Episode #099: Exceptional Customer Experience in Sales with Joe Calloway
In This Episode of The Buyer’s Mind with Jeff Shore:
Joe Calloway, author of The Leadership Mindset, and Jeff talk about the customer’s need for an exceptional experience. What memories, as a sales professional, will you give your customer that makes their experience unique? It takes a creative sales person to make the experience stand out. Hip doesn’t last but delivering a consistent and memorable experience does.
Hip has a shelf-life. What are my customer’s expectations going to be a year from now? A much more powerful word is relevant. Quality, service, value - those unsexy things create incredible word of mouth. #buyersmind #sales
Topics we’re going to cover on today’s podcast:
[00:50] What makes for a great experience?
[3:35 ]Meet Joe Calloway
[5:23] How teams develop strong customer care
[12:54] What can be learned from Disfrutar
[20:05] The lessons from Southwest Airlines
[30:36] The Leadership Mindset
More about our guest Joe Calloway:
Joe Calloway helps leaders focus on what is truly important, inspires new thinking about effective leadership, and motivates them to immediate action.
Joe is a business author, consultant and speaker whose client list reads like an international Who’s Who in business, ranging from Coca Cola and Verizon to Cadillac and American Express. Joe also works with small to mid-sized business groups including franchisees, and a range of professional services groups, as well as non-profits and government organizations.
Joe is a Principal in the consulting group, The Disruption Lab, and has served as Executive In Residence at Belmont University’s Center For Entrepreneurship.
Joe is the author of Becoming A Category of One: How Extraordinary Companies Transcend Commodity And Defy Comparison, which received rave reviews from The New York Times, Retailing Today, Publishers Weekly and many others.
Joe’s other books include Be The Best At What Matters Most, Magnetic: The Art Of Attracting Business, Keep It Simple, and his newest book, The Leadership Mindset.
Joe is a founding investor in Gilson Snow, where he is Business Strategist and member of the Board of Directors. He is also the founding investor in EVAmore, an online event and booking company, and is a partner in a number of real estate developments throughout the mid-South.
Joe has presented workshops at leadership events in countries around the world including Italy, Sweden, South Africa, England, Swaziland, Canada, Mexico and throughout the Caribbean.
Joe has been inducted into the Speakers Hall of Fame, and he brings an engaging keynote speaker’s energy to his workshops. But Joe doesn’t do traditional one way lectures with a Powerpoint presentation. Instead, Joe engages leaders in highly interactive sessions that challenge assumptions and create new ways of thinking.
Joe lives in Nashville with his wife Annette, and their daughters Jessica and Cate.
Links from today’s podcast:
Jeff: So, what makes for a truly exceptional customer experience? We’re gonna answer that question on today’s episode of “The Buyer’s Mind.”
Announcer: Welcome to “The Buyer’s Mind” where we take a closer look deep inside your customer’s decision-making mechanism to reverse engineer the perfect sales presentation. Now, please welcome your host, Jeff Shore.
Jeff: Hello, everyone. Once again, welcome to “The Buyer’s Mind.” I am your host, Jeff Shore, leading you through that process of understanding the way that your customer makes purchase decisions and on today’s episode, the expectations and the hopes that they have for a great experience. And that’s the question that we’re trying to unpack today, what makes for a great experience? So, I’m gonna throw that over to our producer Paul Murphy. Murph, what do you think? What makes for a great customer experience?
Paul: What makes for a great customer experience? Well, you know, I think you have to walk away with great memories. You have to enjoy whatever it was that you were participating in, and then I think the personalities of the people that guide you through it, I think, are a big piece of it.
Jeff: Yeah, it’s about the way that a customer is made to feel, right? And then it’s what they are going through in the experience and then you made a really, really good point, it’s making those great memories. So, Daniel Kahneman talks about this, that there is the experiencing self about how we are feeling when we’re in a moment, and then there’s the memory self, that is, “What do we take with us afterwards? What do we recall after the fact?” And if the experiencing self is having a really, really great experience, then the memory itself will carry that with them and it’ll cause a service provider to completely stand out.
