Jason Young helps organizations create remarkable customer experiences and grow their leaders. He is the author of four books and creator of the Saturday Rundown, a resource delivered to your inbox with helpful ideas on hospitality and leadership.
Jason has worked with Chick-fil-A, Ford Motor Company, North Point Ministries, Life Church and many others. Learn more at jasonyounglive.com.
Intro: [00:00:01] Broadcasting live from the Business RadioX studios in Atlanta, it’s time for Customer Experience Radio brought to you by Heineck & Company, real estate advisors specialized in corporate relocation. Now, here’s your host, Jill Heineck.
Jill Heineck: [00:00:19] Welcome to this very special edition of Customer Experience Radio. I’m your host, Jill Heineck. And I’m a business owner, real estate adviser, and customer experience enthusiast. As most of you know, I run a boutique real estate group specializing in relocation. And I have an obsession with continually improving the customer experience. We ask our clients at the beginning, during, and post transaction what it is they need from us in order to make it a 10 plus experience. Sometimes they know and sometimes they don’t. So, it’s up to us to anticipate their needs to create loyal repeat clients.
Jill Heineck: [00:00:55] This is why I’m excited about our guest today. He’s been helping organizations create remarkable customer experiences and grow their leaders. Jason Young is a hospitality and leadership communicator and coach, who has worked with leaders at companies like Ford Motor Company, Life Church, Chick-fil-A and others. And most recently, he was the Director of Guest Experience at Buckhead Church and North Point Ministries, a nationally known network of churches with 40,000 people in an average weekly attendance. And for those of you who aren’t familiar, Buckhead Church was founded by and is led by pastor, author, and speaker Andy Stanley. Jason is the author of four books, including The Comeback Effect, which focuses on how hospitality can compel guests to return to a church or business. Welcome, Jason.
Jason Young: [00:01:46] Hey, thank you, Jill. Good to be here.
Jill Heineck: [00:01:49] I’m so glad to have you. And I mean, you are speaking my speak here. I love talking about this. And I love to see the kind of work that you’re doing. So, let’s start with what gets you pumped about CX or the customer experience?
Jason Young: [00:02:04] I would probably say two things. One, the individual delivering the experience. And so, what does that mean for them? So, I don’t need you to do, like, all these tasks, which are important. But I want to help you feel something at work. Because if I can get you to do that, it’s much easier to, secondly, focus on the emotions of the guests. So, I love to help the team member feel it, deliver it, and then all of the guests to feel it and receive it, and then comment to somebody about their experience with that particular brand.
Jill Heineck: [00:02:40] I love it. So, what brought you down the CX road? How did you get here? What was your initial journey?
Jason Young: [00:02:47] It was not intentional. I will tell you that. If you were to ask – so, I would probably say two or three things. One, my parents are really good at this. So, my mom has worked in medicine my whole life. The way she cares for patients, and the way I heard her talk about patients, and how she wants them to feel, and removing obstacles, I didn’t know that growing up. It was forming this thing in my brain that was really important. My dad, the same thing – he used to manage a Fortune 500 company – that the way he would take care of people and talk about the guests and customers. So, I begin to put all these things together.
Jason Young: [00:03:30] The other thing is, so my background, most of it where I’ve worked has been in churches, and so coached and consulted with companies. What’s interesting about that is, the level of expectation or pressure is even more because it’s just a different place in a business. You know, the transactions are different. The bottom line is different. I mean, it’s still a business but it’s different. And so, I think in working in those places, I begin to understand how important people were, and the needs that they had, and the feelings that they had. And if we don’t acknowledge that, I could sell you something but that’s really, maybe, not what you need. You need something more. And so, I think kind of putting all those pieces together.
Jason Young: [00:04:18] My mom will tell you since I was a kid, I would always comment on experiences and the way they think and feel and treat. So, I don’t even know what I was doing. I probably still don’t. But nevertheless, I think it kind of brought me to this place that it is so important for me, personally, that I wanted to get into the space to help other people feel it and love it personally too.
Jill Heineck: [00:04:46] I love that. So, before you’re at North Point or Buckhead Church, what was the work experience you had before that?
