Living in Bloomington Indiana has a lot of perks, and one of them is sharing the same hometown as Jay Baer. Over the past year I have reached out to Jay, grabbed a few lunches and gotten to know him as a friend. Jay Baer is a renowned business strategist, inspirational keynote speaker and the New York Times bestselling author of five books who travels the world helping businesspeople gain and keep more customers. Jay’s latest book is Hug Your Haters, which gives businesses insight on how to embrace complaints and keep their customers.
I asked Jay if he would share some of his insights on customer experiences and what the future holds for 2017.
Matt: How can companies increase their response times to meet customer’s expectations?
Jay: Three key steps to being faster. First, it needs to be someone’s defined role in your organization. Second, you have to make an internal commitment to replying within a certain period of time, and measure against that. Third, you have to make it a priority because if your actual process is to answer unless something else comes up, something else will ALWAYS come up!
Matt: In an era where similar businesses are a Google search away how can businesses’ differentiate themselves?
Jay: Increasingly, it’s with strong reviews. Take a look at the Google search results for any B2C (and some B2B) businesses. Five or six of the first page results will include ratings, including Google itself! It doesn’t matter if you marketing is good if your reviews suck.
Matt: Where are companies missing the mark with customer experience?
Jay: Companies are too quick to say “oh, well. we disappointed that customers. there will be others.” Customer experience and customer service is a spectator sport today. Customers can (and do) talk A LOT, and one upset customers can mean a lot of lots business down the road.
Matt: What’s the best piece of advice you can offer to companies looking to optimize customer experience?
Jay: Understand exactly what customers expect, and exceed it in one or more obvious, palpable ways. You don’t have to be good at everything to provide a noteworthy customer experience. Instead, you have to be GREAT at at least one thing.
Matt: Are there any specific metrics that you use to measure customer experience?
Jay: Net Promoter Score is perhaps the best, where you ask customers “On a scale of 0-9 how likely are you to recommend our business to a friend or colleague?”
Matt: How can businesses up their customer experience game on social media? Are there certain channels they should focus on over others?
Jay: Focus where your customers are is the best advice. But typically, the places where customers are most likely to expect the ability to interact with business are Facebook, Twitter, and increasingly Instagram. And ratings and reviews sites are massively important too.
Matt: What are a few aspects of customer experience that have stood out for you so far this year and what are some areas that you are most excited to watch going into 2017?
Jay: Twitter and Facebook have added a lot of functionality to really make it easier for companies to do customer service on those platforms. That’s interesting. Also, the rise of bot and app-based interactions is going to be a game changer. Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, etc are going to change everything.
Check out Jay’s website for more information on his books and videos of his speeches.
Interview by: Matt Ruedlinger (president of Triple R Marketing)