Season 3 Episode 1
November 16, 2020

[Step by Step] How Do We Evolve from Customer Support to Customer Experience?

Welcome to Step by Step Season 3 by Future Commerce, presented by Gladly. This season of Step by Step is all about customer experience. Consumers have reimagined the customer experience, and they expect far more from a service interaction than issue resolution. The service experience is now as important, if not more important, than the product experience. As customer expectations are evolving faster than ever, customers are rapidly moving toward brands that are engaging the way they want to engage, and away from brands that are not. Companies that can keep up with these ever changing consumer expectations will be the ones driving long term revenue and winning over customers for life.

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CS is table stakes and smart companies are evolving towards CX. The only thing I’d add here is the context around why this matters so much. I think that’s where the conversation starts. Why do companies need to be thinking this way? Consumer expectations have forever changed, thanks to innovative brands who have raised the bar. They will no longer tolerate companies that aren’t easy to do business with, who don’t understand their unique situation and needs, or who can’t resolve issues in the first interaction. With nearly unlimited choice of products to buy, the service experience is now as important, if not more important, than the product experience.

Customer service really is a focus and presupposes that the role of customer service is about handling problems and issues post sales. Where a mindset of customer experience is about anticipating and sort of proactively offering experiences across the entire spectrum of a relationship that a company has with the customer, and those are very two very, very different mindsets.

Unfortunately, most consumer brands are still relying on legacy ticket-based platforms that silo the customer experience by channel, don’t equip agents to truly know their customers, and create friction for customers on the path to resolution. This means that they’re not only missing an opportunity to drive brand loyalty and lifetime value, but they’re exposing themselves to the risk of losing customers who find them hard to do business with.

What matters is how many customers did we help today? How well did we help them? What's their satisfaction rating? And I also think it's metrics that people historically haven't talked about, which is how much revenue did we drive? A store is measured on revenue. Why is your service team not? Why don't you think about it as a revenue center? - Joseph Ansanelli

What's the difference between Customer Service and Customer Experience?

  • Consumer expectations have fundamentally changed and brands are struggling to keep up.
  • Personal story of shopping online, not being able to complete transaction, calling customer service and learning you'd have to try again in the morning.
  • Made me wonder - why is this broken? Found the culprit - ticket-based solutions that fragment the customer experience, slow down service agents, and cause proliferation of systems (and their costs).
  • There had to be a better solution and we set out to build it. We call it Radically Personal service.

Ticket-Centered vs People-Centered

  • When you receive great service it doesn't feel like service - it feels like talking to a friend. The conversation is natural, you feel a connection to each other, and you have a shorthand that means you can get your point across without telling the whole story. That's Radically Personal service.
  • What it takes to deliver on that in a platform - people centered versus case or ticket centered with a single lifelong conversation, all channels in a single platform, ability to connect customer with the right agent, etc.
  • Amazon changed everything. Channels available today. The way people communicate with each other (SMS, etc). Expect brands to be easy to do business with and if they're not, customers go elsewhere.
  • Brands will win or lose based on the service they provide. This is the new battle ground. Especially with Covid - service is the new storefront.
The reality is companies are never going to out-Amazon Amazon, in terms of the things that Amazon can do. The scale. The fulfillment. You're never going to be able to compete. It's really hard. But you can compete on that experience you deliver that makes people fall in love with you. And that's what it's about. I think radically personal experiences are things that make customers fall in love. So it is so much of an emotional connection between a brand and the consumer. And the only way you can do that is you treat people like people, not treating them like cases and tickets.- Joseph Ansanelli

Thanks for listening to Episode 1 of our Season 3 kickoff! Drop us a line at or Subscribe on iTunes or Spotify so you don't miss the next episode!

