The Customer Experience Podcast
The Customer Experience Podcast

Episode 139 · 7 months ago

139. Building Customer-Centric Innovation Into Your Company Culture w/ Dennis Geelen


If you can combine customer-centricity and innovation as a cultural mindset pervasive throughout your company, then you’ve really got a recipe for long-term success.

In this episode, I interview Dennis Geelen, Founder at Zero In and author of The Zero In Formula, about building customer-centric innovation into the company's cultural mindset.

Dennis and I also talked about:

- The 3 main components of customer experience

- Why indifference, not hate, is the opposite of love

- All things CCI and how it affects culture

- Calculating the lifetime value of your customers

- Reducing hunger and raising community love

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If you have in different customers,they have no high, positive or negative emotion towards you and your brands.They're just completely indifferent towards you, you got a huge problem. The singlemost important thing you can do today is to create and deliver a better experiencefor your customers. Learn how sales, marketing and customer success experts create internalalignment, 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.If you want to build a brand that customers crave and if you want tobuild a company that people are passionate to work for, you must annihilate indifference. That's the position of today's guest, who's a customer experience and Innovation Consultant, author and speaker. He's the founder of zero in, a boutique consultingfirm that helps organizations become his customer centric and innovative as possible. His book, the zero in formula, lays out the path and draws on several ofmy favorite influences, including the customer centricity playbook from Peter Fader and Sarah Toms. The experience economy from Joe Pine and Jim Gilmore, and the jobs tobe done framework from Clayton Christiansen, prior to starting his own consultancy. Today'sguest held management and leadership positions in a nonprofit and insurance company any and anenterprise software company, Dennis Geal, and welcome to the customer experience podcast.Thanks so much for having me from this is great. Yeah, I reallyenjoyed the book and and I look forward to getting into it. There's somany awesome themes in there. It's obviously customer experience. When we're talking customercentricity and innovation, we really are talking about experience and experience design. Thereare also themes of human centered design and design thinking in there. So I'mreally excited where this is going to go. But before we even get into cxat any level or customer centricity or innovation, you are involved in thecowartha fakes food source for several years. I would love for you, becauseit's a passion of mine as well, here locally in Colorado Springs with thecare and share food bank for Southern Colorado, talk about the importance of reducing hungerin our communities. So important. I mean there's such a a widerange of economic factors of people's places and where they're at in their jobs insociety and the most basic needs of food and shelter. I mean, howcan we deny those two people? So a real passion of mine to beinvolved in the food source for many years and just see that we were deliveringthat basic need to people within the community. Awesome, you know, when Iwhen I listen to podcasts, when I host podcast when I get toread books like yours and have conversations with the people whose minds and experience hasgenerated the entire thing. You know, we're obviously operating somewhere higher up maslow'shierarchy of needs and it's so important to constantly stay grounded in the basic needsof hours that have been met. I know might have been met through goodfortune of, you know, being born in a relatively well developed nation.Say What we will about the states or Canada, where you are, andto parents who are able to provide for me and it like it's a justI agree. It's just such an absolute basic need and I think the morewe can do to a stay mindful of it but then be more importantly,act in order to help others is awesome. So I appreciate all the work thatyou did there and your shared values. They're so moving into kind of theformal part of the conversation customer experiences, where we always start on this show. I've asked this question to well over a hundred experts such as yourself, and I love seeing where the the answers converge and diverge from one another. So for you, when I say customer experience, Dennis, what doesthat mean to you? And it's Phoenicians say that because you've asked a hundredpeople and you've probably got a hundred slightly...

