Customer Experience AMA With Greg Kihlstrom

Thomas Green here with Ethical Marketing Service. On the podcast today, we have Gregg Kihlstrom. Greg, welcome.

Oh, thanks so much, looking forward to talking with you.

Glad to have you. Would you like to take a moment and tell the audience a little bit about yourself and what you do?

Sure. Yeah. So my name is Greg Kihlstrom. I’ve had kind of a mixed background. I’m an entrepreneur. I’ve started a few companies. One of them was a marketing agency that I sold about four years ago. I then transition from marketing into customer experience, an employee experience. And I’ve written a few books. I do speaking and things like that and just really interested in working with organisations to make meaningful changes within them. And so whether that’s internal to the organisation or an external thing like branding and marketing, just looking, looking to make meaningful change. You’re a busy man, basically. Yeah. So the topic of discussion today, or at least part of it, is going to be around customer experience.

You have to talk about this. Yeah. I’d love to. I would like to get your thoughts on one thing and that is before in prep for our conversation, I looked on my channel, I was like, I’m not sure if I’ve actually spoken to anyone about customer experience. So I did a little check and nothing. So essentially I’ve had no guests approach me about speaking about customer experience. And the question is why do you think that is? Yeah, it’s a good question. I mean, in the circles that I run in. I hear quite a bit about it, but I think, you know, there’s, it’s been kind of under the radar for, for a number of years and I think it’s starting to surface uh, as I mentioned before I come from the marketing world and I became increasingly frustrated because my agency was being hired by companies to make a product or service sound and look really good. And we, you know, we created advertising campaigns and branding and all that stuff. And I became frustrated because the products and services that we marketed were not always, some of them were amazing and for amazing brands that I’m proud to work with, but some of them, the customer experience was less than stellar.

So the delivery of the product and service was less than stellar. And so we were tasked with um, you know, trying to market these products where, you know, you would get maybe a lot of first-time customers to something, but you wouldn’t get a lot of repeat buyers and stuff because word of mouth was not great or things like that. And I had a little, I had little to no control over that. And so I think customer service is a term that we’ve all heard and we’ve all been on, you know, been on hold for hours, you know, with a bank or insurance company or whatever. But I think the idea of really empathising and thinking through what a customer goes through. It’s not that it’s a new concept it’s just being more broadly accepted and it’s being made. A lot of other people within organisations. let’s say problem. So you know whether that’s the I. T. Team or the marketing team or others it’s not just falling on the customer service team anymore. In terms of customer experience, I think that people understand at least what the outcome is trying to achieve.

But in terms of practical application, I’m not sure people would know necessarily what that would involve. So what does your job look like or your activities look like on a day to day basis? Yeah, I mean I think the first step for especially for an organisation that is relatively new to thinking this way it’s really understanding what your customer goes through the entire journey of the customer. Usually an organisation is very they’re very focused on how they’re structured and so you know this department does you know these specific tasks of this department does this and there’s this handoff that takes place and you know internally within the organisation. That may actually be fine. You know you have marketing people doing marketing work, you have customer service doing this, you have the accounting team sending the invoices. So you know everything kind of functions and it’s fine but if you flip that around and say okay what does it actually take for me as a customer to go through that process?

I really could care less that there’s a separate accounting team versus an IT versus the marketing team. I just want to buy something. And when I have a problem with it, I wanna talk to the same or similar people when I have a problem than the people, you know, as the people that I bought it from and I don’t want to talk to another team. I have a problem with my bill. And you know, so in other words, as a customer, it’s not my problem to figure out how your order chart is structured. And so you know, my first step is really teaching. It’s teaching empathy really at the end of the day is again not your or chart is not someone else’s problem and not your customer customers problem. And then going through and thinking after we get past that it’s thinking through, Okay, well, are these systems connected? Are these processes with an organisation connected? And if not, what do we do to make them more seamless. And you know, what inevitably happens is not only is the customer happier, but employees are actually happier as well because they stop, they stop thinking of?

Well, that’s not my job. You know, that’s how many times do we hear that in dysfunctional organisations? when you stop thinking about that and start thinking about, okay, well I’m gonna maybe I pass the baton to the next you know to the next team member because it doesn’t fall in my realm of responsibility. But customer experience is everybody’s responsibility within the organisation. Mm Have you given any? I spoke and spoke to a business consultant and she was all about essentially process mapping is what you do around customer experience. Similar to that. It is. Yeah, I mean, snd so often process mapping is again taken from an internal perspective and nothing wrong with that at all. That’s you know, that’s critical that the organisations understand how to route things internally. But a lot of what I do on the on the customer experience and is taking the inverse of that. Okay, well this is how it works. You know, the business process organisation.