Phillip: [00:00:51] Hello and welcome to Step by Step, a podcast brought to you by Future Commerce and presented by Gladly, this is season three of Step by Step. And we are so glad that you are here. So welcome. If you're just jumping into Step by Step for the first time, this series exists to get you deep in the weeds and teach you the fundamentals about a concept. But this season it's all about customer experience. Well, sure you've heard about customer support and you've heard about customer service, but customer experience is the next level. Customer support and customer service are table stakes, but smart companies are evolving towards CX or customer experience. You can drive brand loyalty and customer lifetime value and reduce friction with the customer and drive higher retention when you invest in experiences. So we are going to demystify the concept of customer experience. We're going to do that for five days. And we're starting today with Joseph Ansanelli. Joseph is an operator like no other. He's been on the show and our podcast about four or five times. And he's going to walk us through what you need to understand about customer experience and how it's something different to support or service. He's going to talk about how you metric experience and how smart brands are using customer experience to set a new bar and a new level of engagement with brands. We're also going to sit down for the next five days with some of the most incredible brands that we have ever had on our podcast. Brands like Crate & Barrel and Porsche, brands like Andie Swim and Native Shoes. We're going to have incredible operators talk about how they're driving next level engagement by taking support to the next level and evolving it into experience. So sit back and relax, get ready and maybe take some notes, because we are going to take you from zero to hero in customer experience Step by Step.

Phillip: [00:02:53] Today, we are beginning the first of five episodes here on Step by Step week. We are going to get to the bottom of a big question that's been looming large here on our minds and I'm sure on the minds of all of our listeners. It's how you transition from customer support or customer service to customer experience. And I couldn't think of anyone better to get us kicked off here for a week of Step by Step than, and none other than, Joseph Ansanelli, who's the CEO of Gladly. And probably the person I think has the most domain expertise and most qualified person to speak about such a subject. Welcome back for the fourth time, I believe, to the show, Joseph.

Joseph: [00:03:34] Phillip, Brian, thanks. Great to be with you again.

Brian: [00:03:36] So glad to have you.

Phillip: [00:03:39] Let's get... Cut to the chase. This is the big question that I think is on a lot of people's minds. What is the difference like just in plain English, what's the difference between customer service and customer experience?

Joseph: [00:03:54] I mean, I think if you were to try to describe it in a few seconds, [00:03:58] customer service really is a focus and sort of presupposes that the role of customer service is about handling problems and issues post sales. Where a mindset of customer experience is about anticipating and sort of proactively offering experiences across the entire spectrum of a relationship that a company has with the customer, and those are very two very, very different mindsets. [00:04:30]

Brian: [00:04:31] It's true. It's very true. {laughter}

Phillip: [00:04:35] But all of that's happening in different places now. This year, I don't think we have to tell anybody, we've all sort of lived through it. But this year, a lot of that support that used to take place in a different sort of context is now shifted online. Maybe people used to go into stores and sort of mill over a purchase or think about it for a long time. Now, all of that has to happen outside of brick and mortar, maybe. So let's kind of talk about that. We set the table as the environmental challenge. And this is the opportunity, I think, for brands of all sizes to try to reorient their business around experience and not necessarily service.

Joseph: [00:05:17] Yeah. I'll tell, if I can, just like a funny anecdote to try to bring it to life. We work with a lot of obviously born and bred direct to consumer eCommerce companies. But we also work with a lot of companies that have been in retail that have now built big eCommerce businesses. And you would be surprised at how many times we go and meet with companies and their service team is actually in the warehouse. And that sort of depicts the mindset of how a lot of people historically thought about service. They think about it as this part of the fulfillment problem.

Phillip: [00:06:01] Wow.

Joseph: [00:06:01] Does that makes sense? And I think then when you start to say, no, wait a second... And I'm going to share a little anecdote. Curtis, who's with our REI, one of our customers... Before they became a customer, I asked him, say, what's driving you? Because they made this decision to go with us literally in the middle of the pandemic. What's driving you to make this transition for service? And he had this really great story about how they need to transform this view of service as this fullfillment thing to what he called the green vest experience. You know, when you walk into an REI physical store all the associates are wearing green vests and they're all usually experts in various areas. And he said, we have to figure out how we're going to take that kind of experience that you get when you walk into an REI and you're talking to the person about going hiking Kilimanjaro in Africa or something. What boots you need? What's the great pack to wear for that? What clothing do you need? He's like, we have to figure out how we're going to deliver that same kind of experience to the millions and millions of people now that are buying at And he's like, that's a customer experience is really about. It's from beginning to end and hopefully a virtuous cycle.

