[022] How Sales Can Support A Guaranteed Customer Experience, with Jeff Toister

Episode 22 September 20, 2021 00:45:14
[022] How Sales Can Support A Guaranteed Customer Experience, with Jeff Toister
Scalable Call Center Sales
[022] How Sales Can Support A Guaranteed Customer Experience, with Jeff Toister

Sep 20 2021 | 00:45:14

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Show Notes

How can sales help ensure a good client experience? What does customer experience mean to you?

The customer experience includes sales, marketing, customer service, operations, and product design. It’s part of the experience if it affects how a customer interacts with your brand in any manner, whether it’s before or after the purchase.

In this episode, Jeff Toister from Toister Performance Solutions and I, talk about his experiences in consulting in the contact center industry. We also talk about customer experience and satisfaction.

Learn more on how to get your customers happy and have that long-term relationship and trust with them.


Find out if your Sales Operation in Scalable

Buy Selling With Authentic Persuasion: Transform from Order Taker to Quota Breaker

Get help with your sales team

Connect with Jason on LinkedIn

Or go to Jason’s HUB – www.JasonCutter.com

Connect with Jeff on LinkedIn.

Jeff‘s Bio
Jeff Toister is an author, consultant, and trainer who helps organizations get obsessed with customers. Jeff has written four customer service books including The Guaranteed Customer Experience: How to Win Customers by Keeping Your Promises.

Jeff’s Links
Customer Service Tip of the Week (free weekly email): www.toistersolutions.com/tips

The Guaranteed Customer Experience: www.guaranteedexperience.com


[00:00:00]

Jason: Hey, what’s going on everybody so glad that you’re joining us on the scalable call center sales podcast. I am excited about this guest, the person I have on the show. His name is Jeff Toister from Toister performance solutions.

[00:00:13] He is focused on consulting. Contact center industry. And so Jeff has made a name for himself by being a consultant author trainer. That’s focusing on helping organizations become obsessed and be better at being obsessed with their customers. Uh, he has written four books, one of which his most recent one is the guaranteed customer experience.

[00:00:37] How to win customers by keeping your promises. And, uh, we are going to have some fun Chang today because he is on the customer side. I’m on the sales side. And there’s a lot that we’re going to talk about. Jeff. Welcome to the scalable call center sales podcast.

[00:00:51]

Jeff: Jason, thanks for having me.

[00:00:53]

Jason: So one of the biggest things.

[00:00:56] Let’s just jump into it because your focused on customer experience, customer satisfaction, all of that side now customer usually means they have signed up. They’re moving forward. What’s interesting. Is that customer experience, like you put it in your book that was defined by somebody else’s the sum of all interactions a customer has with an organization over the lifetime of that relationship.

[00:01:19] And to me that also would include before the customer even becomes a customer. Right? There’s all those things that happen, which is facilitated through sales.

[00:01:30]

Jeff: Yeah, absolutely customer experience does include sales. It does include marketing. I think there’s been a little bit of confusion in that. Uh, we’ve seen some contact centers rebrand themselves as the customer experience team, but they’re not doing anything that’s any different.

[00:01:45] So in reality, there’s still the customer service team, uh, but sales, marketing, customer service operations. Product design development, you name it. All of that is part of the customer experience. If it influences how a customer interacts with our brand in any way, pre sale, post-sale you name it? It’s part of the experience.

[00:02:07] Very inclusive. It’s an all encompassing definition, but that’s also, what’s challenging for organizations because we have so many different hands in the pie, so to speak that are influencing what a customer might think or feel about our organization.

[00:02:21]

Jason: Well,

[00:02:21] and what’s interesting is being a, let’s say career sales leader, and now consultant, but focused on the sales side.

[00:02:29] Whenever I hear customer experience, I’m thinking, okay, so this is after the sale is done. This is just everything that happens from that point forward. Even though, one of the things that I know is that, like you said, that relationship starts pre-sale during the sale, after the sale lifetime, what that looks like.

[00:02:47] And I also know, because this is where I think there’s a lot of value for you to share from your experience is where the silos happen. Right. I talk about this a lot, but there’s the silo of sales versus. Operations versus customer service versus product versus design versus marketing. It’s basically sales versus everybody.

[00:03:06] And for the sales leaders and business owners who are listening to this, hopefully they can get a glimpse. And what I want you to share is where those silos come from, why that happens. And then what you have found is a solution to that. And I know it was in your book and it kind of, it surprised me at how simple and great your idea was.

[00:03:27] Well before full disclosure,

[00:03:29]

Jeff: I’ve worked in sales and I saw firsthand where the silos come from. Uh, how do salespeople typically get paid? I get paid. to sell Right. And so there’s a built-in incentive system that says, don’t worry if that product ships or not. Don’t worry if you keep that promise, just close the deal.

