NGDATA recently hosted a CXPA NYC networking event, “Why CX? Retention, Growth, and Advocacy,” at our offices in New York City. Attendees included customer experience professionals, as well as marketing and digital marketing professionals, who gathered to share insights and discuss issues related to improving the customer experience. At the event, we revealed strategies that are virtually guaranteed to increase retention, spur growth, and build advocacy.
The event featured a panel discussion with the conversation framed around the “Eight Steps to Guarantee Repeat Business” from the book “The Endangered Customer” by Richard Shapiro, founder and president of The Center for Client Retention, also a speaker on the panel. Shapiro examined customer experience initiatives that deliver the biggest bottom-line benefit and was joined by additional panel speakers including Carol Fink, director of executive relations for Verizon and Liliana Petrova, director of customer experience programs for JetBlue.
Check out the video (full transcript below) for key takeaways on how to:
- Increase retention, spur growth, and create emotional bonds
- Ensure repeat business, and increase wallet share
- Build loyal evangelists who recommend and advocate for you at every opportunity
Watch the recording here: “Why CX? Retention, Growth, and Advocacy.”
…why we’re here this evening. We’ve got three great speakers. We’re going to talk about customer experience, strategies that deliver bottom line results. And first I wanna thank our global sponsors, Medallia, customer Will Nice and North…and everyone. I want to give especially a big thank you to our local sponsor NGDATA, for not only sponsoring but also hosting and you know great food.
And so before I kick off, I’d like to have Ron and Aldean who’s the VP of sales [unclear 00:39] from NGDATA to do a welcome.
Ron: Thank you, I feel like the commercial. Alright, I’ll answer the first question that everyone wants to know, that…people ask me…. Yes, we’re both disciplined about it but it is delicious. So enjoy. Very quickly, so we’re really excited; how many people shop at like Amazon, and Google, right. And so how do they know who you are? Is that kinda creepy when you go on there you know, “Hey! welcome back, Ron. Here’s the pair of socks you wanted.” It’s that micro-moment and so very quickly NGDATA really happy to have everyone. Because what we’re doing is, we’re empowering digitally that micro-moment for enterprises; the big institutions, the airlines, the retailers. So you come on and you’re not on Amazon or you’re not on Google, how do they give you that perfect customer experience? How can they know who you are and show you the right videos at the right time and show you the right content? NGDATA is all about being an intelligence behind the scenes and then enabling all of the technology you already have; would be a lot smarter and would be a whole lot better. So it’s really exciting technology and we invite you to go look at the website or ask a team that’s here. But really happy to have you guys and should be great talk today. So thank you.
Thanks, Ron. So can everyone see everybody?
Liliana: Not from this side, can’t see everybody.
You wanna move a little? Slide over. So while they’re rolling over, so we’ll do a, I’ve got some questions for our panel and then we’ll you know open up for Q&A. If you have a question during, you can raise your hand. We can make it conversational. What, our favorite speaker who was up here recently, wrote a book called “The Endangered Customer” and I just, I love this. It says, ‘Eight Steps to Guarantee Repeat Business’ and it was a great framework. So I thought it would be a fun idea to frame the conversation around the eight steps. So we’re gonna walk through that as we have our conversation this evening. But what we’ll have the panels do is introduce themselves. That’s my first question to the panel is to introduce yourself and tell everyone a little bit about your roles so that you get to know who they are and what the context is of the conversation. One thing I do want to say is I have my phone, it’s not because I’m checking text messages, it’s because my watch stopped at 10 to 6 this morning. So I don’t actually know what time it is unless I look at my phone. So with that, Carol why don’t you start the introductions.
Carol: Alright. Hi, everyone. So I’m Carol Fink. I work for Verizon. I work you know I should just start out by saying, we’re a really big company; just met someone today who works for Verizon for two months. I’ve been there for, the new word is 20+ years, so I won’t give you the exact number. But we’re a hundred and sixty thousand employee company. So it’s a huge, huge place to make things move. If you can imagine from a customer experience or frankly any point of view. I work at the top of the house, so it’s kind of a niche sort of group. It’s called ‘The Executives Relations’. So I’m a black belt, I’ve a bunch of black belts on my team. We actually handle complaints that come in from agencies like the FCC or anything that comes in the top of the house to our studio or the rest of the suite. And then we would do an analysis around whatever the drivers of those customers complaint’s and then we change the processes and policies to make things work out better. And I’m a newly certified customer experience professional. So I passed the exam just a couple of months ago. So thank you for having me.
