the back end how they're really trying to take care of customers and do the right thing. That's impressive and he's a big part of that. And so those two the company in person, are big ones. There's lots of other ones, but they has been a special friend and mentor and a coach and and just a lot of things, and so it was a great opportunity write a book with them because we got to spend a lot of time together, and so Dan was a big influence on me, for sure. Awesome and I really enjoyed it. I guess I should have recorded it. We were talking a little bit about how that project came together between the two of you and has a pleasure and in what you offered there. What a great example of you know, leading by giving, you know, spending three minutes propping you up like for no particular reason except that he likes to give credit where it's due. So, besides hub spot, do you maybe want to give mentioned to a company that you really appreciate or enjoy or respect for the experience that they that they deliver for you as a customer? This is going to be kind of odd. My doctor. I'm excited already. Who you don't? Nobody, you want. I can know my doctor. But they have, they have. First of all, they already had figured out how to set up appointments correctly, give me a portal online to get all of my information in one place. They figured out. I don't know how they did. It's a miracle. They figure out how to actually get me into the office when I was scheduled. I don't know how they do it. I think they actually learn how to keep a schedule. What a concept, right. So I was already thrilled like that. They you know, I get there, I give the information, I'm in the office, I'm in the room within a minute or two, like never sit there. It's great. Everything's digital. I don't have paperwork, they any prescriptions or whatever, all automatically. Those the farmers it's all set up super easy. Then in this mayhem, they went to tell a medicine and now we're doing you can do these kind of things. I have. I luckily I haven't had any reason too, but they immediately switch to tell a medicine like that. And so that, to me, is a small business that is flexible and it's thinking about their customers, thinking about the concerns I might have in a time of uncertainty and giving me options and really great ways to connect. And I think that's the message for any company, doesn't matter if you're a solo preneur or a giant company. Now's the time to pivot and really think about what those other people want and and those are the people, those are the companies that are going to really I'm going to remember, we're all going to remember great powerful story there, because that's all customer experience in like exceeding expectations. That mean. It's shocking how low that expectation was of like am I going to you know, for my my appointments at two? Am I going to get in it to thirty or two hundred and forty five or what I like? That's a very low expectation, but the idea that no one beats it. Rarely beats it except for this this team. Here's my favorite. You go into the doctor's office or the dentist or whoever, and they say, if you miss an appointment, we're going to charge you thirty. Right, but yet I'll sit there for an hour, my rate higher than thirty an hour. You're going to give me, pay me for my hour you wasted. Heck now, right, I will say, just for just so you can feel some kinship. Sharon Torik, who is a an attorney, marketing law attorney, intellectual property attorney, I had her on. We talked about things that you're marketing team is doing that maybe illegal, and she took the opportunity to prop up her dentist's office and the language there was around concierge...

...style service from her dentist's office. So I've only heard that. I've asked this of dozens and dozens of people, maybe more than seventy, and so I've only had what other answer quite like yours. So for folks and enjoy this conversation. Tad, if they want to follow up with you or topline results or the manufacturing show that you host or inbound organization. Where some places you would send people if they enjoyed this conversation? Well, thanks for offering the easiest place to find all that is at our website, top line resultscom, or you can just google todd hockenberry. I'm on you'll find pull up a bunch of stuff. I'm on Linkedin. I'll to connect with you there and I do a podcast called the manufacturing show and it's really focused on the industrial and manufacturing world and love you to check that out as well. And there's also a site for the book in bound Organizationcom. Lots of Info there too. Awesome, Tad, thank you so much for your time. I really appreciate it. I absolutely love the book. I really appreciate your approach to work into life and I appreciate you sharing it here on the customer experience podcast. Ethan my pleasure. Thank you for allowing to be on the show. Cool. Have a good afternoon. 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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