S3e4 The Really Listening and Social Customer Care Edition with Dan Gingiss
James chats with Dan Gingiss, an international keynote speaker who believes that a remarkable customer experience can be your best marketing. Dan doesn’t just talk about customer experience, his 20-year professional career has been consistently focused on delighting customers, spanning multiple disciplines including customer experience, marketing, social media and customer service. He has held leadership positions at three Fortune 300 companies – McDonald’s, Discover and Humana.
Dan is the author of the book, Winning at Social Customer Care: How Top Brands Create Engaging Experiences on Social Media, a host of the Experience This! Show podcast and a regular contributor to Forbes. He has been named to several notable industry lists, including “Top 50 Thought Leaders to Follow on Twitter in 2020” by ICMI
When he’s not working, Dan is a lifelong Chicago Cubs fan, a licensed bartender and a pinball wizard.
They discuss really listening to your customer, customer care in social media, saying thank you, pinball machines, listening to phones in the shower, and of course, great customer service.
Phone: +1 508 BOOK DAN (1-508-266-5326)
Forbes Blog: www.forbes.com/sites/dangingiss/xperience
Experience This! Show Podcast: www.experiencethisshow.com
Winning at Social Customer Care Book: amzn.to/2GslnV7
James Nathan 0:53 Hello and welcome to The Only One Business Show with me your host James Nathan and today I’ve got a great guest for you all the way from Chicago where he promises me it’s cold but not snowing as much as they are expecting. He is an international keynote speaker who believes that a remarkable customer experience can be your very best marketing. He’s had a 20 year professional career, and has been constantly focused on delighting customers and spanning multiple disciplines including customer experience, marketing, social media, and customer service. Having held three leadership positions in fortune 300 companies, McDonald’s discover, and Humana. He’s the author of the book, Winning at Social Customer Care – How Top Brands Create Engaging Experiences on Social Media, and hosts Experience This!. He is a regular contributor to Forbes and has recently been named in the top 50 thought leaders to follow on Twitter in 2020. Wow. Apart from that, he’s a lifelong Chicago Cubs fan, a licenced barman and a pinball wizard. Sounds like a misspent youth to me. Please welcome Dan Gingiss. Dan, how are you?
Dan Gingiss 2:06 I’m doing great. James, thank you so much for having me on. I’m really excited for the conversation today.
James Nathan 2:12 Me too, and I thank you for taking the time. A licenced bartender. I didn’t know you needed to be licenced do you?
Dan Gingiss 2:17 Well, I don’t know if you need to be or not. But I did acquire my licence many years ago, actually, right after college while I was working full time, I went to bartending school at night, for I think it was two weeks, you know, really, really extensive programme. And I learned in that time about 350 drinks, and I never really wanted to be a bartender, but I will tell you all these years later, it’s a skill that I still use. And I’m really glad that I did it.
James Nathan 2:46 Do you know I worked as a student in a cocktail bar for a good many years and every now and then those drinks come back to you don’t know, especially at parties where someone’s saying, you used to work in a bar, didn’t you? And suddenly you knock up something absolutely fantastic. It’s a life skill, Dan that’s what it is.
Dan Gingiss 3:03 Exactly. It’s a life skill. I’m not sure pinball is but but the bartending certainly is.
James Nathan 3:07 Well, pinball is something that one day we will have a machine now home if you got one of your own.
Dan Gingiss 3:13 I’m afraid to tell you that I have five of them.
James Nathan 3:16 Oh, wow. You’d make my wife very jealous.
Dan Gingiss 3:19 Two I inherited from my parents, so maybe those don’t count. But yeah, I really enjoy it and maybe was a misspent youth but it’s it’s coming back now. So they’re getting popular again. And I just have to convince my teenagers that they’re still cool.
James Nathan 3:34 Oh, they’re very cool. Tell us what your favourite one is.
Dan Gingiss 3:36 My favourite one’s The Addams Family, which is a lot of people’s favourite. It’s the first one that really was attached to a movie. And it’s just a great…. it’s a great game because it has a story along with it. It’s very difficult for an expert, but it’s pretty easy and approachable for a newbie. It’s got the voices of Raul Julia and man I’m forgetting her name, who played who played Mrs. Addams. It’ll come to me at some point later in the interview. But it has their real voices and it’s a blast.
