The Customer Experience Podcast
The Customer Experience Podcast

Episode · 2 months ago

226. Why and How Meaningful Personalization Improves CX w/ Ethan Beute


According to a recent McKinsey & Company report, 71% of consumers expect personalization and 76% get frustrated when they don’t find it.

Like it or not, personalization is a norm and it’s here to stay.

So it’s key that marketers learn how to make that personalization meaningful,

In this solo episode, Ethan walks through a real A/B test which added personalization yielded lower touchpoints to a prospective customer, doubled overall response rate and increased lead conversion. He also covers:

  • What are some specific personalization tactics customers expect?
  • Why every B2B buyer is also a B2C buyer
  • Why the word personalized and personal feel so different
  • How personalized video messaging can provide better context to a situation by targeting more sensory and emotive opportunities
  • What are the three characteristics of moments that are improved with a video message compared to traditional digital communication?    

More information about Melissa Gratias 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 Hey. In this short episode, I'm going to be sharing with you some insights, some data, and some tactics behind meaningful personalization. And that word meaningful is key because we've all seen personalization. We've experienced personalization that didn't add any meaning, it didn't add any value, and sometimes goes comically bad. And I do have a couple of examples that I'll share around that, but I'll start with our shared end in mind. We're looking for revenue, so we define the destination, the goal, the target. We draw out a path and a plan, then we send our people off on it, and we want them to work with speed, and we want them to get faster. We're looking for revenue efficiency and we want more efficiency. We're hoping to find those things and be able to do this at scale. But in the face of that, we also know that we need to have the patients to let some of our people tap the brakes and try a different road, try a different path, try a different tactic, because we all know that there are multiple paths to the same destination, and some of them may be more efficient, they may be faster, they may allow us to scale better as well. And that's exactly what we did at bom bomb with a gentleman who equips and enables multiple business development teams at one of the big four management consulting firms, huge organization, dozens of billions of dollars in revenue, and we worked with one of the teams that operates at these art to that path to revenue, a team of about thirty business development reps. They work in ninety day campaign cycles, and so we worked with them on a couple of these cycles, and here are some of the numbers that they reported back to us. What we did is we learned about their traditional approach and we helped them develop a more personal approach. So that's the A B comparison here In terms of the average touches to an initial lead response with the traditional approach, it took ten touches, and that's right in zone you know years ago it used to be takes seven touches to generate a lead response. Now it takes fifteen touches. There right in zone at ten. But with the more personal approach, they got their faster sevent faster. It took an average of three touches primarily email, LinkedIn and phone. By the way, are their touch points, so ten down to three by getting more personal, overall response rate across the campaign doubled from with the traditional approach to thirty three with the more personal approach. That's to say, one in three people that they reached out to primarily cold outreach responded back. And I'll tell you why that's a big deal in a minute. Besides the other numbers I'm about to share. Lead conversion a qualified appointment held six percent with the traditional approach, ten with the more personal approach. That is a sixty percent lift. And then they mathed it up. If we're getting responses faster, we're getting more responses overall, and we're converting more of our opportunities. They attribute to this more personal approach two hundred million dollars in additional pipeline over a twelve month period, and they have a long sales cycle. So they projected closed one revenue over the next three years at fifty million dollars, and the acceleration component they're pulling that pipeline and revenue forward six months faster, allowing them to run more campaign cycles per rap. They also were ordered a number of intangibles. Even the nose...