[00:03:47] So that creates an incentive for many salespeople, uh, just to push and do whatever they can to get today’s sale. And I think that fundamental structure creates the silos. So what do you do about, or what problems does it cause I think the problems are pretty clear. If you step back as an organization, as an example, my wife and I are looking at adding solar power to our home right now.

[00:04:13] And what’s the piece of feedback we’ve heard from every solar owner. You know what that salesperson told us is not what happened. Don’t use this company and when you promise something to get the sale, because that’s how you get paid, but then that something doesn’t happen. The customer ultimately has a bad experience.

[00:04:33] It’s disjointed the promise. Wasn’t kept, they’re frustrated. Somebody else has to clean up that mess. But now we’re, we’re looking at, uh, how do we get the next sale? You get too many customers saying, whatever you do, don’t go with that company. It’s going to be a tough hill for any sales person to climb.

[00:04:51] So it is about not only make the promises you make to win the sale. In the customer’s mind it’s whether or not you keep those promises. And that’s really the simple concept. If your company can keep those promises by making sure all of these departments are working together on the same page, that’s what ultimately creates the type of experience where the customer’s going to buy more from you.

[00:05:15] They’re going to refer you to other people. And I know as a salesperson repeat business is way easier than new business. And so even for salespeople, uh, there’s often an incentive. To make sure you’re making realistic promises.

[00:05:29]

Jason: And I wonder on that last part that you said about getting the repeat. Yes, that is true.

[00:05:35] It’s always easier to get referrals. Repeat helps someone buy again from a brand they know and trust. And I also know from my experience that sales is full of turnover and there’s a lot of people who either don’t think they’re going to be in sales very long, or aren’t playing the long game. They’re worried more about hunting for today and getting paid, get to eating today in a primal sense versus.

[00:05:58] Planting seeds and growing a farm and being able to reap the fruits from that down the road. I think there’s a lot of salespeople I’ve talked to where it’s like, okay, well you could get repeat business. They don’t even know if they’ll be in the business in six months or three months, right. At the rate they’re going.

[00:06:14] So I think that could be challenging back to the promise part that you said, give me an idea or give the listeners, you know, what a promise would look like. Some examples or, you know, what would be, what an organization would set as a promise that then all the departments would be aiming to fulfill. So

[00:06:35] we think about customer experience.

[00:06:37] One thing that we should understand is that a customer’s ultimately buying from us to solve a problem. Of some kind. And what that promise is then is it’s a promise to solve that problem. Uh, I mentioned solar, what, why am I buying solar? It really price is important, but the price is not why I’m buying it.

[00:07:01] It’s unbind because I want to be more energy efficient, or I want to save money. Why do you buy an airline ticket? You know, price is important, but it’s from to get safely from a to B in a convenient way. So you think about anything that a customer bought. They’re trying to solve a problem. And the sales person often is making a promise that this product or this service will solve that problem for you.

[00:07:30] The challenge then is where the rubber meets the road is. Does that actually come true? And so one of the examples of I talk about my book is a company that provides financing and they provide equipment financing for businesses that sell technology such as copying machines, computer networks, et cetera, and part of the sales process.

[00:07:54] Uh, for this kind of large equipment is you have to give your customers a way to pay for it. And so if you have a financing partner, like the company, I have profiled great America, then it makes it easier to close the deal. But what is great America promising their customers? Their promise is really simple.

[00:08:12] We’re going to help you sell them. And so they’re promising the sales stats of all of their clients. You can sell more because we have these great solutions to help you do this. Now the secret to their success is whether or not those sales teams actually do sell more. If they do sell more great, America’s kept its promise.

[00:08:31] And. That’s easy repeat business, but if they don’t sell anymore as a result of great America’s financing solutions, that’s a broken promise. And it’s going to be pretty hard for great America to continue to be successful. Now, this company is incredibly successful because they keep that promise their clients revenues do reliably go up.

[00:08:52] But that’s just another example of we, we win the business by promising to solve some sort of problem. We keep the business by keeping that person.

[00:09:01] So customers come to companies, to brands, to wherever to solve a problem, right? Like some people, you know, they’re going for a goal, but ultimately at some level it’s probably to solve a problem or change their situation.

[00:09:16] They’re currently in. How often do you see companies that don’t actually know or understand the. Problem they’re theoretically trying to solve or the real problem that their customers actually have.

[00:09:32]

Jeff: I would say 90% plus of the time there’s a disconnect somewhere. And, you know, I’ll give you a real, real, simple example of what it looks like, especially in the contact center world and what it looks like when a company gets, gets it right.

[00:09:48] I went online recently to a company that I wanted to buy a rug, but I was very concerned about how do I care for this rug? Because I’m replacing a rug that that was damaged. I’m like, all right, I need something more reliable. There’s nothing on the website. So shame on you marketing. So now. Uh, there’s a little invitation to chat.

