About Jay Baer
Jay Baer, CSP, CPAE has spent 25 years in digital marketing and customer experience, consulting for more than 700 companies during that period, including 34 of the FORTUNE 500. His current firm – Convince & Convert – provides word of mouth, digital marketing, and customer experience advice and counsel to some of the world’s most important brands.
Jay’s Convince & Convert blog was named the world’s #1 content marketing blog by the Content Marketing Institute and is visited by more than 250,000 marketers each month. Jay also hosts and produces the Social Pros podcast, which is downloaded 65,000 times monthly and was named best marketing podcast by the Content Marketing Awards.
He also has a weekly Talk Triggers show on the topic of his new book by the same name which is featured on Youtube, and as a podcast.
Buy Jay’s book Talk Triggers
Tune in to the Voices of CX Podcast to hear conversations with top leaders in CX, marketing, data analytics and beyond.
Transcript:[00:52] Mary Drumond: Jay Baer has spent 25 years in digital marketing and customer experience consulting for more than 700 companies during that period, including 34 of the fortune 500 his current from convince and convert provides word of mouth, digital marketing and customer experience advice and counsel to some of the world’s most important brands. Jay’s convince and convert Blog was named the world’s number one content marketing blog. By the content marketing institute and is visited by more than 250,000 marketers each month. Jay also hosts and produce the social pros podcast, which is downloaded to 65,000 times monthly and was named the best marketing podcast by the content marketing awards. He also has a weekly talk triggers show on the topic of his new book by the same name, which is featured on youtube and as a podcast. And how are you Jay?
Jay Baer: (01:48) Thank you so much for having me on.
MD: (01:52) Great. Awesome. Well today I wanted to have you on to talk a little bit about your newest book that you uh, cowrote with Daniel Lemin. And the book is called Talk Triggers. Um, tell me a little bit about what inspired you to write this book and tell me what talk triggers are.
JB: (02:13) All the books that I’ve written kind of come from the same place, which is in our consulting firm. We work in a number of corporate clients from around the world on, on marketing and customer experience related issues. And when I see a pattern of questions emerge from those clients, I think, Huh, this question needs to be answered in some way. And in this case, people kept asking myself and my team, you know, we have a pretty good handle on the mechanics of social media, the mechanics of content marketing or in some cases the mechanics of the CX, but we’re not really sure what to say. And I thought, Geez, if, if some of these biggest companies in the world don’t really know what story they’re trying to tell, like how does anybody know what’s the way they were trying to tell? And, and sort of you do some additional research on this topic and realized that no word of mouth is the original marketing, right?
JB: (03:03) It’s the thing that cave men use to recruit customers. Uh, and here we are with thousands of years later and nobody has a strategy, right? You, you’ve got a content strategy, a marketing strategy, digital strategy, social strategy, CX strategy perhaps. But nobody has a word of mouth strategy. We just take it for granted. And we said, Geez, this, this can’t be true. Uh, that, that we just kind of treat word of mouth is something that will happen in extra belly cause it won’t let to give your customers a story to tell. So that’s what we wrote the book to give people a framework and a formula for doing just great. And what do you consider to be a top trader? I talk trigger is defined as a strategic operational choice that you make in your business that customers notice and talk about. It’s something that you do differently, not something that you say differently.
JB: (03:54) And even though we consistently say word of mouth marketing, a talk trigger is that really marketing? It really is a CX initiative. It really is an operational decision that of course yields marketing advantages. But it’s not marketing in the classic sense, right? It’s not a, it’s not a price or a promotion or coupon or a contest. It’s not a Facebook page. It is something that you do differently every day that customers are compelled to discuss. Um, so it’s, it’s very planned and, and strategically executed within your organization to get people again going around your business somehow. Yes, absolutely. It’s something that you do on purpose every day, every time that people don’t expect and because they don’t expect it when they encounter it, they encountered that element of your customer experience. Like, wow, I have to tell my friends about this. One of the greatest talk triggers examples, one of the longest running talk triggers examples or is Doubletree Hotels.
