Making Customer Experiences Personal is the Way Forward. Here’s Why
Ethan Beute is the Chief Evangelist at BombBomb and the author of Amazon’s best-selling book “Rehumanize Your Business: How Personal Videos Accelerate Sales and Improve Customer Experience”. His journey at BombBomb started with less than 10 employees and now the team is more than 150 employees.
Ethan presented a beautiful version of customer experience and how to make it personal in unique ways. As per his opinion, making customer experiences personal is the way forward.
What is Customer Experience?
Every time someone interacts with you as a part of their experience and it forms feelings. So the experience lives as feelings, then they become thoughts and then they become stories. These stories are what our customers tell each other about us. That is when they share their experience in online reviews and customer testimonials. Hence it is a slightly abstract thing that these are some of the ways that it becomes manifest though and some of the ways that the experience lives.
Customer experience is basically synonymous with brand experience. Your brand is what you promise to your customers. When you meet customers’ experience, you build your company brand. People are forming feelings and thoughts and telling stories about what it’s like to work with you all of the time.
How to make the experience personal?
As Ethan focused on feelings and thoughts of the customers, making the experience personal is important which can be your differentiator from others.
According to Maya Angelou, “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did but people will never forget how you made them feel that feeling is the foundation for our thoughts and ultimately our behaviors.”
Hence here are the ways to make the customer experience personal.
Face to Face meeting
Every time an automated message is sent out on your behalf to the customer, that communication is faceless digital communication. It’s not personal. It’s not human. It doesn’t help people feel, seen and heard. So we need to get face-to-face more often. Even in this period of physical distancing we can have face-to-face meeting because it provides us clearer communication. It’s richer than text and images because it has emotion tone, pace face voice personality ad it helps to build human connection.
Yes, I’ll reply to your email. Yes, I’ll return your phone call. Yes, I’ll click through and fill out this survey. Yes, I will do you that favor. Yes, I will make that introduction. Yes, I will share my thoughts and opinions with you. These are all the micro yeses that we need to get which constitute our success.
When he talks about video as a medium, he does not just talk about live synchronous video. We’re all over the world right now, but we all had to be here. There’s something through which all of us can participate starting today and he calls it movement relationships through video.
Those are conversational and unscripted video messages that we record with our webcam or our smartphone and send to one or more other people at our convenience. So in this way, it overcomes distance.
You have opportunities across the entire customer lifecycle and across the entire employee lifecycle to benefit from this style of communication.
AMA with Ethan Beute
The following is excerpts from the AMA session with Ethan.
How to incrementally change our old process to this new approach?
I recommend starting with one or two teams in particular. I think leadership and management are in a great place, especially as we’ve all gone remotely in our businesses. Some people were remote to start with of course, but a lot of businesses have disbanded in gone out of
Office. So for a leader or a manager to be able to communicate with his or her team of eight people or 80 people or 800 people, video is a great way to do this where you don’t need to call a meeting and everyone needs to drop what they’re doing.
Building a personal customer experience takes time, which is the only thing sales folks and entrepreneurs don’t have. Do you agree?
I think this question gets a little bit of something I call activity worship. You know, I think there are a lot of people who feel like I need to make X number of this activity, Y number of that activity and Z number of that activity and if all of my metrics hold true, then I’ll get to where I want to go if I honor these activities and it’s all fine.
We want to be focused on the outcomes. And so if we can be as this whole reason we focus on message and relevance and targeting in order to be more effective in our activities, by reaching out in a truly personal and truly human way when people understand why you’re reaching out, what the opportunity is and you’re starting to build trust and rapport simply by exposing your true self to them. That is what we do as humans.
Organizations have Silo: sales/ marketing/ product Etc. How do you manage this level of empathy across the silos?
If you want to break the silos down you need to create some project orientation to solve known problems in the business, but to bring people cross-functionally together to solve them simply by creating that exposure going to open up more casual conversation and familiarity.
Other thing I would say is we need to celebrate wins. Like if we’re looking to increase the empathy within our organization in a way that our customers can feel and like manifest proper feel then we need to live it internally as well. It really needs to count down empathy that starts from the inside out.
What would be the tech stack to enable this level of personal customer experience?
I’m the kind of person who searches for a tool when the problem is very well-known and defined. I would not go out and search for Tech that’s going to make your experience more personal. I would think about it, I would analyze the experience that you have. I would talk with some of the key practitioners within your organization. I would do customer interviews.
Highlight some of the hottest areas to start at and as you try to remove the friction or make it better or make it more personal like hey, let’s stop sending this kind of generic message here and lets you know pick up the phone or let’s schedule an appointment or let’s send a video email or something else that will create a higher level of Engagement and in a personal touch.