Branding Matters

Jay Baer - Use Talk Triggers

February 25, 2022 Branding Badass Episode 57
Branding Matters
Jay Baer - Use Talk Triggers
Show Notes Transcript

My guest today is Jay Baer, Hall of Fame Keynote Speaker, New York Times Bestselling author of 6 books and founder of five multi-million dollar companies. One of those companies is Convince & Convert  - an experienced, highly focused analysis and advisory firm that creates effective, best-in-class digital marketing and customer experience strategies for the world’s most iconic brands.

Jay has been an advisor to more than 700 companies including Caterpillar, Nike, The United Nations and 36 of the FORTUNE 500. And he’s a “go-to source” for the press including NPR, USA Today, Time, Real Simple, CBC and many more.

I invited Jay to be a guest on my show to talk about the customer experience. I wanted to what talk triggers are and I was curious to get his POV on the role customer reviews play in the success of a business.

💥IF YOU WANT HELP GETTING YOUR CLIENTS TO FALL IN LOVE WITH YOUR BRAND,  REACH OUT TO ME ON SOCIAL AT BRANDING_BADASS OR EMAIL ME AT JGOODSON@GENUMARK.COM

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LinkedIn - Joelly Goodson
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Joelly Goodson :

Hi, I'm Joelly, your Branding Badass. And welcome to season two of Branding Matters. My guest today is Jay Baer - Hall of Fame keynote speaker, New York Times best-selling author of six books and Founder of five multi million dollar companies. One of those companies is called Convince&Convert, an experienced highly focused analysis and advisory firm that creates effective best in class digital marketing and customer experience strategies for the world's most iconic brands. Jay has been an advisor to more than 700 companies including Caterpillar, Nike, the United Nations and 36 of the Fortune 500. And he's a go-to source for the press, including NPR, USA Today, Time, Real Simple, CBC, and many, many more. I invited Jay to be a guest on my show today to talk about the customer experience. I want you to learn what role branding plays in that experience. And I was curious to get his point of view on why price is no longer the deciding factor in the minds of many consumers. Jay, I'm so excited to have you here today. Welcome to Branding Matters.

Jay Baer:

I am delighted to be here. Thank you so much for having me. This is going to be so much fun.

Joelly Goodson :

You know it is gonna be a lot of fun. It's really great to have you here. Before we dive right in. I heard a rumor that you are a certified tequila Somolier, is that true?

Jay Baer:

That is true. Yes, I am a level two certified tequila Somolier. I grew up in Arizona, which is in Tucson, which is pretty near the border. So I come by my tequila love honestly. And it's just a very fascinating spirit. A lot of people had that one time in college. And that's the only time they ever had tequila, never again. But there's a lot more to it. It's actually very, very nuanced and a lot of fun to study.

Joelly Goodson :

So how do you become a tequila Somolier?

Jay Baer:

Yeah, so there's a bunch of training programs. The one I participate in is called the IPA International Tequila Authority Association, I can't remember. And so there's all kinds of online modules and courses that you get to learn how to run production methods and regions and all those kind of things. There's a level three certification which I have not passed yet, which requires you to go down to Mexico to at least go where tequila is typically made, and actually meet with the CRT which is the governing body for tequila in Mexico and take like a whole test with the government. So once we get out of some pandemic times I may have to go down there and pass that test.

Joelly Goodson :

So do you like your tequila straight or do you like it in a margarita? Do you like margaritas or how do you like it?

Jay Baer:

I do like margaritas for sure. I'm not I you know I'm not indiscriminate. Like tequila consumption butI will tell you that most people who studied tequila and are really into it, typically drink it neat, right? Just like in a in a glass, no ice, no nothing. Just pouring it in sip it but yes, I love a good Margarita. The challenge is I live in the Midwest. I'm out west right now on vacation, which is great, but I live in the Midwest. And I gotta tell you, the lime situation in the Midwest is not ideal, right? Like it's just like, we're a little citrus poor, but great corn. But it's different like limes in California, Florida, Arizona, even Texas little different limes and Midwest.

Joelly Goodson :

You know, it's funny that you say that because I was in San Diego a couple years now and we have you been to San Diego? Yes. So went to the old town. I don't know if you've been to the Old Town San Diego and we went and we did this tequila tasting. So I like margaritas anyway and we went and we did tequila shots with orange and cinnamon. So instead of lime we did it with an orange and cinnamon.

Jay Baer:

Very traditional, especially in Mexico City. That's that's a very traditional way to do it. And, and the best tequila store retail store in the US is actually in Old Town San Diego. It's called Old Town Tequila. And that is worth a pilgrimage for sure. They also ship to most states as well, so you can get a lot of their stuff online.

Joelly Goodson :

People are gonna think this is a show about tequila

Jay Baer:

Well, here's the thing, talk about a business category that is almost entirely dominated by branding. And tequila is one of them, right, like the growth of the celebrity tequilas. And all of that, like, you know, most of the celebrity tequila are terrible, terrible, bad. But yet, they're the number one sellers because people know that this tequila was made by whomever, right? Whatever celebrity you support. And it really is a total branding play, you know, the bottle designs and the labels and all that it's it's, it's as a marketer. That's one of the reasons why I like the tequila world so much because marketing and customer experience and all that's a big, big part of the success equation.