That’s how they handle it internally. What I do is this is how you do it. This is how you access from the outside. So I may go to a website, get frustrated and then pick up the phone and call customer service and then wait on hold and then tweet how angry I am for waiting on hold for two. You know? So there’s that whole journey outside of internal processes. So and I think the real power is combining the so the person that you talk with that stuff is super valuable. But it gets true power from being combined with Okay, well internal external, let’s match these two together. Let’s make it better for everybody Mm in order to track the customer journey. Are those like reporting tools that you refer to? Or is it very much the case that you’re doing it? I don’t know. Not from data but from intuition, perhaps. So I will say a lot of it thus far has been intuition for better or worse.

I mean I’m a very I try to quantify things whenever possible. And so I think very large organisations have gotten I would say fairly sophisticated with tracking this stuff but smaller organisations really struggle and there’s some really good reason why which is you know I think about my own behaviours as a consumer and you know I might be walking through a store browsing on my phone for the best price for the product that I’m looking at on the shelf and then I go home and buy on amazon after all. And so think about all of those different you know touch points within a you know within a transaction there it’s like we don’t necessarily know that somebody on social media is the same person that response clicked on an email offer and then ended up walking into a retail store. So it becomes incredibly challenging. Especially if you’re an organisation that doesn’t have a ton of resources for measurement. Even more sophisticated one struggle with this and that’s you know that’s what I work with companies to do is there might be some blind spots early on or even half way through a process, but we try to map as much of that as we can.

There are some things we can see easily. There are other things that take a bit more challenging in a bit more mapping things, you know, physical, you know, on in store presence to online or mobile phone access or things like that. So it’s, I will say it’s relatively early days in, you know, a midsize company being able to do this. Well, larger companies, some do it well, some do it really well, some still are piecing things together, interesting. I have been on the receiving end of a, an explanation where I was thinking, I don’t understand how any of this is has anything to do with me as a, as a customer. in terms of like examples, can you share what maybe some of your best examples are around improving customer experience? Yeah. So, you know, I think at uh, I’ll say a small to medium-sized company that I worked with, they were really just getting, so they had by it.

So I think, you know, the key to really making this work is getting executive by it. And you know, if your leadership doesn’t, I’ll put it this way, most companies will say, we love our customers and you know, we want to treat our customers well. In reality there are lots of reasons why they end up not doing that. So it might be short term goals, that might be it might be shareholders at a public company, There might be all kinds of reasons that that they do that. But you know, in this case the CEO owner of the company was like, yes, I believe that you know, if we have, if we make happier customers, they’re gonna repeat by, they’re gonna refer others. So we got to buy it. We actually went through and created a customer experience task force within that organisation. And so there are there are B to B company, they don’t have high volume, but you know, so they’re, each customer is very valuable to them because you know, they just lower volume being a B to B organisation.

And we created this task force within that really showed not only, you know, everybody from the receptionist answering the phone to the person that sends the invoices to the people that are actually account managers directly interfacing with customers to people thinking about service delivery. Everybody had a role in customer experience. And so we had this, this cross-functional team and created this many like certification program within the organisation that you would go through and become customer experience certified. And you know, sure enough, within about 12 months it took a little while to get it off the ground, but within about 12 months we saw, you know, a complete change in attitude about people not complaining about customers. So internal like morale was increased, which is, which is critical to all of this as well. There’s a big tie between employee and customer experience. But also we saw, you know, despite a pandemic and you know, and a natural decrease in and some types of business, we saw things stink steady where you know, their competitors were struggling and suffering from a lack of business.

So we saw some continuity there because they were able to build loyalty because whatever somebody got on the phone or interacted with this company no matter who it was, they felt like they were being valued and they were, what would you say are some of the fundamentals or best lessons from what someone would get as a certification going through as an employee. Yeah, I mean I think step one is, is just understanding that empathy. I think it’s not hard for it’s not hard to grasp but it’s often just not emphasised or it’s kind of overlook because somebody has a job, they show up for their job and they go home. But to really teach that empathy with, okay, the person on the other end, they’re not, they’re not there to take you away from checking Facebook or playing mind sweeper or something like that, they’re there to solve a problem and you know, they want it solved as quickly as you want it solved. And so you know, it could be as simple as that.