Jason Young: [00:04:56] Yeah. I mean, so, most of it’s been kind of in that church space. I used to work at Life Church, which is, you know, they have 35 five campuses around the country. So, I would say that I’ve worked in churches. I’ve also worked in some business spaces with clients like Ford or Chick-fil-A, you know, different places like that outside of the church space to help them understand people. And I think that’s the big thing in the customer experience world, it’s let’s get the right product, let’s get the right process. You can bat a thousand at that. But if you don’t understand people or the emotions of people, you’re batting average drop significantly. So, for me, I actually love playing in both the church space and the business space. I love both of those worlds. And I think I can help both of those because people are people, regardless of which one we’re talking about.
Jill Heineck: [00:06:00] That’s right. So, I’d love to hear a couple of the lessons that you learned when you were working with Andy at North Point.
Jason Young: [00:06:10] I would probably say the biggest – probably two biggest things with Andy – and these were consistent. One, he deeply, deeply cares about the guest. And I used to hear people say that about other pastors or CEOs or EVPs or whoever was responsible for that. But it’s different when you filter your decisions through that. And that’s what he did. And so, it was a great – I knew that about him from a distance. But then, up close and then reporting to him, I saw that was really real. So, I learned that if you’re going to make decisions for the guests, you have to filter those decisions to how the guest feels. The second thing I would say is the people that carry out those moments to the guests – the volunteers in this case and staff – incredibly important.
Jason Young: [00:07:05] And then, I said two things, but I lied. Three things. The third thing would be excellent, excellent, excellent. And so, how do you consistently achieve excellence and then figure out looking ahead what does it look like for us to sustain it, especially in a church space when people – I don’t want to say everybody. I wouldn’t say that. But a lot of people are looking for a reason to not come back. And if it’s not excellent, that’s an easy reason for people to say, “Well, it wasn’t great. I’m moving on or I’m not coming back.” So, I would say those are the three biggest things I learned working in that organization and namely working with and alongside him.
Jill Heineck: [00:07:48] I mean, I think that that excellence kind of basis crosses over in many organizations. And as our friend, Horst Schulze, with the Ritz Carlton as a former Ritz Carlton founder, he would talk about that is the basis of his business, is bringing those guests back to the hotels over and over and over again because it’s over and above – the excellence is over and above. Right? That’s the goal.
Jason Young: [00:08:20] And the intention – and if you’re listening today, I don’t know if you have ever felt this pressure. And if you have, you’re normal. That’s the good news – is defining excellence, knowing what it is. And then, maybe there’s this internal battle that you might experience of perfection and excellence. That’s my struggle. And I ask myself, because somebody asked me this years ago, “Well, Jason. What does perfection even look like?” I don’t have a clue. I actually don’t know what it looks like. So, it sounds good. And it sounds admirable. And it sounds aspirational. But I don’t know what it looks like. Therefore, I don’t ever know when I’m there.
Jason Young: [00:09:00] In fact, the CEO of Georgia Power, Paul Bowers, one day I was in his office and I asked him this question, “How do you know?” And I started talking about perfection. He’s like, “Oh, I don’t. But here’s what I will tell you, I pursued perfection and I discover excellence.” And he goes, “So, I feel like I can quantify and qualify excellence way easier than I can perfection. But yet, I still pursue it.” So, it’s just an interesting internal struggle for myself that I assume my staff and volunteers are also navigating as well. So, if that’s you, you are in good company.
Jill Heineck: [00:09:37] Well, it’s definitely an evolution. I think that, you know, what’s working today may still keep working. But how can you improve upon that process? How can you improve upon that experience? And, you know, I’ve been in business 22 years. And every year, I’m looking back – or even every six months, we’re looking back at the holes within previous transactions so that we can continue to improve our communications plan, our delivery of our services, and things of that nature. So, I think to your point, you know, you’re pursuing it at all times. If you stop pursuing it, then maybe that’s a problem.
