The Customer Experience Podcast
The Customer Experience Podcast

Episode · 3 months ago

214. The WOW Experience: Doing What Others Won’t w/ Corey Shelton

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

The amount of technology we have at our fingertips is vast and wide.

It’s also underutilized in enhancing the customer experience. 

Today’s guest, Corey Shelton, helps us understand how we should be utilizing the technology we have to improve our customer experience from a digital perspective to gather data that can be utilized into actionable insights and from a direct human perspective.

Hear our conversation with Corey Shelton, SVP of Marketing at Atlantic Coast Mortgage:

  • How brand and customer experience are intertwined 
  • How to properly blend tech and humans to improve the customer experience 
  • When to utilize technology to help scale our customer experience 
  • Why it is more valuable to know what our customers do not want from us

More information about Corey Shelton and today’s topics:

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

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. Tools in tech that are underused, data that are collected but not turned into actionable insights, experiences and touch points that are disconnected. If you faced any of these challenges, you're not alone. As a consumer or on behalf of your company. Most of us have, including today's guest. He started his marketing journey and web development. He also ran his own marketing and branding agency. Today he serves as Senior Vice President of marketing at Atlantic coast mortgage. Corey Shelton, welcome to the customer experience podcast, Eden. Thank you for having me, my friend. I'm excited it to be here and have a conversation. Yeah, me too. We've had some good conversations in the past and, uh, we're actually recording this one, so that's kind of fun. I hope, I know other people will find it valuable too. Uh, and what we'll do here. Start where we always start, which is customer experience. When I say that to you, Corey, what does it mean? I think people will try to define what customer experiences and and certainly there's a number of ways you can do that. I think you could sum it up in one word, which is feeling. You know, the way that you leave people feeling after an engagement, whether that's at the beginning, at the end or as part of the post follow up. Um, it's how do you make people feel, which also ties into, you know, the things that you're using to communicate right. Um. And so at the end of the day, I think that customer experience really boils down to feeling, whether that's good or bad. It's kind of love to Um you as the marketer or the company, but essentially I think that's what it boils down to, is feeling. I love it with you on that. It reminds me of something I read. I hosted a gentleman named Howard Tiersky who wrote a fantastic book, but it covers it's a customer experience book and talks a lot about life cycle. But we we talked on this in particular. So I like the one word that you chose, like, as you said, as you teed that up, I was like, I hope he says something like feeling Um. And so for folks listening to feel like it's soft, I mean the logic progression about feeling driving your business outcomes goes like this. People's feelings and the emotional residence we leave them with guides their thoughts and their thoughts are conscious or subconscious. They're both all the time, and then those sub conscious and subconscious thoughts guide their words and actions and behaviors and decisions, and the customer's words, actions, decisions behaviors guide our business outcomes or produce our business outcomes. And so for anyone that feels like he picked a really soft word, there a corey and I will fight you and be use that logic. Does that? Does that connect with you? That that that string? I think people try to to technically define something that is almost ephemeral in a way. Right, like there are things where you're sending out a customer experience survey and people are saying unpleasant or great or whatever it is Um. But I think that that the overall customer experience expands well beyond just a few words and at the end of the day it's kind of like, you know, they say a picture is worth a thousand words, right, or you see a movie or you hear a song and it makes you feel something that's tangible, but you can't, it's hard to express through words what that tangible or that intangible feeling is, and so I think that customers experience is similar to that. Trying to understand the things that you know make people feel great, Um, whether that's through education, setting expectations, good communication, communicating through channels that make the most sense for them, all of those little things end up adding up to, I think, the overall customer experience which, at the end of it, leaves a resonance that I think I would describe as a feeling, and those are the things that they share with other people as well. So good, a lot of really good ideas packed in there. That was a really great take. And the thing on a double back on is this idea that we can't always articulate it right. So we're acting people to tell us how they feel, and so so many of the tools that we're using to get at this understanding are insufficient. We might wind up doubling back on that farther in our conversation, perhaps when we get into maybe some tools and tech and you know what you've equipped your team with and what's really working for you, because some of that might involve online reviews and some of these other things that we do to try to capture that feeling or or try hope that people can call back to the feeling that they had in the moment and kind of report that in an articulate way. But a couple more questions on on C X. Like you ran a marketing and branding agency for several years. It's part of how you landed at Atlantic coast. What is their relationship, from your perspective, between brand and customer experience, which you describe as a feeling? Like are the synonymous? Where do they...