James Nathan 4:10 I was going to try to help you out there, but I have no chance I’ve only just learned who Steve Buscemi is Dan. So, you know, names in films is just not my thing. How did you end up doing what you’re doing now? How did you end up in customer experience?
Dan Gingiss 4:24 Well, as you mentioned in the very nice introduction of me, I spent 20 years in corporate America mostly in marketing roles. And what happened was my last role at Discover, which was about 2013 to 2016 or so, I was put in charge of digital customer experience. And what that meant was basically running the website which had 50 million logins a month. The mobile app, which was at the time had not yet eclipsed the website, you know, it was it was still growing and so I was in charge of sort of marketing on those properties, but also introducing new features and functionality. And what I learned in that job was how impactful very small changes to the experience can be in terms of customer feedback, customer satisfaction, you know, all of these metrics that we’re already tracking. And at the same time, I was put in charge of the social media team at Discover and no joke if you go and look on my Twitter account @dgingiss, and look at the date that I joined Twitter, that’s the day that I started in that job because I was basically…. I’m like well heck I’m I’m running a social media team. I better figure out what this Twitter thing is. And so…. and in social media, what I immediately saw, and what eventually became the subject of my book was that this was the first marketing channel where people could talk back to you. You can’t talk back to a billboard you can’t talk back to aTV commercial, or you can but nobody’s listening. And all of a sudden in social media, people could talk back and talk and the whole world was listening, and my belief and….. So first of all, I saw that as an enormous opportunity that all of a sudden, we could have a conversation with real customers, and get insight in terms of what we’re doing well, and what we’re not. But I also found, and I’m a believer that, but for social media, we wouldn’t be talking about customer experience, because when customers got a voice, a public voice, they used it to basically say that they were fed up with a bad experience. And, and I think ‘cos it took a while, but company started listening, and hence the focus over the last few years on really pushing for customer experience. So I loved that role. And I later asked my boss why he picked me for that role, because it was an internal transfer. He recruited me, and I had no digital background really before that role. And he said to me, the reason I wanted you for that role is because I’ve watched you in meetings, and you always have the customers hat on, you are always representing the customer when they’re not in the room. And I think we need that in the digital space. And, I kind of pause for a minute because this guy, my boss, literally figured out something about me before I figured it out. And when he said that, I was like, man, I think you’re right. And, I thought back in my career at how many times I had really advocated for the customer and really pushed for great experience. And so that just became my passion. And then all these years later, I finally after really having a side hustle for many years, I finally got brave enough to go off on my own as an independent speaker and consultant and I love it and my joke to everybody is I love working for the Dan better than I liked working for the man.
James Nathan 7:54 Fantastic. Well, I tell you what, if you I’ve worked for myself for a long time now and I keep joking to my wife that I’m absolutely unemployable because I couldn’t work for anybody anymore. You just get so good at listening to yourself and then saying, hey, that’s crazy let somebody else told me I’m wrong. But no, it’s a fabulous background. And it’s interesting when you came into social media, because I guess you coming into it when it’s already established. But not, I mean, it’s five years since it’s changed a lot, hasn’t it?
Dan Gingiss 8:23 Absolutely. And, you know, it was established, but what wasn’t really established was the care part, the customer service part, right? Because when social first came out, brands mistakenly saw it as another broadcast channel. In fact, as a free broadcast channel. I don’t know if you remember, but you know, it’s like, wow, there’s a billion people on Facebook and we can talk to them for free. You know, and I was in meetings where people were saying, hey, let’s put our TV commercial on Facebook. And I’m like, you know what, they didn’t want to see the TV commercial when it was on TV. They definitely don’t want to see it on Facebook. But that was the instinct of marketers. The instant marketers was, hey, this is a free channel, let’s just get out the megaphone and start screaming at people. And I think that, you know, I came in at the right time to realise that there was a different side of this particular channel that marketers didn’t understand because marketers aren’t trained in customer service. So that just became an easy niche for me to fill and something I was really passionate about.