Richard: Thank you Carol. So thank you for the– In customer experience professionals with an S right?…First of all I wanna thank everybody, welcome especially the NGDATA group, not very aware of that. As soon as I opened the door, it was hard to find out what door to open…opened the door. So once again you Ginger and thank you Anna. So my name Richard Shapiro and I’m founder and president of the center for…retention. And no we are not a nonprofit organization, we do make money and [unclear 5:45] What we do is we help our clients in all kinds of different industries – and channels, generate a higher percent of business. Which is really increasing your market share from your existing clients and also new clients, customers that you have and doesn’t matter whether it’s a consumer who walks into retailer or shops online or a B2B customer. Our rule for our client’s is to increase that market share. So we do that through research training and consulting and actually our newest client is here today; and that’s practicing law institute. Lauren, [Hi] So we’re starting with them tomorrow. So they provide all the continuing legal education for the top law firms, probably the world but certainly the United States. So welcome Lauren. So and personally my business is headquartered in New Jersey where we have 10 people in the office in Berkeley Heights but I live in Manhattan with my wife and I have two wonderful children and one grandchild. Thank you very much.
Liliana: Good evening. My name is Liliana Petrova. Nice to be here tonight. I’m the customer experience director for JetBlue Airways. I have been in JetBlue for six years in different roles. In my current role I am responsible for making the entire customer experience better. I cover on the ground, in the air, I post travel but the last couple of years, most of the solutions that we have been building are on the ground because you are, our customers told us that the airport experience is terrible. So, been trying to make it better for you. One of the things we did is we designed a check in of all the experience in our focus studies. And as of last week, we are testing boarder process which is part of our gate experience transformation program and more to come. On a personal note, I’m getting married on July 1st and we’re leaving tomorrow.
Thanks for squeezing us in before your wedding.
So many customers…based on price but not [unclear 8:14] customers; why we’re all here – care about the customer experience. And so not surprisingly make me feel welcome and give me your full attention are the first two steps in Richards eight steps. And so Richard why don’t we kick off, why lead of with those steps and how can companies implement them in a way that works best for their business and their customers?
Richard: Sure. Thank you for that question. So basically I think it might be helpful if just quickly like run through the eight steps and that’s the framework. But make me feel welcome, give me your full attention, answer all of my question, know your stuff, don’t tell me no, right between turn, show me the amount and surprise me in good ways. So what I love about the eight steps, that’s why I created them, is that each one is tied into a human emotion. And the first one which is really making me feel welcome, make me feel welcome is really tied to hope. And no one walks into a mall, clicks on the ecommerce site, or calls into a call center unless they’re hoping something can happen. You know maybe they want to look for that perfect watch for their sons who just graduated college or they’re going on a honeymoon, they want to make sure they’re booking you know the right hotel or the right safari. Or they’re going to their ten year anniversary and they want to look good and –. Nobody goes into a store, clicks on a website for no reason. They have, they’re hoping something can happen. So where I always recommend any firm and any session that I do is make them feel welcome by using one of the most powerful, smallest word in the English language which is odd. And that’s I can help you with this; no matter what the issue is, by saying I can help you with that, that’s telling the customer that their…actually help them and fulfill that hope. The next one which is give me your full attention, and not too many companies really teach this, it’s really not just listening what the customer has to say, but how they’re feeling. Same thing, nobody calls a call center, emails the company or walks into a store or you know if it’s business to business; unless they are frustrated, concerned, happy, disappointed. So if you say to someone right up front, “You know I hear you’re frustrated but I can help you with that”; that automatically creates that human reaction. And you know what? You’re never gonna go wrong because if you say I hear you’re frustrated, and they’re not frustrated, they’re angry; they’ll say and it works like clockwork. “I’m not frustrated, I’m angry.” And then all you have to do is say well I hear you’re angry, I can help you with that, But make them feel welcome and connecting with them by giving them, putting actually the control ,give them the control are the first two steps. And I think that works very well.
So Liliana we’ll start with you, how does JetBlue Airways make customers feel welcome and you know how do you give customers your full attention?
Liliana: With a lot of money. I’m just joking. So as you were talking I had prepared something to say, but I kinda want to make this a little more informal as well. I think that in the corporate… would be, we have all this problems. But bottom line is for me to be able to say this with confidence, I need tools and I need systems, that can support their claim. And I think that’s where organizations fail. We all agree on that feeling. I think we teach that in our training centers; where we generally I think…is to really go in the back end and say okay, well what tools does this customer support agent or the airport’s crew member has to actually really address this. And we have so many cases where we haven’t invested. So I would answer the question a little differently other than other people – by saying we invested a lot of money in our tools. And I have spent, half of my job has been to…we design the experience of our crew members, by believing that the crew members are the key to our customers and enabling them to be able to say those words. We also have the hospitality which has, now the hospitality’s not the only issue, follow through, be the first to engage, the last to say goodbye. But at the end of the day, the crew members are also frustrated because they cannot help. And what we’ve seen in terms of transformation in the company and how people now feel more attended too is because our crew members are now feel more empowered. So now…become the…like oh my God, they know that this group in JetBlue really is working hard on making me a better crew member. And the results are fantastic. I mean, when we go on the road shows to feature our internal tools, we get standing ovations; which makes me feel so sad. Because that means that for ten years, then we’re, peoples speaking about what they need and we never took care of them. So that’s how we do it.