Joelly Goodson :

Oh, absolutely. I think that would probably I would say that's probably true for a lot of the liquor brands, right? I mean, you walk through the liquor store and you see all the bottles my son who's not even old enough to drink and he recognized That white tequila bottle. So speaking of branding, you know, I want to talk about your personal brand. You're not wearing it right now. But you always wear plaid jackets and flower lapel pins. So when did you start wearing plaid and why? And can you tell me a bit about that?

Jay Baer:

As a keynote speaker, I've done 1000 or something presentations in my career. And what's often the case, especially for bigger events, is you you do your speech. And then afterwards, people want to ask you questions, and maybe they want to ask you, Hey, can you come give a presentation like that at my association or company, which is even better. But when you're in a big event, and unfortunately, a lot of the events, at least historically have been heavier male participation? A lot of people look the same, right? They're wearing a blue suit, or a gray suit, or, you know, a light blue dress shirt and slacks and brown shoes. It's a pretty uniform vibe. And in my observation, it was what, jeez, if I want people to be able to find me, because I want to be able to have these follow up conversations after I leave the stage. Should I make it easier to do so. And while I am a fairly large individual, it's not like I'm seven feet tall, where it's going to be really easy to find me anyway. So I said, well, let's just try to do this. With costuming, essentially. But I didn't want to wear a costume. So I said, Okay, I really like plaid anyway. And so I had a suit guy who makes some suits. tremana MacBook, instead of showing me the regular ones. Do you have like some crazier ones, like some other fabrics? And he's like, Yeah, but nobody ever ordered them. Mike. Well, well, what if I did whatever is I do think so it's a little wild. I'm like, let me just try it. So I got my first two plaid suit. And like, overnight, every time I wore on people could find me later on in the conference, but he was commenting on what to consider like it. And from that point, I knew I had thing. And so I just I added more and more and more of the time. So now I have 14 Different plan suits different colors. And then where we really turned it on as a, what I would call a talk trigger a word of mouth device, is when I started to set it up so that meeting planners can pick out which suit I wear. So the way it works is that when you book me to give a present online or offline, you get a link to a special website and listeners can go there right now it's dress J bear calm, go to dress people calm, and it's got all the suits, their pictures, all suits, and you pick which one you want me to wear. And then I've got it set up behind the scenes. So it goes on my calendar. So if you pick out the green one on my calendar for the day that I give that talk, it says wear the green one, so I know what to pack and how to dress and all that. No lapel lapel flowers always wear with the suit that you're kind of contrasting colors. I just don't like pocket squares. I'm not good at folding them. And I always lose them. But the lapel flowers just stay on the jacket. And so I'm good.

Joelly Goodson :

It's funny to talk about pocket squares. My dad always wore a pocket square, you know, especially with a suit, I have a boyfriend and when we went on our first date, I show up and he's wearing a jacket with a pocket square and you don't see that you don't see a lot of people wearing pocket squares these days. But I love

Jay Baer:

I love the look. It's just it's like a whole nother thing for me to pack and remember now with cauliflower just stays in the lapel. And and even when you dry clean, um, you can just leave him in there. It'll be fine. And that just takes one one thing off my packing list.

Joelly Goodson :

Answer do you have as many lapel pins as you do suits more actually,

Jay Baer:

I probably have 20 or so. I'm like change the color a little bit depending on what I want to do.

Joelly Goodson :

That's great. Okay, so we're talking to suits now we're hopefully on our way out of the pandemic. But for the last two years and a bit we've been in a pandemic and suits have been power suits have been hoodies and sweatpants. And so how is the how is the pandemic affected your su wearing? Because I assume you have live events?

Jay Baer:

I've read many I think I did six, seven, in 2021 as opposed to 50 or 60. So a few but not very many. So it's funny you say that because all the things that I own are actually suits. Right. So they're not blazers. So I do have matching tops and bottoms. But since the pandemic, I've pretty much only one of the top. There's about 100 webinars and virtual keynotes, you know, recorded out there of me wearing a plaid jacket and like underpants. Right. You know, slippers. Yeah. So so it is definitely a little bit of a mix and match at this point.

Joelly Goodson :

At home. Yeah, this on top and party on the bottom as they say, right.

Jay Baer:

Yeah, I don't know. anymore, actually. But you know, we'll see.

Joelly Goodson :

Oh, that's funny. I think they call it like the pandemic moment because, like, business up top and party on the bottom. So true.

Jay Baer:

Yeah, absolutely. I gotta go back pretty soon. I've got several in person presentations in the next month or two. So we'll see.

Joelly Goodson :

I'll have enough. Oh, that's great. Okay, so speaking of the pandemic, I read a famous quote You said and it's famous because you said it that this is the single greatest opportunity you will likely ever have to grow your business. Can you elaborate on that?

Jay Baer:

Well, it's it really comes down to consumer psychology, there was a recent report from Accenture, they came out they did this big global study. And they talked to 1000s and 1000s of consumers 50%, half of all consumers say that they have totally changed what they care about, and their relationship with work and the whole world, right? Like, this isn't just, you know, I've been thinking about making some different decisions is like, Nope, I have fundamentally changed what I care about. Again, this is sort of the macro trend that powers the quote, unquote, great resignation, and all these other big things that are happening. And so what that means for business is that your customers now are thinking very differently about every category, about chiropractic and lawn care and buying a boat and furniture and real estate, and whatever else it is that you might sell software, they used to make decisions based on one set of criteria. Now they're making decisions based on a different set of criteria. And what we're seeing in a very meaningful way, is a lot of people jumping between brands. So I used to always be loyal to this brand. Now I buy from this, etc, etc. And why this is such a huge opportunity, but also really scary, is that customers now, because of this fun, how they see the world are much more likely to change brands or providers or businesses in a way that they just wouldn't have bothered to change before the pandemic. So the good news is that your competitors, customers are much more likely to change to you than they ever were, the bad news is that your customers are probably just as likely to change to competitor. So market share is very much in flux right now, in a way that really would have been unthinkable before the pandemic. And it's just because the pandemic caused everybody to sort of take stock about well, what do I care about? What Why am I here? Right? It's a lot of big, deep questions that then trickle down to, you know, what kind of soda should I buy or whatever.

