The Customer Experience Podcast
The Customer Experience Podcast

Episode · 3 months ago

180. Transforming to DCS: Digital Customer Service w/ Rick DeLisi


What matters in digital customer service isn’t the person’s main preference for digital, live, or hybrid. What matters is understanding the process that will create the best experience for the customer at that exact moment.

In this episode, I interview Rick DeLisi, Author and Lead Research Analyst at Glia, about some of the principles in his latest book, Digital Customer Service: Transforming Customer Experience for an On-Screen World, including the three primary components of the digital customer service (DCS) model.

Rick and I talked about:

  • What it means that “customer experience” is a monster noun
  • How digital transformation begins with process
  • What the 3 components of the DCS model are
  • Why reducing live interaction minutes also reduces cost
  • Why the perception of effortlessness lies at the root of great CX  

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What is this person coming here to do right now, and how could we create the best possible experience for that person? Whether it's all digital, all live, or a hybrid of both, 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. Greater customer loyalty and reduced cost to serve this isn't just a nice sounding idea that exists in an imaginary world. It's here now for many, and today's guest is going to shed some light on how companies are achieving greater loyalty with reduced cost. He's the CO author of the New Book Digital Customer Service, transforming customer experience for an on screen world, and he's also the CO author of another book that every listener should read, the effortless experience conquering the new battleground for customer loyalty. He once served as director of corporate communications for the most successful unsuccessful airline and history. We may get a little of that story. He spent fifteen years as VP advisory and as a gardner fellow with CEB and Gardner and he currently serves as lead and he currently serves as lead research annelst at Glia, a team reinventing how businesses support their customers online. Rick deleasy. Welcome, Hi Ethen, thanks for having me. Yeah, excited to have you here. I read the effortless experience Gosh several years ago. It was very, very important in the way that I think about customer service and customer experience and when a teammate of mine came back from an event and said, Hey, I met this guy, he wrote this book, he wrote this new book, check this out, I was like, oh my gosh, like did you get his contact info? I'm so excited to have you here. I'm excited. Loved the New Book Digital Customer Service. We're going to get into those themes, but we're going to start where we always start, but I'm going to do it in a non traditional way. I'm going to start with your definition of monster nouns from the book, because I feel like customer experience is one. You defined a monster Noun as a word or a term that virtually every company uses, but the exact definition and interpretation of value varies widely from one company to another, from one leader to another within a company and even one person to another on the same team. So, with that setup, a is customer experience of Monster Noun in your view and be how do you define customer experience? Customer experience is absolutely a monster now, because it's one of these things that you could be having a conversation with someone about CX and you could be talking completely past each other because you each mean something different by it, not just the definition of it, but what's important about it. What are the influences over whether or not and experience is good or bad? How does customer experience play into more important outcomes like loyalty and revenue? Because those things either seem vague or however you define those things could be easily identified in a completely different way by somebody else. It forces a communication issue that unfortunately makes these things seem vague, even if you mean them in a very specific way. Here's just some other examples. Innovation. Every company wants to be innovative, but what does that mean exactly? Culture? Every company is clearly aware of the impact of culture on the overall success of the organization. But what exactly is our culture and is that something we can do anything about?...