That’s excellent operation and analyzing what you want to do, I think it’s so important. That was a great example, I was…conference of, one of the speakers was talking about how he left his laptop in a waiting area of one of the airlines and he got to realized it, went to get up from his seat to go get it and a flight attendant was walking towards him with it. And it wasn’t by accident. It was, they had a system in placed to make that happen. So and they had their systems, technology systems connected to make it happen. So yeah the investment is huge. So Carol how about Verizon?
Carol: Yeah so I’ll build on the same thing. You know when you’re a large company, a JetBlue or Verizon, you’ve gotta leverage technology to do it. So there’s a couple of things we’re doing. So from our call center, we’re actually working with a vendor. I won’t say who it is. We’re actually matching customer peer-reps with the call so that we know based on these analytics that that person will connect more closely with the individual and be able to resolve their issue. Also we’re doing things from an IVR perspective and I understand, I hate IVR just like everybody else in the room. But a least when you call in, it’ll say, “Hi Carol, oh I see you’re working at JetBlue Airlines.” But “Hi Carol I see your calling in. Are you calling in to make your monthly payment over a hundred and twenty four dollars using your on file checking?” So at least it will say all that. They’re like “Oh gosh yeah, you got me through that part of it.” So those are two examples really of the technology that we’re trying to use to make people feel more welcomed.
Excellent. Thank you. So when customer have a question or concern, kind of like the three of you were already talking about; they want a resolution, not excuses. And maybe you can’t give them a resolution every time but you can at least give them some kind of an answer or that you’re gonna be behind them. So steps three and four are, answer more than my question and know stuff which is…closely related. So Richard what does it mean to answer more than someone’s question and you know what’s the benefit?
Richard: Thank you. By the way everybody afterwards I have an extra bookmark and the bookmark actually has the eight steps and the emotions on them, so you don’t have to take notes about that. That’s the additional information.
And we’re gonna give away free books.
Richard: So in order to really generate BP business, you have to create a human connection. And you can’t create a human connection by answering you know a client’s or customer’s questions with one word answers. So the whole purpose is really to build a connection and all of the research that we’ve done. We’ve been in business for thirty years and one of our services is doing customer satisfaction research. We have found and i’ll repeat it twice that of those customers that say the representative not only answer their question but provided additional useful information, 95% of them are delighted. So they feel the rep not only answered their question but provided them with additional useful information that made them delighted. Now maybe the rep in some cases would have been doing that anyway as part of the scripting but that’s the way they feel about it. And the second one was I mean I’m saying you said know your–
And know stuff.
Richard: Yep. So know your stuff. There’s no doubt, you know if you’re an airline, you want the pilot to know that’s flying. That that’s the basic thing. When you talk about the flight attendants, you probably want like some kinda consistency like I fly, you know my wife uses JetBlue a lot. I use United a lot. So but you know the inconsistency of you know whether you get a full can of coke or you just get a glass, these are all things that, set the client up maybe in a certain expectation, the customer expectations and then it’s not consistent. So they don’t know. And you know there is one company and it’s highly talked about…know your customer and know your product and that’s a Mitchell’s…which is in Connecticut. It’s Mitchell’s and Richard’s… And Jack Mitchell works under customers which integrate…. And Jack teaches his salespeople that it’s more important for you to know your customer than to know the inventory. Anybody can help you with the inventory but it’s your job to know the customer. So he has a…my wife and I saw it around two years ago and has everything…to impress customers. Their grandchild name you know if they have pets, if they have…seeing as it actually shows it to the customer but the customers know that they have it and it’s in their books. And it’s the way, but these people know about it as soon as the customer walks into the store, the salesperson knows that. But it is important not only to know your product but also to know your customers.
So Carol how about, it’s, at Verizon, what approaches do you use to show that you know your stuff and to also you know answer more on the question.
Carol: Yes so we also use a guide here to get it flows so that we can make sure when…technology shown up that the right information is in front of those representatives or those retail reps. Whatever you’re dealing with as that customer is asking the question. And there’s a lot to know, right? I’m sure it’s the same if you think about JetBlue, if you think about us. Most of our companies in here, it’s a massive amount of data that we expect frontline representatives to be able to have. So helping them with that is really making a difference. And then we build into those guided flows sort of a step to—so let’s say you call Verizon and you say, “Hey, I happen to be traveling tomorrow to get married and I’m going to need to make sure that I have international dialing so I can stay connected back home with…” And so when we provision that for you we might also do a little more by saying, Let me send you some information that gives you all the dialing things that you might need to know while you’re gone right, So building those initial requests that you’ve made.