[00:10:10] All right. So now we’re moving into the contact center, right? There’s it says, and here’s the promise. Someone will be able to respond to you in 10 seconds. Ooh, someone’s right there to help me out. Okay. So click, I’m going to chat with a knowledgeable person who can help me figure out is this the right run for me?

[00:10:28] So 10 seconds, 10 minutes. Is there a difference? Well, it turns out there is a difference because it took more than 10 minutes for me to get a live person on this chat session. So there’s a broken promise already. Now I’m already suspicious. You said 10 seconds. I’m in 10 minutes. I’m frustrated now though, I have a live person and they have an opportunity.

[00:10:51] I’m approaching them with an intent to buy. They can answer my question quite easily and say, yes, this is the perfect rug for you where no, it’s not, but here’s one thing. And they closed the deal. This is a perfect example of inbound sales, a simple, easy way to close a sale. And what do they do? I don’t know.

[00:11:10] I think so. I think it should be easy to care for. That was the depth and breadth of their response. Did I buy a rug from that country? No, they lost a sale by the way. I’m a repeat customer, maybe not anymore. So that happens all the time. Every day, where we have a broken piece in the process that alienates the customer causes them to rethink a purchase decision.

[00:11:35] Let me give you a different example company I wrote about in the book called Osprey. And if you or your listeners, aren’t familiar Osprey. Uh, primarily backpacks for people who are really serious about the outdoors. So I live in a big Osprey house, my wife and I both have multiple backpacks for different activities.

[00:11:53] And I’m in the market for a new backpack for bicycling. So the same instance, I go to the website, I look at some options, it’s kind of overwhelming, click to chat. Now I’m connected with a live person. This is in their contact center and instead of 10 minutes, it’s less than 30 seconds and even better. I said, this is what I’m looking for instantly.

[00:12:13] I got a recommendation and not only did I get a recommendation though, I’m, I’m, I’m clicking on a link because it wasn’t just try this model. It’s a link so I can look it at it online. I got an, a follow-up from the, from the, uh, the requisite. Is that too large though? She’s almost sensing like this might be a great option, but maybe it’s too big a backpack based upon my description that I didn’t want something so big.

[00:12:36] Here’s another. We had a very nice chat, really lined up multiple things. Now here’s the last piece of the puzzle. I think that a lot of companies are missing. I did not buy that backpack from Osprey because I really needed to touch and feel. I went into my local REI, the sporting goods retailer on the lookout for the two specific recommendations that that agent had recommended.

[00:13:01] And I was able to touch and feel them and pick out the one that I ultimately wanted. My wife, by the way, winning with me REI had a great selection, but not the specific color and size that she was looking for. So she bought directly from Osprey. So based upon that, Osprey got not one, but two sales, one direct, and one indirect through their retail partner.

[00:13:24] Um, but just because of a better sales experience.

[00:13:28]

Jason: I love it. Well, and that lends to a totally different discussion we won’t get into, which is attribution, which is how do you know that your sales channels are working? Because again, they didn’t sell you, the backpack directly went through our app, but you did get this other sale, which is probably not traced to you.

[00:13:43] And so like how, you know, how does that work? But it’s more of the principle of it and what that looks like when they’re trying to solve a problem and care about solving your. So then this goes into my next question on this topic, which is if you’re talking at 90 plus percent, which I completely grabbed.

[00:14:02] So glad that you said that of companies don’t actually realize the problem they’re solving. Why do you think that’s the case? Why are organizations disconnected from the problems their customers face or want to solve?

[00:14:17]

Jeff: So there’s a few reasons for this one. A lot of companies have just never thought about this.

[00:14:23] So often it will start marketing or product development. And I’ve talked to a lot of professionals in this space and their biggest head scratching. I don’t know how to really communicate what we do. I mean, go to a website for virtually any tech company and try to figure out what they’re selling and you can’t.

[00:14:40] So it starts there. Right? What’s the basic value. If we’ve never thought about the basic value proposition. How do we get everybody aligned? So that’s really the first thing you have to focus your thinking on your customers and what you’re doing for them, not your products, features and attributes, but then the second step is making sure everybody understands that.

[00:15:00] So sometimes, okay, we’ve done that work, but we haven’t shared this with everybody until you share this with everybody, everybody says, this is our brand promise. This is what we’re trying to do for our customers. It’s hard to get people. And, and so if you keep that a secret or something just marketing has, or maybe just sales knows about, but it doesn’t bother to tell everybody else, Hey, this is what we’re promising our customers.

[00:15:21] Can we actually deliver that? That creates some disconnects as well. The last piece of the puzzle then is, do we deliberately align these pieces? Do we make sales accountable for the promises they make? Do we even track whether or not those promises. And if so, how often, and if not, what are the consequences in many organizations, the structure, and you mentioned this it’s a siloed structure.

