CX Obsession PDX
This is the latest in an innovative series where we drop into customer-obsessed cities to invite exciting brands to come and share an intimate night of storytelling about how they build legendary customer experiences, culture, and customer advocacy into their brands. August 1, 2018 - Customer-obsessed companies in Portland, Oregon met for a unique program. Eight stories. Seven minutes each. Portland’s most customer-obsessed brands.Here’s what happened…As the event began, people poured into the bright green event room of Zapproved, Inc. in Portland, Oregon. Ready with a wide variety of beverages and a tasty spread of fresh, hot snacks, the AskNicely crew greeted everyone at the door. The customer-obsessed crowd mingled and met friends old and new. Sufficiently warmed up, they took their seats as Aaron Ward, CEO and Co-Founder of AskNicely, stepped up to the front of the room.
“Welcome,” he said. “Portland is truly customer obsessed. Brands live and breath by the success of their customer experiences. Tonight we’re here to listen to stories from some of the most customer-obsessed brands.”Speakers had to follow two simple rules: twenty slides, twenty seconds each.
Up next was Jennifer Bantelman, Senior Director of Product Management at Zapproved. “It’s about the customer,” she said as she told the story of how Zapproved set up NPS surveys at trigger points in the customer journey. But they didn’t stop at customer feedback. “We include frequent employee call outs.” Nothing is better than a weekly standup where they go over comments and ensure praise is widely given.
When Katie Bullard, Chief Growth Officer of DiscoverOrg, took the mic, she stressed that you should, “find the moments that matter.” Her example of how a retail brand took a bad situation—customers waiting in long lines at the after Christmas sale—and turned it into a successful experience by something as simple as handing out peppermint bark for them to enjoy during their wait. “That moment I became a loyal customer for life.” She stressed that you should give the customer a story to share and they will share it. “Get customers to become your salespeople.” Do this by creating moments that a customer will want to tell others about.
Ryan Carson, CEO and Founder of Treehouse, an online tech school, talked about diversity in tech. “Diverse teams create 677% return,” he said. The problem is that there isn’t a clear path for diverse workers to enter the tech field. “We established apprenticeships. It’s a technique that craftsmen have used for centuries.” And it is a successful technique as they have grown an entire tech team from Atlanta, Georgia. “We can change communities forever by changing how we see talent.”
Jenelle Isaacson, Owner and Founder of Living Room Realty, explained how she used her punk rock dreams to turn local real estate on its head. “What we saw in ads didn’t reflect who was in the community. We changed that by hiring real people and telling real stories from the community.” They concentrated on who they sold to and how they showed up in the community. “We talk like them.” Why? “Real stories are the stories people love and share.”
Ana Chaud, Founder and CEO of Garden Bar, said, “We don’t think of ourselves as a restaurant. We provide more than meals. We provide options for everyone.” She went on to explain that there is a feedback loop in customer experience. “We closed that loop by asking, how do you feel?” It brought the customer back to their Garden Bar experience and kept them top-of-mind. The feedback loop is the cornerstone of any customer experience model. "You make a choice, have an experience, and then feel awesome!"
“We asked the question, is this the right thing for the people who use it?” Todd Greco, Creative Director at Ziba Design said. He told a story about how a FedEx customer used a software interface compared to how the designer thought it would be used. The difference was staggering. You can’t create in a bubble. By paying attention to the needs of the end user, you can make the product even better.
Dave Sanders, CEO and Founder of Zoom Care, and the final speaker talked about the startup environment and how they began by asking one simple question. "What if the patient is the star of the show - not the doctor?" They crafted their product based on the customer experience and are seeing rapid growth.The night was a smashing success with attendees asking when the next program was ready to get it on their calendar. Others asked how they could be involved. Keep an eye on this space for videos of the presentations and take the emotional journey of eight customer-obsessed companies, twenty slides, twenty seconds each. Then watch the CX Obsession site for our next event.
How much did the audience love it?
Of course, we measure the NPS of every event we run and at the time of writing, our latest event was sitting at a solid 66.7 NPS. We've loved seeing all the great feedback coming through and have a few other suggestions people have made for the next event!