James Nathan 9:25 And that that comes to that fantastic word engagement, doesn’t it? Because it’s not a broadcast channel. It’s an engagement channel. How did people start to change because I remember very clearly when it was all just show, show, show. When did the when did the penny drop?
Dan Gingiss 9:41 Well, I think there were some companies that really got out in front of it, I’m proud to say I think Discover was one of them. Southwest Airlines was another one. I think there were a bunch of companies that started very quickly building up staff in their contact centre to respond to people and and I think what happened over time…. I mean, back at the beginning, people used social media as a customer service channel of last resort, meaning they tried the telephone. They didn’t get the answer they wanted or there was a long hold time. They tried email, they didn’t get a response, or they didn’t like the answer. So now they’re really upset. And they went to social media to vent. And what happened over time is that as companies started building up their social care staff and had, you know, fast response rates, and we’re doing a really good job resolving problems. A lot of customers, including me, figured out you know what, this should be a channel of first resort, because this is the best channel to talk to a company. And today, the very first thing I do when I want to talk to a company, is I will go to Twitter Direct Messaging. And I do that because I know that companies prefer that customers go to direct messaging, so it’s not in public. I’m not trying to embarrass a company. But I want an answer. And I want an answer quickly, and I don’t want to sit on hold. And so I go to Twitter DM is the first place I go. And that massive change has only happened in the last, you know, maybe two years. And I think that’s what’s really made this channel such an engagement channel is that people are realising it’s the really the only place… think about it. The old channels haven’t really adapted. So if you want to engage with the brand, which more and more customers of today want, they want a relationship with the brands that they spend money with? Where else are you going to do it other than social media? I mean, it’s not you can’t really have an engagement with a brand over email.
James Nathan 11:41 No and Twitter seems to be the place thats sort of had the most penetration and is that is the best really.
Dan Gingiss 11:48 Yeah, I agree. I mean, Twitter has been my favourite channel for a long time. And I think it comes from when I was in college, I was the managing editor of the newspaper and so I like…. and I and one of my jobs at the time was writing headlines. And I feel like Twitter’s about writing headlines, right? Cuz you gotta, you gotta write tight and crunch it into 180 characters, to 280 characters. I can’t believe I got that right. So yeah, I think Twitter has been very popular in the United States with Facebook number two and then my understanding is around the world, it’s the opposite that Facebook tends to be number one for service and then Twitter number two, but either one of them are important channels and channels where customers again can establish a relationship with the brands that they spend their hard earned money with. And they can also find other customers of the same company. Right, and if you think of that, if you compare that to like a ratings and review site, which is very passive, you can go read what other people say about a company but in Facebook and Twitter, you can have a conversation with them, and you can meet other customers and establish relationship with them as well.
James Nathan 12:58 I think it’s wonderful and and as it humour, I love to be able to communicate quickly and get, you know, especially getting problem solved, you know, because if I can get something solved quickly, I’m happy. If they can solve it well for me, then I can rant about them and tell everyone how great they are. And that’s all great. I find, though, that the listening isn’t that good when, with a lot of businesses, if you make a comment about them, you get a DM back saying I’m really sorry about that. But then almost often, the onus is thrown back to you. It’s kind of a hey, why don’t you call us on this number if you want more help? And that doesn’t seem to have gone far enough for me, I think it’s interesting that they they hold out a hand and say, look, we hear you. But then what happens next is important, isn’t it?
Dan Gingiss 13:46 Absolutely. And I always recommend to companies that you try to keep people on the platform that they started with. I mean, imagine if you called a toll free number or you called a call centre and they said, you know, sorry, we can’t talk to you right now. But we’d really prefer it if you would tweet at us. I mean, it’s just so so silly, right? They’ve never happened. And so when we are on social media, and we’re told, well, please email us, or please call us. That’s not really a resolution. I mean, it’s a response, but it’s not a resolution. And I don’t think that it is very satisfying for people because as I said before, when we come to social media, as consumers, we’ve chosen that channel intentionally. We don’t want to call which is why we’re there. So if the answer is please call that’s a very frustrating response.
James Nathan 14:36 It’s also throwing throwing the hat back to me and saying, Well, you know, it’s your problems, are you phone us? And I think that’s sort of a double hit there really. What can businesses do then to sort of become better at the social side of customer care? Where do they start?