Joelly Goodson :

That's interesting. So what do you think that is? I mean, you said, the pandemic has made people think there's no doubt everybody's questioning probably everything in their lives. What do you think it is specifically about the pandemic? Do you think it's the fear factor?

Jay Baer:

Yeah, I think it's everybody, at least in the Western world has, has had a pretty good run of it for the last many decades. And so you sort of have this sense of security and some measure of prosperity. And then all of a sudden, everything gets called into question like, Okay, well, yeah, I've got money, and I've got a nice house and everything else. But if everybody can get sick and die anyway, then what's the point of all those things? Right? And, and so it just changes sort of your priority list for a lot of people. And that then trickles down into how do you spend your time? How do you spend your money? What kind of brands do you support, etc?

Joelly Goodson :

Yeah, you see a lot of that, you know, another thing that I read, you said, you talked about every business as a startup now speaking about the pandemic, and it sort of plays on what you just said. So why is that? Why do you think that is?

Jay Baer:

Well, because customer attitudes have changed so much, you have to come at it as if your customers are all brand new, or if your business is brand new. In fact, a really interesting report from Salesforce last fall found that I think is 88% of brands have changed their content strategy since the pandemic 88%. Wow, that's incredible. Like everybody. And so as I Well, we, we have to communicate to customers about different things in different places, and in different ways in order to gain and keep their attention. And so this idea that you can't really take your previous success for granted. And you have to actually act like a startup, again, is again, a huge opportunity, but also really scary for a lot of people.

Joelly Goodson :

And you know, one thing that I've talked a lot about with leaders is about purpose and brand purpose and how generation Shea the Gen Xers years, which are becoming the biggest consumers now it's really important to them, right, like when they're choosing a brand cost isn't really as relevant as what's behind the brand and what the purpose is.

Jay Baer:

Not just them. It's certainly more prevalent with Gen Z, but not just them at all that saving Center study I mentioned 44% of consumers, I think this is US and UK, say that they would change banks, if their bank didn't sort of believe the same sort of same things that they believe right. So if your bank is not aligned with your worldview, 44% of people would change banks. I don't know when the last time it was you changed banks, but it is a pain in the neck. You don't want to change banks unless you've got to change banks and 44% of people you know, what if I'm not if I don't believe in this sort of societal mission of this bank? Yeah, I'll do it. Anyway. That's cool. Raizy to me, that is not something that would have been true just a few years ago and actually wrote in my newsletter, which is called the bare facts that comes out every two weeks, the bare facts calm. I just sent it last night, actually, to my subscribers. And it's funny, it's about that whole idea of having to have a mission like taking a stand. So the history of marketing is one where you never wanted to purposely reduce the size of your addressable audience, it was, how can we appeal to the largest group of people and offend the fewest group, right? Because then you've got more potential customers. And now, I'm not sure that works anymore, right? So what I said in the newsletters that broad is flawed, that now you almost have to say, Look, I know I'm gonna piss some people off. But if I piss some people off, some other people are going to be really delighted. And if they're more delighted than average, then I'll get more money, even though it's fewer people. And that kind of calculus is really interesting. And I believe all companies are going to have to kind of do that math in their head at some point.

Joelly Goodson :

Well, I mean, I don't think you can be all things to all people anymore, things are becoming a lot more niche where you really hone in on who your audiences and knowing exactly what they want and what their values are, and then having that relationship with them.

Jay Baer:

Absolutely. But it's so strange, because I'm old enough to have lived a long time when that was not the case, right? This, I know that trying to reach everybody was the strategy. And now it really isn't, then it's going to be fascinating to see what impact this has on legacy brands like so. So new companies, true startups, I think sometimes have an easier time. You can say we're, we're gonna be the dryer sheet for this kind of person. And you can build a company to support that from scratch. But if you're I don't know, bounce, or Downey or something to be like, Oh, we're gonna be the dryer sheet for, you know, whatever. It's, this is why I believe that in a lot of categories, if you are a brand that is so broad, like Taco Bell, it's tough to be like Taco Bell is only for this kind of worldview. Because it's so big and so broad, it's hard to see how you could possibly start to narrow cast after being broadcast for so many years.

Joelly Goodson :

That's interesting. So I want to talk a little bit about more your experience, would you consider yourself to be a customer experience expert?