...come together? Where do they go apart? Like that's a messy one too, and I think it's a really interesting conversation. I think that's a really great question. One of my favorite O g s on the brand side is Marty Neumeyer and to quote him, he said that brand is not what you say it is, or your brand is not what you say it is. It's what your customer says that it is, and so I think that those two are I think those things are intertwined with one another Um in a way that sometimes it's difficult to understand. But I kind of look at it as your brand is the overarching thing and then you have all of these other elements and aspects and a lot of times we try to silo them like in this really clean kind of sort of swim lane framework, and I don't think it really works like that. It's the same thing with people, right, like we try to be organized and structured, but at the end of the day, I mean the things that go on in our minds are are not necessarily organized or structured. Sure, there are things that we can do to kind of remedy that, but I think that, going back to your question of brand and customer experience, those two things are so intertwined with one another and really one builds off of the other. Right, like, if I'm delivering a poor customer experience, well, that's going to diminish my brand over time and at the end of the day, the customer experience is really just a signal for what your brand is at the end of the day. Yeah, I love it. I think the big idea there is that your customers own the brand and your customers define the experience. All we can do with our branding efforts is try to influence what they think and feel and say about the brand, and all we can do with our customer experience efforts is try to fix the broken things and make the good things great so that they have more positive feelings. But all we're seeking to do is influence the people who actually control and define these things. Well, the other thing I'll just add to that is, you know, maybe twenty or thirty years ago you could control your brand right, because people only have access to a limited amount of channels, most of which the brands and companies controlled, like, you know, radio commercials or TV ads or all of those different things. But I think we all know very well at this point. I mean a lot of times you see it in the media, you see it on Instagram, facebook, where someone had a terrible experience. Um, they have no issue telling everybody they had a terrible experience and then that snowballs into creating a worse situation that diminishes the overall reputation of that brand. Right. And on the flip side of that, the opposite. That is also true when you deliver amazing client experiences where you're focused in on putting the customer first and you're willing to to go the extra mile to make sure that you're helping them, like I said, through education, through proper communication, understanding which channels they want to communicate with, whether you're talking to millennials, Gen Z, baby boomers, etcetera. Like, all of those things add up to where people become your biggest advocates. When somebody, I don't know about you, Ethan, but when I have either when I have a bad experience or I have a great experience, those are really the polar opposites where I leave a review, where I let other people know. It's like this was terrible, I would never use them, or Oh my God, this was amazing. Ethan gave me such a fantastic experience I have to tell everybody. And so that's where I think that those two are inexplicitly intertwined with one another and you can't really separate them because they kind of build off of one another. Yeah, really good. One more follow up here before we get into a little bit into a C M Atlantic coast mortgage and mortgage in general and tools and tech and some of the things that we're doing well and poorly, and what the Nice areas for opportunity are, no matter what business we're in. Do you use the language customer experience regularly internally at Atlantic coast and, if not, kind of what are some of its proxies and or who owns it? Like, is this a thing internally, or is it like because you embody this this deep understanding, you just emit it? And is it formal or informal? I guess I don't really look at it as informal or formal. I think that it has to spend company wide right, like, and by that I mean that you can only give what you have. So customer experience, I think, kind of has to start internally, right. If you have disgrunt old or unhappy employees or they're communicating poorly with one another, how in the world can you expect them to communicate with other people? Well? The other thing I would say in terms of from a technology standpoint, a good friend, Josh friend actually, who's the CEO of a Um platform called a clerate. Him and I were having a conversation and previously the way that he branded that was crm and one of the things I told him was, you know, I think crm is a term of the past. I think it's something that is dying off, and the reason why I say that is because I've never met anybody who likes to be managed. So you think about a customer relationship management, I don't know any anybody who wants their relationships manage and so that's where the way I look at and what I shared with him, is I would...

...reposition that as a customer experience platform, so a c Xp, and then I think, you know, words matter at the end of the day. I think we we kind of all see that, particularly with social media and what people say, and so that's where I think that if we start using the terminology that we want to kind of embed into whether it's our employees or even with our customers, those things create a point at difference in a different way of of how you think and how you approach things. So if I'm talking about a customer relationship management versus a customer experience, my thinking goes into two different things. Over here, I'm thinking about automation and all the tools and all these kinds of things to generate revenue on the crm side on the customer experience platform. I'm thinking about how can I give them the best experience, and then all of the other things tie into that. I think it's one of those things where a lot of times we ask for value before we give it, and I think that the big thing with customer experiences delivering value and then allowing the law of reciprocity to kick in. It's like, the more value I give to you, the more value I'm going to inherently get back, and I think the other key with that is is that it has to be given in a sense of genuineus. It's not like Hey, I'm I'm faking this because I want you to give me something back, but it's truly caring about the person that you're trying to help, the person you're communicating with, whether that's internally or the external facing customer man so good it's like hey, I check the box. Can't I get what I want now? You know, it's so funny. It reminds me of Jacko Vander Koy, who's awesome. He's featured in our book Human Center Communication. Like a line that I always attribute to him is that recurring revenue is the result of recurring impact, and the reason that matters is that so often we're looking like how do we make revenue recur? How do we make revenue recur the revenue is not recurring or we don't have enough revenue or whatever the case may be, and we're focused on this end thing, when, if we spend at least half as much energy and attention on how do we create that recurring impact, which is just another way to say, Um, you know, you use the word value, then everything else takes care of it self. So your premise that if we take care of the customer in the moments and deliver, meet or exceed our expectations very, very consistently, everything else takes care of itself. But in the meantime we let that kind of not necessarily fall apart, but just, you know, get a little static and let problems persist because we're so focused on this downstream stuff that if we just moved upstream a hundred yards, it would be a much different thing for everybody completely agree. The other thing I would just kind of throw in there too is when you're talking about customer experience, a lot of times you talk about creating a wow factor right and creating raving fans. I think that's a lot of languages used commonly when you're thinking about customer experience. When I think about the idea of wow, I kind of break it into sort of an acronym and to me it means what others won't right. Like, if you want to create a wow experience, then you're gonna need to do what others won't. Um, and I think those two things are tied in with one because a lot of times people are maybe so focused in on technology or speed or trying to get the transaction through that they fail to realize that they're missing all of these amazing touch points and all these little micro experiences they can ultimately add up to creating this massive, you know, snowball effect in terms of the client experience to where they are going to be. A raving fan, you are creating holistically a while experience because you're doing what others won't. Love it. I first heard you as what others want, but then I also heard what others won't, and I actually think they both work for different reasons. So good. Um. Okay. So for people aren't familiar, before we get too much farther, because we could keep on this for a long time because, you know, tell tell folks a little bit of a little bit about Atlantic coast mortgage, like who's your ideal customer and what problems are you solving for them? What are you all about? So I always like to say that Atlantic coast mortgage is a next generation mortgage lender. So, in terms of our ideal clients, you know, our mission is really serving the home ownership needs of the communities that we operate in. So whether it's someone looking to refinance, you know, a home that they love, or someone or a family that's looking to buy a home, those are our ideal clients. But I would also add to that our partners. You know, our partners are clients. So, UM, realtors, financial advisors, I would also consider those group to be clients. And then from my team on the marketing side, you know we have internal customers or clients. I try not to use the word customer. I think of customer as being products focused versus client, which is typically associated with service. I always try to take a service mindset, so I have to catch myself. But Um, so I would say we have a number of different clients that we look at, whether it's externally or internally. And then the other thing I would say in terms of, you know, the problems that we solve, I think that, where many companies have, you know, loan officers who are focused purely on like rate in transaction, we've developed a team of experience, what I would call more each...