Jason Young: [00:10:17] Well, no. You’re right. And not to belabor this point, but I think it’s huge, especially in this COVID world that excellence is all the more important. Because it is easy for me to digitally switch to another brand, because now I don’t have to interface so much with a person. I could interface with technology. It feels less personal. So, it’s easier, potentially, for me to lead. And so, in that vein, one thing that I guess I’ve given myself permission to do and not do. I love change. And I know that sounds potentially weird to some people, because change can be stressful, and it’s pressure, and all of those things. But sometimes in the pursuit of excellence or to do things better, there is this pressure to overhaul. And so, for me, I’m giving myself permission to not overhaul, but to tweak.
Jason Young: [00:11:13] And so, you know, we don’t have time today. But if you Google Team Sky, Great Britain’s cycling team, their performance director helped them become an enormous contender and win the Tour de France back to back. And be a leader in the cycling world simply by the aggregation of marginal gains. So, just this one percent tweaks, but over a period of time. And so, maybe it’s looking at less overhaul and more just small tweaks, sticking with it, and then seeing really enormous impact come from that. That actually may lead to excellence better. That’s how I write. That’s how I change my sleep pattern. So, for me, it’s just the small things that over a period of time they aggregate for greater impact.
Jill Heineck: [00:12:02] Yeah. So, talk to me about what you’re changing up on your sleep pattern.
Jason Young: [00:12:07] So, do not model your sleep pattern after this guy. So, I will say one of the greatest struggles I have is sleep. In fact, if any of my friends are listening, they would say, “Yes. At least he knows it because we all see it.” So, for as long as I can remember, I’m – I don’t know – 12:00, 12:30 guy and get up at 4:00 a.m. And my friends, they would email me notes on sleep and books. And I’m like, “You’re right. I get it. I just got to tweak that.” And so, for me, it’s just instead of going, “Well, I’m going to get up an hour later.” I couldn’t do it. So, I would just do 15 minute increments and then I would do it for months. And then, I would change it. And so, I’m doing better on the sleep side of things.
Jason Young: [00:12:58] I think I’m internal pressured at I love productivity. And I don’t want to say there’s an addiction to productivity, but maybe there is, and that’s a weakness or an issue. And so, you know, and I’m judging myself on these things and results. And if you’re listening, you can empathize with me. And at the same time, maybe, you’re on the other side of the coin going, “This dude has problems.” And you’re right. Both of those probably. So, I think it’s tackling – I mean, that’s how I wrote my second book is, again, tweaking one percent. Because I can always come up with excuses until I discipline myself to create the change that I want by changing my behaviors. But giving myself permission to do it a little at a time.
Jill Heineck: [00:13:53] I like it. I like it a lot. I know that you and I are a lot in the same headspace. When you want to be productive, you do it early before things start getting crazy during the day. So, early is always better. But you still need sleep. So, pulling on that.
Jason Young: [00:14:09] Yeah. You’re right. Thank you. I need help.
Jill Heineck: [00:14:11] So, talk to us a little bit about the outside of your speaking business. The CXO role that you’re in at this point with the health care company.
Jason Young: [00:14:24] Yeah. I mean, I’m just sitting in a chief customer officer role. I think I approach it like this, I don’t have all the answers, but I know a lot of great people. And so, kind of giving yourself permission or giving myself permission to what do we ultimately want to achieve, and then who do I need to help make that happen, and how can I help them. So, there is this temptation not just in a CXO role, but in roles – I don’t care if you’re EVP or if your director or manager if you’re entry level, it doesn’t matter. There’s a temptation to get from people to help yourself achieve your goals or the pressure that is being put on you by your supervisor or whatever. And so, you can get from people, do your thing.
Jason Young: [00:15:16] And I think the great thing we should remember – one great thing is remember that the people at the table aren’t there just to contribute to what you’re trying to accomplish. But you are there to help contribute to them. And for me, that is both in work and personal life. Right? And so, I think sometimes we want people to – and this is for me just in the CXO role or working with church, it doesn’t matter, is I don’t want you to check everything at the door. I actually want you to bring your whole self. And if I can help you at work and then if I can help you in your life, you are more engaged because I care beyond the walls of the company. And, of course, we’re digital, so I care beyond that.