Jay Baer:

Sure. Yeah. Customer experience in marketing? The two things that I work on the most Yes,

Joelly Goodson :

yeah. What is the coveted customer experience? Can you explain that, to me,

Jay Baer:

the coveted customer experience is a concept that I created a couple of years ago, where, when you exceed customer expectations, so consistently, and so reliably, that price and perfection, are not required. So if you're not the least expensive, it's okay. And if you make a mistake, and all brands do eventually, customers will give you another chance, that that's what all businesses should strive for, to deliver a coveted customer experience. Because what the coveted customer experience buys you is one of the most important things in business I wouldn't really talk about very much. It buys you the benefit of the doubt, the benefit of the doubt, can tell you a story about that horse. Before the pandemic, I was doing some speaking, I was going to Australia to do some presentations for Volkswagen in Australia. And my wife got to come with we were making a connection. On the flight. We are going from Indianapolis to La X li X to Sydney a long day. So we're in LA X and we're getting ready to board the long flight over to Australia. And we're getting on the plane and the flight attendant gate agent actually scans my boarding pass it looks in that little black magic box. They have their by the Ghana what's in that box, but they always look in this black box. And I think it talks about like what your seat is and who you are and how many miles you have or whatever because she says picks her up. Oh, Mr. Barra, thank you very much for your loyalty here on Delta. We appreciate your diamond status. Please have a fantastic life. But in those days I flew so often No, it wasn't like, Wow, I can't imagine that. They thanked me for my diamond status. He was like yeah, nice, fine. But then she scans my wife's boarding pass boop looks in the black magic box and presumably discovers that my wife has very few frequent flyer miles at all. Oh, oh, no, wait, Mrs. Bear. Mrs. Bear, I'd like to thank you for what you must do at home. Thanks so much time with us here on delta. So ma'am, in particular, I hope you have a spectacular flight. That's funny. Like mind blower we went down that jetway in tears. I'm not kidding because she completely nailed our relationship dynamic and we never expected to shoot and as a result is delta always the least expensive. Definitely not but I don't care. And if they make a mistake, which they do, we still fly Delta right. That's the coveted customer experience when you exceed expectations so much buys you the benefit of the doubt

Joelly Goodson :

customer service and customer experience is so much more important now than ever before. Because we have so many choices,

Jay Baer:

absolutely mathematically proven. Not only the choices, but but just as we talked about earlier, people are more willing to change brands now. And it's not about price necessarily. It's not about well, whoever's cheapest outside of going out there some of that for sure. But a lot of it is, hey, I just want to work with whoever's the least amount of hassle.

Joelly Goodson :

Yeah, make my life easier and better. Yeah, who's the

Jay Baer:

easiest, and that's where customer experience is so important.

Joelly Goodson :

Yeah, I thought it would have been funny if you would have stayed. And I don't know, if you were flying business class. Or if you were a regular class, or like, this is where you come with me, we're gonna bring you up to business class, and we'll leave him there. And we're gonna treat you that would have been funny. What would you recommend for someone who is trying to exceed expectations, but because of situations either control are letting their customers down?

Jay Baer:

The key is not necessarily whether or not you're disappointing the customer. The key is to close what I call the uncertainty gap. The uncertainty gap is the distance between what you know about what's going on in your business, and what your customers know about what's going on in your business. Now, you know, all the reasons that things are delayed the supply chain issues, etc. They don't. They're just like, Where's my stuff? What you want to do is close that gap with information and education as much as you possibly can. You might think, Oh, they don't care about the details, they totally care about the details. What drives me crazy is when I go to like an E commerce site, and I see an ad a little message at the top that says due to supply chain, it's going to take an extra 10 days to get your order. No, I don't that's not good enough. I need I want details and specifics. Here's what's going on. Here's the thing, give me a little video from the CEO, give me a little letter from the CMO, whenever that explains what some detail what's actually going on, because I'm like, oh, okay, I get it, like I understand. But what a lot of people believe incorrectly is the customer doesn't care. And we'll just we'll just apologize. Instead of explaining, you're much better off explaining. And if you explained correctly, you won't have to apologize as much.

Joelly Goodson :

Right. And I think you know tissue, you say about a letter from the president or whatever, I think really just being transparent. And also owning it, the worst thing you can do is try to throw someone else under the bus right? And say, oh, it's not my fault is this, this, just own it and say, This is what's going on and be transparent. Because ultimately, you know, we're going to talk about branding. But branding is about creating trust with your customers and knowing so when you tell them that UPS totally shipped three or four packages, and the other ones lost, they believe you because you've already established that trust with

Jay Baer:

them. That's right. Yeah. And you don't want to be like, and so you know, send your complaints to UPS. Exactly. Here's their number. And you don't want to go down that road either. Because is I talked to business leaders all the time about this, it's a fine line, right? Because they do want the explanation. They want to understand what the problem is, but they don't care about your org chart, right? So they want to know just enough, so they get it, but not so much where they're like, look, I don't care what division or department or you know, your partner, like just, like run your own business. So it's definitely a fine line. And sometimes you don't feel like you're chucking somebody under the bus. But that's how its interpreted by the customer. And that almost never works.

Joelly Goodson :

So what are some other things we do say create that coveted customer experience.

Jay Baer:

So there's three dimensions to the coveted customer experience, there's lots of things that you could try to do in your business to offer a better customer experience. But there's three things based on my research that your customers and my customers, everybody's customers cares about disproportionately, okay, so three things that matter more than anything else, your customers want you to be quick, they want you to be clear. And they want you to be kind, quick, clear, kind. Those are the three most important elements. A quick is fairly self evident. You know, nobody is saying, wow, I've been thinking about it. And it's okay, if they get it to me more slowly. Like nobody ever says that, right. So, you know, everybody wants it to be faster. And here's a little tip on how to be faster that that most people mess this up, answer, even if you don't have an answer. So here's what happens. People have a question, a comment or complaint. Anybody got a question about where their thing is? Why is it like you don't know off the top of your head, you got to go find out you have to go do some research or talk to somebody else in the business, or whatever to get it answered. So what happens almost every time and it's so easy to fix this. You're like, oh, I don't know. So I have to go find out. Once I find out I'll respond to that customer. Don't do that. What you want to do is say immediately, customer Great question. Such a good question. In fact, I don't know the answer off the top my head but I'm going to go find out. And as soon as I learned the answer, I'm going to reply back to you again. Because the whole time they've asked you and you're out there doing the research. They're like, did they get the question? Are they blowing me off? Do they not care about me? Once they get a reply from you? Even if the reply is I don't know yet it goes off of their mental to do list and reduces all kinds of friction and challenges and mental anguish. And so the best thing you can do is answer even if you don't have the answer. And it's amazing to me how rarely that actually happens.

