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Season Two Finale: The Greatest Lessons On Customer And Employee Experience
I’m excited to be back here with my amazing wife, Emily. We started this show a few years ago telling our story and sharing some of the best lessons, but now over 100 episodes, some of the best gurus on experiences, marketing, everything in business. It’s been an honor having some of these guys. This past season, we had the best of the best. We’re going to focus on this last episode some of the best lessons, things that we are applying on customer experience. Emily has been a big listener. You’re my first listener ever.
I will always be loyal. You will have that one fan.
You will always be loyal, which is a great wife to have. She’s a big part of what we do here with Fans First Entertainment in The Savannah Bananas. She’s overseeing our entire staff and the experience that happens at the ballpark. There are a lot of great lessons and I love that you guide us a little bit. We started strong with the first episode of the season with Cameron Herold and then continued it with the final episode with David Novak, who’s another mentor of mine, the CEO of Yum! brands. It’s jam-packed with great hosts and we will talk here about customer experience and then maybe we will have one more episode on employee experience as well.
It’s crazy that you’re even saying those big names because a few years ago, I never would have imagined that you were talking to the guy who ran Pizza Hut and Taco Bell. That was my dream growing up. It was going to Taco Bell or Pizza Hut every day. Now, you’re friends with a guy who ran them for many years. It’s cool that you have connected with all of these thought leaders and throughout the world.
That’s a great lesson in general for people who want to grow themselves. I said to you a few years ago, “I’m going to grow my sphere of influence. I have great young leaders here, but if you want to up-level yourself, you have to surround yourself with people that have already been there and done it.” I thought the best way was to reach out to them. It started with Thank You notes.
You weren’t asking for anything in return at first when it started. You built relationships with them. Some of them offered to come on the show and then others you asked, but you already had a good rapport with them at that point. It wasn’t a blind ask.
A lot of them, I’ve gone in their show. Jon Gordon, a big mentor of mine, I’m on his show, and David Novak, the same thing. It’s been a great relationship, mutually beneficial. If you’re trying to grow yourself, this is a great way to grow your sphere of influence.
The theme of the season was experience. While we want to focus on the individual business person and growing themselves, what you honed in on was experienced both in business or personally how you could be better, have more fun and enjoy life all-around experience. It’s divided into two parts: customer experience and employee experience. First, let’s start with the customer stuff. You kicked it off with Cameron Herold, Vivid Vision. I know as soon as he came off this episode, you ran into the office and you said, “We’re going to do this for the Bananas.” Walk us through what a vivid vision is and if companies should do it, why it makes sense for them and what it did for us.
Many companies talk about what they do, but they don’t talk about where they’re going. What I loved about Cameron Harold is he laid it out in Vivid Vision, a great book. It’s being very specific on where you want to go and what it looks like. It’s drawing the picture. I came in all excited, “We need a clear vision of our future.” Every company is talking about experience. A lot of company knows what their product is. They know what is their marketing. They know what they’re trying to sell, but they don’t have a vision for the experience and the feelings they’re trying to create for their customers and their people. That’s what we did. We mapped and said, “What can we be the best in the world?” It’s mapping experience for our customers and our employees turned into fans. I worked with the company and put together a clear vision.
I started with bringing Fans First to the world and then it got detailed. What was the experience happened in a ballpark for our fans when they first come in? What about our people on our first day? Very few companies we’re talking to and we’re fortunate to work with a lot, they don’t map anything. With this Vivid Vision, it’s, “What do you want to be the best at?” You then draw it out. Write out what happens when people come into your doors, when they come into your business. What does it look like? What music is playing? What are people wearing? What’s the smell? It’s been clear on that. Very few companies have it. Everyone has a mission or they have maybe their core beliefs, which most people don’t know, but they don’t have a vision. When you paint it, why do movies do well? Why do TV shows do well? Because you can see it. I think that was great. That kicked off the season and we started focusing on where we want to go and bring Fans First to the world. We started getting from there, painting it, drawing it and knowing where we’re going.