Liliana: I’ll go soft on this one. I think with us it’s a lot of soft skills. I mean if you go to some big city where one of my favorite people and founder of JetBlue…sports center; you wouldn’t want to leave. That woman has created an environment of, warm and fuzzy is an understatement. I mean these people are there to service the customer. That’s what they do. She is the type of person that would see…look unhappy, will be leaving the restaurant, she’ll go back and pay their bill. She makes family and I don’t know if it’s scaleable. I would think that as of now, it works for us. We do have that flows but what happens, what you’re talking about is that emotion is to really care and connect. When they pick up the phone they just want to take care of you. And caring is one of our five values. We live it, our crew members live it, our leaders live it. So caring is naturally oozing from this facility there. And it comes through in the phone calls as well. They don’t always know the answers, I can tell you I cannot be an agent. There’s so much to know, these things are so complex and when we start merging and changing things, it’s hell. So it’s not always about just knowing what to do, it’s also taking that extra step of asking somebody next to you to help you or giving that extra thing because you just, you just so sad about that and you want to help get the extra $15 for whatever reason. I think that comes from the culture and that’s what is not replicable and that’s what makes customer, excellent customer service really come out… And I think that’s how JetBlue does it when they were founded, the customer service representatives were women that were working from home that was…wanted to kind of help settle. And we are still kind of going that way and we’re trying to enable people to have income otherwise…probably wouldn’t be able to. And I think that comes through as well.
Quick additional question, you know it’s interesting because there are organizations that really focus on taking the time in the contact center to make sure those problem resolution and you know they’re resolved. And things like that. So how do you balance getting the calls done and getting them done right?
Liliana: I hear you. I mean that’s just something I mean we look at the numbers every day right. Is it a balance it really is a balance. We are looking into more technology as well. I think that…on is what’s gonna help us, if you set up the right technology at the right time. Of the call. You at least what my thought is, if we can take what we have today and keep it as what I call it like concierge experience and take the millennial customers and give them the self-service. I probably by design won’t cut the volume and I don’t have to cut the call time to manage the cost but that’s where technology kinda implemented correctly and being offered at the right customer could do the right thing. Because I can tell you, we have millennial customers that probably are gonna be annoyed at the, “Oh how was your day?” They don’t want that. So it’s more about knowing the customer, knowing, referring the type of service to the right type of customer. And they self-select. I mean a part of what we do in my team is built of…options and I can tell you when you go and observe the operation, customers like select and you don’t have to shove it to anybody. They know what they want.
Yep. Makes sense. So speaking of customers knowing what they want, you know the customer maybe…but that doesn’t mean that you have to give them anything that they want just because they want it. I mean there’s also that you have to balance out what is profitable for your business. But you know step six is, step six is it? [five] five is don’t tell me no. So what does that mean in you know the context of–?
Richard: Thank you. I’ll tell you exactly what it means. Yes sometimes actually nobody is actually asking this question like why is it not..doing work well. Why is this step number five you know. It doesn’t have to be step number five. It could be any, it could be step number two, it could be step number eight. Just like I said that I is one of the best words that you can use that show’s the customer responsibility. One of the shortest words that kills customer loyalty is a two letter word called ‘no’ and no also takes the form of I can’t, I won’t, it’s not our policy, not getting back to you. So my new thing is that when you say no which the two letter word it’s the same thing as saying several other words and that’s goodbye. So when you say no to customer, basically no matter what, you’re saying goodbye. You’re making that decision as a company that you know longer want to do business with that customer. They’re not gonna tell you that, okay. But that basically you’re saying goodbye that customer. So I think you really have to think of ways that you can bend the rules. Rules are you know, I once was gonna write a book, ‘Customers Who Don’t Understand the Rules’. Well, it’s too bad they don’t understand the rules. That’s why they’re customers and yes, there’s a very small percentage that are going to use anything but you can’t work with the 1%. You have to really work with the 99%. So that’s why philosophy and that’s why I tell my clients no basically means we’re saying goodbye. If you want to say goodbye, that’s your choice.
So I want to take this in a little bit different direction for Liliana and for Carol. And that’s really to take about customers’ expectations because they have the obviously, but you can help set the reality of what the customer expectation is, what customers should expect. So how do you set customer expectations and what do you do when customers have your unrealistic expectations? Liliana you want to start on this one?