Joelly Goodson :

I love that you said that I'm sitting here, just don't want to interrupt you. But I love that you said that. Because I can't tell you how many times where I will reply to an email or a phone call. And I get thank you for getting back to me so quickly. And I always think as opposed to what because but it's not. But you know what, it's my personality. It's not just with my clients or with business partners, but it's personally to like, I'm one of those people. If you look at my phone, there's zero checks in there, I have to reply right away. And people make fun of me because I can just have it sit there, right? And because I think of it like you said, if when I get a message from somebody, or an email from somebody, whether it's client or whoever, they asked me a question, I'll just say I'm on it, or I'll get back to you or I don't know, let me look into it. Because when I send something like you said to let's say, a supplier or something, and I don't hear back and 24 hours, I'll follow up, I'll go did you get my email or a phone? And I don't want my customers to do that to

Jay Baer:

me, they're probably totally freaks them out when you fell up?

Joelly Goodson :

Well, my boss used to make fun of me because he's like, he knows like, I always would email and follow up with a phone call. But I you know, and technology is you and I witness it's so unreliable that you don't know. So just let me know, like got it on it. And it's good. So I love that you said that. Because yeah, I all the time people. I get replies like thank you. And I always think as opposed to what like just waiting on it for a few days and letting you wonder what happened. I'm ignoring you.

Jay Baer:

Yes, do the whole time and wondering like if I if I got into the email, go through the internet, eat it like, I don't know, are you dying? Are you maybe on purpose? And people say when I when I talk about this in business? Well, then I got a reply twice. I'm like, Yeah, but the first one is like, I'll get back to you. It takes you four seconds to hear that. Yeah. So yes, it's twice but it's really, really quick. The first one, so yeah, keep talking about this concept. And I hope that people start to actually put it into practice.

Joelly Goodson :

I agree. I think it's so important. I'll just say one thing on too. I saw this comedian once where he described sending an email or a text to somebody, and then them not replying. And whether it's a week or whatever. It's like walking up to someone and face to face. And he did this sort of skit where he walked up to somebody goes, Hey, how are you? And the person just stood there and didn't reply. And he's just standing there. And he's standing there. And he's a reply goes, would you do that to a person in person? And I thought it was so funny. So I love that you share that. Okay, so let's talk about the other ones that are equally as.

Jay Baer:

So that's quick, clear, we talked about a moment ago with the uncertainty gap, right, this idea that because of all the changes in business, and pandemic, and supply chain and labor and all this stuff, in most cases, customers know less about your operations than they have in a really long time. And, and so closing that uncertainty gap is really, really important. And sometimes it's just about being more, I don't know, higher volume of communication. I'll tell you a story about that. So this guy, Wade Lombard owns a moving company in Texas. It's called square cow movers. And they're in Austin, Houston, Dallas, San Antonio think they're big Texas cities. And they're a really good company. You know, even I think it's safe to say that not all moving companies are really good. Sometimes it's a little sketchy from a customer experience standpoint, right? But they're really good. And he knows it. But despite being a good company, they were getting a bunch of customer complaints. He's like, What are we talking about? I know, we're a good business, how come people are complaining, we did a smart thing. We analyze the complaints, looked at the telephone transcripts and emails and online reviews. And he discovered that a lot of the complaints weren't actually about moving, right. It wasn't like it broke my piano or whatever it was, well, I didn't know, I had to trim this branch of this tree. So that truck did get in. And I didn't know my cat couldn't be there. I didn't know what time the guys were showing up. And all of this. Well, that seemed really confusing the way because he said, we already told them these things. When you book a move at Square cow, you get a welcome kit in the mail, that tells you a bunch of the stuff. And then a week out, you get an email with a bunch of the stuff. And then the night before you get a text message reminder with a bunch of this stuff. And he's like, What are you talking about? We already told them, but then he had an epiphany. He realized that 100% of his customers are moving. Nobody has ever said, You know what I was thinking my sharpest. When I was at my very best was that week that I moved? Right? Because you're a crazy person. You're totally stressed out. And so he realized that even though they were sending them this information, they were trying to close that uncertainty gap. Customers either were too busy to read it or just kind of scanned it and didn't think about it because they're moving, did a smart thing called all the managers together, said all right. new plants from now on, we double everything. So they do now they send a welcome kit. And then a week later, a slightly different one, they send one email and then a slightly different one, and then a text message and a slightly different they literally just doubled all the communication. And all the complaints went away. Wow. And I asked him, I said, All right, wait, I love this idea. But doesn't that get annoying? You're probably thinking the same thing? Well, I

Joelly Goodson :

was actually thinking,

Jay Baer:

here's what he said, word for word. And I never will forget this conversation. Jay, I've never had a customer say, please stop informing me so much. Exactly. You know, as long as what you're sending is useful to the transaction at hand. No one's gonna complain. But what happens in practice, is people say, alright, yeah, let's send them some useful information. But then let's also try to upsell them to buy our, you know, boxes are packing tape or whatever. And they're trying to disguise the sales pitch with information. Instead of just making it an information. That's where it goes wrong. So the second part of the Covenant customer experience is clear. And this idea of closing down the uncertainty gap with information.