Jason Young: [00:16:04] And I think sometimes in a role we could feel pressure to get things done. And so, we’re like, “Jill, I need something from you. And, so and so, I need something from you. And, Jason.” And so, I think a lot of times I need to make deposits in other people and to help them as much as I’m asking them to help me, if not more, in addition to beyond the scope of work. And that takes work. In fact, I call it the inconvenience of intentionality. It’s inconvenient many times. But suck it up. That’s what is part of leadership and caring for people. Don’t you think that when you ask people for things, it’s inconvenient? More than likely it is. So, embracing this idea of I’m going to be intentional with Jill. I’m going to be intentional with so and so. I’m going to be intentional in building. And knowing that oftentimes the opportunities are really inconvenient. But that’s probably where a lot of the power for the company and the relationship lies. So, don’t let tasks distract you from the relationship. Allow the relationship to live as much as you want the tasks to be effective.
Jill Heineck: [00:17:16] Yeah. And I think that when you’re focusing on the team that’s delivering the product or service that you are selling, they need to feel engaged. Like you said, it’s the employee experience as much of it is the customer experience, because they’re the end user, the end receiver. So, if the employee, the team is delivering a great experience or excited about their experience within the culture of the company, then we know that the customer is going to feel that.
Jason Young: [00:17:48] Well, and it’s interesting, there’s this both end piece, potentially. And I see this in leaders. And, Jill, I’ve probably done this myself and should profusely apologize to how many other people. But I think a lot of times a leader will lead via policy, but expect the team members to lead via values. And so, I want you to deliver to the customer, the guests, our values. But I’m going to leave you with our policy. And I’m not saying people do this, but it’s easy to do. And so, the best thing I can do is I model for you what I expect you to model and deliver to the guests.
Jason Young: [00:18:34] And I think that is incredibly important. I mean, you look at companies that do it well. This is one of the things that they do. Great leaders do this well and they do it consistently. And so, for me, I work hard to try to do that. I’m not perfect at it by far. But I want people to tell me. And they tell me and sometimes it’s like, “Oh, my gosh. That didn’t feel great.” But you’re right. You’re absolutely right.
Jill Heineck: [00:18:58] So, give us an example, like, what has someone said to you?
Jason Young: [00:19:04] Yeah. So, the first thing that popped in my head, and this may not be a great example. But the first thing that popped in my head, I’m a verbal processor. So, maybe you’re listening today and you’re like, “Golly. That guy said in 60 seconds what he could have said in 20.” And you’re right. My wife would agree. My kids would agree. You’re right. And so, with that, I remember I love to talk about ideas and so I’m talking out loud. And just because I’m talking about it doesn’t mean we’re going to go do it all. And so, I remember one time there was a leader that said to me in a 360 and then I eventually sat down with this individual.
Jason Young: [00:19:46] And they said, “You know, there’s a lot of things that you talk about, but you don’t do.” And I’m an action oriented guy results. And I kind of was offended. I didn’t say that. I was trying to be this leader like, “Yeah. You’re right.” And I said, “Well, what do you mean?” They said, “Well, you know, you talk about, like, five things and do four.” And I’m like, “Yeah.” They said, “Yeah. So, I just assumed, like, your follow through is not good.” I’m like, “I’m good at following through.”
Jason Young: [00:20:12] What we discovered was, the way I was talking and the way this person was listening wasn’t good. So, this person said to me, “If you can tell me, ‘Hey, we’re not going to do anything right now.’ Or, ‘I’m just talking out loud.’ Or, ‘What are the expectations?’ When I walk away, I felt pressure from you that I had to help you do five things. And then, when I didn’t see you do it, I thought, ‘Well, he doesn’t feel the pressure. That’s unfair.'” So, it’s creating this unfair feeling in somebody when I don’t even know what was going on. And so, I think just giving people the right to deliver solicited and unsolicited feedback and to ask in team meetings or maybe even bring it up. You know, sometimes I would even in meetings bring up, “You know, my wife told me the other day, blah, blah, blah, blah. Is this true?” And people are like, “Well, yeah.”
Jason Young: [00:21:06] And so, it was a great opportunity for me to go, “Man, I am sorry. That probably creates more work on you guys and gals that is completely unfair.” Or, “I’m not good at this.” So, I think it is being open to listening without being defensive, which is not always easy, especially when you think the way you’re doing it is right. And using self-deprecating humor or those kinds of things. So, I don’t know if that’s helpful or not, but that’s just kind of the first example that popped in my brain.
