The Customer Experience Podcast
The Customer Experience Podcast

Episode 150 · 3 months ago

150. Why Your Virtual Relationships Degrade Over Time w/ Dr. Nick Morgan


When we communicate virtually, we are using flattened, muted versions of ourselves. Little surprise, then, that virtual relationships degrade over time.

How do we overcome the impoverishment of the virtual world?

In this episode, I interview Dr. Nick Morgan, a communications coach and theorist, four-time author, and President at Public Words, about how virtual communication differs from in-person communication — and how that affects our relationships.

Nick also talked with me about:

- What the underlying psychology says about virtual communication

- How to communicate emotional clarity in video

- What it means that every mistake is permanent virtually

- Why we should augment, rather than dampen, our emotions on screen

- How to maintain a virtual relationship

Check out these resources we mentioned during the podcast:

- Dr Nick Morgan on LinkedIn

- Dr Nick Morgan on Twitter

- Books by Nick Morgan

- Public Words

- HubSpot

Subscribe, listen, and rate/review the Customer Experience Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Play or Google Podcasts, and find more episodes on our blog. Listening on a desktop & can’t see the links? Just search for the Customer Experience Podcast in your favorite podcast player.

Or the information that we're getting inthe virtual world is impoverished. Its information from the five senses whichwe normally get instantly and powerfully face to face, comes throughat a much lower volume level, let's say or not at all, in the virtual or the single most important thing you cando today is to create and deliver a better experience for your customers,learn how sales, marketing and customer success experts create internalalignment, achieve desired outcomes and exceed customer expectations in apersonal and human way. This is the customer experience, podcast, here's,your host, eath and beaute misunderstanding and miscommunicationthe wrong tone or the wrong meaning disengaged people on our calls and ourmeetings. These are just a few of the challenges. Today's technologyintroduces to our customer and employee relationships. So today we're talkingabout restoring some of the humanity and the emotion that's dampened or evenstript from our daily digital communication were joined by one ofamerica's top communication, theorists and coaches, a keynote speaker andpresident at public words. Today's guest is also the author of four books,including give your speech change. The world trust me four steps toauthenticity and charisma power, cues the subtle science of leading groups,persuading others and maximizing your personal impact, and can you hear mehow to connect with people in a virtual world? Dr nick morgan, welcome to thecustomer experience podcast ethan. Thank you for having me this is. Thisis a great chance to connect. I'm really looking forward to our chat.Yeah me too, one of the privileges of hosting a show like this is when i reada book that is really inspiring and helpful andinteresting, i get to invite you into conversation to kind of bring it tolife and share with other people. So i'm looking forward to doing that, butwe'll start where we always start on the show which is customer experiencewhen i say that to you nick. What does that mean? What customer experiencetoday, thanks to the digital world that well, that we're talking about is bothricher and more granular than it ever was before, and it's as many peoplehave observed. This is not unique to me. It's every single step along the way.Every single touch point, so you can create a great customer experience andthen have it be disabled by some personal on the way saying the wrongthing at the wrong time and people do remember and they consider the wholeexperience as affecting how they rate what it's like to be your customer. Sofor me the customer experience is every single moment of interaction with thatcustom. Super now before we get into kind of what you alluded to is the timethat we're spending in virtual and digital and online spaces and some ofthe challenges and opportunities there. I want to point out to listeners thatyou built a deep expertise and built a very successful career on communicationin real life too and other channels as well, and so before we dive into someof the themes of. Can you hear me and some of the challenges that were facedwith as we're stuck in email and flat zoom calls and these other things? Can you provide just a few basic keysof effective communication? Some of the maybe the questions that you get whenyou're consulting or speaking like what are some just core fundamentalprinciples of effectively communicating with other people. I love that questionabsolutely so. The first question whether there are about six firstquestions, so the among the first questions that you might ask are: whatis the problem that your audience has or your customer has for which yourexpertise, the solution, one of the classic mistakes people make is thatthey go and wanting to lead with their expertise. Hi i can do this. I can dothat. I always say that's like going into a doctor's office and having thedoctor offer you the pill before you even told him or her what the symptomsare and you get this feeling await a minute. I didn't tell you what waswrong. Why are you giving me answers? So that's really. The first thing thesecond is. The second great question is: what is the intent that i have towardyou and you have toward me humans care about intent more than they care aboutanything else, even specific words and don cameron. Specific words. In acommunication are very important and they can trigger and they can offend,and they can delight and they can amaze they can move. Specific words areimportant, but more than that, we care about. What's the intent behind thewords very simple example, if i say to you great job, even if i say in asincere sounding way- and you can see me and you can see some facial effect,then you know i'm sincere, but i can also roll my eyes and go great comesand you get a very different response.