One of the things that you teach at Fans First U, you and Jared focus on internally when we are teaching other companies is starting at that very beginning. The first step before you even can map it out is what’s that first experience that a customer has? How are they upset with your industry or your business in particular? Let’s start it there and fix that first initial interaction. Scott McKain talked about that, how to raise your concepts and experiences and start with what’s ticking people off in the industry. Go into that a little.People say it's easy in the business industry, but any industry could be easy if you sit back and look. Click To Tweet
His language is, “What’s pissing off your customers?” The reality is you look at that and what do your customers hate? On one of our final episodes, Mark Schaefer said, “Stop doing what your customers hate.” It’s so simple, but people do it. I talk about a lot of these people you interact with. I don’t like giving business days, but if you talk to banks or if you’re the DMV. There are a lot of experiences that people hate it.
They know going into it is going to be horrible.
They are dreading it, so stop doing that. To create this perfect experience, you have to look at what those are. Scott McKain, All Businesses Is Show Business, another person I’ve looked up to for a long time. He said, “That’s where you start. There are many examples of looking at friction points in your business.” For us, it was very simple. Baseball to many is long, slow and boring, a friction point. What people hate is being bored. What people hate is being nickel-and-dimed. That’s why we did the all-you-can tickets.
People say it’s easy in our industry, but any industry could be easy if you sit back and look. There is something negative or a negative thought or assumption about each industry. Banks, easily I can say I hate waiting on the phone. I hate not being able to talk to a person. It’s always a robot. There are things that you can start with. While it is easy for sports industry often to do something crazy or come up with these excuses, any industry has a critical problem that can be disrupted.
We hate talking about problems, but you have to start there.
Start there to fix it quick.
Once you start with your problems, you can find what Scott McKain calls is the high concept. What is that clear high concept that makes you different? What do you want to be known for? For us, we never thought of a high concept but for us, it’s a circus and a baseball game breaks out. He goes, “I love that,” because you immediately think circus as flying and dramatically different than a baseball game. You think about entertainment and experience.
The term high concept might not be something people are familiar with but in reality, it’s what you’re known for. That’s exactly what we were known for. It was easy to say, “This is what people say about us. We will translate that into our high concept.”
Scott was clear about that, but most businesses aren’t. What are you known for? That was one fundamental theme throughout this. What is that? If you’re a business, you can’t say, “We’re known for better prices or we sell this.” It has to be distinct. Something that sticks out. Something that people will tell other people about. For us, when they come to our games, it’s like a circus. Our players are dancing, there’s a pep band, and there’s a male cheerleading team. All that is said, it makes it very clear. Once you know that, then you go into what are those little friction points? This is where some things stood out this season.
Two people talked about it very well. The first one was Jason Friedman, Customer Experience Formula. He’s a guru in this space. He said something that I immediately latched on to. It was, “You win in the transitions.” We work with businesses where we’re talking about this as well. Everyone has a first impression. Everyone has a product that they sell at some point. That’s what happens. There are these boxes that the customer goes through, but it’s what happens in between. Very few companies get that right. You go to a restaurant, you’re going to sit down, and you’re going to get your food, but what happens in between? What happens as you pull up?
That’s something that the owner, the leadership team and even any of the employees can think about. You said restaurants, we will stick on that. They think that their mission is to serve food. When they come in, if they bring a plate of food to the table, they probably think, “I’ve achieved our goal here as a worker or as an owner or whatever.” In reality, if you look deeper, it’s not necessarily that. Maybe they’re coming in to get off the street because they’re tired and they’re hot. Maybe they are thirsty. Maybe they wanted to bond with their family. We have no idea why people are doing this. They have many different opportunities to achieve a goal or to make something special in those moments while they’re waiting in line, while they’re waiting to be seated, while they’re being seated and their food is not out yet. All of those moments are those transition opportunities for something special to happen. That’s not necessarily the food. That’s not when they’re eating, but there are those chances when they can have a positive customer experience.
It’s those friction points of transitions that you win. You don’t go to Chick-fil-A for a sandwich. You go for how they make you feel. It’s the Chick-fil-A experience. It’s not just ordering your sandwich, sitting down and eating. It’s everything in between. It’s them noticing that they’re cleaning and they’re bringing things out to you. You’re jumping a little bit here, Donna Cutting who wrote the book, 501 Ways to Roll Out the Red Carpet, which has many different ideas. David Novak talks about this, that the greatest innovators celebrate something called pattern thinking. What they do is they take something from another industry and they bring it into their own. We talked about that all the time. It’s pattern thinking and he’s like, “You’re a great pattern thinker.” I’m like, “That’s the only way we can. Everyone’s done baseball.”