Jill Heineck: [00:21:39] Well, and part of it is, you know, when we’re asking for feedback along the way during our work, you know, the work path during a transaction, we’re asking along the way, you know, “Is there anything that you need?” And a lot of the times they they don’t know what they need. And if they do know what they need and they do get feedback, sometimes it’s not what you expected. It might not be great. And so, you have to be open for that feedback, right? But I think, also, what you’re talking about is the pressure to then respond or react immediately to whatever feedback that you’re getting. Which, you know, again, I think you have to take your one percent tweaks and implement it that way because it’s somebody’s perception, number one. And number two, implementation is harder than it sounds in most cases and it takes longer. So, I think just, like you said, being open and just having that conversation is going to keep your team engaged. And then, again, make them want to deliver.
Jason Young: [00:22:48] Yeah. And Jill, I don’t know, this example popped in my brain. I remember sitting in a final interview with an organization. I eventually went to work for them. And it was almost like the apprentice type format interviews, multiple days, it was intense. I mean, we were taking English tests and math tests. I don’t even know what for. But they had a rhyme and reason. But I remember sitting in the very last interview and they said something to me that rocked my world but changed my world. Probably, the best thing anybody ever said. And this is what they said to me, “You’re a super talented guy, Jason. But you are not emotionally intelligent.” And I said, “Cool. I don’t know what you’re talking about.” This is, you know, 12 years ago or 12 plus years ago.
Jason Young: [00:23:34] And what I discovered was there were two things happening. They were giving me feedback in an interview. They unpacked it for me. But they were also setting the tone of one of the things, as an employee of this organization, that they valued most is emotional intelligence. So, in the interview, a lot was happening. But what it did for me is it set me on a path for 10 or 12 years that I’ve worked so hard on emotional intelligence. And you know what? They were absolutely right. Because here’s what I’ve been told in my whole life up until that point, “Jason, you’re talented. Jason, you have great skills. Jason, you’re good with people.” But nobody ever told me this other small piece that actually made the other pieces that people told me I was good at even better. And so, it was a hard pill to swallow, but they were absolutely right. So, I think listening to feedback, and then just putting in the hard work, and doing it over a long period of time, and let the results be what they are.
Jill Heineck: [00:24:31] Yeah. And I think in this fast paced world, everybody wants the immediate solution to be implemented right away and see those results. But we still have to go old school and take it easy. And just see, you know, one step at a time. That’s all right. I’m the first person, I want everything done yesterday and done right and perfect.
Jason Young: [00:24:52] Oh, girl. I echo that. Come on.
Jill Heineck: [00:24:56] It doesn’t work. So, I wanted to switch gears a little bit and ask you to to share with our listeners a little bit about what your speaking experiences have brought to you. What kind of cool things are you learning as you’re kind of talking to groups about the customer experience and what kind of feedback you’re getting from your audiences?
Jason Young: [00:25:22] Yeah. So, the business of it right now looks drastically different than it did in February. I mean, rocking and rolling. And all of a sudden, we hit this thing – if you’ve never heard about it – called coronavirus. And everybody’s talking about it. And look, it impacted enormous. All live events in my world canceled this year. And so, it taught me one enormous thing. And that thing was the very thing I love, which were live events. That’s great for Jason. But what it didn’t do, it didn’t set me up well for if something were to happen like this season that we’re in right now. And so, it created a, “Hey, how much have you thought about the digital space?” And not just throwing yourself on a screen and calling it a day and it’s good enough.
Jason Young: [00:26:12] But really exploring what do people need, how to abbreviate something, new offerings, things of that nature. And so, that’s been an interesting discovery both in myself, but also in talking with faith based organizations, companies that are struggling too, other companies that are flourishing. The needs are different and the timing of the needs. And they could change from week to week. And so, that’s an overwhelming place to be as a business owner, faith based, flourishing, not flourishing, whatever. And so, I think, for me, learning how to do business differently with different offerings is something I’ve learned. And I think sometimes we wait for these moments to force us to think differently versus giving ourselves permission to think differently without the force of a season like this.