...different answers. Right, and Ithink I mentioned that in the book as well. If you Google customer,customer experience, you're going to get a very wide variety of answers. Butto me it boils down to three main different definitions. There's just the definitionof the work experience itself. When you experience something, you're having some sortof emotional attachment with something you've you've had an experience, right, and tome that's something we want to create for our customers. So you have thatdefinition and then you've got well, what was that interaction like the individual transaction. Was that a good experience? Was that a bad experience? Right,and then you've got well, what's the experience that customer has with your brandand total? What's that? What's that journey like? To me, thoseare the three main different definitions of customer experience I like to Hound in onand I really like to try and put them together to say, okay,for each individual transaction, for the overall journey they have with our brand,how are we creating that feeling that resonates with them? And that's what Ilike to try and dive into with my business clients. Yeah, residence isa keyword there. It's the thing that kind of sticks with you. It'skind of the deep piece so that when thoughts come to mind or stories aretold, like it's what is echoing or what is resonant or what is residualfrom all of those interactions. So you've worked in companies large and small.You've consulted companies large and small. When you're either operating in an organization orconsulting an organization, how do you think about customer experience in terms of operationalizingit? Like, do you have a thought or a preference or a frameworkaround should we have a dedicated role or team or function, or should thisbe more of an ethos and a culture role quality within an organization? Doyou think? What do you think about that? I think when it comesto both customer experience and innovation, and those are two things that I kindof combined in the book, I fully believe it works way better when itis a companywide cultural mindset. Now, having said that, that is verydifficult to achieve and I think that's why a lot of companies go with dedicatedroles or, in the case of innovation, Innovation Labs. It's easier just toget a few people together and tell them this is their job. Butthe effectiveness of it, I believe, is way more rewarding and the resultsare way better if you can do it across the entire organization. Really wellsaid. I like, though. I like the way you broke that down. I hadn't thought about how much easier it is to just say okay,you three go do this then it is to try to say, okay,everybody, this is how we're thinking about all of our work and now right. So in the Intro I use the word indifference, which is a wordyou used. It's a really powerful word and I think it it is abig danger. But I'd love to hear from you. Why is indifference aprimary enemy and or, you know, a horrible pitfall to be avoided?Yeah, well, the way I like to put it, Ethan, isif you ask somebody what's the opposite of love, the natural first answer typicallyis hate. Right with the opposite of love is hate. But I believelove and hate are actually extremely similar. Right, they're both very powerful.You've got a strong emotional tie to something. One just happens to be a positiveemotional tie. On's a negative emotional tie, but they're very similar inthat they're highly energized, highly, highly emotional. I think the opposite ofhighly energized, highly emotional is I don't really have any feeling towards it,and that that's indifference. and to me, if you have in different customers theyhave no high, positive or negative emotion towards you and your brand,it's they're just completely indifferent towards you, you've got a huge problem. You'rejust an option out there and they have no emotional tie to you. Whyare they picking you? If the answers...

...price will you're already down the wrongroad right. But I think it also happens internally if you have employees thatare just indifferent about their job. They don't love it, they don't hateit, it's just a job, just that it's okay boy. You donot have a culture that is really going to help take you to that nextlevel to create passionate customers if you don't have passionate employees. So I thinkthat's the big problem, the big challenge that all businesses really need to befocusing on is annihilating indifference. As you said, are at the top intheir customers and their employees. Yeah, I mean, obviously we would lovea much higher love rate than a hate rate, but hate or you know, really negative customer feedback or whatever, gives us that Opportunity A to learnand understand because at least they at least they care period, they're not indifferent, and at least they care enough to express it to us. And so, you know, gives us a chance to learn grow. And really it'snot. I mean give you a quick example. You know, I whenI was the only marketer, or one of the only marketers here at bombombI've been here for almost a decade now, which is crazy. When we weremuch smaller team, all the emails came for me, newsletters, specialoffers, promotions, etc. And of course some people didn't want, didn'texpect whatever they were upset to maybe get that email or that video email,and so they would reply and they be really angry, like get me offthis list kind of thing. How did you get my address? Well,you start a free trial with us. So you know, that's a partof part of that situation is would be communicated with you in any case,in some case of very foul and aggressive language, and so what I wouldalways reply with a personal video email. Hey, my name is Ethan.I work here at bombomb. Wanted to let you know I got your reply. I've manually unsubscribed you personally in both of the systems that we used tosend emails. Hey, I know that it doesn't do me any good andit doesn't do you any good to send you emails you don't want to get. Just want to let you know I hear you, got you taken careof. Hope you have a great day and if you ever want to dowhat I'm doing now, which is send a personal video just reach back out, I'd be happy to resubscribe you. That's what we do here bomb imtake care of a great day, and at least one third of the timeI would get these replies from people that are like, oh my gosh,thank you so much. We subscribe me right now. Like you know,not all the time, but when someone's kind enough to get you in conversation, that's an opportunity to do something and if you can defuse the situation,humanize it, let people feel hurt and appreciate and let them know that someresolution has been made, it can often turn to love. What have youseen anywhere in that category, like turning what seems and feels in the momentlike an extreme negative to a to a positive, because I'm sure a lotof people hurt you in that last response and thought, hey, gosh,I really want to be hated. No, for sure, but at least letas you said, at least you know about it and at least there'ssome sort of care there. And I love your response. And Yeah,the video message is showing in its personalized and engaging our great so I lovethat example. But how do you do that with somebody who's indifferent? Youdon't even know right. I mean you can see, did somebody open myemail or not? And and maybe that's about it. But did they readit? That they like it? What was their feeling? You don't know. So at least you know with the the people that are expressing this angeror backwards, you have a chance to respond to it. As for examples, I mean we see it all the time with customers. I think thenew trend is people turning to social media and Oh, I just had thisterrible experience with company X, Y Z. They did this, they did that, and you can see the way that different companies respond. There's onesthat will now engage in a very negative way back and it becomes this argumentopen to the public, and not a...