...were better as one of my favorite ones. So with the traditional approach, they would get things like no, no, thank you, not interested. But with the more personal approach, they were getting no and or no. But they were getting insights into tech stack, contracts and contract lengths, priorities, structure, really rich intelligence that can help them in the future be of higher service and higher value. Insights that help them get more personal than next time they reach out to that account. Incredible outcomes one example, but a powerful sign of how valuable meaningful personalization can be. My name is Ethan Butte, chief evangelist at Bomb Bomb, host of course, of the Customer Experience podcast, and co author of two books on these themes and topics. The first was Rehumanized Your Business and more recently our Wall Street Journal bestseller Human Centered Communication. Not long after we got this rate data from our great partner, someone shared with me recent Mackenzie and Company data, and that data basically says customers expect personalization. In fact, seventy of customers expect personalization and seventy get frustrated when they don't get it. Some of the things they're looking for before committing to an initial purchase in this personalization zone. Give me relevant product or service recommendations, tailor messaging to my needs. Celebrate my milestones one of my favorites here. Send me timely communication tied to key moments. Right, I'm on this journey. I'm not exactly sure where I am. I'm not sure what my options are. I'm not sure what I should be proud of. I'm not sure what my next steps could be. Send me timely communication tied to key moments. Help me on this journey in a personal way. Here's another one. Follow up with me post purchase. Of course, personally address communication to me. So again, those are some of the things they're looking for before they make the initial purchase. And when we do it, seventy percent of consumers say they're more likely to purchase, seventy eight percent say they're more likely to repurchase, and equally, seventy eight percent say they're more likely to recommend us to family members, friends, and other people. Now you might say, Ethan, this sounds like B two C data and I'm in a B two B organization, and that's fine, But I think you're excusing yourself a little bit too early. And here's why. Every B two B buyer is also a B two C buyer, and your B two B buyer's expectations are not being set by their experience with your direct competitor. Their expectations are being set by every one of their experiences. We're not being compared to our peers, were being compared to the best in the world. So we need to find ways to deliver meaningful personalization. And by the way, we write up every one of these episodes at bombom dot com slash podcast. So if you go to bombom dot com slash podcast and look for episode to Meaningful Personalization, you can see some of the images from this report, and I'll even link up a lot of the things that I'm talking about. As you know, on every episode of this show, I open the interviews with the same question when I say customer experience, what does that mean to you? And of course I'm asking this to a wide variety of experts and leaders from a wide variety of industries, and a wide variety of backgrounds, and a wide variety of expertise. And I hope you'll agree with me that it's fun to hear where the answers diverge, and that it's really important to hear them out and listen for where they converge. And where all of these responses converge is what I call the essence of customer experience. And I say the essence of customer experience is how we make people feel. How do we make people...

...feel about themselves? How do we make people feel about the problem or opportunity that brought us into a commercial conversation or commercial relationship with one another? How do we make them feel about us as individuals? How do we make them feel about us as trusted experts or advisors or guides. How do we make them feel about our brand, our product, or our service. How we make people feel is critical to our business success. And if you say, Gosh, that sounds really soft, I don't buy it. Here's the basic logic flow. It's very straightforward. People's feelings drive their thoughts, conscious and subconscious thoughts, and depending on who science you listen to toent of our mental activity is sensory and emotive, not logical or rational. So the words, actions and decisions we choose are very largely driven by subconscious thought that have roots in our feelings. Very often we can't even articulate our feelings or our thoughts. That's what we say about gut. That's what we say when we have a first impression of somebody. We can't articulate exactly what it is. We have a really good feeling or a really bad one. This is our spidey sense, our intuition, those things we can't quite explain but know that we should trust. It's basic evolutionary psychology. We're very good at preserving ourselves and defending our lives, and it comes up even in non threatening situations like buying decisions. So our feelings drive our thoughts conscious and subconscious, and our thoughts drive our words, actions, and decisions. And then logically easily you would agree that our customers, words, actions, and decisions are the drivers of our business outcomes. So people's feelings drive our business outcomes. I want to share with you two words, personalized and personal. They're almost ide enecal. They're just four extra letters on the end of one of them, but they feel dramatically different. You can feel the difference when you get that LinkedIn message, or you get that email, or you get that voicemail. And sometimes that's because it is a bot. Like a lot of those robot voicemails or robot texts we get. Others are a little bit in between bot like with variable data slugs, and that can be done well bots supported, but human driven, something that makes us feel a little bit seen, heard, understood, appreciated, supported, guided, And I talked about that quite a bit on episode on the outsized role and value of human to human moments. When the human picks up, even from a bot supported or bot enabled position, and closes that last mile, it can feel much more personal. But so often it falls short. And here are two examples. I got an email and it said hi, and then in parentheses first name dot dot dot just kidding. So it's a playful take on this idea of bad variable data's high first name dot dot dot just kidding. But then the opening line was hey, beaute. So they actually greeted me by my last name after playfully referring to not having my first name. The irony and comedy are both very rich here, and then the opening find says I am a real human and in the second line they right that they are reaching out personally. There is no way this was a personal email. And in fact, the product is so broad that any company could be another quote perfect fit for this. So it was a playful attempt, but slightly and comically off, and we understand this phenomenon. In fact, bomb Bomb produced a documentary film called Dear First Name subtitle a Business Case against Digital Pollution, and in it we talked with sales and marketing executives, We talked with b drs and SDRs. We talked with academics and experts in this area of digital no ways, digital pollution, human...