JB: (04:58) Doubletree by Hilton gives every guest when they check in a warm chocolate chip cookies or they’ve been doing this every day for 30 years. Today and every day they will deliver to their guests about 75,000 to chocolate chip cookies. And they’re delicious. And Daniel and I did a bunch of research on this particular point and we interviewed hundreds of doubletree guests and we discovered that 34% of them, more than a third have told a story to somebody else about that cookie. So that proves the point when you, when you do the math on that, what it means is that approximately 22,500 times a day, that talk trigger creates conversations on unrelated front. When’s the last time you saw a doubletree ad? Never. Not very often if ever, because the cookie is the ad and the guests are the sales and marketing department. See Robert Stevens who founded Geek squad said something once that that is extraordinarily powerful and important. It’s not 100% true, but it’s true enough. And what Robert said was advertising is a tax paid by the unremarkable. Hmm. And when you have, when you haven’t talked, trigger that work your customers and grow your business for you. And I’ve been doing this for 30 years, I can tell you that the best way to grow any business just for your customers to go in for you.
MD: (06:32) So you’ve been a marketer or around the same amount of time that a DoubleTree has been giving out their cookie?
JB: (06:39) Yes. That was a coincidence.
MD: (06:41) But, but yes, we take it all the way back to did DoubleTree do this deliberately, like was this plan, did somebody get together and like say, you know what, we’ll give a cookie and then people will talk about us. Or is it something that just kind of happened organically?
JB: (06:51) In their case It’s a little bit of both. They, they, and I, I interviewed their CMO about the history of, and it used to be actually turned down service. They used to do it in the room, but then they realize that made a lot more sense to do it when people walk in. Right. And so certainly they thought it was just a nice gesture. But more importantly it ties into their brand positioning, which is the warm welcome. One of the ways that they distinguished themselves, cause you know, there’s 14 brands and the Hilton portfolio, you got the Conrad, you got regular Hilton, Doubletree, Hilton Garden Inn, Hampton Inn, blah blah, blah blah. And they all have to have their own brand position. Otherwise they were competing for the same gas, which didn’t make a lot of sense. So then you turned around, they each have their own stack, right.
JB: (07:34) So DoubleTree’s deal is the warm welcome. They want to own that seven, eight minutes between when you set foot on the property and when you set foot in your room. Consequently they spend more time and money on lobby design than most brands at that price point. And they spend more time and money on training the front desk staff than most hotels at that price point and the cookie presentation ceremony. And it really is a ceremony is a big part of that, right? One cookie warm welcome and all kind of makes sense together. Now did they sit down 30 years ago and say what we need is a word of mouth strategy? No, I think it was more instinctual than that. But I think that’s partially because while there’s been a lot of good books about word of mouth over the years, nobody at least until gain on, I put it in or talk figures, I said, here’s the framework, here’s exactly how you do it. There’s a lot of great books out there and say word of mouth is important. You should get some right. And I don’t disagree, but nobody said, and here’s exactly how you do it. Which is why most of the great word about successes in the last 30 years have been somewhat accidental and not nearly enough strategic, which is why what we really hope to have added to the conversation is here’s how you go make a proactive on purpose word of mouth strategy.
MD: (08:51) Well, talking about the deliberate design you say in the book that a talk trigger should be or must be remarkable, relevant, reasonable and repeatable. Right? Those are the four “Rs” you have to have. Can we go down that list and talk a little bit about each aspects? So when you talk about being remarkable, I mean you just set a couple of minutes ago, the advertising is the tax you pay for being unremarkable, right? Perfectly into this. And in your book you say that the definition of remarkable is worthy of notice. And I think that that’s really important. It’s something that makes people stop and say, oh, so it’s a little bit out of the ordinary and it, it causes that impression is causes people to stop and look.
JB: (09:56) Right? Absolutely. And then and then discuss as well. A lot of times people will create a proposed trigger that’s fine, but “good” is a four letter word when it comes to word competency does not create conversation. We think it does, and this is one of the great problems with word of mouth strategy today is that we think, well, if we just run a good business and we just execute well, people will talk about that, but they don’t. If I go, if I go over to the corner right now and I flick a switch and the lights come on, that’s really competent, but I’m not going to have a conversation about that because I expect that to happen. I expect the food to be good in a restaurant, right? I expect service to be at least average or above average, and so if you want to actually shock people out of their malaise and catalyze conversations, you have to do something that they don’t expect, something that they didn’t see coming, and a lot of people’s attempts to generate word of mouth, just don’t just don’t do that. Right? It’s just like same is lame. All of your competition is good. Everybody’s trying to do the same thing. You just have to build something into your CX that people don’t see coming.