Dan Gingiss 14:54 Well, you said it, it’s listening and I think that is the first and most important part and some of that requires kind of a change in attitude. And I’ve seen this across, you know, both B2C and B2B businesses, that we get very insular about our products and services because we build what we think is the best product or service. And we’re around other people who think the same thing. We’re in a bubble, right? So we’ve created the best B2B SaaS platform there is because that’s what everybody around us says. Right. That’s what all the other that’s what our developers say. That’s what our investors say. And so we believe that and what happens is, we’re reluctant to listen to other people who may have positive or negative comments about that. And what I always tell companies is never be afraid of a complaint. Because the people who complain, complain because they care. If they didn’t care, they wouldn’t which most people don’t, by the way, they would just move on to your competitor. They wouldn’t even bother telling you what they don’t like. When somebody’s telling you something that you’re not doing well or when you’re missing the experience for them or not delivering, it’s because they actually do want you to fix it and they want to remain a customer of yours. But if you’re fearful of complaints and you’re not listening and you’re not responding, you’re not resolving, then that same result happens is that people say they throw up their arms and they say, well, this company isn’t going to fix it. So I’m going to leave to their competitor. And what I found is the more you listen, the more you can figure out how to really make your product or service best in class. Because what happens is when you put it out in the wild, people use your product or service in ways that you never imagined. I’ll give you a great example. I once interviewed the head of social customer care for OtterBox, which is the the phone case company, and they have fantastic cases they’re super strong. They’re, you know, higher end a little bit more expensive. Well in listening in social media. What they found was that a lot of people were bringing their phones into the shower because they wanted to listen to music while they were showering. That sparked an idea for OtterBox to build a waterproof case, they didn’t have one of those before. And when they built it, it became one of their best selling products. Now, that use case was not ever even thought of before, until they heard on on social media that people were taking phones into the shower, which still, by the way, I shake my head at that, that seems unbelievable, but it’s a thing. It’s a thing. And so, you know, if they hadn’t listened, they would have never had that opportunity to create a product that became a best seller for them.
James Nathan 17:33 We stopped to listen to the complaints. There’s all sorts of great stuff that comes with it. I know you…. and one of my favourite stories is Gordon Ramsay, the restauranteur who, you know, he’s become a big telly name as well as everything else he does, but in one of his first books I think he talked about not caring when people told him he was good. He said, I know I’m good. But what I care about is when people say I’m bad because I can make that better. And I think if you’re given the opportunity, if someone if someone does care enough, and gives you their time to tell you how to make yourself better, why wouldn’t you listen to that? You’d be crazy, wouldn’t you?
Dan Gingiss 18:08 Exactly. And I equate it to delivering a review to an employee at work. And you know, one of the tactics that I learned early on in my career was for every review that I wrote to include three strengths and three opportunities. And the reason I did that was twofold. Number one, it forced me to really think through what this person was doing well and what they needed to do better. But it also from the other end, it made all the employees relax, because they didn’t have to say, Oh, no, I got three opportunities. Did you get two opportunities? Maybe you’re better than I am. Right? And because everybody got three opportunities, right. And so it took that piece out. But when I got reviews like that, I found them to be extremely useful as well because as you quoted Gordon is saying, you know, you don’t know what you don’t know. And so if somebody says, Hey, this is something we want you to improve upon, it’s really helpful. I still, every time I go on stage for a keynote, I still solicit feedback in a very formal fashion, because I show lots of different examples in my keynote, and I rotate the examples depending on the audience. So I have a huge library of examples. And I ask people tell me which examples spoke to you, and which examples missed the mark. And it’s kind of like in those standardised tests in school, where sometimes they’ll add in a question that doesn’t really count, but they’re just sort of seeing how people react. I’ll stick in a new example every once in a while, because I want to see how people react. And over time, I’m become very confident that I know which examples everybody loves, or just universally loved. And then I also know I’ve pulled examples out of my keynotes and thrown them out because they did I thought they were cool, but maybe the audience didn’t. And that is so valuable because it’s made my speech better over time because now really the only thing that’s in my speech are all the good one.
James Nathan 19:59 All the good ones. And if you don’t ask for that feedback, you don’t know. And people do like to shy away from bad news don’t they?