Brian: [00:07:13] It's so important right now, too, because the truth is we've seen insane growth, just monumental growth that we never expected on the digital side. And so what used to be our flagship experience was our flagship store. Flagship store and digital store have really flip flopped. Now the preferred experience is digital. Most of transactions will be coming through digital. And so your front line support for digital has to be as good, if not better than the best service that you ever had in your flagship store, because that's where the majority of your money is going to come from. Super interesting.

Joseph: [00:08:01] I totally agree, I mean, we've talked about this on a previous session just about the eCommerce metrics that everyone's probably seen it where eCommerce is a percentage of total retail sales. Ten years ago it was about five or six percent of total retail. And every year was like adding a point. So it went from like five to 15 over 10 years, roughly give or take. From March till today I think it's almost 40 percent of total retail sales. That's like a fundamental shift that I don't think that's obviously going to change. I actually wonder if this holiday season it's going to be more than 50 percent of sales is going to be through online. That's amazing.

Phillip: [00:08:52] It is amazing. I think it's also quite daunting, depending on where you sit in a retail organization, because some of these things sound like high minded concepts of there's definitely some tactics you can employ to to make those experiences better. But most of them, day by day, are sort of in the weeds trying to just keep the operation running. And I've heard a lot of things over the course of getting ready to put together this series for Step by Step. And I've heard some things like "voice of the customer." You know, I've heard some things around, you know, OKRs and KPIs. And I still hear some of the sort of fundamentals of driving a customer support system. And so I think that was one of the things that we're looking to answer here is like how do you retain a people mindset and not necessarily like a tools and workflows mindset where it's not about the software, it is still about the people? But software can help you fulfill your brand mission at scale. Right? And I think that's where we're trying to index here for the next five days.

Joseph: [00:10:05] I think that what you measure sends a message. Right? And I think historically, again, this idea of going from a service to an experience mindset... Historically companies have measured service through like the volume of tickets or cases that people handle in a day or a week or whatever. And tickets and cases, they come from the legal case file. That's where that metaphor came from. And I don't know about you, but I don't usually look to the legal system in terms of thinking about customer relationships. I don't know, they just don't seem to match it. So it starts with that mindset of like, hey, what are we measuring? What matters? Right? [00:10:52] What matters is how many customers did we help today? How well did we help them? What's their satisfaction rating? And I also think it's metrics that people historically haven't talked about, which is how much revenue did we drive? A store is measured on revenue. Why is your service team not? Why don't you think about it as a revenue center? [00:11:15] And I think that that's part of the shift of the experience. And it's not that you want to, you know, turn everyone into these hard charging, quarter carrying sales reps or anything. But it's about being able to have a very natural conversation with a person, digitally having that conversation. And you are in the business of selling goods and services. So how do you optimize that? Crate & Barrel, one of our other customers, Kate, who runs the team there, she joked and said, "A year ago, if you'd asked me if I thought people would buy couches over chat, I would have told you that you're crazy." And now she jokes all the time that people buy a lot of couches over chat. She's really changed the way that they measure and think about service. And she's like, "It's fine if someone has a twenty seven minute conversation with a customer, if the customer has a glass of wine and is talking to them about redesigning their living room and they're buying a bunch of furniture." She's like, "That's totally OK." Where the old world way of thinking about it would be like, "Why did you spend twenty seven minutes on the call or on chat with that person?" It's like "Because they just spent thousands of dollars redoing their entire living room." Like it's a mindset shift. It's a measurement shift. And I think you obviously have to have the right software underneath it to support it as well. But it is a mindset. You have to start with that mindset shift.

Brian: [00:12:35] We're going to have a little... This is a perfect teaser for an episode ahead where you're going to get to hear a lot more from Kate about this very topic. And so if you thought that was an interesting anecdote, just hold on. Just stick around through the end of the week. You are going to hear a lot more from Kate. And she is amazing.

Phillip: [00:12:57] Let's kind of unpack what the next five days of Step by Step, five episodes ahead. What are some things that are important takeaways? How can our listeners sort of prepare for the things that they should be kind of prepared to take away? What are some actionable insights they might learn over the next five days?