MD: (10:39) But we live in a world right now. It’s very social. You know, people say that, oh, nobody talks to each other anymore. That’s not true. I feel like the communication channels are so much easier and so much more accessible that everybody talks about everything. And the truth is I think that people want something to talk about. They want an interesting story to tell their day to, or their spouse or their friends when they meet up with them. So the truth is that people are, I feel like people are actually looking for interesting things along the course of their data that can later become a story. Absolutely. Yeah. I completely agree. And that’s really what we’re, what we’re, what we’re trying to achieve here is that mix between proactive and reactive.
JB: (11:34) Word of mouth. What we’re shooting for here is proactive word of mouth, which is where your customer introduces the notion of your product, service, or brand into conversations. Is the difference between somebody walking up to you in a party and saying he just Kinda Chit chatting like it was cool that was in Atlanta and I went to the doubletree hotel and they gave me this amazing cookie that’s proactive word of mouth as opposed to lean in a conversation where somebody says, Hey, I’ve got to book a hotel. Anybody have any recommendations? And you say, Oh, you know what? Doubletrees good cause of this cookie. Both are important, right? But when you can kind of cross that chasm from, from reactive or of mouth, circumstantial, word of mouth, too, proactive word of mouth where your customers are dying to tell somebody about this thing. That’s when you really have it.
JB: (12:22) I’ll give you an example. I just wanted this out this week for my own business. As you may know when I give presentations, I am known as the crazy plaid suit guy. I have lots in lots and lots of increasingly garish plaid suit. It is my thing. So for audience members that is a bit of a talk trigger because they probably have not seen a professional speaker dressed just like that in the past. But audience members aren’t really my customer in the classic sense. Very important of course, but it’s not going to make customers. So my team and I been working on and talk trigger for our core customer, which are meeting planners. So now what happens is when you have me come speak to your event a week before the event we send you a link which is dress Jay baer.com and you go to this web app that we built and it allows you to select what suit I’m going to wear and it sends you, sends you an instant confirmation and then it actually drops that information onto my calendar so that the day before when I’m packing for the event, I know what suit to break.
JB: (13:33) We just tried it out this week and it was so effective that people were tweeting about it. The CEO of the company mentioned it in my introduction when he called me up on stage. I’m like, okay, my work here is done. Mission accomplished. That’s great. I love that. But again, that’s not marketing, right? It’s an operational decision that creates a marketing advantage.
MD: (13:56) Moving on to the next R, which is relevant, I cannot tell you how many times I’ve seen, you know, the classic example that you give in your book, which is, you know, when an Ipad, or even better, my all time favorite an Amazon gift card and I’m a marketer myself, and the amount of times that I’ve had people pitch me the idea of why don’t we just give people an Amazon gift card is more than I can count. So having whatever it is that you do, be relevant to your line of business. That for me is really important.
JB: (14:30) Look, we’re not talking about creating attention for attention. There’s nothing wrong with that necessarily, but it’s not a word of mouse trap, right? That’s a publicity stuff. Those aren’t the same thing. No. There’s a venn diagram there where they overlap a little bit, but a publicity stunt and defined consistent where the mouse strategy are not the same. And so when we talk about word of mouth and we talk about talk triggers, what we want is something that makes sense in the context of who you are and, and what you are. Consequently, the best talk triggers actually tie back to the master brand like me and cloud suits or doubletree, warm cookie, warm welcome, right. Those are the best examples. And, and sometimes people say, well, let’s just rent an elephant. We’ll lock it down main street. That had a great conversation. Yeah, it will. But the conversation is about the elephant, not about your business. So really accomplished here.
MD: (15:20) Yeah. Well I mean it’s, it’s kinda like what’s his name? John Leger of T-Mobile and how he is he, is he creating something that people talk about too? But it’s, it’s very on brand and it keeps the brand top of mind whenever the conversation comes up. Yes. So when they think Magenta and Magenta leads back to T-Mobile as a product, right?
JB: (15:49) Absolutely. It’s a very smart bragging decision. And, and there’s a reason why our book talk triggers is also that color, similar shade. And there’s a reason why the book has Alpacas on the cover, right? There’s not a lot of business books that have whispering Alpaca is on the cover, but it’s a book of word of mouth. Like it feels like it has to be somewhat unusual. Otherwise, you know, what have we accomplished here?
MD: (16:15) Well, you could have use UNICORNS. Turns out Alpacas is like the animal of the moment though. There’s all kinds of new moment. Okay. The other thing is to be reasonable. Is it supposed to be reasonable or not? That was my big question.
