How do you treat your customers every day? Do you coddle them? Do you steer them toward your quota? Or do you guide them down the right path?
What if I told you you’re missing the most important rule of all?
Here it is: creating and delivering a customer experience that respectfully treats your customers like humans.
This is a smart and valuable approach in pretty much every industry, but it’s especially important in fields such as healthcare. There, your goal isn’t just to provide a great customer experience, but also to improve the quality of life or even to make the difference between life and death.
Kristy Krueger lives and works by this mantra in leading the marketing team at Revel, a healthcare technology company that helps people create positive actions that lead to live longer, healthier lives.
In this episode of The Customer Experience Podcast, Kristy takes a fun “Two Truths and a Lie” approach to share what she’s learned through serving customers and creating better outcomes with them. They are:
- Treat your customers like humans.
- Work on customer experience only if it’s in your job title.
- Live and breathe your brand promise.
Yes, you should be able to spot the lie. If not, it’s all revealed in this post and in our conversation, which started where we always start: thoughts about or definition of “customer experience.”
“It’s really the opportunity to touch people’s lives,” Kristy explains in addressing that opening question. For more detail, play the short video clip below (fun spoiler: she invokes Oprah and Bradley Cooper) …
Each customer’s experience is her or his own, but together these experiences create your brand legacy. This is how our conversation began – see where it goes by browsing this post, playing the clips, and even listening to the full conversation, which we always embed in these blog posts. Enjoy!
Brand Legacy Is a Human Thing (Not a Corporate Thing)
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As mentioned above, we always embed the full recording here in each podcast episode’s blog post. So you can also listen in on Kristy Krueger right here…
A Customer-Centric Brand Legacy
Throughout the conversation, Kristy does a great job of connecting brand promise to brand experience and brand legacy.
“It’s the customer’s experience that becomes part of your brand’s legacy,” Kristy says. “Not the brand alone.”
For herself and her team, great customer experience is at the center of what success means to a brand. See what she thought about when asked the difference between brand experience and customer experience in the next clip …
Realizing that this can be a difficult achievement to unlock, Kristy offers a simple solution with powerful results: treat every touch point with customers as an opportunity to make the world a better place. Though this might seem big, soft, or even impossible, in time you’ll see how powerful an impact you can have with your customers by approaching your work this way.
So, customer experience and brand experience have a close relationship and may even be synonymous. But one naturally occurs after the other when your customer is at the focus of the brand.
“It starts with the brand, because when you build a brand, it’s aspirational,” explains Kristy. “But you should also be thinking about what your customer’s needs are and how your brand can service them.”
Truth #1: Live and breathe your brand promise from the inside out.
Helping customers is at the forefront of what we do as marketers. Helping them through the filter of our brand promise provides a unique customer experience and reinforces their positive association with us. Again, it’s the foundation of our brand legacy.
“Your customers will be truly connected to you when they believe in the promise that the brand is making,” Kristy says. In this video clip, she explains their brand promise and ways they make sure it’s alive, well, and lived from the inside of the organization out to the customer …
“At every team meeting, we talk about client experiences,” Kristy shares. “It makes us feel really good about what we do.” Connecting people, actions, and meeting topics to a greater purpose or “why” was inspired by Simon Sinek and one of the most popular TED talks of all time (How Great Leaders Inspire Action).
As a company, business, or leader in your industry, your confidence and success come from how consistently you meet or exceed your customers’ needs. Delivering on your brand’s promise means showing customers how important they are to you. They’ll support the brand because you’ve supported them.
Truth #2: Treat your customers like humans.
Kristy mentions how impersonal so many of our marketing efforts can feel. Delivering “just okay” is almost always below what a customer can expect and she says that treating clients like humans means providing more than “okay” experiences. And just okay is not okay.
She explains below why, for Revel, they work constantly to exceed the status quo – and uses a funny ad to demonstrate. Check it out in this clip …
“This is people’s health,” Kristy says. “Even in business, we’re always a person-first company.”
By consistently going above and beyond to deliver the results and outcomes customers need, your company demonstrates how you value each customer as a human and just not a number, a transaction, a sale, or a revenue measure.
That’s something that strongly resonates with us here at BombBomb; it’s consistent with our core values. But many comanies still miss this “human” connection and thus, create and deliver a customer experience that’s “just okay.”
The Lie: Work on customer experience only if it’s in your job title.
A huge lie in marketing is that only people with the word “Client” or “Customer” in their title are responsible for the customer experience. Not only is this false, but it also works against a company’s goal of serving their customers. Kristy explains why everyone in the organization is responsible for this experience in the clip below …
“You are in a community with your clients,” Kristy said. “Everyone creates the experience together.” And building that community only strengthens their bond with your brand.
Building a Brand Legacy Takes Teamwork
One of the ways that Revel excels at ensuring that their promise results in legacy is through one of their core values: fanatical teamwork.
It’s so important that they wove it into their core mission as a pillar of how they conduct business.
Everyone at Revel knows to ask herself or himself “What if this person was my best friend? How can I make their life better? How can I go above and beyond?”
AS VP of Marketing, Kristy’s work is to move people to new thoughts, new actions, and new habits. Like all marketers, she’s in the change business.
Kristy does this in two ways.
- 1 She understands her members through data that helps her to pull facts based on their personal preferences.
- 2 She uses behavioral science to craft messages that resonate with the individuals she is trying to target.
What would it look like to reach out and make a personal connection with each one of your customers?
“It’s about living your brand promise and your promise to your customer because you believe in it,” Kristy says
A Podcast Guest That Created Change for Kristy
As always, we like to leave our guests and audience with a moment of thanks for someone that helped them along the way. For Kristy, this happens to be a previous guest of our on the podcast, Ann Handley (Episode 5: The Holy Grail of Connecting with Your Customers). She felt empowered by the Marketing Profs B2B Forum.
In Ann’s episode, we discussed the importance of building a brand and a community by taking a more personal and human approach. Echoing Ann’s statements, Kristy thanks and reiterates the same ideology in the clip below …
This commitment to brand promise will transform your company and customer experience. I think that’s a powerful challenge to you as a podcast listener as you head back into your work.
Get more from The Customer Experience Podcast!
Subscribe (and leave a rating or review):
CX Conversations to Enjoy Right Now:
- “Showing Up Authentically to Honor Your Customer Promise” with Paula Hayes (Founder and CEO, Hue Noir)
- “The Holy Grail of Connecting with Your Customers” with Ann Handley (Chief Content Officer, MarketingProfs)
- “Why Customer Experience Is The Only Differentiator Left” with David Cancel (founder and CEO, Drift)
- See overviews of every episode by clicking right here
CX Conversations Coming Soon:
- Head of HubSpot’s new Service Hub Mike Redbord (HubSpot)
- Director of Customer Exprience Luke Owen (Formstack)
- Co-author of Customer Centricity and Executive Director of Wharton Interactive Sarah Toms (The Wharton School of Business)
I welcome your podcast feedback or guest recommendation – reach out by emailing Ethan (at) BombBomb (dot) com or by connecting on LinkedIn.
Be Human in Your Communication
If your brand promise and brand legacy are rooted in a more personal and human experience, we’ve got a book for you.
In it, you’ll learn how to make any email as warm, personal, and effective as a face-to-face meeting by using simple, personal videos in place of some of your faceless, typed-out text.
The definitive guide to better business communication was received as the Amazon #1 bestseller in Business Sales, Business Communication, and Customer Relations, the 800-CEO-Read #1 bestseller in its opening week of release, and a Barnes & Noble bestseller it its opening week of release.
Learn more about Rehumanize Your Business and get links to several places to buy it by visiting our book page.