Jason Young: [00:27:12] And so, we always say, “Well, we didn’t have time.” Well, all of a sudden we’ve got plenty of time. And maybe time was never the issue. Maybe it was discipline. And so, I think, for me, that’s been a thing. I think, navigating what is – I used to [inaudible] a year or two. And now I can’t, because there’s this cliche where the fluidity of our season, so that is something. December may look different than September. So, how can I make something that might look the same or work or operable? So, what I’m trying to do is trying to create an operable framework that is helpful to companies and churches, especially when some of them have yet to reopen. So, their needs are different than those that are physically open, their buildings or churches.
Jason Young: [00:28:03] So, for me, it’s asking a lot of questions to a lot of people. And it’s asking what is something that I can do that is helpful? I want to solve it all with something that I can do that is helpful. So, I don’t know if that makes sense or if that’s even helpful. But that’s just kind of where I’m sitting at today and trying to figure things out.
Jill Heineck: [00:28:25] Yeah. So, I mean, that’s where we all are. I mean, we’ve had to pivot in our business too. And we can’t do in-person open houses. So, how are we doing this? We’re doing it on Facebook Live. We’re walking people through houses on Zoom. So, we are doing open houses. But corona has forced us to reinvent the way people seek homes and buy homes now. So, we’re all doing the same things in different spaces, right?
Jason Young: [00:28:56] So, let me ask you this question, and this is a question I’m asking myself. And I read this somewhere weeks or months ago – I think it was months ago. And I think it might have just been a line, but it really resonated with me. Trying to figure out what moments require pivoting and what moments require innovating? And for, me, I think that has been a really great challenge. Because if you’re anything like me, I hear pivot 482 times a day. I use it 482 times a day. And, eventually, people are like, “Okay. We’re all pivoting. We get it.” But asking the hard question, is this a pivot move? Or does this require me to innovate? And for me, those require different approaches, maybe even different parts of my brain. It might require different people at the table. The timeline might be different. So, they’re just different versus kind of lumping out we’re just going to pivot everything. Well, maybe.
Jason Young: [00:29:58] So, for me, I’m asking questions like, what do I need to start? What do I need to fix? What do I need to end? And maybe another set of questions can be, you know, what’s right, what’s wrong, what’s missing, what’s confusing. And so, in asking myself these questions and getting other voices – I call it my table of influence. Getting a table of influencers around me and help and think through these things. Man, the result is pretty remarkable. Not because I’m remarkable. Because just the questions and the people, it just makes it better. And so, my question, maybe, to you is, have we thought about what needs to pivot or what do I need to pivot and then what do we – maybe innovation is what’s being required. I don’t know. So, just kind of a raw feeling where I’ve been the last couple of months.
Jill Heineck: [00:30:44] I definitely think innovation is more than half of it, only because we are leveraging tools that we already have to innovate ways to do different things. So, from a pivoting perspective, I would think is you’re pivoting your mindset. You’re really having to wrap your head around the current environment. And then, the innovation comes from tools that you currently have or innovate different ways to do what you’ve always done, because you have to. And we’re in that digital space. In our space, we’re doing a lot of things like reverse offers, where, maybe, last week we had a lot of offers on a property that just didn’t work for the seller. And then, a week goes by and the seller is like, “But I really still want to sell my house.” Let’s go back to these fliers, if they haven’t made a buying decision. And let’s engineer and craft a strategic reverse offer to them and see if this would work for them instead.
Jill Heineck: [00:31:35] So, reverse offers have always been around, but I think even more so. We’re seeing it more in our practice. So, it’s innovating that way as well. So, I think mindset definitely is where the pivot happens. You have to be okay with making a change. And if you don’t move, if you’re not fluid, you’re probably going to be out. And that’s particularly in our field. That’s what we’re seeing. And you also have to be COVID conscious. And the first thing is we want to make sure everybody is safe and healthy. And so, our teams have already very quickly put all that into place. We really didn’t have a choice. We’ve always been deemed essential. So, we want to still be essential and healthy and safe. So, we’ve implemented a lot of different strategies around that as well. So, just keeping it flowing.