[00:15:47] Sales has their objectives. Marketing has their objectives. Operations has their objectives. Customer service has their objectives, and none of them are completely aligned. And so not only do you have silos, one thing that I’ve experienced as someone who spent a lot of time in customer service, I’ll go to marketing and say, Hey.

[00:16:05] I could really use a heads up on that next campaign. So our customer service team is ready to go and marketing’s like, yeah, that’s, that’s really affect my goals. So I’m not going to invest time in that. And that creates a challenge to where every department has different sets of goals. Why would they work together?

[00:16:24] There’s in some ways, no incentive.

[00:16:27]

Jason: Yeah. And I’ve also seen that a lot where marketing and or sales will do something. And then customer service finds out about it, basically. The calls they start getting, or the questions they’re being asked or the customers they’re interacting with, uh, where there’s not that alignment.

[00:16:46] There’s not that communication flow, which in my experience, let me know. Your thoughts is just a symptom of the leadership from above also being siloed, right? So you have the leader of the sales leader of marketing leader, of customer service, of operations, and all of those leaders. Also siloing themselves and they have their own goals and they’re, you know, looking at their own fiefdom, if you will, within the organization and just trying to succeed in their own way.

[00:17:15] Again, not being alone. Oh,

[00:17:17]

Jeff: absolutely. It does start in the C-suite and everybody does have their own fiefdom or their own agenda. And that is part of the problem. Now I can also say that as frustrating it is. If you’re not in the C suite, there are solutions. They’re not always easy, but they exist. And I’ll give you an example.

[00:17:37] I worked in an inbound contact center, sales environment, and we were getting blindsided. Marketing campaigns, et cetera. And I was getting stonewalled by marketing. They didn’t want to share information. And I switched tactics where I realized I was always going to marketing saying, Hey, my goals, my goals help me.

[00:17:57] And they didn’t care about that. So what I try to do instead was I said, tell me about your goals for this next campaign. Well, now they’re interested because I’m talking about. And one of the things that our marketing and merchandising teams were working on was they look at slow moving products and they would try to maybe offer a proactive discount to kind of speed up that inventory turn.

[00:18:22] And I said, well, I think my team can help with that. And once they realize, oh, you can help me with my goals. Stonewalling turned into a weekly meeting. Where we would look at what are the products that they’re trying to move, what’s the best way to position them. And just by setting up that weekly meeting, we were able to create a million dollars in incremental revenue just by having a weekly meeting, to talk about your priorities and how my team can help.

[00:18:48] And ultimately. Our customer service team. They liked it because they were no longer getting blindsided. They were a big part of that success, but it took deliberately trying to understand marketing’s goals so that our inbound sales team could do a much better job.

[00:19:05]

Jason: And I am just going to take a moment here, not just in a self-centered way, because this is what I focus on, but you brought it up perfectly.

[00:19:13] And I know that you would agree. The tactic you took, which is different than normal is also the same thing that can and should be applied to sales conversations. Right? Most salespeople approach the potential customer with here’s how great we are. Here’s what we need. Here’s what my goals are. Here’s why you should buy from me.

[00:19:32] Right. Which is the same conversation. That is had with marketing, which is here’s my goals. Why don’t you care about me? And what’s important to me instead, successful salespeople in my opinion. And what I work on companies with is making it about the customer. What do they want? What is important to them?

[00:19:49] What are their goals? And then can I help them? Which is what you did and for people within organizations. Because like I say, all the time, everything is sales. That same approach, understand what other’s goals are, what they want and then how you can support it. I absolutely love that example from within an organization.

[00:20:08]

Jeff: No, and it’s a good point. That that is what would salespeople. Should be doing is uncovering their customer needs. But you mentioned this too, and I think this is the challenge. If as a sales person, if I’m under pressure to meet my numbers this month, that clock is ticking in a way. I have a disincentive to get to know you as a customer.

[00:20:29] Uh, what I’m really trying to do is I’m trying to make sure I hit my numbers. And I don’t want to spend time with you if I don’t think that we’re close to that deal. And when we get close that’s when we talk about price it’s as an example, um, earlier this year, my wife and I bought a new car and I knew exactly what car I wanted.

[00:20:49] And so rather than mess around, I just called my local dealership and said, can you, can you get it? Well, they realized they were going to have to order the car. Right. We’ve had all these supply chain issues and that car wasn’t coming in this month. So all of a sudden they weren’t very interested. So I called the next dealership.

[00:21:04] Hey, I want to buy a car. I want to make a deal today. Can you get this? I’ll get back to you. I gotta talk to the boss and okay. Next dealership. It took four dealerships. I’m calling with an intent to purchase. I already know exactly what I want. The thing is you’re not getting all the money this month.