...great way, regardless of whether youthink you're right or whatever, not a great way of handling it. Butyet acknowledging, diffusing and then trying to take it offline and have a personalconversation, either through video, like you did, or through a phone call. Now you've got an opportunity to turn that person into a fan, andI think that the real good companies that understand that they leverage those moments.Yeah, really good. So let's get into your specialty in particular, itis obviously thematic and present throughout the entire book. CCI is language you usefor a customer centric innovation. So let's break down those two main components.For you. What is customer centricity and then, separately and afterward, whatis innovation? HMM, yeah, that's that's really where you have to start, because again, those are two big buzz words and they could have severaldifferent, you know, explanations or definitions if you were to google them.So for me, customer centric means you invest as a company in tools andstrategies to continuously understand your customers, why they buy our products and services.Who are these people? What are their trends? What are their likes,what are their dislikes? This isn't a onetime thing that you do or it'ssomething that you just put on one person's plate and say go figure this out. As a company, this is who you are. You're investing in thesethings because you don't have a customer, you don't have a company, right, you understand that. So you invest in these but it's the same thingwith innovation. You Invest in strategies, in tools and best practices so thatyou create this widespread culture of let's find a new and better way to serveour customers. Right, no more of this, this is how we doit around here. Or Hey, if it's not broke, don't fix it. Let's create and invest in ways to get our people thinking differently. andto me, if you can create those two cultures, those two mindsets,and put them together, now you've really got a recipe for long term success. Yeah, really good. The when I think about especially that, theway that you define customer centricity and in the you know what it means inpractice. I think about typically, when we have a question that we needthe answer to or a problem that we want to solve or we want toinform a decision that we're making, will go undertake an initiative like that andit's this acute, specific thing. So I like the way that you describethe way it's operationized. Why do you think more organizations don't have either customercentricity or innovation as a as a constant, regular investment in front of is myobservation even fair? Have you observed the same thing, that it's typicallydone on an as needed basis, kind of tasked out maybe the cross functionalteam kind of a thing, like you feel like that's the status quo inyour own experience, and why do you think that's the case? Perhaps?Yeah, I completely agree that that is the status quote. And my theoryon that, and I think I touch on this in the book a bitas well, is I think inherently most businesses that make it, and Italked about that as well, like there's a large percentage of companies that startup and don't even make it past your one, two or three. Thoseones probably were not very customer centric or innovative, right, but the onesthat do make it, they probably were inherently in the beginning, very customercentric and very innovative. That's why they had something new, that's why theywere able to create this customer base, that's why people went to them andtheir business. They understood me and this was a new way of serving me. I like this company. But over time I think businesses start to turntheir eyes inward. In the beginning it's what's a problem I can solve?How can do I do it differently? How can I be different than mycompetitors? You got to be watching your customers, you got to be watchingyour competitors, but then success stats to...