So, I think those points are really, really well-taken, Murph. I wanna add one other thing as far as what makes for a great experience and I wanna suggest that one attribute there would be on the fly creativity on the fly creativity. That is that if you wanna take really good care of your customers, you need to figure out how you can be extremely creative in thinking about one-on-one experiences. What would that look like for each individual customer that you’re talking to? Now, if I can do that, then it puts me into this really interesting mind frame where I’m thinking through, “Who is this person? What are their needs? What are their wants? What are their desires? What are their hopes? What are their fears and their frustrations? How can I serve them creatively?”
Now, oftentimes, when we do that, we tend to think of, “How do I do that on a big fat scale?” What we wanna talk about today is how to do that in very small ways. What can we do in very small steps? This is one of the reasons why I’m so thrilled to have Joe Calloway on the show. He’s a leadership expert and an expert in organizations and on the culture of organizations, and how that culture drips all the way down into the customer care. But he’s not the first one who’s gonna tell you that it’s not about customer care initiatives, it’s really about the DNA of an organization that would give people inside the organization the freedom to be able to exercise that on the fly creativity. I think you’re gonna love this interview with Joe Calloway.
Well, thrilled to bring on a just a really great thinker, great speaker, a profound author. Just a really, really good guy. To know Joe Calloway is to like Joe Calloway. He’s one of the most respected people that you’ll see walking the halls of the National Speakers Association conventions, for sure. But he’s also just a…that term thought leader gets passed around a lot. But Joe just thinks on a different plane. Thrilled to have him today on “The Buyer’s Mind.” Joe, welcome to the program.
Joe: Well, Jeff, I wanna quit while we’re ahead and just stop now.
Jeff: We can wrap it up now. That’s fine.
Joe: What a nice introduction. Thank you. And it’s great to be here. Thanks for having me.
Jeff: You’re calling in today from, if I’m not mistaken, the great city of Nashville, Tennessee.
Joe: Nashville. Yeah. Which is home base for me. So, yeah, I’m calling from international headquarters here in Nashville.
Jeff: Love it. Love it. Love it. Have you been in Nashville all your life?
Joe: You know, most all my life. I was out in the northwest near Seattle for a few years back in the late 70s, but other than that, yeah, I’ve been here in Nashville.
Jeff: Best part about living in Nashville, worst part about living in Nashville?
Joe: Best part about living in Nashville is it’s a creative hotbed and not just music, education, business. There were a lot of really, really interesting people and cool things going on. Worst thing, and we’re getting to be a cliché city because we are a massive boom town right now. All anybody talks about is the traffic and how awful it is. So, yeah, it’s that double-edged sword thing that comes with growth.
Jeff: Got it. Got it. Joe, you are one of the true leaders in regards to the idea of customer care and specifically, how teams can develop that strong customer care. Tell us a little bit about your background and how you got to the point where this is what I wanna talk about. This is what I wanna be an expert in, and clearly you are, but how did that evolve over time?
Joe: Yeah, and it really has been an evolution. I’ve wondered very purposefully and intentionally through a lot of different aspects of how I can help businesses and business professionals grow, not just sustain their success, but grow their success and keep moving forward. You know, it’s been interesting, Jeff, because it has been a journey. I tend to have a pretty low threshold for boredom. And so I’ve moved from, gosh, being… A million years ago, I was doing just kind of general business motivation and then I started digging down a little bit deeper into how I could help companies with, gosh, with teamwork, with branding, with all sorts of competitive positioning things.
But you know, the one common thread, it always comes back to the customer. I think that’s the only reason we exist, ultimately, is to serve a customer. And so no matter what I’m talking about, and now a lot of what I do is with leadership groups, be they in sales, or executive groups, or whatever, but there’s always that thread of, “How are we winning and keeping and staying ahead of the competition when it comes to serving our customers?”
Jeff: I’ve lost track of how many books that you’ve written. I know it’s many. My favorite was probably “Becoming a Category of One.” Just absolutely loved that book. And now you’ve written “The Leadership Mindset.” You could use “The Leadership Mindset” if you’d like, but just in general, how do you decide what you’re going to write on? Everybody says, “Oh, I wanna write a book. I wanna write a book.” Some people actually do that, but there is that process, that creative process that goes into it. So, how much time do you take? How long are you thinking about a book before you actually write the book?