Liliana: Okay. Trying to avoid certain topics…[laughs] I heard a quote last week in Europe and I’m gonna share it but you’re gonna get the idea. “The last great experience that anybody have anywhere is the minimum expectation of what they expect to have anywhere.”
Carol how you manage expectations?
Carol: Yeah, so I’ll build on a couple things that Liliana said that I think are great and so what we’re doing is we’re focusing on digital and trying to put the decisions in customer’s hands. Just like you said so that they can get things done and they don’t have to talk to a real person. I read somewhere the other day that, you know customer, millennials in particular, can’t stand stupid, right. So the idea of if I have to call you or something that I clearly already know, it’s in your system but when I get your rep on the phone they’re asking me to walk through those steps. So how do you get rid of those frustrations, how do you make sure that your facts and things that are online or updated and ready to go? And the other thing that I thought that was interesting about that question is what do you do with customers unrealistic expectations. And I really have to ask the question, what’s an unrealistic expectation? Because by the time you know a customer starts talking to my organization, they’ve already tried to get it done through the traditional system and they haven’t been able to. So I think as leaders of customer experience organizations, we have to look at why they’re coming to us, what they’re saying and really get into the root cause of it.
You know I think maybe one unrealistic expectation would be you know some kind of refund or you know a rate that’s just unreasonable you know or something like that. So it’s like kind of in the back of my mind.
Richard: I just wanted to say related to expectations and flight travel. I was flying back about a year and a half ago, Orland airport on Friday afternoon, going back to New York and I know that normally that’s going to be…so and the weather was bad in New York. So I also know that they had a problem. But the customer service agent you know, picked up the mic and everybody was just said, “I have an announcement and I don’t want anybody to moan, no moaning.” that just made everybody relaxed and then he went through like ten things, how often he was going to communicate with the pilot, how often he was going to communicate with the airport, he was going to keep everybody you know keep in touch. And he said, “I know they say don’t leave the terminal or the gate area but you can leave the gate area as long as long as it’s not for 20 minutes. Because it’s gonna take us at least 20 minutes to board the plane. So you can do whatever you want for 20 minutes as long as you’re back. And then he said, “By the way we’re going to have a quiz.” At the end he gave everybody like you know a quiz like, “What did I say? How many minutes?” And people were laughing okay instead of being upset. So I wrote a blog and sent it to United…I posted it on Twitter and then probably within 10 minutes he got back to me and said, “That’s such a great blog and we’re gonna post this blog in the employees cafeteria room.” And I felt that was great, why doesn’t every customer service agent do that? Now I realize that this person had a personality but you can still have a checklist. So I that’s what I don’t understand why there isn’t a standard checklist when there’s a delay or a canceled flight.
Liliana: …because you brought that up [laughs] Okay, I’ll talk to you about the complexity until you’ll have to solve that problem which I’ve been trying to solve for eighteen months, you wouldn’t necessarily know. So the air space and especially these things that you’re experiencing when the air space gets…weather; we call it ground delay problem. So the ground delay problem is managed by the air traffic control in the space air. Which means we are guided by what they tell us. If you go to our system operations…that in mind…any company; the guys in the system operations will cringe that that guy said what he said. And I’ll tell you why. And I have witnessed that because I have travelled remotely and I have sat a the systems operations desk to see how that is so volatile. So not only can change when the ground delay problem changes but if any of the airlines publishes a cancellation package which mean you have to…a hundred flights…these can also change in terms of when you’re departure time is. Then I can also do a swot and the gate agent would not know any of this because it’s a different department at headquarters in our case support center because we don’t use that word. And then we can swot the plane and then you can still have customer service agent taking orders. Because of you have one customer that leaves and comes back the 25th, were not going to be…. So it’s a matter of mistaking and getting a lot of groups comes…with that risk which is very, very hard to do. Because the permutations of what could happen you know what I mean. In this case it might have worked but the problem is I can’t promise that the…guys will always work their way because I had too much variability with all the customers in the gate. So there is a lot of, a lot of complexity; I’m not saying it’s impossible to start standardizing these things but the complexity is what make it hard to be consistent and that’s the one thing.
I think one thing…Richard’s point is maybe not take out the time like you know okay we’re asking you to stay in the gate area but just the proactive nature of the gate agent saying, “I’m going to keep you informed as I can” is you know,
Liliana: I..and that is something that we have been…standards that we launched couple years ago; part of that is to do gate announcements. All of us including leadership needs to go through this to learn how to do gate announcements and we are working on that. And another thing that we’re working is going back to the tools. Giving the crew member at the gate the right flight departure time, is much more complex than we think as well. And we’ve been building a lot of system connections, we have our own bus system that we, is the same time the…guys see the time is when the gate agent can.
