Customer experience marketing. It's a buzzword that a lot of people throw out, but what exactly does it mean, how important is it to you business today, and what are the first steps you can take to implementing customer experience marketing the right way?
I could not think of a better person than friend and customer experience marketing expert Dan Gingiss to have on my podcast to answer these questions and more for my listeners.
As Dan explains, customer experience marketing is a vital aspect to both your online and offline business. It also could be the one defining thing that can differentiate your brand from your competitors.
Dan takes us through the correct way to implement customer experience marketing. Listen in and read the show notes below to learn more.
Les? Go! Welcome to the Maximize your social podcast. Follow me. Discover the latest social media marketing techniques from the world's leading experts from top to bottom, this is the podcast where business professionals come together to master social media without all the confusing mumbo jumbo with no further ado. Turn it out. Here's your host, the one and only Neil Shaper.
Everybody, this is Neil Schaefer. Welcome to another exciting episode of Maximize Your Social. Today is gonna be about the tale of two worlds. I am here in winter in warm and sunny Orange County. We did have some rain which made people freak out because we don't get a lot of rain here in Southern California. But on the other end of this microphone is a gentleman who is a dear friend. Ah, thought leader and customer experience marketing that we're gonna be talking a lot about today. My friend Dan Guinness, who's calling in from the middle of the polar vortex where it is colder there that it is in the South Pole. From what I hear, Chicago Malloy Dan, Welcome to maximize your social.
Well, thank you, Neil. It's a pleasure to be on your show. And yes, we set some records this week. Negative 25 degrees. That's before the wind chill. It was absolutely ridiculous, but luckily I stayed indoors for most of it, and we seem to be on the back end of it.
Well, hopefully this podcast interview will warm you up, so to speak as well as our listeners. So let's cut to the chase. Dan, I mentioned when I scheduled this customer experience marketing as I continue in the process of publishing my upcoming book on influence marketing the Business of Influence. And I sort of hinted at this. For those of you that listen to my previous podcast, you should listen to the one where I talked about. We need to do things differently. It's time for socially marking 2.0, I have come to the conclusion now. It's not gonna get this way overnight, but I'm already sort of working with my clients in trying to push them in this direction. You know, I've always said social media was made for people, not for businesses, and the personal brand is always gonna win out versus the corporate brand. Now, if you're a Coca Cola are what happy? It's one thing, but for 99% of the brands that are not in that position, um, I begin to question, Why are you on social media? What do you use it for? So you know, it's interesting, Dan, we're both gonna be speaking at social media Marketing world, and I think there's like a full day workshop devoted to Facebook. At's right to me. Facebook ads ISn't social media. It's digital marketing. It's no different than a Google ad. It's different. Targeting options, right, different way, maybe different content mediums. But I'm beginning to come to the conclusion that if social media is made for people enough, is that what our business is doing on social media? I think it's time that they really rethink their approach. And I'm beginning to think the best approach for companies isn't the market themselves in social media unless they want to use paid social. For that which is like a Google AdWords, it's really to be there for their customers, too. Answer their questions to help them get the optimum customer experience to become a robust customer support channel. Because I've come to conclusion people don't want engage of brands and social right? They won't engage with celebrities and a friend. So if they're gonna engage with the brand, inevitably it's going to be to send a complaint. And I know that you're the expert at this. That's sort of the conclusion. I'm I'm coming, Thio, which all leads into why branch be leveraging influencers and really inside the word of mouth. They're using other people rather than try to do it themselves. Because social media marketers second social media for brands is is another one of the conclusions I have. So I'm just sort of dropping all these bombs on you, Dan, I'm sure Smiley right now because you've been talking about this different ways for the last several years. But that's my thoughts today, Dan. What do you think?