Joe: Well, it’s interesting, it’s been two years since my last book and people were starting to say, “When are you gonna write another book?” And my answer was, “When I think of something to say.” And for me, here’s tip that I would pass on to people because, I mean, it’s the only thing that works for me and I can’t imagine it wouldn’t work for everybody else, which is to write a book because…I mean, you got to hunker down and do some work to write a book. So, it needs to be something that really flips a switch with you. I mean, it’s got to be about an idea that you are genuinely excited about.
And I really have to wait until an idea jumps up and bites me and I go, “Oh, wow, there you go. I wanna write about that now.” Now, sometimes, Jeff, it’ll be, I’ll have a chapter in a book and that one chapter will then grab hold of me and it will become the basis for the next book. But sometimes it’s just, you know, what’s happening in the market place, what is it that’s going on out there that I think people really need to be thinking about, but I do think it’s got to be something that you’re excited about. If you’re not excited about it, I don’t see how that can work.
Jeff: One of the things that’s interesting to me that sets apart business thinkers, entrepreneurs, if you will, I think the term is overly-used but thought leaders, one of the things that sets them apart is that their output is ideas, right? That’s what they create. That is what they put out. They are well-reasoned, well-formed, and hopefully, well-researched ideas. It seems to me that one of the problems that I think a lot of people feel trapped by is that they work for corporations or organizations where they are executors of somebody else’s ideas. I get the sense for you, Joe, that that’s just not in your DNA, that you really enjoy the process, I certainly know I do, of just asking, “What’s next, and what do I wanna think about?” And then hopefully, if I can gain enough insight people to share that with others. I just don’t see you as somebody who could spend his life working on somebody else’s ideas.
Joe: No, I couldn’t. As a matter of fact, recently… I’m part of the group, it’s kind of a sad thing. It’s very important and significant, but it’s not my main business. But one of the things that they’re doing is they’re taking ideas that have been established by other experts and they’re then going into companies with those ideas giving full credit the people that originated the ideas. And they’re teaching people how to use these ideas. And I told him, I said, “I can’t do that. I mean, I don’t know how to do that.” I’m so used to expressing things from putting it through my own filter, and my own hours of observation, and then reason that it’s hard for me to kind of report on somebody else’s ideas. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with doing that. It’s a valuable thing to do.
But, yeah, you know, it’s interesting. I tell people sometimes I’m really… A lot of what I do, I’m a reporter. My job is to study the marketplace every single day and constantly look for what’s working and what’s going to work as you look out into the future. And so I’m really… I see what I do as interpreting the marketplace so that other people can go, “Oh, wow, I can use that.” You know, that gives me an idea that I can use because at the end of the day, if they can’t go out and use it, what’s the point?
Jeff: I love it. Just two things that differ from what you just said. One is the idea that, you know, adopting somebody else’s idea, somebody else’s concept, well, again, there’s nothing wrong with that, but when you’re creating your own, when it’s something that you’re living with, that you’re researching, and then you’re writing an entire book, it’s not just a book, it’s a crusade. It’s an all-consuming passion that you have and coming up with that passion for somebody else’s idea seems to me daunting and, at least, for me, I know that I could not be effective in that.
But you called yourself a reporter. I find that really interesting for people like you in that entrepreneurial mode who are constantly observing what’s going on or try and figure out where the lessons are. And I know that you were recently in Barcelona. You ate at… Probably gonna butcher the name, but I believe it’s pronounced Disfrutar, is one of the best restaurants in the world. And then you just sat there as an observer. Well, first of all, were you able to enjoy the meal if all you were observing? But secondly, what did you learn about the experience?
Joe: Yeah, we took a group of executives to Barcelona for one purpose. We went to 30 different companies and met with a lot of the senior people in each of the… I say companies. I mean, there were hospitals, there were city governments, car manufacturer, but we were looking for ideas. That’s it. It was like a giant field trip for grownups that were in business and a lot of the people were in sales and marketing. Everybody’s looking for ideas. And one of our stops was Disfrutar. And you’re right, it’s noted as one of the best restaurants in the world. And we had a 22-course lunch.