...advisors Um, that focus really on building relationships and delivering impactful loan strategies that not only help our clients, are external facing clients, are borrowers Um, you know, achieve their short term goals of finding or getting into the home that they love, but also their long term goals and being able to achieve things like financial health and wealth through the means of homeownership. And so I think it's really a holistic approach. One of the things that we say is, you know, the closing is when you close on your on your homelowan. That's really just the beginning of your relationship with us. Um. We're gonna be with their every step of the way and every time we reach out, we're always going to have great news. That may include new opportunities, whether it's leveraging your equity or other options, and so to me, that's where I see you know, in terms of our ideal audience and then really the solution that we provide that, in my opinion, you know, stands out among amongst the general, I think, industry as a whole. Yeah, and I want to go into that a little bit. So I'm hearing is that making some assumptions based on, you know, our first ten, fifteen minutes here together, you see this experience as all adding up to a true long term, lifetime relationship. I think it's the kind of thing a lot of people say but don't necessarily deliver on. But what I'm hearing in the way that you're talking about it is that it's part cultural and part operational, that this is something that you're truly manifesting in real life and you see it maybe as core to the operation of the business as opposed to, you know, it's easy to say a customer for life, right. Yeah, we hear a lot of we hear a lot of that, but whether you actually live up to that promise, I think, is a different thing. And what you just said is accurate in terms of it can't be just one thing, right. It can't be just the marketing department, it can't be just production, it can't just be operations. It has to be all of those things working in concert with one another, right, you know, using the term concert, imagine going and hearing your favorite band and the guitarist is playing the wrong chords and they suck, but everybody else is playing flawlessly. Well, that's gonna be a terrible experience that you have just because at one piece is out of sync or their equipment isn't working properly right and you're getting a lot of feedback from the ants. That's gonna be a miserable experience. And so really I think that you have to look at it holistically, from all of the departments working in concert and in sync with one another. And then the other side of that is, you know, leveraging technology in a in a smart way that does put the customer first and helps you streamline all of those different processes to make that experience, you know, as stress free. That's one of the that's our tagline is simple, easy and stress free, and that's really what we aim to do, because that helps facilitate and create those great customer experiences or client experiences. Cool, uh, yeah, clients. Yeah, I have. I've actually had that as like a soft debate in a very early episode of this podcast. Like, uh, so, I'm told, like you're smiling about it, and so am I, but like it's a thing, it's a it's a legitimate, good, valuable semantic conversation. I buy what you already offered on that. So let's go into that. I mean, I had a different follow up question there, but I think we're right at the doorstep of this idea of for you, as you are operating from a service mindset to serve your internal customers as well as your internal customers, customers, your external customers, the borrowers and the real estate and other referral partners, financial advisors, etcetera. How do you find this balance of because humans are still involved in all of this, and we could maybe even go down that road too, of the ways that people are trying to like shake the human out of the process through tech only. Obviously you see it as a both and not an either or how do you think about and then maybe even take it to a practical level? Give me one or two examples of how you find this balance between because I really like that metaphor of the concert and the idea of the equipment being like out of tune or, you know, providing feedback. You know, or you know or or the drum set is just might doll wrong, and so it just sounds terrible. You know, how do you blend proper tech in the way that's set up in order to serve humans, both the people operating it and the people that they're operating it on behalf of Um? How do you find that balance and maybe give an example of, you know, we maybe took it here and found ourselves a step too far and like reined it back in and, you know, put a human back on that or or vice versa. Yeah, I think I think that's a really interesting question. You know, Atlantic coast mortgage is a retail mortgage lender and so, with that being said, it's one of those things where on the consumer direct side, you know, I could do whatever I want, like in terms of setting up the technology, and you have your your loan officers or those that are answering the calls when they're coming in, but you're really kind of controlling the front end process and it's really the brand that's driving the engagement. On the retail side. It's like you have, you know, the the overarching company in...