And how does shaping or changing or enhancing our culture, how does that help US create greater results? So customer experience is critically important but unfortunately, to some degree over the past five to ten years customer experience at a lot of companies has become a separate function. Now that seems like it'd be a positive and it is to some degree. Here's a person who's the VP of customer experience, but all of a sudden that just becomes another department or another silo or another team of people who are doing something different than whatever it is I'm doing. Unless every single person in an organization sees themselves as being part of the customer experience effort or even the customer experienced team, then that term has been improperly defined at that company. Man, so much good stuff in there. One of my typical follow up questions, because I think it's important in the waay that you just got it. Monster Nouns in general and a customer experience in particular establishes why I typically will ask something about like, do you prefer to see customer experience as like an ethos or a cultural component, or do you prefer to see it as a team or a role? What I feel like? I heard you say, Rick with that potentially it can be done well as a role or a team, that it really needs to be an ethos. Yeah, and it has to be based on doing something that's really hard for people who work at companies to do, and that is to forget everything you know and be not at all concerned about all the things that are important and concerning to you. To be any good at understanding customer experience, you have to be able to think with somebody else's brain, somebody who has no idea what pressures you're under, has no idea what goals and objectives you're trying to achieve, has no idea what pressures, are limitations, are obstacles stand in your way? Customers don't care about any of those things. Customers don't generally care whether or not your company successful, other than if I like you, I hope you continue to be a company and don't go away. But beyond that, most customers don't have any particular interest in how well your company is doing per se, but that's all you care about. So that inherent mismatch between the mindset of the person who wants to be an expert and an influencer in customer experience and the people they're trying to influence, who think with a completely different brain that mismatch is what prevents real progress from being made. What's the relationship between customer service and customer experience? Customer Service is a critical, I would argue, the most critical, element of customer experience. But when you open up the aperture to include the broadest definition or concept of customer experience, it involves every touch point, everything you've ever heard, the general image of a company and its products, what your own friends and peers are saying and thinking about that company and, more importantly, how you feel about yourself as a person based on the fact that you've chosen to do business with this company. And so in many ways it's much less about the company or even the experience and much more about the person or the customer. Yeah, at the risk of getting too far ahead, because you did a really nice job in the book digital customer service of talking about where we are historically. For listeners give us like a condensed version from your perspective, which is intelligent, informed, well expressed in a variety of different ways over the past couple of decades. Give us like a snapshot of where are we with customer experience and customer service kind of historically? Like, again, the...

...whole histories in the book for listeners or a very good, quick, entertaining look and informative look at that, at recent history is in the book. But give us like a snapshot, like where are We? Yeah, as we started doing the research and preparation for the book, what we came to realize is that customer experience and the perception of the customer experienced by everyday people is that an absolute crossroads right now, and particularly when it comes to customer service interactions. This is a surprise to people who are a little bit younger, but the idea of customer service emanating from a call center environment, the nucleus of the customer service operation at any company, is a relatively recent phenomenal none. It only started in the mid S. now, depending on how well d you are, that's either a little while ago or long before I was even born. But customer service as a function started in the mid s with the institution of the first customer service call centers and at that time, the idea of being able to reach a company directly and call and talk to somebody who could serve me, and, Dear God, even using a toll free telephone number to be able to reach a company. That was some of those brand new that was a value add, that was a real differentiator. But the reason that we're at this crossroad, sort this inflection point, is that in today's world, and I mean especially right now, since the onset of the pandemic, the whole idea of having to reach customer service by phone seems archaic, a massive pain and, at some level, even disrespectful. So this glorious new value add that came on the scene only just for decades ago is now already pass archaic and a chapter in history. All right, really good set up to dive into the book. But before we do, give us a quick take on Glia. What are what are you in the team doing at Glia? Who's your ideal customer? What are you trying to solve for them? Glia is the leading provider of digital customer service solutions, particularly to financial institutions. So the company has chosen as its dominant vertical or the the market that we're addressing credit unions, banks and insurance companies. And the company is just growing exponentially, doubling the growth from last year with an expectation of doubling again next year. So a very fast moving company that provides the kinds of customer service solutions to these organizations that absolutely fits the lifestyle and the preferences of today's customers, and that is, to start any interaction with a company, to start online, but ideally to be able to maintain the entire interaction in the online channel without ever having to do something else, even and here's the most important part, even if a live interaction with an actual human being is required for that interaction, for even that live interaction to happen on the customers own screen and in the midst of the digital interaction that that customer already began on their own. It's so funny. I ate as I was reading digital customer service I'd recently been through an experience with the Wall Street Journal. At first got on with kind of a print and online subscription. The prince started to feel like a bit of a waste, which was kind of a fear in general, but there's also something kind of really romantic about the idea of drinking a cup of coffee while you're reading, you know, the paper in the morning, which I hadn't done in decades, and I ended up wanting to. Let go back and I just I was I was on the website, I was logged into my account. I couldn't get the answers I needed. Of course, if you want to modify your subscription,... have to pick up the phone and like the Hols, and I was just thinking, where is my click to talk button? That's all I want. We're going to get to that question, but but before we do I'll just say again for folks listening, the book is called digital customer service, transforming customer experience for an on screen world. You just got a really nice kind of synopsis of it because it is tied to the work that they're doing at Glia and I loved it. It was really fun to read. It was interesting to read a lot of frameworks, some good illustrations. It's a lot about customer empathy, meeting people where they are without requiring them to switch, without requiring to them to repeat themselves, and so let's start with digital transformation. I feel like it's something that we've seen in headlines, you hear in conversations. I think it has dramatic potential to be regarded as a monster. Noun. Cures about your opinion on that, but like start with digital transformation. When people are saying that, what do you think they mean and what would you mean if you were to say it? I would one hundred percent agree that it is also a monster nown because it is a top priority of almost every company. But exactly what each person at that company means it and exactly what they're trying to accomplish in why it's so important very variable, certainly from one company to another and certainly from one person at a given company to another. So the fact that it has so many different meanings and is a priority is both good and terrible news, because it feels like almost everybody's focused on it, but because everyone's focus is different, it's like the organization isn't actually focused at all. Specific to customer service, we believe digital transformation means serving customers who come to you first through a digital channel, which could be your website or a mobile APP or some third party website or mobile APP. And enabling them to remain in the digital domain throughout the entire interaction again, even if they need to speak to a live person. So one way to think about it would be it is in fact the race to zero phone calls. What would it be like to live in a world where no one ever called customer service again on the phone? And the reality is that world already exists, not with most of the companies you and I are doing business with, but that possibility exists, that reality exists for now over two hundred companies that Glia is working for, and that is the way things are absolutely going to go in customer service. We're not that far into the future where we're going to look back and say, I can't believe how much of customer service used to happen on the phone, because we humans don't use the telephone that way anymore. When you think about all the kinds of things that we used to do on the phone, not just talking to people, yeah, we hardly do that on the phone anymore, but even information services. When's the last time you use your telephone to make an airline reservation? When's the last time you made a hotel reservation or a restaurant reservation on the telephone? Maybe not zero never, but those kinds of things hardly ever happen anymore. When's the last time you called a telephone number to find sports scores or stock quotes or to get the time of day? The time of day, that's the age definer there. You can just simply ask a person, did you ever in your life call a telephone number to find out the time and the temperature? And if they raise their hand, yes, you can virtually cut off their age at a certain level. But for those of you who are younger, yeah, we used to use the phone for that too, and it would never occur to people to use our telephones for those kinds of services...