So the is the intent behind the cue forthe intent behind the communication that are incredibly important and i'dsay those are two good ones to start with super and that intent thing is sointeresting and it does tea up some of the challenges of virtual environment,specifically when i think about in ten, i think, about typed out text and howmuch control we're giving away to people to decide for themselves whatour intent was if we type out the message and send it. So, let's talk alittle bit, i mean that's, certainly going to come up again. I think in thisconversation, so let's talk a bit about. Can you hear me it's a great read? Itwas written pre pandemic. I expect probably found a new life there, as wewere stuck in virtual environments as opposed to face the face in the officeat the coffee shop et cetera, it was fun to read. It has a very clear pointof view. I loved your use of concepts like junk food and cotton candy andreferring to some of the more silly or trite or value lacking aspects of theway we're engaging here. I did a video review of it. I cited it twice in abook that i recently wrote an well is available for presaume centeredcommunication. It shares some of these themes, so i guess just to tee thispart of the conversation off nick. Why did you write it? Well, thanks, firstof all for all the good vibes. I appreciate that very much, and so doesmy editor, who had some concerns about the book at first and the reason iwrote the book was. I was going around the world talking about storytelling,communications and and body language, another favorite topic of mine and istarted to get the question about the mid teens, two thousand and fifteen orso two thousand and sixteen that people would say well, this body languagestuffs really interesting nick, but actually i don't interact with my teamface to face any more. I have a team, that's based in india in california andparis, and we we don't see each other face to face all that off and what'sthe body language like in the virtual world- and i thought it was a greatquestion and my first reaction was well, there isn't any and then i thoughtthat's not good enough for communications expert, so i bet i'dbetter come up with something better. So i started doing the research on and-and i frankly expected the news to be very, very good because i'm atechnofile i'm an early adapter. I love early adopter. I love to get the newtechnology and play with it and find out how it works and- and i was earlyon to video communication- i thought it was great, so i was very surprised todiscover in the research just all the darker connotations and the negativeissues surrounding virtual communications. Little did, i think, intwo thousand and seventeen and two thousand and eighteen, that the usagerake, which was then for fortune thousand companies of video conversingabout five percent little did i think that by march twotousand and twenty, that would suddenly jump to a hundred percent. That was a very interesting development yeah one of the one of the quotes. Imean t e. There are a number of quotes that i could give back to you and askfor your feedback on them, but we're all start just kind of tea up anothertopic area before we dive into something specific that i love to useas the course structure of this conversation, the virtual world isimpoverished for us humans. This speaks to kind of what you know, this kind ofdarker side that you didn't necessarily expect to see when you use that wordimpoverished. Any o us similar turns of phrase throughout the book talk alittle bit about the primary differences between connecting andcommunicating face to face and in these virtualworlds. Why is this impoverished? In what ways are we is the environment orour experience impoverished? So the first thing we have tounderstand is that in the virtual world, where we think about based on ourexperience of the last year and a half, we think about video communications,because that's the big new development does it work, but actually we allparticipate in a virtual communications hierarchy. That's been around at leastthe lower two parts of it for quite some time, and that is text basedcommunications, which is still the way that most of us get most of ourcommunications. Be email be a slack via text messages whatever it is that weuse, and probably some mixture of all of those that is overwhelmingly the wayin which we get our information and then at the next level, or audiocommunications conference calls and direct one to one phone calls that kindof thing we're using that less and less in some ways, but there's still manycompanies that have weekly team audio conferences and then finally, at thetop, is the zoom or equivalent video communication. So we start with thathierarchy, and the first thing to understand is at the the text basedlevel. We are impoverished in the sense that when i talk to you face to face, iimmediately get feedback from your unconscious mind to mind about how youfeel about it. So if i say great job...