Well, I am smiling. I agree with about 90% of what you said. Ah, and let me put it in a slightly different way, and then I'll get to the 10% that I maybe differ a little bit. So I've been a marketer for more than 20 years. I got my start in direct mail and in newspaper and magazine advertising. Direct response. You know, where people actually clipped out a coupon and filled out and mailed it in. And so I've done pretty much every marketing general except for television. Um, and as we've moved, more digital and especially a social has come into play. The very first thing I realized about social marketing was that it is the only marketing channel that people can talk back to you. And I thought that was fascinating. Which is why when most people sort of went towards wow social meet American ing, it's an X ray thing. I went to sort of the flip side of that, which is Wow. This is a really cool way to engage with your customers that we've never had before. So as a marketer, I agree with you. I don't think social media marketing is all that. I don't think it's that much different than other digital and non digital channels. In terms of the mechanics of it, we still target people. We still segment them. We still try to find the right product in the right place, the right price for them, and it's just because it's on Facebook instead of on e mail or on a website or even in direct mail. I don't think it's that special, to be honest with you, but this idea that people can talk back is special, and it's really interesting because you can't talk back to a billboard. You can't talk back to Super Bowl TV commercial. But all of a sudden now brands have to be available to people talking back. And I think that's a really good thing because it has brought brands closer to their customer so that they understand their customer better and can create products. And experience is based on that understanding. And I would say the one part that I maybe don't completely agree with What you said is that I actually think, especially the millennial generation, does want tohave a relationship in engagement with cos I think it's one of the things that they're looking for in deciding which companies to do business with is which ones they can have a bilateral relationship with. And so and I think that you know, those of us in Gen. X and others were kind of following suit in that it is we're starting to to judge the businesses that we spend good money with by the experience that we get back with them, and part of that experience is how they engage with us in social media. And so I always tell people, First of all, I believe that people share people are willing to share very positive experiences as much as they're willing to share negative experiences. The problem is, we don't have nearly as many positive experiences as we have negative, because customer experience tends to suck. And so you end up seeing a lot more negative. But actually, one of the thing that I talk about it, we'll talk about it. Social media marketing world is that by spending time focusing on providing remarkable experiences, you can get more people talking positively about your brand and start drowning out some of that negativity. Or, as we like to say at McDonald's, have the lovers be louder than the haters.
Yeah, no, That makes sense, then, and I on the tempers and we don't agree on. I do agree that younger generations want a different relationship. I don't know how much of that translate the social media, and that would be our only Bonin attention. But obviously, when you know if you're going to see a Taco Bell out on Snapshot. You want to make sure it really speaks to you in that aspect. I I completely agree. So, um yeah, it's It's definitely. But I think this is a conversation down that more more brands need to be having. Let's let's get started on sort of that terminology of customer experience marketing I run this blawg maximize social business was hopefully by the time this is published, has already moved back and migrated back. Camille Schaeffer dot com and I had a contributor Joe Ovaries Huai Investment five years ago because you know, I want to change my category topic. You started talking about So Lo Mo social, local mobile and you might be laughing about that. No one talks about that anymore, but it's indeed become reality. You know, customer experience markets. Next big thing. You know, Brian Solos published this book X on. It's already been a few years, but I don't think it's become a CZ mainstream as it should, and I think sort of part of it is I see a lot of this customer support customer experience, marketing. Let's start what sort of defining what is what isn't customer experience market, maybe by contrasting it with customer support over social, which I sometimes see sort of diluted in the conversation when I want to start with that, Dan and Weaken sort of work into that definition.
Sure, absolutely. And I think actually, the best way to do that is to kind of billed in terms of what you just said. So customer service in social media is a subset of customer support generally, which covers multiple channels and customer support is a subset of customer experience. So the way that I defying customer experience is that it is how people feel about every single interaction they have with the brand and the two keys. There are the feel part because, as we know, perception is reality. So your programmers could be telling you that you have the greatest mobile app of all time. But if your customers say it's hard to use, then the answer is it's hard to use no matter what the program or say. But the other thing is that it incorporates every single interaction, and that's the part that I think companies tend to trip up on because especially large companies and I've worked for three of them. They're almost always built from an organizational perspective in a siloed manner, which means that the person who runs the website is a different person than the person who runs the call center, who is a different person than person who runs the retail stores. And so the customer ends up having these experiences that don't gel and that don't connect with each other because nobody's sitting there at the top looking at, you know, from the 30,000 foot view and actually following the customer through all of these pieces. And so when companies understand that it's every single interaction that might start with a TV ad, it might start with a piece of mail that you send via the Postal Service. It might start with a social media ad, but and it may go all the way through on ordering process a delivery, a return, a customer service inquiry. If you have ah, storefront or you're a restaurant, you know the people that the customer interacts with in that location. All of those things. The cleanliness of the bathroom, for crying out loud, is all part of the experience. And when you add all that up. That's how people perceive your company. Customer service is a big part of that, because when we have a problem with the experience, we require service and we want a resolution. But not everybody has a problem, right? So you could go and have a terrific relationship with the brand and never talk to customer service. In fact, that's that's successful on both counts, right? It's successful from a consumer point of view, and it's also consider successful from a business point of view. So does that make sense in terms of deaf? Initially,
it does its really its end to end view from, you know, before they become a customer to after they become a customer. And I guess you know, we could probably rant about how companies tend about customer service is more a cost center. Then they should. But I'm just curious. Do you speak about things? And it says the customer experience marketing should have been a buzzword even before social media. Why are we talking about it now? Why haven't we talked about it?