Joseph: [00:13:16] So Kate runs the customer experience team at Crate & Barrel. And she, as I mentioned, she just has this great story about how they have completely changed the way they engage with customers through the context. And I think she'll share a lot about how they're doing all kinds of things around revenue generation and doing payments over chat and things that, again, that if you'd asked her a year ago, she never would have thought was happening. And then you have Melanie from Andie Swim. For folks that don't know Andie, Andie's a direct to consumer swimwear brand for women. And Melanie is the founder of Andie. And she has this great set of stories, how they realized that buying a bathing suit and wearing a bathing suit is actually one of the most personal things that you can do because it's like... She has a funny quote she told me, which is like "Wearing a bathing suit is like the closest thing to being naked in public." I mean, it doesn't get more personal than that. And so she realized early on in the journey that they needed to create these really personal conversations with their customers. And she's now measured it, and she has all these amazing stories about people that actually contact them for "support" actually are their best customers. And they spend the most money with them. And it's just a totally different mindset shift that she went through. And then Becca from Native Shoes, she is actually in charge of all customer experience, retail marketing, et cetera, for Native Shoes. And a lot of the things that they've done to really connect and build that personal relationship is this mission that they're on, you know, to live lightly and to minimize the impact of the products and goods that we use in the world today. And she really thinks about how you tie that mission to everything that they do, including their customer experience team. And then lastly, Jeff from Porsche. And Jeff has just got a great point of view around culture and people. And they have this whole program called Excite, which was this cultural change that they wanted to create at Porsche. People love the cars, but, you know, a decade or so ago, like their J.D. Power scores around customer experience were actually really low. And he talks about the whole journey of how they really transformed that, mostly thinking about people and a point of view. And Jeff's got some great, great stories to tell you. Also, his first career was a stand up comic. So I think hopefully he'll have some good funny jokes in there, too.

Brian: [00:16:05] There are a few.

Phillip: [00:16:05] Some of that comes out in our conversation with him.

Joseph: [00:16:08] Great. So those are the folks we have upcoming.

Phillip: [00:16:12] I want to kind of just get into some quick hits that I think some people might be thinking about, which is, you know, we've got a lot of people that are in operational roles that really have realized the benefit of using Gladly. And this season of Step by Step is brought to you in partnership with Gladly with us here at Future Commerce. I think some might be asking themselves, I think a really just honest question, which is there are a ton of solutions that sort of do this already in the marketplaces, as they may think. Right? There's a ton of solutions that they might already be using some of them. What's the impetus to start a company that introduces another one? What is the solution? What is Gladly looking to solve or what was the need that you look to try to meet?

Joseph: [00:17:00] You know that expression "Necessity is the mother of all invention." So about six years ago, my wife and I, we moved into a new house and I'm actually a bit more of the shopper in the family. And I was on this site. The name will be nameless to protect the innocent or guilty in this case. And I was buying on these like houseware things. I was buying like, you know, sheets and towels and thousands of dollars worth of stuff. And I went to check out and I never shopped with this company before. And when I got to the checkout, it didn't accept my purchase. So I'd spent hours on this thing and I'm like, oh, man, what am I going do? So I took a PDF of the cart and I emailed their support team. I said, "Hey can someone help me do this transaction?" And they wrote back and said, "Yeah, absolutely," quickly wrote back, which is great. And they said, "Call us and we can help you with it." So I call and the person on the phone doesn't have access to that email. I said, 'Well,I have this big order that I'm trying to make. I'm hoping you can help me with it." And they're like, "Well, you have to tell me what it is." I'm like, "There's like one hundred and seventy two things on this list. Can I email to you?" He was like, "No." I said, "Can I fax it to you?" He's like, "No, you literally have to go line by line to tell me." And I was like, why is that? Why is that broken? Why is it that companies can't know who I am and keep track of all the conversations that happen with me? So I went and visited all these contact centers, and what I realized in my journey of visiting 40 or 50 contact centers was that every service platform out there is designed and centered around a case or ticket at the center. And they think about service as a workflow problem. It's about getting a work item, assigning it to a worker, tracking how long the worker does the work, and being giving that worker more work. And we said, hey, that's not the way it should be delivered in the twenty first century. And so we said instead of centering a service platform around the ticket, let's centered around a person, and let's build a platform that is all about understanding who people are and matching that person, that customer with the best customer to help them. Going back to that REI story, when you walk into REI and they say, I want to go hiking, they're like, oh, you should talk to Jim or Jane because they are the experts there. How can we start to do that kind of matching based on who people are and then enable one lifelong conversation between a brand and the customer independent of channel, whether it's voice, email, texting, Facebook, WhatsApp, SMS, we don't care so that both the consumer and the company can seamlessly move and use whatever channel makes sense as well as self-service, so that you just have this one conversation that's going back and forth like we do in our personal lives. And we thought if we could do that, we could deliver on this promise of radically personal service, like really knowing who people are and engaging with them and showing consumers that companies have their best interests at heart. That was the big idea.