We can’t get ideas from our industry, so we’re going to other industries.
She talked about this restaurant in Newport Beach, California called Mama D’s. I was fascinated by these guys. They said people get excited to go to Mama D’s to wait in line.
That’s the time that when you’re going to a restaurant, that’s what you don’t want to do when you get there.
What they do is they have a red carpet and stanchions. They have magicians out there but they get there early because of the meatballs and the brand. Everybody that’s in line are bringing out their famous meatballs, their famous bread. It’s like, “You’ve got to get there early to get in line.” It’s like people calling us and saying, “I want to be put on hold because of our home music.” People are going to Mama D’s and it’s like, “I can’t wait to be in line to wait to finally sit at my table.”
You’re right about being on hold, that happens. I had a guy, he did this and he’s like, “Somebody told me to call up here and when I was waiting that I had here cool music.” Somebody had told him about that and he did call with a ticket question, but I put him on hold and he was excited when I came back. He’s like, “It’s real. You do have that.” That’s an exact example.
If you want to stand out, you could be known for these transitions, for these friction points. Another thing Donna brought up, which was interesting was she talked about the Durham Theater. Everyone that works in the theater are called showstoppers. They had the big top hats and they own that persona. They surveyed their customers and they said the biggest thing is the bathrooms because it’s in between the different shows and the acts that people would go to the bathroom. One time the lines get big and it becomes dirty. They focus much now not necessarily the show, it’s right in between the acts that they’re focusing on the bathrooms. All the showstoppers are greeting you. There are extra people in the bathrooms ready to clean. They are ready for that.
I’ve been thinking about this so much. It’s like, “We have our game, we have our shows. What are we known for our transitions?” Think about it, when you watch the Super Bowl, what are people looking forward to? They want the commercials. For us, we have eighteen different transitions in between innings, but then there are also transitions while people are in line. That’s why we have the DJ Peels on Wheels. We added all this to think how can you win in the transition? To go back to a couple of episodes, Jason Friedman and Donna Cutting were great. Another thing Jason Friedman talked about, and we’ve adapted a piece of this. It’s the ideal customer script and you weigh it out. What does it look like? For us, we started looking at it and calling out the PFT because we believe that every company should start looking at customers as fans.
If it worked in sports, why not in every other industry?
Fans are dramatically different. They wear the merchandise. There are fans of Yeti that are wearing their hats and shirts. That’s a cooler company. If you’re a heating or cooling company, if you’re a painter, if you’re in insurance, how do you develop fans? You’ve got to write that script. What does it look like? For us, we call it the PFT, which is the Perfect Fan Testimonial. This was a little bit adapted from Jason’s episode. If you were to write down what that perfect testimonial from one of your fans would be, what would it say? If you write that for us, “It’s the most fun I’ve ever had at a baseball game. It’s like a circus and a baseball game broke out.” What’s yours for your company? I bet a lot of companies don’t have it. What are they even trying to create? The reality is we’re trying to create an emotion, “It was so much fun. This is how I felt about it.” When you develop that, you reverse engineer and everything is about the circus and making the most fun at a baseball game. That’s an important thing that companies should look at. It was developed a lot from Jason Friedman as well.
You’ve implemented that in our Fans First U teachings. You’re having companies try to come up with their PFTs.People buy from people. They don't buy from logos. Click To Tweet
The next step, so you get the PFT and then you say, “You wouldn’t believe what happened.” If you think about any company, “I went to Sherwin-Williams. I went to go and get my car serviced. You wouldn’t believe that happened at the car place.”
Something unexpected, something surprising.
“You wouldn’t believe when I grabbed my sandwich what happened.” This goes back into the transitions and friction points. What would be your winning belief statement? Every night we realized that at the ballpark, you wouldn’t believe what happened, “The man did this in the crowd. You wouldn’t believe my two-year-old daughter was delivered a rose from a player in the middle of the game. He got down on his knee and he hung out with her and took a picture with her.”