JB: (16:40) Definitely reasonable. You don’t want to overshoot it because what happens is we talked about the IPAD thing here. Here’s the other side of that coin. Company says, well, we need to get some word of mouth. We didn’t get these customers talking about it, so let’s do this. Okay guys, here’s the thing. Everybody put your name on a fishbowl and one of you is going to win an island. That doesn’t seem right. You know, they, they, they, they figured that the only way you can get conversation is to, is to make it so big that it can’t be ignored. And I understand why people go down that road, but it actually has the opposite effect. When your customer believes that there are strings, that there are terms and conditions, if there are limitations on the voracity of the offer, the conversation around you stops. It doesn’t grill because I don’t want to tell you about this thing if I think it’s bogus, you know, experiences, experiences that are two grand and this is true in all the CX experiences that are two grand create suspicion. That conversation, so you, you, you want it to be reasonable. It has to be interesting enough to be noticed. But interesting doesn’t necessarily mean big. And in, if you look through the book and there’s dozens and dozens and dozens of case studies in the book, all of the things in there are relatively modest. Nobody is giving you a condo for a year or here’s a Mercedes. It’s just little stuff that people notice. So you don’t have to, you don’t have to overshoot it.
MD: (18:05) I have an exception. Okay. What if urgent like gives away like um, when a chance to get shot into space what they do. That’s absurd. Yeah.
JB: (18:21) You know that is in violation of the fourth principle. Nice Segue, which is that your to that has to be repeatable, right? So Virgin, virgin, we’re going to shoot you into space. Contest is an amazing public relations promotion. Sure. It is not a word of mouth strategy because a word of mouth strategy, at least in our way of thinking by definition, is something that could work every day for 30 years. Like the chocolate chip cookie, you, you can’t do that. We’re going to shoot you into space everyday for 30 years. It creates a bunch of awareness over a short period of time. But then once that time passes, the effectiveness of that program decays over time. It’s just like if you do a lot of paid Google search, right? So you’re paying Google, you’re paying Google, you’re paying Google every time somebody searches for Cx podcast, you’re in the top five, then you stop paying them.
JB: (19:18) And now you disappear. Public relations promotions are work the same way, right? There’s a half life of their effectiveness and we are not at all suggesting that that’s not, it’s not a viable way of communications. Of course it is, but that’s not a talk trick. That’s not a word of mouth strategy. So like by definition a contest is not to talk to her, can’t meet because it’s not repeatable. So our, our approach is that, oh true talk trigger a real word of mouth strategy. Every customer has access to it. It’s not just a contest. It’s not just you know, your best customers or your new customers or whatever. It’s every customer every time. And that’s why we, we, we really emphasize all the time that it really is an operational decision, not a promotional dizzy.
MD: (20:23) That brings me into surprise and delight, which is a topic that I talk about often on this podcast and quite a few times your name has come up when, when bringing up this topic because how you view surprise and delight. No, no, it’s a good thing. We actually are kind of on the same page, right? So in customer experience, surprise and delight is kind of a divider of waters, right? You’ve the boxers who I mean are passionate about surprise and delight and who makes that their main strategy and others are a slightly more skeptical, I call it at times ATX trap. That’s what I call surprise and delight because if you’re unable to do it repeatedly, then what you end up having is you create that expectation in your customer and when they are frustrated it leads to disappointment, which is a negative emotion associated with the experience. So I believe very strongly that you should only surprise and delight if it’s something that’s replicable. That’s, that’s how I will,
JB: (21:27) I completely agree. We are aligned. I am not anti surprise and delight, but I would never roll out of surprise and delight program until I already haven’t talked to her. I would, I would have a repeatable word of mouth strategy and then if you want to, if you want to lay some, you know, additional surprisings and delight teams on top of that. I’m cool with that. But most people don’t do a word of mouth strategy because it’s hard and they do a surprise and delight because it’s comparatively easier and they feel like, well we’ll, you know, we’ll just, we’ll just do something circumstantial and, and our word of mouth problems are solved but, but they aren’t because you’re, you’re trying to push or word of mouth through a very narrow pipe at that point. Right. It’s trying to communicate through a straw and just like with your promotion issue with the contest and being shot into space, every surprise and delight has a half life.