[00:21:24] You’re going to get that money in a, in a few months. Is it worth it to you? And I finally got a sales person who had probably been there awhile and knew they were still going to be there in a few months to recognize this is an easy sale. There’s not much we have to do to pull the trigger. Hey, it’s Jason

[00:21:40]

Jason: here.

[00:21:40] We’ll be right back to the podcast in a moment, but first, are you ready to help your inside sales team close more? In my experience, there’s a certain percentage of your team that acts more like order takers than sales professionals. The first step to creating a scalable sales team is to equip your reps with the right mindset and proven strategies to transform them into quota breakers, to build a team of authentic persuaders that will crush their goals.

[00:22:03] Email jason@cutterconsultinggroupdotcomorgotowwwdotcutterconsultinggroup.com. Yeah. And those incentives, that’s a huge deal. Like not just incentives in the company, but just internally sales. What they’re focusing on. I mean, you said it earlier that when sales is focused on their production and they’re not.

[00:22:23] What happens is they’ll enroll anybody that they can, if there’s no parameters and guardrails in place. And then that just sets things up with that potential broken promises down the road. And it’s interesting, you know, back to this whole, like companies don’t understand their customers. Uh, one of the things I see is that companies are usually in love with, or think that everyone should want what they have to offer, irrespective of what anybody actually wants.

[00:22:50] Right. Like, of course you’re going to want this CRM or this car or this other thing. And they feel like they don’t need to get to know people and that’s not important. They should just follow the formula when we’re talking about these promises, because I think this is such a huge thing, and this, this can move the needle for so many people listening to this that are running, you know, organizations that have the sales side, as well as the others.

[00:23:13] Right. And some organizations, they just do sales and then they hand that customer off to. You know, company, but it’s about promises that also are not specific enough that leave things a little vague, which I think is one of the things that sales does is they kind of set up this vague promise of what it’s going to do.

[00:23:31] And then, you know, it becomes a square peg in a round hole. What have you seen in that aspect and, or what’s the solution for that other than just specific products?

[00:23:42]

Jeff: Well, so a good promise and the kind of promise it’s going to close the deal really has three characteristics. One is it’s very specific that it deals with the customer’s problem very directly.

[00:23:56] The second is it’s valuable to the customer. So if you just say, Hey, we’ve got low prices. That’s not really the problem the customer’s trying to solve, unless you’re selling a commodity. And if you say, Hey, we’ve got this great product. Got all these great features again, that’s that might not be specific or valuable enough.

[00:24:16] The last piece is it has to be realistic, has to be something that not only can you deliver on, but the customer believes you can deliver on. So a company I wrote about in the book called Zenos, it’s a furniture company. They primarily sell beds and mattresses, and then they’ve expanded into sofas and a few other items.

[00:24:37] What’s interesting about Zenas is I discovered them when. Um, my wife and I have a vacation rental and we were doing a, uh, an inspection of our cabin. We discovered that one of the beds was broken and I don’t even want to think about how the bed got broken. What I do know is that I had to get it replaced in the challenges.

[00:24:58] Our cabin is, is in a remote village. It’s about an hour from the nearest furniture store. So now I’m going online, right? I’ve got an intent to purchase and I kind of have an emergency. And while price is relevant, it’s certainly not the most relevant issue. Right. I need to replace this bed. It needs to fit the decor.

[00:25:15] And I have limited time. And if I look at the value proposition for local furniture companies, that local being relevant, it’s relative, it’s an hour away. It was kind of like, Hey, we have beds or where everything’s on sale that doesn’t speak to mind. Uh, I, I went to a company. I won’t name them, but they are, they’re one of the first companies that really built a big name for, um, simplifying the sales experience for buying mattresses online.

[00:25:43] And it’s like, well, certainly they’re going to have a good process. No, it was we’re on sale. So everything was about price or just, we have these products. Zenith was. We’re going to get you this great looking bed and deliver it to your doorstep. That promise spoke really, really directly to the problem I was trying to solve.

[00:26:04] I’m in this remote village. I don’t have a lot of time. I need to get a great bed and I need to get it now to my door. And they delivered on that promise. Now here’s the amazing thing. That’s the reason I bought for them. But what I haven’t mentioned is that Zane has had the lowest prices of all the options.

[00:26:23] And that’s not what they led. They could have led with. We’ve got the lowest prices in town, but that wasn’t going to solve my problem. So they pushed their lowest prices almost to the side and said, we’re going to solve your problem. The bonus was, we’re going to do it at a much lower price than our competitors.

[00:26:40] And I think for salespeople that, that automatically default to price, you’re really sending the signal that I’ve got nothing good to offer you. So it’s just going to be cheap. Focus on the problem you’re going to solve and price in some ways becomes irrelevant. And if you have a great price, then that’s just the icing on the cake.

