In this ongoing series, hosted by Paul Cardis, Paul explores how you can disrupt your market through innovative thinking that puts the customer first.
In this episode, you can connect with the internationally renowned customer service expert, Chip Bell. Chip was rated the number one customer service consultant speaker in the world in 2015. And he's been rated among the top three, worldwide by global gurus. He's written 24 books. Nine of those books are national bestsellers and he's a three time New York times bestseller as well. He's worked with Ritz Carlton USA, a American express Southwest Airlines, Cadillac, and well, the list goes on!
Many thanks to our partners at the University of Denver for their editing and post-production talents, specifically Lija Miller and Lisette Zamora-Galarza.
The University of Denver Franklin L. Burns School of Real Estate and Construction Management, teaches the full life cycle of the built environment. From integrated project leadership skills to a cohesive understanding of the built environment ––experience the only school of its kind!
"Upbeat Party" is brought to you by Scott Holmes, songwriter from Free Music Archive.
Speaker 1 (00:05):
Welcome to the Housing Innovation Alliance podcast in partnership with the university of Denver's Franklin L Burns school of real estate and construction management, the housing innovation Alliance is a nationwide community of game-changers, driving the future of home delivery through crowd accelerated innovation.
We represent thought-leaders from dirt to dweller with a focus on the production builders, business investment.
Speaker 1 (00:32):
Welcome to FocusCX I'm Paul Curtis. And in this podcast, we will explore how you can disrupt your market through innovative thinking that puts the customer first. today I have the internationally renowned customer service expert, Chip Bell. Chip was rated the number one customer service consultant speaker in the world in 2015. And he's been rated among the top three, uh, worldwide by global gurus. He's written 24 books. Nine of those books are national bestsellers and he's a three time New York times bestseller as well. He's worked with Ritz Carlton USA, a American express Southwest airlines Cadillac, and well, the list goes on and on. So chip welcome to focus, CX, really a pleasure to have you expound. It's an honor to be with you, sir. Well, I appreciate that. And I know with everything going on, you've made a lot of changes in your program. In fact, you recently put together a program geared to home builders, tell us what it's called and what it's all about and what you're focusing on for us here in this industry.
Speaker 1 (01:35):
Well, it's, uh, it's called magnetic customer experience and I like the word magnetic because it reminds us a, the one on our refrigerator. Um, and magnets obviously draw like we're trying to attract and draw new customers or, uh, new recommendations from customers. Um, but it tends to also hold, uh, like the one on your refrigerator. And so magnetic service is about using the experience you create, uh, in a way that builds longterm customer advocacy and particularly in home building today, you know, people may not build a home that frequently in their lives, but they certainly have a major reference power and the degree to which they advocate on your behalf can make a dramatic difference in terms of your capacity to do what you continue to do that you love. And that is build gorgeous, beautiful, magnificent homes.
Speaker 1 (02:31):
Awesome chip. Well, that sounds really great. And our industry really welcomes you. I know you've spoken a number of our conferences over the years. I know I had you speak at our conference multiple times. And so for the past 10 years, I'm think of ed you on the podium, at least three of those, uh, or more. And, uh, and you spoke at a number of others. So you're no stranger to our business if, uh, if I remember correctly. Um, so welcome, but tell us a little bit, you know, as we look at the industry, uh, what do you think we're lacking in home building and remodeling and how do you think you can help? How many times homebuilders get caught up in the product? And obviously that's an easy thing to do. Your life is about creating a, uh, a structure that you're, that you're proud of, but when you sometimes take for granted or forget that somebody who's going to live in that structure, you just built.
Speaker 1 (03:23):
And so putting time and energy and effort and attention on the customer and not just putting energy on the customer at the beginning, because that customer has a, has a lot of influence with the front end in terms of shaping the design and the blueprint of what goes here and the choices that they make. I think the degree to which they're an integral and intimate part of the experience throughout, and sometimes we get caught up in our construction that we forget about the customer side. You know, when you ask someone who built your home, what they recall is not just the structure, but what it was like working with you. And so that's what they talk about. And so the degree to which a home builders kind of shift their focus. So it's not just the product, but it's also the experience, uh, I think is central.