Joelly Goodson :

Interesting, I have to touch on that this made me think of something and I'm curious to get your opinion. So what do you think about places? I'll use hairdressers and restaurants, for example, when you make a reservation, and then they send you an email to confirm and you get that email? And then the day before they call you to confirm? Do you find that's annoying? Or do you think that's good customer service,

Jay Baer:

I find it a little annoying. And here's why. You should not channel shift your customers I wrote about this in my book, Hug Your Haters. If a customer has told you either through checking a box, or you ask them or whatever, that they prefer text, you should not text and then also call, if they've said they prefer email, you shouldn't send an email and then also text like, give them the opportunity to tell you what, what they prefer from a contact mechanism. And then respect that choice. This idea that like, well, maybe they didn't get their text message. So I should send him a phone call, bro. It's the same device. It's not like email and call maybe but you're getting your email on your phone now, too. So this idea that somehow they would not get a text but they get a call and In what world? Is that? True? Yeah, the voicemail would work. But the text message wouldn't What are you talking about? You're just annoying people. So pick a horse to write it is kind of my advice.

Joelly Goodson :

But what about if there's no positive? Like, what if you made their they don't ask you? And what if you just make that a point

Jay Baer:

asked a great question, which is how come people don't have that box? And it's a very small percentage of companies that do it. And it's one of my crusades, people to start doing this, like let the customer pick. If you don't have that technology or don't have it set up? You can certainly ask them in some cases, but I would still not, I would not shift I would I would decide as a business look, we're going to be more comfortable with texts. And actually, if I had to pick one, I would say text I do a lot of work with podium, which is a big provider of SMS software for businesses. And customers who will accept text from businesses almost invariably love it, right? Nobody's like don't text me. What annoys people is the call. Yeah, that wouldn't have been the phone anymore. Especially young people, right? I've got a 20 year old son, and he won't talk on the phone at bayonet point. I know when I started my career, I would get no joke. 2030 calls a day. And these are not junk calls, trying to sell me a Car Warranty. These are actual business calls. Yeah. And now of course, I get like maybe one if it's a good day, right? It's all emails and texts. And yet, and I got a lot of inboxes to check now. But it's totally changed. And young people just don't understand it. And they have no interest in using the telephone. And yet, a lot of people who run customer care, customer service and businesses are older. And so they still think that the whole world revolves around phone and even email. My kids don't check email and have email, obviously, but they don't they don't check email. My son's got like 5000 unread emails. It's 20 years old, like what are all these emails? Like? I don't know. But well, what if somebody needed to send you some important is I don't know. You gotta you got to communicate to your customers using the technologies that they prefer, not the technologies that you prefer. And that happens all the

Joelly Goodson :

time. And love that. That's great advice. And then the third one,

Jay Baer:

yes, it's quick, clear in kind. This is not one that I that would have really made the list. I'm a seventh generation entrepreneur. My son has his own fashion business. He's an eighth generation entrepreneur. My family has been self employed since the early 1800s. And the number of times that I had a conversation with my dad or my grandfather, about treating customers with dignity and risk respect and kindness and empathy, literally never zero times in my entire life. Because it was not a conversation that needed to be had, like I am old enough to remember a time when treating customers with dignity and kindness and respect. And as if their family, we just called that business. There wasn't even a name for right. But somewhere along the way, we kind of lost our way. And now we find ourselves where we are here, which is in an era of empathy deficit, in business in life, certainly in politics, treating one another with kindness and respect and dignity and humanity is no longer the default state. And that makes me a little sad, frankly, as a human being. But as a business consultant, I will tell you, it's an enormous opportunity. Because today, when you treat your customers disproportionately well, it stands out. Like they just, they just don't get that treatment from anybody else. And it actually becomes word of mouth fodder, and it creates loyalty and revenue and everything else. So it is a is an investment worth making a little kindness will go a long, long way these days.

Joelly Goodson :

I love that. And I would take that one step further, I would say and also your suppliers, when a customer says to me, thank you for making my life easier, thank you for making me look good. The only way I can make them look good is because I have my suppliers have my back, and they're doing whatever they can. And I think that's the thing to the reciprocity. And someone asked me this question once, like what my relationship is like, with my suppliers, and it's just as strong as it is with my customers. Because I look at as like, we're a team, right? And you can't be rude. I mean, I, if any of my supporters are listening, they know I can be pretty firm. I'm just I'm a very, very blunt, I say what's on my mind, but sometimes I just get right to the point. That's my personality, but I'm always respectful. And I always say please, and thank you, and people just want to feel appreciated, right? When they do something for you. And I think it's a trickle down effect.

Jay Baer:

I couldn't agree more this idea of treating your suppliers with that same kind of kindness and grace and generosity, you know, without them, what do you have? And I would say, your team as well, right? Like your colleagues and team members and anybody else in your organization, the coveted customer experience applies to them just as much. Because being quick, you know, so many times, our ability to get something done in business is mitigated by somebody else in the company's getting you what you need, right? Like, I want to be able to help this customer, but I can't because Sheila, in getting what I need, right? So, so quick is sort of a mutual, we're all in this together kind of circumstance clear is the same way, right? Everybody needs to close the uncertainty gap, even between departments and team members. And kindness, as you said, applies to everybody. So you know, maybe it's optimistic. Maybe it's an accurate mystic to say that empathy is a business strategy. But But I believe it to be true.