[00:26:59]

Jason: I love it. Well, and that’s such a great reminder to sell on value and the value that you’re promising as an organization to solve the problem the customer has, right? Like tying in all of these concepts we’ve talked about so far and why that matters and why that fits into what you want as an organization, which is a lifelong customer, right?

[00:27:22] Some kind of increase lifetime value, some kind of returning customer, brand loyalty, whatever that looks like. So speaking of which let’s shift a little bit into, one of the things that’s happened, it’s been happening for a while, but now I’m seeing it a lot, which is contact center, call center sales teams, having to face the reality that not everybody at scale wants to be on the phone.

[00:27:44] Right? Like you mentioned it earlier with, with chat, widgets on websites. Those have been around for a while, but a lot of the companies I do, yeah. They have ignored that and said, okay, we’ll just do everything on my phone anyway. But now they’re having to go into, you know, what’s referred to as the omni-channel experience of some kind of chat, some kind of email, maybe SMS, and then there’s the telephony side that the teleservice part.

[00:28:10] And so where does that fit in to this, with the promise with aligning everybody and where have you seen. Go sideways because now you’re taking this person who you wanted them to be good over the phone sales. Now it’s like, okay, how do you ensure that the right experience is happening for a potential customer and converting them when it’s either one person trying to do all these, or you’ve got four different people chat, email, text phone in this.

[00:28:41]

Jeff: So there’s a few things that we have to unpack here. And I think we should start with the customers and understand that in today’s environment. And this is regardless of generation. So this is not just a young person thing. Nope. The phone is an escalation channel, unless it’s a very complex issue or a very urgent issue.

[00:29:01] We’re not going to the phone first. And you think about most consumer behavior. What do we do? We’re going to look it up. We’re going to try to figure it out on our own. Is it on your website, on your app? We’re not only want to deal with the person we trust information. We seen posted online much more than we get from an interview.

[00:29:18] The second step then is often messaging. Whether it’s SMS chat, if we’re on a website, even email, email is still incredibly popular because I can send the message and not deal with it. And then get your response an hour later. I hope so. By the time we’re getting to the phone, it’s either extremely complex, very urgent, or I’ve tried those other methods and.

[00:29:42] Been frustrated because it hasn’t worked. And so I think as an organization, we have to understand that we are needlessly frustrating our customers in the sales process. Now let’s look at channels and like, what channels should we offer? And the simple answer is only the ones you’re doing. If you go to Costco’s website and try to send them an email, you’re going to see a message that says, yeah, we’re not good at email.

[00:30:03] So you should really call us or come to a store. That’s where we’re awesome. Try to engage with trader Joe’s on Twitter. Good luck. They don’t. But these are customer focused companies that do a lot of revenue that just recognize there’s certain channels we’re going to be great at and certain channels we’re not.

[00:30:21] And that gives us, I think, to the third part is, well, how do we manage this? If you have just one or two people, and they’re trying to do all these different channels, they’re going to fail. And for multiple reasons, one is the skill set to be great on the phone is not the same skill set to be great on chat or email.

[00:30:39] It doesn’t mean that one person can, can not be great at both. They can, but there are different skills. Some people have. Both of those skillsets. Some people don’t, some people can develop them with training. Some people can not. So if we put someone in a position to do everything without giving them new skills, we set them up to fail.

[00:30:59] The other thing I see that’s very specific and contact centers is trying to handle a synchronous and asynchronous channels. Simultaneously. Let me say that in English handling phone calls, while I’m trying to message or. And what typically happens is I’m degrading that agent’s attention. They’re not paying full attention to the phone call.

[00:31:20] They’re also not paying full attention to the email and the quality of both suffers, but productivity also suffers. And one thing I’ve done with clients, we’ve, we’ve run an experiment and it’s worked every time when you’ve said you’re either on the phone, fully paying attention. Or you’re focusing on messaging channels, like email and chat, and you’re fully paying attention to those.

[00:31:42] What happens when, when we separate those two things is quality naturally goes up. So we’re closing more sales, we’re answering more questions. Productivity goes up. And that’s kind of the amazing part, uh, that happens. But I, I know many, many contact centers. They just throw multiple channels at agents and say, good luck, try to handle all of these as best you can.

[00:32:03] And it doesn’t work very well.

[00:32:06]

Jason: I know that before we jumped on, you were telling me about an experience you had as a customer, which segues into, or fits into this discussion of the omni-channel the challenges that happened. That happens from it, but also one of the important things, especially from the sales side and for the business owners and leaders, listening to this, which is the lifetime value of a customer share the experience you had, that you were telling me about.

[00:32:30] I think it’s super valuable, right? Right.

