Shep Hyken is a customer service and experience expert and a New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling author. Shep works with companies and organizations that want to build loyal relationships with their customers and employees.
His articles have been read in hundreds of publications, and he is the author of 7 books and his newest book I’ll Be Back: How to Get Customers to Come Back Again and Again will be released September 21, 2021.
He is also the creator of The Customer Focus™, a customer service training program that helps clients develop a customer service culture and loyalty mindset.
What You’ll Learn In This Episode
- Customer service and customer experience
- How to Get Customers to Come Back Again and Again
This transcript is machine transcribed by Sonix
Intro: [00:00:02] Broadcasting live from the Business RadioX Studios in Atlanta, Georgia, it’s time for Coach the Coach Radio brought to you by the Business RadioX ambassador program, the no cost business development strategy for coaches who want to spend more time serving local business clients and less time selling them. Go to BRXAmbassador.com to learn more. Now here’s your host.
Lee Kantor: [00:00:33] Lee Kantor here, another episode of Coach the Coach Radio, and this is going to be a fun one. Today we have with us show Piken with Shepard presentations. Welcome, Shep.
Shep Hyken: [00:00:43] Hey, it’s great to be here. Thanks for having me.
Lee Kantor: [00:00:45] Well, as our listeners probably know, you’re kind of a customer service customer experience guru out there. And you are a super fan of that, those kind of worlds. And I believe it’s one of those places where companies don’t invest enough energy and resources in. So talk about a little bit how you came to specialize in that area and why it was so important to you.
Shep Hyken: [00:01:15] Sure. Well, when I was a kid, I had my first business, and that was a birthday party magic show business. And I remember coming home after my first magic show. It was after school. They paid me sixteen dollars. I was just a little 12 year old kid and my mom said, go write a thank you note. And that was my first customer service lesson. Aside from just trying to do a great job, it’s like remember to say thank you. And my dad said next week you need to call the parents, thank them again and ask them how you like the show. And I go, Oh, that’s a great idea. Goes well, you need to find out what tricks they liked. And then after a while you’ll notice there’s a pattern tricks they like, tricks they don’t even talk about. Get rid of the ones they don’t talk about and replace them with ones they will. And that’ll make your show better. And I had no idea that’s called asking for feedback and then process improvement. So all of these things are being taught to me as a kid. And when I finally went to college, graduated college, and I’ve been working for a business actually a little bit through high school and college, like summer jobs and that type of thing. While I was in between magic shows and I realized, you know, I could make a living getting up in front of people and talking about this because I think there’s a need for it. And that’s where it all started. And it morphed into something really, really big and great, at least for me, because this turns out to be one of the hottest topics that any company is focused on right now.
Lee Kantor: [00:02:38] Now, it seems that in business there’s kind of things that come in style and come out of style. And customer service, I think should always be in style and customer experience should always be in style. But periodically there’s an emphasis on, you know, let’s get new clients. And it’s all about, you know, leads and Legian and business development rather than kind of just nurturing the folks that already like you. Why do you think that is?
Shep Hyken: [00:03:08] Well, I mean, any company that’s starting out the you can’t do anything without a customer. I mean, that’s why you’re in business, is if you don’t have customers, you’re not going to stay in business. Only Janet and Biz Dev become really, really important. I think there’s plenty of stats out there that will show again and again that churn is bad. Your goal is keep the customers you currently have and continue to grow in the other areas. It’s far less expensive to retain a good customer than it is to go out and find a new customer to replace him or her. So or that company, depending upon the type of business you’re in. So I don’t know if I just think that sometimes there is a fire that’s under somebody say, oh my gosh, we need to increase sales because we’re not going to do well, that’s fine. But why do you need to increase sales? Is it because you’re losing customers at such a rate? And what’s causing those customers to leave? I love it. The other day I was talking to a client and he said we have his churn rate is like one hundred and seven percent. And I said, I explain that to me. What does that mean? Are you losing one hundred and seven percent goes, no, we’re keeping a hundred percent of our customers and gaining seven percent new ones every quarter. And I went, wow. So your growth is you’re at like twenty five to thirty percent growth for the year. Yeah. With no negative churn, that’s almost impossible. How are you doing it. We’ve got a good product, but we have amazing people. And when I hear you go, it’s the experience that keeps the customers coming back because they can get what this guy sells from many, many other companies.