Brian: [00:21:35] I love that. It's very authentic, and obviously the term "radically personal" is something that's just core to Gladly and to you personally, so much so that you've got a podcast called Radically Personal. {laughter} So tell me a little bit more about this. Like explain in more detail what you mean by radically personal.

Joseph: [00:21:52] When you have a radically personal experience, it doesn't feel like a process. You know, it doesn't feel like I'm engaging in support. It's you're engaging with someone who knows you and they show that they know you. I mean, it's like how you would engage with a friend, right? It's very natural. It's likely proactive as opposed to reactive. And companies show that they know me. They say, "Are you contacting about the order you made yesterday?" Like, that's a very different question versus "Do you have a ticket or case number?" Do you know what I mean? First of all, it puts the onus on the consumer versus being proactive, which is, "Hey, I know who you are, Joseph. Are you calling about the order you made yesterday?" "Yes." And so you start to actually have that conversation like you would like, you know, when you go into your favorite coffee shop and they know exactly what coffee you get every morning. That's the kind of things that software can help do at scale. And when you start to do that, that's when people feel an affinity because, look, [00:22:57] the reality is companies are never going to out-Amazon Amazon, in terms of the things that Amazon can do. The scale. The fulfillment. You're never going to be able to compete. It's really hard. But you can compete on that experience you deliver that makes people fall in love with you. And that's what it's about. I think radically personal experiences are things that make customers fall in love. So it is so much of an emotional connection between a brand and the consumer. And the only way you can do that is you treat people like people, not treating them like cases and tickets. [00:23:35]

Phillip: [00:23:36] There's something that I've been saying a lot lately, and depending on when everyone's listening to this, this could be the 15th time they've heard me say it in a week. But there's a... I used to lead engineering teams, you know, earlier in my career, and I built engineering teams and a big portion of the failure that we would see in our juniors in the group is they started, they tried to solve problems that didn't exist yet. I'm reminded of that xkcd cartoon from the early 2000s is the guy asks his friend to pass the salt and after a few panes later with no action, he's like "I said, please pass the salt." And he says, "Oh, I'm building you an abstracted mechanism to pass anything first." And I feel like that a lot of software developers, they suffer from this, which is they want to get the thing that scales. And, you know, what's funny is I feel like maybe that's not even just software developers. There's something about delivering any kind of capability in a business that we're afraid of doing things that don't scale. So we do nothing as a result, like we were frozen to inaction because we're afraid of what if this is effective? I think that the thesis here is that technology is the differentiator. Technology allows us to deliver that brand promise at scale.

Joseph: [00:25:00] Yeah, it should be an enabler. It's an enabler. Right. It's an enabler. It's giving people culturally in the company. We obviously are all working distributed today post COVID. But, you know, I had this whole thing of like, you got to make sure you give people the right tools. And if you give you the right tools and you have the right culture, then the magic happens. And Jeff, at Porsche, he's you can sort of ton about this.

Brian: [00:25:24] Yes.

Joseph: [00:25:24] I mean, that was the whole point of view, which was like, you give people the right culture. He talks about this thing called the drift circle. I don't know, talked about you guys, but he talked about it with me, which is in car racing, there's this thing called the drift circle, which is like this big some round cement part of the track where you can drive your car really fast into and you make a turn and you sort of, like, screech around really fast and you come out, you know, do a 180 effectively. And unlike how most racecar driving where you have to, like, hit the line, like the idea with Porsche and the drift circle is you give people a drift circle. Like within this circle, you got a lot of room to express your approach to things, but you got to be within that drift circle. And when you let people go and you give them the right tools, then they can speed through that drift circle really fast. And that's again where the magic happens.