The status that we’re at, people are starting to expect these things from us because we have raised the bar. In many industries, somebody’s reading who says, “I’m in insurance, it’s boring.” You have the perfect opportunity to do something unexpected because nobody’s expecting something fun or wild or crazy or thoughtful. It’s interesting because our bar keeps getting raised, but there are many industries. I can do something simple in these transitions or when creating that perfect testimonial that will stick out to people.
It’s the little things you can think about. What’s the behind the scenes? How can you take people or kids into things they don’t normally see? No matter what your business is, there are interesting parts about it that people don’t see and for kids, everything is interesting.
There’s intrigue there. Anybody wants to see behind the curtain.
We take kids into our locker room in our clubhouse. They get to play catch with the players before the game. You create those moments that they’re already fans. Every company, start with that PFT. What do you want people saying about you? What is that, “You wouldn’t believe” statement? That’s powerful when we do our Fans First workshops, we bring companies in and we work on that. It’s interesting to see because you don’t say, “You wouldn’t believe, they delivered to me pretty quickly.” You have to think over the top. That’s what most companies are either afraid to do or they don’t know how to do it. That’s a great exercise for everyone. Once you start doing that, then you have your customers doing all your marketing. That’s where you win because as we said before, we spend zero dollars on traditional marketing, but every game is sold out because our fans are saying, “You wouldn’t believe.” We have a twenty-piece pep band and they had band camp. Band camp is a real thing. I thought American Pie but it happens. They’re gone for band camp, which for me as a person who’s putting our show, it’s tough because they’re a huge part of your script. We’re the only baseball that has a pep band. They’re playing throughout the state and we have a sexy saxophone guy playing the baffles.
It’s audibly quieter. You can notice from anywhere in the ballpark that they were not there.
It’s a different experience. What we had to do is we wanted to bring in a DJ, at least to keep some music going. Because talking about the transitions, most people think that when the game is over, the game is over. No, when the game is over for us, that’s when we focused on that lasting impression. If you’re a retail store, when people buy something, they do a transaction and they walk out, it’s not over yet. What happens when they get onto the parking lot? What happens when they walk through the door? When people leave our ballpark, we usually have the band playing, the sing-alongs, our players are out there. It’s fun. We have free smores earlier. We had the DJ set up and it’s a different feel. All of a sudden, he starts playing the mine dancing, the electric slide, the cha-cha slide, the cupid shuffle. I had to pull up my camera and it’s funny, I became a fan. I started videotaping our players, our mascot, our game day staff doing the cupid shuffle, the wobble with 30 kids, adults and we had senior citizens. I was like, “This is a whole new experience.”
It’s funny, a woman came up to me at the fan services table and she said, “I lost my keys. I was dancing hard out on the front plaza that they shook right out of my pocket.” Somebody had turned them in and I had her keys there. She was dancing that hard at the party after the game that her keys fell out of her pocket.
“You wouldn’t believe, the game was over, I was dancing so hard that I lost my keys.” That’s a, “You wouldn’t believe” statement. What’s cool is all these other people are putting up their phones and everyone is documenting. You’re watching a three-year-old dance, the cutest thing in the world, with an 80-year-old dance with players. That’s part of what it is, winning in the transition. It was cool that you have to try new things or experiment with it. That was fun to see. What are your last impressions? What are your first impressions? What new things are you trying? Sometimes when you have a challenge, when something doesn’t go right, that’s when you can make a bigger fan. When you lose a typical part of your show like, “We don’t have our people right now.”
We could have given up and said, “It’s going to be quiet. It’s going to be boring like most baseball games.”
It’s like we don’t have a break-dancing first base coach. She’s got a gig in New York City. We tried to gain a staff member and then our dancing 6’8” Alex Deacon says, “I will coach first.” He’s a player. We have a player coaching first doing dancing. That could be a whole other level. Look for opportunities in that. Those are some great episodes.
We started with the vivid vision and looking at those first initial things that pissed customers off and then mapping the experience, mapping the journey. What else ties into that, that you remember from this season?