Dan Gingiss 20:07 Of course, and and they also, to your point, you know, it’s I remember when we had a puppy, a bunch of years ago, and we took her for training. And the trainer was saying that you shouldn’t say, good boy or good girl. And the reason is, is because they already know they’re a good boy, or a good girl. It’s like, it’s not useful. And so what you have to do is correct the action. Right? And so it’s very similar. I mean, when you get a review at work that says, you know, you’re doing a great job. And that’s it, then, you know, you’re left wondering, Well, why am I not the CEO? Why haven’t you promoted me and given me a giant bonus if I’m so good, and and similarly, when we only tell people good things, there’s nothing to grow on. Now, I do want to sort of pivot just a tiny bit to say that one of the things that I have found that not enough companies are doing though, is social media is also the only channel where people leave positive feedback. If you talk to anybody who’s worked in a call centre, never once have they picked up the phone and had somebody called just to say, hey, you’re doing a great job. Nobody does that. But in social media, people show love for brands all the time. And what shocks me is how many brands ignore that love. Right? Think about that. That is one of your best customers. They’re taking time out of their day to say something nice about you in public, to basically advocate for you, and you’re ignoring them. And it’s like, it’s like me getting off stage and you coming up to me and saying, hey Dan, that was an awesome speech and me walking away. It’s not like, I mean, I wouldn’t ever do that. And you shouldn’t do that. So I do advise all companies, when you get positive feedback, thank the person. Tell them that you love them back. You know, show them some love because they are…. you’ve basically achieved at that point, what every marketer is trying to achieve, which is word of mouth marketing. And when you…. and that’s what a pop positive comment is it’s word of mouth marketing. So you have to acknowledge those people as well. And, just thank them because it goes so far. It’s…. I think companies very much underestimate the value of how people feel when a company acknowledges them. Even if they just like your tweet, you’re like, you know, you feel like you’re on top of the world. Because wow, you know, Wendy’s, or Burger King, you know, liked my tweet, and I’m really, you know, I’m cool.
James Nathan 22:29 Yep, yep. And you mentioned that you talked about dog training before. And that just made me chuckle a little bit because then you start talking about reinforcing good behaviours and you know, when someone thanks you why would you not reinforce that? You know, when a dog sits, you give them a biscuit, the dog sits again, you know, we want that sort of thing. And the more regularly people talk about us, the more we reinforce that good behaviour the more likely they are to do it again aren’t they?
Dan Gingiss 22:56 Absolutely. And that’s why I say that a remarkable customer experience can be your best marketing because having been a marketer for 20 years, having led teams in everything from direct mail to email to web marketing, social media, what I found is that a happy customer talking about you and advocating for you is so much more powerful and valuable than any marketing campaign. Yeah. And if you could take your entire marketing budget, and push it towards that, you would do it because that’s what gets you new customers, is when, you know, today if you think about it, how do we decide what product or service or to buy? Or what company to do business with? We research them online, and we want to see what other people say. And so when people are saying nice things about us that is invaluable to customer acquisition, but also to customer retention because happy customers stay longer. They spend more money and they tell their friends.
James Nathan 23:49 You talked there about people thanking you and I instantly I’m thinking great retweet, retweet, retweet. But is that kind of content, the kind of content we shouldn’t be doing? Is content marketing the thing we should be doing at all? Or is it all changed, you know, in the last while?
Dan Gingiss 24:07 Well, I don’t necessarily advocate retweet, retweet, retweet, although I think you can, you know, find a really good one and retweet it occasionally. But I do also think that content marketing has gotten out of hand. And that and one of the things I always advocate is, you know, if you think about your content marketing strategy, from the recipients point of view, I show in my, in my keynote, I show a picture of a of a archery target, where somebody was not real good, because there’s holes all over the target, right? You know, they’re not all in the bullseye. They’re all over the place. And that’s sort of the image that I have as a consumer, where I’m sitting there getting all this content, and it doesn’t all link up to anything, because what’s happening is, companies are trying anything. They’re like, hey, let’s do a webinar. Hey, let’s do a white paper. Hey, maybe we need some thought leadership. Let’s write a couple of blogs, let’s do a video. And it’s like, it’s, you know, it’s mind numbing after a while. And so instead, what I think is important is to listen to customers, they’ll tell you what they want to hear from you. They’ll tell you the stories they want to hear, they’ll tell you the topics they want you to cover. And they’ll also tell you where they find you playing in your space. Right, so if you’re a B2B company in the information security world, you know, your content can be very targeted towards that space where you can establish that thought leadership and it’s very valuable content. If your idea of content marketing is just selling your infosec product. That’s not what people want to hear.