[00:32:32]

Jeff: It’s it’s frustrated. Cause it’s a brand. I would love to mention a great example about the brand because I’ve been a loyal customer of this brand for many, many years. And I was planning a trip where I was going to be in the same city where they have their flagship store.

[00:32:49] And so I was like, well, I’m gonna, I’m gonna go to the flagship store and have this great experience. Now here’s the interesting thing. Their marketing team sends me emails almost every day sale sale, sale, new product. And I ignore most. Because I know what I like, and I know what I don’t like, and I know what I want to buy, but now I am planning a trip.

[00:33:08] I have a specific intent to purchase. I want to go to the store. They had this whole fitting experience, uh, where you could work with a professional. They. So shoes and apparel. And so you’d get a shoe fitting and their website, a little information, but not a lot. So I sent this email very glowing gushing email.

[00:33:28] Hey, I want to, I’m planning this trip. I will be in town. Tell me more about how this process works. It sounds exciting. So I’m like I’m going to come in and buy stuff. My research indicates again, that companies should respond to these emails. It took several days to get a response from this company. So already my excitement is deflated.

[00:33:50] It’s like, Hey, I want to come in and buy from you. Cause I love you so much. And they’re like, yeah, we’re going to just ignore you. So several days later I’d kind of written them off. I finally get an email and you think, okay, here’s your opportunity. I contacted you with an intent to buy. And the email basically says, I don’t know, call store.

[00:34:09] Now I think most people look from the outside in would say, that’s a horrible response and you’d be right, but we should ask the question. Why did we get this response? And I will tell you, there’s probably two clear reasons. Number one was the person responding to these emails was clearly dealing with some sort of quota or productivity standard.

[00:34:28] They were not allowed to spend the time you need to spend to read the email thoroughly, understand that customer’s intent. And reply thoroughly. So that’s the first challenge. The second challenge is they did not have the resources necessary to thoroughly and properly answer my question. Just like I was frustrated trying to get information about their store.

[00:34:51] They were frustrated too, and because they didn’t have time. They didn’t feel enabled to just call the store, get the answer to my questions that they could then share with me. So you have multiple broken steps in the process. We have these silos that you’ve talked about, and instead of creating an experience where I walk into a store with an intent to purchase and, and they do track, there is attribution because they have like a whole rewards and point system.

[00:35:15] And I have a lot of points piled up and I’m ready to spend. Instead of that, I get so frustrated. I don’t even go to the. And the next time I have a chance to buy something that they sell. I buy from a competitor. So they’ve lost business rather than gain business based upon a poor experience

[00:35:33]

Jason: that happens all the time.

[00:35:34] And I wonder if they’re actually able to. Put those two together, right? Like what happened, what you wanted to do and the lost revenue and where the say your lifetime value stopped with them. But I think it’s an important lesson too, for organizations, not just for current clients, but other new perspective leads and clients who reach out.

[00:35:55] And are inquiring for information, right? So I’m thinking about clients that I have in companies that, you know, they’re in a commodity type space, let’s say healthcare. And so somebody is filling out a form or insurance, and they’re trying to get insurance. And it’s like, whoever responds to the quickest and the most effective and provides the best level of service is going to win.

[00:36:15] Um, yet organizations are surprised. Uh, that they’re not doing so well when they wait days to actually reach out to a new potential client. Right?

[00:36:25]

Jeff: Well, in a very easy fix to this is what I call a promise audit. And so what’s happening now is they have great stats on those marketing emails. They know what’s the open rate.

[00:36:37] They know the click-through rate. They know how many of those people buy. They could track it down to whether or not I bought those sneakers or not. So they have a really good dashboard for them. But what they don’t have is a really good dashboard that says how many times is there, their contact center frustrated a Woodby or existing customer, but a promise what a promise audit is is that we, we, we identify promises that we.

[00:37:03] And we backtrack to figure out how often are we keeping them. So in this case, this fitting experience, come to the flagship store and get fitted, just walk through the customer’s shoes, so to speak, no pun intended. And the first thing you see is there’s very little information on the website. It’s terrible.

[00:37:20] So we need to update the website because that’s where customers go first. And if we’re going to share that information, we need to ask ourselves if, if you were just sampling. A bit of communication. You could probably figure out how many customers like me contacted the contact center to get information.

[00:37:37] How often does that happen? And if you were to look at the replies, you’d see how horrible they were. And all of a sudden, now you’re building a case. That says, wow, we’re really missing this opportunity. Doesn’t show up on our dashboard anywhere, but we’ve built a case with now multiple data points. This is how many contacts we’re getting.

[00:37:55] This is how many fittings we’ve been doing. This is probably how many fittings we could have been doing. And we probably do have a number that says when we come in and customer comes in and does a fitting, this is how much more they buy. So it takes a little bit of leg. But if you do that legwork and do that promise audit, you can quickly attach a value to that and quickly find some very simple steps to fix the problem such as better information on the website, a faster response and more information.