...ethen and i have a warm smile in myface, your eyes will light up. You'll get happy you'll feel like you werejust getting a little a little dollop of praise that makes everybody feelgood if i say great job in the virtual world. You have no idea, and so i could be rolling my eyes inyour mind. All it could be saying it with a warm smile, but you the point,is you don't know, and so the the the context is impoverished, and that, ofcourse, is obvious in the in the text base world. But surprisingly, it's thesame thing happens or a similar thing happens in the audio conferencing world,because the compression that's used to convey the sound of our voices to eachother means that the human voice is compressed into a much narrower band.And what squeezed out of that is the emotion we're not consciously aware ofthis, but it means that your voice, as it comes through the air waves to me,is flatter and has less emotional connotations in it than it would if wewere face to face. So when you say high nick great to see you i get instead ofethan at ten, i get ethen at five on the scale, and so it that's another wayin which even that apparently direct connection is in poverson, and we cantalk more about that video connection, but the same thing happens at the videolevel to so it's that's the sense in which the information that we'regetting in the virtual world is impoverished. It set information fromthe five senses which we normally get instantly and powerfully face to face,comes through at a much lower volume level, let's say or not at all, in thevirtual yeah. That brings up two notes that i made for myself that i reallythought were very interesting and provocative so i'll, just kind of sharethem with you and would love to get your reaction, then we'll dive into thefive things that virtual communication lacks that human brains and human. Iguess human brains really need and want in order to effectively connect withone another. The two ideas are: first, this idea of oral finger prints thatour ability to recognize individual human voices, even among hundreds andhundreds of different voices, we can all recognize them and to your point,you know this other thing that you shared in the book is the researcharound the undertones that carry the emotional resonance in the voice, a e,a e, typically what's compressed or stripped out, and what that made methink about. Is we teach people how to use simple video messages in place ofwhat would otherwise be typed out text to overcome some of these limitationsthat you've already talked about and he will continue to get deeper into, andso certainly, in a lot of these cases, i think you would probably agree that arecorded video message might be more helpful or clear than what wouldotherwise be faceless type out text. It still has its limitations compared toreal life, but we used to teach you know it's not about production value,it's really about tone and tent and meaning- and you know, facialexpression and and all these other things. But what your book made methink twice about was the idea of production value, and so, if we get abetter microphone or we get a better platform to record in, for example,we're recording this in river side instead of zoom, one of the benefits isbetter audio. So when people are walking around listening to us in theirear buds we're just a little bit closer to them, i would assume that it bringsa broader range of highs and lows, etcetera, etcetera and so, from a videoperspective, the better we can light ourselves in the more expensive andnicer cameras. We can get probably the easier it is for people to access again,conscious and unconscious expressions of thought in emotion, intent as youdescribed it et cetera, so give many thoughts or additional context forlisteners around oral finger prints and this idea of production value in orderto bring yourself closer to people when you're restricted to a virtualenvironment. It's an extraordinary thing when you think about it. We usedto say that the finger prints were unique to humans, and now the wisdomseems to be that for about every billion people, there's somebody elsewith your finger prints, he's kind of a scary thought, but that's not whatwe're here to worry about today. It still seems to be the case that everyhuman voice, the oral fingerprint they were talking about, where you measurethe range of the human voice and the overtones and undertones that when ispeak, you get this kind of mashed up, wavy line that has overtones andundertones and, as i say, the basic human pitch that fingerprint, if youwill, or that oral fingerprint, is unique. Apparently, as far as we know,thinking about the reasons why that might be the case and what it's forsort of are fascinating. But the immediate takeaway for us is that whenwe communicate face to face you get the full richness of that vocal experience.So ethen in person has a voice which sounds like nobody else's and when weput you, then through the virtual ringer, whathappens is that voice gets compressed and so less of your personality? Lessof your individua lity and most...

...specifically less of your emotion,comes through, and so that's the issue in the virtual world, technologicallyspeaking, the more we can put back in clearly the better the more it getsback to your original voice and that's what that's what we want. The issue, ofcourse, is that you can do. As you said, the very best on your end, you can useriverside. You got a great picture, a great sound if it runs through a pipethat, on the other end, is a tinny little laptop computer speaker then.Nonetheless, despite all your best efforts, the result is still going tobe diminished on the other end. So what we need is technological developmentsall on the way and of course the good news is all those companies that sellus. The magnificent equipment are busy, always improving it and ramping it upand and yeah that's great, that music will get better over time, but we dohave to keep clear that the specific thing that's missing for us right now.The extent that your voice is compressed and your face is flattenedinto dimensions and the other things that we'll get into that's like turningthe volume down on your communication. So you'd get a little harder to hear alittle harder to discern, and i'm not quite as clear on what your emotionalinvestment is in the conversation you say you care, but i'm saying does ethonreally mean it because what's coming through is ten percent of ethen orfifty percent of? Even so, that's that's what we're up against yeah andthat does ethen really mean it. Even if it's not a conscious dialogue, you'rehaving with yourself for a conscious question that you're asking yourselfit's occupying your mind and probably distracting you from the real issue athand and therefore denigrating the quality of the communication exchange.Exactly it's. It's not so much that you think about it. Consciously becausewe're very we get very used to these means of communicating, butunconsciously, i'm thinking up. He may not be fully invested in this or i'mnot i'm not getting the impact as as fully as you would wish it to beconveyed to me and the other. The other piece of that is, and this is gettinginto the weeds just a little bit, but i think it will be interesting for yourlisters and viewers. That is that, there's a slight lag between on a videoconference between the conveying of the of the sound in the and the picture. Wetend to interpret that leg, unconsciously as in competence hm, andso i see you and you see me as less expert than you would experience me invice versa, in person, and that is not a conscious thing that we're talkingabout here, that the legs are in mille seconds and they're. So slight that wedon't we're not aware of them. Consciously but unconsciously, my mindis thinking ethan sot up fully on his game. If i knew you face to face, and if i don't, if i don't, if i only knowyou virtually, then i'm thinking ethan's, not the brightest bulb in thepack. Here is so, and that's completely unfair completely unconscious hasnothing to do with you or me, except that's the reality we live in yeah imean that's the that's the natural consequence of millennia, of humanbrain training and experience and, frankly, expertise and probablyevolution around communicating it i face to face, whereas here we are inthe past handful of decades moving into these virtual and digital spaces andthen in the past handful of months operating almost exclusively throughthese video calls. So for the next i don't know ten or fifteen minutes. Iwould love to go through kind of these five core issues with digital andvirtual spaces and i'll read them for listeners, probably at the top in thebottom of this, and this these are. This is how the beginning of the bookis actually set up. So we don't need to go too deep. I love to send people intoactually accessing the material directly because there's so much morethere than we can possibly cover, but the first is lack of feedback. Thesecond is lack of empathy. The third is a lack of control. The fourth is a lackof emotion and the fifth is a lack of connection and, as a consequence,commitment. I believe it's consequential but i'll. Let you let youkind of go into that. So if you could start us off with pani lack of feedbackagain, some of these we've already 've already hinted at some of these inother language. But i love the structure that you added to this andthen for listeners. The back half of the book gets into specific channelsand ways to overcome the weaknesses in email in virtual calls, et cetera, butlet's start with feedback the idea that our senses are deprived, the idea that,when our senses are deprived, we fill in the gaps with assumptions andmemories, and i love this like fake data which just make stuff up to fillthe gas talk a little bit about the problem of the lack of feedback when weoperate digitally virtually an online yeah sure so understand why this isimportant. You need to understand ten seconds on the brain, the brains, job,your brain, my brains is to keep us...