...anymore. So I ask you, then, why are US companies alone still taking over a billion customer service phone phone calls every year? It just doesn't make sense, based on the way we've all transformed our own lives. Yes, and so I want to be super clear for listeners and will probably wind up in this topic for another minute or two. You refer to this as the secret ingredient, off screen phone versus on screen voice, and I'm going to read a quote. If a customer is on or near a screen. They should never need to engage in an offscreen phone interaction ever again. And the you know, one way to do that is to replace the phone number with a click to call where you're connected by voice through the screen in the APP or on the website that you're on. And so I wanted it to be clear for listeners you should still perhaps be available to talk to your customers, but just do it in a way that seamless to the rest of their experience without having to stop. And you know, especially if you're on your mobile phone, we have to like toggle between the actual dialing the number and where the number is on your on your screen elsewhere, just like click and connect. And it's interesting, you know, in reflecting on that, I feel like I'm dealing with two kinds of two kinds of companies here. One is that kind of legacy company that did have a call center in the s or the s has been improving some things. They maybe have a chat something on the site, or at least some kind of a Bot, if not a proper human chat, and they're trying to make this transformation to the way that you and your team have like fully visualized and brought to life for hundreds of companies, and there's somewhere along that progression, and then there's this other class of company, a newer one, that doesn't have any number at all and is not willing to talk to anyone at any time. Ever. I placed in order for a four hundred dollar product, not a lot of money, but also not inexpensive. I ordered it now, over a month and a half ago. It has I haven't gotten shipping notice on it and I've since received like eight emails of black Friday and other types of like sales offers for fifty dollars off the product. Do I want fifty dollars off of four hundred product that I ordered a month and a half ago and I don't even have a shipping notices on? Hell, yes, I do. I want my fifty dollars. So I'm trying to communicate with them by email exclusively. It's the only way I can reach them, and I'm getting replies to my email saying hey, we're experiencing high level of support volume, it's going to take us five to seven days to get back to you, and like, at that point I kind of want to just cancel the order out right on principle, but I kind of want the product, but it doesn't matter anyway because I'd have to cancel by email. So anyway, anything that's interesting to you about that story and anything more on ending the phone or making the phone available, like like on screen voice available where it wasn't available by phone. Well, that's the whole point of what we describe in the book as the digital customer service, DCS model, and in the DCS model there's three primary components. Number one is the simplest and most common issues should be easily resolvable by customers in self service. If they come to your website to do common and simple things, the easy pathway to being able to accomplish those things without any human assistance should be made very, very well available. Maybe that's just easy navigation. Maybe that's something like a concierge Bot that asks you what are you trying to accomplish today and then immediately guides you to the correct place for you to do that. Maybe it's bots or AI that ask you a couple of preliminary questions that allow some forms to be pre filled or to bring your...