That’s excellent. So you know something like the gate agent being proactive is a way to show customers..be proactive anyways is we show customers that they matter. And so that’s step seven and step six is invite me to return and I feel like those are also closely tied together. Because when you invite someone to return you’re showing that they matter. So Richard what are some ways that companies can do those two things?
Richard: Sure, that’s a good question. The invite to return, show me I matter it’s…ways. Virtually nobody does that. So the first five steps, companies get a B- to a D-. Invite me to return, show me I matter and surprisingly good ways they get…explain the custome, most people…customer experience as one transaction at a time. But basically you need the customer experience to be connected just like dots. I say you really want the customer experience to be a series individual dates, where you want to put your romance and you want to give your romance and you really have a big customer service experience you have to tell that customer that you want to see them again. It’s human nature it’s, the way I explain it too is that maybe you’re going on a first date and you have these high expectations or hopes that you’re gonna be I don’t know how you met your husband but and you’re on this date, you know you have a great conversation, you know great chemistry; what are you hoping happens for that and that person says before the end of the day, I had a great time, let’s do it again. If they don’t say that, you go from a high to a low. You’re calling your parents, your siblings, your friends, I really like Joe but I don’t think he likes me because he didn’t say he wanted to see me again. And it’s the same thing for human nature. If in fact you have a great conversation, a connection with somebody, you expect them to say I want to see you again. And in so many situation you can tie that into a future event. You know maybe somebody is going on a trip, “Oh please come in and show me the pictures” or they’re getting you know married. You know my wife’s daughter got married couple years ago, very expensive gown and you know nobody called afterwards which…show me I matter to say how was the wedding. Now my wife could have five more daughters and more sisters, five more, these are all missed opportunities. So show me I matter; what it isn’t is when you send junk emails and promotions to a customer every single day or every single week. That showing the customer they don’t matter. By showing them that they matter, it’s sending a personal email, letters, phone calls, texts, whatever is appropriate. It’s keeping in touch with them or… So that’s what…
Does it Mitchells…seeing that you’re the… write handwritten notes so I think some crazy amount of customers every year?
Richard: He does. Unfortunately I don’t think everybody…does but he does, yes.
So Carol how do you show your customers that they, how you you show them that they’re valued?
Carol: Yes, so this is an area that we’re doing a lot of work on right now. So if you’re a Verizon customer and you’re familiar with our loyalty program, you’re not impressed, I’m just gonna tell you that. It’s a tough grade right? And after listening to a lot of voice of customer, we are completely changing that program. And so you know I think that the key thing, so I’ll answer here to say that loyalty program has to literally know who you are, it has to has things that matter to you, based on your usage. So if you’re a data customer for example you’re using a fair amount of data, sometimes you go over and we should be providing you with boost right or so extra packets of data but it should be tied to the app actual use. So I’m now gonna tell you exactly how the program’s designed yet but I like to say that I totally get this point down here on your list and it’s something that we’re working on in your company.
Liliana: I completely really understood what you just said. I think connecting customers and making a relationship is probably a good…ground. Our challenge is that our customers don’t fly as often; so whenever we went into an analysis on who travels often, we have customers that’s kinda once every eighteen months and it’s really hard to build that type of on going relationship without being…you know I spend couple years in marketing, trying to figure out how to you know find…to Aruba last year September and say hey you’re trip is coming up, we got something up but I think the frequency and kinda the, way we talked about is a little bit of a challenge for JetBlue. I think airlines like JetBlue..they have different type of setup where they have their premier class and they have much more frequent fliers. In Jetblue it’s a little bit more because we were…on bringing back humanity in the air and..having the best product. Our average customer would have the big holiday to the Caribbean but they wouldn’t necessarily be the business customer that goes and uses the..everywhere they fly. The network is limiting that. So I would say we’re also struggling on that side…problem, maybe we…
So, all the you know your marketing is actually fun. I ended–
It is fun, I mean I’m not saying.
So the last step is surprise me in good ways. And this is a fun one but it’s also you have to be careful because you don’t want to surprise a delay customers that you’re regular experience is kind of bland or boring or awful. So how do you balance surprise me in good ways with making sure that your core customer experience is actually meeting the standards that it should.