...brand, but then you have dozens of other little Um same inside of that, right, because each person is their own person. You know, they're all working off of commission, and so I think that really it starts with, you know, first coming up with what is the idea and the problem that you're trying to solve, which requires you to have conversations gain insights into, you know, what is that internal customer, those loan officers, what's the problems that they're having? And you know, for us, there could be issues at our Virginia Beach Branch that maybe isn't the same issue at our D C branch Um, and so it's understanding those different things that different needs. At the same time, you know, I always talk about growth. Is Cool, but what's really cool is scalability. So my mindset is always trying to understand where is the common theme or the common thread amongst, you know, some of the issues, whether that's figuring out how to position a product, you know, in the market, leveraging like social media, or what are the communications look like from a Legion standpoint that they can leverage? And so I think the big thing is understanding the problem in those insights, establishing trust and report because, you know, I can say all day, Hey, this is gonna be amazing for you if you just follow this process. They're gonna be like, you don't know what you're talking about, you're not a loan officer right, Um. And so it's all of those little things that you need to do inside and and ultimately to get their buy in, which leads to adoption. And then from there I think it's really being able to continue partnering with them to understand what's working or not working. You know, we have loan officers that are more formal, Um, we have loan officers that are more informal, you know, they're on Tiktok and doing stuff like that, and so it's also understanding that the balances of those things, which I think can be challenging at times. But the big thing, and all of that, I believe, is getting, you know, small successes and wins. So I think that, with all of that being said, that the big thing is outside of the internal piece of it, you know, once you start getting feedback, depending upon the metrics that you're you're using and also the channels that you're communicating through, like am I communicating through email or SMS or Deo or social media or a mix of all of those things. Uh, it's understanding what's resonating with your audience, and that sizes back to even what I said earlier. Um, knowing that, you know, the people that are using Tiktok and doing all those things likely have a younger audience than maybe somebody who's on facebook and doing more things there. And so I would say it's kind of giving an answer without giving an answer, I think, which I totally recognize. But I would say this. You know, for me, my big thing is always to have a sense of curiosity and I also don't think that what worked yesterday is gonna Work Tomorrow. I think that all of these things require what Toyota developed a long time ago called Kais in, which is continue improvement, right, and I think that that's the approach that we have to take. And so trying to give just a clear cut answer, like do this, this and this and then everything's gonna be fine, I think doesn't serve people well as well as giving them a framework of how to think and then navigate those different situations, because a lot of times people that are in my role or that you know, marketers, that that know what they're doing. You know, we're all using similar technology. But it also ties into the fact that, you know, I can give somebody a tool and a hammer and nails and a drill and all these different tools um to the inexperienced person and they're gonna build this rickety shock, versus the experience builder and you look over you're like, oh my gosh, this is two story house that's got five bedrooms and this is amazing. Same tools, different outcomes, and I think that the big thing there is just educating yourself and understanding how to properly think through those situations, having a sense of curiosity, and I think the last thing I'll say with it is, Um, getting rid of your ego right like I can't tell you how many times there's and be like, Oh, this is gonna be the best idea, we have to do this, and then I'll explain it and they'll be like, I don't want to do that because of this, and it's like, in those moments I could be like, well, why don't you want to do this? Like you're leaving money on the table, you're you're not giving a great as great of experience. But at the same time that ties back to the fact that like part of my job is winning hearts and minds with my internal clients, and so that's where, you know, I try to pick and choose, depending upon what it is, the individuals that I think maybe more forward thinking, versus someone who may be kind of a laggered on the technology side, and then trying to get some quick wins and being like Hey, I know you said you don't want to try this, but I just tried this over here with these three people and they're finding this success. Do you want that too? And it's like, okay, yes, sign me up. So long that was the long way of getting there, but hopefully that kind of gives you a non answer or an answer non answer out. But now that was really good. You covered a lot of ground there and you actually started going somewhere. That will go in a minute, but just for context, do a couple quick things for us, me and other people that are a little bit more ignorant of the world that you live in. I mean, I know a lot about the world that you lifted, but all of us, you know, break apart again this this direct versus retail, and about how many different stakeholders or low officers are we...