James Nathan 25:40 So what should businesses do now, if I’m sitting chatting to a client, they’ve not really got a strategy in place. They want to do something, where should they start?
Dan Gingiss 25:49 Well, again, I don’t want to sound like a broken record, but I would listen, right? I would start with listening and so go onto social media, even if you don’t have an active presence. And listen to what people saying about your company, about your industry, about your competitors. And you’re going to find a treasure trove of information. And you’re going to see what is on people’s minds. We did a an extensive study when I was at Humana and Humana is for those outside of the US is a healthcare company that focuses on Medicare Advantage, which is a product for seniors. And, through extensive listening on social and actually working with a third party to help us analyse it. We figured out that there was a large part of the population that thought of healthcare, not as a health decision, but as a financial decision. So they were actually talking with their financial planners about health care. This was mind blowing to us, because that’s not how we were marketing the product. Right.That’s not how we thought about it. And so that piece of, that finding, that information literally allowed us to change how we were marketing or at least to create a marketing campaign aimed at a new persona that we hadn’t even thought of doing before. And so if you don’t know where to start, start by listening. And you’re going to get ideas that come up. And, and probably they’re going to be things that you didn’t think about.
James Nathan 27:19 So let’s go really basic. I don’t know anything about anything I’ve been told by…. I’ve just heard this great guy, Dan, he’s told me to go and listen. But how do I do that? Do I, do I put in hashtag do I? How do I do it?
Dan Gingiss 27:31 Well, the first thing I would do is I’d start looking for your company’s name. And just searching for your company’s name. I would go on Twitter, I would go on LinkedIn. And I go on Facebook. And you will probably find that people are talking about you more than you expect even even smaller B2B companies are often talked about. I’d also obviously do this on Google, because there are, you know, ratings and review sites and other things that are worth looking at as well for feedback. I think that’s the first place that I would start. And then I would do the same thing with your competitors. Because you’re going to find both what they’re doing well, and what people are complaining about them. And that may be the opportunity that you need. If you’re, you know, people are complaining that your competitors app is too slow. You know, you might focus on your r&d or might focus your investment on speed, because because that’s obviously a factor that’s important in your industry. So that’s probably where I would start. And, again, you’ll be very surprised at what’s out there. If you don’t find anything. If you really are a company where people just aren’t talking about you on social media, then I think you have to start by sitting down with actual customers. And that can be either in a focus group, or it can be a one on one conversation. But so often, we are afraid to engage our existing customers and ask them how they’re doing and ask her for genuine feedback. Right? You know, what do you like about working with us? What’s difficult about working with us? How do you like the people that are assigned to your account? Is there anything we can be doing to make your life easier? And I think we don’t ask those questions. Because what we’re afraid of is that they’re going to say, yeah, you’re too expensive. Well, yes, they’re probably going to say that, right? But we can, we can work past that, and really start to get into the meat of it. And I think what you’ll find, and this is the thing that I love about customer experience, and all the examples that I share from stage. It usually does not take a lot of money, or a lot of resources to improve your customer experience. We all hear these amazing stories about, you know, five star resorts doing amazing things and you know, spending hundreds of thousands of dollars, and those are wonderful stories. And sometimes they’ll bring a tear to your eye because they’re they’re just, they’re really happy, great stories, but they’re not practical for most companies. Most companies don’t have that kind of budget. I find that there are tonnes of ways that you can spend almost no money and drastically improve the experience. I mean, I know you’re gonna ask me for an example.
James Nathan 30:00 Straight away, yep.