Jill Heineck: [00:32:36] And believe it or not, real estate just kind of gone to the roof in Atlanta over the last six months. So, that’s been a good thing. People in your space that I’ve seen who speak for a living have kind of innovated and created programs online, but not as long. Or you can’t do as much one-to-one interactions, right? Because you can’t have 200 people on Zoom. It just doesn’t work. So, we have seen that. So, a lot of what our company, Keller Williams International, has done a lot of top agent training via Zoom calls. And not all of us are on it. We’re just watching them talk to us and we’re able to ask questions. And we’re getting top agents from all over the world to discuss the new strategies, and what they’re buying into, and what’s working well for them.
Jill Heineck: [00:33:26] So, I think at a high level, it’s just taking kind of, like you said, tables of influence and kind of taking what works for someone that you might be able to implement part of what they’re doing in your processes in your business. I’m curious to know if you have a standout CX strategy that you have worked on or a customer of yours worked on that’s worked really well that pops out in your head.
Jason Young: [00:33:57] Yeah. There’s two, and I’m going to maybe pick one. I think, let me go with this one. And the reason is I think it works at work and I think it works at home. I think it’s really the idea. And I didn’t come up with this idea, so I can’t credit myself with it. But it’s really just the power of being fully present with someone. And so, if I’m a real estate agent being fully present with the buyer in front of me or the seller in front of me, digitally or in person. Or if I work at a grocery store and I’m checking out. It’s the simplest scan and groceries and you feel like you get these tasks to do. What does it mean to be fully present? What does it mean if you’re a CEO and to be fully present with your your C-suite or your assistant? Or what does it mean to be fully present with your kids?
Jason Young: [00:34:59] And so, I think when we understand how powerful – I don’t mean this in an arrogant sense – but how powerful our presence is with another person. Our presence to someone else is a gift because we live in a hectic, fast paced world. And we don’t give people the right amount of time, attention, or listening, or empathy that they deserve, that we want and it strains a relationship, even though we do it in the name of productivity. I’m guilty of this. And so, I think one of the things we can do is to be mentally fully present. So, you press pause in whatever you’re thinking so you can press play on the person saying physically, fully present, watching your body language because your actions speak louder than your words.
Jason Young: [00:35:52] To be emotionally fully present, what does that mean? It means that you give somebody the gift of empathy. And empathy is not, “Oh, I’m sorry.” But empathy is jumping in with them, walk with them. And it’s not sympathy. And so, I think the more we can be fully present with a guest, a customer, people feel that. And when they feel those things, they may not go, ‘”Oh, you. You are being empathetic with me.” They’re not going to say those words, but it is what they feel. And so, maybe the thing that I’ve seem to be most powerful in the work that I do, whether it’s with a business, a church, a leader, is if I can help you to be better at being fully present with the person in front of, your leadership gets better, your relationships can better, your business gets better, your guests love you more. They remark on how remarkable you are.
Jason Young: [00:36:52] And what it does secondarily or, maybe, on a tertiary side is, it boosts your likability. And I’m not saying like self-esteem likability. But likability as a leader, likability as a brand. And people do business with brands they like. People want to work with someone they like. So, it’s an impactful thing at home and at work that the more fully present you can be with someone, the more you win. But at the end of the day, the more you help the person across from you win. Because what you’re saying to them is when I’m fully present with you, I am declaring what I value and that’s you. And that is a rare gift in the world that we live in.
Jill Heineck: [00:37:32] That’s right, especially now that everything has gone digital, because we have to. So, I think it’s really interesting. So, you know, I love how you talk about creating viral customers in your book, The Comeback Effect. And I’m interested to know how you’re kind of drawing to that point in your upcoming book. Can you talk a little bit about that?
Jason Young: [00:37:59] Yes. And the next book, it comes out September 1st. It’s called The Volunteer Effect -real creative, I know. And it’s really about the person who delivers the comeback effect. And so, I think it’s super important that if you have customers one or a hundred thousand – you might use the word guest customer, so I use those interchangeably – I think sometimes we can overlook the people that deliver the experience. In fact, if you look in customer service world, those companies that rank at the top, they share a couple of things in common. But one thing that they share in common is they prioritize the employee experience. It doesn’t mean it’s perfect, but it does mean it’s prioritized. And they do that with value system behaviors. They don’t just say it, but they demonstrate it.