...alive and the way it does. That is byprojecting imagining a few seconds and of the future saying scanning fordanger. Is there anything here that could possibly be dangerous to ourautonomy, our life and we use the five senses to get that data? That's what wehumans of all to do most efficiently side, sound smell, touch, taste, so ourbrain is constantly looking through those channels and saying newinformation. New information is their danger here now, as soon as we startgetting information about the environment, let's say we're in thevirtual world that doesn't have lots of data in those five senses, then we haveempty channels and the brain of horrors empty channels, and what it does is toyour point, as you alluded to it, fills it up with with data. I says: okay, i'mnot getting good day to her, let's assume the worst, because that makes awhole lot of sense to keep us alive in an environmental sense. So if i'm notgetting good information about changes in my field of vision, let's assumethat there's a savor too tiger lurking around the corner, because if i take aa base of action now i'll live to fight another day. If i don't i'll, become aan ancient statistic, so the five senses look constantly. The brain looksconstantly for feedback in those five senses. When it doesn't get them, thenit fills those channels with assumed information or memories or things thatlook like hey in another situation. When i was in that look kind of likethis, this is the feedback that i was getting. So let's pretend, as that andfill it with that, it's the brain doing is very best to keep you alive, and butthe important point here is that when it doesn't get that information, itassumes the worst, because that, in terms of your survival, is the bestassumption to make. Assuming that there's danger, take a base of actionnow before things get bad. So that is why, to get serious for a moment, everyvirtual relationship degrades over time because they're always going to bethese gaps in the five senses. The sensory information that you're gettingin the virtual space you're going to fill it with negative information, andthe result is that you start to assume over and over and over again in littleways that there's something wrong here and that builds up over time. So allvirtual relationships to great over time very simple example of this towrap up the feedback issue. His imagine you're on an audio conference, and evenyou just made the greatest point. You've been talking for five minutes.You said something profound in the and the whole team is just wild and thenyou pause for reaction. Now. What happens to that point? If you are in aconference room, you would be seeing already the smiles, the nods, theataboy, the enthusiasm you be getting it on an audit conference. You don'tget any of that, because people are on an audio conference and they're all onmute, they're, doing email or they're checking their amazon orders orsomething, and so at the very least, they've got to hit the mute buttonbefore they can reply now. Nobody ever in that pause, assumed wow. What i just said was so profoundthat everybody's just lying on the floor with their legs in the air. Justthinking how amazing i am no people assume instantly you can't. Even youcan't help this. Even if you know it, intellectually, you can't help this.You assume, oh, they didn't like it or they checked out or there somethingwrong or they're not getting. It is that's just the way, we're wired,that's that negative response, so that makes it obvious yeah really good thereand you brought to life. This is again it just took call back to why i lovehaving these conversations with people who've written books that i found to befantastic and am proud to recommend you brought to life. For me, this idea thatthe nature of trust is different in this environment and it's much morefragile this idea, and so that in tying this back to the degrading over time,really interesting going to lack of empathy. This is something that humansdo automatically in person again, i think, probably due to millennia ofhuman brain training and survival and evolution, but we don't do it or can'tdo it nearly as well online talk about this issue of empathy, so that was areal surprise. For me. I assumed that when i discovered that we got much lessfeedback that we would therefore be more curious about how the other personwas feeling or doing, and so that would up our empathy, but instead we go todefault. That we've been talking about the negative assumption, and so thatlowers our empathy. If i don't hear from you, i assume is because you'reangry at me or there's something wrong with you, but it's not an empatheticresponse. It's a knee, jerk or a brain jerk might be a better way to put itresponse from my brain saying up, things are bad here and so empathy goesdown, and that was a real surprise to me, but we all have this experience. Weknow this because we've seen in the social media space over and over againthe trolling and the negativity that erupted there, and that comes from thatfeeling of, if i say something to you in person- and i see the hurt, look inyour eye. If i say something mean i'm going to modify it, i'm going to bemore careful. We humans are careful to eat a little bit more most of the time.Most hums are careful to eat with each...