Lee Kantor: [00:04:56] Now there is I’m seeing a lot of talk and a lot of energy put into community and building community. How does community building impact or maybe magnify some of the work you’re doing when it comes to customer service or customer relationships?
Shep Hyken: [00:05:14] Sure. And I love these questions and I’m not sure you’re pulling them from are. The latest book I’ve written is titled I’ll Be Back How to Get Customers to Come Back Again and Again. And that’s one of the pieces we talk about. And I talked about this in a book. Oh, gosh. Almost at eight. Years ago, but when you hang your hat on something this important to others, they want to be with you. So you may be a local company that gets involved in local charities. You may be a national or international organization that gets involved in huge charities. I remember when I was doing a lot of work with Ace Hardware, they were involved with the Children’s Miracle Network. And I said, you know, I’ve got this book I’ve written. It features you as as a central role model. I’m going to let everybody know that if they buy the book, we’re going to donate a small portion of the proceeds to your favorite charity, the charity, the Children’s Miracle Network. You know what happened? People started buying more books. There’s a reason people love Richard Branson’s Virgin, you know, that whole line of his company. And that is because they have Virgin Unite, which is the charitable arm of what they do. You know, it’s the more you give, the more you get. It’s the law of reciprocity. And companies that will involve themselves in the community and in charities and in causes will draw customers to them. And that emotional connection makes them loyal.
Lee Kantor: [00:06:41] Now, when companies are kind of leaning into this community, sometimes it’s uncomfortable because it’s a little untethered where the community wants to do things to benefit the community. That may not be a perfect alignment with the company and but the company really can’t control the community too much or else it becomes just, you know, not as much community as it is, is just for the company. So how do you create that balance?
Shep Hyken: [00:07:13] Boy, I think I know what you say. You know, the here’s here’s the thing about charity or giving back. You can tell it’s very easy to tell when it’s fake. It’s easy. I shouldn’t say it’s easy to tell, but but companies are caught when it’s not genuine. And I believe that if you can’t deliver a genuine experience, if the kind of company you are is one that is not to be trusted, does it matter what cause you’re involved and your customers aren’t going to trust you? Is that the angle you’re hitting at here?
Lee Kantor: [00:07:51] Well, I think maybe we’re saying two different things. One thing is serving your local community and helping charities and non-profits and things like that. Another thing is for community. I mean, for companies to have a kind of a community within themselves, like take like Harley Davidson has a community of Harley super fans. I got that those super fans help the brand of Harley because they’re super fans. But Harley can’t kind of tell them how to live their life either. You know, it’s a kind of a give and take when it comes to a I
Shep Hyken: [00:08:27] Like what you’re saying. I believe the so I believe that community of Harley Davidson motorcycle riders, those are called customers. And you’re right, when a customer leaves your store and they band together and they create their own groups and they love your product, you know, the company I think Harley’s done a great job of promoting that. It’s an amazing experience. And they’ve created this huge fanbase. You know, Harley wasn’t always like that in many, many years ago. They were. And then they went into this lull. And the reason is, is they started to design motorcycles that didn’t sound as big and allowed as they are today. They were making them more like the streamlined BMW that you hear at home and the engine and people started to buy other brands. And Harley said, what’s going on? And they said, you obviously didn’t pay attention to your customers are. And it’s a beautiful story because Harley said if we go back to what we had and we create the motorcycle that you want, the one that shakes, rattles as loud as big, are you going to start buying them again? And the customer said, yes, we will. And it put them back on track. And they became one of the most and still are one of the most successful and iconic brands in the world because they have a community of customers they engage with and they listen to. So I thought the community you are talking about is giving back to the community, which, by the way, Harley does a lot of that as well.
Lee Kantor: [00:09:57] Right. I think that this is an end conversation now that or I think you should be doing both, you know, locally and and then kind of in a macro sense for your brand to be that belove that people are on their own kind of celebrating it together. I think you’re winning if that’s happening.
Shep Hyken: [00:10:15] Oh, yeah. One hundred percent.
Lee Kantor: [00:10:17] Now, are you finding in your clients they come to you when they aspire to have that kind of a dynamic community among their customers or they have a problem where something’s not working. We need help to come in and fix something.
