Why Customer Experience Is The Only Differentiator Left

David Cancel, DC, customer experience, The Customer Experience Podcast, Drift, Drift.com, Drift Video

No matter your role or your industry, people are going to tell stories about their experiences with you.

It’s been said for a long time that customers who have a negative experience with a business are two to three times more likely to leave a review of that business than customers who have a positive experience.

A couple more stats that prove how important good customer experience is:

  • 88 percent of people trust online reviews as much as they trust their best friends’ recommendations
  • 80 percent of people choose to go elsewhere if they read bad online reviews of a business

Needless to say, if your customers aren’t telling positive stories about you, it’s impacting you. Whether you know it or not.

On a recent episode of The Customer Experience Podcast, I enjoyed the opportunity of talking with David Cancel, CEO and founder of Drift. Drift is changing the game when it comes to conversational marketing, personalization, and improved customer experience.

To David, customer experience is “the most important thing.” In his own words, he’s obsessed about it. Because technology continues to lower barriers and increase competition, CX is the only differentiator we have left. And it involves every single team member and every single touchpoint.

brand experience, customer experience, customer touchpoint, personal touch, emotional touch

In our coversation, he explains these dynamics, talks through conversational marketing, shares his love of books and some tips for more effective reading, and taps into his experience as a five-time company founder, two-time CEO, and Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Harvard Business School.

Throughout the episode is a recurring theme of a big shift to a new paradigm and the trends that are driving it. Enjoy!

Why Customer Experience Is The Only Differentiator Left

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Hear the entire conversation with David Cancel right here …

Listen to “19. Why Customer Experience Is The Only Differentiator Left w/ David Cancel” on Spreaker.

What Is Conversational Marketing?

To put it simply, conversational marketing allows you to turn your business into a 24/7 experience to service your customer’s needs, answer their questions, and do it in a way that leaves them feeling like they were taken care of.

Drift does this through integrated chat platforms hosted directly on your site, powered by them. A customer can initiate conversations and get answers to questions, whether it’s with a live person or via a chat bot. Conversations are, of course, the bases of effective sales.

sales conversation, conversion, lead conversion, sales success

There was a time in which businesses could dictate customer experience with very little negative consequence. There wasn’t much competition and consumer voices didn’t carry very far. Word of mouth was primarily person to person.

But now with an infinite supply of competition and with every consumer armed with a smartphone camera and platforms to share opinions, the customer experience has transformed into the single most important aspect of any business.

The paradigm has shifted. We can’t engage customers on our own terms anymore. They have the control.

In this video clip, David explains all of this further …

The Big Difference a Quick Conversation Makes

At BombBomb, we’re happy customers of Drift. Their tools power the chat features throughout our website. Back in the spring, as we were promoting the release of our book, Rehumanize Your Business: How Personal Videos Accelerate Sales and Improve Customer Experience, we ran a preorder bonus campaign. If people bought a number of copies of the book at or above a specific quantity, they received a reward for that tier of purchasing.

The top tier of the rewards was for purchasing 1,000 books. Sure enough, a gentleman got to talking to us through the preorder bonus page of our website. After a nice back-and-forth through Drift, I eventually moved the conversation to a Zoom video call with him. A few days later, he purchased 1,000 books.

All because we were able to create that personal touch and engage in conversation.

The kinds of people who are willing and able to purchase 1,000 books are the kind of people for whom personal connection is crucial. They’re making a serious investment (just shy of a $15,000 spend). They need questions answered. Their tiered bonuses included some detail and nuance that wasn’t easily or fully communicated on the web page.

“They’re not going to convert the ‘old way,'” David says. “They want to talk to somebody.”

The folks at Drift are empowering businesses like ours to do that.

Customers Don’t Care About your Role

It sounds harsh, but think of the last time you walked into an Apple Store. Even if the person who you first spoke with couldn’t help you, they were quickly able to get you to the person who could.

Were you ever at any point aware of that first person’s job title? Or her or his abilities? Or responsibilities? No, you had no idea. Nor should you.

customer experience, customer concerns, customer cares, roles, titles, positions

Because that’s not important to you in that moment. What matters to you is getting your questions answered, achieving your desired outcome, and having a good experience in the process. What matters to your customer isn’t that they’re chatting with the most qualified person or the highest-ranking person. What matters is getting their question answered.

David, who’s working to create “the most customer-centric company possible,” is evaluating roles and titles relative to customers’ needs and to increased customer control. Our organizations have been built for the old paradigm, not the new one.

Play this clip to hear David walk this concept out …

The Last Differentiator and All That We Are

Once all our needs are met, all that’s left are experiences. The only thing we’ll pay for is an experience along with an outcome – anything less is a commodity. Competition is unlimited. Information is free. Our final differentiator is the experience we provide.

David talks about first world problems and commoditization in this short clip …

But this is broader than business, which we’ve overcomplicated and tried to make more rational and logical than it really is.

“At the end of the day, it is how you make people feel. And that’s all that we can do on this planet,” he says. “That is it. That is all that we are.”

This is a beautiful blend of personal and professional and a fundamental acknowledgment of the “human to human” basis of all business.

Hear him out …

Doubling Down on Video from Day One

When you listen to the full episode, you’ll get some great tips on reading from a self-described “obsessive reader” (reading the right way and the wrong way, reading more than one book at a time, learning and growing through books, creating the space to synthesize ideas, and more!).

And you’ll also learn why he loves the medium of video and why his team doubled down on video from day one.

“We believe (video) is one of these megatrends that’s transforming all of business,” David shares. Today, we’re connecting with customers who are video native and so much content consumption has moved there.

Depending on your thoughts about video, he may call you crazyin this clip …

This post is based on an interview with David Cancel, CEO and founder of Drift. And this post is just the tip of the iceberg.

Take this episode – and any or all of the others – with you wherever you go by subscribing to The Customer Experience Podcast.

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With podcast questions or guest recommendations, please email me: Ethan at BombBomb dot com

Personal videos for more conversations and better experiences.

Steve Pacinelli and I wrote the definitive guide to the what, why, who, when, and how of an informal, conversational, and trust-building styel of video we call “relationships through video.” It’s packed with stories and strategies for sales, customer success, leadership, and beyond.

Amazon’s #1 bestseller in Business Sales, Business Communication, and Customer Relations is available right now for individual or bulk orders. This book was also 800-CEO-Read’s #1 bestseller in its first month of release and was a Barnes & Noble bestseller in its first week of release.

customer experience, sales acceleration, rehumanize your business


Ethan Beute

Former Chief Evangelist

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