Speaker 1 (04:10):
Yeah, I couldn't agree more chip. In fact, you know, we always like say, you show me a house that's done and, and we'll undo it for you. And that was it. A Y superintendent told me many, many years ago, building a great house is important, but it doesn't bring you over the finish line, but when you want to talk about the customer. So, so tell us about, you know, you've worked with some of the best in the business, right? And in multiple industries. So tell us a little bit of what others are doing, that you feel that, that we're missing on. I think one is, uh, if you look at the best of the best and I'm speaking of, you know, what does Southwest airlines do? What is Ritz Carlton there? Uh, do what, what, uh, USA do you know? The first thing that comes to mind is the degree to which they work hard to personalize the experience.
Speaker 1 (04:55):
So that that guest customer, patient, client, whatever label we call the customer, it feels like it's done just for them. They're your only customer and your bottom line hangs on their memory and what they walk away. That personalization is absolutely key. You're building it for your brother. You're building it for your kid, your bill. If you treat the customers from that perspective, magic, magic tends to happen. So I think that's one, I think a second thing that we see today is how you involve the customer. So they feel a sense of ownership in the experience, not just an ownership and the product. A good example is one of my phone is on ones in Starbucks. You know, you think about some of the things that make Starbucks unique, uh, weren't created by Starbucks. They were created by customers. For example, the, uh, splash sticks that you use wifi in the stores, pumpkin spice, I could go on and on.
Speaker 1 (05:51):
Those are things that were created and recommended by the customer. They didn't come from, from corporate today is so important to the customer. Uh, and what I mean by time is, is can I access you, um, all the time? I like to ask when I speak to audiences, tell me what time Amazon closes and the customer now, because Amazon is 24 seven likes to think of all of the service providers and product providers that I deal with. It should be like that. And I think a third is that the critical way in which we, um, continually communicate with customers, you know, we talk about social distancing, but we really don't mean that what we really mean is physical distancing. In fact, one thing I encourage people to do is ask your customers, how would you like me to communicate with you? You know, you want to text, you want a phone call, what's gonna work best for you and tailor your communication methods and, and medium to what matters most to that customer.
Speaker 1 (06:55):
But those are three personalization access 24 seven, and the way in which we socially communicate with. Well, I think that last one, all three are really interesting and very relevant, but that last one too is huge, right? We, you, you nailed it when you said social distancing might be getting the wrong point across to the industry and that we're not trying to reduce that. And in fact, we're seeing that a lot where we've created this distance between our customer, but now we have to work even harder to connect and a, and that's creating some unique challenges for sure, for everybody. Um, I know you've come out with a new book recently, which we're really excited to talk to the audience here about. So tell us about inside your customers' imagination. Tell us about you book inside your customer. Imagination in the subtitle is five secrets to creating breakthrough products, services, and solutions.
Speaker 1 (07:48):
And it's based on the following premise smart organizations in order to stay competitive, have to continually reinvent themselves, come out with new things all the time. And because the marketplace demands new, new, new, new, new, many times, they turn to the research and development, or they go look at best practices of other companies or they create pilots or whatever smart ones say, you know, we got a customer base that has a lot of cool ideas. I bet they've got imagination of why have you ever thought about this? Or have you ever tried this? And so how we tap that can give us an access to an enormous amount of, of ideas and information that we can use in creating products and services that matter most to them. And so I like to remind people that imagination is something that's on the inside. We've got to create a partnership or relationship with the customer.
Speaker 1 (08:38):
So they're willing to open their door to their imagination and share it with you. And so the book is about how to do that. And it's based on five secrets and the secrets are all grounded in. If you looked at the most innovative companies in the world, the Googles apples, whomever, and I've studied many of them to say these real innovative cultures, what are their features? And what I found was five features that you find present in all of them. The first one is curiosity. The second one is grounding and the third is discovery or risk taking. The fourth is all about trust. And the last one is about passion. Again, those five things are our features of innovative relationships, not just culture. So we are going to re going to have to reimagine a lot of things. And I can tell you right now, this industry is, is struggling with that too.