...psychology, evolutionary psychology, and more. If you google dear first Name and bom Bomb, you'll find it on YouTube or on our website, and of course I'll link it up at bombomb dot com slash podcast. So dear first Name, it's a classic. Here's another one. This came to me by linked in title care and Share. Food Bank for Southern Colorado immediately gets my attention. It's an organization I care about a lot. They're the food bank that serves dozens of counties across the entire southern half of the state of Colorado, from Kansas on the east all the way over to Utah on the west. They're doing important work to rehumanize people who have been dehumanized by system or circumstance, who are facing hunger, a fundamental human challenge. So car and Share Food Bank for Southern Colorado. Great introduction, Hey, Ethan is the opening line perfect, That's how I open all of my emails and messages to warm casual. It's got a little bit of energy with the exclamation point with you so far? First line, awesome that you're volunteering at Care and Share Food Bank for Southern Colorado. Still with this person who is reaching out to me somewhat cold? Second line, what if bom bomb can actually verify risky emails from catch all domains at scale for your cold email campaigns and get your bounce rates to zero? What a hard right turn? We all know what this is. This is what we call a pitch slap. You make the connection and then you get the immediate pitch. Not only am I the wrong person for this, it's even more offensive for the fact that it attempts to be something that it's not personal or even well personalized, the attempt to connect with something that's very, very meaningful to me. I'm about to turn out on the board of directors because I've been serving them so long in my family and I have gone in and physically done the work in person. It's very close to me, and you leverage it to sell me something that I am not the buyer of. So personalization but not meaningful and in fact borderline offensive. And by the way, if you want to see Danny Dirkson and Justin dorn Boss, two of our senior account executives, Danny and Justin more familiarly known as Janny, take on the Tortillas slap challenge and other challenges as they provide human centered sales tips and video messaging insights. Check out jam In with Janny. It's a playlist on the bomb bomb YouTube channel. You'll also find them on LinkedIn if you follow bom bomb Really good stuff. They're not afraid to take cold ice baths and talk about cold prospecting, eat insanely hot chips, or slap each other with tortillas and if you're looking for experts and practitioners in video, email and video messaging reach out to them or to me together. Janny, Justin and Danny have sent more than forty tho video messages, and I've said about fourteen thousand myself. And that's the more personal approach mixing video messages into your linked In outreach, your email messages. You can do it directly in LinkedIn via our Chrome extension. You can do it from Salesforce outreach, zendesk, from our mobile apps, from our web app, from Gmail, or from Outlook. Yes, a personalized journey can be driven by big data, great c X architecture and design, and teams of analysts, but it can also be delivered by every single customer facing person on your team, pre sale and post sale at the point of commitment. There are use cases across the entire customer life cycle. There are also use cases for using video to add a more personal touch across the entire employee life cycle. And yes, a truly bespoke, truly personal video for one person in one moment is the ultimate personal touch in terms of digital communication. But you can also get a lot more personal even with an evergreen video that you record once and use over and over and over as different people arrive at this moment win or...

...reach this point on the journey, or as different people fit these four particular criteria. The model I like to use or the funnel I like to use when I talk about it comes from Jacko vander Koy and Winning by Design. Jacko has been on the podcast. He's featured in Human Centered Communication. He's a sales engineer, a revenue architect, and an outstanding human being. So instead of the traditional sales and marketing funnel, something like awareness, interest, desire action that ends at the point of commitment. We all know that the best, most sustainable, fastest growing revenue comes through focusing on lifetime value, which doesn't end at the initial commitment. So in the bow tie funnel, the left side is acquisition, the right side is expansion, and in the middle is the point of commitment. The whole goal is to get people into the positive growth loop on the right side of the funnel. Some folks, like the people that hub spot call it the flywheel. Very similar concept. Create awareness, provide education, win the selection process not just against competitors, but against the status quo, get the commitment on board, them into the product or service experience, deliver initial impact, grow by continuing to deliver impact, and then get into that growth loop where you're solving new and different problems or solving that problem for more people in that organization. Retention, expansion, cross sell, up sell, lifetime value. That is the goal. Equally, with employees, it's the same thing. They need to be aware that they have a problem or an opportunity to find another job, and that your company exists. Then they need to be educated about who your company is, how it structured, admission values and related where will I report? What does the work look like? What are my growth opportunities? Then you need to win the selection process against what they're doing now or other offers that they might have. They need to commit. Then you need to onboard them, deliver initial impact, and then support them and drive them through a positive growth loop learning, growing, developing, earning promotions, taking on more responsibility, solving bigger problems, etcetera. And in both cases, you want your best customers to be the source of your next best customers and your team members to be the source of your next best team members. But we all know across that journey or across that life cycle or across the bow tie funnel. There are points of friction and failure, things that slow us down, things that trip us up. We can't get attention, we can't build trust, we don't have the priority, we don't deliver the clarity, we don't create the confidence. There's anxiety uncertainty in decision that can happen at any point along that path. People are wondering, is this for me? Is this about me? Can I trust this? Is it safe to proceed? And again, so much of this is subconscious. It's evolutionary psychology. It's not rational, conscious logical decision making. It's how does this whole situation make me feel? And when you hear again some of those words attention, trust, priority, clarity, confidence, certainty, decisiveness or uncertainty and indecision, these are things that don't show up in spreadsheets and don't show up in salesforce reports. These are nuanced, These are sensory, These are a motive, These are messy, These are human and so often their communication problems Above all, and video messaging can help when you observe points of friction and failure, or when you get that direct feedback. If you're privileged enough to get it from a prospect or a recruit, or a customer or a team member. Think about adding a video message in place of, or in addition to, any of the typed out text that you're sending to address those sensory and emotive opportunities, To provide more emotional and visual context, to make it easier for people to understand, to make it easier for people to feel connected, to make it easier for people to say yes. Three specific characteristics of a moment that is improved with...