Shep Hyken: [00:10:34] So that’s a great question. I would say that eighty to eighty five percent of my clients are just crushing it out there. And the reason they’re hiring me is not to get better, but to sustain what they have and keep people motivated and moving in the right direction. We work with a lot of clients that like, hey, we help us create a more customer focused culture. And when I get into it, I’m going, you know what? They’re there. But the map isn’t the plan isn’t as direct as it needs to be. I always say you can’t be successful. Well, you can by accident. But it’s very it’s not very often that that happens. You can’t be successful. Typically by accident. You have to plan. And that plan means a very focused approach to many different disciplines within business. My area happens to be customer service and experience. And so when we sit down with a client, often they’re actually doing pretty darn well. We’re just helping to refine it or helping them sustain it. Now, I love the turnarounds. I love the we’ve got a problem. Can you help us? And we get into it. We realize we may not be able to help them because their leadership isn’t on board at the level they need to be. And we’ve actually walked away from a client because we felt like there were three main leaders and one of them was not engaged at all. And I said, until that guy joins the two of you, we don’t have a chance of making this work. You’re going to spend a lot of money. You’re not you’re going to love me while I’m here. You’re not going to like me when it’s over because nothing’s going to happen without the three of you being in alignment. And they thank me for that. And guess what? I walked and eventually came back. So that works, I know I’m getting a little bit off off the topic here, running down the rabbit hole, if you will, but I think that’s an important point to make.
Lee Kantor: [00:12:21] Now, is there any low hanging fruit that companies can take advantage of without hiring you? Is there some things that are like we just kind of look at them and go, why aren’t you doing these? The ABC? This is just kind of basics here.
Shep Hyken: [00:12:35] Yeah. So I’ll just share. I love to be hired and I love it when my trainers are hired or when people buy my books and all that. But everything that I talk about, I have written about and actually probably produced a video on it. Go to YouTube, Shepp TV.com, you’re going to see six hundred videos. There’s so much content there. Go through it, find the video that you like that you want, that you feel resonates with what you’re trying to achieve with your company. And by the way, you’re probably going to find fifty or one hundred of them. Don’t show them all at once. Take one once a week, every couple of weeks. There’s very short show it, talk about it and talk about what you’re going to do as a result of hearing this. What’s one idea that you can take action on? And there it is. There’s free consultation and free training right there. So but if you’re if if I’m a company and say what can I do right away is to recognize it starts with the culture. So I need to define what that culture is. In one sentence, the Ritz Carlton says, we’re ladies and gentlemen, serving. Ladies and gentlemen, that’s a great statement that kind of summarize what we’re trying to achieve, communicated to everybody, get everybody properly trained, whether you do it yourself or hire an outside firm to do it. Make sure your leadership and your managers and your supervisors are treating people internally the way you want customers treated. That’s a big one, because what happens on the inside is felt on the outside. If it’s working, let people know they’re doing a good job. So celebrate it with them and compliment them. If it’s not working, help get them into alignment in such a way that’s not so much a critique and and making people upset or concerned or nervous for their jobs, but gives them the learning opportunity to fit in where you want them to fit in. So those are some ideas and they sound very simple and almost common sense like. But no one simple is not easy and common sense is not so common.
Lee Kantor: [00:14:31] Now, your latest book, I’ll be back. How to Get Customers to Come Back Again and again is that book about how to kind of reactivate old customers or to get your customers to be super loyal so that they’re just, you know, they’re not shopping. They’re just kind of buying from you over and over and over.