It could get more complex. But I think that’s one of those things and then it gets more practical and technical and sometimes it’s just starting to think through some of the processed stuff it becomes some people are more of a natural like I enjoy improving processes. Not everyone is like that. I can appreciate that but it starts teaching people to think through. Well okay if you do the same thing 10 times a day let’s start thinking through like how do you make that better? And you know how can you start improving this? So it’s not it’s not just to make the customer’s life easier. It’s to make your own life easier your teammates life easier. Like I think when you start embracing empathy to customers, you also start embracing it towards your teammates and others within your organisation. And then and I think that the organisations that we hear about that do great customer experience. They start internally and within with their own team members first and then they focus on the customer.

And I think that’s really what it comes down to. Mm I don’t think this topic requires any proof if you like. So I think it’s important enough so that you don’t necessarily have to. I and I also think that it’s highly undervalued in terms of priorities. But have you got any favorite kind of examples of revenue increases or sales increases or you know any data that you like to use in terms of why it’s beneficial. Yeah. I mean there’s I think there’s a few there’s a few examples so just you know generically When customers have a personalised experience I think there’s something like I forget the exact but like 60 or 70% more likely to buy. You know so that’s just okay that that could even be done like on a website that doesn’t take humans doing it. That could be personalisation or ai functionality or whatever. Just like tailoring something to my experience. So there’re things like that. One common example that I use frequently and others as well.

So Chick Fil a is a fast-food chain here and at least in the States. I’m not sure if they’re international but they take great care to train their employees to be courteous. You know a lot of times you go to like I won’t mention by name but like other fast food chains and like somebody’s on their cell phone and they’re like kind of bothered that you like walked in and tried to order from them. They have taken such care to train their employees not only to be courteous but to say thank you and please and things like that their stores see 2.5 times the per store sales as McDonald’s, Burger King, other competitors that much larger much you no longer history and all those kinds of things simply by training their employees to just be nice to customers. So you know, imagine if you know if everybody took it even a step further but so just you know, simple things like that and you know and that that change there are actually closed on Sunday so they’re only open six days a week and they’re still outperforming their competitors by over two times.

So you know, some simple things can really make a big difference. Mm I would imagine the use of name is probably also an encouragement. Would you say that’s accurate? Yeah. You know Starbucks has you, they’re famous for misspelling names as well but you know there that there one that you know they do that a lot and I think they most of the time they use it effectively and yeah it’s true, you know it’s just it’s just, and I think that speaks to that personalisation aspect is like, okay, well they don’t see me as a number. They’re, you know, at least seeing me as Greg not as you know, customer number 11235 or something interesting. What would you say are some of the biggest misconceptions around customer experience? Yeah, I mean I think it’s often confused with a single tactic or or elements. So customer experience isn’t customer service, customer service makes up the broader customer experience.

But you know, just making sure that you’re, you know, you’re the people on the phones and the call centres are courteous. That’s not solving customer experience. That’s vital and you know, it’s important and things like that. But customer experience is a every touch point that you have with the customer and their perception of it. And so you can’t just be really, really good on a few things. You’ve got to be good on everything and consistent on everything. And I think, I think that’s, you know, that’s probably the biggest in my opinion. The second would be, if anyone thinks that it’s easy to measure, it’s, it’s not, you know, I’ll say, and as someone that does customer experience measurement for a living, it’s not easy to do. But you know, it is, it is vital to do, what do you think about because at least prior to have no tech innovating this the way that I was encouraged to do it previously was around surveys. So like what was your experience like today?

But one thing that I’ve noticed is like now that everyone’s doing it. It’s certainly a lot less welcome than it was what your thoughts on that topic. Yeah. And I just wrote an article on net promoter score. So the most common is how likely would you be to recommend this product or service and like zero through 10 scale and stuff like that. And so, you know, net promoter score. There’s nothing wrong with it. I think it’s a, it’s a fine measurement of some things, but as you just mentioned, you get not only do you get this survey, I get it everywhere I go and Knowing how the measurement works. I know that if you answer nine or 10 it means one thing. If you, if you answer 0-6, it means something else. So like I know that and I guess, I don’t know, I don’t know what I do with that information all the time. But at least I know. And so it’s, it’s almost a game there. But also it it’s good for measuring how your experience was. Just that. You know, it’s, it’s a decent measure that I mean a lot of people just click X and close the window and, and whatever, but it is that is not an indicator of whether you’re likely to buy again.