...other's feelings in person in theonline world. Lacking that feedback, hey, we don't care i'll, tell youyou're, terrible and, and let you suffer the consequences yeah. This ideathat we would do things online that we would never do in person to kind ofparaphrase you in that chapter distance inhibits connection want you just sharethe i reminded me of a fantastic piece. It was an editorial piece in the in thenew york times written by a canadian writer named stephen march, called theepidemic of facelessness, and he goes deep into the history of what currentlyis manifest is online trolling and flame wars, and these types of thingsagain that rarely happen face to face because of the natural humanity and ourtendency to empathize with each other, even hardcore type, a people or peoplethat we would generally regard as mean spirited still haven't, have anempathetic impulse as part of our survival talk about lack of control.This one's particularly interesting. I think this gets into like who we are asa real person versus our digital persona, the levels of control we havethere. You talk a little bit about something i talked about on thispodcast with a branding expert named susan myer, about brands as friends inthe way e. You know the way that we build relationships are a lot of reallyinteresting stuff. Here you cite the golden rule cheer. Whatever you wouldlike about this idea of the lack of control we have virtually. This one wasmade vivid to be right when i was doing the research by professor robert kelly,who was an expert on south korean politics, and he he had his big moment on the bbc's totalk about south krain politics, because the president was underindictment. So this is his exciting time for anybody who specialized inthis area. He was an academic and- and he didn't often get on the bbc. So thisa big moment for him- and some of you may remember the meme or if you see the,if you, google, professor robert kelly, this is what still comes up three orfour years later and what happened was his first daughter and then son. Wepresume, came into the room as he was trying to have this seriousconversation and he reacted by trying to push the daughter away, which isvery human. But of course what he should have done. We all know had hehad a hundred percent charisma and a plom in that moment would be to pick upthe little girl put her on his knee and introduce her to an adoring world. What he did was human. You just triedto remove the the distraction, but now we're a lot more familiar with it.We've all been zoom bombed at one time or another, so we know how this is. Butthe point is that forever, after professor robert kelly will be known inthe virtual world as that guy, he has no control over that experience. Hecannot have it removed. He cannot bout, live it in some ways. Now, if youwere on the bbc every night, eventually it would get drowned in bbc informationabout him, but he wasn't, and so we ha won't and that's our experience of thevirtual world as opposed to the face to face world where, if i do somethingdumb at lunch, i spill something on my tie to pick a miner, a minor thing orsomething more embarrassing. I say something the hurts your feelings. Wehumans, forgive and forget, especially in person so over time, you're going tobe willing to just to let that thing go. The thing of it willfade over time. If we have an ongoing relationship in the virtual world, thefull horror of what happened to robbery kelly will always be there instantlyrecallable on youtube for all to see and that's the difference you have. Nocontrol of the virtual world is controlled by machines for machines andfor search engines and algorithms, as opposed to the human world, where it'sit's much more forgiven, forget so interesting. It reminds me of theseneca quote and i might get it a little bit wrong, but it's essentiallywe suffer more and apprehension than in reality, and i would assume that givenmean culture in general and how many times we've witnessed. This happened toother people. I can't imagine that it's not in the back of our minds at somelevel- and i don't think you'll- be surprised to hear this nick, but ourbiggest impediment to growth is human vulnerability in this fear of recordingoneself and sending it to other people, there's so many people who will attenda webinars r check out the website or get a referral from a friend and say:oh gosh. This sounds so much better than typing out these messages for allthese different reasons in these various use cases, but when they, whenthey see themselves on video, they get you know caught in their own head andthey get fearful of the lack of control. They have once it's out the door atsome level. It's so interesting and i think for the vast majority of us,despite these high profile incidents that do become viral or you know, partof the the mainstream mean culture. You know that doesn't happen to most of us,but it could on the potential. Is there and- and i think to your point- that'swhat adds to our sense of gosh. I don't want to let that out there, because myhair is bader, i don't look good or...