Brian: [00:26:17] Something you said really resonated with me around radically personally. And we look at so many articles and education and so many things out there about, you know, the things you can optimize to make your holiday shopping sing. And, you know, like all of these really, really tactical things that feel like tricks and tips more than they do like anything else. And I'm just thinking, if you want to have real power in your customers lives, you can't just resort to manipulations, to cheap manipulations. And I think that what happens is the merchants, when you aren't radically personal, when you don't care about someone one to one, you don't provide them with with things that actually means something to them for real, of course, we're going to resort and and sort of fall into just applying a bunch of tricks. But I think what I love about what you're saying is to me, being radically personal means doing things that actually matter to your customers, that actually have power in their lives for real.

Joseph: [00:27:38] Yeah, I mean, it's kind of a golden rule. I mean, I hate to, you know, be pedantic, but like, you know, treat people how you would want to be treated. And when you start to think that way and you're like, OK, well, what if I were on the other side of this contact as a customer, how would I want to be treated? And I want to be treated like someone who's, you know, a human being and I have a history and I have a relationship or I'm about to start a relationship and I want to make sure it gets started on the right foot, so to speak. And I think that it's not about scripts and that sort of stuff. It's really just about giving people information because, I mean, a great service experience or great customer experience is one that is usually two people having a conversation. At its core, it's a person usually talking to another. There's also self-service, which I also think is super important, which is we all want the tools and technology to help myself. So I don't have to necessarily talk to a person. That's really important, too. But when it does start to become a conversation between two people, it's about, hey, Brian, good to see you again. Thank you for this. Or how is xyz? It just gets the whole conversation on the right foot. It puts that consumer, that customer, at the center of it and it enables people to do stuff like one example from one of our customers... I remember when they first went live. They are a company in the fashion space and a customer was calling in to return a pair of shoes. And because they have now a people-centered platform that has all the information on who this person is, the conversation went from a return to, hey, I noticed this person is high lifetime value, buys a lot of shoes from this brand. And they said, "Hey, what didn't you like about them?" And very naturally turned that conversation into a sale of three more pairs of shoes. That's the outcome, that's the business outcome that comes from it, right? This is not just about, you know, Kumbaya. Let's all be nice to each other. You have a purpose, which is you have a bottom line. It helps your bottom line. And driving revenue and moving from a contact center to a revenue center is part of delivering that customer experience.

Brian: [00:29:58] Well, that's part of a relationship. It's not just about fixing things. It's about building and growing, and I think sales is a very natural outcome of good service.

Phillip: [00:30:13] Yeah, it's under appreciated. Yeah, sorry, go ahead, Joseph.

Joseph: [00:30:20] No, no, you go ahead. I agree with you. It's totally under appreciated. But keep going with your thought.

Phillip: [00:30:25] I think it's under appreciated that there's such a... I tend to engage in a lot of thought leadership. Right? And we'll have people on the podcast from time to time. And it's like, oh, well, let's index towards thought leadership and information and actionable insights and less towards the sale. And I'll be honest with you, when was the last time you saw an Instagram ad or a Facebook ad or a Twitter ad or any sort of other advertising that just like was so soft on the value that the ad was supposed to be providing to you? I think that some people really appreciate a really thoughtful recommendation or really careful and considered guided selling purchase experience. And sometimes that can only happen one to one with someone else in a consultative fashion. That's what we're here for. And so I think that, just to underscore Brian's point one more time, like good service is selling in many cases.

Joseph: [00:31:30] You guys know we do this annual Consumer Expectations Survey. We survey fifteen hundred, two thousand people. And one of the things that just continues to come out every single year we've done it now is this question of what's more important to a consumer? Is it great marketing or is it great service or great customer experience? And it has actually been continuing to edge up every single year where three quarters of people, seventy five percent of people say that they're more likely to do a repeat purchase when they have a great experience versus responding to great marketing. Yet if you look at budgets where people spend money, seventy five percent of a company is spent on like acquisition and marketing. And service, people tend to look at it and say, we got to figure how we're constantly cutting the costs there. And it's backwards, in terms of what the consumers want, if that makes sense. And it is way less expensive to get a happy customer to buy again than it is to get that first customer to buy the first time. And that's where this is about the bottom line.

