Human, helpful, and relevant. If the goal of your team and your organization is to bring these three qualities to life, you’re on your way to delivering a great customer experience.
Today’s guest on The Customer Experience Podcast has spent the past several decades building and developing sales teams and entire companies. An original HubSpot team member from May 2007, he’s spent the past dozen years recruiting, training, and growing salespeople and sales teams. And he’s learned and shared a wealth of knowledge about creating and delivering a meaningful customer experience.
I expect you’ll enjoy the info and the energy that Dan Tyre brings to this conversation. A HubSpot executive, Dan recently coauthored Inbound Organization, which is one of my favorite reads of the year. He joined me on the podcast to take us inside an inbound organization and show us how to grow our businesses in a human, helpful, and relevant way.
We also talk quite a bit about video email, which he calls “the biggest transformation in prospecting in 30 years.”
Dan’s view of customer experience is consistent with themes we’ve heard here on the podcast. Every touch point of a customer, from sales, to product, to support, provides an aspect of the experience. And if any of them fail? A competitor offering a similar product or service will be ready and waiting for that customer to defect from you.
“In the age of product parity, customer experience is the only thing that can influence the process,” says Dan. As a result, everyone in the entire organization must take responsibility for CX. He explains in this video clip …
In an inbound organization, this alignment and intention produce a “flywheel” effect – your company’s satisfied customers create new customers for you. This is a process that can only begin by providing memorable and remarkable customer experiences throughout the customer lifecycle. While it used to be that the average company had roughly seven competitors, as of 2018, that number has grown beyond 40! That level of competition helps explain why customer experience went from an afterthought or backburner conversation to being the only differentiator we have left.
My conversation with Dan covers ways to build an inbound organzation and to deliver a better customer experience, including …
- Why your sales team should be using video email
- Why customer success = company success
- How to create an engaging and empowering company culture
- Why employee autonomy fundamental to company growth
- Why “No Checked Bags” is a Tyre Family Law (spoiler: it’s about CX)
- Much more!
Video Email: The Biggest Transformation in Prospecting in 30 Years
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Each episode is also embedded in its companion blog post.
So, you can also listen to the conversation about company culture with Dan Tyre of HubSpot right here …
Find and Dominate Your Swimlane
As the old adage goes: the riches are in the niches. Finding and dominating your “swim lane,” is how your company can successfully compete. But by Dan’s observation, many companies fail because they fail to find or focus on their niche, even though companies that own a specialty tend to thrive.
People with stomach aches are no longer looking for general practitioners – they want gastroenterologists. And this same logic applies to every company that provides a product or service. Finding that specialty and then commanding market share allows you to win today and requires that you evolve for tomorrow.
Think about Netflix going from sending DVDs by mail, to streaming TV shows and movies, to producing and streaming their own content. By providing a niche service, dominating that lane, and then staying innovative, Netflix was able to grow and command a massive share of their market.
Get Out Of Your Employees’ Way (They Know What To Do)
If you want a thriving business, give your employees autonomy. It’s really that simple, even though we often confuse or complicate this opportunity.
Many companies keep their team members on a short leash, allowing them only a limited ability to make decisions. This can inhibit what they can do successfully in moments that require quick decisions – even decisions that specifically involve or affect customers. And those moments can cost your company a customer if they’re not resolved quickly.
Dan discusses why employee autonomy not only prevents this, but turns it around completely. It instills in each of your team members a level of ownership in how they represent the company and serve the customer.
Check out the next clip to see how this affected HubSpot’s culture …
The opening line in that clip above is a quote from the book: “No one at HubSpot is successful if the customer is not successful.” We all share this responsibility. We all own the customer experience. We should all be motivated toward each customer’s success.
This approach creates alignment and provides a rallying point that transcends silos inside the company. Every employee that interacts with customers can make decisions about that interaction. Beyond this, every team member has the tools she or he needs to deliver on those decisions.
Employee experience is intimately connected to customer experience. When the culture of a company supports and empowers employees, the employees are in a great position to serve and satisfy customers. Note: I also cover this topic on The B2B Growth Show, on which I cohost the CX series. Learn more about the employee-customer links in The Service Profit Chain here.
If you’ve not been thinking or working this way, how can you make the transition to be more employee-empowered? Dan and his co-author Todd Hockenberry have an answer: the MSPOT. Dan describes the MSPOT on this episode, but the duo provide a deeper explanation in their book and on episode 104 of their own podcast, INBOUND2GROW.
In short: the MSPOT is a single document or wiki that defines a company’s Mission, Strategies, Plays, Omissions, and Targets. If your new or current employees have all of these at hand and in one place, they know exactly how their role aligns with the company’s objectives.
Dan says this approach is the standard as of 2019. If your company isn’t empowering your employees, you’re going out of business … you just don’t know it yet.