It’s really not an indicator of if you’re, if you’re likely to talk negatively, like even if you say, I’m unlikely to recommend this product or service and so you’re labelled a detractor in that would be the 0-6 scale, that doesn’t mean you’re necessarily going to turn around and go on Twitter and Facebook and say this company is terrible. Um, so, you know, I think it just, it can be, it can be used. I would say in many cases that should be used, but it needs to be balanced in context of, that’s one metric that means something about their experience, but it says very little about what the future may hold. Then, you know, if they’re actually going to make a recommendation or if they’re actually personally going to going to buy again. And I think, you know, future intent is probably the most important thing that we need to understand because if you’re a one-time customer, we want you to have a good experience. But you know, you have to find ways to grow and grow referrals and all those and that that understanding what’s going to trigger that is much more valuable.

So would you say that although it is minimal in its ability to convey meaning, it would still be better to do it than not do it? I think in for organisations that have been doing it, I think it’s a great apples to apples comparison, you know, so in other words if they’ve been doing it for five years, then you know, to see the relative gain year over year. I do think that’s meaningful. If you’re just starting to measure things like this, I think it would be worth looking into other measurements or at least including other measurements in addition to it. So you know, it’s kind of like on the on the internal set on employee engagement. A lot of companies have been giving employee engagement surveys for years, The quality and the value of an individual survey. Sometimes it’s different in context when, you know, when they’ve been giving it for 10 years. It’s actually interesting to see how that dips and ebbs and flows over time. If they just decide to invest in one, they should be really, really careful about the questions that they asked and stuff.

So it’s kind of a non and turn away dear question. But it’s kind of it depends. Well, I think I think there is something to be taken from that for sure. Am I right in saying that you have a customer experience book? Yeah, I wrote a book called the Center of Experience and it talks about combining how you look at customer and employee experience. All right. So other than buying the book, what would you say to someone who is interested in improving their customer experience, but maybe they are smaller company. and perhaps don’t have a lot of investment to put into. It was the advice that you would give that person. Yeah, I think there’s kind of three stages of how you can take things and you know, so I would say a small company would definitely be starting at the first stage, which is trying to similar to the example that I gave a bit ago trying to pull together a steering committee or some kind of cross-functional group within your organisation to start talking about.

Okay, where’s our disconnect. Let’s try to map that customer journey. That doesn’t mean that the company needs to go out and hire a chief experience officer or build an entire department. It just means that people that don’t necessarily talk to each other about these things start that conversation. I would say that’s the best, that’s the best way to do it. And when you start that process of even thinking through that journey, you’re going to start empathising with the customer and then you can take it much further. You can start an experienced department. My book proposes that you actually set up set up a centre of excellence within your organisation for a small company. That might not make sense. There might not be resources to do that, but you know, larger or might be able to do that. Have you got any thoughts on phone calls specifically? Because I think some of my and the worst experiences have been over just calling a company. So you’ve got the call waiting the multiple options.

So the auto message and then the multiple options. And then even maybe if you don’t pick the right option, they actually hang up on you. So any thoughts around not necessarily that example, but phone calls in general. Yeah, I mean, I think even the other the other day I had a perfect B test example of a good phone experience in a bad phone experience and I won’t mention the bad company’s name but I won’t mention the good one. So I have a couple of different bank accounts and so I have a regional bank that I worked with and I call them. I had a it was kind of an urgent thing I needed to take care of and so I called them and the person on the phone was basically like it’s not my problem like you need to call these other people but they’re close you can maybe go to the website tomorrow and figure out the number and stuff like that and I was like thanks.