Phillip: [00:32:39] So your retention business depends on a great service experience many, many times, and they expected of you, right?

Joseph: [00:32:48] Right. Right.

Phillip: [00:32:48] I think that's the biggest thing to take away, right? Like they're going to get that great experience somewhere. And if it's not with you, it'll be with someone else.

Joseph: [00:32:56] Absolutely. In the world we have so much choice...

Brian: [00:32:56] Like Amazon.

Joseph: [00:32:56] Yeah, right. Yeah. Yeah.

Brian: [00:33:02] And Amazon has changed everything. Right? And so I think it's really, really important even though you can't compete with Amazon or you probably shouldn't try. I think that if you don't want people to just go straight to Amazon, you've got to provide something to them that differentiates you. And what do you think about that, Joseph? How is the Amazon effect playing into customer service right now?

Joseph: [00:33:32] So you just said something which is you can't or shouldn't compete with Amazon, and I think I actually don't agree. I actually think you can compete with Amazon. You just can't compete with Amazon by trying to outdo what Amazon is great at. Right? So Joey Zwillinger, who's the CEO of Allbirds, who's a customer and a friend... They make the world's most comfortable shoe and now they're doing all these other things in clothing and whatnot, and they're really trying to really change the world in terms of minimize the impact on the goods and products that we use every day in terms of sustainability and whatnot. And their whole mission is how do we reduce our carbon footprint in the world? And they make these great shoes. And about a year ago, all of a sudden, Amazon branded shoe, which looked shockingly like their Wool Runner. And I was talking to Joey and I don't know if you guys heard about this, but I asked him, like, what were you thinking? You know, he probably had a few expletives when he first heard about it. But the approach that he took was he wrote this letter which went public, Dear Mr. Bezos is the title of it, sort of goes through and says, look, don't copy our design. Like his whole thing was take all of our materials so that you Amazon, who pollutes the world, can actually reduce your carbon footprint. And the company owns that because it is something that speaks to their customers. So everything they do is about making that customer experience one that people fall in love with Allbirds and the brand. And by delivering on that customer experience... By the way, I don't really think Amazon's been able to compete with a shoe that was a design knockoff. You know why? Because people love Allbirds. They love the mission. I mean, they go so far in terms of thinking about experience, like the chairs that they have in their retail stores are designed to make it easier to try shoes on. That's the level of detail you've got to be thinking about when you're thinking about delivering great experiences. It's about when you call the customer experience team, they know who you are. They have all your purchases at their fingertips. That's how you compete with Amazon. It's what's your mission? How do people fall in love with it? How do you deliver on that experience every single moment of the journey of the customer?

Brian: [00:36:03] That's the truth right there.

Phillip: [00:36:07] Yeah, it makes me so excited for what's to come in the next four episodes of this Step by Step series. I think there's a lot to really gain from the experience and expertise of the folks who are sharing for sure and the varied and incredibly different natures of the businesses that they're all in. But I would say there's this concept that we've said in the past that we're not all in the same boat, but we all are in the same storm. And hearing how each of these professionals, including yourself, have navigated 2020 to actually make it a year where they can actually reinvest in channels, reinvest in digital and make greater investments in customer experience. Those sound like opportunities more than they do challenges to me. And I think this is like the greatest opportunity that brands have right now is to try to rise to meet this expectation of delivering service at a better scale.

Joseph: [00:37:09] Couldn't agree more.

Phillip: [00:37:10] Yeah. Wow. OK, so we have four... There's four more days in front of us. Four incredible episodes. And this has been just such a great time. Thank you, Joseph, for sharing your insights with us. And yeah, we look forward to having you back again. I feel like you're our most tenured guest now.

Brian: [00:37:29] Yeah, I think so. I think it's right.

Joseph: [00:37:32] Phillip and Brian, I feel like you guys are friends, so that's most important to me.

Brian: [00:37:36] You are our friend.

Phillip: [00:37:36] Now if only I could get you out on like a swamp run with me, Joseph. {laughter} I'm get you to do it one day.

Joseph: [00:37:44] I'll do a swamp run with you if you do a swamp mountain bike ride with me.

Phillip: [00:37:47] Oh done. We could do that. Deal.

Joseph: [00:37:50] All right. Deal.

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