Joelly Goodson :

Mm hmm. I totally agree with you. And you know, this is a great segue into branding, because I think that branding really starts internally, because you're talking about your employees and your team, when they go out there and speak highly of your brand. There's no better way to get your customers to trust you and fall in love with you and want to choose you first. So I'm curious to know, what role do you think customer experience has in brand new,

Jay Baer:

like most of the role, most of the role, if your brand isn't rooted in your customer experience? What is it rooted? If the actual experience with your brand doesn't sync up with the brand, then the brand is just imaginary, just fake? Right? Like, think about back in the day when Ford's kind of positioning line was quality is job one? Well, if quality isn't job one, then that's not a very good brand, right? That's just not a very good positioning. Right. So the customer experience has to evoke the brand and the brand has to describe the customer experience because you can't fool customers. Right? If you accept the premise that the brand is what the world thinks you are not what you say you are my one of my bosses years and years ago, when I used to work in agency used to make this point, he said, you can tell that Applebee's is not the neighborhood bar and grill. Because the sign says that there are the neighborhood bar and grill. If you gotta have a sign, it's not. And it's so true, right? And I'm not anti Applebee's, but from a positioning statement. perspective, I think he's exactly correct about that. So what when I do customer experience and word of mouth strategy for companies, which has huge brand and public implications. What we always do is we say, Okay, well, what what are people leaving reviews about? What do customers say about this business? Right? Then how can we amplify that into a word of mouth device? And then how does that become sort of a brand and a brand position? So it all has to work together? Because you can't say that you're a thing? If that's not actually the thing that you are? I mean, you can but you're gonna work very long.

Joelly Goodson :

Yeah, I want to go back you talked about Applebee's and made me think of you know, the movie Elf. Did you ever see the movie Elf member when he goes in? He's like, congratulations, world. best coffee. I love that. Oh, I know, my kids always do that whenever they say anything world's best are always like, congratulations.

Jay Baer:

go off the rails.

Joelly Goodson :

Oh, that's so funny. You know, you talked about the customer experience and reviews and I read something recently, sometimes Gen Z is all us that demographics are will be in the parking lot of a place. And before they go in, they'll read the review about it.

Jay Baer:

Yeah, and that's not like a weird edge case. That is from podium and I think it's like 40% 35%. Like, it's it's a lot of people. Will I've done it. I'm not embarrassed to admit it, right?

Joelly Goodson :

You're like, okay, like in the parking lot? Yeah. Oh, wow. Okay,

Jay Baer:

if you're driving by like, oh, yeah, maybe I do want, you know, chicken wings or whatever. But like, well, but is this worth me going in? Right? I'm not gonna take it. Yeah, I would I take a chance. It takes me 10 seconds to look it up. Right. Like, why would I just wing it at the chicken wing place? No pun intended. So So today, like, and I've said this before, if you make a bad decision today, you're just lazy. Right? Like, all the information necessary to make a better decision is available, like in your hand. Right? Like, there's ratings in there. Some categories, of course, there's not ratings and reviews, but for a lot of categories. Certainly your common consumer product categories in consumer businesses, there's plenty of information out there to make a good buying decision. So if you're like, Well, I you know, I want to get my hair cut and sucked. That's your problem. Right? You, you should have done more research frantically. So yeah. And so it happens all the time. And in the number of people that will now drive further, to go to a business that has better reviews. It's crazy. It's like 63%, or something like that, like, Yeah, well, it's an extra mile. But this is 4.7. And these guys are 4.3. So here I go.

Joelly Goodson :

Oh, yeah. You know, you talk about back to the brand and how they have to be quick and kind. And what was the third? Again, smarty clear, right. Sorry, I wasn't clear. It can backfire on them too. Because we're living in this, you know, social media world, it's a brand does something that pisses you off, you just go to Twitter, and you instead of telling your one friend before now you're telling your 5000 friends, right? So reviews are so important. And I think brands now more than ever really need to be transparent and making sure that they're doing what they say they're going to

Jay Baer:

do. And they're responding to reviews more to, but more it's more common now for brands to answer reviews, which is definitely a best practice.

Joelly Goodson :

Yeah, definitely. You mentioned earlier about triggers. And you just touched on it briefly. But I want to talk about your have six books that you've written and all of them bestsellers. Is that right?

Jay Baer:

Yeah, some more than others, depending on the category and the type of book. But yeah,

Joelly Goodson :

that's amazing. So I want to talk about top triggers, which is one of your books. And in it, you say the key to activating customer Chatter is the realization, that same is lame, nobody says I love this. Nobody says Let me tell you about this perfectly adequate experience I had last night, the strategic operational differentiator is what gives customers something to tell a story about I love that. So what are strategic operational differentiators?