...happen and it's like, oh great, how do we scale? What are our members this quarter? What newfeatures can we add? And you start turning your eyes inward and you startlosing that focus that you have on your customers, and it's this this naturalprogression. I think that a lot of companies, as they grow, theygo through this and they go from an outward facing company into an interred facingone and they have to relearn what got them to where they were in thefirst place. Really good. I actually have a note here with us.I'm going to read a passage from the book and I think it's going tosummarize where you and I just were rather than tea up another part of theconversation, although it might, and I enjoy this, terms such as customersatisfaction, customer service, engagement, loyalty and customer experience get used haphazardly.Some businesses implement a few strategies here or there to check the box in thesecategories. They then proudly proclaimed that they are a customer centric company. Andso what we have there is kind of what we what you were just talkingabout, which is, you know, a few things here there check thebox and then we proclaim that this is done and now we can, youknow, reflect internally on ourselves, because part of Now our vision of ourselves, are understanding of ourselves, or our misperception of ourselves, is that weare this thing. I want to go on to another element of successful companiesthat you just touch down there again with a few lines from from your ownbook, which, for folks listening again, is called the zero and formula.Successful companies. Quote, have a mission or purpose to serve others.Here's another one. Have the ability to know, understand and empathize with theircurrent and future customers. And hammered throughout was this quote. This is aone way you expressed to be expressed it many ways throughout. Is the realpower is knowing these people. And so couple things I want to emphasize herefor you to kind of expound upon our you did use the word empathy orempathize knowing these people, like really knowing these people and understanding these people,current and future. And so what that reminded me of is, and youalso address this in the book a little bit, it reminds me the principlesof human centered design, where the first step, no matter whose philosophy orguide book you subscribe to, whether it's a leader like ideo or one ofthe other many people that advanced the idea of human centered design, it alwaysstarts with this deep knowledge and intimate understanding, this immersion with the people you're designingwith and for talk about these dynamics, because there's a really some human languagein there. There's a service orientation, there's empathy, etc. HMM.Yeah, and it's about getting in the mindset and the heart set ofyour customers. Or are they thinking and where do they feeling? And thebest way to do that is to be able to think and feel those thingsalong with them. Now a lot of larger corporations will hire research or consultingfirms to gather all kinds of data that will tell them this. Not all, if you listen to Steve Jobs and what he would proclaim over the years, it's a I really want to show them what they need. The researchis going to tell me that, but by feeling it and seeing it andexperiencing it myself, I will now show them what they need. And thatwas kind of the story around the IPHONE. Different approach, but it's still thesame idea. It's what do these people really need and what are theyfeeling? Either it's research based or it's experience based, but it's based ingetting to know what they think, what they feel, what they need,what their frustrations are and empathizing with them. And if you can't even do that, probably the easiest thing, or the thing that I tell some ofmy smaller clients has become one of your customers. Actually go through the processof being a customer of your own company. See what that feels like. Thatis going to open up your eyes Mo more than anything else right there. Yeah, that it actually you led...