...a video message compared to traditional digital communication. The first is establishing or reestablishing personal connection. The second is managing emotion or tone, whether that's positive, thank you, good job, congratulations, or on the other end, I have bad news, I'm sorry, I apologize. And then the third is detail or complexity, making things easier to understand. Very often with a show and tel screen recording. That's why you hear when people are talking about video email and video messaging. Great use cases like a screen recording for a sales presentation or presenting a proposal or presenting a contract and walking and talking through some of the details. Not only are you making it easier to understand, it also gives you more control over what it looks and feels like, and you're giving the person on the receiving end something they can easily forward to someone else who's going to influence the decision, make the decision, or maybe even sign the contract. If you want more on those three times to send a video instead of text, check out episode one eight six of the Customer Experience podcast. When we make personalization meaningful, it delivers fantastic results. It meets today's customer expectations. It delivers for individual human beings in a way that's consistent with evolutionary psychology. We all want to be seen, heard, understood, appreciated, and supported. We each want to feel valued in Personalization, when done in a meaningful way, can help. And yes, we can use gigantic data sets and powerful algorithms and amazing people in teams and processes to deliver that. But it's also within your control immediately today, as it is for every BDR SDR account executive, Customer service person CSM account manager. No matter your personal role and no matter your organizational structure, you can deliver a more personal experience that is felt by simply mixing in some video messages so meaningful personalization isn't just about how much data we can automatically jam into a message. It's about context. It's about how we make people feel. And video messages in particular are not about video. It's not about jamming the same message into a new medium. It's about visual and emotional richness that the human brain needs in order to proceed safely. And we did a deep dive into this with Dr Nick Morgan an episode one hundred fifty. We titled that one why are virtual relationships degrade over time? Really great science and really great insights there on episode one fifty. Video messages are about delivering a personal or personalized message in a felt way. It's demonstrated in a more human to human experience despite the digital divide and through the gift of your I'm in attention. It's not about dear first name. That's why these fake first name video products. I just saw a new one pop up recently, and I've seen a couple in the past are as offensive to me. Has that care and share example I already described, It's not about saying the person's name, It's about making them feel seen and heard. A well executed and well timed Evergreen video does the same job as those fake first name tools, but better because it's not pretending to be something that it isn't, which is to say nothing of how gross and comically terrible the current execution is. The voice doesn't match up, the voice doesn't match the lips. It's really bad stuff. What's fake about it is so transparent, But even as the tech gets better and better and better, that isn't meaningful personalization. What's meaningful about it is the entire rest of the message and when and how it arrives in front of me. I do have a lot more to say here, but we're pretty much at time. I do think...

...relevance is more important than personalization as its practice today, and that's why an evergreen video that's well timed and narrowly and specifically focused can stand in for a truly personal and bespoke message. That's why we don't need the fake first name videos, because an evergreen video can do that. And with that, I'll just say thank you so much for listening those three episodes I referenced. If you like these themes and topics are one fifty with Dr Nick Morrigan seven three times to send a video instead of text and one the value of human to human moments. My name is Ethan, but hit me up on LinkedIn. Last name is spelled b E U T E. Reach out. I'd love your thoughts or feedback, or you can email me directly Ethan E. T H A N at bom bomb dot com. Of course, you can dive deeper into this episode and all of the other ones at bombom dot com slash podcast. And if you want to try out some video messages as I've described here, you can try it absolutely free at bomb bomb dot com. Or if you're more curious about it for your team or your company, reach out to me again on LinkedIn or by email. I'd be happy to learn more about you, do some discovery and diagnosis, and see if this can't help you drive revenue with more speed and more efficiency through meaningful personalization. Thanks again for listening. 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 from your typed out messages. Save time add clarity, convey sincerity, send video messages from Gmail, Outlook, iPhone, Android, Salesforce, outreach, Zendesk, LinkedIn, lack 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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