Jay Baer:

What's the choice that you make in your business that's designed to create conversation? So we talked about this earlier? For me, it's the plan suits. Right? The fact that that I can give a great speech. Yeah, but that's what they're paying me to do. Like, that's not news, right? That's not an extra or unusual, like, that's the business that I'm in. But the fact that I do that, and they get to pick out which suit I wear, like, oh, that's the thing that meeting planners tell stories about. So the big awakening you have to have about word of mouth, is that competency doesn't create conversation. competency is really important, right? competency is what keeps people from leaving, right? It keeps people from from departing for your competitors. But competency is not a storytelling engine. If I went over and flick the switch, and the lights came on, I wouldn't be like, Whoa, you wouldn't believe what happened when I flipped this switch. Because we all know that's how electricity works. If you want your customers to tell stories about you, and you do, you've got to give them a story to tell. And that story is never the thing that you actually do. Because they know you do that, right. That's not story worthy. We tell stories about things that are different. That's just how humans are wired. So you've got to give them something different. So one of the best examples in that book talk triggers is Doubletree hotels. So for 30 years, DoubleTree Hotel gives every guest a warm chocolate chip cookie when they check in and they have an oven in the hotel, right? Sometimes like a pie like cookies on the counter. They give you a warm cookie. And it's like in you can smell it. It's in a paper bag. It's like a whole ritual. We did a bunch of research on that for the book and found that 35% I think of the Doubletree Customers have told a story about the cookie. Not about the pillows, not about the elevator, not about the pool, but about a cookie now, pre pandemic they were doing 75 1000 cookies a day worldwide 35% of those people talked about those cookies. Okay, so that's like 27,000 conversations a day about a cookie. Now, why does that matter? Well, here's why it matters. Doubletree spends less per dollar earned on marketing and advertising than any other hotel chain in America. Oh, wow. Because the cookie is the are the marketing department.

Joelly Goodson :

That's amazing. I love that story. I didn't know that I had I went somewhere recently, where they gave me a cookie. I don't know if it was warm or not, but I remember it. Yeah.

Jay Baer:

There's lots of examples like cheesecake factory having like the biggest menu ever, like they make all the foods. Like that's the thing that people talk about, about Cheesecake Factory. Lots of businesses have these pop triggers in mind is the plant suits. If you know what people expect, you also know what they don't expect. And the top trigger always has to be something they don't expect. You don't expect to get a warm chocolate chip cookie, you don't expect to get to pick out the suit. Right? If it's something you expect, then you don't talk about it. Because you know, yeah, that's that's like a light switch. Right? So it's it's really important to kind of do that research first. Yeah, and not just sit down with pizza and beer. Like, what would be fun?

Joelly Goodson :

Well, I think we've kind of gone for a circle because it reminds me of the woman at the airline Delta when she said to your wife, like, oh, you know, you are a special for us, right?

Jay Baer:

Yes. The one challenge about that is typically talk triggers you want to operationalize, so that it happens every October? Yeah, it's not just a one off. So that idea is excellent as a talk trigger. It just that one's a little difficult to sort of say, alright, this is going to be kind of how we go about our business. Right?

Joelly Goodson :

Okay, I have something for you, though. So if you say, you know, you want to be unexpected, and then you go and what if your, obviously, your goal is to have repeat customers come back again, again. So you've gone the first time you've been surprised, and you didn't expect it? What happens is now you go back, and you're expecting the unexpected, and you don't get it and you're like, Well, wait a minute, like, what's your

Jay Baer:

thought, Oh, 100%. And that's why it's dangerous. to only do it every once in a while, or to only do it for your best customers or your biggest customers. Because especially in a social media age, like this happens in hotels a lot when some guy checks in with a fair amount, right? Or whatever payout for something, right? And there's like a fruit basket or something on his table like welcome. And so then he puts it in social media. Wow. Thanks so much strawberries, right? And then everybody else is like, Hey, man, where's my strawberries? You're making one customer really happy. And a bunch more customers kind of unhappy, right? So I don't love what we call them the business, surprise and delight. I don't love that as a marketing strategy. Because I feel like you are, by definition treating customers on equally and I think that can can cause some friction.

Joelly Goodson :

So how do you get away? How do you get around that? Well, you

Jay Baer:

do it the way Doubletree does it right? Every person who checks in gets the warm chocolate chip cookie, not just for the membership program, or if you just have a suite or you're there for four nights or whatever, right? It's everybody. Right? So it's just part of the shtick. If it's about every transaction, then you're not treating people with different levels.

Joelly Goodson :

Yeah, that's great. I love that. Well, Jay, it's been so nice talking to you. I'm just looking at the time here, and it's gone by so quickly, but I really appreciate you taking the time to

Jay Baer:

my pleasure. I really enjoyed it. So lots of fun, great questions. What a terrific show is my pleasure to be here.

Joelly Goodson :

Oh, you're so sweet. Well, thank you. So people want to learn more about you and about your plaid suits. What's the best way for them to connect with you? Are you on social media?

Jay Baer:

Social media, of course, Jay Baer ba er everywhere the bare facts.com Is the newsletter. That's the best place to get my stuff if you want to pick up the suit dress Jay baer.com. Okay, well,

Joelly Goodson :

thank you again. I'm really happy to be connected with you. So we will stay in touch. I hope

Jay Baer:

anytime. I hope so.

Joelly Goodson :

Okay, thanks. Bye. And there you have it. I hope you enjoyed the conversation and maybe learned a few things to help you with your branding. But most of all, I hope you had some fun. This show is a work in progress. So please remember to rate and review on whatever platform you listen to podcasts. And if you want to learn more about me and what I do to help my clients with their branding, feel free to reach out to me on any of the social channels under you guessed it, Branding Badas. Branding Matters was produced, edited and hosted by Joelly Goodson - also me. So thanks again and until next time, here's to all you badasses out there.