...right into where I wanted to gonext. An other quote from your book. So you worked in a very largesoftware company called open text, if I if I remember correctly, youran the professional services division, or or we're a leader within it. Sohere's a quote about that experience. It open text, about becoming a customerof your own company. Although we knew the system well from a technology perspective, we did not have the full understanding of the system from the users perspective, at least not until we became users ourselves. I really like that becausein there's an interesting tension here that I'd love for you to just address Idon't think you can resolve that. I don't think any of US could resolveas, certainly not in the context of this conversation. But you know thistension that you introduced with Steve Jobs, which is when we can truly understandpeople. I think a lot of people think, okay, I need tointerview customers and then give them what they tell us we want. We youoffered that Steve Jobs idea. You're saying, well, no, we're going tofully understand them and then anticipate their future needs and design for the futureneeds. I guess, skating to where the PUCK is going, as opposedto just giving them the puck because they said they wanted it. Your reference, by the way, sure, of course. I grew up in Michigan. I wish it came with Canadian a dual citizenship. It doesn't, butit's close. And then here this idea of taking it the step further.Is Not only are we going to, you know, look at survey dataand read reviews and go do interviews and spend time with them, maybe even, if we have the resources or it makes sense to like do inhome researchprojects were observing how people are behaving and interacting and whatever, but the stepthat you and your team took to use the product yourselves to gain new understanding. I'd love for you to talk about those different ways of understanding and thenthe different ways of kind of designing and innovating, either to the customer statedneed or perhaps even to the future. HMM. And it's quite a thingin a software company because you have these software engineers and you have these QAanalysts that design and develop the features and test the features in a way thatthey think they would be used. So you've already got this bias or thisassumption that will we built it, this is how you would use it,so this is how we're going to test it and this is how we're goingto try and break it. And then you see a customer using it andthey bring these feature requests back or these enhancement requests and you think people arecrazy. Why are they even using it like that? It's because that's theway, within their environment that it would make sense for them to use it. But you can't understand it until you start using it yourself and you putyourself in their shoes. So that's where I encourage the companies as much aspossible. Be a customer of your own product or your own service. Butyou're right, it is this dichotomy, it's this tension between customers want touse it this way, but hey, we designed it this way. Juststop using it the way you're using it and use it the way we designedit. But when it said or we might or might put you into adifferent bucket, like, well, you're not using it like we wanted to, so maybe you're not an ideal customer. And yes, if you ask them, like, I love this thing, it's amazing, a change my world, like I want to keep using it in this way. You didn'tintend. Yeah, yeah, and how many different products or services evolved thatway because the company allowed it to? Like that's where it can really takeoff. Man, we didn't even design this thing to be used like that. Look at how people are using it. Let's go in that direction versus thecome on, guys, get in line, this is how we designedit. So you really have to have that mindset within the company to seewhere the customers taking your product. Yeah, it's been an absolute joy. I'vebeen at here for again, almost a decade, and I was Iwas one of our most prolific users, like all along, but especially before, like when we were really small, in the beginning. You know,our platform was kind of like a mail chimp or constant contact, but withvideo integrated deeply in it, and so I used it for a lot ofour marketing. You know, when we...