Video Email for Better Prospecting and Sales
Human, helpful, and relevant. Of these three qualities, human is the most curious.
Aren’t we all human? The answer’s an obvious yes, but that doesn’t mean our our processes are. That doesn’t mean that all the touchpoints that make up the customer experience are. Especially when we lean too heavily on automation.
We need to find a balance. We need to restore a more personal touch to our sales processes and to our customer experience. Because it allows you to lead with your best sales asset (that’s you, by the way!), video helps you be more human.
And, as Dan explains in our conversation, “your technology should be accretive to making you a human being.”
But only a small fraction of companies are using video in their outreach. If you’re not using video for prospecting and sales, Dan offers a laundry list of reasons why you’re wrong and need to start implementing video yesterday. Customers need to see and hear you and video email is the best (and sometimes only) way to get in front of them.
For some specific reasoning on why you need to start using video right now, play this next clip …
Dan calls video in email the biggest transformation in prospecting in the last 30 years. And he should know! Again, he’s been building and training sales people and sales teams for decades.
Video offers a form of communication that we as humans crave over all other forms of communication – talking with each other face to face. The need for and shortcomings of text-based emails are numerous (Steve Pacinelli and I wrote an entire chapter on it called “Email: The Indispensible, Broken Tool”). We need email to reach our prospects and customers, but it can be dehumanizing and ineffective. For example, if you send Dan more than a few lines of text, he’s not going to read it.
Dan’s bold prediction in 2017 was that “every single business person in America would receive three video emails a day” within the year. Unfortunately, America was a little slow on the uptick. Dan repeated that prediction in 2018 and again in 2019. And still … no progress.
The next clip explains exactly why he so strongly believes in video and why he expects that the day of three videos per day is coming …
Recommended in the clip above:
- Get the book Inbound Organization
- Listen to The Customer Experience Podcast
- Lean into your customer experience
- Get the book Rehumanize Your Business
Dan thought video email for prospecting and sales would “move quicker than a hungry man at a buffet.” But it hasn’t. Why not?
We discuss this in the next video clip (spoiler: human vulnerability plays a large role) …
We must recognize the moment of vulnerability people can experience when they first record and send a video. It can be uncomfortable. Are we good enough? Is our video good enough? Will we be judged or, worse, rejected? These are natural doubts we experience as we get started with simple, personal videos. I can promise you, though, the reward is worth the perceived risk (which isn’t even a risk, believe me).
Imagine how sales people felt when they first had to use telephones in their sales process? Of course it was a transitional period, but they adapted and became skilled with the new technology. That’s exactly what is happening with video. Looking the camera in the lens to communicate, connect, and convert is a new skill. It’s a new sales muscle to build and flex. In the coming years, we’ll only see people using it more and more.
“If you’re not using video email, start,” Dan says. “Find somebody to help. This is the week to start. Let’s accelerate the curve of people being more human by video.”
Note: Rehumanize Your Business is the definitive guide to accelerating sales and improving customer experience with video.
What Baggage Claim Can Teach Us about Customer Experience
It’s not a guideline or a rule. It’s a law. No member of the Tyre family is allowed to check a bag when traveling.
“Why not?” you ask.
We’ve made such great advances in our modern day society. The telephone went from a huge brick to a slender, pocket-sized device that can access any piece of information. And yet, with all that progress, the baggage claim area of any airport leaves much to be desired.
The experience is terrible – poorly lit and unpleasant. Stark and depressing. No way to relax, no fresh air, and no innovation in Dan’s lifetime.
The experience is so bad that Dan’s entire family avoids checking bags and travels only with what they can carry onto the plane. Even on a recent, four-week trip to Africa!
Here’s the story …
The challenge here for you and your company is to take a look at the experience you provide your customers. Which parts have gone untouched? Which steps need innovation or improvement? How can you avoid the baggage claim experience and provide a fresh, first-class experience?
Learn more about building better organizations and creating more alignment toward customers.
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Listen Now to The Customer Experience Podcast
- “Sales Process Mistakes and How to Fix Them” with Jeremy Donovan (SVP of Sales Strategy, SalesLoft)
- “Showing Up Authentically to Honor Your Customer Promise” with Paula Hayes (Founder, President, and CEO, Hue Noir)
- “The ‘Holy Grail’ of Connecting with Your Customers” with Ann Handley (Chief Content Officer, MarketingProfs)
- Scroll through every episode right here
Coming Soon to The Customer Experience Podcast
- Scott Barker – Sales Enablement Evangelist at Outreach and Head of Partnerships at Sales Hacker
- Sangram Vajre – cofounder and Chief Evangelist at Terminus, coauthor of ABM is B2B, and host of the #FlipMyFunnel podcast
- Wes Bush – founder of the Product-Led Institute and author of Product-Led Growth
Improve Your Sales Prospecting with Video Email
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