The episode that got some of the most traction and the biggest response was Marcus Sheridan. Marcus Sheridan is dynamite. He is a ball of energy and I met him at Social Media Marketing World. I remember hearing him speak. He was a pool guy. It’s very interesting to find practitioners. A lot of times, these people that have been out of business for a while, he started as a pool guy. He’s selling pools in Virginia and almost went bankrupt. He has a very similar story to us struggling. He had to find a way to sell pools. What he said is, “Why don’t we start answering our customers’ questions? It’s the simplest concept in the world, but it’s brilliant.” He gave a speech. What was great was if you heard speakers talk once behind the podium or on the stage, he went around the entire crowd and said name by name all the people, because they all had name tags. He gets personal with you.
It’s a great speaking technique. His whole book, They Ask, You Answer, was on this episode. He talked about, “Look at all the questions you’re getting asked and answer them on your website in content form.” This is fascinating because our games sell out. We get tons of ticket questions and what happens is our ticket salespeople answer them individually. The way to do it is video yourself one time, put it out there and answer your people’s questions, your fans’ questions before they are even asked. This proactive approach was brilliant. He went through the whole strategy of what things to answer. If there are price questions, if there are questions on the journey or the process, put them up there.
Many companies have their FAQ page, Frequently Asked Questions, on their website but it’s boring. It’s a ton of text. Nobody’s going to scan through that and finding the answer. What’s that stat that you always tell us about the content that’s out on the internet is going to all be video?
By 2021, the stat that we saw is 85% of all content on the internet will be video.
Our thought is to take these frequently asked questions, the text and transform those into videos or any other fun interactive way of telling them and put it up on your website that way.
I remember as soon as I read his book, I had him on my show. I ran into RJ, “What questions are you getting asked?” They’re like, “We get this, we get this.” I go, “How can you get that? Answer it.”
A lot of them are the same questions, they just answer it to a different fan each day.
What was interesting is Barry, our director of tickets, immediately filmed a tutorial and started putting that on the website. We did four videos of the ticket process, the ticket experience, we put it up and he’s got feedback from it. People are like, “Thank you.”We can all say we’re in the experience business, but fundamentally, we're in the 'how do we make people feel' business. Click To Tweet
We received what’s called a contact form on our website. It’s like a submission where somebody can write in and ask questions. He was proud a couple of days after it went up, we got a submission. It was a ticket question like, “Where do I pick up my tickets at the game?” The answer is, “At our call window,” but then a few minutes later from the same woman, we got another submission that says, “Never mind. I watched your tutorial video. All of my answers were right there. Thanks so much.” Before we even had a chance to respond to her, she found the answer that she was looking for on our website and now she has that educational piece to share with people.
How many times have we gone on a website that we were going to buy something and we couldn’t find the exact answers and we leave? The stat is 50% of carts are left abandoned on the internet. That’s shocking. It’s like, “We’re about to buy but we got distracted or we weren’t sure or there were questions that we couldn’t get an answer or it’s too difficult.” Talking about friction points, it’s huge there. Answer all the questions that have asked. What was brilliant was he said this video culture. Start videoing everything and we have a full-time videographer. We have a couple during the season. You look at outsourcing video or doing it here and there. It is probably the best marketing expense you could ever put in videoing everything. Video, all these questions that are being asked. Video your culture.
One thing we haven’t done, which I wanted to do right away into the season, but we’ve got to be real. Something that we don’t get done was the bio videos. People buy from people. They don’t buy from logos. They don’t buy from corporate brands. They get themselves attached to people. The whole idea was every person in our staff film an intro fun video, and on every email that they send, it’s like, “I’m in your inbox. I’m Barry. This is who I am.” It’s a quick one-minute video and you get to know them. It’s like, “I didn’t know you went fishing or you’re from so and so in Georgia or you went to school there.” You’ve got a connection because you can relate to people. People buy from people.
One thing we’ve got to put out, one of our thousand priorities is after the season, we’ll use our full-time videographer one day. We’ll film quick videos and put them into WiseStamp. It puts it on every email. It puts it on your website so people know who we are. They ask, you answer. Sometimes they don’t know what they’re going to ask but I guarantee you, customers want to know who they’re buying from. Marcus Sheridan was brilliant. In that episode you’ll question how you do video, what questions are getting asked and how are you answering them. When we talk about creating a great experience, it’s eliminating those friction points. Have the answers out in advance for your customers. Most people know if they want to buy or not if they have enough information. How much information are you providing?