...had, you know, five hundredcustomers, we were suitable for that. Till we outbrew and had to moveinto something like a hub spot, and at the same time we were tryingto discover who we were and what we were about, and so I wasconstantly in the blog and in social post and in presentations sharing examples of whatcustomers were doing. And so this I feel really privileged, and I feltthis as I was reading your book. I was like, oh good,like a whole bunch of us, like at least half the company, usesthe the product daily, and in some of us who've been with it foryears, of kind of been along for that evolution, some of us indifferent seat sales, marketing, customer success in particular. And now, oncewe developed like a proper product management and product development like tie on to theto the actual software engineering from a functional standpoint, you know, we've allhad to teach what other customers are this. Whenever you're innovating, I feel likepeople really want to know what is this actually look like? What areother people doing, especially with video, like show me what other people aredo doing, and so I I felt privilege like okay, we've never beenlike crazy off track here. Like if Detis came in, he'd certainly havesome guidance for us, but I don't think he would say okay, youknow, as square one here, because because we've checked some of those boxesand has been really, really helpful. Talk about the most valuable customer right, this was you know what I think when most people here customer Centricity,they think about it in a you know, we put the customer first. Wetalk to our customers, we listen to our customers, because you citedthe customer centricity playbook from Peter Fader and and Sarah Tom's at Wharton. Youknow, you're obviously a tune to this idea of lifetime value as a primarycriteria, or the primary criteria for your best customer. You know'sessentially who'sworth the most. And I think implied in that, and I'd love yourtake on it, implied in that is they're giving us the most because we'regiving them the most kind of a blend in there. It's not just they'rethe best customer because they're giving us the most money, but also they're givingus the most money because they're getting the most value from what we provide andbecause of all of those things are the best customer. How do you thinkabout out lifetime value best customer and maybe what are a couple steps when youengage with companies that don't really have this in their active thought process? Youknow, what are a couple first steps for going down that road of makingsome of these identifications? Yeah, customer lifetime value is one of those thingsthat, boy, when you really start to apply it, it unlocks somany different ideas and thoughts and ways that you can go with your customers.A couple of points there. One, I think most companies have assumptions onwho are the best types of customers for their products or service. Either goinginto this type of market or going after this type of customers going to bemost profitable for us? Is it? Let's find out. And then theother thing that customer lifetime value helps you with is this idea that listen,you can't be everything to everybody, right. If you're trying to please everyone,you're probably just watering down and not really pleasing anybody, or at leastnot really overly resonating with anybody. So who should you be resonating with?So this is where calculating lifetime value of your customers really helps. It helpsto really see who are our actual most valuable customers. Were we right,or did we have some really bad assumptions there? And and when we dofind out that, yes, these types of customers over here are the onesthat end up being the most valuable for our company, now what does thatmean? How does that change our messaging and our marketing and the way wedeliver in the experience we give? If that's the type of customers that aremost valuable to our company, then we should be tailoring ourselves a little moretowards them. You can't be everything for everybody, so let's design the experiencefor this type of customer. Yeah, I totally agree about all things toall people being and it's that's actually been a very big challenge for us.And when we think about making it easy to use video messages in place offaceless typed out text. Pretty much anyone... in a professional capacity can benefitfrom this, but that doesn't mean that we can build a profitable business tryingto sell it to anybody who will buy it. And it's interesting to thesetensions like the lifetime value piece. You know, when I remember doing adive, and I'd love your take on this, I was doing a diveis by industry, which is a little bit crude in terms of looking atour database, but you know, I was looking at industry. In thisparticular industry had the most number of videos per account, which is something Ialways like to see from my seat, which is, you know, forme, you look at there's all this product usage data and people use itdifferent ways, but to me, if you're setting a lot of videos,it means you're generally doing more personal videos than kind of mass blast videos,which I always like to see. So this industry like dramatically over indexed.You know, as I cut it further and further, like at least fivehundred videos per account, at least a thousand videos per account. You know, they overindexed, over index relative to their their share of the population atlarge. At the same time, our cf fo is doing a similar diveand is like horrible conversion rates, horrible churn rates. This is our thisis our worst industry. If we look just at at the customer base byIndustry, and I'm looking at the same group, saying like they're great.And do you agree with me that the CFO is probably right when it comesto the long term successor is is this industry bad or good? Really highusage at some level, but right, bad conversion rates, bad churn rates, like bad lifetime value. I would say based on the current model,then yes, the CFOs probably correct. But what the Intel tells you is, boy, they really see value in our product and our is there somethingwe can do? Should we change our model so that we're now more modetizingbased on this type of customer? or it's just as an anomaly and ourmodels correct and we need to chase a different type of customer? So,but it opens up those types of conversations which you wouldn't have had before,right, so, right, it it really gets you looking at your businessdifferently. Yeah, absolutely, so. I'm want to move to another likeso for folks