Richard: That’s a good question. So first of all it’s true that every customer should have at least the minimum standard of service. I think two things are really important to find out or that generally nobody knows how to bring onboard a new customer. When you have a business to business relationship you know you have no NGDATA, you know you spend time, months you know making sure you’re selling the client, market to new client, get a client, you know send out these customer assess teams, you got instillations teams you’re really reaching that client. If that’s the first time someone’s flying JetBlue or a Verizon customer, they don’t get that same level of attention. So and additionally the other concept of this surprise me in good ways is that so many companies have these 8 to 20 rule…business comes from 20% customers. The other day and I’m really tied upt the list…24-48 hours so I heard this but makes these issues of financial report and we all know…each level. But it was something like 65 or 70% of their business consist of 8% of their customers. Even Macy’s and they never published that before. Even Macy’s has the 8 to 20 rule, so or close to it. And therefore, those are the customers that you really have to have some kind of proactive plan to do something. And this something by the way is not money a lot of times, it’s you know you hear a customer you know so many…away and get your people a budget for surprising customers in a good ways. It could be that they’re getting married, sending them a you know a wedding card or they’re going on a trip or they’re…in a home whether it’s business or home furnishings and they just you know we finish their house and you send them a plant or something for a..purpose. These are the types of surprises, kind of like…but these are the things that will clearly make a difference. Now our overall budget…I think it’s important. I just kind of like to say this, i stress at the strongest loyalty is between two people, not between the person and the brand or person and a company. And therefore whether it’s a customer service…walk in store, or an online site, I believe that they should have one person that they’re dealing with, if they have a question or a problem. And that’s the person that we’ll be kinda communicating with them on an ongoing basis. And there are companies that are starting to do this…with them and who just employed us sales for, not sales for but it’s an app where the personal shopper…also has a storefront at that location where they can sell their personal customers things online and they get credit for both of them. At the same time if you’re on…site for a little bit and you’re in the geographic region of the sack store let’s say in Francisco or wherever, it’ll say would you like to make an appointment with Betty or speak to Betty at the store. They understand that if you actually go to the physical store, you’re gonna spend more money if you want more loyal customer. And they want that Mary on the site to actually have a personal relationship with Betty. So I think surprise them in good ways is not talking about money, it’s listening to people’s human emotions or activities or…into something….
So Liliana how do you surprise and delight customers and also how you decide when to surprise and delight and when to just leave the experience as is?
Liliana: Yeah that was a tough question. Yeah I struggle to… So for me they’re two types of surprises…one is with your talking about and that can be done in the call center and the customer support center in our case. We have a program called ‘The Blue Hero’, which is really teaching and giving some sort of a, not permission but freedom to our call center front line to make decisions of that kind and wave things at the that might have so many stories. But I think as a brand, what we try to do is we…and the person with the customer in general. And what we do is, we look at what’s going on in the world and what matters to the customer and surprising them right there. We have done campaigns and things that’s surprising for really hot weather. We knew people would hate the heat so why don’t we use that as a something to surprise and delight. We uses the…launch as most recent, election….is another one. And what we do is literally put together five or six people in a room that are really smart and really fun. And we start…and we try to find moments that are relevant in the current time. What’s going on right now, and we surprise and delight them right there. And the other thing we try to do is keep the humanity team, always try to figure out how to bring back the message of who we are and when we surprise and delight. So it kinda, we can’t always afford the room for one but we try to make bran be consistently the characteristics of who we are. So when you see something we do. You can immediately say, “That’s probably JetBlue.” And it’s not because we told you, it’s because you already kinda know who we are as a persona. So when we do the thing, it is a Jetblue track thing to do. So that’s kind of how we think of things. And with us it’s actually, it’s a little bit easier because we have… that’s very great in sense that we have peace and values. So we have, every year we have a predict of when we are going to have more seats, that we know we’re not gonna sell, so we can use those seats…that is relevant to that and you have a holy ground to make something very impactful.
Carol: So I was thinking about Math Dixon’s book, ‘The Effortless Experience’ you know and one of the things that he talked about is that most people don’t really want to be delighted. They just want it to be easy you know i just want to deal with my, I just want to pay my utility bill, I just want to pay lawyers, i just want to like go into work wherever I am. So I think this is a difficult one for companies to get their arms around to decide how you’re gonna handle that; and we’re having a lot of conversations internally. We’ve just hired a new customer experience chief officer for customer experience right, in our company. So this is one of the conversations that’s going on. But I think that’s a hard one for companies to understand.
Male Audience 1: [unclear 47:48] …airline industry. I live in California so I no choice to travel to the South West…town and this February my daughter…school in the south east…colleges. We…Atlanta…won’t be there [unclear 48:08] …everything’s Delta. For South West [unclear 48:19] fans giveaway…and all the stuff they do…airline there’s no… for South West [unclear 48:33] …cost so much but every…and Atlanta you know we just…unbelievable experience…very low cost but…nobody expected that…Delta would…South West really pull that off and…thinking outside of the box. That is important.
Liliana: I think half of it is thinking outside of the box actually and it doesn’t, it can’t be taught, I think it comes organically. I just think…marketing, sitting with these guys for a couple of years is the most fun experience I’ve ever had. And you can teach that. South West probably had somebody that…thought of something. And that’s how the best surprise and delight comes when the company’s itself is surprise.