...account up and to put you, the customer, in complete control of your own interactions. So anything that can be guided to self service, as long as it helps that customer accomplish their goal satisfy their needs in a fully and completely satisfactory way, that's always a great thing. So self service. That's critically important. Number two, for customers who either can't fully self serve for their particular issue or for customers who just want the reassurance of speaking to a human being, that conversation should happen on the customers screen, not through a separate phone call, but right there on the screen where the customers started their interaction. By the way, new data that's just out recently from foresters shows eighty four percent of customers start a service interaction either on a company's website or on their APP. Eighty four percent. We're approaching the realistic maximum and that number will only go up here after year. So if that's where people are going to start, how could you, as a company, be okay with forcing your customer to do a completely different thing in the middle of the interaction that they already started? So number one, self service wherever can be made available. Number two, on screen assistance, whenever the customer wants to interact with a life human being. And then number three. You mentioned before, the whole idea of near screen interactions. If a customer does choose to call you on your telephone number, if there would be a way, and there is, to try to transition that interaction into an on screen experience where the company service REP would say, Hey, by the way, Ethan, are you near a screen right now here? Let's log into your account or have you log into your account and let me show you how you can get what you want. I'm not going to even do it for I'm going to show you how you can do it. So, therefore, you'll be that much a better able to do it yourself the next time. And so now transitioning what started as a phone call into a digital experience, so self service, easily guided throughout most common issues. Number two, live help available on my screen. And number three, even if it's a phone call, the opportunity to transition that into a digital experience in the moment. Those are the hallmarks of the DCS platform. Yeah, and one thing for listeners, one thing for you, for listeners, that they do a great job. Rick in his coauthor do a great job of DCS. All capitals versus digital customer service, which could just be, you know, its commodity, perhaps monster nown you know, understanding of what digital customer services. So I appreciate the formal approach. To number three in particular. I loved that because that's really all any of US wants. I mean, you know when we want to talk to a human, I think, and you're much more informed on this. So treat this as a big question that doesn't end with a question mark. You know, I think most people just want the guidance and they don't want to have to search to even find the guidance. They just want to like tell me what I need to know. So to point number three that you made there, I love it because you're training customers not to teed your customer service reps as much, as often anymore, and certainly to the degree of company is doing a good job of taking that phone call essentially in that interaction as feedback, that becomes something that you become better and better at turning into self service. But in the meantime you're training people to serve themselves where the you know, the interface or the system or the the process or the chat or the BOT doesn't permit someone necessarily to serve themselves well enough, yet that's why they're on the phone. Yeah, here's the pathway that so many organizations seem to be going down that we believe is the wrong pathway, and that is to think about the preferences of people. So, in other words,...'s easy to say some people really prefer a digital interaction, other people really prefer a phone interaction, and that makes it seem like if you understand the preferences of this one person, their preference will always be exactly the same every time. Turns out that's not even close to true, because what matters isn't the person. What matters is the process that person is engaged in right now. So, for example, a person who might be defined as very digitally savvy might greatly benefit from speaking with a live human being under some circumstances for certain kinds of issues. On the other hand, the person who you say they would always want to talk to you a human being might very quickly realize for certain kinds of interactions it's so much faster in the easier better for me to be able to just click a couple buttons on my screen and be done with the entire issue. So in the book we've created a brand new methodology for being able to understand the specific psychological needs that a single person would have, depending on what kind of issue or what kind of process that they're in the midst of undertaking at that exact moment. Here's just a quick example. We use the airline industry as a common field for because we can all understand what it's like to be an airline customer. But think about the needs, even the underlying psychology, of the same person who's doing two very different things with an airline company. In one situation, they're booking a routine flight on a business trip to Chicago, the same trip they've taken a Chicago Twenty Times. That person's needs and their psychology going into that interaction would be completely different. Then if that same exact person were booking a family vacation for five people to Orlando, to Disney world, with theme park tickets and they wanted to pay for some of it in cash and some of it with miles, that same exact person would be way better off speaking to a human being for that particular process. So thinking much more about what is this person coming here to do right now and how could we create the best possible experience for that person, whether it's all digital, all live, or a hybrid of both. That's the distinction that enables companies to create, or a more importantly, curate the best possible experience for each customer each time that they interact with us. Why do you think the perceived best route to reducing cost to service simply to remove humans from the process and let customers fend for themselves? I mean because what you've put together as a class win win, win win when feel free to run through those, by the way, because I if I've found every found it compelling off the top. But you know, it seems like most people want to go down this road and either go the route that you said, which is serve every individual. That exactly how we might imagine they might want to be served in the future. The other end is like, let's just slash staff and figure out how to, you know, automate the whole thing or and or leave customers defend for themselves. When you've clearly experienced, articulated and helped create a something that improves loyalty while reducing cost. Yeah, it's really easy to envision that. What we're saying is get rid of all your people and never have another live interaction with customers ever again. What we're actually saying is live interaction should be considered a precious, not a scarce but a