JB: (22:13) You’re not surprised forever. No. Are you delighted forever? And the worry around that doesn’t last forever. And, and you know, we do a lot of work in travel and hospitality and are always talking to him, our clients, and they’re probably one of the industries that are most enamored with surprising light, right? You see it all the time. A Guy, no checks in his hotel room and you know, over in the hotel room there’s a live panda bear on the corner of his room and there’s a bamboo tree for it to eat or you can fix whatever it is and it’s like, and he puts it on Facebook and then somebody puts it on reddit and then Msnbc calls and how the hotels famous and I’m like, well yeah, no that might work. Or You just might have a hotel room with a bunch of panda shit at it.
JB: (22:55) You’re like, you don’t know. Like, so it’s part of the problem is it’s not control them. Then every other guests at that hotel is like, hey man, where’s mine bear. Exactly. That’s the biggest problem I have. When when you treat customers in consistently, it breeds contempt, not conversation. And as I talked about in the book, you may remember this chapter, I fly every week and this is where you see it violated most egregiously. I see it every week. You’re boarding a plane other than southwest. Every carrier has 1600 different boarding groups now. It is unbelievable. They’re in double digits, right? And if you’re in boarding group one, as I often end, because I fly so very much, you’re like, fantastic, where’s my nuts? But if you’re boarding group 11 and you’re getting on the plane where it’s like dirty diapers and dry ice and human kidneys, you’re like, I do not feel very respected and it’s so bad.
JB: (23:56) The CX is so broken that now they actually like they messaged it this way, like every flight ever, right? You were in the boarding lounge or like welcome to American flake to six from Indianapolis to JFK. We’re in a fully sold out situation. So if you were in boarding group five or higher, there’s literally no chance in hell you’re carry ons. Get on this plane. So why don’t you just give it to me now and I’ll give you a tiny piece of paper that you’ll lose and we’ll just all agree, disagree. This is how they, this is their strategy. This is literally how they have architected their customer experience to treat everybody differently. Now obviously they’re putting a lot of time and a lot of algorithmic attention to that thinking, okay, we really get it came the business traveler, blah, blah, blah, blah and blah. So maybe they’re right and maybe I’m wrong and that’s magically, but I got to tell you a spiritually, I think it’s crazy. It is. It is not. It is not a way I would run a business.
MD: (24:55) Like you said, it creates resentment and then you get that whole thing where it’s like the French revolution and it’s the plebs versus the crafts, you know, and, and you people get angry and they get bitter and it creates that negative emotion that you associate with the brand. I mean, I live in Atlanta, so I fly Delta all the time. And Delta has been doing this thing now where they have, you know, they’ve got first class and they got business and then they’ve got a business economy or you know, comfort, comfort seats and then just regular economy and now they have the sub economy group or in other words like the worst of the worst or basically the shit because you’re right next to the bathroom anyway. You know, so you’re like, and if you’re there, I mean you’ll pay less, but when you’re purchasing your ticket they’ll tell you like you’re paying dirt cheap or we’re going to treat you like crap. But if you pay another $372 we can treat you like a normal person or we can treat you like a human being. For me, this is extremely complicated with this, I understand that they want to, you know, increase their, their, their ticket and I understand that they want to add value to more expensive products, but at the same time it seems like a strategy that’s going to backfire. I don’t see it working. I Dunno. That’s just to me personally being bitter. Right.
JB: (26:18) I think it depends on what you consider to be working, right. So they have taken so much capacity out of the airlines and stuff that your choice is more an illusion of choice in many cases. You know, the prices are basically the same. There’s not nearly as many routes, especially in smaller second third to airports. And so it’s basically this is the CX like it or take a bus. Right. So, and that’s why they said, well look, it’s not really hurting our bottom line. It’s like, well you haven’t given anybody any choice. Sure. And so in, you know, it’s, it’s not like I can really complain about my water company either cause what’s my backup plan? Uh, I’m going to shower in milk. Um, I mean that sounds cool once, so, you know, that’s, that’s part of the challenges is that when you’re in a near monopolistic situation that the foibles of your own CX don’t become readily apparent because you’ve got a false economy driving people’s actual economic behavior.
MD: (27:13) Let’s talk a little bit about word of mouth strategies for B two B companies.