...talking about? And then also layered in. Talk about this because because I want to. What I want to get into next is like the adoption of tools. But, you know, is the approach of Atlantic coach, of of Atlantic coast to give everybody a shared stack and do shared training and get group deals and make sure everyone's using approximately the same thing, even though, with full respect, and I love your analogy of you know, same tools, same equipment, different outcomes. It makes me think about like different bands that covered the same song. They're absolutely different experiences and they're both excellent in their own right, but it's like this is not the same thing, even though they're both working off the same lyrics and the same music, the exact same notes in the exact same order Um, but it's a whole different thing. To just walk through that really quickly, like about how many people are you trying to build trust with, equip and support internally, kind of as we've been talking the past several minutes, and what are the nuances between them? Besides some of this, I've been in the business a long time. I just got into the business. I prefer to do a lot of treat marketing. I prefer to do tiktok videos and it's really working for me. Besides some of those variations, like talk a little bit about this body of people and what you and your team are trying to do to support them with tech. Yes, we have around. Don't hold me to this number, but I want to stay around a hundred nine loan officers. One of the interesting things, you know, I love digging into data and you know, looking at Scottsman guide data from last year it was interesting because if you take the average of our loan officers and you were to do that as a ranking, our average on or per l o on average was a little over fifty million, which is not a small number. And so that's one of the things that, you know I say about Atlantic coast is the fact that, especially coming from Virginia Beach, I lived in Virginia Beach for thirteen years before I moved up here to Northern Virginia and you know we have a lot of military, we navy seals that are there, and so I kind of use that as analogy where I'm like, I'm like look, this is not throwing shade on any branch of the military, but which one do you hear the most about, you know, and Navy Seals. I'm like, okay, well, there's less there, and then then maybe the conventional units. Right now, both are great, but if you had to pick right now, if you could be an either one, which one would it be? And it's always like a navy seal. And and so that's where I kind of liken us to that, where I'm like, you know, the type of producers that we have, um, the type of education, the type of technology that we provide, the type of support, all of those things. You know, we aim to give the best internal experience in the same way that we hope they aim to give the best external experience. Like you can only give what you have, right and so my philosophy is if I can give you as much value as possible, and my hope is that you're going to take advantage of that and then give your clients as much value as possible, both in terms of your borrowers, Co borrowers, but also your your partners as well. So, Um, to answer your one question, as far as with our our text act, we do generally give everybody, for the most part, you know, a set of tools and platforms that they have access to. Most are integrated in with one another and also we pay for the majority of that as well. So you know, talking with a lot of my colleagues and other companies and finding out, you know that they charge, whether it's through payroll deduction or whatever process they have. You know that the LS a lot of times are paying for it, so they have some kind of skin in the game, which in some cases, I think is beneficial. However, if you're a loan officer who's going to fully take advantage of the tools, then that's where, I think, you know, our philosophy is. Why wouldn't we give you this? Because it's going to add value to you your capabilities of delivering more value and creating, ultimately, that great customer or client experience Um with the people that you're engaging with, whether it is your partners or your your borrowers. So you know, that's more or less the approach that we take. And then the other thing I would just say, I think that you had asked about, is from the education internally, I will be honest and say that is certainly a challenge. I think that most of those in the mortgage industry, you know, in a similar role to me when it comes to the retail side would probably agree, because there is that mindset of especially if you're talking to somebody who is a solid producer Um, you know, and they have a lot of connections and relationships and they've been doing a long time, like who am I to tell them how they should evolve right? But my thing, my thing is this is, you know, a common phrase that he's around here is everyone wants to grow but nobody wants to change, because change is hard. But growth requires change, which means you have to be willing to adapt and ultimately continually evolve right and get better because things are changing. What worked ten years ago may kind of hold you and, you know, tied you by right now, but ultimately that's going to fall apart when, you know, you get to a point where everybody else is using a certain set of technology and you're like, Oh, I had that before everybody, but I didn't use that and it's like you missed this incredible opportunity to position in yourself as a...

...market leader, as a thought leader, by using some of these tools. And I get it. Like you know, learning something new is definitely challenging, but I think the pain of not learning it up front and and choosing to be, you know, a laggered when it comes to leveraging technology. You know, just doesn't make sense, and I think it'll get to a point where it's either, you know, this is the standard, because right now it's not. This is one of the I think this is one of the pros and also the cons of the mortgage industry is that, compared to like the e commerce side of things or some other industry, verticals were a little bit further behind on the technology side of things. Um However, there's a lot of technology like bomb bomb that's coming out, as well as a number of others that kind of fill in those gaps, particularly when you start putting them together and integrating them, and so there's a huge opportunity gap there. Now the key is just maximizing that, getting the buy in and then increasing adoption, you know, internally speaking. But and then the last thing I would say is, you know, my mindset is traditionally there's always been consumer direct and then there's been retail, and I think that, with where technology is at right now, my background is in Web Development, so I'm always looking through the Lens of how can I integrate systems? What can we do that I can essentially my my inn goal is to take the retail side and create a hybrid between retail and consumer direct such that each loan officer is more or less their own consumer direct brand. Obviously they're part of a C M, but giving them the same tools on a micro level that the consumer direct brands have on a macro level. I think there's an enormous amount of value to be had there. So that's, at the end of the day, my goal. It's like getting the best of both, getting the speed and efficiency of consumer direct and then giving that experience in that more personalized touch that that retail offers. So that was a long winded response. hopfully they answered the question. No, it was. It was you put them in like nice compartments. It is very easy to follow in, very a lot of good information in there, and so one zone of follow up. And again you were there already and you already gave a couple of tips, like one is, of course, to offer ideas and to take feedback with humility and openness. Another one is to look for um small winds and to stage people into successful you know from this is the thing I'm trying to this is now just a normal thing that I don't even think or talk about it anymore. It's just part of my process. You also share the idea of finding the early champions and then saying hey, people that were resistant out of the gate, look at these people. Anything else? Because I'll say this, this challenge of tech adoption is not is not unique to mortgage at all, Um and, in fact, I spent a little bit of time with a guy that I've gotten to know who's been a bomb bum customer for years, who, Um, he's worked at a bunch of different companies, but he's also consulted just around this problem alone. Of You bought all this tech, you have all the right idea is, it's integrated well, but the people aren't picking it up. And you know, somehow we've normalized, you know, thirty percent usage or adoption as like. And that could be like one big piece of equipment where we're only using two percent of the available features or capacity or functionality. or it could be we equipped, you know, a hundred plus people with this and only, you know, thirty one of them are actually doing it like Um A. is that? Is that an acceptable or appropriate status? Quote, just a reality we have to deal with and or B. Do you have any other tips about how you're pushing past that so that you and the people you're trying to serve are getting maximum value from your decisions and commitments and investments? Yeah, I think I think there's a couple of things. One is storytelling. I think is a great way to kind of break in, like thinking about who your audience is. Right, like on the marketing side we're always who's your audience? You know, Um, tell me, help me understand their behavioral psychology and the and how they think and what they do, all of those kinds of things. Right. So, like if we just take some of those basic marketing psychology principles and we start thinking about it, of okay, who is our audience? Okay, it's the sales individuals, the loan officers, right. Well, they're not technologists, they're not marketers, like, and so trying to talk to them in that way like similar to how you and I are talking right now, right, like there's some techno, uh, involvement with technology, Um, and that would just glaze their eyes over. And so I think it's focusing in on on telling compelling stories through successes and winds and then also exercising I love what you said earlier as far as exercising empathy and humility, where you know, I'm always open to where I bring ideas, but I never think that my ideas that is the best in the room, even though I'm the head of marketing right it's always like I go to our l Os uh, different branches or branch managers, I'm like, Hey, what are you struggling with right now, like what are the things right? And so I'm building up that trust and rapport which is also going to make them more likely...

