Jeanne Bliss on “I Love You More Than My Dog”

1:30 — Cale Johnson introduces Jeanne Bliss, author of “I Love You More Than My Dog”: Five Decisions That Drive Extreme Customer Loyalty in Good Times and Bad.

1:31 — Colleen Barrett, keynote speaker today, wrote the forward to the book.

1:32 — Started in Land’s End with founder in 1984. Had to grow business by connecting with their customers — farmers at first.Decided what they would and would not do to grow their business.

1:33 — Wanted to find other companies that are “beloved,” where customers want to be a part of your story. It’s about decision-making. Some companies design rules to protect themselves against a handful of unhappy customers. If you trust your customers, and employees, you will be more successful.

Do you believe your customers, and your front-line people, are a asset or a cost center? Don’t lost a 15-million-dollar account for a $35 policy.

1:35 — Clarity of purpose. Are you aware of how you interact with your customer’s life? Reliability of experience. Examples of people who have different experiences with the same company. Simple policy of charging $10 for cashier’s check caused customer with millions of dollars in business to move all their accounts because the front line could not make a decision to waive a $10 fee.

1:38 — So much of what is talked about in social media is about what we felt. And it’s about the most recent experience we had; that winds up defining your brand. Memory creation is the currency of your brand.

 1:40 — You need to earn the right to your customer’s story. If you don’t have reliability in your experience, then your customer is not confident recommending you. You need consistency in your responses, especially when repairing emotional connections, righting the wrong in a transaction.

 1:43 — Have to be willing to say the words, “I’m sorry.” Sorry Works Coalition encourages healthcare employees to be human in their responses to customers. Doctors and lawyers are historically very reluctant to say “sorry,” even when it’s the only result patients and families want. Lawsuits dropped dramatically (60%?) after this policy applied. Humility and remorse are called for.

 1:48 — Commerce Bank has a policy called Kill a Stupid Rule, empowering front-line employees to change policy.

1:50 — Decide to be real, to be operationally reliable. Customers will remember you, and you will grow your business faster.

Q A customer has a big issue and it appears that no matter how many good experiences we give them, they are not willing to talk about it. We don’t know how to move them out of default/false loyalty and move them into true loyalty.

A Some will respond and some won’t. Sometimes you have to move on to another customer if you’ve done all you can.

Q Actionable items for front line?

A They feel like everything trickles down to them and they don’t have a seat at the table. Give them a seat. Have executives call a customer who left and ask them what happened to cause them to leave. Teach them listening skills, not just readers of surveys and reports.


About Connie Reece

Now retired, Connie Reece has been a pioneer in the field of social media. In 2007, Connie created the Frozen Pea Fund, the first grassroots fundraising effort started solely on Twitter; her work was featured in best-selling author Shel Israel’s "Twitterville." Connie was a winner of the inaugural Texas Social Media Awards in 2009 and was profiled by AustinWoman magazine as one of the top five women in social media in Austin. In 2011, Connie won the Dewey Winburne Community Service Award at SXSW.

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