Dare to Reimagine: A Conversation on CX with Shep Hyken
How do you create customer amazement and bring people back to your business again and again? A good person to ask would be Shep Hyken, who officially holds the title of Chief Amazement Officer. So, we did. In the first episode of the Dare to Reimagine podcast, Five9 Chief Marketing Officer Genefa Murphy talks with Shep Hyken, practitioner, speaker, and New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling author.
According to Shep’s research, 48% of people would rather go to the dentist than call customer support and get bounced from agent to agent. After some recent calls myself, I think a visit to the dentist might indeed be more enjoyable than wanting to toss my phone into the abyss.
In their conversation, Shep shares how his early business experience — as a 12-year-old magician — helped him learn the importance of gathering feedback from customers, respecting what they tell you, and incorporating the information into your business.
Customer amazement isn’t about stunning your customers, but consistently delivering delightful service. It’s taking the extra steps to move beyond a good experience to a memorable one that encourages people to want to do business with you again. In fact, as Shep explains it, “If you want to create customer amazement, all you have to do is just simply be consistently and predictably a little bit better than average.”
He shares examples from Horace Schultz, the first president and co-founder of the The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, who believed if you could be 10% better than average, you’d start to make a difference to your customers. That 10% is a significant difference when many people feel that their customer experiences are generally below average to start.
What can leaders do to reimagine the customer experience? “The daring is to truly empower your people to deliver the service they need to deliver,” he says. He talks about hiring and training people, then giving them the ability to use their best judgement when meeting customer needs.
Some of the companies that were most successful during the last year and a half were those that not only had the products and services that people wanted, but they created a convenient experience. Companies are “using technology to drive a more convenient experience, making sure the customer doesn't have to take extra steps,” he says. “There are all kinds of different ways that you can bake convenience into your strategy and I think that's what the most innovative companies are doing.”
Great service is memorable service. He has a great story beyond the enterprise world about a taxi driver in the 1980s who managed to turn the flat-rate drive from downtown Dallas to the airport into an amazing experience. And beyond that, showed his appreciation for passengers by collecting their business cards and sending them thank-you notes. From there, he not only created a loyal customer base, but increased his income by a factor of five.
“That's what your technology is driving customers to do, is they're going to say, ‘I love doing business with that company because – use that word – they always – fill in the blank with something good.”
This is just a bit of the conversation, hear the full interview on our website.