who are listening, I could take this in so many directionsbecause there's so many really interesting frameworks and organizing principles, for example, thefive characteristics for individuals in an organization to support customer centric innovation, which,by the way, look a lot like our core values at bombomb same numberand they like they almost match up. There are five principles of innovation.Understanding your customers, question your assumptions and biases, implement diversity and inclusion,be agile and develop prototypes. Pilots and MVPS, get feedback and learn fast. I really appreciate kind of like the light, quick iterative process there,but I think we'll go deeper into kind of the five characteristics to improve atmosphere. First of all, atmosphere, you tied to like those part of oneof your three definitions of customer experience. I love for you first to elaboratea little bit on atmosphere. And then there's an acronym here. It's super, surprise or suspense, unique, personalized, engaging, and then the most difficultone, the hardest one to operationalize, repeatable. So anything you want toshare on super overall, a little bit of qualification or characterization of atmosphere, which I think gets to kind of this may be difficult to measure emotionallyresonant, like what it feels like to be with you, what it feelslike to be your customer, what it feels like to be your employee,etc. And then why is repeatable so difficult? You like that free questionsin one you gots think you got it. Yeah. So we'll start with withatmosphere in general. I mean typically companies are either selling a product ora service, or both. There are some businesses that are purely selling experience, but most are selling a product or service or some sort of combination ofthe two. And what you want to... is enhance your product or serviceso that you've got an atmosphere around that that says, Whoa, that wasa great experience. The atmosphere of working with that company to purchase that productor service felt great. That's the atmosphere that you create. It's not justdid you give good, happy, quick service? That's the service side.What was the atmosphere you created around that? And that's where that acronym of SuperI used to really help drive home to my clients. What should thisatmosphere look like? So here's some guidelines. Is the supe and are. Butthen you we have to work together to find out. What does thismean for Your Business? Right, how you surprise or delight your customers couldlook very different than how an airline does it, or our how a restaurantdoes it, or and it should look very different depending on the product orservice that you have. So what should that be? And then what isyour unique identifier? How are you different from your competitors? Because if you'renot, again, why are people buying from you? And what I reallylike to tell people here is different is better than better. If you're justclaiming that, hey, we have the world's Best Cup of coffee, well, anybody can claim that. Are We? Just we have the world's greatest chiropractorsthat at our place? Well, I'm sure the one down the streetsays the same thing. Right. How are you different? How are youunique? That's what's really important to customers, right. And then personalize, engaging, and you know, you guys really get this with the videos.The personalize engaging videos rate to people and that's a product that you sell thatreally resonates with people. But then, as you say, how do youmake this consistent across each individual transaction or across each phase of the life cycle? There's a lot of training, there's a lot of communication, and thisis where, if you go back to our our discussion at the beginning ofthis episode, this is why it can't be a person's job, because aperson can't be involved in every interaction at every phase of the customer life cycle. It has to be a culture and everybody has to buy in and everybodyhas to get it, and that's why a customer success manager on themselves cannotdo that. That's why an innovation lab on its own cannot create a cultureof innovation. It has to be companywide really good. Any you know,before we do one of my favorite parts of the conversation, is there anythingthat we didn't cover that you think is really important for people to know orunderstand, either from the book or from your experience at large, kind ofthat ties into the conversation? Anywhere that I didn't take this that you thinkis worth including? I think they only thing I would want to add ison both sides of the fence, customer centric and innovative. It doesn't happenby accident. It needs intention and a plan. Right, people don't buyyour products or services, they buy what your products or services can do forthem. So you need to be continually investing in why are people wanting thesetypes of products of services? Who are these people? What are they doing? What are the trends? What's going on out there? And you haveto invest in that as a company. And then the same thing on theinnovation side. It's got to be intentional. You can't just get people in aroom every once in a while and say hey, give me your bestideas. It's got to be what are the ways to unlock those ideas?What are the proven principles and practices to get the most unique and creative ideasout of our heads? Because they're there, we're just typically not that good atgetting them out. So invest in those tools and practices. It doesn'thappen by accident. Great Button on that. And for folks who enjoyed this conversationwith Dennis about the zero in formula, about customer centricity and about innovation asregards the experience itself, the greatest differentiator we have available to us inbusiness, probably going forward indefinitely, then... probably enjoyed some of our conversationabout lifetime value, which takes me to episode thirty six of this Podcast,which was with Sarah Tom's, one of the CO authors of the customer Centricityplaybooks. She's also the CO founder and executive director of Wharton Interactive at theWharton School at pen and we call that one the financial side of X.which customers should you invest in? Right? And so this idea of being wehave limited time, we have limited resources, we have limited staff.WHO SHOULD WE BE INVESTING IN? Whose ideas, whose development, whose benefitshould we be investing in in lifetime values? The guide there. So that wasepisode thirty six with Sarah Tom's, and then we're recently episode sixty threewith David Merriman, Scott best selling author of more