Dan Gingiss 30:03 The way that we communicate to customers, either in our marketing, on our contracts, in our legal disclaimers, on our website, in our emails, very rarely do we pay attention to how we communicate, and the opportunities that we have just by changing some words to change the experience. So there’s a company in Asia called iflix. It’s a competitor to Netflix. And iflix like many companies has a legal disclaimer at the bottom of their corporate emails. So when you send an email it you know, at the bottom, it says, you know, if you’re the unintended recipient of this email, you must delete it and burn it or will take children, you know which I’m talking about, right? Yeah. Well, and I flicks that disclaimer starts out with three words in all capital letters, and it says COVERING OUR BUTTS. Now, I asked you James and we did not rehearse this. If you see paragraph that starts with covering our butts. What are you going to do?
James Nathan 31:02 I love it. I’m gonna love it. Yeah, I’m gonna read it too.
Dan Gingiss 31:05 But you’re gonna, you’re gonna read it, right? Which is exactly by the way, what the lawyers want, they want you to read it. Well, if you read the rest of this disclaimer from iflix, the whole thing is hilarious. But you can tell if you dissect it, that it was literally I know, this sounds like a joke, a lawyer and a marketer walk into a bar, you can tell that it was a lawyer and a marketer sitting next to each other. So all the legal words are there. But the marketer made it fun. And so you think about…. if you take a step back and you say, wow, if somebody could make an experience out of a legal disclaimer, there’s tonnes of places in my business where I can do that, right. And yet we never look in those places, because those are just sort of the things that keep the lights on. And yet, imagine if you could create an experience with the customer when you send them an invoice. What if you could get a smile out of them when you send them an invoice because you are a little bit witty, or you surprised them in some way. Imagine how that changes the experience. It doesn’t cost you anything. You Just cost you maybe a little bit of time.
James Nathan 31:16 Dan, that I love that it’s it’s places where we don’t think I saw a meme recently that said Adam and Eve the first people to ignore Apple’s terms and conditions, you know, and people just do don’t they… you just scroll down and click the thing. Off you go, God know what you’ve signed your life away to, on a lot of what we do, and the opportunity to interact, the opportunity to engage in those unexpected places is really wonderful. Dan. Could you leave us with one big thing, your golden nugget, the one thing that people could do in their business today and in the years to come to make them better? What could they do?
Dan Gingiss 32:39 Absolutely. The one thing that I recommend is become a customer of your own company. And for most companies, that’s possible, even though I can already…. I can see people shaking their heads, even though I can’t see them right now. But it is so critical to become a customer of your company. One company that I started working at, they had a…. when I first started there because I was at a certain level, they offered to put a VIP flag on my account so that when I called customer service, I would go straight to supervisor. I said, absolutely not. I don’t want that, I don’t want to be treated differently. I want to know what it’s like as a customer to call customer service and I want the basic treatment, right? Because that I can help and I can, I can affect. So very few employees, executives, spend time being a customer of your company. Now if you’re a b2b company, and you’re saying to me, I can’t become a customer. Number one, you can still go through the steps of becoming a customer. So you can still go through some of the steps of watching a presentation, maybe reviewing a contract, using the software. You know how many…. if you’re a SaaS company, how many times, how long, how much time have you spent in your own software platform, trying to use it for the use that it is meant and try and identifying places where it might be difficult to use. If you absolutely can’t become a customer of your own company, then you need to attach yourself to one of your friendly customers. And basically have them be your eyes and ears, you know, your mystery shopper, if you will. But a continuous mystery shopper, somebody that you check in with all the time to see how they’re doing, to see what’s happening, to see what’s difficult. Ask them to save every piece of communication that you send to them. Because you probably as an executive, you probably don’t even know all the pieces of communication, they’re going out the door. And when you see them all up on a wall, you know, it is eye opening, right? It’s like oh, holy cow, we don’t even look like the same company every time right? We got a different logo here we got different colours here, we got, you know, all this stuff and it’s very rare that you can take that 30,000 foot view and look at the whole experience at once and the only way you can do that is to either be a customer or to be very, very closely attached to a customer.
James Nathan 35:02 Fantastic advice and some really lovely examples today as well. Dan, thank you so much for your time. It’s been lovely talking with you.
Dan Gingiss 35:09 Always a pleasure, James, nice to meet you as well. And thanks for having me on the show.