Speaker 1 (09:32):
And we're trying to figure out how do we reconnect with our customers, what our customers want, we're being thrusted into digital today. So I think your book is, is a perfect timing because what I do see right now is builders are just looking to each other to try and find, okay, what's he doing? What's she doing? And we'll just do that versus really looking inside themselves and looking inside their customer base to figure out what everybody needs and wants. So the book really just to kind of capture it. It's, it's different. It's a departure from your, your past books, cause I've read every single one of your books. So I, I know what your theme was, was very much long, the customer service and, and those two, this one's different. This is about, yeah. Tell us those differences to help everybody understand what some of the feedback I've gotten.
Speaker 1 (10:18):
Powell has been. Gee, I could use this in my personal life because you know, essentially it's about building great partnerships. We all are in partnerships that are non-work-related. And so I think the degree to which people take away concepts and ideas that apply in their total life, not just their professional life is very affirming to me, but I think that's one of the things that is different. It also introduces some concepts that are sort of new, that you've not seen another book business books. One of my favorite is, is as be the customer and it Baris from what we teach our kids who are in little league. And if you remember, how many times have you heard a coach say to a little player, little league player, be the ball, be them all. And that's always their encouragement to focus, focus, focus well in many of the much, the same way, the degree to which we be the customer helps us make sure that we're focusing on what matters most to that customer in a way that's deeper and richer than perhaps we've seen before, which is a critical part.
Speaker 1 (11:17):
Yeah. The words that come to mind is like, I think everything prior to it's been, yeah, we're customer driven, but here we're saying we want you to be customer created. Yes. Yes, absolutely. And that's a great, that's a joint line from, for wedding and it's not just asking the customer for their ideas. It's saying, come in here and sit down with me and let's design this together. Those are the kinds of things that say, how do you involve the customer? How do you include the customer in a way they truly feel like a co-creator with you? Not just someone who's being, you're creating stuff on their behalf. So it's a very kind of relationship. We don't know necessarily what the customer wants. Right? We make a lot of assumptions about, well, they need this or they need that, or, or this company is doing it.
Speaker 1 (12:04):
So it must be good for the customer rather than really self discovering. This is risk and stuff that you're proposing here. Tell us it is, it is, it is. And we also recognize sometimes a customer doesn't know, but when we work together with them in a collaborative relationship together, we discover it. What, what what's important to them and meeting a particular need or aspiration. Well, I think this is going to be a great book. I encourage everybody to grab a copy obviously and help them through this. Cause I think what it'll do is help create that culture inside your organization, to be able to welcome this kind of feedback and create the environment where you can work with your customer and get something done because the customer can create a monster too. I mean, that's the risk, right? Oh yeah. Right. We can, you did everything.
Speaker 1 (12:50):
Everyone wanted, you'd be a mess. So there is a balancing act here that you have to follow. Exactly. And so you've, uh, you said you started now on this magnetic customer experience. It's all built around. Um, if I wanted to create this kind of experience that draws customers and wholesome keeps them, you know, what are the skills that I need? What are the kinds of techniques that I need? How do I see their world in a more clearer way? How do I demonstrate that I really care? How, how do I listen in ways that are different and unique? And you know, how do I team with others in my organization to create, how do I surprise the customer? How do I recover? When things go amiss, go ride and they're left, disappointed, built around 10 competencies, 10 skills that cusp that you need as an organization and as an individual contributor, uh, to create an experience that a label magnetic, again, acts like a magnet and it attracts and holds.
Speaker 1 (13:51):
So it's been a fun, it's been a fun process to design, shooting some of the videos. And there's a lot of examples, a lot of examples, um, that, um, hopefully make the concepts come alive. And, and it's very, very designed to be very hands on, very practical people walk away with specific skills I can use immediately. So it's been, it's been a fun process and I look forward to the point where we get it launched. Wonderful. And what chip I want to thank you so much for joining me here today and sharing a little bit about this upcoming book, as well as the magnetic customer experience program. And, uh, hopefully builders will, will be able to partake in all this. And it sounds like you'll be hearing more from chip bell in the home building industry. So that's great. Thanks Bo. Thanks a lot
Speaker 2 (14:43):
On behalf of the Housing Innovation Alliance and the University of Denver. This is dr. Eric Holt, Thank you for being part of our journey. This is where innovation calls home.