Let me give you my two big observations. One was the food was so extraordinary. I could talk the rest of the day and I couldn’t do it justice. Amazingly creative, quality beyond belief. Let me talk a little bit about… Well, let me put it this way. After it was all over and we have this amazing 22-course meal, what we told stories to other people about, it was, of course, the food, but it was also stuff like this. And I’ll give you a little slice of something that happened at the end of the meal. And to me, this summed up the culture and a big part of the reason for Disfrutar’s success. At the end of the lunch, our waitress said, “What would you like after lunch? And would you like a dessert one or an after-dinner drink or would any of you like coffee or espresso?” And a good friend of mine, brilliant entrepreneur from England named Paul Rosser was sitting next to me, he said, “You’re all having espresso.”
And so he then got up and left the table for a few minutes. Well, the waitress comes back and she gives everybody what they had ordered, she puts Paul’s espresso down, and she says, “Oh.” She said, “You know what? I’m gonna wait until he comes back and make him a new one.” And so she took it away and Paul came back, she immediately brought him a hot espresso. She didn’t want it to sit there for the minute, or two, or whatever, that he would be gone and cool off. And we all looked at each other and said, “There you go.” That’s a culture that starts at the top and runs all the way through, which says we will make every customer experience from start to finish as extraordinary as we can make it. And it made such an impression on us. And it was a culture thing, Jeff, you just knew that that was a top-down cultural thing and that anybody in that business would have done it exactly the same way.
Jeff: Yeah. Let’s get into that here.
Joe: And I mean anybody in that restaurant that worked there.
Jeff: Well, because of two things, it seems to me, is…listen, there’s customer service and then there’s just that very next level or that top level that a few people reach it and it takes two things to get there. It takes creativity. You have to really focus on how you’re gonna create that really great experience. But it also takes an organizational DNA. It has to be part of the culture of that company. It can’t be just some initiative. Look my wife and I last year had the opportunity to have dinner at the French Laundry outside of Napa, Thomas Keller’s restaurant up there.
It was an amazing experience. And I have to admit, I had a hard time, as great as the food was, and it was truly one of the best meals I’ve had in my life, I had to look at the way that people did things and I was trying to sort out in my own mind, “What of this is just somebody being creative and what of it is part of that organizational DNA that gives people the freedom?” One of the concerns that I have is that a lot of people work for companies when they look and they go, “They got to get my hand slapped for bringing a hot espresso. I don’t get paid for that.” So, do I have that right? Is it that combination of things? And what do companies do to try and foster that type of environment?
Joe: You know, I think you’ve got it exactly right. And if we could move from the lofty level of Disfrutar and the French Laundry down to something a little more every day, a company that I think really has gotten it right, not 100%, that’s almost impossible but, boy, they do really well at it. And I think the most of everybody listening, well, it depends on what market they’re in but a whole lot of the listeners will have flown on Southwest Airlines. And the reason I thought of Southwest is because you said it’s not just a matter of customer being top of mind and it’s not just a matter of…oh gosh, how do I say this? It’s not just about preaching customer experience, but you said giving them the freedom.
And at Southwest, one of the keys to their very high customer satisfaction and very high customer loyalty is that they’ve given their employees the freedom to… it’s like, “You figure it out and you do what you think will make the customers happy.” And I fly Southwest all the time cause it’s a big, big, big… It’s 85% of the flights out of Nashville are Southwest. And it’s just been interesting to watch how the employees individually go out of their ways in the most human way imaginable to make flying, which is just such a godawful experience, but they’ve made it darn near kind of pleasant because, well… And wait, let’s go back to the beginning.
Southwest is very particular about who they hire. They hire one out of every thousands of applicants because they want people that have the right attitude. And so yeah, you’re right. It’s about giving people the freedom to be creative in a customer experience-focused way. And then it’s not a project, it’s not an initiative, it is culture, and it has to be in the DNA.
Jeff: You know, I think, I guess like you, I fly Southwest a quite a bit and I think of those moments, those individual moments that really define both the organization itself and also the customer experience. And I think that a flight attendant when we had landed, I don’t remember where I was, but we had landed and the flight attendant said, “We wanna have a special thanks to private,” whatever his name is, “a soldier for his tour, but he’s also been gone. He’s been in Afghanistan now for a year. He’s seated in the second to last row of the plane, but his family is waiting. Would you all mind just staying seated while he has the opportunity to come forward so he can get off the plane first?”