We talk about video all the time and that’s the way the future is. I know you could go on for hours about it, but that’s something that we’ve started to teach more and people ask us questions on. Utilize it and make the experience better by using video. It doesn’t always have to be something in person. It can be videos done ahead of time. It can be done late at night when you’ve got time. It can be used in many ways to your benefit.
You can take out your phone. Shoot a quick 30-minute video and you talk about experience. If people do something great for you, do a quick Thank You video. We don’t get enough thank you out there. Do a short quick Thank You video and send it to someone or, “I’m thinking about you.” Every day you can do that. Barry and Matt in our ticket office do one fan a day. Shoot a little video. Thank them for what they’re doing. It’s simple and easy. It doesn’t have to be a huge production. Put that on, it makes a big difference. It’s a good production.
What else from the customer’s experience did you want to touch on or recap?
Jay Baer, his episode was a huge hit. Jay Baer’s first book was Hug Your Haters, but the one we talked about was Talk Triggers. We speak the same language because it’s all about word of mouth marketing. We both wear crazy suits. He’s known for his crazy suits. This is interesting, he puts a talk trigger into how he does speaking. He has a bunch of crazy suits. Wherever he goes to speak, he lets the organizers and the people choose which suit. It’s like, “Dress Jay for your event.” They get to dress him and pick out a suit which people talk about. He’s not speaking. They got to dress him for this event, which is unique. Even his suit maker puts little things, notes in his suits, like pep talk into all his suits. It’s those little things. What are your customers talking about? Create that word of mouth.
He told me about a glove company that makes their gloves scratch and sniffs and smells like maple syrup. Why maple syrup? I don’t know. It’s a good smell. People like it but hopefully, it’s not too hot outside. I can’t imagine working in a 100-degree heat smelling maple syrup. It’s work gloves. That’s a simple talk trigger. It’s one thing. Going back to the high concept, what do you want to be known for. His book was amazing. He gave numerous examples. He talked about this holiday world, which is in Indiana where he’s from. It’s a theme park and it does very well, but what they’re known for is one simple thing. All your soda, all your drinks are unlimited. It’s simple. They’re not doing something wild. It’s like, “We’re going to include our soda.”
Every one of their vendors and other people in the industry said, “You will fail. That’s where you make all your money” because soda is cheap. It’s like, “That’s where you go.” Everyone talks about it. If you go on all the reviews, “It’s the best. The free drinks all night was amazing.” They’re not talking about the rides. It’s about the free drinks. Think about that. That’s a little thing which you’re known for. That’s a creative talk trigger, which everyone is talking about. The one that I love is the Graduate Hotel, which we had a little carry over because Tyler Anderson, who we interviewed on user-generated content, he talked about this as well. Everything in the hotel is a talk trigger. They set up hotels in college areas. Every key card has a picture of a famous person from that area back when they were young in high school or college. They’re different ones. People are spreading and sharing thousands of pictures of hotel key cards.
That was such a great opportunity. This is one of those boring things that can be made fun. Now, people are sharing it on the internet and it’s a key card.
What little element do you have? Our tickets are banana-shaped. We did scratch and step banana tickets before. Invoices are boring. What do you do to make them interesting?
There are many opportunities in your industry that you can change.
Graduate Hotel, they build their whole thing with the artwork, the designs. It’s all built in that. One other thing he talked about was in Berkeley, their big rival is Stanford or something. They have one of these big rivals and they made all their urinal kegs of their rival, which we grabbed and took and now add our entire stadium here Macon Bacon urinal kegs. We’ve seen people take pictures of them.
Where else are you going to take a picture of a urinal? We get pictures of our urinals taken.
I saw a woman took pictures of the signs we have in the women’s bathroom that says, “Drop it like it’s hot,” which I don’t know what that means.
I think it’s like a squat.
It’s fun and it’s a talk trigger. What are those talk triggers that you have? Jay gives examples of how to find them and what to look for. He did a nice episode on his podcast and listed all of ours. We try to build our whole company based on that.
We can add more. Everybody can add more, but there are lots of opportunities.
I’m excited about Tyler Anderson and user-generated content. It goes back to the customers and your marketers. We’re talking about experience here because if you create a great experience, your customers will do the marketing for you. The one that I loved was Soapy Joe’s. I came back excited when I heard him speak about a car wash in San Diego that does car wash karaoke. They have a prize, $1,000 and thousands of people enter this. They get a car wash done and they filmed themselves doing karaoke to win $1,000. You have to share it all over social media. They have people doing Bohemian Rhapsody, they have couples doing love songs, there were families dressed up in costume. These groups went all out.