Jason Young: [00:38:54] And so, I think that while the guest is important 100 percent, you can’t take care of the guests and not take care of the people who help take care of the guests. And so, what does it look like for you to take care of them? And it can be super basic. You say, “Well, I don’t have the financial resources, especially in the COVID world.” Listening is free. It does require time. But it’s not an additional expense on a sheet of paper. It’s free. And so, doing little things like that, acknowledging simple things – like, you know, again, people want to be acknowledged personally and not just in a “professional sense.”
Jason Young: [00:39:37] And so, I think, for me, in this new book, The Volunteer Effect, is really helping organizations that utilize volunteers. But there’s same principles you can extrapolate if you have staff. And how do you how do you affect them because they are going to affect the guest and customer experience. So, it’s saying this group of people is super, super important.
Jill Heineck: [00:40:03] Absolutely. Absolutely. I love everything that you’ve said today. I’m on the same page. I love a couple of the things I wanted to just kind of revisit. You said tweak versus overhaul. I love that because we kind of put the pressure on ourselves to, like, hurry up and redo everything. And then, you end up doing nothing or you do have it and you’re like, “Wait. Well, now, I half assed it. Now, what do I do?” So, I love the tweaking. Like, one percent tweaks over a period of time to create a great impact. And remind me again, you said pursue perfection.
Jason Young: [00:40:43] Yeah. And discover excellence.
Jill Heineck: [00:40:45] And discover excellence. I love that. I got in my head and did not write the rest of it down. And then, pivot versus innovate. I love that as well. I think they’re not interchangeable. And I think that there is a big difference. And I think people can take that away today. Those are what I really deem to be important points that you made today. So, tell our listeners what are a couple of the things you’d like to be known for?
Jason Young: [00:41:18] I think I’d love to be known for someone who cares about other leaders and puts in the work and effort to invest in them. And then, the second thing is I want guests and customers when they walk away to feel seen, to feel cared for, to feel valued. And so, if I can be known for helping accomplish those two things, because at the end of the day, I love to ask this question to companies and to leaders. But this is applicable to anybody. At home, when people walk away from you, what do you want them to feel about you? Your brand, you as a leader, you as a customer service person, whoever it is, mom, dad.
Jason Young: [00:42:04] And so, for me, I think I want people to say that guy invests in me as a leader, as a person. And then, I help create moments that guests feel cared for and really, really valued. Because, for me, hospitality, it’s an antiquated word in many industries. Customer experience, customer service, those are the words we use. But, really, hospitality is an older word. But, for me, hospitality is intentionally providing a guest or a customer with generous care. And when you do that, when you do that with other people, when you do that with guests, it’s a remarkable place to be. And so, I’d love to be known for those things.
Jill Heineck: [00:42:48] Well, Jason, I really appreciate you taking the time to talk with us, to talk with me, and to share with our listeners your nuggets. Dropping some knowledge on everybody here today. I appreciate it so much. And I want to thank everybody who is listening to us today for listening. I’m really proud to share the show with you as we love to highlight and showcase the customer experience as a legit business strategy. And reminding us that no matter the business you’re in, whether it’s real estate, speaking, faith based organizations, the customer experience should always be the heart of the business.
About Your Host
Jill Heineck is a leading authority on corporate relocations, and is highly sought after for her real estate industry acumen and business insights. As a published author, frequent panelist and keynote speaker, Jill shares her experience and perceptions with people from around the globe.
Jill is a founding partner of Keller Williams Southeast, established in 1999, and the founder and managing partner of Heineck & Co. Her real estate practice specializes in corporate relocations, individual relocations, luxury residential, and commercial properties. Jill’s analytical approach to problem-solving, along with her expert negotiation skills and sophisticated marketing, deliver superior results to her clients. Her winning strategies and tenacious client advocacy have earned her a reputation for excellence among Atlanta’s top producers.
While Jill has received many accolades throughout her career, she is most gratified by the personal testimonials and referrals she receives from her clients. Jill’s unwavering commitment to the customer experience, and her focus on the unique needs of each client, serve as the foundation of her success.
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