precious resource that needs to be deployed in exactly the situations in which a... interaction is best for both the customer and the company. That is some of the time, under some circumstances. But what companies are doing that's so wasteful is accepting or setting an expectation for customers that they should call for things that never needed to be a phone call in the first place. The probably the number one cause of unnecessary live interactions is a customer who needed to be reassured that everything was being taken care of. Imagine having a six or seven minute phone call with a customer and then a couple of days later, that same customer calls again just to double check and make sure everything is still on track. What a total waste that was for the customer and what a total waste that is for the company. So what we're suggesting is companies ought to reduce the total number of live interaction minutes that they're having with all their customers down to those minutes that really matter and that the customer truly benefited from not because they just gave up and didn't know what else to do, or not just because you've conditioned them to having to make a phone call every time there's an issue. Make it as easy as possible for people to resolve as many issues as possible on their own and then make it very easy for them to have a live interaction on their own screen in situations where alive interaction really matters. Yeah, love it and, wherever possible, teach them to do it themselves next time so they don't even need that. Yeah, I'm by the way. That's that's a glorious win for the customer to correct. Yeah, so there's an obvious relationship. I mean the threadthrough from effortless to DCS is pretty clear, but just articulate it, make it really explicit. What are some of the things that you learned and explored in your time with Seb and Gardner that were organized as the effortless experience that made this the obvious next step for you and for readers? So here's the backstory of the effortless book. It all started with a single question kicking around in a research meeting one day and that was what one question could you ask a customer right after a service interaction, that that exact moment, once their service interaction is over, what question could you ask that would best predict that customers future loyalty behavior? So up until that point the standard questions were always the sea said question, the customer satisfaction question, how satisfied were you with that interaction, or the net promoter score question, the NPS question, which is how likely are you to recommend us to a friend or colleague? And what we learned is that while absolutely you want your customers to be satisfied and absolutely you'd want them to recommend your company, a customers answer to either of those two questions right after a service interaction aren't nearly as predictive of their future behavior as most companies have been led to believe. But in experimenting with lots of other words and permutations and other ways of asking various post interaction questions, what we discovered, somewhat by accident, is that the way a person answers the effort question, which is how much effort was required for you to get your issue resolved, their answer to that question is more predictive of their future behavior than any other question. But that was only the initial discovery. It was the secondary discovery that really lit the bulb for me, and then, in many ways, is the genesis of the the DCS book. And that is we assumed at first. And why wouldn't you assume, that effort equals what customers have to do in a service interaction, the things they have to do, how many things that..., how hard it is to do those things, how long it takes to do those things? Effort is what you have to do. Right, effort is exertion. Well, then a follow up study at a psychological level. What we learned is when a person is answering that effort question, what they had to do constitutes only about a third of how people assess the effort of an interaction, and the other two thirds is how did the whole thing feel to me? And from that discovery we came to understand that companies can greatly influence how and experience feels just through the interaction itself, the words, the attitude, the positioning of the customer. Service Rep for example, when the customer assessed that the person I was interacting with was very much on my side versus on the company's side and I have to work around them to get what I want. If a person, if the agent, was seen as being an advocate for me, that customers effort decreased by three quarters. Something as simple as just the positioning and the attitude. You know, customer, Service Rep who are you representing? Are you representing the company or are you being paid by the company to represent the customer? That's simple little bit of positioning. Change changes everything about the way the experience feels. And so when you understand that effort is one third do and two thirds feel, that beget the whole science and study of what we call experience, engineering and engineering and experience to feel like lower effort, even if what the customer has to do is still exactly the same. And the classic example there was you call a company and the the Ivr, the voice robot, comes on. It says please put in your fifteen digit account number. So you put in your account number, then your weight around and finally an agent picks up. And what's the first question? They always ask you? What's your account number? I just put it on the system. Why are you asking me again? But if that person said Hey, I'm reck happy to help you here in an I know ething. You just put your number in this system, but for your own security, would you mind repeating it real fast? It's the same exact do, but it feels completely different. Well, now, and and you've positioned it as a benefit to me. Absolutely, and we're working together as a team. I'm on your side. You and I are a team and the enemy is the problem. The Enemies, not the company. I'm not the enemy, we're on the same team. Well, fast forward now to the past year with the advent of the DCS platform. What I'm discovering is that it's the ultimate effortless experience, because not only does it change the way the whole interaction feels, but in fact it changes what the customer has to do as well. It's the only solution that addresses both the do and the feel. The things the customer has to do are much easier, the things they don't ever have to do again, like stopping a digital interaction to start all over again on the phone. That's completely eliminated, and the fact that the whole interaction takes place on my screen and I'm in complete control and if I want to help, it's available right where I started the same interaction, it changes the feel as well. So this solution addresses both the do and feel sides of effort, and that's why it is ultimately the best example of an effortless experience that you could ever imagine. In today's digital first world. That feel side is so strong and it it. It's lays the foundation for everything else. That lays the foundation for thoughts, obviously, and then behaviors, whether that's saying something Nice or terrible about your company to a friend...