Like you know isn’t you know your job is customer service but they gave me no actual helpful advice nothing. No not even really I’m sorry I can’t help you. It was more just like yeah good luck. So I call American Express and all of a sudden it’s like a night and day difference which is the person that I initially talked with, there was a few phone tree options or whatever admittedly but the person I talked with they couldn’t help me either But they were like you know what you know who could help you this other person. So I’m going to transfer you there and make sure that it gets taken care of it will stay on the line while you’re waiting and Blah Blah Blah like they took the time and the like 30 seconds to like think through okay this person doesn’t want to just be handed off to somebody else and re explain their problem and this and that. I didn’t have to enter my account number in two different times and say what my problem was two different times. They thought the process through now granted American Express much larger company than the regional bank, but there’s a lot that regional bank can learn from you know from a larger company and maybe they can’t control everything but they can empathise a little bit with my frustrations.

Yeah the being transferred and having to explain it all over again or going through security again. Not the funniest thing, right? So I suppose other than Amex, have you got any favourite companies that you like to talk about? Yeah I mean I’m a pretty loyal brands person myself. So you know there’s a few companies that you know Amex is certainly one you know in the hotel space. I’ve worked with Mary as well as I’ve been a customer of theirs for years as well and I think they do loyalty very well and I mentioned Starbucks like there’s you know these are very well known brands but they you know they’re popular because they take this stuff seriously and I think you know the hotel business I will say they’ve been on the front lines of customer experience for you know that hospitality is just you know it has to be customer experience based because you’ve got those front line employees and stuff.

But you know you can tell the difference between walking into a company that or a brand that really take that seriously and then one that doesn’t is you know part of what I like is that personalised experience. They know who I am, they know I’m ex you know ex type of member and this and that and I’ve you know in the hotel example I have room preferences, all those kinds of things that stuff matters that I don’t have to explain all that stuff every time I I travel quite a bit or I used I will again I guess soon enough but you know I was traveling quite a bit and that it just gets annoying to have to do all that stuff and it’s a little thing it really it shouldn’t bother you as a customer. It’s kind of silly even saying it out loud but it matters and that loyalty matters when You know when you can choose between 100 different options. The fact that I don’t have to explain what I need or want and I can just walk in and show my cell phone when I walk into a hotel that matters. Was it did you say chick fil a yeah so it sort of makes me think that it almost it almost needs to be part of the culture of the company and the reason why I bring it up is because one of your examples made me think the regional bank example made me think at the end of the call where they didn’t help you, did they say is there anything else I can help you with?

Well, they did. And you know what my answer was no there wasn’t because they were useless. I mean, you know, that’s the problem is like and I think that’s the other problem with those kinds of questions, right? Is like no, there was nothing else that that person could possibly do to help me because they had no power to do anything, you know? And again that that individual, I’m sure they literally could not do anything and they probably lack the training to do it. You know, it’s not it’s not personal, but at the same time it’s come on like think about think they’ve been in my shoes, I know that we’ve all been, you know, we’ve all been in that situation and we’ve all felt like wow, like please do something to help me or at least give me some good advice or but yeah, you know those scripted questions, they feel false too. The other favourite example I like is walking into McDonald’s asking for some fries and then being asked do you want fries with that, wow.

Yeah, it’s like it’s been put in there and its automated, but at the same time it’s not part of the culture, you know? Yeah. Yeah, probably the person is too focused on the last text message they got or whatever and you know it’s. Yeah. Have you, I know that the focus today is on the customer experience but is there I know that you’re also an expert in an employee experience. So do you see any cross over here that is relevant to the conversation? Yeah. I think I think they’re so closely tied together and I don’t think you know you can manage good customer experience without great employee experience but you can’t sustain it because you know when you think about whether you’re a consumer facing or B2B or whatever turnover retention, all those types of things. You know, if you if you have constant turnover in a company because employees are not engaged and looking elsewhere and they feel like they’re not valued, Your customers are going to feel it in some way.

You know, if you have dysfunction within an organisation for even from a process standpoint or again that that idea of like, well that’s not my job. So you know, kind of pass the buck to somebody else customers feel that and you know sure enough like it’s good to treat employees well like it’s just I believe that it’s just part of our duty to, you know, I’ve been, I’ve been in everything from an intern to a CEO like I believe it’s important to value your employees no matter what their role is and how if there are three-month intern for the summer, I believe that they have good ideas and you should value them and everything like that. It doesn’t matter like everybody has great ideas and contributes value. I think if a company doesn’t understand that they can’t possibly succeed in the long term and their customers are going to somehow feel that maybe not initially because you can kind of gloss over things you know for a time. But customers are going to feel it. So if for no other reason like if treating human beings well is not enough.