Can you imagine thinking and planning ahead to dress your family up and leave your house to get a car wash that you can film it being done? That’s brilliant that they have gotten fans to become that big a fan.
It’s like, “We’re going to the carwash. Get your costumes ready. It’s car wash time,” and then they shared it and then they get loved. They’re looking like they’re the hero. Think about it, all their friends are like, “This was awesome,” but then Soapy Joe’s is the one who put it on.We, in the business world, need to focus more on experience than the products we sell. Click To Tweet
One of you can make it competitive too and not everything, but it’s fun if there are different competitions because people get competitive. I can see friends being like, “I can do a better karaoke than that.”
It’s a battle and this goes back to pattern thinking. We’re not able to get it done, but we tried to do golf cart karaoke with players picking up families in the parking lot, bringing them into the stadium while doing karaoke. It’s brilliant because they don’t have to market it. Everyone else is doing it for them. Think about that user-generated content. Tyler made a great example on the episode. He said, “If you put something at your location that’s a selfie spot, it’s not a selfie spot. You don’t tell people what it is, let them create it themselves.” He talks about the Donut Bar. They put these giant wings on their wall and people would get in front of it. You probably are seeing those pictures. People get in front of it and take a picture where it has Donut Bar. They make all their donuts crazy different design, Star Wars theme, Disney themes, you name it. For the social media marketing world, he had Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest. He had all of them designed.
They’re creating designs that people are going to share. People share pictures of their food, whatever. If you make it unique and different like people take pictures of our bathrooms, of our tickets and things like that. User-generated content, what can you create in your experience that’s unique that people will want to share it and take pictures? That’s why I get fascinated at the end of the night that everyone’s got their cameras up because they’re filming our players dancing. It’s 10:30 at night and they’re filming the post-game party in a plaza. What are you creating with your business to get your customers or hopefully your fans to start sharing? We only have to think about that and think about how do you map that experience. That was brilliant. The final one and from the experience. I’ve become close with him and he’s blown me away, it’s Mark Schaefer. It’s very similar. His book, the Marketing Rebellion, it’s how to get your customers to do the marketing. I’m very excited about the Cirque du Soleil example.
I love the idea of thinking differently. The example that you’re talking about was Cirque du Soleil, where I was fascinated how they said they were hooking up, I don’t know how they did it, by some contraption to people’s minds. They put something on their head and they measured their brain wavelengths and their excitement every time the fan was in awe of something or they liked a part of the show or maybe they didn’t get very excited. They were studying their brain. I thought that it was interesting because rather than send out an email survey, they are now hooking something up to your brain to get your real reactions. That’s where I was blown away by how advanced they became of studying the fan and deciding what they wanted more of and what they wanted to take out of their shows. This wasn’t just an arbitrary, “Get feedback from somebody.” They cared so much about the customer experience, the fans’ reactions that they studied their brains while they were watching it.
It’s the next level. We can all say we’re in the experience business, we’re in the entertainment business but fundamentally, we’re in how do we make people feel? Now they’re studying like are they intrigued? Are they getting excited, shock, happy, sad? That’s the business we’re doing. Between all this, when we’re trying to create the high concept or the word of mouth marketing or try to create user-generated content, any of this, how do you make people feel? When you’re creating that script, design it. Cirque du Soleil is designing their entire show based on real reaction. I guarantee its ups and downs just like us.
A great movie takes you in and it’s not all laughter the whole time. There are tears. There’s emotion. That’s what many people don’t know and that we don’t talk a lot about here is when we create a script, it is self-intentional on how we map the emotions of our fans, which is bonkers because if you think about a baseball game, “Whatever happens, I hope they win.” We’re trying to choreograph the emotions. I will give you an example. When we do our military salute and we get on the field and all the players are tipping their hat. We have all the people that served our country standing. We have the entire stadium singing God Bless the USA. That’s a goosebumps moment. When we have our strikeout cancer walk and we have the cancer survivors walk, those are goosebumps moments.