...whatever the issue is yeah yeah, so theso we've already covered for fergan folks that are following along lack offeedback. Lack of empathy, lack of control. The next one is lack ofemotion and this one's really interesting. I think one of the things that makes me thinkabout and i'll read a quote and then turn it over to you a it gets back towhere you started, which is how we say something is as much or more importantthan what exactly we say how we say it is overrides. What we say is certainly,if they're not aligned or in conflict with one another. It requires us, youknow as humans, we naturally emote through our faces and our voices andand we detect them from other people, and so we need to be more conscious or intentional. We need tomake an extra effort. Perhaps when we're online and to quote you toyourself and then have you react to your reacted, this concept to react tothe quote without those unconscious clues again we're expressing ouremotions, all the time and reading them from other people all the time. Almostall of that is done subconsciously. So again, the quote. Without thoseunconscious clues, you need to develop an equivalent set of conscious ones. Sotalk about the importance of emotion and how we can overcome the dampeningor stripping of emotional ques and clues online yeah. The the best way forme to understand this is to think about a customer relationship. Let's say thatwhole cycle of the beginning from beginning to end or a teammate,somebody that you work with on a regular basis and let's say you have aweekly meeting at so it's these kind of interactions on going interactions, aswe talked about earlier in the virtual world, because you're not getting asmuch feedback from the five senses, you're, not as clear on what the otherperson's intent is, is think of intent as the wrapping around this specificmessage. So, if i say it's great to be here today, you evaluate not only thewords it's great to be here today, but you l evaluate how passionately i saythem and how great you really think. I think it is, and that's part of yourunconscious evaluation of how present i am how enthusiastic i am what kind ofperson i am right now now in the virtual world, whether again, it's ateam, mate or a customer. Imagine that volume turned down so that nick at tenor nikana, nine on a scale of ten is only coming through it a five. So whatthat says is that i'm not getting the correct emotional read on how importantthis is to me and to you and when i don't get the correct emotional readthen- and this is a little surprising, perhaps i'm going to make a baddecision about it. Why? Because our decision makingapparatus is based on emotion, it's based on human desire to avoid pain,which is at the top of the list, and the pleasure comes a little lower down,but we have memories stacks and stacks of memories, about situations which wethink are similar. We rate them according to how painful or howsuccessful they were, and if the information i'm getting about a newscenario is, is muted, it's only fifty percent of what it actually is. Theni'm going to rate it lower on my list of importance, and so i'm going to makea less dedicated a d and important decision about it, because i'm going tosay this doesn't matter as much, and so, if imagine being in the case and here'swhere it gets real, we're all in a kind of a hybrid world. Now we're going backto work some of his face to face some of us faster than others all right. Solet's say you go to meet a client and you decide to do it virtually and thecompetition goes to meet. That client decides to do its face to face. Well,then, all other things being equal, all other things being equal. Yourrelationship with that potential customer client starts out at a five,whereas the other one starts out at a nine or a ten. And so how is thecustomer potential customer going to react? And that's really the issue? Ithink at the heart of the the emotion in the virtual world turn the emotiondown it all becomes less important. We can leave the relationship, we canleave the url. We can leave the video conference without a backward lookwhere, as face to face, we tend to have more skin in the game. So good, thisemotional resonance, you know what is left with us in terms of memory andmotivation driven by an emotional experience, has been a constant team onthis podcast. I love the later that you just added to to the way i've beenthinking about it and, i hope listeners to so the fifth and final of these,these core ideas, court challenges of operating virtually that you laid outis lack of connection, and let me know if, if i'm a hacker in this as aconsequence, a lack of commitment, which is something that you alluded tothere with emotion. Some of the themes here are vulnerability. Reciprocity,consistency primarily is a source of trust and perhaps is a source ofcommitment to so share. Anything you like about the lack of connection andor commitment absolutely so that when... think about trust in the virtualworld, what's fascinating is early. On a my research, i discovered that thenature of trust itself changes in the face to face world trust as acomplicated thing, a nuance thing, many layer that develops over time, and so iget to know people in certain roles. I get to know them in certain ways andwhen the when i've known them over time, then the t as the trust deepens theni'm more willing to forgive a temporary lapse, a bad day and i'll say: oh ye,then he was just having a bad day at the office that day in the virtualworld. We substitute because we can't get agood read on trust, because we lack these emotional depths. We substituteconsistency for trust. So what we look for is consistency and as soon as youstart to behave inconsistently, then my trust for you just evaporates or thattrust that was perhaps building and the easiest way to conceptualize. This isin the retail space, and it's why, incidentally, that amazon has worked sohard and spent so many hundreds and millions of dollars to develop acompletely consistent retail experience. So it's become the gold standard,lovedher hated as become the gold standard of how we interact withcustomers online for just buying stuff, and so you go on line there and youfind it on amazon. You find the reviews, you click on it. It works the same wayvirtually every time and every other website is measured against that, andvery few of them are able to do as well simply because amazon has beeninvesting so much money for so long and constantly tweaking it to make itbetter and better. So they get it, they get that you trust amazon in thevirtual sense, because they're, consistent and so raise that up to thelevel of a of a relationship with a client or a customer, and you seewhat's going on here. If you can't be consistent in the virtual world, thenour connection, which is based on trust, is going to be weaker and and, as aresult, we make less of a commitment to each other again is the volume has beenturned down, so it's just all a little easier to let go of go somewhere else.Every relationship online is a url away, a click away, and it's just it's notthe same as the face to face that in my world, the public speaking world. Themost obvious example of this is the difference between an online eventconference, let's say, and a face to face one if i've invested the time in avery simple level and the money and and everything to go to a place and in