Well, so here's what I think Social did differently, right when people when we started off in social media companies saw it as another broadcast channel. And not only that, they saw it as a free broadcast general, because at the beginning it kind of was free. Right? So all we gotta do is build followers, and we could scream our message and and all these people are there to listen to it. I remember having I won't tell you what company. But I remember having internal discussions about we should put our TV commercials on Facebook. And I'm thinking to myself, Yeah, great idea, because, you know, people love watching commercials so much, they're just going to enjoy having their Facebook experience interrupted with our TV commercial, right? So and that's what I mean when I say that that social media allowed customers to talk back for the first time. And one of the things that companies saw really quickly is they were often talking back about something else, not about the marketing. So we're we're introducing a new product and we're hoping to start a viral discussion about our new product. And customers are like, Yeah, I don't want to talk about your new product. I want to talk about how I called customer service. The other day and there was a two hour hold time and you guys suck. And so all of a sudden the control of the conversation went from the brand to the consumer. The consumer felt empowered by this and started demanding Maur from companies in terms of their experience, not just on social but everywhere. And one of the things that I love to say is that I believe today there's no such thing as an offline customer experience because even things that we used to consider being offline, like, say, being on an airplane, Well, the guy that was dragged off the airplane showed us that not everything on an airplane is offline anymore, right, cause it can come online in an instant. And so that power that was given to consumers, I think, has caused this much more focused, more intense focus on customer experience. But I also think that and this is one of the things that that Solis said a while ago and I think he is coming to fruition is that over time I believe that customer experience is going to become the last true differentiator for brands because if you think about it competing on price is a loser's game. It just doesn't. You know. All you do is push price down until nobody's making any money. It's very difficult to compete on product because so much today is copy a ble. Just ask, you know, Snapchat about their friends at Instagram. And so what you have to do is you have to compete on experience, and experience is provided by the humans that are employed by your company and the technology that your company uses, which is unique and can't be copied exactly. And that's why it becomes this really, really important differentiator. Um, I know you told me you were You wanted to talk about a couple of examples and one of the ones that I continue to be just amazed at and we've covered on my podcast and I've written about a few times is chewy dot com. Now Chewie is a pet supplies company, and I'll be honest. I've gone, I have pet. I've gone on julie dot com. I don't think their prices air any better than than Amazon's. In fact, they're probably a little bit more expensive than Amazon's. But you talkto any chewy customer and they love this company because the service is so unbelievable on our podcast. The first time we talked about it, it was because a friend of mine from high school posted on Facebook. Ha ha. I saw it on social media that his cat had died and that Chewie, after learning that his cat died because he called to cancel of food shipment the chewy sent him a bouquet of flowers signed by the entire office staff telling them that they, you know, felt so badly about him losing his cat. Now, what's fascinating about this Neil is that because he lost his cat, at least at that moment, technically, he wasn't even a customer anymore because he didn't have a pet. And so they're doing this for a non customer. For a former customer. Well, guess what? The guy has another cat now. And where do you think he's ordering all of his pet supplies? And every time I tweet about chewy or write about chewy, I get dozens of people that right back to me, saying I love Chui. Their service is so great. Some other customers shared an email that they sent with me where I ended up posting on Ah, on Forbes. An article called Ah, this pet supplies company just wrote the greatest customer service email of all time, which I think it was. So when companies treat their customers well, customers don't mind us much. They don't pay as much attention to a sail down the road that you know is going to get them a 10% discount to what you're charging them, because they know that you're gonna take better care of
them, you know? And I think that's an awesome case study for lack of better out awesome example. And I think that do you talk a lot? And I know before a conversation, I sort of hinted as well at the beginning, his podcast about trying to make this emotional attachment right, because of the end of the day, you know the example I used? I always give us. I always buy Tylenol rather than the generic drug, because I have this emotional attachment right that's been formed over decades for various reasons. Obviously, you know, a chewy did was they created that they generated an emotion. Obviously it wasn't an emotional time that they did that, and I think back Dan before full media being a Crutchfield. I don't know if you're in a high end on
the company myself into high end audio, but I definitely know
that yet I'm not. I mean, my dad was more on the high end audio, and I lived in a house where the former owner was. So we were just talking. I needed to get some audio equipment, and I ended up being a Crutchfield customer. It's sort of, you know, through their magazine. And this is old school, obviously, back in the day, through the information they had, you felt like you were in good hands on even after the purchase, you know, call for support. What happiness. So once again, I think, you know, creating that emotional attachment is is probably gonna be a great way to generate a positive customer experience. And tell me what? When you and maybe, you know, and I know we could go on forever about this topic, as we always do, Dan, for the sake of time, to try to keep my podcast relatively short and sweet. I want to make sure we cover two more things. I'm supposing that there are business owners. There are no secrets executives that are listening this pod, Caster said. OK, I get it. I want to improve my company's customer experience. You mentioned me, Dan, that one of the things you do, our customer experience audits. And I'm assuming that would be the first thing that company should do if they want to go down and improve upon this. So you tell me personally. Is that correct?