JB: (27:18) Anything more important than B to c? A 91% a B to B company purchases are influenced by word of mouth 9100% nobody buys nothing without word of mouth input. Yeah, it’s B to B companies are by our research even less likely to actually have a word of mouth strategy because they are constitutionally required to be boring and what’s amazing, and we’ve got lots of B, Two B examples in the book. What’s amazing about it is when BDB companies actually have the courage and it does require them, if your first have the courage to actually do something interesting and build something into their customer experience that gets noticed to actually pursue a talk trigger and a word of mouth strategy. Holy Cow. It works so well because nobody does anything like that in, in BTBY and you’re like, wow, these guys, I’ll give you an example.
JB: (28:07) It’s not in the book that I think is so great that’s so easy. There’s an accounting firm in Indianapolis called Bogdan often gorgeous, a small accounting firm to principals, Antonoff and Dodgers and they do small business tax accounting, some personal tax accounting. There are literally tens of thousands of firms like that in the US. They have an incredible talk trigger, however, they have dozens and dozens and dozens and dozens of Google reviews for a tiny accounting firm, which is crazy in and of itself. And every one of those reviews are four or five stars. And if we do the data money, you’ll discover the top trigger and it is this bugger off and Dodgers reply to every email and return every phone call from their clients within five minutes. I have had a lot of accounting firms in my time and some of them are quite good. One, I never had an accounting firm. Nick calls me back in five minutes every day, right? And if I did, you can damn well believe I’d be telling that story to all my friends. They have made an operational choice to do something that their customers don’t expect and the reaping the rewards as a result.
MD: (29:15) People tend to forget that when you’re selling to a business, you’re not selling to a business. You’re selling to a person. There’s a person on the other side. I mean, there’s a building full of people. And I face a similar problem when people tell me that they don’t do a social media efforts for B, two B companies. And I say, you know, why the hell not, oh, because you know, brands aren’t sensitive to social media.
MD: (29:39) It’s people, people are interested. And, and that’s where you find people on social media. Why is it that marketers forget that there’s still selling to people?
JB: (29:50) Okay. I mean, it’s, pardon me is cause we call it business to business, right? So we start there, how are we gonna lend? And we sort of lead them astray, uh, in the very definition then and, uh, in the context of the conversation. And part of it is, is that when you, when you sell B to B, a lot of times we actually have multiple buyers, right? You’ve got, you’ve got several different people in the organization that are helping to make that buying decision. And so sometimes it’s easier to just think of those people as a collective, as one entity as opposed to a collection of individuals that have their own perspectives and needs and pain points, et cetera. To, I guess to answer your question more cleanly, because to think of a business as a bunch of people is a lot of work. Okay.
MD: (30:33) Well yeah, that, that makes it easy to understand it’s laziness
JB: (30:38) Or just, or just not really having the, the training to do it that way. And also I think partially, um, cool showing this in the B to B environment, usually marketing is not the only game in town, right? Usually you have marketing on the nuance to sales. And so what I see is that sometimes the market turns like, look, our job is to kind of lights a match, feels job in sales job to kind of stoke the fire. So if anybody needs to understand the personal nature of this relationship is the salesperson, not the marketing department. So marketing to sort of free freed up to be thinking about those customers as, as companies as opposed to it.
MD: (31:23) Oh, do you think that this is something that has become your mission to change? You know, part of your tagline, you know, what you talk about in your company name is, you know, convert in a convince and convert, right? So going that extra mile is, is that something that you have made a conscious decision to do and change that mentality?
JB: (31:43) To some degree, for sure. I think our mission is to help people grow their businesses in ways that their competition probably hasn’t thought of and her ways that are, that are cost effective. Right? So if you think about the books that I’ve written, a, I wrote a book called the now revolution was about how to grow customers with social media. We’re going to book called utility, which is about how to grow your business with content marketing. I wrote hug your haters, which was a book about how to grow your business with customer service and our talk triggers, which is about how to grow your business with word of mouth. So even though they all cover very different elements, that the core principle is the same, which is essentially money for marketing. Right? As opposed to buying a bunch of ads and just coming at people straight on and saying, we’ve got some stuff we’d like to buy some, there’s a better way. Right. There was a more effective way to more cost effective way and, and all of those are pieces of that, of that story. Yeah.
MD: (32:36) Let me ask you something, when, what it, that sparked in you the interest to kind of dip your toes into the waters of customer experience?