Which to me I think it is. Then do it for the bottom line because your company is going to suffer over the long term. Well, for whatever reason, I didn’t put those two things together. The fact that if you’re you have high turnover due to bad employee experience, then you will most likely have bad customer experience. And an example I actually have of that is At one point we were using a call centre like an external call centre to always answer our calls. So that 24 hours a day you could call. In theory us and they transfer a call over if we were available and that type of job for whatever reason. Maybe because it’s low paying or high turnover of staff and we had to stop it because of the experience that something as simple as just transferring a call saying hello. They just didn’t get a very good experience. And so that’s just my example of exactly what you said.

Yeah it’s you know whatever that company was doing, however they were training there was probably I’ve had a similar experience with a similar type of service. It’s like they weren’t if there was any information that you gave to one person it wasn’t getting transferred to the next person on the line. And yeah you know if I was at the time I was using it for my marketing agency for a while and You know it’s a high touch world. And you know our customers, we didn’t have we had maybe 1520 customers total. And each one of them incredibly valuable to us that they had a bad experience. They would complain. And sure enough they also complain when we got the automated phone system with you know choosing the options as well. So you know we couldn’t win. I guess so to speak. But it matters. You know if I have a customer that’s you know a million plus a year customer and they’re complaining like I can’t get through to your team members when I need to. It’s a huge problem. So what are your best nuggets on employee experience, then?

Yeah I mean I think that just like with customer experience, I think you need to look through, look at the journey that an employee goes through with the company as well. And I think it’s often overlooked, a lot of companies spend a lot of time on recruiting and like your first couple of days and you know, the, the initial like on boarding, but they don’t think a lot about the rest of the journey, let’s say. And you know, even how you treat um, candidates that you don’t hire, I’ve had, you know, I’ve had seen many resumes and you know, I will say sometimes I’ve done better at this than others, but when I’ve really thought about it and you know, I’ve made an effort to change my behaviour, like I try to respond to everybody. You never know like that that person might be your boss, someday. You never know you’re going to, you know who you’re going to run into the, through that process and if nothing else, how your brand treats everyone, it’s a reflection on, on you.

So, you know, take care of employees, not only even if you don’t hire them, but also, you know, when you’re nine months into your job, there needs to feel like there’s a next step in a, in a way to get ahead and grow and things like that within the organisation. I think a lot of companies, as I said, like kind of focus on that, that first kind of step of like, okay, well let’s make sure they’re, they’re all set up and then they’re kind of on their own employee experiences, the whole thing, It’s even after they leave the company, you know, think about your, think about your reputation after someone leaves, like you have alumni, you know, just like you would at university, like you have an alumni group of people, whether it’s formally like organised or not, they could be a bunch of people grumbling in a bar somewhere about their, their last job with you or whatever, but um, they exist and so think about how they’re going to leave and tell others about whether they should work for you or not as well. I’ve often had, or at least a bit of a struggle around rewards.

So I’d like to do more for my team, but I don’t know whether it’s just because I’m, I don’t know, new to it or I don’t have much experience, but what your thoughts around rewards and also maybe incentives. Yeah. So um, with, uh, I’ve done quite a bit of work in, in this from a, from a behavioural science standpoint. And so, there’s this concept of extrinsic and intrinsic motivation. So, um, there’s a great book called Drive By Daniel Pink that goes into this and much more detail as well, but um, so I’ve, I’ve worked with some organisations on this concept. So extrinsic motivation are things like salary increases, bonuses, you know, mainly financial things, but also some types of incentives and rewards and things like that. And then there are intrinsic motivators, things that are, you can’t just give somebody a gift card for it or things like that, it’s altruism.

So whether that’s, you know, volunteer work or corporate social responsibility, or it could be things like mentoring other people within the organisation, so you want to help others or learning, you know, wanting to learn more, just a thirst for education, let’s say, over your career. So there’s lots of these intrinsic motivators. And so the interesting thing is everybody needs a certain amount to live, and that amount varies by the individual and is based on many, many different factors after a certain point. However, giving them more money, raising their salary, giving them bonuses, it only helps so much. And so nobody’s going to turn it away. Nobody thinks it’s bad, but it doesn’t really keep them and retain them at an organisation, not much more by, you know, kind of just throwing money at it versus some of these intrinsic motivators. If you give someone that is altruistic and wants to help other people the ability to mentor their fellow workers or do some volunteer work, things like that, they are likely they are much more likely to stay than giving them a bonus if that’s something that truly motivates them.