than ten books, andthe one that we talked about in that conversation was fanocracy. Creating fans throughhuman connection is what we called that episode. In this idea, that a humanorientation, this idea of putting people first, true immersion, building community, understanding the people that were working with and for in order to serve thembetter, is a precursor, of course, to revenue. It's also a precursorto lifetime value and, ideally, profitability, if you can instructure everythingin the right way. And so really enjoyed that kind of that that whenit was something I enjoyed about the book, Denis, is that this blend ofpractical this blend of frameworks. I think you spoke to it well.I think people that have spent this time together with us see the practical,functional, operational side of things, but also recognized some of the intangible stuff, like some of the I mean, and you mentioned it to you talkedabout hearts and minds, which is why I thought of David Merriman Scott,because there's some intangibles in there that we know are really important to our success, but we can't put them on a spreadsheet and so doesn't mean we shouldignore them. HMM, exactly. In fact, understanding them even deeper isprobably where we need to go rather than ignoring them. Right. Yeah,so before I let you go, Dennis, I've really enjoyed this, but Ialways like to give people two opportunity, actually three, but the first twoare a chance for you to think or mention someone who's had a positiveimpact on your life or your career, and the second and not or ashout out to a company or a brand that you appreciate for the experience theydeliver for you as a customer or, in your language, the atmosphere thatthey create around their product or service. Yeah, so when it comes topeople to thank, three people would come to mind right off the top ofmy head. One would be my wife, Cindy, extremely supportive in this ventureto start up my own consulting company and and really my cheerleader. Butto people that, surprisingly, I have found to be really good mentors andI'm able to connect with it and share ideas and stories with one would beCharles Green, go, author of the the trusted adviser, and then anotherone be ship hiken. Happen to reach out to him and he's been soaccommodating, read my book, gave it a great review and he's been opento trading different ideas with me and it just went to show me, boy, you never know until you ask. There's so many great, willing,helpful people out there. So all three of them have been instrumental for me. That is absolutely amazing. I've had Charles Green on the podcast. Hewas somewhere in the first, probably twenty or twenty five episodes. We obviouslytalked a lot about building trust. CHEP has been on only once, althoughI have them coming out again later this year and you are now the thirdperson to mention him in this moment. What an awesome I mean, whenyou think about the work that we do the reason that we do it,I mean, my Gosh, if three people were to mention me in thismoment, my work is done. I love what you shared about chef.He's just such an awesome dude and Stacy Sherman referred to him, Dan Gingisreferred to him and what a legacy for for a person to leave that thatin this moment where you can think anyone... the world for the impact thatthey've had on your life, for your career. Of course a lot ofpeople go to the people closest to them, like your wife. I've had thatanswer many times, but just the you know of all the people thathe would be the one to come to mind now three times. Only personthat's happened to. So anyway, that's awesome for quite a testament. Yeah, yeah, it is, it really is. I mean I it's awesome. I'm going to share that with them today by video email. How abouta company that you appreciate? Sure? Well, the one that comes tomind right off the bat would be there's a local company. It's a healthfood kind of fast food food restaurant, all fresh fuel and I got toknow the owners a bit over the last year or so. They read mybook. I've interviewed them by video. Their story is just amazing. Butthey're just their love for the community and then the response that the community hasgiven back to them is just a testament because they have actually moved and grownduring the pandemic and it just goes to show like when you are customer centric, when you build those relationships and your innovative and you're you're taking some riskand thinking outside the box, man, it pays off. I really likethe way you describe that. This kind of given received dynamic, that there'sobviously sincerity. They're they're not just like I know how we can make awhole bunch of money, let's capitalize on this trend or a hell of foodlike they're obviously passionate about it. There sincere in that and that's something thatpeople can feel in those interactions and they're responding and kind. And what atestament to innovation to be at thriving local restaurant. Over the past you know, twelve to eighteen modsley wild awesome. Dennis. How can people follow upwith you? Obviously, if they're listening at this point, they enjoyed theconversation. They might want to connect with you on Linkedin or get the bookor check out your consultancy. Where are some places you would send people?Yeah, linkedin would be the the social network where I'm probably active the most. So yeah, definitely feel free to follow or connect with me there onLinkedin. I love to meet New People and that work. Or there's thewebsite www dot sea, and the zero is spelled out, so zero NC A awesome. He is Dennis Gelan. Last name is spelled gee. Ellen. Can find them on Linkedin. My name is Ethan Butte. Lastname is spelled bete. You could find me on Linkedin. I appreciate youso much for listening and I appreciate you, Dennis, for spending this time withus and for taking the time to organize your thoughts in a book.Yeah, thanks so much. Even clear communication, Human Connection, higher conversion, these are just some of the benefits of adding video to the messages you'resending every day. It's easy to do, which is a little guidance. Sopick up the official book. Rehumanize Your Business. How personal videos acceleratesales 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. Rememberthe single most important thing you can do today is to create and deliver abetter experience for your customers. Continue Learning the latest strategies and tactics by subscribingright now in your favorite podcast player, or visit Bombombcom podcast.

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