anauditorium i'm going to sit there a whole lot longer than if i attendvirtually and i'm just looking at my computer five minutes in if it is anengaging if the guy who is speaking, isn't hilarious. If the video isn'tamazing at the, if the the slides aren't fantastic right, i can just goto another more interesting url. But if i'm there in person it's a littleembarrassing to stand up and creep out of the room, then so i'm going to sicksit there longer that i just understand our commitment is different. Virtuallyversus face, deface, really good and interesting. So give usa little bit of hope here, like obviously, obviously in terms ofcustomer experience and employee experience, i loved what you drew outthere when you were talking about emotion. This idea of are yourcompetitors getting on airplanes or in cars or on trains, to go, spend time inperson to create that emotional residence and simply differentiatingand probably winning, is a consequence. So one of the best solutions from anemployee experience or customer experience standpoint. Theselimitations is obviously to get face to face whenever you can, because weoperate better there. But for you know for folks who have scaled theirorganizations they're operating globally or they have. You know they'retrying to figure out how to do some of this. A lot of automated touchesbecause of the scale of their organization, or even people that aredoing more intimate work, but the nature of the operation is that theyare going to do a majority of it virtually digitally online like whatare a few rays of hope here. A few pieces of encouragement or a fewhelpful reminders for people that can't get face to face, as often as theycould should. Would. The first thing to think about is to mix, if possible, theface to face world and the virtual world, and so, for example, if you canbegin a relationship with a cinder a customer face to face. That's by farthe best way to do it, then you can establish some trust quickly in thatinitial situation and then that could be maintained over a virtualrelationship. It's much easier to maintain a relationship virtually thanit is to build one. It's hard work to build one entirely virtually and if youdo that, if you, for whatever reason, need to make it a virtual relationship, that's that'sentirely that way, then my recommendation is go deep faster thanyou would perhaps in the face to face... the face to face a relationship weautomatically indulge in small talk. We talk about sports, so we talk aboutnews of the day or we talk about the weather or whatever this situation around us in the virtualworld, you got to establish a more powerful connection faster, and so iwould say, skip the chit chat and go deep as soon as as possible. That maybe a little uncomfortable and may take a while to get used to that. But thepoint is you got to establish the strong connection, that's going toendure through the normal ups and downs of any relationship, and to do that youhave to go deep so that that would be the first thing. First, two things gogo face to face periodically if you can, especially at the beginning and then godeep. If it's going to be all virtual and then one that's kind of fun, and rathersimple to do, is if you got a virtual relationship spice it up from time totime with something physical. That is a physical object. I happened on thisearly on during the pandemic. When i was working with a couple of comedyclubs that were devastated, suddenly they had no audience and they weregoing like. How can we do this online? Is it funny? Does anybody will anybodywatch to they? It was all early days you're trying to figure this out, andwe happen to stumble on this little joke that got one comedy club, i think,through the first three weeks or so of their their online existence, which wasit was really funny for people to see. If you imagine a a zoom call whereyou've got, people lined up left to right in theirlittle boxes on the zoom, and we would take a physical object and by we wouldappear to pass it from one zoom box to the other and, of course, what we allhad the same physical object. But, let's imagine a a mug, let's say thecoffee mug and you passed it and the other person then grabbed it, and itwas the same, but people thought that was hilarious and the reason wasbecause we were mixing the physical and the virtual, and so that turns out tobe a good thing to do. Wine tasting clubs found that that that,surprisingly, perhaps maybe just because it's wine, but also becausethey had the same objects, they were opening and drinking from in differentlocales that had a kind of strength to it. So that's a third thing to do another isto- and you alluded this before- and this is what i love about your work andwhat you do is if your relationship is primarily text based or even audiocomperes, then get out the cell phone and send a little video messages toeach other. Because with that you can, even though it's not perfect, you caninclude some facial expression, a little warmth. A little color tellpeople what they're doing what you're doing in that kind of water coolersense just to chat, make it friendly. Keep it simple, keep it short. Sothat's another another way. You can add a little richness to the to the virtualand then one more if we're getting more serious for any ongoing relationship,whether it's your internal team or whether it's a customer pacing onewhere you've got regular meetings over time. Let's say it's a complicatedcustomer relationship, not just a one off sale, then you want to establishsomebody who acts as at the mc for that relationship, because it turns out therelationship can be measured over time by how much input everybody has. Iimagine, got a team of five people and when you start out, all five arecommunicating pretty equally throughout the the call and then over time, person numberthree in person number five start to kind of dial back and they say less andless and they go quiet and and it gets to be hard work to get them tocommunicate. That's a real sign that something's wrong. It's not easy toquantify unless you've got an mc who's, paying attention to it and making surethat everybody participates so for any ongoing relationship. An mc is a greatway just to keep track of the relationship aspect of things and thatperson then can check in in a less threatening way and say hey. I noticedyou weren't saying much last time is everything? Okay, anything going onthat! You want to tell me about so on so many useful ideas in there. Iencourage people to bounce back and listen to that pass again. A couplereally big ones that i especially enjoyed was this blend of the physicaland the virtual and making that work together and, of course, going all theway back to the top of that one. This idea of filling up the reservoir,knowing that these relationships deteriorate over time, as you sharedearlier in the conversation and filling the reservoir back up by spending thetime again face to face and keeping that kind of that kind of thing going.So all of us are in typically whether it's through repeat and referralbusiness or whether it's through a subscription model that needs retentionand expansion within the account. All of us now are typically aspiring tobuild long term relationships to provide ongoing impact for the customerand to generate ongoing revenue for ourown organizations, and so these tipsare really really helpful. Thank you.