Well, how do you think we felt as passengers? I mean, there was no sense of inconvenience. No. And we didn’t stay seated because we gave the guy a standing ovation and the pats on the back and it was this marvelous, wonderful touching… People were crying on the airplane over this incident. And then I look at it and I go, “How does that happen?” And I think it can only happen because an employee felt the freedom to be able to do that. The respect, the trust, and the idea that the organization itself has their back. And I think my… Sorry for dominating here but it was just so passionate.
My favorite Southwest story is when somebody had written a letter to Herb Kelleher when he was running the airline years ago, just railing against the employees and saying, “It was a horrible organization. I’m never gonna fly Southwest again.” And he did some research and he wrote her back a letter and he said, “I think you’ve made a good choice.” End of story. That’s it. And there’s that sense throughout the organization of respect that gives people the liberty, the freedom, the creativity to be able to take care of their customers.
Joe: Yeah. You know, both of us being Southwest fliers, we could swap stories every day.
Jeff: I’m sure.
Joe: Yeah. I think the key, though is that nobody has to read the instructions to understand… Now, of course, they have standards that they follow up, but then it is in the DNA and that comes from people talking about what’s important, what matters most, what we’re about, what we value, they talk about it. When I say they, it starts with leadership. But then it runs through the whole organization. And they talk about it all the time. So, it does truly become an organic DNA thing. They don’t know any other way to do it except to do it the best way possible.
Jeff: How do you think the internet, and especially in the access to opinion has changed the expectations of today’s customers?
Joe: Two things, and you say access to opinion. Here’s the thing. Listen. And I’ve got to go out and sell what I do every single day. You know, I like to think of myself as waking up unemployed every day. I got to go out and get some business. And here’s the thing that is so vitally important and everybody listening knows this. I’m just putting it on the table so that we can all acknowledge that, yes, this isn’t just a big deal, this is huge, which is because of the internet, nobody really cares what you say about your business anymore. They don’t care what I say about my business. They don’t care about my pitch, they don’t care about me listing, you know, the advantages of doing business with me. What they care about and what they do is they go on the internet to see what everybody else thinks about my business and that’s what matters.
And, boy, you talk about timing. I am about to change credit cards and I had pretty… I thought I had made my mind up about which credit card you switch to and I said, “Oh, wait, you know what? I need to go online to a couple of places and look at customer reviews.” Oh, my gosh, I saw so many reviews about the poor customer service. It totally changed my mind. I’m now gonna get a different credit card that has great reviews and it’s nothing that the credit card companies said to me that made that decision. It’s what the customers of those companies said.
So, the moment of truth now with buyers is when they see whether you get one star or five stars from the people that do business with you. You know, the other thing, Jeff, that I think the internet has changed is the expectation in terms of speed. How quickly do you respond to your customers? I was working with a group not too long ago and they said that their policy is they get back to customers within 24 hours of any email or phone call that a customer sends in. And I said, “Okay, yeah, I get that. That wouldn’t work with me, though, because as a customer because of where I live.” And they said, “Where do you live?” I said, “The 21st-century.” I said, “Twenty-four hours, are you kidding me?” Twenty-four hour. I can’t imagine anybody that waits 24 hours anymore for anything. So, I think knowing what the opinions of your customers are and the speed factor are two of the biggest impacts of the internet.
Jeff: All right. So, from that perspective then, since you’re talking about the way that you do business, here’s what’s gonna happen. You’re gonna open up a restaurant called Calloway’s, very hip bar and grill. It is so hip. I mean, it’s not on Broadway. That’s yesterday’s news. You’re in Hillsboro Village right across from the pancake pantry. And it is gonna be that place. So, what are you gonna do that’s gonna set you apart from everybody else in town?
Joe: In 1999, I was the majority investor in Mirror, which was a restaurant that opened on 12th Avenue South in Nashville. And every… I swear to you, Jeff, every review of that restaurant used the word hip, including my friend The New York Times. So, we were hip. And here’s what we tried to do. And it’s ground that we covered a few minutes ago. We’re going back to the Disfrutar thing here. Number one… Two observations. Number one, we talked about how we wanted to treat our customers, not the favorite customers, but every customer.