Shep Hyken: [00:14:50] Right. When I love that. And I believe it’s a little bit of both because I do believe the acquisition of the customer is not really what this book is about, but retention of the customer is what it’s all about. We want to measure how well we’ve done and I talk about this in the book. We talk about the most important measurement in business. And a lot of people think, well, customer satisfaction see set and net promoter score the likely that they would promote you and recommend you to friends and family members. But I say those are great and we should get those measurements because it helps us understand if we’re doing a good job or not or the opportunities to improve our or not. But we’re measuring history. Based on your last experience, were you happy? Well, that was yesterday. I want to know about tomorrow. Is the customer going to come back? So what is the typical behavior of what I would deem a loyal customer or the repeat customer that I say that’s the kind of customer I want. Some of the if I cut hair and somebody is going to come in once a month for a haircut, that’s our regular customer. If they come in once a quarter, I have to wonder, is there something somewhere else or going, is there something we did wrong? I want to try to get my customers into the cadence of what we would call a routine regular repeat customer. Now, once they’re in that cadence, I can work on the loyalty. I want to make sure that the reasons they’re coming back to me are the reasons that would want them to come back, that that would get them to come back, even if a competitor moved next door or perhaps a competitor ran a sale and dropped their price a little bit lower than me, I want to make price less relevant and I want a bullet proof myself from the competition.
Lee Kantor: [00:16:25] Now, do you have any advice for people who say, I’m not getting any referrals, how how do I become more referable?
Shep Hyken: [00:16:35] So you’re not getting any referrals? First of all, one reason may be, are you good enough to get referrals? Number two, are you going about getting referrals the right way? And there’s many different ways to go about it. But, you know, we talk about how do you get reviews? How do you get somebody to write about a yelp or any kind of a review? And the answer is do such a good job that they want to and ask them. So you’re familiar with the net promoter score? Yes, sure. OK, for those that aren’t on a scale of zero to 10, what’s the likelihood that you’d recommend me or recommend our company and nine or 10 or promotors seven or eight? You don’t know where they are. They’re passives. And then anybody less than that is a detractor. But if somebody gives you a nine or 10 and they say they’re willing to promote, just don’t say thank you very much. I’m glad you are happy, you know, depending upon the business you’re in. And a lot of people who are listening to the show might feel like, oh, this is exactly right for me. If they give you a nine or 10 pick up, say thank you very much. And by the way, who are the people that you would recommend me to? Would it be possible for you to make a referral or an introduction or can I get their name and number so I can call them? You’ve got to actively go after that type of business.
Lee Kantor: [00:17:53] And and so that should just be built into how you do business, is that kind of a system that’s going to generate real referrals? Because if they if they raise their hand and say that you’re worthy of referring, then you’re kind of holding them to that.
Shep Hyken: [00:18:07] Right? You’re saying, OK, if you feel that way, do you have anybody you’re thinking about? Who could I call? You know, I don’t care what business. Well, a lot of different businesses would do go about it a different way. If going one to one with customers is your way or clients or whatever you want to call them is your way of getting business. What better way than to have a warm introduction that allows that relationship to start a completely different way than me calling you and saying, Hey, Lee, you don’t know me. My name Shep, and I’m pretty sure you need what I have to sell. But so here it it. I mean, you see what I’m talking about? It’s that relationship. Once again, we go back to this idea of Bonnie Raitt wrote that song. Let’s give them something to talk about. That’s what you want. You want to create this experience that gets people talking about you and makes them want to come back.
Lee Kantor: [00:19:00] And those experiences don’t happen by accident. Like you said, these are things that you have to kind of orchestrate and deliver on.
Shep Hyken: [00:19:07] The chances of business being successful again and again by accident is very minimal. So let’s not leave it to chance. Let’s create the right process, the right steps, the right follow through, the right training, and let’s get everybody pointing in the same direction, working toward the same goal. And that is to make our customers so happy that they’ll not only referrers, but come back again and again.
Lee Kantor: [00:19:32] Well, Shep, thank you so much for sharing your story today. If somebody wants to connect with you and have a more substantive conversation with you or somebody on your team, what’s the website
Shep Hyken: [00:19:42] Go to hiken dot com h y e n dot com. And depending on when you’re listening to this, if you are preorder the book, if you preorder it, we’ve got some special gifts for you. If you go to the website, I’ll be back book dot com or just go to Amazon, get the book there. So thanks for having me on your show me. I really appreciate it.
Lee Kantor: [00:20:06] Well, you’re doing important work and we appreciate you, Shep Hiken Shepard presentations. Check out his new book. I’ll be back. How to get customers to come back again and again. And this website is Hiken, Dotcom, Wiki and Dotcom. Thank you again.
Shep Hyken: [00:20:22] My pleasure.
Lee Kantor: [00:20:23] All right. This is Lee Kantor Rousselle. Next time on Coach the Coach Radio.