...to trust me because we have that rapport when I say, Hey, I would love to try this and I show them an example. One thing that that I do because I absolutely love Bom bomb and I'm trying to get them to do more more video and I'm starting to actually make a little bit of track, a headway right now, which is fantastic, and one of the things I told them I'll have to look up where this source is, because I cannot for the life of me find it. But I have access to J store, which, for anybody who's in college knows that that's where you can go and read Um, more technical like articles that are from like professors and really smart people and I remember reading a particular article on video and they were talking about the psychology of video and they and it was pointing out how, you know, you and I are own video right now. We understand the world video, but our brains actually don't distinguish the difference between you know, I'm seeing you right here and US talking in person, and so one of the questions. I point that out to our L O S and one of the things I say to them is this goes back to the whole growth thing. Um, growing is cool. What's really cool, then, what's Badass is scaling, Um, but doing it in a way that is thoughtful, Um, and that's where I tell them, like, think about if you were able to have a thousand conversations at one time in a matter of a minute, like how valuable would that be to you? And they're like, oh, that would be great. And that's where I tell them like, Hey, from a from a psychological standpoint, this is how your brain recognizes video. And so translate that over to whether it's, you know, potential clients, your current clients, your partners, whoever it is. That's where I think that being able to leverage if you're not doing like one off videos, Um, and I love the book that you all have rehumanized. I think it's phenomenal. There's a ton of amazing Um tips and tricks and just insights in there. But I think that that's where, if you can kind of share those stories, that's the way to break through. It's not focusing in on the technology. At the end of the day, the technology is just a tool, just a tool to connect, engage, educate and help, and you touch on this briefly earlier, but a lot of times look at technology as a way to circumvent the personal touch piece and it's like no, no, no, technology should be used as a conduit to scale that sort of experiential experience that you're trying to offer to people, right. And so that's kind of what the approach that I take, where I just try to I try to have conversations and I try to take success stories along with some other insights that I've I've, you know, garnered over the year as far as like the psychology stuff, because everybody loves to kind of like be in the know these little secret things like like I've I've heard people on our team literally tell people that we're recruiting the exact same thing, which I love. It's like because they have this little secret. Now, like did you know that? From a psychological standpoint, your brain doesn't recognize the difference, and I'm like, that's awesome. They took that and now they're starting to make it their own. And so I think that if you can do that, I don't think it's something that happens overnight, but I think that if you can slowly start winning hearts and minds, and maybe from some of the key leaders, Um, so, if it's your top producers or branch manager, did that kind of flows throughout, or even like a brand champion at a branch. But I think that those are simple ways that you can kind of start focusing your efforts where, even internally, you can scale that out, that message and that adoption now. So good. First, thank you for the positive words I rehumanized and for sharing it with people. I associate this, this psychological principle you offered with Um. I think his name is Edward t hall, and he talked about the different circles of social space, and we're in personal space here because I'm less than two feet from my camera. You're less than two feet from your camera. So this this I forget what the range is like inside. This is like intimate space, and we generally in a business context it's weird to get into intimate space. But this like four foot distance. To your point, our brains read it as if we're in close personal space, which makes us just feel closer to each other period, and we talked about that a little bit. I interviewed Uh David Merriman Scott on his book Fan ocracy and he cites Edward Hall's research in there, and so that's what I associate that with and it's a real thing. The other interesting like like I'm going to add a Meta layer to to what you share, because there's a lot in there, especially about this trust and relationship as the foundation for people even listening and following along and believing the stories and wanting to hear more and sharing their own thoughts. And sometimes they're offering fears or concerns or they're revealing things about themselves that you know in order, and that all comes through trust. But Um Steve and I, who co authored rehumanize Your Business, we both do a ton of presentations here, as do others like Alicia Baruti, and were constantly in going into a room or an audience, trying to figure out, and we're typically, of course, talking about video messaging and why it matters and how it helps rehumanize the experience, and we're constantly in a battle with ourselves as we're trying to structure it well and doing discovery with the people that were presenting, for so we know who's in the room, so we can structure about how much, why versus Um when? How? Who want like the gut of it, like...