But number two, and this is vitally important, I don’t care what you’re selling. Certainly, if you’re a hip restaurant, hip has a shelf life. You can’t be the hippest place in town for 10 years because inherent in the definition of hip, is new. And so we had to learn and what I have to learn in my business, what any business has to learn is, “What are my customer’s expectations gonna be a year from now? And how do I stay relevant?” See, to me, a much more powerful word than hip would be relevant even for a restaurant.
And, by the way, the reason the pancake pantry still has a line of people running out the door and around the corner every morning, year after year, decade after decade, is quality, service, value, those unsexy things that they do so extraordinarily well and keep doing extraordinarily well that it creates going back to the internet, it creates an incredible word of mouth that drives business to them. So, ultimately, whether it’s a restaurant or anything else, listen, Jeff, if you win on the basics, you win. I’m not talking about just being competitive, I’m talking about winning on the basics with the understanding that it’s all a moving target and you have to keep moving forward.
Jeff: Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. Are you of the opinion that most companies determine how they want to do business first and then they decide how it’s going to affect the customer?
Joe: Yeah. And I’m exhibit A. I mean, I plead guilty. I’ve done it where I’ll have what I think is the greatest idea in history. And my friends and colleagues, they’ll tell me, “Oh, my God, Joe, that’s unbelievable.” And even potential buyers tell me, “Yeah, that’s great. Sure. We’ll line up at the door for it.” And it all started because I thought it was a great idea and then I put it together, I put the website together, I roll it out to the market place, and crickets, and even those potential buyers that thought it was a great idea. There’s a big difference between saying, “Yeah, that’s cool,” and turning over your credit card number and saying, “Yes, I will spend money with you.”
And so, yeah, I think a lot of companies do determine first, “Here’s what I want to do.” And that’s part of it. But, Jeff, I think it’s the old three-legged stool. It does have to be something that you want to do and that you believe. And then and then you’ve got to be, step two, leg two, you’ve got to be really, really good at it. But step number three, there’s gotta be a market for it. And what startups today, in any endeavor… I work a lot with startups. Startups are really an information-gathering exercise. You come up with a good idea, you do market research, but then you ship it, you go to market and the market will then tell you what to do next.
“Here’s what’s wrong with what you put out here.” And you either have to adjust or make changes. Sometimes you realize the horse you’re riding is dead and you need to get on a different horse. But it goes back to what we opened with which is it all comes back to the customer. The customer makes the ultimate decision, who wins and who doesn’t, and you’ve got to be totally attuned to that.
Jeff: We’re just about out of time. Tell me your newest book, “The Leadership Mindset.” Tell us about the book.
Joe: Yeah. What it is…the subtitle is, “How Today’s Successful Business Leaders Think.” And the reason I say today’s successful business leaders is because I think there’s been some real serious changes in how leaders, successful leaders think. They have to be much more willing today, for example, as we were just talking about, you’ve got to be willing to take a risk. You’ve got to be willing in the most complicated marketplace any of us have ever lived in, and, boy, if this is so true in sales, you’ve got to be willing to simplify, you’ve got to know how to bring clarity to your offering. You’ve got to know how to create a focus on the team. And if the team is just you, listen… Every day, Jeff, I get up and I say, “Calloway, focus.” Because, oh, my God, I love a shiny object. I mean, I’m the original squirrel. And I get so distracted by the next idea. And that’s okay to a point. But, yeah, the leadership mindset, it’s kind of a collection of about 20 different aspects of thinking in business today that can create success.
Jeff: Love it. Love it. And speaking of distractions, actually, the very next guest we’ll have on the podcast after you, Joe, Cal Newport who wrote the book “Deep Work,” a book that has really challenged my thinking because like you, it’s the squirrel syndrome over and over again. Hey, before we let you go, we’re gonna put you on the hot seat. A few rapid-fire questions, rapid-fire answers. You ready?
Jeff: Your very first job was what?
Joe: My very first job was putting coins in coin wrappers in the basement of the bank where my father worked.
Jeff: An album from your youth that you listened to over and over again.
Joe: The White Album: by the Beatles.
Jeff: How could you argue this? The most beautiful place you’ve ever stood?
Joe: The Spanish Steps, Rome, Italy.