JB: (32:48) I have been fortunate to have been a consultant almost all my life. I’ve worked with hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of companies in every conceivable industry just about, and one of the things really the only thing I’m actually good at is pattern recognition. Everything else is just details, but, but I see patterns in data and then behavior naturally in a way that that some people just don’t. I don’t know how, but that’s just what I’m good at. And ultimately after being a consultant for so long and and both on the analog side and the digital side, I have come to the conclusion and I started coming to this conclusion eight years ago, took me that long to actually get talked triggers as a book in a system and on the show. But I came to conclusion that ultimately CX is all the matters maybe cause CX trumps everything else.
JB: (33:42) If you have great marketing and terrible Cx, you lose. If you have terrible marketing and great CX, the win Cx is the Trump card, right? And all the data show that, right? Like walkers, your report says that by 2020 a majority of B two B buying decisions will be based on Cx, not price. And we’ll start to see the same thing happened in B to c. So I just feel like, and you’re starting to see this, I just, I was talking to one of the big tech stack companies this morning and, and their new messaging is around the same thing, right? That CX is the center of marketing and vice versa, I thought would have been crazy. That would have been crazy for somebody at that size and scale to talk about two, three years ago. Right. And now everybody is coming to that conclusion, which is if you don’t have the Cx, right, nothing else matters.
MD: (34:30) And how do you feel about this tendency of the big SaaS companies, you know, creating their own CX metrics or their own, uh, way of monitoring Cx, Cx, cloud CX experience, uh, you know, SAP purchasing, Qualtrics, Qualtrics, uh, purchasing Tempkin group and everyone kind of rushing towards getting their own version of CX. Some people in the space are concerned that CX is going to become the new CRM, in other words, bundled up in a package and sold as software as a service. Do you think this is going to happen if it is going to happen? Do you see this as a bad thing?
JB: (35:08) Oh, I do think it will happen. Absolutely. Because it’s an existential question for them to understand that what I just said is true. That CX is the most important thing. Like you can be the best in the world and sending emails. But if the CX that that might have behind those emails sucks, then you go, no matter how good your email is, so there’s no question that they are going to try to turn CX and are trying to turn into a product line and a service line. Um, it is an existential question for them and, and given that that is the tens of billions of dollars at stake. Yeah, that’s, that is absolutely what we’re going to see. But it takes two to tango, right? Just because south platforms say this is what CX means. Does that mean it does mean that it just means that that’s what they think.
JB: (35:54) And I would say that the same is true for individuals, CX practitioners or, or marketers or, or customer service professionals or ops professionals or anything else. While I think it’s a net positive, if people want to try and measure x better and put more ROI around CX and has always been a bit of a bugaboo, I think that’s good for everybody. But you know, you can define CX in your own organization the way you choose to, you don’t, you don’t have to adhere to to Oracle’s definition or a salesforce or Adobe or IBM or SAP or mine or yours. You know, and what I will tell you is that the most effective CX professionals, in my estimation, my observation, are those that create a highly customized, highly relevant CX program in their own organization that meets the goals and Moore’s and cultural expectations of that organization.
JB: (36:47) I think more so than marketing. See x defies a cookie cutter approach and I think, well, we’ll start to run up against that here pretty soon. In the next 18 to 24 months, we will start to realize like, oh great, we’ve all be CX platforms and systems and software in metrics, but it’s not quite as easy to say, here’s the quote unquote best practices for Cx in the same way that you would say, here’s quote unquote the best practices for Instagram. Right. You said that word of mouth isn’t necessarily a marketing strategy. Is it a CX strategy? I think it’s really an operational imperative. And as a practical matter, increasingly CX is the driver of that or at least a kissing cousin to that initiative. So when we actually work with clients on talk trigger development, we do it all the time. We talked about this methodology and the book as well.
JB: (37:40) It really does require and Noah’s Ark Approach, right? We call it the triangle of awesome, that that you’ve got people from sales people from service, people from CX. If you have a dedicated CX department, people from ops, people from service, everybody has to be on board because you’re taught trigger, your word of mouth strategy will impact every department. And so everybody’s gotta be, if there’s not the kind of thing like, hey sales, congratulations, we’re doing this thing now because they will freak, right? Everybody, it has to be bought in and that buy in is, is a big part of making it work.
Mary Drumond is Chief Marketing Officer at survey tech startup Worthix, and host of the Voices of Customer Experience Podcast. Originally a passion project, the podcast runs weekly and features some of the most influential CX thought-leaders, practitioners and academia on challenges, development and the evolution of CX.