...there's no reason, and for this adoption concept, there's no reason to get into the guts of what buttons to pushing in what order and when you use this and when you use that. If people don't understand and actually buy, why does this even matter? Why do I care? Why am I paying attention? Why am I in this training session? Like like that element, and so reading the room and knowing how bought in the people are on the problem, on the opportunity, on the solution that you're bringing is key. So, anyway, so much good stuff there. Okay, I want to ask this, but for the sake of time, I'm going to kind of lump two questions together. You already mentioned and I mentioned that you came up in web development. Um, that's a strength and, I assume, at some level of passion of yours. Um, we haven't really touched a lot on data and the capabilities of data and data is under you. So I just I guess it's like a kind of a big conversation closer topic. What are you excited about now? What are the opportunities? Um, what are maybe some things people aren't doing but could, should, would and or what's near on the horizon in terms of because there's a lot changing in both spaces. I don't know web dev that much, but when we just think about what's going on with, you know, cookinging, for example, and how that whole world is, I can't believe, I'm to say, crumbling down. Yeah, you know, talking, Talk. You can go anywhere you want with this from a data or a web development perspective specific to customer experience and how we can create more wow moments, whether it's what others want or what others won't do. Um, go anywhere you want with that. Like, what are you excited about from your perspective in this zone? Yeah, so, let me see if I can string this together. I would say, you know, I love what you said what others want, thinking about what our internal customers want. They want, you know, ease of use and accessibility, Um, and not having to go to all these different platforms. So, you know, I think that part of getting adoption is key to that, which ties into integrations, right. So where I would start with on that front is by using a single sign on platform like OCTA that's connected to everything and then you just log into that, you click the button and it automatically opens up whatever you want, right. But then going beyond that, I think the other big opportunity is integrating these different systems, which is also a pain point, um, for a lot of the more in the mortgage technology space, because there are companies that are like I do this great, and I'm like that's great. How do I connect you to this thing over here? And then how do I connect over here? Right, because essentially what we have right now, Um, I think that, generally speaking, is we have all these disparate systems. Right, I have this over here and I have this over here and I have this over here and this has data and this has data and that has data and it's all kinds of different data and it's like to be as effective as possible. On the marketing side, you need to be able to understand how all that data correlates with one another, right, whether you're talking about attribution or something else. Right on the consumer direct side it's a little bit easier because you can kind of control a lot of that that process. Um, on the retail outside, it's not because you're dealing with people and this person wants this, this person does that. So Um. I think that the big thing there is integrating the systems um as much as you can. You know, for anybody who, I feel like a lot of marketing people, understand what a P I s are, but you know, on the web development side, you're accurate. Like I still do web development. I absolutely love it. I'm still learning some new languages. Um and and to me I always look at, you know, how can what does the data I can get? Why does it matter? How does it matter? How can I connect these different systems? To give one example of a project I'm working on right now that I think is very interesting, it's a v O C or a voice of customer project that is analyzing review data. Um and so I've written some code that allowed me to aggregate over forty five thousand negative reviews between zero and two point five, and what I'm doing with that data is I'm gonna go through sentiment analysis, topic analysis, and I'm working with one of our technology partners on this as well, with their day to science team. But I want to go through all of that now. There's some some simple things that I gleaned just from the top of it by being able to bucket different words and, as you would imagine, the number one word that comes up to most is communication. Something that's interesting, though, with that is that a lot of the references are in reference to poor communication or somebody being upset, because, remember, again, this is zero to two point five. I want to understand why people are upset right if I can understand, like, what you don't want, because it's one thing for for me for you to tell me like Ethan, where you're like hey, Corey, I want you to do this. Cool. I almost think it may be more valuable for you to tell me what you don't want right, like you're going to be more frustrated and more irritated or angry with me if I do the thing, even if I kind of hit the mark on the thing you want, but I definitely do the thing you don't want, you're gonna be really piste off, and so I'm taking a look at that, analyzing that and, you know, going back to the communication thing, I found something that's interesting where a lot of time people reference communication at the end of the process, right it's...