You sandwich those in the script somewhere between something exciting.
It’s between those moments and then we will have 4,000 people standing and dancing. We will do something on the field where either dads are acting like babies or they’re acting like animals or they’re passing tennis balls between their neck in a very weird way to get laughter.
It’s a great point because a lot of companies, if they can get their employees to buy in, then a lot of times there’s a lot of emphasis on the front side. It’s very front heavy. We put in a lot of effort. People show up for their shift and they’re on cloud nine, they’re feeling good and then it’s downhill. They start clocking out or in their head, they start checking out. For you, what you have done with the script is making sure that there are continuous highs throughout the night. For the people, it’s like what we always talk about when we leave a restaurant. We are rarely greeted as we’re leaving. We’re greeted when we come in on the front end, it’s front heavy. As the night goes on, your experience dwindles. It’s almost the opposite. Why not have the experience get better so that when people are leaving, it’s that what’s in their mind. It’s that good last impression. We all talk about the first impressions and there are few people out there concentrating on the last impression. I think that’s a great point.
It’s intentional and they may be intentional in it. A great example too was Johnny the Bagger, which we share with our staff all the time. Long story short, it was a young man with Down Syndrome at a grocery store. He came up with this idea with his dad to write little notes, positive, inspirational, happy, fun quotes that he puts in the bags of groceries when people are leaving. After a few days, the people on his line was the longest ever. They were open lines, but people wanted to be in Johnny the Bagger’s line. People were talking about it and it was a little touchpoint and it was thinking, “How do you make people feel?” Coming from him, it went a long way. That resonated throughout the entire grocery store.
It was cool to see that in the forest department they started giving little roses to kids that were coming. Now we talk to give roses to our fans, then in the Deli they were giving stickers and it went all the way around. When you do that, you’re making people feel something special. In most companies, you don’t feel anything and you don’t talk about it. When you come down to the experience, to get it very clear, it’s how you’re making people feel and what do you want to be known for? That’s what inspired me from many of these guests. One of the guests that inspired me tremendously is Jon Gordon. I talk a lot about him in building culture and what he does, but his book has hit home with me. It’s called The Coffee Bean.
It’s a very simple principle. When you put a carrot into hot water, it becomes soft, it becomes weak. When you put an egg into hot water, it’s hard-boiled. If we put a coffee bean in hot water, it becomes coffee. We all get dealt with adversity. We all get dealt with challenges. In every company, you’re going to have friction points. You’re going to have customers that get upset. A lot of times, companies will either become the hard-boiled egg, become negative, pessimistic and hardened over or they will become the carrot and become weak, soft and give up. The great ones become the coffee bean and they infuse their positivity and make the whole environment become a better experience. That is such a great analogy hopefully to leave us with. How are you making people feel? Are you the coffee bean or are you the egg or are you the carrot and start designing the experience? Start being intentional. That was a great season. I hope everyone can go back and listen to some of these amazing guests.
There were many others that we couldn’t recap. This is just a small percentage.
We, in the business world, need to focus more on experience than the products we sell, than the marketing, sales, revenue, profit. Focus on the experience and how you make people feel and everything else will take care of itself. That’s what we’ve learned and we’re fortunate to be working with numerous companies developing. When you see the a-ha moments of a business owner or someone who’s been working for someone for twenty years and they’re like, “I got this email from someone that said this was one of the best experiences ever.” We get those. We’re fortunate, every day we get positive emails. How can you build on your company? The only way you’re going to do that is through the experience.
It’s a great recap. I hope everybody enjoys the season two, customer experience.
There it is, season two finale. We will have more coming in season three. Thanks. It’s been a wild journey. We learned a lot and we appreciate you.
- Cameron Herold – previous episode
- David Novak – previous episode
- Vivid Vision
- Scott McKain – previous episode
- Mark Schaefer – previous episode
- All Businesses Is Show Business
- Jason Friedman – previous episode
- 501 Ways to Roll Out the Red Carpet
- Marcus Sheridan – previous episode
- They Ask, You Answer
- Jay Baer – previous episode
- Hug Your Haters
- Talk Triggers
- Tyler Anderson – previous episode
- Soapy Joe’s
- Marketing Rebellion
- Jon Gordon – previous episode
- The Coffee Bean