So much for sharing those for folks whoenjoyed this conversation. This is part of a summer takeover we've got a bookcalled human centered communication. I was fortunate enough to encounter. Canyou hear me by our guests today, nick morgan? While i was writing that book,it a validated a lot of my own thoughts and research and intuition and beinspired me and steve. My co author on the book, and so if you want to learnmore about that book, you can check it out of bomboost. If you want to hearthe conversations we have with several other people who are featured andmentioned in the book, go right now to bom bombo, a podcast. Several of themare already released. Several more are still to come through the release ofthe book in october. Before i let you go nick, i would love for you to do acouple things for us. The first is to think or mention someone who's had apositive impact on your life or your career, and the second is to give amention or a nod or a shout out to or a company or a brand that you personallyappreciate for the experience that they deliver for you as a customerabsolutely and thanks for the opportunity, that's good fun, so thethe shut out to the person, who was a real mentor to be was when i startedwriting speeches for the governor of virginia. That's how i got my publicspeaking career started. I had the chief of staff was the gentleman ireported to and he was a former marine and he was tough as nails and when ididn't measure up to his expectations, which frequently happened early on,especially he would call me into his office and he would dress me down in in very graphic language and at the time ithought that he was a little too tough on me and he shouldhave been nicer, and i was an academic former academic and i appreciatedpoliteness in the academic world. They may talk about you behind your back,but but face to face is all but well. I realized over it over time. I came tovalue just how much that that relationship had had taught me about the the public speakingworld, and he was truly the baptism by fire in that and and so shot out todavid mc cloud who who changed my life in a good way, especially after it wasdone in the bruces healed. So thank you do and then for the company that is consistently great. I'dhave to to mention hub spot, which is a software company c rm company biggerthan that now, but that's the way people think of it. Typically, that'sbased in in cambridge in boston, near where i live, and they have just beenwonderful to work with from from start to finish. They put the customer at the centerrelationship and they say that a lot of companies do, but they actually make ithappen, and so they they are, i think, living the customer, centric dream andshut out to them. Yeah. They really are a great call on both of those. By theway i love that story, and i love the call a hub spot. We've had three hubspotters as guests on this podcast. I recommend the book in boundorganization. They are absolutely leaders in both customer experience andemployee experience. I really appreciate that shout up before i letyou go nick. How can someone follow up on this conversation? How can theylearn more about your books, about public words about you like? Wherewould you send people to follow up on this conversation to the website?Public words, com and there's a treasure trove there since i've beenblogging since two thousand and seven so there's a ridiculous treasure troveof information about communications, public speaking virtual communicationsand a lot of free stuff, as well as opportunities to connect with usawesome. That is public words com. He is dr nick morgan. I am your host ethan,but thank you all so much for listening and thank you so much nick for a thework that you do and be for spending this time with us is a great pleasure.Thank you too often, you are overwhelmed by the amount of noise inyour inbox and slack in your lengthen messages and every other channel andmedium you use and guess what so are your prospects, customers, employeesand recruits digital pollution is the problem. Human centered communicationis a solution from the authors of the best selling book rehumanize, yourbusiness comes a new book human centered communication, a business caseagainst digital pollution, featuring expert insights from leaders atcompanies like sales force hub spot and ven gressa, giving you proven methodsto earn attention, build trust, create engagement and enhanced reputation.Helping you connect and communicate more effectively with the people whomatter most learn more and pre order. Your copytoday, i at bombumba, and ask about...

...special packages for your team, yourcompany or your community by emailing book at bom, bom com visit, bom, bomcom book or email book at bom bambo. Thanks for listening to the customerexperience. Podcast remember. The single most important thing you can dotoday is to create and deliver a better experience for your customers, continuelearning the latest strategies and tactics by subscribing right now inyour favorite podcast player, or visit bom bombo podcast a.

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