...or a team member leaving a review. It's just so interesting how we overlooked that. I've got a bunch more questions, but for your time and for listeners, I'll try to restrain myself and just kind of go into that one more layer and just get to kind of this people in machine side. One of the ideas that I love that you made very clear a couple of times throughout DCS was that we need to treat bots as members of the team. I think that's very interesting, but I think it's related here at some level, and so I guess kind of the last is last area to feel free to take in whatever direction you want. Speak to that idea treating bots as members of the team and then maybe any other human considerations for your customer service customer care team as you're trying to make this transformation. Do you need any different people? Do you need to train or develop differently? What are the implications on the human side of this to internal to the organization? If the biggest thing that plagues any service team is this idea that the bots are coming to take our jobs away, that the point of becoming more digital is to get rid of as many humans as possible, what we've discovered is that the point of using bots and a customer service environment is to enable your human beings to be more human. So, as an example, at the beginning of a typical phone call, a customer service phone interaction, the agent has to ask you a whole bunch of preliminary questions, the authentication questions. Then they have to try to understand and diagnose your issue, and all of that usually happens in a very perfunctory, robotic, I've asked these questions a million times kind of way. It's hard to get excited about asking a person for their zip code and their account number and any other preliminary authentication questions. But in the DCS model all of those things are taking care of by bots so that by the time the human being enters the middle of the customers interaction, they already know who the customer is because they've already been authenticated through the system and they already have a pretty strong idea of what the customers trying to accomplish based on what they've been doing on the website or APP. So the analogy we use is the BOT should be thought of as the soux chef. They do all the upfront prep work so that you, the chef, can create a glorious dish but without having to do all the dirty work. So the idea of bots and a customer service environment should be to set your human beings up for greater success. And, by the way, parenthetically, in a study I did not so long ago about employee effort and the relationship of employee experience to customer experience, one of the things we learned is that companies that are noted for creating an excellent, low effort experience for customers are also highest ranked for setting their employees up for success. When employees feel like my company is setting me up for greater success with the customers that I'm interacting with that ends up being way better for customers as well. So interesting. I mean again, I won't for the sake of time, but what you had me spinning on there was this idea again of effort being two thirds feel and having that on the employee side your point of I have to ask the same question for the eighty four time in a row, and just the psychological toll that takes and then, of course that's conveyed to the customer when they finally get this human to human interaction and there's no life, there's no energy, there's no interest, there's no excitement. It's someone going through the robotic steps. So many wins here. Really enjoyed it. For folks listening, if you've also...