Yeah, absolutely. I mean, what a customer Sprint audit does is it solves this problem of what I mentioned before, which is that nobody's really looking at the entire journey from beginning to end. Now people are creating journey maps, and they're doing it on white boards because that's a popular thing to do. And you know, any sort of customer experience expert worth their salt is gonna tell you that's one of the first things you should do. But I'm talking about actually becoming a customer and actually going through the process of whatever it is that your company offers to customers. So let's take a credit card company as an example. It's one thing to kind of write down on a board, while here's how people find us and here's how they apply for a card, and here's what happens after they apply for a car. But it's a lot different to actually be that person that applies for the card that fills out the application that sees how easy or difficult it is to fill out that application that receives the card in the mail that reads the materials and sees whether they're understandable, that tries to act, activate the car, then try to go out and use the card and maybe make a return on the card. You understand what I'm saying? Um, and it also includes kind of going to all of the different channels that a company might have and frankly, trying to break things. So going on the website and trying to, you know, do a bunch of things that a customer would do are trying to go to the mobile app and trying to call customer service and and having a complaint and then documenting everything that happened and basically summarizing with a This is what you're doing really well. Here are some pain points that I experienced as a customer. Here are some things you really need to change that are you know, gonna be frustrating people, et cetera, and it gives that end to end view from a actual customers perspective. It's kind of like if you've seen that show undercover boss, it's kind of like doing that foreign exec instead of having them to go on TV and embarrass themselves by working one of those jobs. It's essentially, you know, becoming a customer and really reporting back with complete transparency about every piece of the experience.
Which is why you probably wanna work with an external entity like yourself to do this in someone that's done this for other companies that understands the most companies
so that the objective and that is so close to the experience. I mean, I've I've worked at, Ah, you know, I've had leadership roles at three Fortune 300 companies, and one of the things that I've seen over and over again is that employees get too close to the experience because first of all, often many of them are responsible for designing the experience. So they're gonna tell you the experience is great, right? And they're they're going to not intentionally, but they're gonna be blind to some of the pain points and sort of holes in the experience, whereas somebody who frankly has no skin in the game can come in and say, Yeah, you know what? It was really annoying when the mobile app did this for I'll give you an example. The company that I bank with when I go on the mobile app and I hit Bill pay. It's actually bank with ah brokerage company. So I have a brokerage account in a bank account. So when I go to Bill Pay and I tap on bill pay every time I do this, it says, Which account would you like to build pay from? And the only one that's there is the checking account because you can't bill pay from a brokerage account. So I tapped the Onley account that's there, and every time I'm like, Why the hell are you asking me this every time? If there's only one choice, just, you know like this is, Ah, it's been like that forever now is that Are they intentionally trying to annoy me? Of course not. It's just that somebody built it that way, and I'm guessing for a number of customers, there actually is more than one account right so it makes sense that you might choose an account, but nobody's realized that the person with only one account has an extra step. That's very easy to code to eliminate, right? And so that's a great example of a pain point that just doesn't need to be there. That is frustrating people. But is it enough of a frustration that I'm gonna go and complain about it on social media? Probably not my gonna call the 800 number to complain about it. Absolutely not. So they also may not even be hearing that it's a pain point, and I think again, that's it. That's what is really helpful with having somebody who's objective, who's just not afraid to say, Hey, this was awesome. He did this great. Keep doing this. And over here this kind of sucks And, you know, here's some examples of how I might do it differently.