And so, you know, there’s lots of different motivators and everybody is kind of motivated by some people are motivated by just doing new stuff like innovating and coming up with new ideas that scares other people. So, you know, they’re not motivated by that. So, you know, by truly, like, understanding the downside to that is that really it’s there can’t be a one size fits all in that scenario. But the upside for companies is it’s actually a lot less expensive to than, you know, thinking about having to just do everything financial, financial incentive, and spending a lot of money on these things. You can get creative and actually be more rewarding to those individuals by just trying to understand them a little bit better and understand what makes them tick great answer. And it’s probably the reason why I haven’t been able to find any great solutions is because maybe there aren’t that many intrinsic, extrinsically what kind of conversations would you have?

I mean, it’s a difficult question because I know it’s based on the individual, but if you’re struggling to find intrinsic motivations, what would your approach be. Yeah, so in one instance, we actually we had worked with a survey tool that actually does that. So they had some PhDs that created the survey mechanism that actually measured your intrinsic motivators, and so that that was incredibly helpful, but I would say, you know, even if you didn’t want to go that route. some things you can buy observing the employee and like what they get excited about, like when they get animated describing something that they’re doing, I think, you know, it’s not, again it’s not just about their salary and all those kinds of things, like think about what went into that excitement about what they’re doing or you know, just I’m talking with them a little bit more and understanding. you know, some of those different drivers, you can kind of start picking up on it. So again, not everybody is motivated by altruism, but just to keep using that example, you know, when you kind of pick up on how well they were helping this other people, this other person out and they seemed to really enjoy it and the rest of that day, they were like excited and engaged and everything like that.

Maybe I should give them a little bit more of that or find a way for them to do that. Or you know, this person really, they love going this conference and learning about all this new stuff. They must just love learning on the job. And so I’m going to give them the new thing that nobody else knows how to do because somebody’s got learning anyway. So, you know, you can try to find ways to work in, not only motivating them, but also, you know, helping the business, because obviously you can’t just send everybody to conferences and send them off to volunteer for a non-profit. As deserving as it might be. So, you know, if you can find some ways to like to work it in, it’s a win/win. So essentially, being a little bit more observant about behaviours. Yeah, okay, well you’ve got a lot going on. I noticed the drop down on the site has got tons of books, so I’m interested to know what your goals are. Yeah, absolutely. So you know, just as a, I guess I can look at that two ways. I mean, you know, my work that I do, I want to make meaningful change within the organisations that I work for.

So to me, the word meaningful is very um meaningful in that, in that phrase, in other words, you know, I’ve done I’ve done a lot of different types of work, I mean, you know, I’ve been in in those, those industries and those, those practice areas that I mentioned before, I really want to at the end of the day, not just move the needle on making a few extra dollars but doing something that is sustainable. Impactful and you know, makes a difference and not only the customer experience, but also the employees that are that are doing that and so that could be customer experience initiatives that could be employed experience, it could be digital transformation, which often impacts both of those things. So that’s you know, that’s just kind of my MO. And in life right now is to do that. I mean my other goal is just to continue getting better at writing, getting better at speaking and getting better at just helping, helping companies learn more and grow more.

It’s a great answer. And also I understand what you mean by that, especially because you know, if you’ve done a lot of stuff and you’re able to impact, they say multiple companies about both improving customer experience and also employee experience sort of compounding in a way and improving it’s making things better for people generally, is that kind of what you’re going for? Yeah, it’s always, you know, I always try to find the win/win too, it’s like companies can make money and do well for others, you know, and I think that’s why I strongly I’m an optimist when it comes to that, I’m an optimist when it comes to technology, I think, you know, there’s sure there are bad actors in the world, but I think that we can use technology for good. I think companies can do good in the world and still make a lot of money and to me that’s a win/win. Yes, is there anything that you think would be of value that I haven’t asked you about today?

No, I think we’ve pretty much covered a broad spectrum there. No, this is great to talk with you.

Good Greg. Where is the best place for people to find you?

Yeah, so two things. So my website is the You can find writing my podcast and a bunch of other things there. And also I’m very active on LinkedIn, so just search for Gregg Kihlstromand you know, get in touch with me, would be happy to connect.

Well, thank you again for the value today. I think it’s been great.

Absolutely, thanks so much.