...enjoyed this conversation a you should read digital customer service. But be I've also got some episodes you also might want to check out here on this podcast. I'm going to go way back to episode fifty six featuring me. I called it three customer experience myths debunked and set straight, and it was based on some of the insights in the opening chapters of the effortless experience. Se's a short take on things that I was really excited about as soon as I dived into the book. That's fifty six on the effortless experience. Eighty six with a gentleman named Rick Byers, who is the VP of customer support and success at Lennode and, if you want to get more into the human side of it, he really broke down in a practical way how he is built his team over the past several years. We called it hiring for soft skills, training for tech skills, because this, you know, if we want to put our people in the best position to win and to make customers feel amazing so that we get that that mutual benefit that you were just describing there at the end, Rick. Of course, this is also with another gentleman name Rick. We get into that and really practical waste. That's eighty six. And then I'd be remiss if I didn't mention chef Hiken, who you also mentioned in the book. Awesome Guy. He's been on the podcast twice, most recently episode one hundred and fifty seven. Why? Repeat, customers may not be loyal customers, and it goes so much to this idea of two thirds. Feel it's all about emotion, and so just because someone's coming back, that doesn't necessarily make them loyal, and so he gets into the nuance of that Rick. Before I let you go a few key things. One I'd love for you to think or mentioned someone who's had a positive impact on your life, for your career. Yeah, I certainly could mention Dan Mc Kelly, who's the CEO of Gliah and the CO author of DCS, but that would be even a little too easy. But he's been a massive influence. But beyond that is one of the CO authors of the effortless book, met Dixon, and Matt is now the chief Innovation Officer of a company called tether, and what tether does is they can measure customer effort in the midst of an interaction through voice analytics. And so matt has taken that same nucleus of the effortless experience that he and I both shared and he's taken it in that direction. But not more than anybody else. taught me how to first of all explore and discover counter intuitive insights but, more importantly, how to present them in an interesting and memorable and compelling way. So that feels like so much of what my job has been over the last few years and at some level that's what we hope we've brought you with the new DCS book. But I learned so much of that from met Dickson and I'll never be less than grateful for that interactions that I've had with him over many years. That's awesome. I love the way that you shared that and I can only imagine what the training data is for the tether, you know machine or you know body that's functioning in that way. Super Interesting. How about a company or a brand that you personally appreciate for the experience they deliver for you as a customer? Well, this is one that's going to be an immediate lightbulb for anybody who loves to play Golf, as I do. But the single greatest customer experience I have or ever will have occurs at the Bandon dunes resort in southwestern Oregon. Bandon dunes is this extraordinary playground of five magnificent world class golf courses and it's in the middle of nowhere. It is hours away from the nearest major airport. There's a little puddle Jumper Airport North Bend, Oregon that's a forty five minute drive away from the resort. But for people who Love Golf, and especially people who love a golf trip, everything about the way the abandoned dunes people operate is pure effortlessness. Everything is thought out well in...