So any other questions? Yeah in the back.
Male Audience 2: …the value of millennial customers…because the value [unclear 49:39] …what sort of metrics do you have to indicate that value customer retention…like..Verizon customer service or how often people fly with JetBlue…eighteen months…How do you use them, how do you balance…the cost of the customer service?
Carol: …I’ll start and then hand over to Liliana. But I can tell you that we measure literally everything. So we know everything about you so we obviously…segmentation; we know for our customers how much they spend, we know where they travel. I mean think about yourself, we know everything about you, right. So that shouldn’t make you afraid. [laughs] Okay but so obviously we’re using all of those measurement as we design programs and marketing programs and events and loyalty. I’m not gonna go any deeper than that unless if you want to.
Liliana: We don’t know as much about you…so we’re collecting your… I would say we’ve been struggling with the lifetime value of the customer. So that’s the newest thing that we’re pondering upon. In our case it would be eighteen months. For example and what does that mean would be overall how much you spend and how much you’ve interacted, social interactions, everything together. And then as we know that it would be a little more worthy to keep you. If you are a…basic segmentation, backbone deals hunter and you’re always get the…that’s very…and you just do that we may not be as excited to…you. But overall we do believe that word of mouth for us is better. So even if you are not as powerful in terms of value, you might be really the guy that’s going to give us three more customers. So we were trying to get the…to be apart of how you use our WiFi on the plane and that’s something that we are trying to leverage now. So at least we can track you a little more. But to be honest, like you said it’s kind of like intuitive core principal. You wanna have customers, you wanna have repeat business, you wanna have volume so we can get more volume, it’s part of growth. So I think no company would say abandon it…it really measure all of it and it work because going back to the systems or has tried to measure this things and get value out of the system. It’s another…just to get something to you that you might have already know; and when you’re kind of going between do I do that or do I…my value metric… and I have another level of return, then you might need to think twice about that.
Richard: Before I start my company 30 years ago, I was with one of the most successful firms in the world…the payroll processing company, and they measured everything too. But their top two measurements were retention of all business and first year retention. And what they found is that first year clients were dropping at twice the rate as the overall population and that makes sense because those days; it was very easy to go back if you didn’t like…service, you could still go back to your former supplier. That’s true really in almost any business and prior to the onboarding, first of all in general it does cost has been a standard rule. Five to seven times…must bring in a new customer…to keep what you have. So if you finally get a new customer, whether you’re B2B or B2C; you have to have the processes in place to recognize that’s a new customer, award them, welcome them, show them they matter, so that they purchase again. And most likely if they purchase a second time, they’re probably going to be a lifetime customer. And we got started really with a research business in the mid 19 of 1999 and 95 because all these call centers did not know how to measure their ROI and we developed a process that all these companies could develop their ROI so that they can go back to their corporation and say we’re not a call center, we are a profit center and we’re able to do it. We created well you know a series of questions that…base on purchase and…I suppose base on…purchases and based on what they said was going to happen. But they are ways to do it and I think it’s pretty…
Ron: Richard you mentioned a point around customer experience…and part of that is customer experience working with other parts of the organizations to build their product…be more efficient. Carol and Liliana I would love to hear your thoughts on how you’re using your voice of customer to not only you know provide a better experience within your own space but also working with operations, marketing center to really help them do a better product more efficiently.
Liliana: I would say report high enough; every time I talk to anybody I say where are you in your organization, I don’t know where you said I’m under the executives and that helps. And that’s a shameless statement and I tell you how it works. Because my…customer experience executive vice president or want something in operation, and you probably go and ask for it, it probably will happen easier than if I was directly under..as VP and BP and I’m one of the directors in the marketing organization or I’m one of the IT directors in the IT organization or if I’m in operations even…mostly efficient because the operator by design has to have friction with you because their job, it’s efficiency..customers happiness. So it really is the key, unfortunately I…organization really is to be in the right place in your organization.
…nothing to do with it.
Carol: I will say that this is an exciting question right because this is the part about my job that I absolutely love. So when we see thing that are broken, we can literally get them fixed very often in the same day. And I mean changing policies, fixing IT and if any work in organizations large IT groups, you know how difficult it is to get something done. But we have the ability much like Liliana because of where we sit and because it’s not our opinion, right. We are bringing to the table the voice of the customer. And that I, l love that part of my job.
Excellent. And with that I’m just gonna say thank you very much to Carol, Richard and Liliana.
Thank you everyone for coming and thank you…for hosting; especially shout out to Alice Parker for helping me organize [applause] this. And you know if you wanna ask anything one on one, if you wanna drink more, eat more…and we have to give out the free books and no one’s leaving until all—