[00:38:24] In response to those questions, to get customers, to come into the store and have a great experience.

[00:38:29]

Jason: I think that’s a great suggestion idea and not just for the shoe example, but to walk through your process as a customer in your customer’s shoes and see what that looks like, okay. I’m offering this thing, but what happens when they get to the website?

[00:38:42] Instead of, again, going back to what I was talking about with the promises being made and the problem they’re solving the customers, most companies are just so in love and with what they’re on. And they’re blinded by that, that they’re not looking at it from the outside. Right. They’ve spent too much time inside and not outside.

[00:39:00] Uh, so that’s a great idea because I can just imagine if someone looked at that whole process, it’s kind of like why people like you and I, when we go to an organization, we can see lots of things that the company could be doing better or different that they’re just not even aware of because they’re, as they say, inside the jar.

[00:39:17] Right?

[00:39:18]

Jeff: Yeah. And that’s a good point. The fresh perspective that you have as an outsider. It’s tough to see that when you’re working in that organization day in, day out, the more you see something, the less you tend to.

[00:39:30]

Jason: Yeah, makes sense. Uh, you know, it’s why mystery shopping, mystery shopping programs are, can be really effective because they’re exposing things from this completely different outside part.

[00:39:40] Last question I have for you is what do you see as the near future of call center? Mostly on the sales side of operations, like what it takes to be successful, where they’re going the rest of 20, 21 into 2020.

[00:39:56]

Jeff: I’m glad you asked that question because I’ve seen it evolve over time. When I started in the contact centers, I started an inbound contact center where if you wanted to order an item, for example, you had to call, we call them call centers.

[00:40:09] Uh, the, the inner e-commerce did not exist. And then over time, that’s, that’s changed too. Uh, today it’s, it’s really a blend. You’re not often calling. To make a sale. You’re often calling with a question or a desire for more information that might turn into a sale. If we’ve answered the question correctly and we’re looking at the future, I think that’s where we’re going to go.

[00:40:37] Is that increasingly the customer’s going to have multiple touch points, whether it’s in a physical store, on a website, on an app. With the product itself and it’s via those touch points, they’re going to reach out to someone. In a contact center who has the ability to hopefully nudge them into a sale.

[00:40:57] Uh, but as we’ve talked about a few examples that may or may not be a direct sale, like, Hey, I’ll take your credit card. We’ll do this right now. Or it might be here’s the information you need to make the decision, but they’re going to make that sale through another channel. And that complication is, I think really vexing for a lot of companies, because how do I tie all those pieces together?

[00:41:18] As you said, the tribute, all of this. And the future is, is I think companies there’s already software out there that helps to do that. And I think companies that are, are going to start tying those pieces together, we’re realized how critical it is for each step in the process to be very consistent in how they’re serving customers.

[00:41:40]

Jason: Got it. Love it. That makes total sense. So I know that there’s a lot of things that you have going on. So for people who are listening, I know that your main website, which is twister solutions.com T O I S T R solutions.com. I also know you have your book, the guaranteed customer [email protected].

[00:42:00] I know that you’re also really active on LinkedIn, which is where I chatted with you at, uh, in setting this up. Anything else that you have going on? People listening can find out more or what you recommend, where people should go. So here’s

[00:42:13]

Jeff: the easy thing. If you go to either of those websites, uh, you will, you will be able to contact me directly.

[00:42:18] And even in page five of my book, I have my personal phone number, my personal email address. I even have a guarantee for readers that I promise readers, they’re going to increase sales and win and retain more customers. And if they don’t, I’m gonna spend time with them to help make it right. And so I’m really easy to contact and that’s by design.

[00:42:41] I try to be available to people who are trying to solve these problems. The last thing I’ll I’ll share with you, anybody can go to my website, twister solutions.com and I have an email it’s one customer service tip once per week. It’s very simple and straightforward. It’s completely free. Anybody can sign up for it, but it’s a reminder of basic basic skills that often have a big impact.

[00:43:05] So this, this week, for example, was BU and the, the idea behind it is you obviously have a great personality. Don’t be stifled by your environment. Use that great personality to connect with your customers, break the ice, and add some unique value. So every week and get a tip like that at toaster solution style.

[00:43:26]

Jason: That’s awesome. Well, Jeff, thanks for coming on the show. Appreciate you being here and bringing the customer experience lens to the sales side in the beginning part of the revenue cycle, and hopefully that’s helped some people running organizations kind of break down those silos, make better promises and just ensure more customers, better customer experience, and hopefully increase the lifetime value.

[00:43:48] So thanks for coming on.

[00:43:50]

Jeff: My pleasure, Jason, thanks for having me.

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