...advance, needs are anticipated. But, even more importantly, if you have an issue, if something isn't right, if you have a problem, the attitude of virtually every employee you run into there is that's not a problem, that's not a problem at all. We've helped a million people with that same exact issue and we can completely solve that. In fact, I will own your problem. You could talk to a bartender about something wrong with your guest room and the bartender will say to you, don't worry, I've got this. You could talk to a caddie about an issue that you're having with your bill and they'll say I can absolutely help you with that. That whole idea of ownership of a problem and what I learned I worked in the hospitality business for a while as well. Ownership of a problem doesn't mean I'm the one who's going to solve your problem, but it means I'm the one who's going to make sure that your problelem gets solved by taking your problem or even you to the person who can solve it, not yeah, that's not me. You're going to have to talk to those guys over there. But let me bring you to those guys, or let me bring your problem to those guys and get it solved. Nothing is an effort when you're at the abandon duns resort, other than playing golf. And it's extraordinarily hard to play there and you'll never score well because it's crazy windy and the courses are really hard. But it's such an amazing experience because you're made to feel like you're the most important person in the world and there's no such thing as a problem. Ever so well told. I feel like there should be a book about how that culture was built, and I'm also imagining how much fun it must be to work there and to have that sense of ownership. I mean it's just so much more engaging and it brings the work to life in a way that is doing the same stuff over and over again and, you know, shoving problems off to the problem zone. It just sounds like a really, really great place to be. Yeah, the thing I learned in my time in the hospitality business, which I wasn't expecting, when I first got started was serving people with all of your energy and your own individual personality and a true, genuine caring for other people. Isn't work at all. It's fun. It's a hundred percent fun if you understand how much satisfaction that other person gets when you give the best of yourself to them, not because it's the rule, not because you're going to get criticized if you don't, but because serving another human being and creating a great experience for them is an absolutely noble thing to do with your life and unfortunately there's just way too many people who have customer service in their title who either don't understand that or that's been beaten out of them over time or they've just been doing it so long they've forgotten. But you know, here's a booster shot for everybody who works in any form of customer service. If you don't love doing it, please, for the sake of the rest of your life and everybody who you're going to interact with, find some else to do so good. That's why we have a thirty second back button on our podcast players so you can take that shot again. Really inspiring, really well said. Really enjoyed it for folks that are listening at this point and also enjoyed it. How would you recommend that they follow up to learn more? RIC How get how can I connect with you, connect with the book, connect with Glia? Where would you send people? Sure? Well, if you go right to the Glia website, which is just Glia gliacom, you can learn much more about Clia as a company and also get linked to the book. If you want to go directly to the book, Our book website is Digital Customer Service Bookcom and I am always available on Linkedin. Rick deleacy with a capital l owing to our Italian heritage in our... We're not really an Italian family. We eat sauce out of a jar, but where we're, at least by lineage, Italian. So yet anytime through Linkedin or the Glia website or a book website, because the book still relatively new. Were so interested to hear from anybody who has a chance to read it. Your thoughts, suggestions, critiques, all are welcome and we'd love to interact with you if you get a chance to read it. Awesome. I will link that stuff up. I'll link up Matt Dixon, I will find the golf course link them up. That's all also at Bombombcom book, where you can see video clips of Rick in this conversation. Rick, thank you so much for your time and thank you to everyone for listening. By everybody. The digital, virtual and online spaces where we work every day are noisier and more polluted than ever, and the problem is only getting worse. At risk or relationships and revenue, join bombombs, Steve Passanelli and Ethan Butt, along with eleven other experts in sales, marketing, customer experience, emotional intelligence, leadership and other disciplines, to learn a new way to break through the noise and pollution. Human centered communication a new book out now on Fast Company press. Learn more by visiting Bombombcom book or search human centered communication wherever you buy books. 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 podcasts.

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