Jeff: A book that you’ve read that made a profound impact on your life.
Jeff: Just one.
Joe: It’s fiction oddly enough. A gentleman from Moscow, Moray Knowles. And it influenced me because the writing was so beautiful and so moving, it made me wanna be a better writer.
Jeff: I have to tell you before… I’ve got a couple of other questions, but I’m gonna take you off the hot seat for a second and just amen that. That book was… I read that book so slowly and I do a lot of reading, but I read that book so slowly because it was almost like… It’s like eating at the French Laundry or Disfrutar. You just want to savor every bite. The writing style is completely unparalleled. Love it, love it, love it. A movie you’ve seen multiple times, but you’ll gladly watch when it comes back on again.
Jeff: Love it. Last question. Your first celebrity crush.
Joe: First celebrity crush?
Joe: Mary Tyler Moore who played Dick Van Dyke’s wife on “The Dick Van Dyke Show.” Holy moly.
Jeff: Yeah. She had it all going on. There’s no question about it. Love it. All right, you’re off the hot seat. Joe Calloway is his name, specialty and leadership development author, incredible public speaker. If you have an event coming up and you’re looking for somebody who’s just gonna dazzle your audience, Joe Calloway is that guy. You can learn everything about Joe and follow him at joecalloway.com. We’ll put that in the show notes. But, Joe, so much appreciate not just your taking the time to come on this show today, but your contribution to making us all better, smarter, and more effective for our customers. Thanks for being on “The Buyer’s Mind.”
Joe: Very kind words. Thank you, Jeff. Thanks for having me.
Jeff: Murph, I’ll tell you what. When you think about Joe Calloway, you know, he’s a strong thinker. He really is, but I just…everybody that I’ve ever known when his name comes up, they all say the same thing, “Good guy.” Joe Calloway is just one of the really, really good guys.
Paul: Down to earth. You know, that’s what we like about people when they come and they express what they know, but they’re down to earth. They make it accessible.
Jeff: I love the idea that you know, there are a lot of business thinkers, a lot of thought leaders out there where you’re just trying to sort of work through, figure out, “Well, who is this person?” And there’s an instant trust with Joe because you could just see he’s not dramatic about it, but he wears his heart on his sleeve. You just get the sense that he is the guy that feels passionately about what he talks about. And so when he gets into things like understanding the idea between customer service and that creativity and organizational DNA that goes behind it, it’s almost like you wanna send that message out to every company owner that you do business with as a consumer and say, “Would you please listen to this guy, because he’s got it figured it out?”
Paul: I love the discussion we had about his restaurant because this kind of exemplifies it. Hip has a shelf life, right? And so the questions are, “What are my customer’s expectations gonna be a year from now and the importance of doing the unsexy things of service and consistency?”
Jeff: I just love the concept of having that sense of deep passion for what it is that you do, especially as it relates to taking care of customers. And I just love the passion that he shows and I wanna send a word out to those of you who are in sales and say, don’t wait for your company to come up with some sort of customer care initiative. You need to own this. And the way you need to own it is that you have to think extremely creatively about how to take great care of each individual customer. Now, look, there are things that we could do programmatically that will take care of all of our customers, but the finest in customer care is individual. It is unique. Joe Calloway mentioned the idea of bringing back a step a second espresso because we wanted to make sure it was hot. That’s just a very small example, but a very profound example of that one-on-one, that creativity for each person.
Now, that takes mental energy to be able to do that. The easy thing is just to sort of go through the motions and, you know, let the customer care initiatives take care of it. If you’re looking for easy, I guess that’s an option. But if you’re truly looking to stand out, if you’re truly looking to be unique, if you’re truly looking to provide value that nobody else can, you have to think creatively with each individual customer. And I would encourage you to do that right now. To think about a customer that you’re working with right now and ask yourself the question, “What is that plus-one thing that I could do today for this customer without the expectation of anything in return? What can I do today that would make a profound impact or even a small impact that will be perceived as profound because of the fact that I’m doing something that nobody else is doing?
It takes that creativity. It takes that intensity. It takes that want to. Don’t wait for your company to come along and tell you how to do customer service. Just own it, own it individually. Own it for every single customer and then go out there and change their world.