Yeah, that's really changed. I just think of some of the social media tools I use where every time in action that I might do 10 times the daily basis. They always ask me to confirm right, so I mean it eats up server bandwidth. It's an extra step in the tool. You don't need it. It makes it does not make the best use of my time. And it is irritating. So I'm sure that every company probably has some Some, you know, somewhere in their line from acquiring a new customer to someone using their product over time, probably has his issues, which needs to my last question that we're sort of running a time here. But, you know, for those and I'm assuming, you know, an audit that you do on a company A What you're gonna find is obviously gonna be very different than Company B. It all depends on each company's specific type of product and industry and customers will have you. But in general, are there one or two sort of low hanging fruit types of advice that you could give cos they're
moving pain points in the existing experience, right? The harder thing is creating unique, remarkable new experiences. Right? And, you know, our buddy J. Bear just came out with a book about this call talk triggers, which is what is that differentiation that is going to make people talk about your brand versus another ones? That's tough. That takes a long time and usually many years to establish. But getting rid of existing pain points is easy. And you know the example of that. I gave up the brokerage right. That's not even an expense effects. It's a pretty easy fix. The great story that real quickly that I remember from my time at Discover is we have a survey mechanism on every page of the Web site, thousands of pages of the website and one of the questions in the survey. You know, it was allowed customers to give comments and to ask questions. But one of the questions always was. How easy was it to do business with Discover today? So I once ordered a report I wanted to see by page the ranking of that question. It was a 1 to 10 scale, but I wanted to see it in reverse. So I wanted to see what was the worst page on our site. You know, for people answered the question. How easy was it to do business? They answered. It was really hard, right? So I wanted to know what pages caused people to do that. So the top page on the list, the one that had the lowest ranking in ease of use was actually a very important page to us. It was the refer a friend Paige. So this is where they offer a $50 bonus. If you introduce somebody else to discover. Well, turns out looking at the comments on that page, that right, A certain kind of browser. The submit button was not showing up. It wasn't for everybody. It was just one browser. Oh, that was a really easy thing to fix. And the second we fixed it, the scores went back to normal, like the instant we fixed. So I said, Wow, let's do this a couple 100 more times. And we did, right. We just started looking for all of these little things, the little code gone wrong, that that causes a frustration. Can you imagine? You fill out a list of, you know, 10 people that you want to refer a friend, and then you can't find the submit button. That's gonna be really annoying, right? But yet it was a piece of cake to fix. So I think finding a little places and frankly, if you ask most companies and they're honest with you, they know where their pain points are. They have just chosen to not fix them. And to me, that's the easiest and usually least expensive thing to do is just to fix existing minor pain points.
Yeah, yeah. No, that's really awesome. Advice. Not really. Appreciate how you've mixed from vory holistic strategic perspective down to implementable advice with a lot of case studies both of your own corporate experience as well as some other things you've experienced. There's been great down way. Certainly find on Twitter
at digging S d G i N g I s s And I'm also a damn genghis dot com And I write many times, multiple times a month for Forbes so you can check me out there as well for hopefully some wisdom that allows youto go back to work and and do something new. And also, as I mentioned before, I am a podcast host a cz well, and my podcast is called experience this and wherever you are currently listening to maximize your social, the same map should get you to experience this
awesome. And by the way, if you are going to social media marketing world and you happen to see Dan and I together talking, and you come up to me and said Meal. I knew I'd find you and Dan together cause I listen your podcast. I'm gonna buy you a free beer fans to be on the lookout for us because I know you're all going to the event. All right? Happy listeners with tears in their hands. All right? Yeah, I'm a big fan of the ah, Is it called the Red Trolley Ale? Yeah, I love that stuff anyway. All right, that's that's a subject for another podcast. But, hey, I appreciate your listening. This has been one of my longer podcast. Hopefully, it's been it's been fruitful for you. Dan obviously is a clear thought leader, expert and more importantly, a great guy, even though he has a Chicago Cubs fan instead of my l A doctors. But, hey, we forgive him for that. Um, anyway, hey, I I appreciate you putting up with us. Hope you learned something from this. Always appreciate your ratings and comments and iTunes and on the needle schaefer dot com blogger, wherever you listen to this. So hey, uh, just in this lot gas, like I always do. Where we are in the world. Make it a great social day, everybody. Bye bye.
Thanks for listening to the Maximize our social podcast. Make sure kids don't forget to subscribe. Rate the show on iTunes so others can enjoy it to someone to continue the conversation and empower your business. Your social media Visit meal safer dot com right now. Have a great week. Let's go. We'll see you on the next episode.