...like people start off good and they're communicating and they're communicating, but then they hand them off to a team member, um, that maybe doesn't have as much training or isn't communicative as the other person or the l o just like disappears right like they're like, you're good, I got you now, Um, and so there's some interesting insights that I'm starting to Glean from that. We're planning on going into a lot more depth with it and gleaning a lot more insights that we want to share in and a white paper. But so I love being able to to understand those kinds of things. At the end of the day, I think that, you know, the technology and the psychology of what does it mean to be human? And the other piece of it is how are humans evolving? Like the expectations now are completely and wildly different than what they were, you know five, ten, twenty five, years ago and so being able to keep up with that and deliver great experiences. Again, I look at technology, I love digging into code, I love using a p I s and pulling all kinds of data, but at the end of the day I use that all as a tool and a resource to better understand P pool and to help me better understand how I can communicate and engage with them in a way that ultimately is going to be meaningful for for them and also meaningful for our loan officers and for the company, because I truly believe in the mission that we have to serve our local community. So if we can understand what their needs are better, you know our ability to go above and beyond to create that wow experience Um is gonna be second to none. So you know that that hopefully that gives you kind of like a high level overview and one of the projects that that I'm working all right now. Dude, that was so good, like a when you get that buttoned up, or it's starting to be buttoned up, um or you want to offers here one if you want to talk about it while it's still in development, happy to do that with you anytime. It's super interesting. I love what you're doing there and too, whenever you have it kind of organized. Happy to have this conversation that you kind of like put on the doorstep. We don't have tied for today, but Um, this idea of what it means to be human, how we're evolving, how we define things by what they aren't or, you know, defining what we want by defining what we don't want. Um, and the results of the sentiment analysis, what you learned on the journey, mistakes you made, um assumptions that proved to be false. Great takeaway some of the smart decisions. Like I definitely want to have that conversation. Um. It's super interesting and I love the approach and, most importantly, even the way you brought that around at the end. Why does this matter? It matters because we have a mission to serve our local community and this is one of the best ways to do it, by doing what others won't and giving people what they want. So if you have enjoyed this time with corey as I have, and I know Joe, I could easily do our I've got actually I've got three more. I actually brought a couple of them up here. That that we're just top of mind. So most recently is one episode of this podcast with Ginger Bell, who also does a lot of work in the mortgage space. She has a business called edge marketing. Um. The theme of that conversation was more teaching and less selling, and we definitely talk a lot about video and the value of video in terms of building relationships and serving people. The episode before that just came up here at the end. It was episode with Louis Angel Alan. He's vice president of customer voice at American Express and over the past decade he's brought all this stuff together and his team is going deep into sentiment analysis on all of the qualitative feedback that they're getting, for the same reason that you are, to validate some things we think we know, Um, and to find to discover things that we didn't know we didn't know, because there's just so much richness and availability there. So we go deep into some of the projects he's working on an episode. And then earlier episode sixty three, with David Merriman Scott. That was at the time he released his book Fan Ocracy, which I don't know if you're familiar with it, Corey, but I'm sure you would enjoy it, just knowing you as I do. Um, a lot of really good demes in there and uh, he certainly talked quite a bit about video and in that episode we really got into that Edward Hall Research. So that's one with Ginger Belt, v O C and sentiment, anal us with Louis Angel Alan from an American Express, an episode sixty three with David Merriman Scott, who is man about the marketing world. He's gonna he's used O g earlier. He's definitely an o g kind of in this zone. He's been writing and publishing for decades now. Um, Corey, before I let you go first, thank you. Second, can you do two things for me. Think or mentioned someone who's had a positive impact on your life or career and then also to give a not or a shout out to a company, your brand that you personally appreciate for the experience that they deliver for you as a customer. They're kind of one and the same. I mentioned them earlier and I'll give to people which is Alex cousician Um, CEO of sales boom ring, Dave's. I think that those guys what Dave is doing on his weekly trainings or calls is incredible. Um. I think what Alex is doing with sales boom ring and how they're communicating with their clients to give them amazing experience, me being one of them, is amazing, Um, and like why I would just give their their companies, mortgage coach...

...and sales boom rank, which recently just merged, which is awesome. Um, I'd give them a shout out. I think that what they're doing is incredible, both on the technology side, how that ties into the end borroware experience, but also just the experience that you know, I've witnessed for myself internally. I think is second to nine. I think a lot of other companies could kind of take Um note of that and maybe learn a few things. So I really appreciate both of those guys. Both of them definitely inspire me. Awesome. If you have inspired people through this conversation, where can they follow up learn more about you in Atlantic coast? Yeah, so you can go to Atlantic coast mortgage dot com to check outlantic coast mortgage. If you'd like to connect with me. I don't really I know this is going to be a little sacrilegious. I don't do a ton of stuff on social media and, to be frank, my instagram is really for my family and friends. Um. I don't have a desire to be like the next big thing on there. So it's family and friends. But I would love to connect on Linkedin, so you can find me at Corey Shelton, Um, no spaces or anything else. When you look for me, you'll see some thunderbolts on the side, which this is a little hack. I know when people automate reaching out to me because I see the thunderbolts. Um. So something that I do. So yeah, I would love to connect on Linkedin. Pro Move. I thought it was just to stand out a little bit in the feed and and it's like, that's really interesting, I totally know what you're talking about. That makes so much sense. It's practical and it also helps me kind of stand out, I guess. Yeah, so cool man. Love this. Looking forward to the next one. Good luck with that VOC project and I want to know more about it. Yeah, absolutely even thanks so much for having me look forward to next time. Here's a fun fact. Video emails and video messages aren't about video at all. They're about you and about the other person or the other people you're sharing that video with. Videos are about your tone, intent, enthusiasm, gratitude, concern and all those other rich human nuances missing for your typed out messages. Save time, add clarity, convey sincerity. Send video messages from Gmail, outlook, iphone, android salesforce, outreach, Zendesk, Linkedin, slack and beyond with bomb bomb. Learn more and try it free at bomb bomb dot com. 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 bomb bomb dot com. Slash podcast.

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